Unit pays $ 120,000 / year to fund Blender development
Sunday, August 23, 2020 | Written by Jim Thacker
Unity Technologies is the newest major technology company to support open source 3D applications Blender and is joining Nvidia, AMD and Epic Games as Patron of the Blender Development Fund.
Thanks to Unity's contribution of at least $ 120,000 per year, the fund has now achieved its original goal of funding the salaries of 20 full-time core Blender developers.
In separate messages, Unity also became a Premier member of the Academy Software Foundation, the AMPAS-sponsored organization promoting the use of open source software in the film industry.
Unity supports Blender together with Nvidia, AMD, Intel, Google, Microsoft and Epic Games
Unity Technologies' sponsorship makes it the newest major tech company to support the Blender Development Fund since rival game engine developer Epic Games donated $ 1.2 million last summer.
The company will patronize the fund alongside Epic Games, Nvidia and AMD – the highest level of sponsorship guaranteeing a contribution of at least USD 120,000 / year.
With Unity's contribution, the Blender Development Fund hits the magic figure of € 100,000 / month: its original goal is to pay the salaries of 20 full-time core Blender developers.
At the time of writing, total funding is € 106,109 / month.
"Ten years ago, Unity offered support for Blender files," said Ton Roosendaal, chairman of the Blender Foundation. "Thanks to the grant, we will continue to invest in the core development of Blender, with a special focus on high quality interoperability with free and open formats."
Unity joins the film industry's open source body, the Academy Software Foundation
In separate news, Unity Technologies became the youngest Premier member of the Academy Software Foundation. Senior Product Manager Bruno Sergeant joined the ASWF Board of Directors.
As a joint initiative of the Academy of Arts and Sciences for feature films and the Linux Foundation, the ASWF started in 2018 as a "neutral forum" for open source software development in the film industry.
The Blender Foundation itself was one of the founding members; Autodesk, Epic Games, Foundry, and SideFX; as well as Intel and Google Cloud as well as many of the world's leading VFX and animation studios.
The organization oversees the development of a number of key open source initiatives in the VFX and animation industries, including established technologies such as OpenColorIO, OpenEXR, and OpenVDB.
More recent additions are the open source render manager OpenCue, which was developed by Sony Pictures Imageworks, and OpenTimelineIO, the open source format from Pixar for the exchange of editorial editing data.
Other new ASWF members are the cloud rendering service Conductor Technologies, now a general member, and the film technology organization SMPTE, now an associate member.
Read the Blender Foundation announcement that Unity has supported the Blender Development Fund
Read the ASWF announcement that Unity, Conductor and SMPTE have become members
Tags: 3D Software, Academy Software Foundation, AMD, Animation, ASWF, Autodesk, Blender Development Fund, Conductor Technologies, DCC Software, Epic Games, Foundry, Google, Industry Standard, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA, OCIO, Open Source, OpenColorIO , OpenCue, OpenEXR, OpenTimelineIO, OpenVDB, OSL, Pixar, SMPTE, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Unity Technologies, Unity. Mixer, VFX, visual effects