Dreamworks open sources animation software
Beats Pixar for once with release of smoke-and-mirrors-ware
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. ®
Re: from the description
Hmmm... why don't you read the code and let us know?
from the description
It just sounds like some kind of octree library. That's hardly a difficult thing to knock together, though maybe there's more to it than it sounds. Hmmm... "animated smoke"... maybe it's just a Perlin noise generator, then...
nice but its not the first
This is simply a way of effectively storing data about a volume, things like density, velocity, colour and other properties like that. These can easily run in to enormous caches of data, terrabytes per frame if stored ineffectively. Its also about making sure that all the rendering software out there can use this data. Its a big benefit to dreamworks if they are able to swap data to other companies too.
Sony did the same i believe with their Field3D, someone correct me if i'm wrong is a similar project...
It seems a bit weird to see this kind of thing reported by so many news sources outside of the VFX circle, some PR department is doing a good job.