ASWF adopts OpenImageIO as hosted project

The foundation’s backing will enable OIIO to expand beyond its current boundaries.

OpenImageIO was used in the making of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. (Source: Sony Pictures Entertainment, courtesy ASWF)

The Academy Software Foundation (ASWF) has officially adopted OpenImageIO, one of the VFX industry’s earliest open-source projects. As a result, OpenImageIO will receive the necessary resource to develop it into the future.

The Academy Software Foundation (ASWF) was founded in 2018 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in response to the need for governance, licensing, and more cohesive development as interest in open-source software across the motion-picture industry continued to grow. Recently, OpenImageIO was adopted by the organization as its newest hosted project, providing a vendor-neutral home for the project and assets and opening it up from a wide range of contributors.

Open source has become uber popular especially among those in the visual effects, animation, and sound technologies industries. As projects became more complex, it has become necessary for a number of vendors using varying software to share work. Big studios like Pixar (with its USD), ILM (with its MaterialX), and SPI (with its OpenImageIO), along with others, got the ball rolling in this direction, and lately, makers of DCC tools, like Autodesk, have also committed to open sourcing certain tech.

OpenImageIO (OIIO) is a ubiquitous library for VFX applications and pipelines to perform scripted manipulation of digital image files, with particular focus on scalability and functionality for professional VFX and animation feature-film workflows. It provides a format-agnostic API for production software to deal with reading and writing image data across any file format and implementation encountered in motion pictures. This includes TIFF, OpenEXR, DPX, Cineon, JPEG, and DSLR raw formats. On top of this functionality are library classes for manipulating entire images and for performing a wide variety of image processing and conversion operations. 

OIIO is an ecosystem partner of other open-source projects, using OpenEXR, OpenColorIO, and OpenVDB as dependencies, and in turn, acting as a dependency for Open Shading Language, OpenColorIO, MaterialX, USD, and Gaffer.

OIIO was originally created and open-sourced to the community in 2008 by Larry Gritz,  software architect at Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI). One of the VFX industry’s earliest open-source projects, OIIO has found its way into some of the industry’s leading DCC software including SideFX’s Houdini, Autodesk’s Maya, Foundry’s Katana, Blender, and Autodesk’s Arnold.

As a result of OIIO’s growth and adoption within the industry, it became time to add to the contributors, steering, and resources in order to take it above and beyond its current levels of development, said Gritz.  Becoming part of the foundation will expose OIIO to new ideas and contributors moving forward, ASWF noted.

In related news, the ASWF has announced OpenPBR as a new subproject of MaterialX. MaterialX is an incubation project, one of eight for the foundation. OpenPBR, or Open Physically Based Rendering, is a unified open-source shading model created in collaboration between Adobe and Autodesk. It will be the successor to Autodesk Standard Surface and Adobe Standard Material. More information about it can be found on the ASWF’s website.

The Academy Software Foundation held its Open Source Days on August 6.