Dreamworks Patents

DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. creates animated feature films, television series and specials and live entertainment properties. Its branded family entertainment properties include Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon.

Dreamworks Patents by Type

  • Patent number: 9626787
    Abstract: Systems and methods for rendering three-dimensional images using a render setup graph are provided. A dependency graph is accessed. The dependency graph comprises a plurality of supplier nodes, a multiplexer node, and a plurality of graphlet nodes. The plurality of supplier nodes is accessed. The supplier nodes each have an output of a first type. These outputs are connected to the multiplexer node. A graphlet is accessed. The graphlet comprises the plurality of graphlet nodes. An output of the multiplexer node connects to the graphlet by connecting to an input of one node of the plurality of graphlet nodes. The multiplexer is configured to generate an instance of the graphlet for each supplier node connected to the multiplexer node. An image is rendered utilizing the accessed graphlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Peter McNerney, Evan P. Smyth
  • Publication number: 20170098327
    Abstract: One exemplary process for animating hair includes receiving data representing a plurality of hairs and a plurality of objects in a timestep of a frame of animation. A first tree is populated to represent kinematic objects of the plurality of objects and a second tree is populated to represent dynamic objects of the plurality of objects based on the received data. A first elasticity preconditioner is created to represent internal elastic energy of the plurality of hairs based on the received data. Based on the first tree and the second tree, a first set of potential contacts is determined between two or more hairs of the plurality of hairs or between one or more hairs of the plurality of hairs and one or more objects of the plurality of objects. Positions of the plurality of hairs are determined based on the first set of potential contacts and the first elasticity preconditioner.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 13, 2016
    Publication date: April 6, 2017
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Galen G. GORNOWICZ, Silviu BORAC
  • Patent number: 9589382
    Abstract: Systems and methods for rendering an image using a render setup graph are provided. The render setup graph may be used to configure and manage lighting configuration data as well as external processes used to render the computer-generated image. The render setup graph may include a dependency graph having nodes interconnected by edges along which objects and object configuration data may be passed between nodes. The nodes may be used to provide a source of objects and object configuration data, configure visual effects of an object, partition a set of objects, call external processes, perform data routing functions within the graph, and the like. In this way, the render setup graph may advantageously be used to organize configuration data and execution of processes for rendering an image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2017
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Robert Giles Wilson, Evan P. Smyth, Mark Lee, Max Requenes, Peter McNerney
  • Patent number: 9582918
    Abstract: A computer-implemented method determining a user-defined stereo effect for a computer-generated scene. A set of bounded-parallax constraints including a near-parallax value and a far-parallax value is obtained. A stereo-volume value is obtained, wherein the stereo-volume value represents a percentage of parallax. A stereo-shift value is also obtained, wherein the stereo-shift value represents a distance across one of: an area associated with a camera sensor of a pair of stereoscopic cameras adapted to film the computer-generated scene; and a screen adapted to depict a stereoscopic image of the computer-generated scene. A creative near-parallax value is calculated based on the stereo-shift value, the stereo-volume, and the near-parallax value. A creative far-parallax value is also calculated based on the stereo-shift value and the product of the stereo-volume and the far-parallax value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Philip McNally, Matthew Low
  • Patent number: 9514560
    Abstract: Systems and methods for using hierarchical tags to create a computer-generated animation are provided. The hierarchical tags may be used to organize, identify, and select animation assets in order to configure animation parameters used to render a computer-generated image. The hierarchical tags may be used to display representations of animation assets for selection. A hierarchy based on the hierarchical tags may be represented by a tree structure. The hierarchical tags may be used as part of a rule to partition animation assets. In this way, the hierarchical tags may advantageously be used to identify, organize, and select animation assets and perform animation processes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Peter McNerney, Evan P. Smyth
  • Patent number: 9514562
    Abstract: Systems and methods for partitioning a set of animation objects using a node in a render setup graph are provided. The render setup graph may be used to configure and manage lighting configuration data as well as external processes used to render the computer-generated image. The render setup graph may include a dependency graph having nodes interconnected by edges along which objects and object configuration data may be passed between nodes. The nodes may be used to provide a source of objects and object configuration data, configure visual effects of an object, partition a set of objects, call external processes, perform data routing functions within the graph, and the like. The objects can be partitioned based on attributes of the objects and associated configuration data. In this way, the render setup graph may advantageously be used to organize configuration data and execution of processes for rendering an image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Robert Giles Wilson, Evan P. Smyth, Mark Lee, Max Requenes, Peter McNerney
