Archives for posts with tag: geometry

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

USD provides for interchange of elemental assets (e.g. models) or animations. But unlike other interchange packages, USD also enables assembly and organization of any number of assets into virtual sets, scenes, and shots, transmit them from application to application, and non-destructively edit them (as overrides), with a single, consistent API, in a single scenegraph. USD provides a rich toolset for reading, writing, editing, and rapidly previewing 3D geometry and shading. In addition, because USD’s core scenegraph and “composition engine” are agnostic of 3D, USD can be extended in a maintainable way to encode and compose data in other domains.

Home Page:
Project Page:
Language: Python, C++
Platform: Linux, Windows, OSX
License: Modified Apache License
Sponsor: Pixar

Dynamica is a plug-in for Maya that provides an interface to the Bullet rigid body engine. Bullet was originally created to simulate many rigid bodies quickly in a game context, but this plug-in helps extend its usefulness to film production. The Walt Disney Animation Studios used this plug-in to model the thousands of packing peanuts seen in BOLT.

Features of the Dynamica Maya plugin

  • Dynamica is cross-platform and works on Windows, Linux and Mac OSX
  • Dynamica runs on all versions of Maya.
  • Active, passive, and kinematic rigid bodies
  • Sphere, Box, Hull(convex), and Mesh(concave) collision shapes
  • Force breakable Nail, Hinge, Slider, and Six-degrees-of-freedom constraints
  • Frame based choreography control and simulation baking
  • The plugin exports to COLLADA Physics format and the native .bullet binary physics file format

It was used by Disney Animation and several other studios.


Home Page:
Project Page:
Language: C++
Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OSX
License: MIT and zlib
Sponsor: Walt Disney Animation Studios

OpenSubdiv is a set of open source libraries that implement high performance subdivision surface (subdiv) evaluation on massively parallel CPU and GPU architectures. This codepath is optimized for drawing deforming subdivs with static topology at interactive framerates. The resulting limit surface matches Pixar’s Renderman to numerical precision. The code embodies decades of research and experience by Pixar, and a more recent and still active collaboration on fast GPU drawing between Microsoft Research and Pixar.

The source code for OpenSubdiv is located on github and is now in open beta.

Home Page:
Project Page:
Language: C++, glsl, OpenCL, CUDA
Platform: Linux, OS X, Windows
License: Microsoft Public License
Sponsor: Disney

Vfxgal is a geometric algorithms library for the VFX industry. It contains a very fast and robust voronoi fracturer, as well as several other geometric algorithms (plane-clip, hull-clip etc). Vfxgal comes with Houdini11 bindings but has been written in such a way that minimal work is needed to bind to other frameworks.

Project Page:
Language: C++, python
Platform: Linux, OSX
License: GNU LGPL

Alembic is an open computer graphics interchange framework. Alembic distills complex, animated scenes into a non-procedural, application-independent set of baked geometric results. This ‘distillation’ of scenes into baked geometry is exactly analogous to the distillation of lighting and rendering scenes into rendered image data.

Alembic is focused on efficiently storing the computed results of complex procedural geometric constructions. It is very specifically NOT concerned with storing the complex dependency graph of procedural tools used to create the computed results. For example, Alembic will efficiently store the animated vertex positions and animated transforms that result from an arbitrarily complex animation and simulation process which could involve enveloping, corrective shapes, volume-preserving simulations, cloth and flesh simulations, and so on. Alembic will not attempt to store a representation of the network of computations (rigs, basically) which are required to produce the final, animated vertex positions and animated transforms.

The production ready version of Alembic 1.0 was announced at Siggraph 2011 and released on August 9th, 2011 by Lucasfilm and Sony Pictures Imageworks with support from major vendors including Autodesk, Side Effects Software, The Foundry, Luxology, Pixar’s Renderman and NVidia.

Home Page:
Project Page:
Language: C++, Python
Platform: Linux, OSX, Windows
License: New BSD License
Sponsor: Sony Pictures Imageworks, Lucasfilm