Motion Picture Academy Expands its Software Foundation With New Projects, Members

One of its new projects, OpenEXR, has been used on movies such as 'Avengers: Infinity War.'
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Photofest

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has expanded its Academy Software Foundation (ASWF) to include two new projects — Open EXR and OpenCue — as well as several new member companies. NVIDIA has joined as a premier member, and tech developers ftrack and Red Hat have joined as general members.

The ASWF, launched last summer by AMPAS with the Linux Foundation, is a neutral forum to advance open source software development in the motion picture and media industries, including in areas such as VFX, animation and sound. It was initiated by the Academy's Science and Technology Council.

Initially developed by Industrial Light & Magic and widely adopted in computer graphics, OpenEXR is an Academy Scientific and Technical Award winning HDR image file format. Among the first movies to use OpenEXR were Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Men in Black II, in addition to more recent films including Avengers: Infinity War and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

OpenCue is an open source render manager that can be used to break down complex jobs into individual tasks. Developed in collaboration by Google Cloud and Sony Pictures Imageworks, it's an evolution of Sony’s internal queuing system, Cue 3, which has been used by Imageworks over the past 15 years.

Open EXR and OpenCue join previously announced projects OpenVDB and OpenColorIO; the goal is to guide these technologies toward wider adoption.

“We’ve achieved our initial goal of accepting OpenVDB, OpenColorIO, and OpenEXR — projects which greatly influenced the Foundation’s formation — and we are now ready to support and drive collaboration around newer projects like OpenCue,” said David Morin, executive director of ASWF, in a released statement. “Studios and developers are finding value in having a neutral home for the open source projects that our industry relies on, and we look forward to growing our projects and continuing to find new ways to support the broader open source community.”