Silhouette and Silhouette Paint 2020.5 FAQ

Tags: Silhouette

What is Silhouette?

Since 2005 Silhouette has made its mark on film and television visual effects and post-production. Silhouette is an award-winning GPU accelerated compositing application that runs on macOS, Windows and Linux. Silhouette’s standout features are advanced rotoscoping tools and a non-destructive 32 bit, HDR paint system. Silhouette is also a node-based compositing tool with integrated planar tracking, keying, matting, warping, morphing, and a total of 146 different nodes–all stereo enabled. Silhouette supports ACES color management via OpenColorIO. In 2019 the Silhouette team was recognized with Academy and Emmy technical achievement awards for the software’s contribution to the feature film and television industries.

Silhouette is now shipping version 2020.5 that includes the Silhouette Paint plug-in and integrated Mocha tracking.

What is Silhouette Paint?

Silhouette Paint is the industry’s first paint and tracking plug-in that brings best-of-breed, 32-bit, high dynamic range paint tools to editing and effects applications. Silhouette Paint currently supports Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro and OFX hosts: Foundry NUKE, Blackmagic Resolve and Fusion, and Autodesk Flame. (more OFX host support coming).

Silhouette Paint is a subset of the full Silhouette application and is available to purchase on its own, or comes with a full Silhouette purchase.

What is the difference between Silhouette and Silhouette Paint?

Silhouette Paint is a subset of the full Silhouette application and requires a host application. Generally, all paint and tracking features are identical. Silhouette Paint is a plug-in and is applied as an effect in the supported host while Silhouette is a standalone application with advanced tools for rotoscoping, compositing and much more.

You can find a comparison chart with more detail here.

I own Silhouette, do I have to pay for the Paint plug-in?

Silhouette Paint is now included with all new Silhouette 2020.5 purchases and your license enables the ability to run inside Adobe or supported OFX hosts. You can either run Silhouette or Silhouette Paint at one time on the same CPU, based on the amount of licenses you own.

Silhouette owners on current upgrade and support plans also receive Silhouette Paint for free. Your current license will work and does not require reactivation. If you are unsure if you qualify, contact our sales team.

Silhouette owners running legacy versions and are not on an upgrade and support plan, do not qualify for the free Silhouette Paint plug-in. Silhouette Paint is only available as an affordably priced annual subscription. If you’d like to add the plug-in, you can either purchase a subscription or upgrade your Silhouette license.

Are projects compatible between Silhouette standalone and Silhouette Paint?

There is specific and limited compatibility between project types:

  • Projects started inside Silhouette standalone can open in the Silhouette Paint plug-in, but are converted into a Silhouette Paint project. Changes made within the plug-in will not transfer back to Silhouette standalone.
  • Projects started inside Silhouette Paint can be saved and opened in the plug-in running on another computer or host (may require manual source relink).
  • Projects started inside the Silhouette Paint plug-in can not be opened in the Silhouette standalone.

Does Silhouette and Silhouette Paint support floating licenses or VM licensing?

Yes, Boris FX offers Enterprise licensing options for customers with 5 or more users that require floating licenses or virtual license serving. Please visit our Enterprise Program page to learn more.

What OFX plug-ins does Silhouette support?

At the current time, Boris FX Mocha Pro, Boris FX Sapphire, and the RE:Vision Effects plug-ins have been qualified to run in Silhouette.

What shape formats can Silhouette export?

Silhouette can export to the following shape formats: Autodesk®/Discreet® gMask, Elastic Reality®, Eyeon Fusion®, Nuke® and Shake® 4.x SSF shapes.

What is the difference between the integrated Mocha tracker and the Mocha Pro plug-in for Silhouette?

The integrated Mocha tracker tracks directly within the Silhouette user interface and links to Silhouette’s spline tools. The Mocha Pro plug-in launches the Mocha user interface and provides access to GPU-accelerated tracking and object removal, advanced masking with edge-snapping, stabilization, lens calibration, AdjustTrack module, 3D camera solver, stereo 360/VR support, and more. Learn more about the differences: Silhouette and Mocha Pro Comparison Chart

Can I get a trial license?

A fully working, 15-day trial can be obtained by launching Silhouette version 2020.5 or Silhouette Paint and completing the in-application request trial form. After 15 days, the license will revert to a demo mode where saving is disabled.

Are academic licenses available for students and schools?

Yes. Please find more information and a verification forum for our EDU/Academic program here. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What do I do if I am having problems activating the software?

If you are unable to activate, please disable your anti-virus and/or firewall software while activating. You can find licensing instructions for all Boris FX products here.

How do I configure a Wacom tablet on Linux?

We require that proper tablet support is enabled in the X server. This part is left up to the user, as it is very distribution and version specific. This site can be used for more information:

What versions of Linux does Silhouette run in?

Silhouette runs in Linux distributions that conform to the CY2020 VFX Reference Platform as specified at

What version of Python does Silhouette use?

Silhouette 2020.5 now uses Python 3.


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