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OpenTimelineIO is currently in Public Beta. That means that it may be missing some essential features and there are large changes planned. During this phase we actively encourage you to provide feedback, requests, comments, and/or contributions.


OpenTimelineIO is an interchange format and API for editorial cut information. OTIO contains information about the order and length of cuts and references to external media. It is not however, a container format for media.

For integration with applications, the core OTIO library is implemented in C++ and provides an in-memory data model, as well as library functions for interpreting, manipulating, and serializing that data model. Within the core is a dependency-less library for dealing strictly with time, opentime.

The project also supports an official python binding, which is intended to be an idiomatic and ergonomic binding for python developers. The python binding includes a plugin system which supports a number of different types of plugins, most notably adapters, which can be used to read and write legacy formats into the OTIO data model.


Documentation, including quick start, architecture, use cases, API docs, and much more, is available on ReadTheDocs

Supported VFX Platforms

The current release supports:

  • VFX platform 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020
  • Python 3.7 - 3.10

For more information on our vfxplatform support policy: Contribution Guidelines Documentation Page For more information on the vfxplatform: VFX Platform Homepage

Adapter Plugins

To provide interoperability with other file formats or applications lacking a native integration, the opentimelineio community has built a number of python adapter plugins. This includes Final Cut Pro XML, AAF, CMX 3600 EDL, and more.

Note: for releases after v0.16, the OpenTimelineIO PyPI package will only include the core libraries and file formats. Users that need the full set of adapter plugins should use the OpenTimelineIO-Plugins PyPI Package. Each OpenTimelineIO release will have a matching OpenTimelineIO-Plugins release.

For more information: #1386

For more information about this, including supported formats, see:

All adapters except the native .otio, .otioz and .otiod have been relocated to separate repositories under the OpenTimelineIO organization located here: The OTIO python bindings also support several other kinds of plugins, for more information see:

  • Media Linkers - Generate media references to local media according to your local conventions.
  • HookScripts - Scripts that can run at various points during OTIO execution (ie before the media linker)
  • SchemaDefs - Define OTIO schemas.

Installing / Quick-Start

The Python-wrapped version of OpenTimelineIO is publicly available via PyPI. You can install OpenTimelineIO via:

python -m pip install opentimelineio

For detailed installation instructions and notes on how to run the included viewer program, see:

Example Usage


#include <iostream>

#include "opentimelineio/timeline.h"

namespace otio = opentimelineio::OPENTIMELINEIO_VERSION;

    otio::ErrorStatus err;
    otio::SerializableObject::Retainer<otio::Timeline> tl(
                otio::Timeline::from_json_file("taco.otio", &err)
    const std::vector<otio::SerializableObject::Retainer<otio::Clip>> clips = (
    for (const auto& cl : clips)
        otio::RationalTime dur = cl->duration();
        std::cout << "Name: " << cl->name() << " [";
        std::cout << dur.value() << "/" << dur.rate() << "]" << std::endl;


import opentimelineio as otio

timeline = otio.adapters.read_from_file("foo.aaf")
for clip in timeline.find_clips():
  print(, clip.duration())

There are more code examples here:

Also, looking through the unit tests is a great way to see what OTIO can do:

OTIO includes a viewer program as well (see the quickstart section for instructions on installing it):

OTIO View Screenshot


If you want to contribute to the project, please see:

You can get the latest development version via:

git clone --recursive

You can install development dependencies with python -m pip install .[dev]

You can also install the PySide2 dependency with python -m pip install .[view]

You may need to escape the [ depending on your shell, \[view\] .

Currently the code base is written against python 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, 3.10 and 3.11, in keeping with the pep8 style. We ask that before developers submit pull request, they:

  • run make test -- to ensure that none of the unit tests were broken
  • run make lint -- to ensure that coding conventions conform to pep8
  • run make coverage -- to detect code which isn't covered


For advanced developers, arguments can be passed to CMake through the pip commandline by using the CMAKE_ARGS environment variable.

*nix Example:


Additionaly, to reproduce CI failures regarding the file manifest, run: make manifest locally to run the python check-manifest program.

C++ Coverage Builds

To enable C++ code coverage reporting via gcov/lcov for builds, set the following environment variables:

  • OTIO_CXX_BUILD_TMP_DIR=path/to/build/dir

When building/installing through pip/, these variables must be set before running the install command (python -m pip install . for example).


OpenTimelineIO is open source software. Please see the LICENSE.txt for details.

Nothing in the license file or this project grants any right to use Pixar or any other contributor’s trade names, trademarks, service marks, or product names.


For more information, please visit or or join our discussion forum: