Environment Variables

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New Variables in v7.0

New Environment Variables
Variable Description
SFX_PYSIDE can be used to specified an alternate location to load the PySide2 modules from

New Variables in v6.1

New Environment Variables
Variable Description
SFX_BACKUP_DIR A global location where project backup files can be stored, instead of inside the project bundle
SFX_AUTOSAVE_DIR A global location where project auto-save files can be stored, instead of inside the project bundle

New Variables in v6.0

New Environment Variables
Variable Description
SFX_BRIGHTNESS A floating point number to scale the GUI brightness by (defaults to 1.0).
SFX_TEXT_BRIGHTNESS A floating point number to scale the GUI text brightness by (defaults to 1.0).
SFX_PROJECT_IS_BUNDLE Set to '1' to save the project XML file using the same name as the project bundle name (defaults to project.sfx).

Licensing Variables

When using floating licenses, the following environment variables are checked in this order:

  • sfx_LICENSE

The value of the variable should the "port@host" of the license server.


The various import/export dialogs in the Silhouette UI can be set to default to specific paths by setting one or more variables.

For import, the following variables are checked in order, and the first to hold a value will be used in the dialog. If none are set, the last-used directory is used instead.

  • SFX_SHAPE_IMPORT_PATH (for shape import)
  • SFX_TRACK_IMPORT_PATH (for tracker import)

Similarly, the following variables are used for export dialogs:

  • SFX_SHAPE_EXPORT_PATH (for shape import)
  • SFX_TRACK_EXPORT_PATH (for tracker import)

Resource Variables

Resource Environment Variables
Variable Description
SFX_CACHE_PATH Determines the location of the local source cache. By default, the location is set to $SFX_TEMP.
SFX_MAX_THREADS Overrides the number of multi-processing threads Silhouette uses by default.
SFX_MODULE_PATH Semi-colon separated list of paths to search for Silhouette modules. User specified paths are checked before the built-in modules path. Useful for endusers to provide custom I/O modules in a network-central location.
SFX_MASK_PATH SFX_MASK_PATH must contain one or more complete paths to a masks.xml file (the name doesn't matter), separated by a semi-colon. If multiple paths are supplied, then all will be loaded. If a mask with an existing name is encountered, it replaces the previous one, so the best way to add custom masks is to set SFX_MASK_PATH to both the default location and the new location.

The default is “$(SFX_RESOURCE_PATH)/masks.xml” So, to add a single new mask, without modifying the core masks.xml, you would add your new mask to an xml file somewhere and then set SFX_MASK_PATH like this: SFX_MASK_PATH=$(SFX_RESOURCE_PATH)/masks.xml;/path/to/new/masks.xml You can also override the default masks by simply adding them to the new file and then changing them as needed.

SFX_PROJECT_PATH Default to this path in the Project Open/Save dialog box when set.
SFX_RESOURCE_PATH Sets path to Silhouette run-time resources. On Mac, this defaults to Silhouette.app/Contents/Resources, while on Windows and Linux it defaults to <path_to_silhouette>/resources.
SFX_TEMP Controls where temp files created by Silhouette are stored. The default location is in the user’s temp folder. Paint undo data is stored in a temp file, starting with “sfxpaint” while source cache files are stored in a Silhouette Cache folder.
SFX_USER_PATH Sets the path to the user's copy of Silhouette's files. Defaults to ~/Silhouette5

Color Management Variables

Color Management Environment Variables
Variable Description
SFX_CINEON_WORKING_SPACE Set to either log or linear. This environment variable overrides the Color Management > Cineon/DPX Working Colorspace preference.
SFX_DPX_INTERPRETATION Sets the default DPX interpretation for loading and saving to either log or linear. This value only gets queried when media is first imported.
SFX_DPX_LOAD_INTERPRETATION Sets the default DPX interpretation for loading to either auto, log, or linear.
SFX_DPX_SAVE_INTERPRETATION Sets the default DPX interpretation for saving to either log or linear.
SFX_OCIO_COLORSPACE Sets the default Viewer > Display > Colorspace.
SFX_OCIO_DISPLAY Sets the default Viewer > Display > Display.
SFX_OCIO_LUT SFX_OCIO_LUT can be used to set the default LUT. This will get set on the session when a new session is first created. The value for this variable is the full path to the LUT, including extension. The name is case sensitive.
SFX_OCIO_VIEW Sets the default Viewer > Display > View Xform.

Open EXR Variables

EXR Environment Variables
Variable Description
MULTIVIEW_EXR_EXT By default, stereo (multi-view) EXR files are saved with a .sxr extension instead of the normal .exr extension. However, the value of the MULTIVIEW_EXR_EXT environment variable will be used instead if it is set.
SFX_EXR_AUTO_DISPLAY_WINDOW Set to '1' to automatically set the EXR output data window to the region enclosing the output alpha channel.
SFX_EXR_COMMENTS By default, the Project path, Paint path and Session name are stored in the comments attribute of the EXR file header.

If the SFX_EXR_COMMENTS environment variable is set, it is appended on to the end of the comments string. The format of this variable should be name=value;name=value; etc. No $VARIABLE expansion is performed.

SFX_EXR_COMPRESSION Set to RLE for faster saving.

Misc Variables

Misc Environment Variables
Variable Description Added
SFX_OUTPUT_PATH Default to this path in the Render dialog when set.
SFX_VALID_XML Silhouette shape files are not valid XML. Now, shape files can be written as valid XML by setting the SFX_VALID_XML environment variable to anything (except 0, which will disable the option). When enabled, shape files will not import into older versions of Silhouette.
SFX_PROJECT_ROOT This is set automatically when a project is loaded and points to the project bundle path. This can be used to access project container files from scripts.
SFX_PAINT_HISTORY This can be set to '0' to disable the paint history functionality. Paint History is fairly low overhead so there really isn't a good reason to do this, but it's there anyway.