RFC005 - Deform-only effects#


This RFC is still a Work in Progress.

2022-11-06, @eliemichel

Current Situation#

Some effects only move points, but do not affect connectivity. This is usually handled in a special way by host software to avoid copying unchanged connectivity data.

@tkarabela: How do I tell the host that it should copy connectivity from input mesh (kOfxMeshMainInput?) to output (kOfxMeshMainOutput).

Attribute forwarding little advertised fact: It is possible already to point the output at the same buffer as the input, for unchanged attributes, and in particular for connectivity information when the effect only is a modifier.


Option A#

Add a new property to OfxMesh, called kOfxMeshPropDeformOnly.

Option B#

Create a new action, a bit like for IsIdentity.


  • It is an action to check whether an effect with a given valuation of its parameters is the Identity, but for deformers we need to know whether the effect is intrinsically a deformer, which ever values its parameters have (deformers for only some parameters’ valuation are handled by attribute forwarding). So this must actually be a property of an effect. I suggest kOfxMeshEffectPropIsDeformation (set to false by default).

Option C#

Add a new boolean property to OfxMeshEffect called kOfxMeshEffectPropIsDeformation, set to false by default.

Unsolved issue#

@tkarabela: it might be a minor issue that by the time the output mesh is inputReleaseMesh()-ed, the mesh with the forwarded attribute may have already been inputReleaseMesh()-ed before, as order of releasing is undefined. For kOfxMeshAttribPropIsOwner == true, that sounds like trouble, but the inputs should ideally be proxied anyway, and I assume most of the time all host input buffers outlive cooking time. Still, I think it should be adressed in the spec in some way (while mentioning that “attribute forwarding” is a thing and that it’s encouraged).

As of 2022-11-06, this is still not implemented in the Blender host because the deform only property of modifiers has to be declared statically.


  • 2020-10-15 Mentioned by @tkarabela in OpenMfxForBlender#27.

  • 2020-10-15 Follow-up in OpenMfx#6

  • 2020-10-25 Abandoning Option B, proposing Option C (OpenMfx#6)

  • 2020-10-25 Option C is adopted.


@tkarabela, @eliemichel