OpenSubdiv is an open-source software library, originally developed by Pixar, for subdivision surface evaluation and rendering on CPU and GPU. It is the same code that Pixar uses internally for both interactive and offline rendering.

An ongoing collaboration between DigitalFish, Pixar, Microsoft Research, Google, DreamWorks and others, OpenSubdiv today embodies decades of experience and research. It runs on a wide variety of operating systems and hardware architectures, from high-end production hardware to mobile devices.


An Emerging Standard

As a member of the OpenSubdiv Advisory Board, DigitalFish is working with Pixar and other board members to establish a standard curved-surface representation in computer graphics based on the algorithms within OpenSubdiv. Subdivision surfaces use a control-cage similar to a polygon mesh to represent a smooth surface. At render or display time the surface can be reproduced at any resolution while retaining its smooth nature. OpenSubdiv serves as a reference implementation for the evaluation and rendering of these surfaces.

OpenSubdiv-based tools are used by film and game studios to achieve high-quality modeling and rendering of complex shapes. By leveraging the power of the GPU to perform view-dependent, render-time tessellation, smooth high-quality meshes can be generated with fewer vertices undergoing skinning and rigging, allowing more complex and realistic effects to be achieved in the same computational budget.

Read how DigitalFish helped Google’s ATAP group quickly harness the benefits of OpenSubdiv.


See It for Yourself

Our OpenSubdiv demo shows a game character modeled as a lightweight mesh with many fewer vertices than a typical polygon-based model. It uses OpenSubdiv to render the smooth silhouettes at run-time. OpenSubdiv uses hardware tessellation on the GPU to generate vertices that adaptively sample the surface geometry, freeing up system resources and render time for other uses. This demo runs in Windows using a traditional graphics engine.

OpenSubdiv enables real-time 3-D graphics with high-quality surfaces including:

  • Adaptive view-dependent tessellation for smooth silhouettes and automatic level-of-detail
  • Semi-sharp creases for smoothly filleted or beveled edges
  • Texture, normal and displacement mapping with Ptex or traditional uv-mapping
  • Hierarchical edits for adding local fine detail

Download OpenSubdiv Demo

Download contains Windows executable, Linux executable and ArmorGuy Alembic and Maya files


OpenSubdiv Resources


Leverage DigitalFish's Expertise

OpenSubdiv provides unparalleled performance in the interactive display of smooth surfaces for characters, vehicles, and other scene content, but it can be difficult to get started integrating it.

Contact us to start the discussion. OpenSubdiv's benefits are too compelling to overlook.

Download contains Windows executable, Linux executable and ArmorGuy Alembic and Maya files
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