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Open source software developers in the motion picture and broader media industry now have a natural forum in the Academy Software Foundation, a joint creation of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and The Linux Foundation.

The new Academy Software Foundation — otherwise known as AWSF — counts among its founding members The Walt Disney Studios, DreamWorks Animation, Epic Games, Google Cloud, Intel, Autodesk and Cisco.

The Foundation seeks to allow open source developers to share resources and collaborate on technologies for image creation, visual effects, animation and sound.

It is the result of a two-year investigation into open source software used across the motion picture industry, finding more than 80% of the industry use such software, particularly for animation and visual effects. However, despite such heavy use, development was happening in silos and suffered version compatibility issues. Thus, the AWSF was conceived to foster collaboration over continual re-invention and to develop an open continuous integration and build infrastructure platform.

“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,” said Academy chief executive 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,” said 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.”

“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,” said Rob Bredow, senior vice-president, executive creative director and head of Industrial Light and 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.”

“In the last 25 years, software engineers have played an increasing role in the most successful movies of our time,” said David Morin, project lead for the Academy Open Source Investigation. “The Academy Software Foundation is set to provide funding, structure and infrastructure for the open source community so that engineers can continue to collaborate and accelerate software development for moviemaking and other media for the next 25 years.”

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

 

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