Glendale — DreamWorks Animation has announced its intention to release its proprietary production renderer, MoonRay, as open source software later this year. Moonray is DreamWorks’ state-of-the-art MCRT renderer, which has been used on feature films such as How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Crude: a new era, the bad guysas well as upcoming Puss in Boots: The Last WishWhich will hit the theaters on December 21. Moonray was developed by DreamWorks’ world-class engineers, and includes an extensive library of production-tested, physically-based materials, a USD Hydra render representative, multi-machine, and cloud rendering via Auras.
“We are thrilled to share 10 years of innovation and development on Moonray’s vectorized, threaded, parallel and distributed code base with the industry,” said Andrew Pierce, Vice President of Global Technology at DreamWorks. “The appetite for mass rendering grows every year, and Moonray is poised to meet that need. We look forward to seeing the code base grow stronger with community participation as DreamWorks demonstrates our commitment to open source.” continues.
DreamWorks’ in-house Monte Carlo Ray Tracer, Moonray was designed with a focus on efficiency and scalability from the outset, with the mantra “…keep all vector lanes of all cores of all machines busy at all times with meaningful work”, as well as providing modern facilities for full artistic expression. It can provide a wide range of images ranging from photorealistic to strongly stylized. MoonRay is built on a leading-edge, highly scalable architecture with no prior legacy code, allowing for quick, feature-film quality artistic iteration using familiar tools. Additional high-performance features include support for distributed rendering, a pixel matching XPU mode that provides improved performance by processing bundles of rays on the GPU as well as the CPU, ray processing via Intel® Embry, Intel® Shader vectorization, and bundle path tracing using iSpec compilation. Moonray includes a USD Hydra render representative for integration into the content creation tools that support the standard.
Jim Jeffers said, “We are proud of our close collaboration with DreamWorks on MoonRay with its impressive photoreal ray tracing rendering performance supported by the open source Intel Embry and Intel Implicit SPMD Program Compiler (Intel ISPC). , Senior Director, Senior Principal Engineer, Intel Advanced Ray Tracing. “Moonray’s features such as hair and fur rendering were developed in collaboration with Intel. The resulting improvements are incorporated into Intel® Embree’s ray tracing kernel library and exemplify how the entire ecosystem benefits from using open software By adopting Intel ISPC, Moonray embraces vector instruction parallelism for dramatic performance improvements. Intel foresees new opportunities for all creators to implement OneAPI cross-architecture, cross-vendor support for this open source project.
Moonray uses DreamWorks’ distributed computation framework, Aaras, which is also included in the open source code base, to provide innovative multi-machine and multi-context support. Multi-machine rendering accelerates interactive displays for the artist, decoupling rendering with interactive tools that enhance interactive robustness. Using MoonRay and Arras in a multi-context mode, the artist can simultaneously visualize multiple lighting conditions, different physical properties, multiple times in a single shot or sequence, or even multiple locations in an environment.
According to Simon Crownshaw, Microsoft’s Director of Business Strategy for Media and Communications, “We see the use of Moonray with Auras on Microsoft Azure as a game-changer in the hands of artists, providing rapid iteration on lighting, and also enable multi-context rendering. As visual effects and animation materials grow in complexity, so do the computation requirements to create and render. Microsoft Azure Studios and artists with Arras for the first time Allows MoonRay to access and power the platform with a broad portfolio of compute capabilities in the cloud and scale on demand around the world.”
“Moonray has been a game-changer for our productions,” said Bill Balew, chief technology officer at DreamWorks. “At DreamWorks we have over a billion hours of access. As the open source community continues to adopt and grow, 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 here OpenMoonRay.org,
Source: DreamWorks Animation
Dan Sarto is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Animation World Network.