  • Publication number: 20160343167
    Abstract: A virtual reality system includes a platform, a headset, a mount, and a control unit. The headset includes a motion-sensing unit and a display unit configured to display a video of a virtual environment. The mount is positioned on the platform and configured to releasably engage the headset. While the headset is engaged with the mount, the headset is positioned in a first position. While the headset is disengaged from the mount, the headset is positioned in a second position. The control unit is connected to the headset and configured to receive first data representing the first position and associate the first position with a predetermined first perspective of the virtual environment. The control unit is also configured to receive second data representing the second position, determine a second perspective of the virtual environment corresponding to the second position, and provide video of the virtual environment from the second perspective.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 17, 2016
    Publication date: November 24, 2016
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Brad Kenneth HERMAN, St. John COLĂ“N
  • Patent number: 9460553
    Abstract: Locations are shaded for use in rendering a computer-generated scene having one or more objects represented by the point cloud. A hierarchy for the point cloud is obtained. The point cloud includes a plurality of points. The hierarchy has a plurality of clusters of points of the point cloud. A location is selected to shade. A first cluster from the plurality of clusters is selected. The first cluster represents a first set of points in the point cloud. An importance weight for the first cluster is determined. A render-quality criterion for the first cluster is determined based on the importance weight. Whether the first cluster meets a render-quality criterion is determined based on a render-quality parameter for the first cluster. In response to the first cluster meeting the quality criterion, the location is shaded based on an indication of light emitted from the first cluster.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2016
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventor: Eric Tabellion
  • Patent number: 9454845
    Abstract: Systems and processes for contouring 2D shadow characters in 3D CGI scenes are provided. A simplified drawing surface may be added to a CGI scene and displayed from a first perspective to approximate a major surface where a shadow character may be located. A drawn shadow character may be received on the simplified drawing surface. A naturally-cast reference shadow of a corresponding 3D modeled character may be provided on the drawing surface to aid artists in developing the shadow character. An image of the drawn shadow character may be captured from a second perspective at the primary light source. The simplified drawing surface and drawn shadow character may be removed from the scene. The captured shadow character image may be projected into the scene from the second perspective, contouring naturally to object surfaces. The scene, including the shadow character, may be captured from a third perspective.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2016
    Assignee: Dreamworks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Douglas Wayne Cooper, Robyn Nicholas Rindge
  • Patent number: 9449429
    Abstract: A computer-implemented method for computing an effective inter-ocular distance for a modeled viewer based on a maximum ocular divergence angle. A maximum ocular divergence angle, viewing distance, and an inter-ocular distance are obtained for the modeled viewer. An effective inter-ocular distance is computed based on the viewing distance, the inter-ocular distance, and the maximum ocular divergence angle. The effective inter-ocular distance represents the maximum positive parallax for the modeled viewer having the defined maximum ocular divergence angle. The effective inter-ocular distance may be used in a stereoscopic modeling system in place of the inter-ocular distance, the stereoscopic modeling system relating a set of parameters in a camera space to a set of parameters in viewer space. The stereoscopic modeling system may be a stereoscopic transformation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2016
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Matthew Low, Donald Greenberg, Philip McNally
  • Patent number: 9443341
    Abstract: One exemplary process for animating hair includes receiving data representing a plurality of hairs and a plurality of objects in a timestep of a frame of animation. A first tree is populated to represent kinematic objects of the plurality of objects and a second tree is populated to represent dynamic objects of the plurality of objects based on the received data. A first elasticity preconditioner is created to represent internal elastic energy of the plurality of hairs based on the received data. Based on the first tree and the second tree, a first set of potential contacts is determined between two or more hairs of the plurality of hairs or between one or more hairs of the plurality of hairs and one or more objects of the plurality of objects. Positions of the plurality of hairs are determined based on the first set of potential contacts and the first elasticity preconditioner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Galen G. Gornowicz, Silviu Borac
  • Patent number: 9443338
    Abstract: Bounded-parallax constraints are determined for the placement of a pair of stereoscopic cameras within a computer-generated scene. A minimum scene depth is calculated based on the distance from the pair of cameras to a nearest point of interest in the computer-generated scene. A near-parallax value is also calculated based on the focal length and the minimum scene depth. Calculating the near-parallax value includes selecting a baseline stereo-setting entry from a set of stereo-setting entries, each stereo-setting entry of the set of baseline stereo-setting entries includes a recommended scene depth, a recommended focal length, and a recommended near-parallax value. For the selected baseline stereo-setting entry: the recommended scene depth corresponds to the minimum scene depth, and the recommended focal length corresponds to the focal length. The near-parallax value and far-parallax value are stored as the bounded-parallax constraints for the placement of the pair of stereoscopic cameras.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Philip McNally, Matthew Low
