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The package, which is in use on the studio's new project Finding Dory, allows for the creation and maintenance of large, graphics-intensive scenes -- and is based on techniques the company's been using for the past 20 years.
"One of the key aspects of Pixar's pipeline is the ability for hundreds of artists to operate simultaneously on the same collections of assets in different contexts, using separate 'layers' of data that are composited together at various production stages. USD generalizes these concepts in an attempt to make them available to any DCC application," said Guido Quaroni, VP of software R&D at Pixar.
The company last year made its RenderMan tool free for non-commercial use.