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Tip #1203: What is OFX?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

OFX: Improve interoperability, reduce support and development time.

The Open Effects Association logo.

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OFX. Many visual effects tools reference this – but what is it?

The OFX Image Effect Plug-in API, is an open standard for 2D visual effects or compositing plug-ins. It allows plug-ins written to the standard to work on any application that supports the standard. It is widely used for visual effects and video processing and is supported by numerous hosts, including Assimilate, Blackmagic Design, Digital Anarchy, FXHOME, NewBlueFX, RE:Vision Effects and more.

Bruno Nicoletti of The Foundry created it in 2004. The OFX API was established because each developer had its own proprietary interface, so developers at different companies couldn’t work together or 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.

Out of this confusion, the Open Effects Association – and OFX – was born.

Here’s an article from ToolFarm with more details on which software supports it and what plug-ins are available.


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