Deep Compositing Extended (DCX)

OpenDCX is an open-source C++ library comprising extensions for the OpenEXR library and its deep file format. It adds support for per deep-sample metadata adding subpixel-masks and surface-type flags, and provides utility functions to manipulate deep pixels with this metadata. It is developed and maintained by DreamWorks Animation for use in rendering and compositing applications typically encountered in feature film production.

DreamWorks Animation's subpixel-mask deep compositing provides anti-aliasing of deep images while keeping memory and disk sizes in reasonable check, and received favorable feedback when presented at DigiPro 2015

We hope to encourage industry adoption of the DWA subpixel-mask deep compositing technology with eventual inclusion in standard production libraries, applications and renderers.

In order to accelerate industry adoption we are releasing the technology in, a standalone open source project, making it available for testing, integration, and release to developers industry-wide. Since OpenEXR, the renderer, and the compositor must advance in sync in order to adopt the OpenDCX technology, we are releasing all three components in this Modified BSD licensed project. It is a package that can be enacted now while we wait for the standards and commercial tools to implement the technique.

The OpenEXR extension to support the modified deep image format is supplied as a separate layer that sits on top of the file format, and supplies the logic to interpret the OpenEXR channel data. The Nuke compositor application, and the example Nuke plugins serve as a reference implementation for other compositing applications. We have also approached third-party software vendors about the implementation of DWA subpixel-mask deep files. When the technique is successfully adopted into these packages, we expect to deprecate the standalone project as a supported code-base.

If community feedback is positive, DreamWorks will work with OpenEXR to find a suitable implementation and then lobby for inclusion in the OpenEXR standard.


Mar 1 2017

OpenDCX release 2.2.2 is now available for download. The github repository now has a v2.2.2 branch.
This release consists of many api cleanups, documentation, bug fixes, improvements to deep transform filtering, and improved support for image formats.

Feb 14 2017

OpenDCX forum is up and running at Please give feedback, both positive and negative is welcome!

July 21 2016

An OpenDCX 2.2.1 production release is now available to download from our GitHub development repository. Please take it for a spin!

Aug 8 2016

FAQ page and example deep images added to Documentation and Download sections