This is for users who wish to get started using the “OTIOView” application to inspect the contents of editorial timelines.

Note This guide assumes that you are working inside a virtualenv.

Install Prerequisites

OTIOView has an additional prerequisite to OTIO:

  • Try python -m pip install PySide2 or python -m pip install PySide6

  • If difficulties are encountered, please file an issue on OpenTimelineIO’s github for assistance.

Install OTIO

  • python -m pip install opentimelineio

Configure Environment Variables for extra adapters

A default OTIO installation includes only the “Core” adapters, which include CMX EDL, Final Cut Pro 7 XML, and the built in JSON format. In order to get access to the “contrib” adapters (which includes the maya sequencer, rv and others), please consult the Adapters documentation page for details.

Run OTIOView

Once you have pip installed OpenTimelineIO, you should be able to run:

  • otioview path/to/your/file.edl

Developer Quickstart

Get the source and submodules:

  • git clone git@github.com:AcademySoftwareFoundation/OpenTimelineIO.git

Before reading further, it is good to note that there is two parts to the C++ code: the OTIO C++ library that you can use in your C++ projects, and the C++ Python bindings that makes the C++ library available in Python.

To build OTIO for C++ development:


    mkdir build
    cd build
    cmake .. { options }
    make install

Windows - in an “x64 Native Tools Command Prompt” for Visual Studio

    mkdir build
    cd build
    cmake .. -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX={path/to/install/location} { options }
    cmake --build . --target install --config Release

The CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX variable must be set to a path with no spaces in it, because CMake’s default install location is in C:\Program Files, which won’t work with OpenTimelineIO due to spaces in the path.

To build OTIO for Python development:

  • python -m pip install .

To build OTIO for both C++ and Python development:

The Python package is a mix of pure python and C++ code. Therefore, it is recommended to use the python tooling (python -m pip) to develop both the C++ binding and the pure python code. We use setuptools as our python build backend, which means pip will call the setup.py in the root of the directory to build both the pure python and the C++ bindings. setuptools will take care of all the complexity of building a C++ Python extension for you.

The first time setup.py is run, cmake scripts will be created, and the headers and libraries will be installed where you specify. If the C++ or Python sources are subsequently modified, running this command again will build and update everything appropriately.

Note Any CMake arguments can be passed through pip by using the CMAKE_ARGS environment variable when building from source. *nix Example:

env CMAKE_ARGS="-DCMAKE_VAR=VALUE1 -DCMAKE_VAR_2=VALUE2" python -m pip install .

python -m pip install . adds some overhead that might be annoying or unwanted when developing the python bindings. For that reason (and only that reason), if you want a faster iteration process, you can use setuptools commands. For example you can use python setup.py build_ext to only run the compilation step. Be aware that calling setup.py directly is highly discouraged and should only be used when no of the other options are viable. See https://blog.ganssle.io/articles/2021/10/setup-py-deprecated.html.

To compile your own C++ file referencing the OTIO headers from your C++ build using gcc or clang, add the following -I flags:

  • c++ -c source.cpp -I/home/someone/cxx-otio-root/include -I/home/someone/cxx-otio-root/include/opentimelineio/deps

To link your own program against your OTIO build using gcc or clang, add the following -L/-l flags:

  • c++ ... -L/home/someone/cxx-otio-root/lib -lopentimelineio

To use opentime without opentimelineio, link with -lopentime instead, and compile with:

  • c++ -c source.cpp -I/home/someone/cxx-otio-root/include

Debugging Quickstart

Linux / GDB / LLDB

To compile in debug mode, set the OTIO_CXX_DEBUG_BUILD environment variable to any value and then python -m pip install.

You can then attach GDB to python and run your program:

  • gdb --args python script_you_want_to_debug.py


  • lldb -- python script_you_want_to_debug.py

One handy tip is that you can trigger a breakpoint in gdb by inserting a SIGINT:

        #include <csignal>
        // ...

GDB will automatically break when it hits the SIGINT line.

How to Generate the C++ Documentation:

Mac / Linux

The doxygen docs can be generated with the following commands:

cd doxygen ; doxygen config/dox_config ; cd ..

Another option is to trigger the make target:

make doc-cpp