Supporting the Creative Process with Software-Defined Workflows
MovieLabs and its member studios have published a third paper in the series of 2030 Vision white papers. The paper, titled “The Evolution of Production Workflows - Empowering Creative Processes with Software-Defined Workflows”, double-clicks on the software-defined workflow principles of the 2030 Vision. It discusses a path to implementation of those principles, describing the essential formalisms and specific mechanisms that will enable flexible production workflows with increased automation and interoperability.
The goal of software-defined workflows is to support human creative tasks by connecting them to the greatest extent possible through software-mediated collaboration and automation. The paper defines a framework that allows software to understand and communicate information about workflows, making them more nimble and adaptive. It presents an approach which can be applied to help build interoperable workflows and tools for automation in a myriad of areas, such as collaboration, compute and rendering orchestration, asset movement, cost calculation, personnel scheduling, and project dashboards.
Creation of these types of workflows requires a collaborative industry effort to identify the best candidates for practices and standardization. MovieLabs has already launched a studio working group on building a family of connected ontologies, and we will be working closely with cloud services and application providers to identify the key shared concepts, terms, descriptors, tasks, data models, and APIs that will help the industry build the automated workflows that can deliver on the 2030 Vision.
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VFX Naming and Workflows
As an early step to enable software-defined workflows, MovieLabs has collaborated with the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at the University of Southern California to publish best practices in VFX image sequence naming. The specification covers plates, comps, and other frame-based image sequences. It should serve as a tool for productions and VFX application providers to help organize the multitude of frames that are inputs and outputs in VFX workflows, enabling greater interoperability across the many vendors and organizations involved in VFX production.