Leading VFX and animation studio DNEG has just announced the release of an open-source beta version of xSTUDIO via the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF) GitHub repository. The move comes directly on the heels of this past Tuesday’s announcement by Autodesk of their release of an open-source version of the RV review and playback system through ASWF as well.
The open source project for xSTUDIO will be hosted and managed by the Academy Software Foundation as part of Open Review Initiative, an umbrella project working to build a unified open source toolset for playback, review and approval of motion picture and related professional media.
xSTUDIO is a modern, flexible and feature-rich Playback and Review application designed to meet the needs of content creators throughout the production process. The application has been carefully engineered to meet the diverse needs of a broad range of review scenarios, whether on set, in the office, in remote reviews or across teams of connected users. Heavily customisable, xSTUDIO can be used as a stand-alone player or can be integrated into any pipeline via plugins and the Python API. The application features a modern, feature-rich and pipeline-agnostic core application, while also providing a full Python API, C++ plugin framework and extensive use of open-source libraries to allow contributors full control of its integration into their pipelines.
“From its conception, xSTUDIO was designed to allow everyone working in the media creation industries to collaborate seamlessly,” said Chas Jarrett, Creative Director, DNEG. “VFX supervisors, artists, directors, DoPs, studio executives, producers – we all look at images every day in many different ways. xSTUDIO gives us a common industry toolset for organising and displaying all types of media, annotating and editing them, and then securely sharing the results with each other, on our laptops, in screening rooms or over the internet.”
Jarrett continued, “The sharing of the codebase for this tool aligns with DNEG’s belief in the importance of collaboration and recognises that widely implemented solutions benefit the whole community of content creators. The beta version of xSTUDIO is intended to provide developers the opportunity to engage with the project and contribute to its ongoing development roadmap.”
“In launching xSTUDIO as an open-source project, we hope that it will become a useful and standard tool in our industry,” he also added. “We encourage our clients, industry colleagues and partners to use and develop xSTUDIO so we can all benefit as a community.”
As an open-source project, xSTUDIO will be managed by a Technical Steering Committee (TSC) chaired by DNEG and consisting of engineers and contributors from the community. The project will operate under the oversight of the Open Review Initiative alongside Open RV, recently contributed by Autodesk, and itview, which will be released by Sony Pictures Imageworks in the coming months. Software engineers, developers and users interested in contributing to the project and the community can join the ASWF Open Review Initiative Slack channel and the Open Review Initiative mailing list.
According to Erik Strauss, Technical Steering Committee Chair for the Open Review Initiative at Academy Software Foundation, “DNEG has been a key partner and driver of the Open Review Initiative since its inception in 2021. Their contribution of xSTUDIO, which was designed from the outset as an open-source project, will be instrumental as we work to build a unified review and approval ecosystem. With its production-driven, user centric approach to media review within studios, xSTUDIO is positioned to lead the conversation in collaborative media review workflow within the Open Review Initiative.”
DNEG is a founding member of the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF), developed by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and the Linux Foundation in 2018. The ASWF is the motion picture industry’s premier organization for advancing open-source software development across image creation, visual effects, animation and sound technologies.
The open-source beta version of xSTUDIO is available now at https://github.com/AcademySoftwareFoundation/xstudio. For more information about the application’s features and capabilities please visit www.dneg.com/xstudio/.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.