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Pixar will open-source the code for a key movie-making tool

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Fancy that you could create the next Inside Out if you only had the right tools? Pixar just made that dream a little more realistic. Mere months after giving away Renderman, the studio has announced plans to open the source code for its Universal Scene Description software, which gives multiple computer animation apps a common "scene graph" to work from. It should help movie makers streamline the production process (particularly if there's more than one company involved), but it'll also be a boon to animation app designers who want their various programs to play together.

The open-sourced USD should be available by summer 2016. Take that release window with a grain of salt, though. Pixar promised to give away Renderman back in June 2014, but didn't make it available until March this year -- don't be alarmed if the prep work (such as documentation, plugins and tutorials) takes longer than expected.

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