MovieLabs publishes ontology for media creation | Infrastructure | News

As part of its plan to allow the Hollywood studios it represents to enhance interoperability, Motion Pictures Laboratories (MovieLabs) has published the first version of a common ontology for production technologists designing software-defined workflows (SDW).

The Ontology for Media Creation (OMC) provides a conceptual framework and a set of defined terms to enable both people and software to communicate unambiguously with greater data interoperability.
MovieLabs says the need for a common ontology has been driven by the complex world of media creation, in which different production participants and software tools rely on unique sets of concepts with various definitions, introducing the potential for confusion and error when the same word has different meanings in different contexts or tools. For example, Visual Effects (VFX) work utilises well understood but non-standardised terms to explain steps in a workflow.

The ontology defines specific terms for VFX Sequence, VFX Plates, and grouping of required assets—terms and concepts which allow any VFX process to communicate with the rest of the production workflow in a consistent way. The goal is to improve the efficiency of human-to-human as well as machine-to-machine communication in the production process, whether in verbal or visual form. In the case of software, the ontology is a foundational tool for the development of interoperable schemas for data exchange and APIs.

The v1.0 release is scoped to support general communication about workflows and includes documents covering connected ontologies for: tasks, assets, participants, contexts, relationships, infrastructure and creative works. Future releases and documents will address additional use cases and include schemas for data exchange. An accompanying dictionary provides synonyms for terms and concepts with different names in other territories (for example, the different meaning of ‘series’ in US and UK broadcast television).

“Software-defined workflows are a fundamental part of the 2030 Vision which MovieLabs launched two years ago, envisioning a future where all production processes take place in the cloud with streamlined and more efficient creative workflows,” commented Movielabs CEO Richard Berge.

“In order for software-defined workflows to be integrated into the production process, all pieces of the workflow need to communicate with each other in a predictable manner. We created the ontology to aid the communication between humans, machines and automated processes. The adoption of the ontology will deliver consistent communications which will save time within the production process and also reduce the chance of misinterpretation and error.”

Co-developed with the Hollywood studios DreamWorks Animation, Marvel Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros, with contributions from leading software companies across the industry, the OMC can be accessed from the MovieLabs website.

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MovieLabs publishes ontology for media creation | Infrastructure | News