The Academy Software Foundation (ASWF) is the result of an investigation into the use of Open Source Software (OSS) in the motion picture industry conducted between June 2016 and June 2018 by the Science and Technology Council.
Participants in this investigation included forward-looking engineers, technology managers and executives in the motion picture industry who met in a series of summits and workgroups. These participants are responsible for hundreds of engineers working on software applications used to create the most successful movies of our time.
The effort was focused explicitly on how to ensure a healthy and vibrant open source software community to support projects integral to theatrical filmmaking and closely related fields. It was clear early in the investigation that the existing unstructured, ad hoc model was not standing the test of time. The varying interests and capabilities of the good-willed maintainers and sponsoring entities were becoming unwieldy without a unified model. Specific problems were identified in the areas of Governance, Infrastructure, and Legal.
The mission of the Academy Software Foundation is to increase the quality and quantity of contributions to the industry’s open source software base, while simultaneously providing a neutral forum for coordinating efforts across projects. The Foundation is streamlining and simplifying legal requirements around project participation and adoption and is also providing build and test infrastructure that will improve software quality and timely availability of builds. With the Foundation now in operation, an individual or company may contribute to a project with a clear path to inclusion.
For more information on the Academy Software Foundation, please visit http://aswf.io
About Open Source Software
Open source software is software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify and enhance. It has played an important role in computing since its very beginning. More information on Open Source can be found in here.
Today, software vendors and developers increasingly rely on OSS to share certain developments with each other and the community they serve, through associations such as The Linux Foundation, the OpenStack Foundation, the Apache Software Foundation and many more.
In the motion picture industry, OSS has become an important part of production. OSS libraries specific to moviemaking have been developed by studios big and small, particularly for animation and visual effects applications. A list of OSS developed for motion pictures can be seen at www.opensourcevfx.org.
Taken as a whole, OSS libraries brought, and continue to bring great benefits to the art and science of making movies, by providing de facto standards that free up development resources to work on other unsolved creative problems instead of repeating work already done elsewhere. OSS libraries also facilitated the assembly, building block style, of powerful new tools for production.