ASWF TAC Meeting - November 18, 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, DNEG
  • 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
  • Sean O’Connell, Advanced Micro Devices
  • Mark Visser, Unity Technologies
  • Ken Museth, OpenVDB Representative
  • Michael Dolan, OpenColorIO Representative
  • Cary Phillips, OpenEXR Representative
  • Joshua Minor, OpenTimelineIO Representative
  • Chris Kulla, Open Shading Language Representative

Other Attendees

  • John Mertic, Linux Foundation
  • David Morin, ASWF
  • JT Nelson, Pasadena Open Source consortium / SoCal Blender group
  • Nick Porcino, Pixar
  • Rachel Rose, ILM, Diversity+Inclusion WG
  • Mathieu Mazerolle, Foundry
  • Deke Kincaid, Digital Domain
  • Greg Denton, Microsoft Azure
  • Mitch Prater, LAIKA


  • Daniel Heckenberg - Chairperson, Animal Logic Pty Ltd


  • Goals for TAC: Year 2

    • Documentation

    • CI on Mac, Windows

      • JF: MacStadium has provided a Intel-based dedicated Mac Mini for our CI builds and test, Apple Silicon Mac Minis available soon
  • New member welcome

    • Mark Visser, Unity Technologies
  • Follow ups

    • ASWF Calendar invite resynching (Daniel, John)

      • Communication and calendar processes doc PR

      • JF to submit fixes to issues, or can suggest fixes that the owner of the PR can accept (Michael)

      • Specific bits around subscribing to calendars using various calendar tools, best practices around calendar management.

    • Documentation best-practice from OCIO (Michael)

      • Michael: OCIO planning to document its documentation process so it can be shared with other projects
    • ASWF TAC chair annual election process (Daniel)

      • Getting close to this, aligning mandate with calendar year. John: suggesting start Nov 30th, opening nominations on Monday Nov 30th, close on Dec 7th, hold election on Dec 9th-16th, announce result on Dec 18th. Animal Logic will downgrade its membership at beginning of the year, so we will need to find a new chair.
    • ASWF Project and Technical Community Survey (John). Emily out this week, will work on it next week. Found some common themes in questions, should be able to push it out soon. JF: any target for the time to fill out the survey? John: want to keep it short, but also cover 6 projects. Each project section limited to 3-5 questions, for background / high level questions, looking at around 10-15 questions. Concern around survey length, can lose people midway through.

  • Technical Project updates

    • OCIO: Michael: still working on documentation. Preparing beta release of OCIO v2, not ready for RC yet, but want to have versions that people can test and track rather than just following master branch. Discussions around remaining features, how they will be implemented, while satisfying opinions from studios and stakeholders.

    • OpenCue: Brian: not too much, keen to see survey move along / answers. What about the Python packaging questions that were brought up in previous meetings? Discussions with OTIO group: there isn’t a ton of overlap between the two projects, trying to accomplish somewhat different goals. OTIO focussed on developer environments, OpenCue more towards end users of a GUI app. But also looking at legal / licensing issues around packaging dependencies, which seems more relevant for OpenCue.

    • OpenEXR: Cary: Kimball has merged all the major code reorg into master branch, big step towards 3.0 release: same functionality, but reorganized and linking around external imath library. Larry has gotten OIIO linking against this. Path for projects that also need to link against previous versions of OpenEXR and need to maintain compatibility against multiple versions of OpenEXR. Larry: changes in the recent trunk in OpenEXR are such that if you check out “top of trunk” OpenEXR, it may bring out build system issues. OpenEXR list is the place to ask for help, trying to make transition easier for people. CMake target names have changed, code is split into two repos. Don’t be surprised!

    • OSL: Chris: not a lot to update, making some strides to involve more people in documentation effort, looking closely at what OCIO has done. Fingers crossed that the CLA will be accepted and hoping to move forward, but things are moving very slowly.

    • Joshua: no major updates from OTIO

    • OpenVDB: no updates

  • Working Groups

    • CI

      • See above
    • Diversity & Inclusion

      • Rachel: can follow along at the content calendar.

      • 2 major initiatives: blog posts, first post on inclusive language, and what language shouldn’t be used in code, should be posted soon. Hopefully useful resource for people and companies looking at these issues. Second blog post in December on unconscious bias, how it permeates specifically open source and vfx/animation industry.

      • Second initiative is webinar series targeting student education goal. Trying to pull together a first introductory webinar in February, working with universities and professors, how to grab the attention of students. Introduce open source and its use in our industry, as well as introduce the ASWF. Planning to follow up with a series centered around careers, looking at names of peoples in different technical careers in our industry. Highlight different people and their career paths, as well as what hiring managers are looking for when looking at prospective candidates.

      • Ambassador initiative: a person in D&I group assigned to each project in ASWF, will participate to these projects, but through the perspective of D&I. Have identified people for every project but one.

    • Python 3

      • Ashley (via Slack): we are still focusing on expanding the best practices document that we have using the Python 3 guide from WDAS. We will also be getting some best practices specific to converting Python bindings in C++ to support Python 3 courtesy of SideFX.
    • USD

    • Review & Approval

    • Asset Repository

      • Wave: Eric from NVIDIA brought colleague Aaron to present about NVIDIA (ORCA - Open Research Content Archive). Can be quite expensive to take in an asset. Got assets from Amazon (Bistro), foliage from Speedtra, C4D, Epic. One third of assets haven’t been released yet due to work required to clean up and prep. Cautionary tale: we will need to put resources in, members volunteering time, contractors. NVIDIA had both engineering and intern resources assigned.

      • Hoping to discuss at next meeting what kind of asset repository the ASWF would want to have. The more we dig into it, the clearer it is that it would be a big commitment. “It’s harder than it looks” is the general feedback.

      • Putting up slides on Wiki by end of tomorrow.

  • Update on candidate projects

    • Kimball: Alex from Academy and Kimball will present effort to revive the rawtoaces project, to be discussed at next meeting.
  • Next meeting: 2 December 2020

  • Bill Balew: Can we vote to add members to the TAC (Daniel)? John: the TAC can vote to add up to 3 “industry representatives”. So in theory we could nominate Daniel for TAC membership. Larry: it’s probably not in the best interest in the TAC to have heavy contributors to the process get “yanked away” if their companies change their membership. David: “industry representative” mechanism can be used for this purpose. Discussions with Animal Logic as to the implications of this, we are very thankful to the role Animal Logic has played and contributed to ASWF. Daniel wants the TAC to be successful, he intends to continue to contribute. The TAC can invite Daniel as “industry expert”. It is up to the TAC to make this decision. Want to recognize all the great work Dan has done. Bill: does it just take a motion / vote to offer “industry representative” position to Daniel?

  • John: can follow up with Daniel to make sure he wants to follow up? Sean: if we only have 1 or 2 meetings, we need to reach out to TAC members.

  • Larry: can we propose a motion and defer the vote electronically?

  • John: will conduct the vote electronically after checking with Daniel. Will also put motion to extend JF’s industry representative seat.

Action Items (AIs)