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OpenFrameworks is a cross platform open source toolkit for creative coding in C++.


openFrameworks is a C++ toolkit for creative coding. If you are new to OF, welcome!

folder structure

This release of OF comes with several folders:

  • addons
  • apps
  • docs
  • examples
  • export (on some systems)
  • libs
  • other
  • scripts
  • project generator

docs has some documentation around OF usage, per platform things to consider, etc. You should definitely take a look in there, for example, if you are on OSX, read the apps and examples are where projects go -- examples contains a variety of projects that show you how to use OF, and apps is where your own projects will go. libs contains the libraries that OF uses, including the openframeworks core itself. addons are for additional functionality that's not part of the core. export is for DLLs and dylibs that need to be put in each compiled project. The scripts folder has the templates and small scripts for automating OF per platform. project generator is a GUI based tool for making new projects - this folder is only there in packaged releases.

One idea that's important is that OF releases are designed to be self-contained. You can put them anywhere on your hard drive, but it's not possible to mix different releases of OF together, so please keep each release (0.8.0, 0.8.1) separate. Projects may generally work from release to release, but this is not guaranteed. Because OF is self-contained, there's extensive use of local file paths (ie, ../../../) thoughout OF. It's important to be aware of how directories are structured. A common error is to take a project and move it so that it's a level below or above where it used to be compared to the root of OF. This means that links such as ../../../libs will break.

Get involved

The openframeworks forum:

is a warm and friendly place Please ask or answer a question. The most important part of this project is that it's a community, more than just a tool, so please join us! Also, this is free software, and we learn so much about what is hard, what doesn't make sense, what is useful, etc. The most basic questions are acceptable here! Don't worry, just join the conversation. Learning in OF is social, it's hard to do it alone, but together we can get far!

Our github site is active:

if you have bugs or feature requests, consider opening an issue. If you are a developer and want to help, pull requests are warmly welcome. Please read the contributing guide for guidelines:

We also have a developer's mailing list, which is useful for discussing issues around the development and future of OF.


To grab a copy of openFrameworks for your platform, check the download page on the main site.

If you are working with the Git repository, the stable branch of the OF repository corresponds to the most recent release, with a few important differences:

  1. The release includes a simple openFrameworks project generator.
  2. This GitHub repository contains code and libs for all the platforms, but the releases are done on a per-platform basis.
  3. This GitHub repository has no project files for the different examples. They are generated automatically for each release using a tool in apps/devApps/projectGenerator/.

If you want to work with the openFrameworks GitHub repository, you should use the project generator to create project files for all the code in examples/.
For per-platform readmes, and more informations, see the documentation.

To set up the project generator submodule, use the command git submodule init then git submodule update whilst inside the openFrameworks repo.


openFrameworks uses Semantic Versioning, although strict adherence will only come into effect at version 1.0.0.

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