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Academy Software Foundation Announces Formation of Rust Working Group, Initial Release of OpenEXR Rust Binding

By October 13, 2021No Comments

The Academy Software Foundation (ASWF) is pleased to announce the formation of the Rust Working Group, dedicated to creating a foundation for C and Rust bindings for C++ libraries used by the media and entertainment industry.

Rust is a fast and flexible open source programming language designed specifically for safe concurrency, thereby addressing some common memory safety issues with C++. The Rust Working Group aims to create a framework for the development of Rust bindings that can automatically communicate with projects built on C++, including ASWF projects MaterialX, OpenColorIO, OpenEXR, Open Shading Language, OpenTimelineIO, and OpenVDB, and other open source projects including OpenImageIO, Ptex, and USD. Rust’s unique features can ultimately help the visual effects industry update its existing C++ software stack to be more stable and high-performing.

As a proof of concept, the founding members of the Rust Working Group have released an initial Rust binding for OpenEXR, supported on Windows and Linux. Today anyone can add the OpenEXR crate to their creative projects through to start experimenting. The Rust Working Group encourages the open source community to test the binding and contribute any feedback to help it graduate to a production-ready release. Interested parties are welcome to join the Rust Working Group for biweekly meetings or join the conversation on the ASWF’s #rust Slack channel.

“We’re thrilled to officially announce the Rust Working Group and are impressed with what they’ve accomplished in such a short time,” said David Morin, Executive Director of the Academy Software Foundation. “Rust bindings will be able to strengthen many common open source projects in the industry, and we’re glad that the Foundation can serve as a resource to host the ongoing development of these frameworks.”

“The VFX industry already has a large variety of battle-tested C++ libraries out there, so rather than starting from scratch, we’re looking at how some of the newer features offered by Rust can improve and enhance the security and performance of these libraries,” shared Rust Working Group member Scott Wilson, who also works as a Pipeline TD at Stellar Creative Lab in Vancouver. “Additionally, for anyone in the industry who may not know Rust but is interested, we hope that this initiative can be a catalyst to learn the language.”

In addition to OpenEXR, the Rust Working Group is currently underway on Rust bindings for OpenImageIO, Ptex, and USD, with more to come. To learn more about Rust and the Rust Working Group’s initiatives, check out this presentation from the recent 2021 DigiPro Conference: