Open Source at SIGGRAPH


SIGGRAPH 2010:Open Source at SIGGRAPH

By Brandon Moore

Every year the SIGGRAPH Conference attracts numerous companies and vendors from around the world, most of whom are looking to sell innovative products to potential buyers. Usually these new products involve an immense amount of research and development as well as money to bring the technology to the conference. As a result, these products can become cumbersome on the wallets of consumers.  However, some companies represented at SIGGRAPH have open developments that cost nothing to their consumers, which leads us to the world of "open source". </p><br/>


Open Source software is nothing new to SIGGRAPH but the advancement in the software and technology is something that is hard to ignore. In order to satisfy their users and community, multiple passionate organizations are pushing the features of their products to compete in a world of proprietary products.


 Animux (, an operating system geared towards animators, is one of the open source technologies that emerged in 2006. Mark Puttnam, creator of Animux is determined to make his operating system a great tool for animation.  "Our goal is building an absolutely free animation production pipeline on the solid foundation of open source technology", said Puttnam.  "It provides a platform for people to learn animation and earn a living as an animator." Animux allows the animator to use multiple open source programs on its OS such as GIMP, Pencil, Inkscape, and many others that support the work flow of animators. Creating this platform not only benefits the Animux community, but it supports the communities of all software that runs on the OS. Puttnam showed several animations and works done with open source  software to demonstrate the operating system in action. 


The Blender Foundation is another open source organization. It provides a full 3D creation suite called Blender. Blender has a robust amount of features, including the ability to model, shade, animate, render, composite, and interact using an internal game engine. "The goal of Blender was to make 3D tools and technology for independent and small teams of artists," said Ton Roosendaal, creator of Blender and founder of the Blender Foundation. The software was introduced over a decade ago as a tool in the Dutch studio Not a Number Technologies (NaN). When the animation studio went bankrupt in 2002, a one time payment of €100,000 allowed the software to become open source. Since then the Blender community has grown and the software has improved drastically. A variety of professionals such as scientists, artists, animators, and students, now use Blender. Professional studios have adopted the tool and even NASA is using it for visualization purposes. "An individual from Belgium used Blender to develop an application using soft body physics to simulate the cutting of human skin as a way for surgeons to practice surgery", said Roosendaal. "Also Philippine workers in Dubai, working in strict conditions created a 'Blender Club'. On their day off they get together and use Blender." Roosendaal is determined to progress Blender further and complete version 2.5 in the next 6 months.

Large companies are also tapping into the benefits of open source to advance the world of computer graphics. During this year's SIGGRAPH conference Sony Pictures Imageworks with the cooperation of Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) announced a development that will benefit the 3D graphics industry. They introduced a project called Alembic, an interchange format focused on efficiently storing and sharing animation and visual effects scenes across multiple software applications. "I think we have created a file format that will have a significant impact on the industry as global production and shared workflows continue to be a driving force," said Lucasfilm CTO, Richard Kerris. Both studios have already made progress with open source software.  ILM produced the industry standard OpenEXR format and Imageworks is responsible for Open Shading Language (OSL), Maya Reticle, Field3D, OpenColorIO, and Scala Migrations. The new format was created as both studios saw a need for a new format to be used within existing pipelines, allowing for customization as well as the ability to share work.

With the SIGGRAPH conference behind us, the open source community has a future full of potential tools that will benefit the way they work and the projects they create. The developments of these organizations will continue to grow, which sparks the question of what we have to look forward to for the next years of the SIGGRAPH conference.

bad credit payday loan

Truth is known crammed written content along with terribly beneficial data. I managed to get the idea our exit via around below. My spouse and I drastically offer his/her in concert with your well-designed helpful data. Currently just click bad credit payday loan Cheers a good deal pertaining to wonderful data