Walt Disney Animation Studios to adopt The Foundry's 3D painting technology in MARI

By ANIMATION XPRES... | 2 August, 2010 - 15:08

The Foundry, a world-leading developer of visual effects (VFX) software whose products have been used to create ambitious VFX sequences in recent box office blockbusters such as Iron Man 2, Avatar, and Disney's Alice in Wonderland, has entered into a unique relationship with Walt Disney Animation Studios to advance 3D texture painting techniques announced Bill Collis, CEO, The Foundry. In addition to incorporating elements of Disney's internally developed Paint 3D technology into Mari, Walt Disney Animation Studios' technology group will participate in a Mari steering committee, contributing to the future direction of the software.

Paint 3D offers some of the industry's most advanced aspects of paint and texture creation technology. Paint 3D is also the original development ground and authoring tool for Ptex, Disney's revolutionary open source texture mapping system that eliminates the need for UV mapping and efficiently stores hundreds of thousands of images in a single file. This represents the first time Walt Disney Animation Studios has commercially licensed its proprietary animation software to an outside company.

"The technology group at Walt Disney Animation Studios is proud to have created some of the most innovative software in the industry and we're thrilled to be contributing technology to The Foundry to make these next generation tools available to everyone," said Dan Candela, director of technology at Walt Disney Animation Studios. "We're looking forward to expanding our relationship with The Foundry, using their technology to help create 3D paint and texture tools that leverage the best of our mutual technologies."

"The addition of Mari to the product portfolio earlier this year has launched us into a new market," said Collis. "This agreement with Walt Disney Animation Studios provides access to their Paint 3D technology with its industry-proven toolset, powerful procedural paint and definitive Ptex paint infrastructure. It's a natural complement to Mari and we’re very excited about producing new solutions."

Paint 3D was first used on Disney's 2005 animated feature, Chicken Little, and was widely deployed on Meet the Robinsons (2007), Bolt (2008), and all subsequent animated projects including the upcoming November release, Tangled. Disney first used Ptex on the production of its animated short, Glago's Guest, in late 2007, and went on to present it publicly for the first time at the Eurographics Symposium on Rendering (EGSR) in June 2008. I (I Its enthusiastic reception was followed in January 2010 by an announcement of the availability of the Ptex technology as open source.

Mari – technology originally developed at Weta Digital – is a 3D texture painting application. The technology was driven by the need to handle complex, high-resolution textures on 3D models. Mari was designed as a full 3D paint tool with a responsiveness and feature set that exceeds the best dedicated 2D paint systems. Mari is extremely scalable, coping easily with extremes level of detail – literally, thousands of textures – quickly and elegantly.