Pixar open sources production animation code, patents

That's not stealing, it's downloading with style


Vid Disney-owned Jobs-derived animation outfit Pixar has open-sourced some of its production software.

Pixar started life as a software company and still operates a division selling its RenderMan wares, which have been pressed into service making innumerable films beyond the walls of Pixar itself.

The code released as open source is called Open SubDiv, and “... implement high performance subdivision surface (subdiv) evaluation on massively parallel CPU and GPU architectures.”

A simple translation of the above is that the apps help create very detailed surfaces on animated objects. The image below, for example, shows an object untouched by Open SubDiv at right, and a more detailed and precise version processed by the software at left.

An example of Pixar's Open SubDiv at work

Which means this release is not something for everyone. But Pixar has released the software under a licence permitting any commercial or non-commercial use.

Pixar's Manuel Kraemer told the Siggrpah conference last week that the code is used at Pixar and that a full release is due late in 2012. Kraemer also said the studio has decided to freely licence some of its patents to make it possible to use Open SubDiv without attendant angst about future legal worries.

Kraemer explains Open SubDiv and shows off some of the ways Pixar has put it to use, including in its recent Brave, in the video below.

The Open SubDiv code can be found here

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Robotics and 5G to spur growth of SoC industry – report
    Big OEMs hogging production and COVID causing supply issues

    The system-on-chip (SoC) side of the semiconductor industry is poised for growth between now and 2026, when it's predicted to be worth $6.85 billion, according to an analyst's report. 

    Chances are good that there's an SoC-powered device within arm's reach of you: the tiny integrated circuits contain everything needed for a basic computer, leading to their proliferation in mobile, IoT and smart devices. 

    The report predicting the growth comes from advisory biz Technavio, which looked at a long list of companies in the SoC market. Vendors it analyzed include Apple, Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, TSMC, Toshiba, and more. The company predicts that much of the growth between now and 2026 will stem primarily from robotics and 5G. 

    Continue reading
  • Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online
    Plus: Next PyTorch release will support Apple GPUs so devs can train neural networks on their own laptops

    In brief Miscreants can easily steal someone else's identity by tricking live facial recognition software using deepfakes, according to a new report.

    Sensity AI, a startup focused on tackling identity fraud, carried out a series of pretend attacks. Engineers scanned the image of someone from an ID card, and mapped their likeness onto another person's face. Sensity then tested whether they could breach live facial recognition systems by tricking them into believing the pretend attacker is a real user.

    So-called "liveness tests" try to authenticate identities in real-time, relying on images or video streams from cameras like face recognition used to unlock mobile phones, for example. Nine out of ten vendors failed Sensity's live deepfake attacks.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022