  • Patent number: 9418465
    Abstract: Systems and methods for performing MOS skin deformations are provided. In one example process, the in vector of a MOS transform may be manually configured by a user. In another example process, a slide/bulge operation may be configured to depend on two or more MOS transforms. Each of the MOS transforms may be assigned a weight that represents the transform's contribution to the overall slide/bulge. In yet another example process, a bulge operation for a MOS vertex may be performed in a direction orthogonal to the attached MOS curve regardless of the direction of the attachment vector. In yet another example process, a ghost transform may be inserted into a MOS closed curve and used to calculate skin deformations associated with first transform of the MOS closed curve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2016
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Mark R. Rubin, Robert Lloyd Helms, Arthur D. Gregory, Peter Dean Farson, Matthew Christopher Gong, Michael Scott Hutchinson
  • Patent number: 9367943
    Abstract: Systems and processes for rendering fractures in an object are provided. In one example, a surface representation of an object may be converted into a volumetric representation of the object. The volumetric representation of the object may be divided into volumetric representations of two or more fragments. The volumetric representations of the two or more fragments may be converted into surface representations of the two or more fragments. Additional information associated with attributes of adjacent fragments may be used to convert the volumetric representations of the two or more fragments into surface representations of the two or more fragments. The surface representations of the two or more fragments may be displayed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2016
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Akash Garg, Kyle Maxwell, David Lipton
  • Patent number: 9286709
    Abstract: In rendering a computer-generated animation sequence, pieces of animation corresponding to shots of the computer-generated animation sequence are obtained. Measurements of action in the shots are obtained. Frame rates, which can be different, for the shots are determined based on the determined measurements of action in the shots. The shots are rendered based on the determined frame rates for the shots. The rendered shots with frame rate information indicating the frame rates used in rendering the shots are stored.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2016
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventor: Erik Nash
  • Patent number: 9230294
    Abstract: Preservation and reuse of intermediate data generated in a render setup graph for computer animation is disclosed. A processing node in the graph can generate intermediate data and, rather than send it directly to a downstream node in the graph, preserve it for reuse during subsequent processing. As a result, a downstream processing node can reuse the preserved intermediate data, rather than wait while the intermediate data is generated by the processing node in realtime. An intermediate data file management module can manage this process by storing the generated intermediate data in a file for preservation, retrieving the stored intermediate data from the file for reuse, optimizing the file storage location for speed and efficiency, and facilitating sharing of the intermediate data during collaboration between users.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2016
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Evan P. Smyth, Peter McNerney
  • Patent number: 9224239
    Abstract: A system and method for computing a rendered image of a computer-generated object in a computer-generated scene. A dependency graph is accessed, the dependency graph including a plurality of interconnected nodes including a look-selector node. An asset is accessed at an input to the look-selector node. The asset includes a plurality of looks for the computer-generated object, each look of the plurality of looks corresponding to a different visual appearance of the computer-generated object. At the look-selector node, an active look is selected from the plurality of looks. The active look is passed to a next node of the dependency graph. The rendered image of the computer-generated object is computed having a visual appearance that corresponds to the active look.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventor: Evan P. Smyth
  • Patent number: 9218785
    Abstract: A lighting correction filter for selectively correcting lighting in computer animation is disclosed. The lighting correction filter can select a computer-generated object having one or more lighting attributes. The selected object can be a portion of an object, an entire object, a portion of a computer-generated scene, or an entire scene. The filter can then set lighting correction values for the lighting attributes of the selected object. The lighting correction values can be color values, exposure values, or both. The filter can apply the lighting correction values to the selected object's lighting attributes to effect a lighting correction in the object prior to rendering.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 22, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventor: Stephen Bailey
  • Patent number: 9208597
    Abstract: Systems and methods for rendering three-dimensional images by instancing scene description data using a hierarchy are provided. A hierarchy is accessed. The hierarchy comprises a first node and an instance node. The first node is a predecessor to a subtree of one or more nodes and the first node is associated with a first scene description data object. The instance node is a leaf of the hierarchy. The instance node has a parent node and the instance node is associated with a second scene description data object. The parent node has successor nodes other than the instance node. An instancing instruction of the instance node is read. The instancing instruction comprises information identifying the first node. An instance of the subtree of one or more nodes is merged at a location in the hierarchy of the instance node. An image is rendered based on the merged instance of the subtree.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Robert Giles Wilson, David Moore, Nick Long
