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 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 (OSL), RGB/spectral/mixed 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 and Autodesk 3ds Max. appleseed is also the default rendering engine of Image Engine’s Gaffer.


appleseed was founded in May 2009 by François Beaune, a former rendering engineer from the core R&D team at mental images (now NVIDIA).

In October 2011, the development of appleseed benefited from a technology sharing agreement with Jupiter Jazz Limited and received funding for one year. Since October 2012, appleseed relies on the continued effort of talented volunteers.

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  • c++11
  • python
  • opengl


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appleseedhq 2019 Projects

  • Gray Olson
    Light Paths Visualization and Viewport Unification
    Light path recording is a unique and potentially extremely valuable tool in appleseed; however, it is currently relatively limited in capability of...
  • Stephen Agyemang
    Practical Path Guiding
    For my Google Summer of Code project proposal I suggest implementing the technique described in the paper “Practical Path Guiding for Efficient...