The Academy Software Foundation – the motion picture industry’s premier organization for advancing open source software development across image creation, visual effects, animation, and sound technologies – today announces OpenFX as its newest hosted project. First developed in 2004, OpenFX is a popular open source plugin standard that allows interoperability between image processing tools in the VFX industry.
Originally designed by Bruno Nicoletti, OpenFX serves as an open, extensible C API that defines an industry-wide common interface between image-based visual effects plugins and host applications. This makes it easier both for creative applications to support a variety of plug-ins, and for plug-in developers to support many host applications – reducing proprietary development and industry fragmentation. By creating an interoperable ecosystem of plugins, OpenFX has become the reference standard for visual effects and video processing software creators. Leading software solutions including Autodesk Flame, Foundry Nuke, Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve and Fusion, Sony Catalyst and MAGIX Vegas Pro, Assimilate Scratch, Filmlight Baselight, Boris FX Sapphire and Silhouette, RE:Vision Effects, and others support OpenFX commercial plug-ins. By allowing the same plugins to run on multiple editing, video processing, and VFX applications with little or no modification, OpenFX makes it easier for artists to access a wider set of tools.
“OpenFX is the work of smart engineers who focused on developing a standard for interoperability in the image-based software ecosystem. We are very happy to welcome them to the Foundation,” shared David Morin, Executive Director of the Academy Software Foundation. “In a world where interoperability is more important than ever, OpenFX will contribute to our growing community, and benefit from the resources of the Academy Software Foundation.”
OpenFX has previously been managed by the non-profit Open Effects Association, which will dissolve. Its existing directors – Gary Oberbrunner, Pierre Jasmin, Peter Huisma, Dennis Adams, John-Paul Smith – will join the project’s Technical Steering Committee at the Academy Software Foundation.
“We’re very much looking forward to being part of the Academy Software Foundation and the added visibility and infusion of new ideas and contributors that go along with that,” said Oberbrunner. “With the backing of the Foundation, we expect to be able to add new features more quickly, thereby enhancing the overall ecosystem for image-based VFX throughout the industry.”
Currently on version 1.4, new features are already in the works for OpenFX version 1.5, anticipated for release later this year. Most notably, the team recently added an overlay draw suite so that the host application and the plugin can automatically negotiate and agree on the desired graphics API (e.g. OpenGL, DirectX, Vulkan, Metal or others).
Developers interested in learning more or contributing to OpenFX can visit https://tac.aswf.io/engagement/#OpenFX.
Companies interested in supporting the mission of the Academy Software Foundation can learn more and join at aswf.io/join.