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Academy Software Foundation’s New Open Review Initiative Forms with Initial Code Contributions from Autodesk, DNEG, and Sony Pictures Imageworks

By August 8, 2022January 18th, 2023No Comments

The Academy Software Foundation today announces the Open Review Initiative, a new project led by contributions from member companies Autodesk, DNEG, and Sony Pictures Imageworks, with the mission to build a unified open source toolset for playback, review and approval of motion picture and related professional media.

The Academy Software Foundation’s Review & Approval Working Group was formed in 2021, as the pandemic reshaped digital content workflows across the entertainment industry. The Working Group’s goals were to investigate the state of playback and review systems, and to explore the opportunity to empower animation and VFX collaborators with a common set of media tools to drive the creative review process throughout production. As a result of these efforts, the Open Review Initiative is forming in the sandbox stage – the Foundation’s earliest project stage, serving as a stepping stone from Working Group to project, and providing resources for continued development and a neutral forum for industry-wide collaboration.

The Open Review Initiative will be guided by an umbrella Technical Steering Committee (TSC) comprised of lead architects and maintainers from each company, as Autodesk, DNEG, and Imageworks respectively make their RV, xSTUDIO, and parts of the itView ecosystem available to the open source community for the first time. Prioritizing its initial focus on playback, the umbrella TSC will guide the strategy for each initially standalone code repository, with the goal of their gradual convergence into a cohesive, state-of-the-art review and approval framework. The TSC will be led by a combination of members from the contributing companies and a diverse cross-section of the community of engineers and users invested in this problem space.

“The review and approval landscape encompasses a deceptively large amount of interconnected systems – including playback, production tracking, asset management, editorial integration, transcoding, transport, and annotations,” said Erik Strauss, who served as chair of the Review & Approval Working Group and will continue to participate as the umbrella TSC chair for the Open Review Initiative. “Each of the code contributions from Autodesk, DNEG, and Imageworks bring significant value and address different areas that we aim to incorporate into a best-in-class system. Their convergence over time, driven by a shared vision and contribution strategy, is the most efficient approach to solving the needs of the whole creative community.”

“The Open Review Initiative is the outcome of a Working Group of the Academy Software Foundation, and shows the commitment of our community and member companies to develop software together when it makes sense, to avoid duplication of efforts and for the benefit of our industry at large,” said David Morin, Executive Director, Academy Software Foundation. “I want to acknowledge the leadership of our member companies Autodesk, DNEG, and Sony Pictures Imageworks who are contributing code to seed the Open Review Initiative, and invite everyone interested to participate in this important open source project.”

Developers interested in learning more or contributing to the Open Review Initiative can visit:

Companies interested in supporting the mission of the Academy Software Foundation can learn more and join at