  • Publication number: 20150331597
    Abstract: A graphical user interface (GUI) for training includes, in some embodiments, a first group of icons arranged about a first axis, where the first group of icons corresponds to computer-generated animation concepts. The GUI also includes a second group of icons arranged about a second axis that intersects the first axis at a particular icon along the first axis. The second group of icons corresponds to videos that illustrate the computer-generated animation concept associated with the particular icon on the first axis. The GUI can also include a third group of icons arranged about a third axis that intersects the first axis at another icon along the first axis. Horizontal correspondence between icons along the second and third axes indicates logical relationships between the corresponding training content.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 15, 2014
    Publication date: November 19, 2015
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventor: Hoyt Lee NG
  • Patent number: 9183659
    Abstract: Search-based matching for multiple parameter sets in computer animation is disclosed. The search-based matching method can include receiving a selection of a first set of joint parameters in a first model to match to a second set of joint parameters in a second model, currently in operation, for an appendage of a computer-generated object. The method can also adjust the selected first set of joint parameters to match the second set of joint parameters. The method can further compare the adjusted first set of joint parameters to the second set of joint parameters. Based on the comparison, the method can switch from the second model to the first model and replace the second set of joint parameters with the adjusted first set of joint parameters. The method can then output the replacement first set of joint parameters for rendering the appendage of the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Paul Carmen Dilorenzo, Alexander P. Powell, Satheesh Subramanian
  • Patent number: 9171401
    Abstract: A system for partitioning a set of assets, where each asset represents a computer-generated object associated with a computer-generated scene. A dependency graph comprising a plurality of interconnected nodes including an organizer node is accessed. The set of assets identified by an input of a predicate test of the organizer node are accessed. It is determined if the at least one predicate test can be evaluated using the set of assets. If the at least one predicate test can be evaluated, one or more partition assets are identified and passed to a next node. If the at least one predicate test cannot be evaluated, a conservative set of assets is identified and passed to the next node, wherein the conservative set of assets is the same set of assets identified by the input of the predicate test.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventor: Evan P. Smyth
  • Patent number: 9165393
    Abstract: A computer-implemented method for measuring the stereoscopic quality of a computer-generated object in a three-dimensional computer-generated scene. The computer-generated object is visible from at least one camera of a pair of cameras used for creating a stereoscopic view of the computer-generated scene. A set of surface vertices of the computer-generated object is obtained. A stereoscopic transformation on the set of surface vertices is computed to obtain a set of transformed vertices. A translation vector and a scale vector are computed and applied to the set of transformed vertices to obtain a ghosted set of vertices. The ghosted set of vertices is approximately translational and scale invariant with respect to the set of surface vertices. A sum of the differences between the set of surface vertices and the set of ghosted vertices is computed to obtain a first stereo-quality metric.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Matthew Low, Donald Greenberg, Philip McNally
  • Patent number: 9135739
    Abstract: A system for performing graphics processing is disclosed. A dependency graph comprising interconnected nodes is accessed. Each node has output attributes and the dependency graph receives input attributes. A first list is accessed, which includes a dirty status for each dirty output attribute of the dependency graph. A second list is accessed, which associates one of the input attributes with output attributes that are affected by the one input attribute. A third list is accessed, which associates one of the output attributes with output attributes that affect the one output attribute. An evaluation request for a requested output attribute is received. A set of output attributes are selected for evaluation based on being specified in the first list as dirty and being specified in the third list as associated with the requested output attribute. The set of output attributes are evaluated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Martin Watt, Alexander P. Powell
  • Patent number: 9129436
    Abstract: A computer-implemented method for smoothing a stereo parameter for a computer-animated film sequence. A timeline for the film sequence is obtained, the timeline comprising a plurality of time entries. A stereo parameter distribution is obtained, wherein the stereo parameter distribution comprises one stereo parameter value for at least two time entries of the plurality of time entries, and wherein the stereo parameter value corresponds a stereo setting associated with a pair of stereoscopic cameras configured to produce a stereoscopic image of the computer-animated film sequence. Depending on a statistical measurement of the stereo parameter distribution, either a static scene parameter is calculated, or a set of smoothed parameter values is calculated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Philip McNally, Matthew Low
