Yesterday, SIGGRAPH 2012, an annual convention exhibiting advancements in computer graphics, opened its doors. To coincide with the expo, Pixar has decided to release a public beta for their new open source subdivision technology.
Pixar develops most of their technology in-house, and, aside from RenderMan, typically refrains from releasing it to the public. However, OpenSubdiv is open to modify and available for free on the project’s official website. The OpenSubdiv libraries allow for improved mesh subdivision, which means smoother object surfaces in the final product. Allegedly, this is the same code that the studio uses for their films.
Though most of this means nothing to the average Joe, a company like Pixar releasing free, open source technology is a significant step forward for smaller studios and aspiring CG artists. The first stable release of OpenSubdiv is scheduled to launch sometime this year.