AWSF TAC Meeting - March 25, 2020

Video Conference Link

Voting member attendance

  • Daniel Heckenberg - Chairperson, Animal Logic Pty Ltd
  • Gordon Bradley, Autodesk
  • Pilar Molina Lopez, Blue Sky Studios, Inc.
  • Michael O’Gorman, Cisco Systems Inc.
  • Henry Vera, Double Negative
  • Bill Ballew, DreamWorks Animation
  • Matt Kuhlenschmidt, Epic Games, Inc.
  • Brian Cipriano, Google & OpenCue Representative
  • Sean C McDuffee, Intel Corporation
  • Larry Gritz, Sony Pictures Imageworks
  • Jean-Francois Panisset, VES Technology Committee
  • Cory Omand, The Walt Disney Studios
  • Kimball Thurston, Weta Digital Limited
  • Eric Enderton, NVIDIA
  • Sean Looper, Amazon Web Services
  • Michael Min, Netflix
  • Michael B. Johnson, Apple
  • Dave Fellows, Microsoft
  • Ken Museth, OpenVDB Representative
  • Michael Dolan, OpenColorIO Representative
  • Cary Phillips, OpenEXR Representative
  • Joshua Minor, OpenTimelineIO Representative

Other Attendees

  • John Mertic (Linux Foundation)
  • Andrew Grimberg (Linux Foundation Release Engineering)
  • JT Nelson (Pasadena Open Source consortium / SoCal Blender group)
  • Jeff Bradley (DreamWorks)
  • Mitch Prater (Laika)
  • Tiago Chaves (GSoC student)
  • Robin Rowe (Cinepaint)
  • Doug Walker (OCIO / Autodesk)
  • Patrick Hodoul (OCIO / Autodesk)


  • Michael Dolan, OpenColorIO Representative


  • COVID-19 impacts
    • Developers
      • Availability of time to contribute? People may be more available to work on our projects?
      • May be people looking for new positions / time to invest in getting familiar with our projects
    • areas of technical need for studios
      • Our workflows are changing, anything we can address as a group? For instance lots of discussion about review tools, an area we have already discussed in the TAC, but what about review tools that work remotely: how to work on less reliable connections, capture the social aspect of reviews, secure distribution of media.
      • Daniel: review tools have been identified as an area of interest, lots of review tools out there, open source and commercial. Most do very similar things, and are expensive to maintain and are critical infrastructure. There isn’t an obvious tool as to what tool we could collaborate on. Should we add to an existing OSS tool and add features needed by studio. Most obvious candidate is DJV, Darby has joined a previous TAC call. He doesn’t have a very clear idea of his customer based / requirements (nature of OSS projects). Most of the r studios are using commercial / proprietary tools.
      • Larry: mostly hearing in the big studios that for the most part they are working at home through one of several schemes to VPN and access their usual workstation via remote view (HP RGS / Teradici). Not much changes for most artists / developers except working in a different location. But a subset of users is highly affected such as editorial (working on air-gapped systems), color grading.
      • Daniel: remote desktop approach is pretty effective, doesn’t capture all workflows, issues with constrained bandwidth, issues with fidelity of updates with full screen video. Social collaboration aspect of shared reviews is lost. Also using shared review tools.
      • Michael: Netflix has created document for Remote Editorial workflow. A number of proprietary paid services are available, but not every project will want to pay for those. Remote Editorial Memo (during COVID-19)
      • Bill: editorial and color correct workflows are challenging. Have used SyncSketch and found some value in that. All artists are working at some level of productivity.
    • VES Technology Committee collaborative document, everyone can contribute via comments and we’ll incorporate to document (more systems oriented).
    • #discuss-dr on StudioSysadmins Slack
  • Technical Project updates
    • Daniel: Any particular risk factors? Availability of key contributors? Potential issues on CI infrastructure? Using largely public services with open configurations helps.
    • Projects seems to be in pretty good shape overall, broader range of people involved, should help with resilience.
    • After previous meeting we discussed delegating more repo permissions, that came up on governing board meeting yesterday. Linux Foundation is also a distributed and resilient organization, most members are already working from home and geographically distributed. Nothing we need to immediately act on, but please share any issues that may come up.
    • OpenVDB
    • OpenColorIO
      • Doug: No COVID concerns raised during slack discussion, all used to working remotely. Roadmap proceeding on track. Minor disruptions as people get used to WFH, but still on track. Still very early in this crisis, not clear how things will evolve over time as the economic impact rolls out. Need to keep monitoring closely and respond as appropriate. But so far so good.
    • OpenEXR
      • Cary: pretty quiet, cancelled TSC last two weeks, not necessarily COVID related, but everyone busy with other commitments. Succeeded in addressing most outstanding issues and PR, so kind of quiet time. Longer term goal of bigger release around SIGGRAPH time, haven’t really discussed the implications of the current situation, need to strategize how to tackle some of the larger issues targeted for this release. Expect to be quiet for a few more weeks as we “settle into the new normal”.
    • OpenCue
      • Brian: nothing major to report, drop in contributions, but code reviews are still moving through. Reduced activity but moving along.
    • OpenTimelineIO
      • Josh: OTIO moving forward, conf calls with Avid and Netflix scheduled for this week. Pleased with level of activity so far. Some delays expected, but nothing too significant.
    • OpenShadingLanguage
      • Larry: last week was supposed to have the first TSC meeting, but postponed due to studios transitioning to WFH. Expect to hold first TSC some time next week. Don’t anticipate specific issues, having access to work machines from may actually help a bit.
  • Google Summer of Code update

