Dreamworks has long had a stranglehold on the animated movie market. One of the most popular studios in Hollywood, with movies like “Rise of the Guardians” and a ton of others, is letting go of that stranglehold a bit. Dreamworks announced that is has released its OpenVDB open source C++ library to the general public, meaning that the right programmer could find a way to copy the look and feel of all of the characters in Dreamworks’ newest Holiday hit.
This is a particularly interesting move by Dreamworks, considering that “Rise of the Guardians” is considered one of the most expensive animated movies to ever be produced. Now, the technology that made the main characters so lovable and lifelike has been opened up for free on the openvdb.org/ website.
The homepage for this open source hosting site details the new program. "OpenVDB is an open source C++ library comprising a novel hierarchical data structure and a suite of tools for the efficient storage and manipulation of sparse volumetric data discretised on three-dimensional grids. It is developed and maintained by DreamWorks Animation for use in volumetric applications typically encountered in feature film production."
Allowing your average, everyday programmer access to technology like this is certainly something that the open source community will be more than happy to hear about. Because there hasn’t been a whole lot of talk at the source, there is no telling if Dreamworks is going to continue to release new technology when they find a way to make it.
This appears to be the first time that a major studio has so readily opened its doors to technology like this. The risk with doing something like this, of course, is that another animation studio can now come in and use the same tech that makes Dreamworks the cream of the crop.
Edited by Brooke Neuman