Proposal to add OpenFX as an ASWF project

Gary Oberbrunner <garyo@...>

[resending due to list permission issue]

Hi! The Open Effects Association has been in discussions with John Mertic and David Morin about the possibility of bringing OpenFX, the visual-effects plug-in standard that we maintain, under the aegis of the Academy Software Foundation. We think it would be mutually beneficial; OpenFX is the primary standard for image-processing effects in the industry, and it would be great to be associated with the ASWF.

I've attached our proposal here. Quoting from that, just to give you an idea of what we are about:
  • OFX is an open, extensible C API (application programming interface) that defines an industry-wide common interface between image-based visual effects plug-ins and host applications. Over its long history, by creating an interoperable ecosystem of plug-ins, OFX has become the reference standard for visual-effects and video processing software creators.

  • The Open Effects Association is a non-profit organization formed specifically to control the standard. The Association develops and promotes the standard across the visual effects community. See

  • By standardizing the interface and releasing it as open source, OFX has supplanted older proprietary host-specific APIs. OFX has made it much easier for applications to support a variety of plug-ins. It has also encouraged and allowed developers to support many host applications. Previously, VFX applications hosted plug-ins via proprietary plug-in APIs. Plug-in effect development was fragmented and developers had to pick and choose which proprietary APIs to support. This limited the third-party effects available on many applications. OFX allows the same plug-ins to run on multiple editing, video processing, and VFX applications with little or no modification. The net result is that artists throughout the industry now have access to a much wider set of tools, increasing their options and fostering creativity.

  • Dozens of software manufacturers, large and small, write commercial OFX plugins; some examples are Autodesk Flame, The Foundry Nuke, BlackMagic Design DaVinci Resolve and Fusion, MAGIX Vegas Pro, Boris FX Sapphire, RE:Vision FX plug-ins, and many others (Magix, FxHome, FilmConvert, Digital Anarchy, HS-Art, Frischluft, Mikros, ABSoft, Grass Valley, NewBlue FX, SGO, Digital Vision, Toonboom, ...). Many VFX companies also produce in-house plug-ins based on the OFX standard, and open-source tools such as Natron also support OFX (both plug-ins and as a host). End users of OFX plug-ins probably number at least in the hundreds of thousands, likely more.

You can read more in the proposal itself. I understand you have a meeting upcoming on March 23rd. If the committee is interested in moving forward, I presume we'll have an opportunity to present and ask questions. There are many things we don't yet know, such as how our current technical and governance processes might change (we have specific acceptance policies for changing the standard, for instance), how the TSC would be populated, how our IP would be transferred, and what would happen to the Association itself. We look forward to discussing all of that if there is alignment on the proposal, and hopefully to joining the ASWF.

Looking forward to hearing from you, and thank you very much for your consideration! 

Gary Oberbrunner
Founder & CEO

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