About Gaffer

Gaffer is a general purpose node-based application designed for use in the visual effects industry.

It provides basic tools for procedural scene generation, shader authoring, rendering, and image compositing.



Gaffer provides a multithreaded deferred evaluation engine, enabling you to work with large 3D and 2D datasets, and develop flexible procedural workflows.


Gaffer is built to be customisable throughout. Be it a simple scripted configuration tweak, complex expression, custom node or user interface, even a full blown application, its open APIs enable you to do what you need.

open source

Distributed under the BSD license, Gaffer builds upon a wealth of open-source VFX libraries including OpenEXR, OpenImageIO, OpenColorIO, OpenShadingLanguage, Cortex, and the Gaffer frameworks themselves.

Renderer Agnostic

Gaffer utilises a renderer abstraction layer enabling common workflows between all your favourite renderers. Gaffer currently supports Arnold, 3Delight and Appleseed.


Feel free to add new renderers, new nodes, or integrate with your renderfarm. With Gaffer derived apps you can invent new datatypes to flow through the node graph, such as asset dependencies or simulation operations.


Gaffer is becoming more capable by the day, but it is still a work in progress. Itching to fix a bug or contribute a cool new enhancement? Want to add support for OpenVDB, Bullet or a new renderer? Fork it on GitHub.

Watch our Introductory Video for Gaffer.

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Read our Papers

ACM DL Author-ize service Gaffer: an open-source application framework for VFX
DigiPro '16 Proceedings of the Symposium on Digital Production, 2016
ACM DL Author-ize service Developing a unified pipeline with character
DigiPro '13 Proceedings of the Symposium on Digital Production, 2013