July 2018 Update:
This was a side project in 2017. I need to fix some bugs and am planning to flip it from private to open source soon. This is a semi-active project at this point.
What is it
Render videos/animations with substitutable images/video/text automatically via a Python REST API with Blender as a Heroku hosted service.
API hosted on Heroku.
Pre-load the application with Blender files and some configuration.
POST to the /render/ API endpoint, passing links to dynamic images and/or text to replace.
Rendering takes a while, so the above call returns a job ID so you can call back for status.
GET on the /status/ endpoint with a job ID will tell you if the job is finished. If finished, it will give you a download URL for the completed render.
Sample output above. Note that it can do video inside of video.
The one I used was another animation I made in Blender previously. Used it because I had it.
Performance. It takes a long time to render.
May revisit this idea in the future as it’s the main way to lower render times. It just requires a fair amount of tooling to get that working on AWS with something like Brenda.
Started out experimenting with 3D modeling.
That led to scripting the creation of objects in Blender with Python.
Which led to substituting text and images in Blender files pre-render.
Which then led to learning “corner pinning”, a technique for mapping three dimensional planes to surfaces in a regular video file. ex: @TrumpDraws
Which made me want to automate all of this out into an application that handles all of the substituting and rendering for you.