Subdivision is key modeling tool that allows greater accuracy and the OpenSubdiv project aims to standardize and speed up the process. It is production proven and about to be adopted for wide scale use by products like Autodesk’s Maya and Side Effects Software’s Houdini. In this exclusive and in-depth piece we explore the history, the uses and the innovative new approaches OpenSubdiv offers.
The subdivision of a surface is really a process whereby one can represent a smooth surface via a coarser piecewise linear polygon mesh, and then calculate a smooth surface as the limit of a recursive process of subdividing each polygonal face into smaller faces that better approximate the smooth surface. OpenSubdiv is at the heart of Pixar’s modeling pipeline and it is now being expanded to many other pipelines due to its open source approach.