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Academy Software Foundation Launches Digital Production Example Library

The ASWF kicks off the ‘Open Source Days’ event at SIGGRAPH 2022 with the announcement of its new DPEL, which encourages, curates, and publishes production-grade sample assets with a vendor-neutral platform.

The Academy Software Foundation (ASWF), which promotes the advancement of open source software development across image creation, visual effects, animation, and sound technologies, has unveiled its newest hosted project, the Digital Production Example Library (DPEL). The announcement comes as ASWF kicks off the Open Source Days event, co-located with SIGGRAPH in Vancouver.

The DPEL project grew out of the industry’s need for production-grade sample content to thoroughly test hardware and software in development to ensure that it can scale to the demands of the film and TV content creation process. With such content under each studio’s control, the corresponding legal, copyright, and policy barriers make it difficult to distribute to developers, researchers, and educators. The goals of DPEL are to encourage, curate, and publish production-grade sample assets that will be of value to the broader community. In addition to providing a vendor-neutral platform, a uniform license agreement will help make it easier for studios to contribute content.

One of DPEL’s first hosted assets is the American Society of Cinematographer’s Standard Evaluation Material II (StEM2). It is a 17-minute short film, The Mission, carefully designed to stress-test modern image processing and exhibition systems, including high dynamic range and high frame rates.

Additional assets hosted by DPEL at launch include:

Animal Logic’s ALab Phase 2: A full production scene with over 300 production quality assets, two animated characters, and baked procedural fur and fabric all provided as a part of the first open-sourced USD scene and shot context from a studio.

Intel’s Volumetric Clouds Library: A collection of 30 VDB cloud assets, including both dense and sparse clouds, at resolutions ranging from quite small (< 1 MB) to quite large (> 8 GB).

Noa character from Amazon Web Services (AWS): A complete animatable main character, with rig, geometry, textures, and hair groom, represented in Maya. Noa is the hero of the short film Spanner, created by AWS’s in-house production team FuzzyPixel.

“When production assets are made available to the community, everyone benefits; software and hardware developers can better test and demonstrate their products, researchers can validate their ideas and be inspired, and so, in turn, filmmakers get better and more robust tools to use,” explained Eric Enderton, Director of Film Rendering Technology at NVIDIA and the chair of DPEL’s Technical Steering Committee. “When Disney released the Moana Island dataset, it generated a lot of excitement. We want to encourage more of these generous donations and broaden what’s available.”

DPEL started as the Assets Repository Working Group within the Academy Software Foundation, as members worked to establish the ASWF Digital Assets License. This uniform license agreement balances the asset donors' intellectual property concerns with the users' needs. For developers, it eliminates the hurdle of getting legal approval for each new piece of content while making it easier for studios to contribute production-grade content to the broader community through DPEL. The ASWF Digital Assets License was formally adopted in January 2022 and is used for all DPEL assets.

Source: Academy Software Foundation

Dan Sarto's picture

Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.