Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Pixar releases OpenSubdiv

In a surprise move recently, Pixar has released open source code called Open Subdiv.

Directly from the website :

OpenSubdiv is a set of open source libraries that implement high performance subdivision surface (subdiv) evaluation on massively parallel CPU and GPU architectures. This codepath is optimized for drawing deforming subdivs with static topology at interactive framerates. The resulting limit surface matches Pixar’s Renderman to numerical precision.

OpenSubdiv is covered by the Microsoft Public License, and is free to use for commercial or non-commercial use. This is the same code that Pixar uses internally for animated film production. Our intent is to encourage high performance accurate subdiv drawing by giving away the “good stuff”.

The source code for OpenSubdiv is located on github and is entering open beta for SIGGRAPH 2012. Feel free to use it and let us know what you think through the github site.


Platforms supported: Windows, Linux, limited OSX.

While it is highly unlikely that this will end up in Blender at all it is a very interesting project, coming from a highly unlikely place to ever release anything to the public. Though Pixar has released papers and some shader source code to the public, nothing was expected to ever come in the form of a software library, so this is a welcome surprise to say the least.