We’re delighted to be a founding member of an exciting new partnership that will drive collaboration and creativity among software developers who work in image creation, VFX, animation and sound design.
Launched jointly by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Linux Foundation the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF) will provide a neutral forum for Open Source Software (OSS) developers, working in the motion picture and broader media industries, to share resources and drive innovation.
Open Source Software is software that has program code that anyone can inspect, modify and, more importantly, enhance. According to the results of a two-year investigation by the Academy’s Science and Technology Council, more than 80% of companies in the motion picture industry use OSS, especially for creating animation and visual effects.
While this has enabled artists to achieve stunning visual effects for storytellers, it’s also created new challenges for the industry. This includes the need to store and keep track of multiple versions of the same software, developers not collaborating effectively, and inconsistencies in licensing models.
ASWF aims to put an end to these issues by increasing the quality and quantity of open source contributions by developing a governance model, legal framework and community infrastructure that will lower the barrier to entry for developing and using OSS.
“Open source software projects have contributed significantly to the success and growth of the VFX industry,” explains Graham Jack, DNEG’s Chief Technology Officer.
“We recognise the importance of these projects in the service of our key goal: participating in the telling of inspiring and innovative stories through technology. As such, we are delighted to support the ASWF and are excited by the prospect of collaborating on the software that will form the basis of the future of our industry.”
The ASWF’s Goals
The ASWF will focus its work on achieving the following goals:
- Provide a neutral forum to coordinate cross-project efforts, establish best practices and share resources.
- Develop an open continuous integration (CI) and build infrastructure to enable reference builds from the community.
- Streamline development for build and runtime environments through the sharing of open source build configurations, scripts and recipes.
- Provide individuals and organizations with a clear path for participation and code contribution.
- Provide better, more consistent licensing through a shared licensing template.
An industry-wide foundation
DNEG is one of several well-known studios and software developers who are founding members of the ASWF. The other founding partners, include: Animal Logic, Autodesk, Blue Sky Studios, DreamWorks, Epic Games, Foundry, Google Cloud, Intel, SideFX, The Walt Disney Studios, and Weta Digital.
To find out more and how you can get involved in the foundation, visit the ASWF website.