Image playback and review for the filmmaking community.

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xSTUDIO is a modern, flexible and feature-rich playback and review application designed to meet the needs of filmmakers throughout the production process.
Currently in development at DNEG, xSTUDIO will replace all other playback systems in our workflows to allow individuals and teams to review shots, edits and grades in a single, unified toolset.

xSTUDIO has been carefully engineered to meet the diverse needs of all VFX professionals working within a broad range of review scenarios. Heavily customisable, xSTUDIO can be used as a stand-alone player or expanded and integrated into any pipeline via the plugin and Python scripting APIs.

We’re excited to announce that we plan to open-source the project to the wider filmmaking community later in 2022!


Key features

Image Viewer and Playback Engine

  • Displays all common media formats and codecs at almost any bit depth and resolutions up to 8K – (EXR, ProRes, h.26x, DNxHD, PDF, JPG, WAV, AIFF, etc.)
  • Accurate colour management with OCIO v2.0 integration
  • Optimised display pipeline to get pixels onto the screen as efficiently as possible, getting the most out of your system’s hardware for playback of high resolution formats
  • Robust, frame-accurate picture playback to ensure smooth video display without ‘dropped’ video frames as long as your hardware allows
  • Audio playback is tightly synchronised with video display to avoid drift or distortion
  • Zoom/pan, RGBA channel selection, masking, adjust exposure and playback rate
  • Pop-out viewer for multi-screen displays
  • The application back-end is optimized for concurrency so that, for example, loading many items of new media into a playlist does not disrupt ongoing playback in the viewer


Session Management

  • Freely organise media into any number of playlists, subsets and timelines
  • Add notes, on-screen annotations and colour-corrections to media and timelines
  • Compare media and timelines in Contact Sheets, A-over-B, String mode, and Horizontal/Vertical layouts
  • Drag-and-drop based UI
  • User-defined hotkeys


Features In Development

  • Full multi-track NLE timeline supporting audio and transitions
  • Synchronized sessions. Share control of playback, cuts and media organisation with any number of collaborators
  • Stream audio/video to synchronized users
  • Mac and Windows builds (currently Linux only)
  • ASC-CDL colour-correction with SOP and LGG controls
  • Audio and video monitoring with waveform and histogram displays
  • Export/transcode media and timelines with annotations and colour-corrections
  • Preset and customizable user layouts


Integration And Configuration

  • Python API and C++ plugin framework
  • Use API via a network connection for transparent remote control
  • Configurable UI and application settings using environment variables and hierarchical config files
  • Flexible media metadata system – append objects (media, edits, frames) with convenient JSON structures


Some Technical Notes

  • VFX friendly Linux platforms are supported (e.g. CentOS 7.5, Ubuntu LTS)
  • Mac and Windows builds are planned
  • GUI is built with QT/QML
  • Viewport rendering uses OpenGL API (Apple Metal port due with MacOS build).
  • One can embed the viewport in an OpenGL window and use the API to control the app, allowing entirely custom UIs.
  • Application back-end is built with the C++ Actor Framework OSS library

Find out more

Get in touch with the team to find out more about xSTUDIO

Take a look at our FAQ

Download the architecture diagrams

Read more about xSTUDIO





Los Angeles