Friday, June 22, 2012

DPX Plus

Occasionally I hear an After Effects user asking how they can read a DPX that doesn't conform to AE's expectation of a 10-bit RGB file. The DPX spec allows for 8, 10, 12, or 16-bit images, and also supports alpha channels. Since even After Effects CS6 can't read these files, I decided enough was enough and pushed out a free plug-in, which I'm calling DPX Plus. Fortunately this was a pretty easy project thanks to Patrick Palmer's open source DPX library.

When DPX Plus is installed, it becomes AE's default DPX reader, which is not ideal. I'd rather you had to go out of the way to use DPX Plus, but as it stands you have to manually designate AE's internal reader if you don't want your project to rely on a 3rd party plug-in. If you're worried about this, perhaps just use DPX Plus to convert your DPXs to 16-bit PNG or some other format AE can read natively and then remove the plug-in when done.


Update: DPX Plus now includes Photoshop and Premiere Pro plug-ins as well.

Update 2: DPX Plus can now write DPX files out of Premiere and After Effects.

Update 3: After Effects CC is now shipping with read support for all the DPX varieties that DPX Plus can read. It can also write specific varieties of 8, 10, 12, and 16-bit DPX. Premiere Pro CC can read 16-bit DPX too.

Version: 0.8
Date: 20 December 2012
Mac | Win


ckuehne said...

This is very much appreciated. Thank you for your time and inclination to release this for AE users.

Is there any chance of you releasing an equivalent DPX Plus writer?

Brendan said...

I'm inclined not to make a writer. I'm not sure I want to contribute to there being more DPX files out there that native After Effects can't read.

Is there a specific workflow that would benefit from more DPX options, as opposed to using 16-bit PNG or TIFF? JPEG 2000 is another format that supports multiple bit depths and alpha channels.

Jon said...

you did an great contribution to the AE community. Thanks for your effort

Michael Wentworth-Bell said...

One day soon I am sure this plugin is going to be very useful, so thankyou very much in advance!

Abdelkader AlBelbiesi said...

hi Brendan i have test your plugin in AE CS5 ( i apreciate your work ) but when i import a 16bit Sony F65 4K Footage it's imported them in black ( 0 Brightness )... any idea

Brendan said...

Send me the file and I'll take a look!

Anonymous said...

Does it mean I can read and write 12bit or 16bit DXP files with Adobe Premiere that is by default limited to 10Bit DPX max?

If true this would be a real revolution!

Brendan said...

Actually, yes, the Premiere plug-in will write DPX files as well, and you can pick the bit depth.

Brendan said...

All right, apparently enough people want to write different types of DPXs in After Effects, so I changed my mind and added writing to the AE plug-in.

Anonymous said...

You are one awesome guy. Just what I needed.

Ray Lewis said...

The file extension for AE CS6 has changed to .plugin and it will not load your pluggin.

Brendan said...

After Effects 7 and Photoshop CS were the first versions to use .plugin on Mac years ago. Premiere Pro on Mac has always used .bundle, including with CS6. That's how the DPX Plus plug-ins should appear.

If you see .aex, .8bi, and .prm, you downloaded the Windows version.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a silly question but what folder do I put the DPX Plus plugin into in AE CS5? Mac version.
Thanks!! Jeff

Brendan said...

For CS5 on Mac, you'd put the plug-in in:

After Effects
/Applications/Adobe After Effects CS5/Plug-ins/

Premiere Pro
/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common/Plug-ins/CS5/MediaCore/

/Applications/Adobe Photoshop CS5/Plug-ins/

Anonymous said...


have to checkout the 12Bit DPX route to preserve color deepts of digital cinema material...

Premiere itself is rendering 64bit float but limited in file I/O to 10Bit RGB via Adobe DPX plugin...

MM said...

Hi Brendan,

Thank you for this plugin!

Is there any reason the output resolution is limited to 4096x4096 ?
The sequences I wish to export are 5120x2700.


Brendan said...

This is for Premiere, I take it. I just doubled the output limits. Re-download, please.

