philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


AMPAS, Linux Foundation Team Up for Open Source Software

ASWF_HomepageThe Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The Linux Foundation announced this morning the launch of the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF) to create an environment for developers to contribute to open source software for the motion picture and related media industries. Industry partners funding and participating in ASWF include Animal Logic, Autodesk, Blue Sky Studios, Cisco, DNEG, DreamWorks, Epic Games, Google Cloud, Intel, Walt Disney Studios, Weta Digital, with Foundry and SideFX.

Andy Maltz, managing director of the Academy’s Science and Technology Council, explained that ASWF grew out of more than two years of investigation, sparked by Rob Bredow, senior vice president/executive creative director and head of ILM, who is also a member of the Sci-Tech Council.

“Rob thought that something was going on in the open source community,” Maltz explained. “There was the sluggish uptake of bug fixes and new features; and inconsistent versions and build platforms between packages as well as licensing issues. It was all a barrier to simple adoption.”

After hearing some of The Linux Foundation’s suggestions, the group decided that an industry-supported foundation to address governance, legal framework and a common build infrastructure was the best way to move forward. “This is the first time we’ve lent our [Academy] name to something we don’t fully control,” said Maltz. “That’s how important we think this initiative is.” Premier members not only contribute financially but commit a full-time engineer to the foundation.

The Academy Software Foundation will be in evidence at the annual SIGGRAPH conference next week; Bredow will give a keynote speech, and a “Birds of a Feather” is scheduled to connect with software engineers.

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