Pixar opens beta on open source subdivision
At SigGraph 2012, Pixar announced that it is opening a beta programme for OpenSubdiv, its set of open source libraries and tools for implementing "high performance subdivision evaluation on massively parallel CPU and GPU architectures". Subdivision is a technique used to generate smooth curves and surfaces. The OpenSubdiv code is, says Pixar, the same code that it uses internally for producing animated films and it hopes that giving away "the good stuff" will encourage high performance accurate subdiv drawing.
The actual code has been "optimized for drawing deforming subdivs with static topology at interactive framerates" and Pixar says the resulting surfaces match Pixar's Renderman with numerical precision. It is based on a paper by Matthias Niessner of University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Charles Loop of Microsoft Research, and Mark Meyer and Tony DeRose of Pixar, and is the fifth generation of code which was originally written for the 1996 short film Geri's Game, with each generation being a complete rewrite.
The code has been made available in a Github repository and builds on Windows and Linux with some Mac OS X support. The code is released under the Microsoft Public Licence and all patents covering the algorithms used have been released. Pixar hopes to enhance the code and release a final version by the end of the year, according to its roadmap.