About apertus°


he goal of the award winning apertus° project is to create free and open technology for todays professional cinema and film production landscape and make all the generated knowledge freely available. It all started with creating an open modular camera system consisting of several hardware and software parts using Elphel hardware. Now with the efforts to build the very first open digital cinema camera AXIOM from scratch the apertus° project has evolved to the next level: into a platform for film-makers, creative industry professionals, artists and enthusiasts. apertus° is more than just a software/hardware collection, it's a knowledge library, an ecosystem of people supporting each other and advocating freedom.

The Philosophy

We actively cultivate: Free Technology, Free Information, Free Education, Free Knowledge, Free Culture, Free Arts, etc. This requires that everything we create shall be freely available to anyone. To ensure this we release our software under the GNU General Public License V3, our documentation under the Creative Commons License and the hardware under the Cern Open Hardware License.

Mission Statement

Our intention is to create affordable, free software (FOSS) and open hardware (OSHW), digital, motion picture technology for the professional production environment. All the things we pioneer or learn on this path shall be shared and made available to anyone.
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This project was created by film-makers who were fed up with the expensive and limited tools they had to work with every day. The desire to have devices/technology without limitations that are tailored exactly to the film-makers own needs sparked the creation of the apertus° project and still keeps it going many years later.

Oscar Spierenburgs apertus° Elphel Rig
Oscar Spierenburgs apertus° Elphel camera Rig

The DIY Spirit

The project started in the garages and workshops of a handful of enthusiasts who built parts for their own camera prototypes. They then shared images of their camera rigs with the community and others joined in to improve them or make their own variations. This was the beginning of the apertus° project as we know it today.

Professional Manufacturing Approach

Maintaining the DIY spirit by the apertus° pioneers we still share our designs and ideas with the community, but instead of individual garage-solutions we now distribute professional 3D CAD drawings of our parts that can be manufactured at a local fab lab or by a professional manufacturing facility.

Project History

The idea of creating a cinema camera based on an Elphel 333 started in spring 2006 in the mind of a member of the dvinfo forum, who in March 2006 started a new thread called "High Definition with Elphel model 333 camera". A lot of people got involved and the project grew and evolved. As time passed this thread broke the 1.000 posts mark in 2009. Overview really suffered from the length of this thread.
As the community gathered to create a website for the project the search for a unique project name was started. From several candidates "Apertus" - which stands for open; free; public; frank, clear in Latin - won the vote to be the project name from now on.

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apertus° Logo

In Fall 2012 the apertus° Logo has been unveiled. It was designed by Nathan Clark and Pete Flanagan and is part of the apertus° identity.
Apertus Logo

openness is the apertus° trademark

The "o" stands for "open", "openness", "open source" and is placed where a "TM" symbol (indicating patents, trademarks, protection) would normally reside. Instead openness is the apertus° trademark.
The degree symbol represents a lens or an iris/aperture as seen from the front.
The degree symbol represents our world, with the apertus° community existing as an international movement.
The degree symbol can be written in ASCII and is thus 1:1 transferable into code: apertus° - putting emphasis on the "source code" background of the project.

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