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Open Source Pipeline PLEX

Every project that includes multiple steps and artists needs a pipeline to guide them.

When I started my Technical Director career by adding helpful tools and basic pipeline elements to my projects I noticed that there were barely any pipelines for use or for inspiration online.

The purpose of the Open Source Pipeline Plex is to be

  1. a basic pipeline for small to mid-sized projects

  2. customizable to the different project needs

  3. a code and structure template for your own pipeline

  4. a sophisticated documentation for pipeline creation and to explain the different elements and decisions

What is Plex exactly?

Plex is a Visual Effects, Animation and Games pipeline managing important workflows during production. Its core is a flexible and independent system for small to mid-sized projects and companies. The basic idea is to handle the file and folder structure, setup basic rules and guide the workflow to allow collaboration in a complex production environment. Plug and play.

Intuitively guiding the input and output of users to overcome problems and achieve goals. Now you have a good game ... or pipeline.

Plex's toolbar and shot/asset loading app


  • OS: Windows | Linux | Mac

  • Software: Maya 2020+ | Houdini 15+ | 3ds Max 2020+ | Nuke 12+ | ...

  • Renderer: Arnold | RenderMan | Mantra | V-Ray | ...

Project Features

  • Visual Effects, Animation & Game production management system

  • file & folder management (settings | create | save | load | publish)

  • flexible, portable, multi functional project environment

  • additional libraries (api | img | user | shot)

  • workflow tracking & reporting

  • user-pipeline integration

  • SSTP (simple | smart | transparent | performant)

Pipeline Features

Layered Pipeline

  • create a company pipeline

  • add a project pipeline

  • test and develop in a personal environment


  • desktop app

  • save (+ publish) | load | create | render

  • get, set and handle data | img | scripts

  • template UI (user, report, help, accept, comment, color code)

  • setup menu, shelf, toolbar, ...

Workflows and Charts

  • naming conventions

  • software pipeline

  • folder structure (project & pipeline)

Data and Helper

  • project (resolution, fps ...)

  • user (name, task ...)

  • context (shot, task, comment ...)

  • environment variables (PROJECT_PATH ...)

  • additional libraries

Feedback & Debug (+ advanced logging)

  • inform user about processes

  • debug like a king *bow*

The graphic shows the layer based approach to use and customize the pipeline for different projects.


  • Breaking Point [VFX short film 2016] Winner VES Award 2017 & Winner Siggraph Asia 2016

  • Elemental [VFX short film 2016] FMX Trailer 2017

  • Animan

  • Drool Pool

  • ...

Watch the live presentation of Plex at the FMX 2017.

How to

You like to use Plex in your own project? Here is a multi video introduction into the pipeline, how to set it up and customize it to your projects needs:

Note: Works best if you have a technical background and scripting knowledge.

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