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OpenFX image processing plug-in standard

The authoritative source for information about OFX is

Why a Standard?

VFX plug-in vendors were frustrated for years because host application vendors created proprietary plug-in interfaces. As a result, each plug-in vendor had to port their plug-ins to all the different hosts and hosts couldn't use each other's plug-ins, limiting the selection of effects available to artists. The need for a standard interface was clear, so Bruno Nicoletti of The Foundry led the effort to develop a standard. That standard is OFX.

OFX is a win for artists because there is no waiting for plug-in vendors to port their cool effects to your application. Once a host compositing or editing application adopts OFX, all OFX plug-ins on the market instantly become available on that host.

And OFX is a win for plug-in vendors because they can concentrate on what they do best: making cool effects

OFX Terminology


A video compositing or editing application, such as The Foundry Nuke, Assimilate Scratch, Sony Vegas, or FilmLight Baselight


Video software, such as GenArts Sapphire or RE:Vison Effects which adds a wider variety of effects to a host application.

Open Effects

A standardized software interface between VFX host applications and plug-ins (also known as OpenFX and OFX).


An application which allows you to manipulate a video timeline by adding, removing, and changing the in and out points of video clips. Effects, Generators, Transition, Compositors and Retiming effects are commonly used in editors.


An application which allows you build a video clip by layering video clips, still images, and effects.


Please read the Contribution Guidelines for how to submit pull requests for fixes and changes to the standard.

About the Open Effects Association

The Open Effects Association (OFX), a non-profit organization, develops and promotes open standards across the visual effects community. The founding members come from Assimilate, Autodesk, Digieffects, FilmLight, The Foundry, GenArts and RE:Vision FX. These are companies which have helped artists create ground-breaking VFX shots on nearly every blockbuster movie.

The Association's initial focus is to improve the OpenFX image processing plug-in standard. This goal of this standard is to reduce development effort and support needed for plug-ins across different compositing and editing host platforms.

Building Docs

See instructions in Documentation/