Open Source MoonRay Gets Released By DreamWorks Animation


The production renderer, which was previously unveiled at SIGGRAPH 2022, is now accessible in a CMake environment that is industry standard.

It is replete with a new documentation page, reorganised libraries, fewer dependencies, and linked open source packages.

The open source release of MoonRay, DreamWorks Animation’s production renderer, has been made public and is now open to all users. When the company announced its planned release at SIGGRAPH 2022, thousands of queries followed. Since then, the business has been working on its code base, increased documentation, and interfaced with prerelease partners showcasing the renderer’s use outside of DreamWorks’ studio. presently hosts the code base, which is distributed under the Apache 2 open source licence.

According to DreamWorks, the efficiency and scalability of their internal Monte Carlo Ray Tracer, MoonRay, were its primary design goals. The goal of the developers is to “…keep all the vector lanes of all the cores of all the machines busy all the time with important work” and to offer cutting-edge tools for unrestricted creative expression. It produces a wide variety of visuals, ranging from photorealistic to highly stylised. Its cutting-edge, highly scalable architecture enables rapid artistic iteration with tools that are already in your toolbox. Support for distributed rendering, an XPU mode that matches pixels, photorealistic ray tracing acceleration with Intel Embree, and other oneAPI features are some more high-performance capabilities. In order to be integrated with content creation applications that support USD Hydra, MoonRay also comes with a render delegate for that standard.

The MoonRay team has been modifying the code base to be developed and run outside of DreamWorks’ pipeline environment since announcing the expected release in August 2022. The build system has been fully converted to a CMake environment that is accepted throughout the industry. It has a new documentation page, libraries that have been reorganised, fewer dependencies, and open source packages that are referenced. All of them are current release versions with extra features and refinements added for DreamWorks’ productions.

“The open source release of MoonRay brings a state-of-the-art production renderer to the hands of artists, content creators, and practitioners in realistic simulation empowering community innovation,” noted Anton Kaplanyan, vice president, graphics research at Intel. “As part of this release and in collaboration with DreamWorks, MoonRay users have access to Intel technologies, Intel Embree, and oneAPI tools as building blocks for an open and performant rendering ecosystem.”

“We’re delighted to demonstrate DreamWorks’ continued commitment to open source with the contribution of MoonRay,” added Bill Ballew, Chief Technology Officer at DreamWorks Animation. “Our involvement with the community has made us stronger and we look forward to that continued collaboration.”


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