The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced an intent to form the Open 3D Foundation to accelerate developer collaboration on 3D game and simulation technology. The Open 3D Foundation will support open source projects that advance capabilities related to 3D graphics, rendering, authoring, and development.
As the first project governed by the new foundation, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) is contributing an updated version of the Amazon Lumberyard game engine as the Open 3D Engine (O3DE), under the permissive Apache 2.0 license. The Open 3D Engine enables developers and content creators to build 3D experiences unencumbered by commercial terms and will provide the support and infrastructure of an open source community through forums, code repositories, and developer events. A developer preview of O3DE is available on GitHub today.
3D engines are used to create a range of virtual experiences, including games and simulations, by providing capabilities such as 3D rendering, content authoring tools, animation, physics systems, and asset processing. Many developers are seeking ways to build their intellectual property on top of an open source engine where the roadmap is highly visible, openly governed, and collaborative to the community as a whole.
More developers look to be able to create or augment their current technological foundations with highly collaborative solutions that can be used in any development environment. O3DE introduces a new ecosystem for developers and content creators to innovate, build, share, and distribute immersive 3D worlds that will inspire their users with rich experiences that bring the imaginations of their creators to life.
Major features of the Open 3D Engine include a new multi-threaded photorealistic renderer, an extensible 3D content editor, a data-driven character animation system, and a node-based visual scripting tool. Developers can build games and new engine features on top of O3DE’s component-based architecture, which enables components of the engine to be used together or independently.
Developers will have the flexibility of authoring code with C++, LUA, and python, while animators, technical artists, level designers, and other content creators can work directly with O3DE’s built-in authoring tools to create 3D experiences.
The Open 3D Foundation and Open 3D Engine Project will enable developers to collaborate on building games and simulations as well as the underlying engine. It includes a Governing Board focused on business and budget decisions and a Technical Steering Committee dedicated to technical strategy and community management.
The Project is organized into Special Interest Groups (SIGs) that include: Build/Dev Pipeline; Simulation Engine; Content Creation; Network & Cloud; Presentation; Documentation/Demo; Release; Security; and Testing. The O3DE community welcomes contributions from all cloud providers, gaming companies, and industries to advance the project.
“We’re proud to offer the 3D development community an unencumbered, AAA-capable, real-time 3D engine with one of the broadest arrays of integrated 3D authoring tools in the industry including a new photorealistic renderer, built for both modern gaming hardware and distributed cloud rendering,” said Bill Vass, VP of Engineering at AWS. “We believe that creating a first-class, community-driven, open-source option will revolutionize real-time 3D development, as Linux did for operating systems and Apache did for the web.”
“The new Open 3D Foundation finally gives gaming and engine developers an opportunity to influence the direction of a major AAA class 3D engine that is sustained for the long term by a worldwide open source community,” said Chris Aniszczyk, CTO, Linux Foundation. “Furthermore, other industries such as automotive and healthcare can take advantage of embedding the engine and supporting the advancement of the engine to benefit all.”
Founding members of the Open 3D Foundation include AccelByte, Adobe, Apocalypse Studios, Audiokinetic, AWS, Backtrace.io, Carbonated, Futurewei, GAMEPOCH, Genvid Technologies, Hadean, HERE Technologies, Huawei, Intel, International Game Developers Association, KitBash3D, Kythera AI, Niantic, Open Robotics, PopcornFX, Red Hat, Rochester Institute of Technology, SideFX, Tafi, TLM Partners and Wargaming. These members are contributing funding and resources to the foundation as the initial governing members.
The O3DE community is hosting O3DECon on October 12th and invites the wider open source engine community to attend, contribute and learn more about the future of the foundation. Additionally, there will be an O3DE panel at GDC on July 22, 2021.