Most people can probably agree that Pixar is one of the most influential animation studios of all time. Their films have been not only critical and commercial hits, but important to the progression of animation technology as well. The technology Pixar uses in their films is some of the most impressive in the business. Now you can use it yourself for free.
Pixar has decided to open source their Subd evaluation code. It’s called Open SubDiv and it’s “a set of open source libraries that implement high performance subdivision surface evaluation on massively parallel CPU and GPU architectures.” With the release, Pixar hopes to “encourage high performance accurate subdiv drawing by giving away the “good stuff”.”
This is a huge deal for both Pixar and the development scene as a whole. By making their software open source, Pixar opens the doors to programmers of all backgrounds to help improve it and change the software.
It’s also big news for hobbyist animators and programmers because Pixar has released the code under the Microsoft Public License. Animators and programmers can release work made with Pixar’s code for non-commercial and commercial use. It wasn’t just enough that Pixar released their code, but they’re letting people make money off of it too.
The software is currently in beta, but Pixar will keep putting out new updates over time. The source code is available to all at GitHub. I can’t wait to see what amateur animators do with the software. If this release goes over well, they might start to release other software as well.
[h/t: The Register]
Many thanks to Vincent for correcting a few errors.