Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic announced the inaugural open source release of MaterialX Library, a CG tool developed by Lucasfilm’s Advanced Development Group and ILM engineers to facilitate the transfer of rich materials and look development content between applications and renderers. Tatooine. The MaterialX team will host a “Birds of a Feather” meeting at SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles on Monday, July 31 (9:30-11:00am, room 511BC).
Top shops Autodesk and Foundry are already on board:
Chris Vienneau, Director of Media & Entertainment at Autodesk noted, “Autodesk is very pleased to be a contributor to the MaterialX project and we are looking forward to adding native support for MaterialX workflows to our digital content creation tools. As with other open formats, MaterialX is going to improve collaboration and help make production pipelines more efficient, so we are thankful that Lucasfilm have chosen to share their technology with the community through open source software.”
“Foundry is happy to see the MaterialX project reach this latest milestone,” said Jordan Thistlewood, Senior Product Manager – Look Development & Lighting at Foundry. “The possibilities for smoothing the transfer of look development information between our own applications is exciting. The broader principle of open source projects and multi-vendor data exchange are important for the industry as a whole. Thus we look forward to including MaterialX powered workflows in future releases of our applications.”
CG production workflows require multiple software tools for different parts of the production pipeline, and shared and outsourced work requires companies to hand off fully look-developed models to other divisions or studios which may use different software packages and rendering systems. There are currently high-quality solutions for exchanging scene hierarchies and geometric data between tools, but not for exchanging rich material content.
MaterialX addresses the current lack of a common, open standard for representing the data values and relationships required to transfer the complete look of a computer graphics model from one application or rendering platform to another, including shading networks, patterns and texturing, complex nested materials and geometric assignments. MaterialX provides a schema for describing material networks, shader parameters, texture and material assignments, and color-space associations in a precise, application-independent, and customizable way.
Since its conception at Lucasfilm in 2012, MaterialX has been used by ILM on blockbuster features such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and real-time immersive experiences like Trials on Tatooine. Learn more at www.materialx.org.