The VFX Reference Platform is a set of tool and library versions to be used as a common target platform for building software for the VFX industry. Its purpose is to minimise incompatibilities between different software packages, ease the support burden for Linux-based pipelines and encourage further adoption of Linux by software vendors. The Reference Platform is updated annually by a group of software vendors in collaboration with the Visual Effects Society Technology Committee.

Current Status

The Calendar Year 2014 (CY2014) Reference Platform is the first of its kind and represents the closest collaboration yet between major software solutions providers to converge on a common platform. We have now published the Draft Platform for CY2015 and are inviting feedback from more software vendors and VFX studios. The final CY2015 Platform is due to be published in time for SIGGRAPH.

Reference Platform

Each annual reference platform is designated by the calendar year in which major product releases should be targeting that particular reference.

VFX Platform CY2014 (Current)

This is the best summary of the current platforms targeted by products such as Maya 2015, Houdini 13 and Nuke 8. Although some incompatibilities remain between these products, there is a clear path to convergence for future releases.

VFX Platform CY2015 Draft (Planned)

This is the planned platform be the target for software releases in 2015. We are still gladly accepting feedback and reserve the right to make further changes. The final reference platform will be posted here in August 2014 and announced at SIGGRAPH.


Any reference made in the VFX Reference Platform to any company or any other entity, or to their services or products, is not an endorsement or recommendation nor should it imply any such endorsement or recommendation of the quality or fitness of purpose of that company or entity, or its services or products. In no event shall the Visual Effects Society be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any such content, goods, or services identified in the VFX Reference Platform or the Visual Effects Society website.