Cineform now fully Open Source

I figured this was worth a thread of it's own.

GoPro Studio is no longer being distributed and that was the source for the Cineform codec for things outside of HitFilm like Virtualdub/Virtualdub Filtermod and Footage Studio 4k. Instead, the Cineform codec and  SDK has been released as open source by GoPro and David Newman.


I would expect to see tools like Virtualdub Filtermod and FFMpeg incorporate full Cineform support in the near future so this is a good thing in the long run. In the short term though, you'll need to track down an older version of the GoPro Quik desktop (2.3) to get the codec or be adventurous and build your own from the source ;)

This source code release includes metadata code for the 360 projection that's going to be used for the upcoming GoPro Fusion. According to GoPro, Adobe already natively supports the Fusion and the release of the Fusion will also bring the release of Fusion Studio software that syncs up with Premiere and After Effects. Since HitFilm Windows already uses the Cineform SDK, it's possible HitFilm will support the Fusion in the not too distant future as well.

Last but not least, David Newman's blog post about the open source release.



  • edited October 2017

    This is good news. The whole SMTPE thing was a waste and as it turns out, not 100% compatible.

    The transition may be a little painful since GoPro/Cineform no longer freely releases an encoder. The Quik 2.3 install is still around and I could probably put it on Google drive. Decoders have been available but maybe a little hard to find (original Cineform site). The decoders are needed for thing like the OS media players to play Cineform files.

    Hopefully someone familiar with the libavcodec (ffmpeg) structure gets an itch to incorporate the Cineform code soon. That will solve a lot of transcode issues. Then it is just up to the editors. Vegas is broke without installed codecs but I'll assume they will incorporate soon.

    Native Cineform is still a bit of a mess *if* you want to move between products. Hitfilm will only do it in AVI. MOV goes through Quicktime. Premiere will only do it in MOV. AVI goes through VfW. Resolve will do it natively in both AVI and MOV. However, Resolve will not do Cineform RGB in AVI. Very messy.

  • Well I got the sample encoder/decoder pair to build and it tested ok.

  • Ok, sorry I;m following gyou in multiple threads.

    I downloaded your zip. Are you saying that somehow I can use the DLLS in this zip folder, and install them in Windows so Footage Studio can use them?





  • @aknittel Unfortunately not really or at least not easily. Those DLL's are meant to be called directly from an application and aren't VfW codecs or DirectShow filters. In this case the calling application is TestCFHD.exe. I posted that here because when Cineform was ratified as SMPTE VC-5, the source GoPro included couldn't be used directly to build an encoder/decoder pair that would decode existing Cineform files.

    This source release does build an encoder/decoder pair that works with existing Cineform files.


  • This is fantastic news! Does this mean that Hitfilm could natively support Cineform (without GoPro Studio or having to pay any royalties) in the future? 

    NormanPCN I totally agree with you about the format "mess". I wonder if Cineform could be paired with something a little more universal, such as MXF or MP4? 

  • @SRSStudios HitFilm Express and Pro 2017 already have native support for Cineform ;)

  • Aladdin4d Sorry, what I meant was could Hitflm support Cineform without GoPro Studio installed? I was under the impression that was the requirement to use Cineform. 

  • edited November 2017

    Hitfilm 2017 on Windows uses Cineform naively without any codec installs.  Hitfilm only supports Cineform naively in AVI files. 

    If you have Cineform in a MOV, Hitfilm will not use native support and will go through Quicktime and you will need codecs installed.  Current GoPro installs do not provide the codecs anymore. The older installs can still be found.

  • NormanPCN Ok, got it. I understand about MOV, Cineform could really use something like MXF (I heard even Apple Proress is using it now). 

    Does this also mean that effective immediately, FXHome does not have to pay any royalties on the codec, or is there some expiration date?

  • I have heard on the net, so not terribly reliable, that for a while GoPro has not charged anyone for the Cineform SDK. You just had to ask them for it and sign some papers.

    This is likely why Cineform had begun to show up in editors natively. First Premiere and then Hitfilm and Resolve and maybe others. Now that it has been open sourced, you don't have to ask for it. Just download it. We just need implementations to be more complete in their container support for Cineform (as prev stated this thread).

    That the Cineform SDK is now open source under Apache license terms, and no other stated patent terms (if any), nobody has to pay. As cliche goes, once something is on the net, it is there forever. In this case under the stated license terms in its current form.

    Avid and Apple will probably continue to play their games with their intermediate formats.

  • Cineform is also a SMPTE mezzanine codec, which makes it an official standard, also.


  • The Resolve 14.1 update upgraded Cineform support. It's now a caching and optimized media format.

  • Does anyone know if camera developers could take Cineform RAW and implement it in their camera via firmware update, or do you need custom encoding chips to accomplish that? I imagine that at the very least external recorder companies will be jumping on this at it competes very well with REDcode. 

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