MM said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

thanks man... just saved me a few days work!

Jesus Barrios said...

Thanks a lot for such an incredible plug-in. You are THE man ! Currently working in effects for a feature film and it saved me A LOT of time converting to more friendly 10 bit files for After Effects

David Andrade said...

You just saved our production and a ton of re-rendering. Thank you!

endlessbender said...

You are a life-saver! I'm working with RED and the conversion already performed was to 16-bit DPX. This has saved our project. BTW - the installation and performance is flawless in AE CS5 (10.0).

Anonymous said...

thanks for developing this plug-in! it's soooo useful, and very much appreciated.
love that you took the effort to develop and share it. cheers!

Anonymous said...


Thanks for your hard work!

I just tried to get it to work with my AE 7 on Win 7 - it recognizes the files as DXP Plus etc., but when I click OK nothing happens! The footage does not import.

Is this compatible with AE 7 or I am doing something wrong?

I do not get any error message.


Brendan said...

AE7? You mean the version released in 2006?

DPX Plus requires at least CS3, otherwise known as version 8.0, released in 2007.

Unknown said...

Hi Brendan,

Just got a load of 16 bit dlx files, so your plug in will be very useful!

I"m running AE CS6, v. 11.0.3.

Tried dropping your plug-in into the main plugins folder and each of the sub folders (Effects, Extensions, Format) and turn up an error message:
After Effects Error: opening resource file "DPX Plus.aex."

Obviously I'm doing something wrong. I"d appreciate your comments.

Bill Taylor ASC

Brendan said...

Hey Bill, I just tried it in CS6 and it worked fine. Make sure you install the 64-bit version.

Mike said...

Same as Bill.
In additional, when I'm copying the plugin into folder, AE keeps giving the following message:

After Effets Error: Internal varification failure, sorry! {Unexpected FunctionBlock5 flags for FunctionBlck4} ( 5027 :: 53 )

Brendan said...

Mike, which version of AE are you using on which platform?

I assume you don't mean you get the error when actually copying the file, but when you launch AE, right?

Duncan Tell said...

Excited to use the plug-in, but can't get it to work. Do I need it for AE CC 2014? As it is, I'm bringing in 12 bit DPX files, but AE reads the image as just noise, can't see image. Perhaps if AE CC 2014 has built in 12-bit DPX readability, the issue is something else? Thanks for any thoughts, and thanks for the plug-in!

Brendan said...

DPX Plus should with in any AE from CS3 on. Make sure you install the 64-bit version for AE CS5 and later.

But AE CC and later should be able to read any DPX. Can you post this problematic DPX? Or maybe send it to me in email.

MGS Rajan said...

It is Really a Great Plug in

Anonymous said...

I'm getting the same message with AE CC. And it only works every 5th or 6th time I start AE. Apparently it doesn't work to well with the latest version of AE.

After Effects Error: Internal varification failure, sorry! {Unexpected FunctionBlock5 flags for FunctionBlck4} ( 5027 :: 53 )

Tav Flett said...

HI there,

Really nice little plugin, thanks for that. All the alpha and color proliles look great however it seems to be clipping all my .dpx's at 1?

Any idea how I can get my overbrights?


Brendan said...

DPX files generally support 8-, 10-, 12-, and 16-bit integer, not floating point, so overbrights are out.

Actually, the DPX standard does allow 32-bit float, but I'm not sure if Nuke or any other program reads them.

Tav Flett said...

Hi there,

Thanks for the reply. I always thought a 10-bit .dpx could accommodate overbrights due to it being log encoded?

I'm definitely not 100% on this, but certainly converting out a float tiff from Nuke to 10-bit DPX and then reimporting back into Nuke maintains all the overbright values in a 10-bit format. I thought that was the point of a .dpx but maybe I'm very much mistaken!


Brendan said...

10-bit DPX is not inherently log encoded, although it often is used that way. You could certainly use the Cineon Converter to convert to log.

AE's built-in DPX module provides log2lin controls, but DPX Plus does not.

Unknown said...

You just saved my life.