KDE Plasma at the movies

For several years, I used to maintain a collection of clippings showing the KDE workspaces in use in interesting settings - popping up on TV shows, on public terminals in odd locations, in articles on leading scientific endeavours. All sorts of cool cases. More recently I haven't been collecting as diligently anymore, though, for perhaps the best possible reason: It's happening so frequently now that individual examples have lost much of their novelty.

But from time to time it still provides me with a (pleasant) shock to the system to see our software help others push the envelope and create amazing things. The latest example occurred just the other day, while I was watching the making-of documentary for Alfonso Cuarón's impressive film Gravity:

KDE workstation at Framestore

KDE workstation at Framestore

Framestore worked for several years to provide the majority of the film's effects shots, and their London-based offices appear filled to the brim with workstations running KDE Plasma. I think I may have even spotted Yakuake on a panel in there.

Interestingly, Framestore isn't the only London-based VFX house using KDE software. I previously collected a snapshot of Doctor Who VFX provider The Mill using Plasma Desktop in their work as well.

One factor driving this adoption is perhaps the synergy between our and the industry's extensive use of and familiarity with Qt - many high-end 3D modelling and video editing/compositing packages now use Qt for their UI, and often provide PyQt as convenient extensibility solution for in-house dev teams at the studios. The same is true of KDE. But I'd like to think providing a damn nice desktop experience also has something to do with it :).

In the thick of competition, or looking purely at market share data, it's sometimes easy to forget just how much real and compelling use the stuff we make is seeing in absolute terms. And the degree to which our software permeates the foundations that big chunks of our culture get built on top of.

It's nice to reflect on that now and then.

Gravity has been nominated for ten Academy Awards recently, including the Best Visual Effects category. I loved it, and have a feeling it has a pretty good chance.


This kind of news are good to "sell" KDE in lot of places

By Dani at Sun, 02/09/2014 - 09:07

Actually we are mainly running under gnome at Framestore (but I would prefer kde)

By keopsis at Mon, 02/10/2014 - 13:37

Hey there :). Yeah, I didn't want to go claim you guys as a KDE shop since the sample size in the documentary isn't very good (about two thirds or so of the workstations shown there ran KDE in my estimate, but it was only a tiny amount of the total seats at Framestore no doubt - I assume the Gravity team numbered in the hundreds).

BTW I'd love to hear if we can do anything to help you get your jobs done better ... pain points, feature needs, whatever you can think of. Either in here or via hein@kde.org :).

By eike hein at Mon, 02/10/2014 - 14:22

Nice reference!

Interesting idea to publish this somewhere at a separate site, or KDE website? This deserves more attention; using celebrities to promote KDE usage.

By vdboor at Sun, 02/09/2014 - 15:13

I think we have a testimonials / success stories section somewhere on kde.org, or used to have.

Note though that it's generally bad manners to publish such things on official sites without explicit consent :). This is a personal blog, and the spirit of the post is one of drawing inspiration and encouraging reflection (e.g. also: knowing we enjoy uptake by these types of users, can we do anything to serve them better?), not promotion.

By eike hein at Sun, 02/09/2014 - 16:54

Funny thing, I remember taking snapshots of kopete in the 'Heroes' serie and talking with you on freenode a few years ago.
Hi and have a nice day!

By shadok at Mon, 02/10/2014 - 15:27

Yeah, old times! :) http://www.eikehein.com/kde/heroes/

By eike hein at Mon, 02/10/2014 - 16:21

Valve developer ditched Windows for Linux with KDE :D


By Kay at Tue, 02/11/2014 - 23:10