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When working in a linear, 32-bit floating point working space...

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Peter CutlerWhen working in a linear, 32-bit floating point working space...
by on May 1, 2012 at 8:35:04 pm

Do you have to apply the Color Profile Converter to all the objects you create to account for the gamma value??? I just started working in a linear working space, and to solve the color shift issue in After Effects, have applied Stu Maschwitz's solution, as detailed here:

http://prolost.com/blog/2006/2/7/linear-color-workflow-in-ae7-part-1.html

Import a familiar image, preferably one with an ICC profile embedded. Add it to a comp and view the result.
The image will look too bright. Why? Well, AE doesn't recognize the embedded profile. That's right, here's where AE's fledgeling color management leaves us hanging. AE is assuming that the imported footage is already in the Project Working Space. It's not. It's gamma-encoded, so it looks too bright. We have to manually convert the gamma-encoded colors in our image to the linear Project Working Space.

We do this with Effect > Utility > Color Profile Converter. Apply this effect to your image and observe the Effects Controls. You'll see pop-ups for two profiles, Input and Output. The idea here is that we convert the pixels from the image's native color space to that of the project. So set Input Profile to the correct profile for the image, the one embedded within it. Leave Output set to Project Working Space.


But it just seems that, with this post being written in 2006, there would be a more efficient solution six years later. Are we stuck with having to apply the Color Profile Converter utility to all of our shape layers and solids to render color as expected? Or is there a new way to take care of this more universally?


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Peter CutlerRe: When working in a linear, 32-bit floating point working space...
by on May 2, 2012 at 2:39:34 pm

Anyone have any ideas? Checked out Adobe's help page for the Color Profile Converter (http://help.adobe.com/en_US/aftereffects/cs/using/N10112a.html) where they mention:

"In most cases, you should use automatic color management features to convert from one color space to another, rather than using the Color Profile Converter to manually do the conversions. (See Color management.)"


But this is pretty vague and doesn't seem to deal with the converter's use in relation to a linear workspace. Hope someone can shed some light on this!


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Darby EdelenRe: When working in a linear, 32-bit floating point working space...
by on May 2, 2012 at 2:57:56 pm

Adobe's suggestion of using the newer color management features does apply to a linear workspace, but it doesn't apply to assets created within AE (solid layers, shape layers, text layers, lights, etc). Most of these are not represented by footage items in the project panel and their color therefore cannot be re-interpreted. Solid layers have footage items but are locked into the "Preserve RGB" mode.

If you're working in a linear space from the beginning to the end then you shouldn't need to worry about this too much. When you're choosing colors for your shape layers just choose RGB values that look correct in your linear workspace (not too bright/washed out).

If you're switching from a non-linear workspace to a linear workspace and you want your Shape Layers to maintain their color, or if you have specific gamma encoded color values you're using, then you'll need to use the Color Profile Converter. Set the input profile to the profile of the RGB values you'd like to use, for example: sRGB, and that should do it.

Also, the placement of the Color Profile Converter in the effects stack can change how certain effects behave, so make sure you pay attention to that as well. It's changing the RGB values of the underlying image so that the values perceptually match another profile, this means that a linear ramp will end up having non-linear RGB values after the Color Profile Converter is applied... although it will 'look' perceptually linear because our eyes cause a gamma shift too :)

Darby Edelen


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Peter CutlerRe: When working in a linear, 32-bit floating point working space...
by on May 2, 2012 at 3:11:05 pm

I think that answers it, and makes sense -- you don't have to use the Color Profile Converter for images from Ai, for instance, if you're working in a properly color managed workflow. I encountered this issue since I'm drawing from RGB/Hex values from an external style guide. So if you want to recreate those values using the internal tools within Ae, you have to use the utility. Thanks for the info Darby, this clears it up, and I'll keep an eye out for stacking order issues!


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Darby EdelenRe: When working in a linear, 32-bit floating point working space...
by on May 2, 2012 at 6:49:28 pm

You can also use the Color Profile Converter to determine the linear equivalent of your RGB/Hex values by checking the RGB readout in the Info panel after the effect is applied. Then use the linear equivalents instead of the values you were supplied and avoid using the Color Profile Converter altogether in the remainder of the project.

Darby Edelen


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Craig WhitakerRe: When working in a linear, 32-bit floating point working space...
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 5:33:09 pm

The problem I'm running into is matching client supplied RGB values when working in 32bpc, 709 color managed, linear space.

We have Alexa footage for greenscreen, linear renders from 3D and also need to incorporate rgb values for backgrounds and type. I'm having a really difficult time figuring out the best project setup for this.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Craig


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