Santa Claus, Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy go open source

DreamWorks has released its OpenVDB open source C++ library for general community consumption and adaption.

The animation studio has used the technology itself on its “Rise of the Guardians” fantasy film that features a whole group of childhood legends including Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.

This in effect means that DreamWorks has spent millions of dollars developing specialised technology to make one of the most expensive animated movies ever produced only to now give it away free of charge on the website.

According to the home page, “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.”

OpenVDB is developed and maintained by DreamWorks Animation for use in “volumetric applications” typically encountered in feature film production.

Volumetric applications relate to those on screen effects used to produce smoke and other “amorphous” materials.

This development comes after DreamWorks Animation last year adopted Red Hat’s Enterprise Virtualization version 3.0 and along with its Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor technology to build its cloud services.

NB: KVM (kernel-based virtual machine technology) is a means of running several virtual machines as unmodified Windows or Linux flavour images with each virtual machine using the operating system’s kernel (for Intel or AMD x86 processors) with private virtualised hardware resources including disk space, graphics adapter and network card etc.

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