  • Publication number: 20150221119
    Abstract: One exemplary process for animating hair includes receiving data representing a plurality of hairs and a plurality of objects in a timestep of a frame of animation. A first tree is populated to represent kinematic objects of the plurality of objects and a second tree is populated to represent dynamic objects of the plurality of objects based on the received data. A first elasticity preconditioner is created to represent internal elastic energy of the plurality of hairs based on the received data. Based on the first tree and the second tree, a first set of potential contacts is determined between two or more hairs of the plurality of hairs or between one or more hairs of the plurality of hairs and one or more objects of the plurality of objects. Positions of the plurality of hairs are determined based on the first set of potential contacts and the first elasticity preconditioner.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 3, 2014
    Publication date: August 6, 2015
    Applicant: DREAMWORKS ANIMATION LLC
    Inventors: Galen G. GORNOWICZ, Silviu BORAC
  • Patent number: 9087406
    Abstract: Techniques for determining scaled-parallax constraints used for the placement of a pair of stereoscopic cameras within a computer-generated scene. A set of bounded-parallax constraints including a near-parallax value and a far-parallax value is also obtained along with a lower-bound value and upper-bound value for a range of focal lengths. Scaled near-parallax and scaled far-parallax values are calculated, the calculation depending on the whether the focal length is greater than, less than, or within the range of focal lengths.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Philip McNally, Matthew Low
  • Patent number: 9082223
    Abstract: Systems and methods for manipulating a virtual three-dimensional (3D) object in a virtual 3D space are provided. A representation of the 3D object is displayed on a display. A non-hemispherical arcball having a surface is determined. The non-hemispherical arcball is associated with the representation of the 3D object. A pointing device is detected at a first position and at a second position. The first position of the pointing device is translated onto a first location on the surface of the non-hemispherical arcball. The second position of the pointing device is translated onto a second location on the surface of the non-hemispherical arcball. A rotation of the representation of the 3D object is displayed on the display, the rotation based on a path of travel between the first location and the second location along the surface of the non-hemispherical arcball.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Morgwn Quin McCarty, Alexander P. Powell
  • Patent number: 9076262
    Abstract: A computer-implemented method for determining a user-defined stereo effect for a computer-animated film sequence. A stereo-volume value for a timeline of the film sequence is obtained, wherein the stereo-volume value represents a percentage of parallax at the respective time entry. A stereo-shift value for the timeline is also obtained, wherein the stereo-shift value represents a distance across one of: an area associated with a sensor of a pair of stereoscopic cameras adapted to create the film sequence; and a screen adapted to depict a stereoscopic image of the computer-generated scene. A script-adjusted near-parallax value and a script-adjusted far-parallax value are calculated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Philip McNally, Matthew Low
  • Publication number: 20150187113
    Abstract: Systems and methods for performing MOS skin deformations are provided. In one example process, the in vector of a MOS transform may be manually configured by a user. In another example process, a slide/bulge operation may be configured to depend on two or more MOS transforms. Each of the MOS transforms may be assigned a weight that represents the transform's contribution to the overall slide/bulge. In yet another example process, a bulge operation for a MOS vertex may be performed in a direction orthogonal to the attached MOS curve regardless of the direction of the attachment vector. In yet another example process, a ghost transform may be inserted into a MOS closed curve and used to calculate skin deformations associated with first transform of the MOS closed curve.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 31, 2013
    Publication date: July 2, 2015
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Mark R. Rubin, Robert Lloyd Helms, Arthur D. Gregory, Peter Dean Farson, Matthew Christopher Gong, Michael Scott Hutchinson
  • Patent number: 9070222
    Abstract: A computer-implemented method for determining bounded-parallax constraints for the placement of a pair of stereoscopic cameras within a computer-generated scene. An initial near-parallax value is determined based on the focal length and a minimum scene depth. An initial far-parallax value is determined based on a focal length. A scaled near-parallax value and scaled far-parallax value are calculated based on the initial near-parallax value, initial far-parallax value, and a range of focal lengths. A creative near-parallax value is calculated based on a stereo-shift value and the product of a stereo-volume and the scaled near-parallax value. A creative far-parallax value is calculated based on the stereo-shift value and the product of the stereo-volume and the scaled far-parallax value. The creative near-parallax value and the creative far-parallax value are stored as the bounded-parallax constraints for the placement of the pair of stereoscopic cameras.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Philip McNally, Matthew Low
  • Patent number: 9064345
