How to install OpenImageIO in Mac OS X El Capitan

A little background: a colleague of mine was trying to install this useful library (to process RAW photo files as Ian Wootten has written about) which doesn’t have a very user-friendly README file on their GitHub repo. He was getting the following error:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 1, in <module>
    import OpenImageIO as oiio
ImportError: No module named OpenImageIO
  1. In order to fix it, you need to have Homebrew installed. If you already have it installed run brew update to make sure you have the latest version.
  2. If you don’t currently have it, install Python 2.7. You can do so running in your Terminal: brew install python. That should take care of installing pip as well (which is the Python package manager, and it is very useful most of the times, though it doesn’t have openimageio support yet.)
  3. We can then proceed to (finally) do brew install homebrew/science/openimageio, or the whole science module. I did only the first.
  4. Because Homebrew likely installed the module .so file in a directory that’s not being used by Python, we have to symlink the file to one that Python uses. You can locate the Homebrew file at /usr/local/Cellar/openimageio/1.7.7_1/lib/python2.7/python/ or similar.
  5. Now, I was wondering where does Python import modules from? Running python -c 'import sys; print sys.path' would return an array of all paths where it tries to find modules on import. In my case, I just took the last “site-packages” one, which was /Library/Python/2.7/site-packages – Please note this path might defer with yours.
  6. Last step, and this is all that matters, is taking the path from #4 and putting it into #5: ln -s /usr/local/Cellar/openimageio/1.7.7_1/lib/python2.7/python/ /Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/

And you should now be good to go, to run any import as oiio all you want. I hope this article saved you the 2 hours I’ve spent figuring it out.