Monday, August 2nd, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Maxon, Tangent Animation join Academy Software Foundation

Maxon’s current showreel. The Cinema 4D and Redshift developer has just joined industry body the Academy Software Foundation, alongside animation studio and Blender tools developer Tangent Animation.

Originally posted on 2 August 2021. Scroll down for breaking news on Tangent Animation.

Maxon and Tangent Animation have joined the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF).

The Cinema 4D developer and feature animation studio and tools developer become the latest general members of the industry body, which promotes open-source technologies for VFX and feature animation.

A neutral forum for open-source tools development for VFX and animation
A joint initiative between the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and the Linux Foundation, the ASWF launched in 2018 as a “neutral forum” for open-source software development in the movie industry.

The organisation now oversees development of many key open-source technologies for VFX and animation software, including OpenColorIO, OpenEXR, OSL, OpenTimelineIO, OpenVDB and, most recently, MaterialX.

Founder members included key tools developers Autodesk, the Blender Foundation, Epic Games, Foundry and SideFX, plus Intel and Google Cloud, and many of the world’s leading VFX and animation studios.

Cinema 4D and LoUPE developers join ASWF
To that list, we can now add Maxon and Tangent Animation.

Both develop products used in VFX and feature animation: in the case of Maxon, the Redshift renderer, plus Cinema 4D and the Red Giant plugins, both widely used for title sequences and UI work.

Although originally a production studio – Next Gen, its Annie Award-nominated animated feature, was released by Netflix – Tangent Animation moved into commercial tools development last year with LoUPE.

The cloud-based platform provides a range of production-management features, including asset management, render managmement, shot review and remote collaboration.

Integration plugins are available for Maya and Blender, which Tangent uses as its own primary 3D package, with Houdini and Unreal Engine plugins in development, the latter partly funded by Epic Games.

Updates to Tangent Animation’s open-source VFX production tools
In related news, Tangent Animation has extended hdCycles, its open-source plugin that makes Blender’s Cycles renderer available inside other DCC apps that support Hydra render delegates, like Houdini.

The project also now supports Blackbird, Tangent’s own fork of Cycles, and has been renamed hdBlackbird.

Updated 5 August 2021: Tangent Animation has just shut down production on its current projects, and has laid off all of its staff, Cartoon Brew is reporting, corroborated by this tweet from a former employee.

At the time of writing, it isn’t clear whether the studio will be able to reopen, and whether development of LoUPE, which is oveseen by sister company Tangent Labs, will be affected.