DreamWorks Animation to Release MoonRay as Open Source

DreamWorks Animation to Release MoonRay as Open Source

GLENDALE — DreamWorks Animation has just announced its intention to release its proprietary production renderer, MoonRay, as open source software later this year. MoonRay is DreamWorks’ next-generation MCRT renderer, which has been used in feature films such as How to train your dragon: the hidden world, croods: a new era, the bad boysas well as the next Puss in Boots: The Last Wishwhich hits theaters on December 21. MoonRay was developed by the world-class engineers at DreamWorks and includes an extensive library of production-proven physical materials, a USD Hydra render proxy, multi-machine, and cloud rendering via Arras.

“We are thrilled to share more than 10 years of innovation and development in MoonRay’s vectorized, threaded, parallel and distributed code base with the industry,” said Andrew Pearce, vice president of global technology at DreamWorks. “The appetite for rendering at scale grows every year and MoonRay is poised to meet that need. We look forward to seeing the codebase grow stronger with community input as DreamWorks continues to demonstrate our commitment to open source.”

DreamWorks’ in-house Monte Carlo Ray Tracer, MoonRay, was designed from the ground up with a focus on efficiency and scalability, with the mantra to “…keep all vector lanes on all cores on all machines busy all the time.” time with meaningful work”, as well as providing modern features for full artistic expression. It can deliver a wide range of images, from photo-realistic to heavily stylized. MoonRay is based on a highly scalable state-of-the-art architecture with no previous legacy code, allowing fast, feature-length artistic iteration using familiar tools Additional high-performance features include support for distributed rendering, a pixel-matching XPU mode that offers improved performance when rendering ray packets on the GPU and CPU, ray tracing via Intel® Embree, utility shader vectorization izing the Intel® ISPC build and pooled path tracking. MoonRay includes a Hydra USD rendering delegate for integration into standard-compliant content authoring tools.

“We are proud of our close collaboration with DreamWorks on MoonRay with its impressive photorealistic ray tracing rendering performance supported by open source Intel Embree and Intel Implicit SPMD Program Compiler (Intel ISPC), both distributed in the Intel oneAPI Rendering Toolkit,” he said. Jim Jeffers. , Senior Director, Senior Principal Engineer, Intel Advanced Ray Tracing. “MoonRay features, such as hair and fur rendering, were developed in collaboration with Intel. The resulting enhancements are included in the Intel® Embree Ray Tracing Kernel Library and exemplify how using open software benefits the entire ecosystem. By adopting Intel ISPC, MoonRay adopts vector instruction parallelism to achieve drastic performance improvements. Intel looks forward to further opportunities to apply oneAPI’s cross-vendor and cross-architecture compatibility to this open source project for all creators.”

MoonRay uses DreamWorks’ distributed computing framework, Arras, which will also be included in the open source code base, to provide innovative support for multiple machines and multiple contexts. Multi-machine rendering speeds up interactive visualization for the artist, decouples rendering from the interactive tool, increasing interactive robustness. Using MoonRay and Arras in a multi-context mode, the artist can simultaneously visualize multiple lighting conditions, different material properties, multiple times in a shot or sequence, or even multiple locations in an environment.

According to Simon Crownshaw, director of business strategy for media and communications at Microsoft, “We see the use of MoonRay with Arras on Microsoft Azure as a game changer in the hands of artists, providing faster iterations in lighting and also enabling multi-context rendering. . As visual effects and animation content grow in complexity, so does the computing requirements to create and render. Microsoft Azure enables studios and artists to access MoonRay with Arras for the first time and power the platform with a broad portfolio of cloud computing power and scale on demand around the world.”

“MoonRay has been a game changer for our productions,” said Bill Ballew, chief technology officer for DreamWorks. “We have over a billion hours of use on DreamWorks. As the open source community continues to embrace and improve it, we will see significant benefits for the animation and visual effects industry, as well as academia.”

DreamWorks intends to make MoonRay available under the Apache 2.0 license. More information and updates will be available at OpenMoonRay.org.

Source: DreamWorks Animation

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Dan Sarto is a publisher and editor-in-chief of Animation World Network.

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