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Pixar will make USD software open source in 2016

"An efficient, scalable system for authoring, reading, and streaming time-sampled scene description for interchange between graphics applications"

Not content with delighting us all with its animated movies Pixar Animation Studios is now sharing the tools it uses to do so, making its Universal Scene Description software open source.

"USD (Universal Scene Description) is an efficient, scalable system for authoring, reading, and streaming time-sampled scene description for interchange between graphics applications," said Pixar.

"The USD distribution will include embeddable direct 3D visualization provided by Pixar's modern GPU renderer, Hydra, as well as plugins for several key VFX DCCs, comprehensive documentation, tutorials, and complete python bindings."

The software will become open source in summer 2016.

"One of the key aspects of Pixar's pipeline is the ability for hundreds of artists to operate simultaneously on the same collections of assets in different contexts, using separate 'layers' of data that are composited together at various production stages. USD generalizes these concepts in an attempt to make them available to any DCC application," explained Guido Quaroni, VP of Software R&D at Pixar.

Last year Pixar also made its Renderman tool, "a high performance renderer built to tackle the most complicated 3D imaginable" free for non-commercial users.

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Rachel Weber

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Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.

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