    Abstract: Data representing animated hair in a computer generated imagery (CGI) scene may be compressed by treating hair data as arrays of parameters. Hair data parameters may include control vertices, hair color, hair radius, and the like. A principal component analysis (PCA) may be performed on the arrays of hair data. PCA may yield new basis vectors, varying in length, with the largest basis vector corresponding to a new dimension with the largest variance in hair data. The hair data may be quantized based on the varying lengths of new basis vectors. The number of bits allocated for quantizing each new dimension corresponding to each new basis vector may be determined based on the relative lengths of new basis vectors, with more bits allocated to dimensions corresponding to longer basis vectors. The quantized hair data may be bit-packed and then compressed using lossless entropy encoding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventor: Mark Jeffrey Matthews
  • Patent number: 8982157
    Abstract: To generate a skin-attached element on a skin surface of an animated character, a region of the skin surface within a predetermined distance from a skin-attached element root position is deformed to form a lofted skin according to one of a plurality of constraint surfaces, where each of the plurality of constraint surfaces does not intersect with each other. A sublamina mesh surface constrained to the lofted skin is created. A two-dimensional version of the skin-attached element is projected onto the sublamina mesh surface. The lofted skin is reverted back to a state of the skin surface prior to the deformation of the region of the skin surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Andrew J. Weber, Galen Gerald Gornowicz
  • Patent number: 8952958
    Abstract: A computer-implemented method for defining a range of bounding parameter values that satisfy perceptual constraints for a stereoscopically filmed computer-generated scene. A user selection of a bounding parameter from a set of scene parameters is selected. Values for scene parameters of the set of scene parameters that were not selected as the bounding parameter are obtained. A first bounding value for the bounding parameter is calculated based on a first perceptual constraint and based on the values of the scene parameters of the set of scene parameters that were not selected. A second bounding value for the bounding parameter is also calculated based on a second perceptual constraint and based on the values of the scene parameter of the set of scene parameters that were not selected. The first and second bounding values define a minimum and a maximum value of a range of values and are stored.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2015
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Matthew Low, Donald Greenberg, Philip Mcnally
  • Patent number: 8866813
    Abstract: A computer-animated scene illuminated by indirect light is shaded. The scene is comprised of sample locations on a surface element of an object in the scene. A point cloud representation of the scene is generated. Optionally, an importance map of the scene, based on the point cloud representation, is generated. The importance map is generated by rasterizing one or more points in the point cloud and designating areas of interest based on the energy value of the one or more points in the point cloud. A ray tracing engine is biased, based on the importance map. The biased ray tracing engine calculates the path of the ray to the sample locations in the scene to an area of interest. The scene is shaded using the output from the biased ray tracing engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Chris F. Armsden, Bruce Tartaglia
  • Publication number: 20140270561
    Abstract: Data representing animated hair in a computer generated imagery (CGI) scene may be compressed by treating hair data as arrays of parameters. Hair data parameters may include control vertices, hair color, hair radius, and the like. A principal component analysis (PCA) may be performed on the arrays of hair data. PCA may yield new basis vectors, varying in length, with the largest basis vector corresponding to a new dimension with the largest variance in hair data. The hair data may be quantized based on the varying lengths of new basis vectors. The number of bits allocated for quantizing each new dimension corresponding to each new basis vector may be determined based on the relative lengths of new basis vectors, with more bits allocated to dimensions corresponding to longer basis vectors. The quantized hair data may be bit-packed and then compressed using lossless entropy encoding.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventor: Mark Jeffrey MATTHEWS
  • Publication number: 20140267357
    Abstract: A computer-enabled method for shading locations for use in rendering a computer-generated scene having one or more objects represented by a point cloud. The method involves selecting a shading location, selecting a set of points from the point cloud, rasterizing the points onto a raster shape positioned at the shading location, where the raster shape has varying texel densities that are based on characteristics of the points in the point cloud, such that the texel density varies on different surfaces of the raster shape or on different areas of the same surface or both, and shading the shading location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventor: DreamWorks Animation LLC
  • Publication number: 20140280323
    Abstract: Systems and processes provide network clients on various platforms a customized file system experience on demand while managing files (e.g., computer animation files) across a variety of storage devices spread across a network of arbitrary size (local area networks, wide area networks, worldwide networks, the world wide web, etc.). Clients may specify a set of requirements for an instantiation of a file system interface or object for a given application. Such requirements may include storage location, file quality, capacity, scale, permanence, speed, and the like. The system may then provide to the client a customized file system interface with particular hardware resources allocated to satisfy the designated file system requirements. The file system interface may coordinate file delivery, allocation, tracking, transportation, caching, deletion, and the like. The system may manage and allocate hardware resources ranging from a local client computer to distant hard drive banks across the world.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 13, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: DREAMWORKS ANIMATION LLC
