Dreamworks open sources animation software

Beats Pixar for once with release of smoke-and-mirrors-ware

HP and Shrek 2

Animation studio Dreamworks has released some of its production animation code under an open source licence.

OpenVDB, the software in question, is billed as “an open source sparse volume processing toolkit” and is available under version 2.0 of the Mozilla Public License.

The C++ library “comprises a hierarchical data structure and a suite of tools for the efficient manipulation of sparse, possibly time-varying, volumetric data discretized on a three-dimensional grid.”

We're not entirely sure what that means either, but The Wall Street Journal says it comes in handy for making animated smoke and other effects that require the illusion of volume.

The software was pressed into service on the studio's imminent film Rise of the Guardians, a tale many Reg readers will doubtless find themselves witnessing over the next couple of school-holiday-ridden months given that it involves Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy forming a super team to take on someone suitably villainous to deserve an Avengers-style setting aside of heroic distrust and cross-mythos team-toleration.

Dreamworks announced its intention to open source the software back on August 3rd, about a week before Pixar did likewise for its Open SubDiv code. But the first release of OpenVDB only emerged in late October, with version 0.99 arriving this week. ®

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