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Old October 9th, 2010, 07:25 AM   #1
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OpenFX - what does it actually mean for us?

Can anyone expand on what OpenFX will give Vegas users? Does it open up a whole host of plugins from other developers and if so, which ones?
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Old October 9th, 2010, 07:42 AM   #2
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The OpenFX Association's website.

At this point in time, all we can do is hope that developers will be able to integrate their software for Vegas users much easier, therefore giving us a lot more tools to play with.
Translation? Get ready to open your pocketbook :-)
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Old October 9th, 2010, 08:21 AM   #3
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Thanks Mike. Looking at the various companies that support OFX, I get the impression that existing OFX compliant plugins won't necessarily automatically play nicely with Vegas 10. In fact, the only developer that mentions Vegas 10 is Genarts. Still, it's progress!
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Old October 9th, 2010, 08:30 AM   #4
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Ian, I sure hope it's good progress.
If it will help, here's what Glenn Chan said about it on the Sony Vegas forum.

I would think that it would open up Vegas to OFX plug-ins... some companies like The Foundry make them. If you are a company already making OFX plug-ins, it should make it a lot easier to make a version for Vegas (or it might work out of the box for Vegas). From my experience with Photoshop plug-ins, each host program has its own little quirks (it implements the standard differently and may not support parts of the standard, or there are bugs you need to work around) but these are minor issues to overcome.

I would expect companies like Red Giant to write an openFX plug-in instead of the old style of Vegas plugin if they are interested in supporting Vegas. Because once you write an openFX plugin, it should not take a lot of development effort to make it work on various other openFX hosts.

2- I would hope and suspect that more companies will jump on this bandwagon. It makes sense for plugin developers since it would be less work for them. It would make sense for NLE manufacturers as it makes it more likely that plugin companies will write plugins that will work on that particular NLE (or other type of post production software).
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Old October 9th, 2010, 08:43 AM   #5
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Open FX potentially means a LOT. First of all, MANY high-end plugins are built on the Open FX standard. Will they work straight out of the box with Vegas? Problably not. Will they work with minor revisions? Quite possibly! However, the plugins for Vegas can now be written based on an open standard instead of a specific Vegas API.

The Open FX versions of plugins in Vegas are also more powerful than the DirectX version. Even though they may work and perform exactly the same, here's why I say that.

With the DirectX plugins, every keyframe stores EVERY parameter. So, for example, you have several keyframes in a text generated media changing text. Then you want to go back and change the FONT. With DirectX you have to go back and individually change EVERY keyframe.

With the Open FX plugins, each parameter is keyframed separately. So you should be able to change the overall font used without having to affect the actual keyframed text.

Basically, every parameter can be individually keyframed - or NOT. You can keyframe some parameters while simply setting others to a desired value to be used throughout without keyframing.

Plus, OFX plugins now support frame access. Many plugins (like Boris Red) had to use a single frame sampling because frame access was not available. With OFX, frame access is now available. This will also help with other products such a image stabilization plugins!
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Old October 9th, 2010, 08:56 AM   #6
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With the Open FX plugins, each parameter is keyframed separately. So you should be able to change the overall font used without having to affect the actual keyframed text.

Basically, every parameter can be individually keyframed - or NOT. You can keyframe some parameters while simply setting others to a desired value to be used throughout without keyframing.


If all that Sony ever did was to implement that feature in text media, I would be EXTREMELY happy!!
Of course, my hope is that they (and others) will implement it in a lot more than that, making me positively delirious :-)
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Old October 9th, 2010, 09:32 AM   #7
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Just a word of warning... Don't expect to see a lot of OFX effects straight out of the box on Monday. I'm just stating what's POSSIBLE once plugins are written to support the new API. But all the DirectX plugins would have to be rewritten to use OFX and I don't know when, or if, that is going to happen. I can tell you that NewBlue is definitely supporting the new API and it's been mentioned that Boris will too (they NEED to!).
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Old October 10th, 2010, 12:06 AM   #8
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Edward touched on some of the features of Open FX. It really does open up a huge number of possibilities to plug-ins.

Open FX isn't just used by The Foundry, it was developed by them, presumably while developing the likes of Nuke. Their current products include Nuke, NukeX, Mari, Keylight and Furnace; used in films like Avatar, District 9, The Road and Watchmen. Check their website, some remarkable stuff there.

