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Developer(s) Zachary Lieberman, Theo Watson, Arturo Castro
Stable release
0.9.8 / November 22, 2016; 4 months ago (2016-11-22)
Written in C++
Operating system Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android
Type Application framework
License MIT License

openFrameworks is an open source toolkit designed for "creative coding". OpenFrameworks is written in C++ and built on top of OpenGL. It runs on Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android and Emscripten. It is maintained by Zachary Lieberman, Theo Watson and Arturo Castro with contributions by other members of the openFrameworks community.

openFrameworks running the OpenCV add-on example.


OpenFrameworks v0.01 was released by Zachary Lieberman on August 3, 2005. By February 2006, version v0.03 was in use by Lieberman's students at the Parsons School of Design, New York City. According to its authors, openFrameworks was developed:

(for) folks using computers for creative, artistic expression, and who would like low level access to the data inside of media in order manipulate, analyze or explore. That audience we felt was significantly underserved by the current crop of C++ libraries.[1]

Related projects[edit]

Its emphasis on "creative" uses draws parallels to Processing as both projects present a simplified interface to powerful libraries for media, hardware and communication. openFrameworks's main difference from Processing is that it is written in C++, instead of Java. Users will find many similarities between the two libraries, for example what is beginShape() in Processing is ofBeginShape() in openFrameworks. The openFrameworks wiki includes an article for people coming to openFrameworks from Processing.[2]

Another similar project is Cinder, which is also a C++ library framework for creative programming. The primary difference is that openFrameworks has a larger number of dependencies on open source libraries, allowing advanced programmers more control and transparency, while Cinder is more dependent on libraries built into the operating systems it sits on top of, which generally means updates and bug fixes are more frequent and reliable with openFrameworks.


Openframeworks is released under the MIT license. The libraries used by the framework each have their own licenses.[1]

Real-world projects[edit]

Notable projects created with openFrameworks:

See also[edit]

  • Processing – Java-based application built for the electronic arts and visual design communities.
  • Cinder - C++-based framework for advanced visualization capabilities.


  1. ^ a b "openFrameworks FAQ". Retrieved 10 April 2016. 
  2. ^ "openFrameworks for Processing users". Retrieved 10 April 2016. 

External links[edit]