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Ynput launches free VFX and animation pipeline Ayon

Thursday, March 9th, 2023 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Ynput has released Ayon, its open-source pipeline for visual effects and animation, in early access.

The platform, previously known as OpenPype, provides the foundation for a VFX or animation production pipeline, connecting a studio’s DCC tools, version tracking and project management into a unified system.

It can be used by studios of any size, but will probably be most of interest to start-ups and smaller facilities without a team of dedicated TDs to set up or manage pipelines.

In development for five years, and used in production on music videos, animated series and movies
Both Ynput and Ayon have been around for some time, albeit under different names, with the codebase itself beginning life as Pype, the in-house production platform of a boutique Czechian creative studio.

The company formed to develop and promote it was initially called Pype.Club, before rebranding as Ynput, while the platform changed its name to OpenPype, and then to Ayon.

Ayon and OpenPype have been used at a number of interesting small-to-medium-sized studios, including Dazzle Pictures and Method n Madness, which used it on its promo for ‘2 Step’ by Ed Sheeran.

Others – like Colorbleed and Moonshine Animation – have contrbuted to the codebase.


A central hub through which to connect DCC and production-tracking tools
Ayon connects a studio’s existing production tools into a coherent pipeline.

Via a browser-based dashboar, users can track the artists assigned to a project, versioning and approvals for individual shots or assets, and see a visual overview of the progress of the project as a whole.

It integrates with a range of key DCC applications: 3D content creation tools like 3ds Max, Blender, Houdini, the Substance 3D products and Maya; compositing and editing tools like After Effects, DaVinci Resolve and Nuke; and 2D animation software like Toon Boom Harmony and TVPaint.

For production tracking, Ayon is tightly integrated with ftrack Studio, along with ShotGrid and Kitsu.

The platform supports workflows based around USD and real-time rendering in Unreal Engine out of the box, with the intention to add support for new production standards as they emerge.

Designed to be artist-friendly, but customisable by TDs
Ayon is designed to be used by supervisors without scripting knowledge, and comes with readymade templates for 2D animation, 3D animation and VFX projects of different sizes.

However, it can be customised to specific projects via its RESTful API, which supports Python and GraphQL.

Ayon itself is free to install, and the source code is available online, with Ynput making its money through services like technical support, training, and pipeline deployment and maintenance.

Price, system requirements and release date
Ayon is available free in early access. It can be deployed on Windows, Linux and macOS. The source code is available under an open-source Apache 2.0 licence. Ynput hasn’t announced a final release date yet.

The sign-up process is fairly convoluted, involving registering for an email newsletter in order to receive a Discord invite that can then be use to auto-activate an account on

Register for early access to Ayon on Ynput’s website

Read more about Ayon in the online documentation

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