Autodesk gets exclusive licence for Disney’s XGen technology
Autodesk has obtained a license with a five-year exclusivity period for the XGen Arbitrary Primitive Generator technology (XGen), used by Walt Disney Animation Studios on the film Tangled
Tangled. Image © Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
XGen technology was first presented by Disney in a research paper at SIGGRAPH in 2003 for the creation of computer-generated fur, feathers, and foliage.
Since then, it has most recently been used on Tangled. It has also been used to create the fur, hair, feathers, trees, leaves and rocks in Bolt, the trees and bushes in UP, the dust bunnies, debris, trees, bushes, clover and flowers in Toy Story 3, and the grass and trees in Cars 2.
Autodesk is now hoping to provide the digital entertainment creation community with the power to create similar effects and animation.
XGen is a comprehensive system for generating arbitrary primitives on a surface. A collaboration between the WDAS production and software teams, artists were provided with intuitive, creative tools for 3D animation — such as “grooming” tools for fur and hair — so that they can develop the look and feel of their characters and environments more quickly and easily.
“Twenty years ago, visual effects artists creating computer graphics were mostly mathematicians and scientists using highly technical and complex software tools that required significant amounts of custom programming,” explains chief technology officer Andy Hendrickson, Walt Disney Animation Studios.
“Back then, off-the-shelf software could not create the required details of nuance and emotion. Today, we were able to create XGen as an effective artistic tool because Autodesk provides studios like ours with comprehensive tools and a flexible, extensible platform to develop on.
“The Autodesk customisable toolset helps visual effects artists do their best work.”
Director of Studio Technology at Disney Animation, Dan Candela adds: “With Autodesk’s Maya as a core piece of our toolset, we’ve developed over 100 plug-ins and extensions for the platform to enable our artists to create a movie of the quality of ‘Tangled’ within necessary time and budgetary limits.
“Sharing our technology with the VFX and CG animation community raises the creative bar for the entire industry.”
Visit Autodesk at SIGGRAPH 2011 at booth #429 or virtually on the developer’s online AREA platform at.
on Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 at 8:02 pm under Events, Industry, News, Products.
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Tags: 3D technology, Animation, Autodesk, cars 2, disney animation, Maya, Siggraph 2011, Tangled, toy story 3, VFX, xgen