Wednesday, May 9, 2012

OpenColorIO for After Effects

OpenColorIO ("OCIO") is an open source system for managing color in film production pipelines. It was originally created for internal use at Sony Pictures Imageworks, who then released it publicly in July 2010. It now includes an After Effects plug-in that I contributed.

The main advantage of OpenColorIO is that it will function identically across all programs that support it. So if you want to make sure that your color transformations in After Effects match those in Nuke (now shipping with OCIO), this is a way to do it.

Of course, like any open source project, the plug-in is free. Anyone is free to download the code, build it themselves, or contribute a change. Here I've got pre-built versions for you, which I'll try to keep up to date with the evolving OCIO library. A PDF manual is also included.

Plug-in version: 1.1.0
Date: 14 March 2018
Mac | Win

Sample Project


sylvain said...

Great plugin !
Can you release the source code, please ?

Brendan said...

Re-read that last paragraph! The plug-in source is now part of the overall OpenColorIO project. Follow the GitHub link and download it there.

Anonymous said...

Hi Brendan, big fan of your stuff! Any plans for a Photoshop plugin?

Brendan said...

Thank you, Mr. Anonymous!

I currently have no plans for a Photoshop plug-in, but it might not be a bad idea. I already have that Cineon Converter plug-in, so an OCIO plug-in for Photoshop would be a more general case of that.

Brennen said...


Jordan said...

Just wanna pass along my gratitude...

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for this. Really useful.

Christoph Schmidt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christoph Schmidt said...


I want to set a custom LUT or custom config.ocio and set 'Input Space' and 'Ouput Space' with ae script.

How can I acces those properties?

Perhaps something similar to:

myEffect = myLayer.Effects.addProperty("OpenColorIO");"Configuration").setValue(x:/.../...cube)?


Brendan said...

Hey Christoph, unfortunately there's no way for me to add scripting support to the OCIO parameter. AE doesn't support text parameters, so I had to make an "arbitrary data" parameter, which is opaque to scripting.

The closest you can get is to create animation presets for each OCIO setting you want and use scripting to apply them.

Joost said...

Would this work in Premiere Pro as well?

Anonymous said...

Looks like new CC broke OCIO? Or am I doing it wrong?

Brendan said...

No, it should still work. Did you remember to copy it to the new version's plug-ins folder?

Anonymous said...

I was doing it wrong, ha.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to integrate (
in principle) the plugin in Linux-program (for video-editing)?

Olle Olsson said...

I can find the plugin in after effects but when I should copy the configurations I don´t find any OpenColorIO folder in my Applications Support!? What should I do?

Anonymous said...

Great work, thank you! The plugin seems not to work in Premiere CC on mac anymore. It shows up, but at the next startup of the project, the plugin cant't be located anymore, even it is still in the effect panel.

larsborg said...

Hi Brendan, thanks for doing this.
Finally got around to installing it (cumbersome and confusing, but your docs helped) and I got great ACES results in After Effects.

Unknown said...

Hi Brendan,

Thank you guys for building this tool, it's been wonderful to have OCIO in AE for all these years. I wanted to mention we are experiencing a fatal and immediate crash of AE CC 2017's latest point release on applying the OpenColorIO plug in (or on opening a pre-existing project that had the plug-in applied). I rolled up from AE v14.2.0.198 to v14.2.1.34 and experience the crash and had to roll back. The modal dialog you immediately get is just "After Effects error: crash occurred while invoking effect plug-in OpenColorIO". AE blinks out without option to save immediately on closing the modal dialog. This was using an older build of the .aex. But I also tested it with the latest build I could find on your site, v1.0.9v2 from Feb 6th 2017 and had the idential fatal symptoms. I'm not sure what breaking change exists in AE CC 2017 v14.2.1.34 but was hoping you may have a solution.

Much appreciated,


Brendan said...

Adam, I've not been able to replicate your problem. I've tried that build of AE with the latest plug-in on both Mac OS X 10.10.5 and Windows 7. My steps were to apply the plug-in to footage in 32-bit mode and pick a configuration. I tried with the GPU option both on and off, but couldn't get crashes. You can email me more details or even file the bug with Adobe.

Brendan said...

Send email to

Eugene Afanasiev said...

Thanks a lot for the updated version so fast!

Gerald said...

Hello Brendan,

The plugin doesn't work with AE2018 anymore. I updated the Windows 7 computer yesterday to After Effect CC 2018 then put the OCIO plugin in AE2018 plugin folder then I can't open shots. But when I remove the OCIO in the plugin folder, I can launch the shot (just getting a missing OCIO plugin warning). I tried version 1.1.0 and 1.0.9. Both didn't worked. The error that I'm getting is "After Effect Warning: Unknown Exception." Thank you.

Adam Ealovega said...

Hi Gerald,

just as another point of reference from another end user. We are using the v1.0.9 OCIO 2017 pateched plug-in in CC 12.2 through 2018.1 on Win 7 and Win 10 without issue. Brendan patched in July 2017, after we saw a fatal crash similar to your description when we rolled up from AE v14.2.0.198 to v14.2.1.34, this issue started in v14.2.1.34 and was fixed. The fix version has worked for us in older versions and CC 12.2 to We use this in wide deployment on lots of machines and render farm. The 2017 crash was fatal, but we've had no issues since the patch.

I also just tested the newly posted 2/5/18 build v1.1.0 in 2018.1 v15.0.1.73 and it seems to be stable, for me anyway. I'll push v1.1.0 into wide deployment and will update if we experience any issues in production with it.

I realize this probably doesn't help you solve it, but wanted to let you know that in our environment we're not getting the same issue.



Dino said...

Great Plugin! Love using it.

Just two little remarks:

1) When collecting a project in AE, the LUTS are not copied, which is already quite a big problem sometimes and 2) after you open the project there is no warning, that a LUT is missing, which was being used. A new user, who opens such a project and has no experience with this plugin, doesnt know what is missing, since he gets no notification that a LUT is missing and thus wonders why his rendering looks completely different.

Would be amazing, if you could fix this!!


Gerald said...

Hello Adam,

Thank you for the tips. It helped me narrowed down the problem. It is working fine now. It works using ACES 1.0.2 config lib.



Chris said...

Hey Brendan, I use this on my home system (Windows) all time and it works perfectly, but I just tried installing it on my work computer (mac) and the plugin appears in after effects, but it can't find the Config files. I've triple checked that they're in the right place and right version, but OCIO still can't find them. (ibrary/Application Support/OpenColorIO), any idea what could be going on? Thanks!

Justin Sucara said...

Hey Brendan,

We're working with an ACES 1.0.3 customized config (customized to included the show LUT). Everything works beautifully when loading the config using custom. However, once we assigned the OCIO env variable, the plugin runs so slowly in AE. Clicking on any input/output causes about a 3 second delay every time. We're on AE 2018 (15.0.1). C4D/Arnold and Nuke works just fine with the env variable, but AE doesn't. If you have any solutions, I'd appreciate it.