The UbiArt technology that allows for detailed, hand-drawn animation in the upcoming Rayman Origins will be available for free use by other devleopers, if Rayman creator Michel Ancel has his way.
Speaking to Develop, Ancel said the technology "has been built to be shared," and that the practice of game companies locking away their proprietary technology is holding the entire industry back.
"If the guys who invented the paintbrush only kept it for themselves then fine art... would be ephemeral," he said. "So yes, I want [UbiArt] to be open source, I want it to go out and be shared and evolved."
Ancel said he was inspired by Disney, which routinely shares details of its artistic process with other animators, in sharp contrast to game developers that lock their techniques and ideas "in a black box and keep it all to ourselves."
"We need to be more open," Ancel urged. "I donít believe that keeping the technology to yourself is interesting. I want someone to look at our game and be inspired to use the tools to be artistic themselves. It is more interesting to have a community and share our content."
As first mentioned at E3 2010, the UbiArt system used in Rayman Origins allows hand-drawn 2D concept art to be digitized at high resolution and used directly in games as background art or animated character graphics.
Open source sharing for the technology has yet to be approved by Ubisoft's executive team, but Ancel predicted they would be no problems with the move after a finished Origins provides a proof of concept.