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: 2.1.1
Date: 19 December 2021
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.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown 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)?

Unknown 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

Unknown 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.

Unknown 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 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.

Josehp said...

Hello Brendan, thank you *very* much for the ae plugin it is fantastic. I saw a tutorial here ( ) where the user sets AE working spaces to 'rec709', however in the plugin manual it says specifically to set it to 'none'. Setting it to 'none' seems like it removes the option to work in linear space? Can you advise on the best way forward?
Thank you very much

Unknown said...


Couple of things... Appreciation, a request and a bug report.

1. Thank you so much for this plug in. It's made it possible for me to do most of the things that big houses do on a way smaller scale without the need of going to Nuke. Four major Hollywood films in the past few years. Thank you a thousand times.

2. It would be a great help to get an ability to read/parse/apply from .ccc files in addition to the current .cc. It's probably not a big deal, but sometimes production does not supply a .cc file and the ability to apply one of any number of embedded profiles would eliminate the need of manually, or scripting out separate .cc's.

3. I recently opened up a scene that was created in AE 2017 in AE 2018 and it threw a "Unknown Exception". I've tracked it down to the OCIO plugin. Because the file was created on a different system the path in the plug to the .cc file was incorrect. When I opened the scene in 2017, repathed to my 'current' system, saved and opened in 2018, Everything is just fine. Yay!
Another odd behavior is that when trying to import a scene with broken paths allowed the scene to import, but it would corrupt the AE session in a manner that it would not show ANY footage. Peculiar.

Thanks again.
Michael Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brendan,
Look like we are having the same issue as MJ above.
I can send a file if that helps.

Stephen Lawes

Unknown said...

Ah man, this is fast becoming an important issue for me. I've recently started a new show and now scenes that were saved are now not opening up anymore, giving the "Unknown Exception" error.
I know you've probably got other things going in your business, and that this is a side project that you make no money from, but any input on how to fix this would be most welcome.

Dan Barker said...

Hi Guys
+1 on the "Unknown Exception" error.
I can open 1 project running OCIO fine, but another isn't budging.

Unknown said...

The only thing that I've been able to do to clear the "Unknown Exception" is to File>Import the offending scene into a fresh project. None of the footage is going to be viewable for some reason.
Go thru the footage and delete all the OCIO plugins that are applied to any piece of footage or adjustment layer. Save As the scene so you don't overwrite the original. You should then be able to open the scene again and the footage will now be viewable.

You'll now be able to reapply the OCIO plugin and it'll work since the previously broken path with be to a working location.

Sure wish we could get a fix for this...

Unknown said...

+1 with "Unknown Exception" problem with AE 2018 (15.1.1 build 12), ACES 1.0.3, and OCIO 1.1.0

I don't know how fix it.

OCIO 1.1.1 with this problem (and slow open combo box when use $OCIO) fixed would be great!

Thanks Brendan!

Jay said...

For anyone having problem with OCIO being slow in AE. Place the OCIO folder somewhere else than C:\ProgramData
Placing it somewhere else and picking the config file manually in AE makes OCIO (and the whole project) much faster!
Picking the config file manually will reset old OCIO configs tho, so if you already have a big project setup this might be a bad idéa.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jay. That worked for me as well. A permanent fix so that it is fast with the $OCIO ENV-Var enable would be nice, because other programs depend on it. So i have to enable and disable $OCIO the whole time. Great Plugin otherwise. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Yep! If you are using $OCIO it will be super slow. Sad.

Anonymous said...


excellent pluging we used it a lot, but I cannot get the pluging working with latest after effects (Unknown Exception), then I tried to compile from opencolorio github with VS2017 community, I'm not an expert but apparently the after effects sln is broken cause the opencolorio folder structure has changed, it's different from your github fork.

any chance of getting it updated?

many thanks!

Brendan said...

Hey guys, sorry about the issues. I just tried v1.1.0 on Windows 10 with After Effects CC 2019 and everything seemed to work properly for me.

I didn't have to download any Microsoft VC++ Redistributables, but it might help. Version 1.x.x of the OCIO plug-in was built with Visual Studio 2008.

You can also get an Unknown Exception error when opening an AE project if it can't find the configuration file. It should instead report the missing config and continue loading the project. This is an AE bug that was introduced in CC 2018. I've reported it to them.

Unknown said...

For some reason the win plugin for after FX is painfully slow.
I mean really really slow. I have to wait 15 seconds before I can change anything then wait another 15 seconds to see the effect etc.

Any clues?

Anonymous said...

The OpenColorIO plugin won't load on Mac (OSX 10.15 Catalina). I tried in both AE 2020 and AE 2019.
I keep getting this same error: "After Effects error: Couldn't find main entry point for OpenColorIO.plugin ( 48 :: 72 )"

nospitters said...


i am running in some problems in clamping/clipping highlights when doing lut exports...

i am trying to generate some utility luts (LogC to linear, linear to LogC) for using it later in a linear workflow...
but the exported luts will clamp all highlights so i end up in 1.0 max color values....
can it be that the export functionality of the plugin is buggy?
maybe i miss something? any hints how to export the luts right?

Chunk said...

Do we still need this for AE 2020. I can't get it to work on my Mac. Ta. Hope you see this amongs all the spam