    • Larry: End of week is deadline for student applications. Then 2 week period for organizations to evaluate proposals and ask for support, was extended to 3 weeks because of COVID situation. After students are accepted there is a period of “community bonding”, that seems that have already (informally) started, helped by requirement to have students submit a PR.
    • Doug / OCIO: 8-9 applications so far, 5-6 seem serious. Requiring people to do a PR (Larry suggestion) really help to find people who are really serious, lots of back and forth with some of the students. Looking forward to having good participation this summer.
    • Josh / OTIO : 3-4 students have been asking, submitting PR. Misjudged the scope / size of suggested projects, what was thought to be a large project turned out to be a single PR, some projects thought to be small turned out to be much more complicated. One proposal was a student sharing a Google Doc. Is there an official place for these proposals? Doug: should be on the GSoC official site. Josh: looked there but didn’t find it. Doug: make sure that we sign up for the mentorship program, need to sign up for this with Google.
    • Brian / OpenCue: PR requirement is great, similar issues on scoping. Encouraging prospective students to share their proposals on a Google Doc to allow more back and forth. Propose a goal for the summer that would be only part of the project, and then a stretch goal. 15-20 people have reached out via email, 4-5 proposals, may go up to 10 by the deadline. Quite a few are good. Didn’t realize that it could be a “full time job” to deal with the email traffic. Larry: it’s a good investment, visibility of the project will outlast the SoC, so upfront cost is worth it. Number of serious students interested in our projects is higher than expected. A couple of students asked about multiple proposals / interested in multiple project ideas. Should they submit multiple proposals, or a single proposal covering multiple projects? Larry: they can submit up to 3 proposals across organizations, we can probably do whatever we want, if a student wants to propose against 2 separate ASWF projects, we can pick the one where we think is the best fit.
    • Dan / OpenVDB: 4-5 people reached out, no applications yet. May be related to “barrier to entry” of OpenVDB.
    • Carry / OpenEXR: a few people reached out, but no proposals yet. No specific emails other than the trial PR. Daniel: any areas identified that would be worth proposing? Cary: Put together a set of proposals, but no one is “biting” at those yet.
  • CI updates

    • Working group
    • Still trying to work out policies for controlling the use of GPU build agents (billing, external PRs). Andy / Sean / JF ? Hopefully some progress by next week’s CI meeting.
  • Update on candidate projects

  • Next meeting

Action Items (AIs)