Academy Software Foundation - Technical Advisory Council (TAC) Meeting - May 29, 2024

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Voting Representative Attendees

Premier Member Representatives

  • Brian Cipriano - Google LLC
  • Cory Omand - The Walt Disney Studios
  • Eric Enderton - NVIDIA Corporation
  • Eric Reinecke - Netflix, Inc.
  • Erik Niemeyer - Intel Corporation
  • Gordon Bradley - Autodesk
  • Greg Denton - Microsoft Corporation
  • Guido Quaroni - Adobe Inc.
  • Jean-Michel Dignard - Epic Games, Inc
  • Kimball Thurston - Wētā FX Limited
  • Larry Gritz - Sony Pictures Imageworks
  • Matthew Low - DreamWorks Animation
  • Michael B Johnson - Apple Inc.
  • Milind Damle - Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
  • Ross Dickson - Amazon Web Services, Inc.
  • Scott Dyer - Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Project Representatives

  • Carol Payne - OpenColorIO Representative
  • Cary Phillips - OpenEXR Representative
  • Chris Kulla - Open Shading Language (OSL) Representative
  • Jonathan Stone - MaterialX Representative
  • Ken Museth - OpenVDB Representative

Industry Representatives

  • Jean-Francois Panisset - Visual Effects Society

Non-Voting Attendees

Non-Voting Project and Working Group Representatives

  • Alexander Forsythe - RAW to ACES Utility Representative
  • Alexander Schwank - USD Working Group Representative
  • Daniel Greenstein - OpenImageIO Representative
  • Erik Strauss - Open Review Initiative Representative
  • Gary Oberbrunner - OpenFX Representative
  • Jean-Christophe Morin - Rez Representative
  • Nick Porcino - USD Working Group Representative
  • Rachel Rose - D&I Working Group Representative
  • Scott Wilson - Working Group for Rust Bindings Representative
  • Stephen Mackenzie - Rez Representative

LF Staff

  • David Morin - Academy Software Foundation
  • Emily Olin - Academy Software Foundation
  • John Mertic - The Linux Foundation
  • Yarille Ortiz - The Linux Foundation

Other Attendees

  • Ben Schofield, CDSA
  • JT Nelson, Pasadena Open Source consortium / SoCal Blender group
  • Spencer Stephens, ZeroTrust Working Group
  • Toby Scales, Google
  • Daniel Heckenberg, Netflix
  • Diego Tavares, Imageworks / OpenCue
  • Doug Walker, Autodesk / OCIO

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  • General Updates
    • Open Source Days 2024 #650
    • ReadTheDocs inventory #672
  • CI Working Group #511
  • OpenCue #495


