View Full Version : VES Releases First-Ever VFX Software Reference Platform (industry Standards- Linux)

07-08-2014, 11:07 AM


The Visual Effects Society has just announced its involvement in a groundbreaking project: the creation of a reference platform for VFX software development. Called, quite simply, the 'VFX Reference Platform,' its purpose is to minimize incompatibilities between different VFX software packages and encourage further adoption of Linux by VFX software vendors.

Some background on the project from the VFX Reference Platform website:

"VFX and animation studios typically integrate off the shelf digital content creation (DCC) tools, such as Maya or Houdini, with in-house software and other 3rd party packages to create a connected end-to-end pipeline for their artists. Since the late 90's an increasing number of studios have started running a flavour of Linux as their primary OS for artist workstations for reasons of reliability, flexibility, cost, performance and as a natural progression from SGI's IRIX.

Due to the flexibility of the Linux platform, there are a number of different distributions on varying release schedules and this combines with software vendors all having their own schedules to create a situation where DCC software packages are often released with different and incompatible dependencies. This complexity results in VFX studios requiring specialist expertise to integrate a pipeline around these dependencies or often even deciding against supporting Linux altogether."

The VFX Reference Platform is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between numerous VFX software solutions providers and the VES. According to Chris Vienneau of Autodesk, the collaboration represents a big step forward. "For the past year, the VES has been collaborating with Autodesk and other software vendors to create a reference Linux platform to address the endemic hassle of ‘version-itis.’ We’re thrilled the VES is taking the lead to rally both the visual effects community and vendors on the Linux platform to organize this working group and benefit all of our customers,” he said.



07-08-2014, 08:12 PM
Now please pardon my dumb, but is Linux a flavor that everybody writes for? Not just in plug-in land, but are there versions of Photoshop, or After Effects? Would the big guys even be interested? And can the little developers afford to have one more version to write for?

07-09-2014, 02:03 AM
Indeed. It's difficult enough to get stuff for Mac, which is much more widespread.

07-09-2014, 06:35 AM
Indeed. It's difficult enough to get stuff for Mac, which is much more widespread.

Like any murder mystery you have to ask yourself...
Who benefits?

Linux is used extensively in big studio production pipelines.
VES serves the will of big studios.

07-09-2014, 08:35 AM
Small studios too!

It's a great initiative and it was about time. Great news indeed.

Thanks for the link, Roberto.

07-09-2014, 03:42 PM
I love this announcement. The way I'm reading it there are two goals of the VFX Reference Platform.

The first is to make integration of existing Linux vfx software (Maya. Houdini, etc) into studio pipleines easier (which is what I spent 50% of my time doing at Reel FX).

The second is to make Linux a viable OS for software vendors like NewTek and Adobe by giving them a stable target to develop for.

Like Roberto said, Linux is used extensively in big studio production pipelines. In my experience biggish studios can have 80% to 90% of their production desktops (those used by artists and TDs, not production management, HR, etc.) running Linux, not to mention the hundreds or thousands servers in the their datacenters.



07-09-2014, 09:16 PM
Like any murder mystery you have to ask yourself...
Who benefits?

The clients who are looking to pay peanuts or "profit sharing" by saying pc equipment is cheap now, and os and 2d,3d software is free so I shouldn't pay much to do Pixar quality animations finished in a week. :D