    Inventor: Michael Christian SEALES
  • Publication number: 20140267252
    Abstract: Using curves to emulate soft body deformation in a computer-generated character is disclosed. A method can include accessing a reference model mapped to one or more deformation curves for the character. The reference model can include a mesh of vertices representing a soft body layer of the character. The deformation curve can include multiple sample points selected for mapping. Each mesh vertex on the model can be mapped to each sample point on the curve to establish a relationship between them for deformation. The method can also include receiving a movement of one or more sample points on the curve to a desired deformation position. The method can further include calculating primary and secondary movements of the mesh vertices on the model based on the movements of sample points. The method can move the mesh vertices as calculated to a desired deformation position and output the reference model with the moved vertices for rendering to emulate the soft body deformation of the character.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: DREAMWORKS ANIMATION LLC
    Inventors: Michael HUTCHINSON, Guido ZIMMERMANN, Robert HELMS
  • Publication number: 20140267352
    Abstract: A system and method for computing a rendered image of a computer-generated object in a computer-generated scene. A dependency graph is accessed, the dependency graph including a plurality of interconnected nodes including a look-selector node. An asset is accessed at an input to the look-selector node. The asset includes a plurality of looks for the computer-generated object, each look of the plurality of looks corresponding to a different visual appearance of the computer-generated object. At the look-selector node, an active look is selected from the plurality of looks. The active look is passed to a next node of the dependency graph. The rendered image of the computer-generated object is computed having a visual appearance that corresponds to the active look.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: DREAMWORKS ANIMATION LLC
    Inventor: Evan P. SMYTH
  • Publication number: 20140267344
    Abstract: Systems and methods for partitioning a set of animation objects using a node in a render setup graph are provided. The render setup graph may be used to configure and manage lighting configuration data as well as external processes used to render the computer-generated image. The render setup graph may include a dependency graph having nodes interconnected by edges along which objects and object configuration data may be passed between nodes. The nodes may be used to provide a source of objects and object configuration data, configure visual effects of an object, partition a set of objects, call external processes, perform data routing functions within the graph, and the like. The objects can be partitioned based on attributes of the objects and associated configuration data. In this way, the render setup graph may advantageously be used to organize configuration data and execution of processes for rendering an image.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Robert Giles WILSON, Evan P. Smyth, Mark Lee, Max Requenes, Peter Mcnerney
  • Publication number: 20140267354
    Abstract: A lighting correction filter for selectively correcting lighting in computer animation is disclosed. The lighting correction filter can select a computer-generated object having one or more lighting attributes. The selected object can be a portion of an object, an entire object, a portion of a computer-generated scene, or an entire scene. The filter can then set lighting correction values for the lighting attributes of the selected object. The lighting correction values can be color values, exposure values, or both. The filter can apply the lighting correction values to the selected object's lighting attributes to effect a lighting correction in the object prior to rendering.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: DREAMWORKS ANIMATION LLC
    Inventor: Stephen BAILEY
  • Publication number: 20140267291
    Abstract: Preservation and reuse of intermediate data generated in a render setup graph for computer animation is disclosed. A processing node in the graph can generate intermediate data and, rather than send it directly to a downstream node in the graph, preserve it for reuse during subsequent processing. As a result, a downstream processing node can reuse the preserved intermediate data, rather than wait while the intermediate data is generated by the processing node in realtime. An intermediate data file management module can manage this process by storing the generated intermediate data in a file for preservation, retrieving the stored intermediate data from the file for reuse, optimizing the file storage location for speed and efficiency, and facilitating sharing of the intermediate data during collaboration between users.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: DREAMWORKS ANIMATION LLC
    Inventors: Evan P. SMYTH, Peter MCNERNEY
  • Publication number: 20140267277
    Abstract: Systems and methods for rendering three-dimensional images using a render setup graph are provided. A dependency graph is accessed. The dependency graph comprises a plurality of supplier nodes, a multiplexer node, and a plurality of graphlet nodes. The plurality of supplier nodes is accessed. The supplier nodes each have an output of a first type. These outputs are connected to the multiplexer node. A graphlet is accessed. The graphlet comprises the plurality of graphlet nodes. An output of the multiplexer node connects to the graphlet by connecting to an input of one node of the plurality of graphlet nodes. The multiplexer is configured to generate an instance of the graphlet for each supplier node connected to the multiplexer node. An image is rendered utilizing the accessed graphlet.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Peter MCNERNEY, Evan P. Smyth
  • Publication number: 20140267288
