Pixar Animation Studios has officially released its Universal Scene Description (USD) system as open-source technology on GitHub. It joins Pixar's OpenSubdiv subdivision implementation, which was open-sourced in 2012.

The company first announced plans to make USD — code that's been in use for collaborative workflow internally at Pixar for years — open-source in 2015, but today, during SIGGRAPH 2016, marks the official release. Among the tools included is the Hydra renderer, which is tuned for large data sets, and USD plug-ins for commercial software including Autodesk Maya and The Foundry Katana.

"With USD, Hydra, and OpenSubDiv, we're sharing core technologies that can be used in filmmaking tools across the industry," said Pixar Supervising Lead Software Engineer George ElKoura in a prepared statement. "Our focus in developing these libraries is to provide high-quality, high-performance software that can be used reliably under demanding production scenarios."

Studios including MPC, Double Negative, ILM and Animal Logic were consulted in the run-up to the USD release, Pixar said.