The Academy Software Foundation (ASWF), a neutral forum for open source software development in the motion picture and media industries hosted at the Linux Foundation, announced that Sony Pictures Entertainment/Sony Pictures Imageworks, Warner Bros., Blender Foundation and Visual Effects Society (VES) have joined as members. ASWF also approved OpenVDB, open source software developed and maintained by DreamWorks Animation, as the Foundation’s first hosted project. OpenVDB is an Academy Award-winning industry standard for creating more detailed and realistic volumetric images, including water/liquid simulations and environmental effects like clouds and ice.

“We are very excited to welcome all of our new members. The addition of Sony Pictures Entertainment, including Sony Pictures Imageworks, and Warner Bros. is proof that the motion picture industry is fully supportive of the Academy Software Foundation and the need for a. neutral organization to host the open source projects that are critical to moviemaking,” said David Morin, Executive Director of the Academy Software Foundation at the Linux Foundation. “We are also proud to accept OpenVDB as the first ASWF hosted project. It’s a critical technology developed by DreamWorks Animation that is used by many studios, and the developer community is very excited to maintain and contribute to the project.”

Launched in August 2018 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Linux Foundation, ASWF provides a neutral forum for open source software developers to share resources and collaborate on technologies for image creation, visual effects, animation and sound.

OpenVDB Becomes First Academy Software Foundation Project

Originally developed and maintained by DreamWorks Animation, OpenVDB is the first project to be hosted by ASWF. OpenVDB is an award-winning, open-source C++ library for volumetric representations including fluid simulations, animated volumes and environmental effects. It has been adopted as a key technology for effects on feature films such as Boss BabyTrolls, and the up-coming How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

“The Academy Software Foundation was founded based on the recognition of a growing need in the industry to support key open source projects,” said Andrew Pearce, DreamWorks Vice President of Global Technology and ASWF Governing Board member. “We believe in that cause and are enthused to demonstrate our support of the ASWF by contributing the award-winning OpenVDB as the first project. It demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the health of open source software in our industry, and the ASWF as a foundation for its continued growth.”

The ASWF will maintain and further develop the project with oversight provided by a Technical Steering Committee (TSC). Developers interested in learning more or contributing to OpenVDB can sign up to join the mailing list at

ASWF Welcomes Four New Members

ASWF welcomes four new members: Sony Pictures Entertainment/Sony Pictures Imageworks as a Premier member, Warner Bros. as a General member and Blender Foundation and Visual Effects Society as Associate members.

Sony Pictures Entertainment/Sony Pictures Imageworks

“We are pleased to be joining the Academy Software Foundation in helping to drive the next wave of innovation for our industry. With increased collaboration, we expect accelerated growth in the development of new technologies and standards for artists and engineers across the industry,” said Randy Lake, President, Studio Operations and Imageworks for Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Warner Bros.

“Warner Bros. makes visually exciting entertainment with our partners and we have long known the value of open source software in the production process,” said Anne Kolbe, EVP, Visual Effects, Warner Bros. Pictures, Production Management. “In that light, we have decided to join the Academy in this important activity as it supports all manner of image rendering inclusive of exciting new immersive formats.”

Blender Foundation

“It means a lot for us to have been accepted as the first open source foundation member of the ASWF,” said Ton Roosendaal, Chairman of the Blender Foundation and Blender Institute Director. “This is a big compliment for our work on Blender! I look forward to working with the other members to provide access to film industry quality technology as free and open source software for everyone.”

Visual Effects Society (VES)

“We are very proud to join the ASWF and to have been part of the genesis of such an important initiative. The work that the VES Technology Committee has promoted through the VFX Reference platform, as well as the representation of the wider VFX community, will continue through our participation in the TAC,” said Mike Chambers, Chair of the Visual Effects Society. “We eagerly support the ASWF’s mission and look forward to contributing further to foster a robust open source community that will meaningfully advance our industry.”

New Foundation Leadership Elected

ASWF is a cross-industry initiative working 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.

The ASWF Governing Board (GB) and Technical Advisory Council (TAC) have elected several leaders to help execute this vision and drive overall growth of the Foundation:

  • GB Chair: 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
  • Executive Director: David Morin, Project Lead for the Academy Open Source Investigation and Head, Epic Games Los Angeles Lab
  • TAC Chair: Daniel Heckenberg, R&D Lead Engineer at Animal Logic