LOS ANGELES — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The Linux Foundation have launched the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF). It’s goal is to provide a neutral forum for open source software developers in the motion picture and broader media industries to share resources and collaborate on technologies for image creation, visual effects, animation and sound.
“We are thrilled to partner with The Linux Foundation for this vital initiative that fosters more innovation, more collaboration, more creativity among artists and engineers in our community,” says Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “The Academy Software Foundation is core to the mission of our Academy: promoting the arts and sciences of motion pictures.”
“Open Source Software has enabled developers and engineers to create the amazing visual effects and animation that we see every day in the movies, on television and in video games,” adds Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. “With the Academy Software Foundation, we are providing a home for this community of open source developers to collaborate and drive the next wave of innovation across the motion picture and broader media industries.”
The ASWF is the result of a two-year investigation by the Academy’s Science and Technology Council into the use of Open Source Software (OSS) across the motion picture industry. The survey found that more than 80 percent of the industry uses open source software, particularly for animation and visual effects. However, this widespread use of OSS has also created challenges, including siloed development, managing multiple versions of OSS libraries, and varying governance and licensing models that need to be addressed in order to ensure a healthy open source ecosystem.
“Developers and engineers across the industry are constantly working to find new ways to bring images to life, and open source enables them to start with a solid foundation while focusing on solving unique, creative challenges rather than reinventing the wheel,” says Rob Bredow, SVP, executive creative director and head of Industrial Light & Magic and Member of the Academy’s Science and Technology Council, Open Source Investigation Committee. “We are very excited to launch the Academy Software Foundation and provide a home for open source developers to collaborate, regardless of where they work, and share best practices which we believe will drive innovation across the industry.”
The mission of the ASWF is to increase the quality and quantity of open source contributions by developing a governance model, legal framework and community infrastructure that lowers the barrier to entry for developing and using open source software. Developers interested in learning more or contributing can sign up to join the mailing list at www.aswf.io/community.
The ASWF will have a significant presence at SIGGRAPH 2018. Interested developers and engineers can learn more about the ASWF by attending the keynote session on Monday, August 13, from 2:00 - 3:15 pm PT by Rob Bredow, SVP, Executive Creative Director and Head of ILM, or following the keynote livestream on YouTube or Facebook.
Conference attendees are also invited to participate in the Academy Software Foundation Birds of a Feather (BoF) session on Tuesday, August 14, from 9:00 - 10:00 am PT in the Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building, Room 11.
Founding members of the ASWF include: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Animal Logic, Autodesk, Blue Sky Studios, Cisco, Dneg, DreamWorks Animation, Epic Games, Google Cloud, Intel, Walt Disney Studios, and Weta Digital at the Premier level, and Foundry and SideFX at the General level.