Parameters individually (like most FX packages) can be keyframed, which is really useful, although I doubt that all the built-in plug-ins, or the Sony API will reflect this feature immediately.

A plug-in now has frame and extent access. So, it knows how long it is, and it can request any frame from the host in that range. Also, it can specify to the renderer that it needs sequential frame access, in addition to various other multi-threaded options (only one, only one per instance, or any number) and many other very useful interactions with the rendering pipeline. It also (it seems at least) should be advised by the host when something about it's setup changes, ie. start/end times, other effects, etc. So it can 'dirty' itself if it used cached data such as motion tracking. As well as a bunch of UI interaction that wasn't possible before.

It really is way more than any plug-in developer could have hoped for, even if all they offer is 1.0 support.

One thing I really hate though, is the thought that this will be for Pro only. Sony just added a few awesome plug-ins to Studio, as well as increasing the max tracks. But to introduce such a completely different and actually useful plug-in structure for only Pro, means Studio is probably going to be pretty much abandoned and limited to the current crop of plug-ins. Which is too bad; an awesome NLE like Studio with a decent FX package integrated like Open FX allows in the 400-500 range I think would be a game changer for a lot of the entry level fan-film makers and the like.

Who knows, maybe they'll support some/many of the Open FX suites in Studio so it can also have somewhat useful plug-in support, but it would be a dreadful shame if Studio had to continue to languish in the so remarkably limited world of DirectShow for plug-ins.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 07:39 AM   #9
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Here's my newsletter on Vegas Pro 10.

www.jetdv.com :: View topic - Vol #8, Issue #1 (October 2010)

I talk a lot about the new plugin interface GUI in this article.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 10:30 AM   #10
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As ever, a great newsletter. Thanks Edward. I love the individual parameter keyframing capability.

Looks like OpenFX is a great opportunity. Let's hope the developers jump on it. Reg Giant I'm looking at you . . .!

Well done to NewBlue and Genarts for seizing the moment for Vegas users.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 02:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Kujbida View Post
The OpenFX Association's website.
Mike,

I just finished watching the Vegas Training Seminars that I got as a free download with my Vegas 10 upgrade. In it, they say Vegas will use any plug-in that conforms to the OFX standard and to the Vegas SDK. Yet, I see no new SDK on the Vegas web site.

So, did they really mean to say “and” or did they mean “or”? In other words, do the OFX plug-ins have to be written specifically for Vegas, or will any OFX plug-in for Windows automatically work with Vegas?

As a plug-in developer, I am thoroughly confused! Although it means I have to learn a whole new standard, I really hate the limitations of the original Vegas SDK, so I am hoping the seminar misspoke, not understanding the difference between an “and” and an “or” as used in formal logic (to which we computer nerds are used).

Secondly, the OFX standard explicitly states it is for 2D images only. So how will this work in 3D, which is my main focus?
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Old October 29th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #12
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The OpenFX suites are not all required to be implemented. In the Image Effect suite, hosts are allowed to specify which actions they support. I think they probably mean that so long as the OpenFX plug-in works with the supported Vegas features. Access to anywhere in the timeline, appropriate contexts, etc. Here is the list of parameters they define:

Chapter*16.*Properties By Object

There can't be any dependency on the old COM/DirectShow API, and I use the term API loosely =)

Also, companies like Genarts that show Vegas support now, but never it before as far as I know. And they do specify only v10+.

For the 3D stuff, I'm not sure. The OpenFX API is very loosely structured, so it's entirely possible for Sony to create their own suite to access the 3D information/configuration. Perhaps that's what they mean.

Hopefully, they'll release it soon, and it will have support for VMS in it also =)
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Old October 29th, 2010, 03:55 PM   #13
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Adam, they mean "AND". Plus there *IS* a new SDK for the OpenFX plugins. I know it was posted to the beta testers so the developers could start working with it. I don't know if it's made it to the public download areas yet.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 06:35 PM   #14
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Thanks, both of you. I hope they will make it publicly available soon.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 07:27 AM   #15
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Adam, I did some checking on the new SDK asking about public availability and was told: "Will be soon."

So be patient for a little while longer and you'll be able to play with the new OFX SDK.
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