    Abstract: A system for partitioning a set of assets, where each asset represents a computer-generated object associated with a computer-generated scene. A dependency graph comprising a plurality of interconnected nodes including an organizer node is accessed. The set of assets identified by an input of a predicate test of the organizer node are accessed. It is determined if the at least one predicate test can be evaluated using the set of assets. If the at least one predicate test can be evaluated, one or more partition assets are identified and passed to a next node. If the at least one predicate test cannot be evaluated, a conservative set of assets is identified and passed to the next node, wherein the conservative set of assets is the same set of assets identified by the input of the predicate test.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: DREAMWORKS ANIMATION LLC
    Inventor: Evan P. SMYTH
  • Publication number: 20140267237
    Abstract: Systems and methods for rendering three-dimensional images using a level graph are provided. The level graph is accessed, comprising a first node, a second node, and a target node. The second and target nodes are descendants of the first node. The first node comprises first scene description data, the second node comprises first variation data, and the target node comprises second variation data. The target node is selected for computation. Target node ancestors are determined. The first node and the second node are ancestors of the target node. A linearization of the ancestors is determined, comprising an order. A scene description is initialized using the first scene description data. The first variation is applied to the scene description, based on the linearization. The second variation is applied to the scene description to produce a final scene description. An image is rendered using the final scene description.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: DREAMWORKS ANIMATION LLC
    Inventors: Peter MCNERNEY, Evan P. SMYTH, Robert Giles WILSON, Greg HEFLIN, Jeff BEALL, Jonathan GIBBS, Mike HAMLER, Benoit GAGNON
  • Publication number: 20140267307
    Abstract: Computer animation tools for viewing, in multiple contexts, the effect of changes to a computer animation are disclosed. An artist configures multiple visual displays in the user interface of a computer animation system. A visual display shows one or more frames of computer animation. An artist configures a visual display to reflect a specific context. For example, the artist may assign a particular virtual viewpoint of a scene to a particular visual display. Once visual displays are configured, the artist changes a configuration of the computer animation. For example, the artist may change the lighting parameters of a scene. In response, the visual displays show the visual effects of the configuration (e.g., lighting parameters) change under corresponding contexts (e.g., different virtual camera viewpoints). Using multiple visual displays, which may be displayed side-by-side, an artist can view the effects of her configuration changes in the various contexts.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Tsuey Jin Liou, Evan P. Smyth, Andrew Phillip Pearce, Peter McNerney
  • Publication number: 20140267249
    Abstract: Systems and processes for contouring 2D shadow characters in 3D CGI scenes are provided. A simplified drawing surface may be added to a CGI scene and displayed from a first perspective to approximate a major surface where a shadow character may be located. A drawn shadow character may be received on the simplified drawing surface. A naturally-cast reference shadow of a corresponding 3D modeled character may be provided on the drawing surface to aid artists in developing the shadow character. An image of the drawn shadow character may be captured from a second perspective at the primary light source. The simplified drawing surface and drawn shadow character may be removed from the scene. The captured shadow character image may be projected into the scene from the second perspective, contouring naturally to object surfaces. The scene, including the shadow character, may be captured from a third perspective.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Douglas Wayne COOPER, Robyn Nicholas RINDGE
  • Publication number: 20140267309
    Abstract: Systems and methods for rendering an image using a render setup graph are provided. The render setup graph may be used to configure and manage lighting configuration data as well as external processes used to render the computer-generated image. The render setup graph may include a dependency graph having nodes interconnected by edges along which objects and object configuration data may be passed between nodes. The nodes may be used to provide a source of objects and object configuration data, configure visual effects of an object, partition a set of objects, call external processes, perform data routing functions within the graph, and the like. In this way, the render setup graph may advantageously be used to organize configuration data and execution of processes for rendering an image.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventors: Robert Giles WILSON, Evan P. Smyth, Mark Lee, Max Requenes, Peter McNerney
  • Publication number: 20140267312
    Abstract: A rail manipulator indicates the possible range(s) of movement of a part of a computer-generated character in a computer animation system. The rail manipulator obtains a model of the computer-generated character. The model may be a skeleton structure of bones connected at joints. The interconnected bones may constrain the movements of one another. When an artist selects one of the bones for movement, the rail manipulator determines the range of movement of the selected bone. The determination may be based on the position and/or the ranges of movements of other bones in the skeleton structure. The range of movement is displayed on-screen to the artist, together with the computer-generated character. In this way, the rail manipulator directly communicates to the artist the degree to which a portion of the computer-generated character can be moved, in response to the artist's selection of the portion of the computer-generated character.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: DreamWorks Animation LLC
    Inventor: Alexander P. Powell