Autodesk has obtained a license with a five-year exclusivity period for the XGen Arbitrary Primitive Generator technology (XGen) used most recently by Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS) in the animated film Tangled, writes Carolyn Giardina.
Walt Disney Pictures’ agreement with Autodesk is aimed at enabling Autodesk to make this technology available to artists.
In related news, Autodesk recently acquired Evolver technology from parent company Darwin Dimensions, which might contribute to Autodesk’s work in crowd simulation.
XGen technology has already been used to create elements such as fur, hair, trees or bushes in animated features including Bolt, Up, Toy Story 3 and Cars 2. In Tangled, WDAS used XGen for Rapunzel’s golden locks as well as for landscapes, including bushes, flowers, vines and grass.
“With Autodesk’s Maya as a core piece of our toolset, we've developed over 100 plug-ins and extensions for the platform to enable our artists to create a movie of the quality of Tangled within necessary time and budgetary limits,” said Dan Candela, WDAS director of studio technology. “Sharing our technology with the VFX and CG animation community raises the creative bar for the entire industry.”
Marc Petit, senior vp, Autodesk Media & Entertainment, commented: “Autodesk has been working with industry leaders like Walt Disney Animation Studios to help them innovate faster and to make these new technologies more broadly accessible. Digital Entertainment Creation users are sure to benefit from developments designed by industry visionaries and proven in production.”
As to the acquisition of the Evolver technology, Autodesk explained: “Across all of the industries we serve, design professionals are looking for ways to make their 3D design projects more realistic by adding a human element in the form of crowd simulation. Evolver provides Autodesk with technology to efficiently create realistic crowds of people in an automated fashion while allowing users to define specific body shapes, facial characteristics, and clothing styles. This complements research we are currently doing in the areas of realistic real-time human crowd simulation.”