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 Blender, 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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appleseed 2020 Projects

  • Lovro Bosnar
    Microfacet-based Normal Mapping
    Texture maps are used for defining material properties for every point per object surface. Normal maps are textures that are efficient for...
  • Tiago Loureiro Chaves
    New Post-Processing Stages
    This project aims to equip the post-processing pipeline with a good amount of new artistic effects, to allow users to tweak the overall look and feel...
  • João Marcos Mororó Costa
    Revisiting Physical Sun and Sky Model
    This project will improve the current Appleseed's implementation of physical sun and sky models. Fixing the current blue tint present on Appleseed...