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Ubuntu at SIGGRAPH 2022: What’s new in the world of Linux and VFX

Erick Bryant

on 13 September 2022

Canonical Media & Entertainment team (L-R): Dave Montana, Ken Vandine, Erick Bryant, Rose Vettraino, Victoria Gordon

Canonical attended its first SIGGRAPH event, a significant step in working more closely with the VFX Media & Entertainment community. We have built a dedicated team to support Linux in this industry and SIGGRAPH was instrumental for us to have one on one conversations with ISVs, studios, and artists.

This year Canonical became a proud member of the Academy Software Foundation. We believe this is a great first step to equipping the creative community to be able to easily do what they do best while running on Ubuntu.

Highlights from the Linux in VFX Report

When CentOS went end of life, the community needed a new reference platform. Ubuntu is a close contender but the Linux distro of choice from the VFX report is RHEL. But do not be dismayed!

“Ubuntu is an excellent Linux distribution with many compelling benefits, so a secondary recommendation is that in the longer term all software vendors should consider providing equal support for both RHEL and Ubuntu,” says the report. Rocky and Alma were also recommended because of the speed of migration, but Ubuntu is a strong contender particularly due to our 10-year standardized support offering, surpassing other recommended community distros.

Below are 2021 usage and 2022 plans for the community from the Studio Platform Survey Report:

Take a look at the full report here

Learn more about Canonical’s Desktop offering on our website!

Open Source Initiatives

VFX is going more open-source with 4 exciting new projects from the ASWF:

  • ASWF formed a working group to investigate the state of playback and review systems, and to explore the opportunity to create a common set of media tools to drive the creative review process throughout production. This working group went on to form the Open Review Initiative project, which is currently in the sandbox stage.
  • Foundry’s OpenAssetIO is the newest ASWF-hosted project. Developed by Foundry, OpenAssetIO aims to give artists the ability to find and share deeply connected assets, regardless of how or where they’re stored. It is an open-source interoperability standard between tools and asset management systems that reduces the integration effort and maintenance overhead of content creation pipelines. According to the company, OpenAssetIO standardizes scalable asset-centric workflows by enabling tools and asset management systems to freely communicate with one another. 
  • Initially created by Pixar Animation Studios, OpenTimelineIO (OTIO) is an Open Source API and interchange format that facilitates collaboration and communication of editorial data and timeline information between a studio’s Story, Editorial, and Production departments all the way through Post-Production. OTIO makes it easier to build tools that use editorial timeline information, filling a gap in film production pipelines that were previously underserved by similar, proprietary technologies. It supports clips, timing, tracks, transitions, markers, and metadata in an API that is easy for studios to integrate with their tools and for vendors to integrate with their software. Use cases include tracking shot length changes, providing context shots in dailies, communicating shots added or removed, conforming new renders into a cut, and dealing with picture-in-picture shots.
  • DPEL is a library of digital assets – 3D scenes, digital cinema footage, etc. – that demonstrate the scale and complexity of modern feature film production, including computer graphics, visual effects, and animation. Curated by the Academy Software Foundation, these assets are available free of charge to researchers and developers of both open-source and commercial projects, to test, demonstrate, and inspire their ideas.

VFX on Ubuntu

Whilst some key apps are a challenge we met tonnes of big studios using Ubuntu already and Ubuntu was demoed at a bunch of booths.

VFX tools on Ubuntu:

Blender – with support

Unity

Unreal

DaVinci Resolve

More to be added soon…

What can you do?

Connect with our team and tell us what you need. What priority focuses are important to your studio? Desktop support for your artists? Private cloud infrastructure for remote access? Expanding block storage for digital assets?

Get in touch with our Media & Entertainment team to find out more about how we can enable your studio with Ubuntu and all its great enterprise management features.


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