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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.

1 Comment

Unknown member
Sep 22, 2018

Wanted to take the time to say thank you for sharing this with the community. Great work! It's been an excellent resource to implement and learn from! Much appreciated.

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