Burning Question: What in the heck is OFX? Updated #OFX #openfx
OpenFX, or OFX, is a standardized software interface between the host and plug-ins for visual effects, editing, compositing, and finishing. It is now widely used for visual effects and video processing and is supported by numerous hosts such as Assimilate, Blackmagic Design, Digital Anarchy, FXHOME, NewBlueFX, RE:Vision Effects, and more.
Where did OFX come from and why?
The OFX API was established because each developer had its own proprietary interface, so developers at different companies couldn’t work together share code very easily. Developers had to create their own method of porting their plug-ins into each host, which, as you can imagine, can be expensive and time-consuming.
Bruno Nicoletti of The Foundry got things going in 2004. Some of the founding members were from Assimilate, Autodesk, Digieffects, FilmLight, The Foundry, GenArts, and RE:Vision Effects. OFX was transferred to The Open Effects Association (OFX) in 2009.
The OFX are proponents for open standards between developers of visual effects tools for supporting a broad range of platform-neutral hosts. The focus of the group is:
- to improve image processing
- lessen development costs
- shorten development time
- reduce product support that comes along with supporting multiple compositing tools and NLE’s
If you’re a developer, join the Association and get access to early releases and help shape future versions of the standard. OpenFX members collaborate with their peers to the developer and extend the OFX API, a BSD open source license.
Updates to OFX
|v1.5||Upcoming||Significant additions include the OfxDrawSuite for drawing overlays without requiring OpenGL.|
|v1.4||21 January 2022||Add OfxDrawSuite for drawing image overlays without the use of OpenGL. Updated|
Hosts that Support OFX Standard
If you use any of the hosts below, plug-ins that you use may support the OFX standard.
Let me first stress the point that if a plug-in is OFX, it does NOT mean that it supports all the hosts listed below. It just means that the following hosts support the OFX standard.
OFX is a standardized software interface for developing plug-ins that support multiple hosts. OFX is NOT a host or host platform.
- Assimilate SCRATCH
- Autodesk Flame
- Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Studio
- Blackmagic Design Fusion Studio
- Boris Silhouette
- Digital Vision Nucoda and Phoenix
- DVS Clipbuster
- FilmLight Baselight
- The Foundry Nuke
- FXHOME HitFilm Pro
- Grass Valley Edius and Rio (with OFX-bridge, which enables Edius to use OFX effects)
- InteractiveFX Piranha
- Diamant-Film DustBuster+ and Diamant-Film restoration
- Magix Vegas Pro, Magix Movie Edit Pro, and Vegas Movie Studio
- NewBlue Titler Pro
- Quantel Generation Q
- Pinnacle Studios
- SGO MambaFX and Mistika (MambaFX may be replaced with Mistika Boutique, waiting on clarification)
- Sony Catalyst
- ToonBoom Harmony
Open Source hosts that support OFX
Below, read a list of some of the plug-ins that already support the OFX standard. Undoubtedly, I expect this list to grow over the next year or two.
For more, see OpenFX (OFX) Compatibility
|Developer||Plugins and Information|
|Boris FX Products||The current lineup of Continuum, Mocha, Sapphire, and Silhouette all support OFX. Bundles also available.|
|CrumplePop||CrumplePop sells several "remover" and denoise audio plugins that are OFX compatible with DaVinci Resolve.|
|FXHOME||Some products. Check their website for details. We no longer sell FXHOME products.|
|Neat Video Pro for OFX|
|Motiva RealPerception OFX|
|NewBlue||All NewBlue plugins are OFX compatible.|
|ProDAD||Some products. Check their website for details. We don't sell ProDAD products.|
There is another OpenFX and OFX for 3D, which is very confusing and completely unrelated. Although the other one is also open source, it’s an unrelated Windows API for 3D modeling.
OFX News Resources
News: Boris FX’s Sapphire VFX Plug-ins Add OFX Support for Flame, April 8, 2019
- OpenFX API at GitHub
- OpenFX plugin programming guide (Advanced issues) on Github
- OFX / OpenFX / Open Effects
- EDIUS 9 OFX bridge released
- Using Magic Bullet Products in EDIUS
- Loading OFX Plug-ins in Nuke
How to use OFX in Assimilate Scratch
Updates to this article:
8 March 2022 – New products added. In addition, new OFX 1.4 improvements included.
16 December 2020 – Updated with new plugins and hosts.
21 March 2019 – Major overhaul, adding dozens of plugins and updating content
17 November 2014 – New OFX plug-ins from Tiffen. Updated with newer OFX plug-ins from Boris FX, Digital Film Tools, and FilmConvert.
Posted by Michele Yamazaki