A modern open source rendering engine for animation and visual effects


appleseed is an open source, physically-based global illumination rendering engine primarily designed for animation and visual effects.

appleseed is actively developed since 2012 by a small, international team of talented volunteers from the animation and VFX industry. Its core mission is to provide individuals and small studios with a complete, reliable, fully open rendering package.

Over the years appleseed has been used on several projects including TV documentaries, ads, promotional videos and an animation short.


appleseed implements a modern workflow based on path tracing that enables artifact-free, single pass rendering with very little technical tuning. It is simultaneously capable of strictly unbiased rendering when total accuracy matters, and biased rendering when artistic freedom and shorter rendering time are paramount.

appleseed supports fully programmable shading via Sony Pictures Imageworks' Open Shading Language, RGB and spectral rendering, fast and robust transformation and deformation motion blur, state-of-the-art ray traced subsurface scattering, exhaustive Python and C++ APIs and many other production-oriented features.

Along with the core renderer, the team is actively developing high quality integrations into Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max and Blender. appleseed is also the default rendering engine of Image Engine’s Gaffer.

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appleseedhq 2018 Projects

  • Kevin Masson
    Adaptive image plane sampling proposal
    Current implementation of adaptive sampling needs to be overwriten so that it is more efficient, easier to use for any user and more robust regarding...
  • Fedor Matantsev
    Embree Integration
    Embree is a collection of high-performance ray tracing kernels, developed at Intel and being adopted by a range of commercial renderers such as VRay...
  • Girish Ramesh
    Hair Rendering II - Hair shader and binary format
    The project aims to add three main components to the appleseed render to improve the hair and fur pipeline. Firstly, the addition of per vertex...