Pixar is to release version 2.0 of OpenSubdiv at Siggraph 2013 next week.
OpenSubdiv, a collection of open-source libraries for creating high-performance subdivision surface modelling tools, was originally unveiled at the show last year, then released fully in January.
The libraries make it possible for developers to create tools that harness the power of massively parallel CPU and GPU architectures to provide real-time feedback even when working with ultra-dense meshes.
If you’re still uncertain why this is cool, Lester Banks has a good explanation here.
As the OpenSubdiv site notes: “This is the same code that Pixar uses internally for animated film production. Our intent is to encourage high-performance, accurate subdiv drawing by giving away the ‘good stuff.'”
New Evaluation API, new Apache license
The main new feature this time round is the Evaluation (eval) API, which adds functionality to evaluate the subdivision surface at an arbitrary parametric coordinate and return limit point/derivative/shading data.
The release will also use the more standard Apache License instead of the Microsoft Public License used for version 1.0. The change of license type means that Blender will now be able to use the libraries: a topic explored in more detail in a story on BlenderNation.