  • Dev Days
    • Registration form is out there (TODO: add link).
    • Larry: repeat of last year, info on the page. Projects are requested to put their wiki page together as per requirements.
    • Carol: please register, deadline is June 15th so you wouldn’t have to worry during SIGGRAPH. Registration is easy, can update issues after that. Take a stab at your project page and good first issues and continue to refine. Tell us you want to participate. Larry: deadline is for project to say they will participate and mentor participants, biggest thing is to have a bunch of issues for people to work on, appropriate 1 day tasks, tag them accordingly
  • Open Source Days
    • Emily: schedule is posted on web site, registration is open
    • Talked to most projects about virtual town halls and bofs, schedule being finalized, talk to me if you haven’t talked to me yet
    • Working on Beers of a Feather, currently scheduled for Sunday night a “Flight Club”. But it’s also Papers Fast Forward, so considering moving to Monday Night so people don’t have to choose, trying to see if there’s a conflict on Monday night.
    • Carol: keep it on Sundays, it’s right after the event, but we had same conflict last week. There will be conflicts on Monday which we don’t know about.
    • David: any other reactions? Show of hands for conflict with Papers Fast Forward
    • Matthew Low (chat): Electronic Theater is Monday (and Wednesday) evening
    • Ken: when are timeslots assigned? Emily: there is a spreadsheet with that info, have OpenVDB on 3PM. Let me know if there is a conflict and I can rearrange.
  • Operation of TAC Roles (John)
    • Asked about TAC vice chair, have someone come forward, Larry. Willing to be vice chair for rest of year. We can make this official.
    • Larry: only a temporary reprieve! We want someone else to step in at the end of the year.
    • Kimball: move to vote. Seconds. Vote, unanimous.
    • Larry: based on Digipro model, 2 person rotating on 2 years. So there’s always one existing and one new person per year. Gives you a finite period of time where you have to do extra duty and there’s someone to help you. Will make sure to get someone else to do this next year.
    • JT (Chat): Yup, this rotation model w/one old and one new, is a popular model in many circles, even with 3 people in the rotation, then you skip one or more after you are out and then are eligable again. I’ll see if I can get a written/link reference for this, but it’s quite a popular governance model in some circles.
  • Engineering Contribution Assessment (Larry)
    • David asked me to think about metrics we could us to measure the mandate for contributions, get more out of the engineering contributions.
    • Put together a spreadsheet after pitching to the governing board, got positive response / feedback. Will send invites to spreadsheet
    • A panel for members that involves self reporting. Figure out which projects are important to your organization, which projects are you putting resources into. You can read explanations in spreadsheet. Looking at which projects are being contributed to at which level. Also looking a contribution friction.
    • Collaboration between governing board and TAC rep
    • Meant to be a source of “introspection” in your organization. Maybe you think you are putting in your FTE, but if you can’t say where, you may not.
    • How long does it take to send in contributions, want to spark internal conversation.
    • Not about “name and shame”, but we hope it helps give a view into who is struggling and who has found good processes.
    • Similar panel for project leadership, which organizations do you think are contributing resources, will be interesting to see if these answers match up with member companies and identify disconnects
    • Also ask to estimate how fully resourced a project is. If you imagine there’s an engineering resource level that would allow all goals to be met, what would that be.
    • John to send spreadsheet invite to project leaders and company representatives. If you have questions, feel free to ask on Slack or DM me (Larry). If you feel there’s something relevant that people should know about a project or company, please add it as a note to the spreadsheet. In the spirit of the dependency spreadsheet, try to get on a single page where everybody is.
    • Want to discuss this at next Governing Board strategy meeting in a month so would like to have feedback by then, but this is a living document that can be updated over time.
  • CI WG Review (JF)
    • CI Working Group TAC Review Slides
    • Ken: will there be slides? JF: yes
    • Ken: what about CUDA version? JF to check. JF: what do you need? Ken: nothing older than 11.6, but would prefer 12. TODO
    • Ken: default runners are now twice as big as before, since we first asked for additional hardware, should we re-evaluate? JF: yes, best to use free runners if possible.
    • Daniel Heckenberg (chat): CUDA Compatibility. V535 should be able to run CUDA 12x
    • Larry (chat): I would encourage all projects that build things and depend on the infrastructure to at least occasionally send a representative to the WG. It really is a small group and quite often questions come up about project needs and we don’t have good project representation on hand to answer.
    • Doug (chat): It’s unfortunate that the meeting is scheduled against the USD WG. Larry: Neither group had their schedules handed down on stone tablets. Things can be moved. Carol: It might be worth trying to figure a way to call things out for projects when those items come up, even as a back-up for when project representation can’t be there. Where we can’t always be at meetings, we can do better at async communication. Happy to try and create a path for that. Larry: CI WG only meeds 1/month, we can even designate a subset of those (1/quarter?) as instances designated for wider participation sought, so busy people don’t need to come every time.
    • John: can we do a vote?
      • Kimbal: propose to extend CI WG. Eric: I’ll second. Carried, WG renewed
  • OpenCue Review (Diego)
    • OpenCue TAC Review Slides
    • Diego Tavares, TSC Chair
    • TSC:
      • Brian Cipriano
      • Benjamin Diners (Imageworks)
      • Imageworks
      • AWS
    • Agenda
      • OpenCue History
    • History
      • OpenCue is an open source render system
      • developed by Imageworks from 20 years ago
      • Used throughout pipeline since 2003 when cue3 was developed (predecessor)
      • Open Source 2019, joined ASWF
      • Graduated to adopted on 2021
      • 2023: Matt Chambers won Sci-Tech award
      • By proxy OpenCue was awarded
    • Review
      • TSC chair handoff - brian is still part of the project
      • Preliminary version of CueWeb (web version of the GUI) presented to the TSC
      • Several UI improvements and bugfixes
      • Blender plugin, almost ready to be merged and released
      • Performance improvements on the database schema, made system more stable and faster
      • New feature for Out-of-memory prevention, important for system management
      • Update python dependencies (Pyside 6), allows running on Apple Silicon
    • Goals
      • Upgrade Cuebot (server module) to Java 21
      • Review communication channels
      • AWS Open Job Description protocol (OpenJd-Deadline)
        • hopefully can reuse a job description between different render managers
      • Enhance Windows support
        • More companies enhanced on running OpenCue on Windows, already works, but not fully featured. Make it fully featured on Windows, especially features that heavily depend on POSIX filesystem
      • CueWeb release
        • Both web and Qt based UIs (for in-DCC integration)
    • Challenges
      • Big number of stale PRs and Issues
        • Actions
          • Use TSC meeting to discuss pending issues and PRs at least 5 items per meeting
      • Project homepage ( is rarely updated
        • Actions
          • TSC meeting agenda on Blog page
          • Blog post cards on the homepage
          • Show project activity / show that it is under development, and allow people to catch up on latest news without having to look at PRs and Issues on the GitHub repo
    • Larry: often a chance for project to ask the TAC if there are things that other members of the community can do to help. Diego: could use help on how to create good communication channels, how they are using Slack, how they are maintaining their community. Want to make sure that communication channels are open, how they can reach us and where do we talk.
    • Carol: on the question about the website, a lot of our websites are a landing page on how to get to other stuff. Instead of adding meeting notes to web site, you might just update links to make it easier for people to get to those resources. Could link to Wiki for instance (easiest for meeting notes), make your Slack channel more prominent. Diego: didn’t know we had a Confluence, that’s a good place to have our meeting agenda. Larry: a lot of projects post the TSC agenda to the Slack ahead of the meeting, and summary after the meeting. So makes it possible to quickly keep up on top level discussions without having to go into the details. Carol: vast majority of projects are now Slack centric and have picked that as main communication method. OCIO treats mailing list for release announcements, or announce an event, but that’s about it.
    • JF: motion to renew. Larry: seconds. Unanimous, renewed.