Friday, October 24, 2014


Usually I use this blog to announce a piece of software I've written, but now I'm announcing something I'm hoping to write. It's MOX, an open source movie format for video and film production. You can read all about it on the Indiegogo page.

The reason to use crowd funding is twofold. First, this free software project is too big for me to just put it together in my spare time. Second, we are proposing to create a new standard so we need to know there's support for it before we get started, to know that it's really worth doing.

Continue reading for the details of how this all began.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

DDS plug-in for After Effects and Photoshop

I've written a plug-in to read and write the DirectDraw Surface file format in After Effects and Photoshop. DDS files usually store textures because they employ compression formats that can be decoded quickly on a GPU. The plug-in is free and open source.

Most of the heavy lifting in this plug-in is done by Rich Geldreich's open source crunch library. DDS users may also want to check out Rich's DDS Export program and Nvidia's Photoshop plug-in.

Development of the plug-in was sponsored by Walter Soyka of Keen Live and Cameron Yeary of UVLD. Walter inquired about hiring me to write a plug-in for him, and I said I'd do it for half price if I could make it open source. He agreed, and here we are.

Version: 0.5
Date: 23 September 2014
Mac | Win

Friday, August 15, 2014

DWA compression in OpenEXR 2.2

OpenEXR 2.2 was just released, and it features a new lossy codec created by Karl Rasche of DreamWorks Animation. Simply called DWA, it applies techniques common in lossy image compression like the discrete cosine transform and Huffman coding, but it uses them to great effect. If you can accept a little loss in your HDR images, DWA can shrink them to a fraction of their lossless size.

Friday, June 27, 2014

SuperPNG 2.5

I just posted a new version of SuperPNG for your downloading pleasure. The big new feature is the Quantize checkbox, which will convert your 32-bit RGBA image into an 8-bit indexed color image with transparency. And I'm not talking about GIF-style 1-bit transparency here, but full 8-bit transparency values in the PNG color palette.

That 75% reduction in bits can really crush PNGs even more than was previously possible. Lower the quality slider to use fewer colors, which means even fewer bits and an even smaller file. This feature is powered by Kornel LesiƄski's pngquant library, and Kornel has agreed to join me as SuperPNG's co-author.

Another new feature in this version is the Clean Transparent checkbox. It turns out that your transparent pixels may have unseen colors in them that are making PNGs harder to compress, but this feature will wipe them out for you. See the manual for more details.

SuperPNG has always been free, but now it's open source as well. Check out the GitHub repository and see exactly what we're doing.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

ProEXR 1.9

Today Adobe released a major update to After Effects and the rest of the Creative Cloud suite. This new AE ships with version 1.9 of the ProEXR plug-ins, which have been available here in beta form. Well, if the plug-ins are good enough for Adobe to ship them, I guess they're good enough for me. Consider version 1.9 released.

The biggest change in 1.9 is that the After Effects plug-in now handles displayWindow natively. Most users will not be affected by this, but the beta notice has more information for those interested.

The other subtle change is that all the ProEXR plug-ins are now built using OpenEXR 2.1, which supports multi-part files and deep image buffers. ProEXR can now read files that use these features, although the files you write will still be single-part flat images that are compatible with EXR readers that haven't yet upgraded.

Even if you're using an older version of After Effects, you can still download the latest ProEXR plug-ins and install them with your copy. Likewise, the Photoshop and Premiere plug-ins will work just fine in older versions of those programs.

As usual, this update is free and recommended for all ProEXR users. Enjoy!