Introducing Gaffer

Gaffer is a free, open-source, node-based VFX application that enables look developers, lighters, and compositors to easily build, tweak, iterate, and render scenes. Built with flexibility in mind, Gaffer supports in-application scripting in Python and OSL, so VFX artists and technical directors can design shaders, automate processes, and build production workflows.

With hooks in both C++ and Python, Gaffer's readily extensible API provides both professional studios and enthusiasts with the tools to add their own custom modules, nodes, and UI.

The workhorse of the production pipeline at Image Engine Design Inc., Gaffer has been used to build award-winning VFX for shows such as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Lost in Space, Logan, and Game of Thrones.

Create Scenes

Import, build, and manipulate scenes non-destructively. Duplicate, combine, join, prune, split, and inspect scenes of arbitrary complexity using the robust node graph and scene hierarchy interfaces.

Build Shaders

With full support for Arnold, Cycles, and 3Delight's powerful industry-standard shaders, use the robust node plug-outs to quickly build compelling looks. For extra customization, arrange and write custom shaders using Open Shading Language nodes and code.

Design Workflows

Whether for 3D sequences, 2D image processing, or pipeline processes, design workflows all within a single tool. Use logic, filters, and expressions to make scalable node networks for automated and responsive VFX solutions.

An Introduction to Gaffer



Released under the BSD License. Free to use – at home or in a studio – and modify – be it a simple configuration tweak, or a complete application.


Gaffer's multi-threaded, deferred evaluation engine enables work with large 3D and 2D data sets without slow-down.


A renderer abstraction layer enables common workflows between several renderers. Supports Arnold, Cycles, 3Delight, and Tractor.


Add UI, nodes, and modules. Integrate with new renderers and your render farm. Implement new datatypes to flow through the node graph.

Open Source

Built on a wealth of tested open-source VFX libraries, including OpenEXR, OpenImageIO, OpenColorIO, Open Shading Language, and Cortex.


With new features constantly added by industry experts, development is further enhanced by VFX artists from around the world on GitHub.