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Working space and Simulate Output

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Adriano CastaldiniWorking space and Simulate Output
by on May 10, 2013 at 5:50:41 am

I've seen AfterEffects can handle icc profiles in Project Settings windows where I can set the Working space (between Rec.709, CIE-RGB, Universal Camera Film, etc.) and choose if I want to Linearize it or not. Once you set it, there is also the View > Simulate Output option (where again I can choose between Rec.709, CIE-RGB, Universal Camera Film, etc.)

I have 10-bit Prores and 12-bit CinemaDNG from Blackmagic Cinema Camera, and my aim is to render in HDTV style:
Here my questions:
1. do I have to set Rec.709 immediately in Project Settings > Working space, or not?
2. to take advantage of BMCC high-dynamic range and 10/12-bit gamut, should I choose Linearize option or not?
3. what shoud I choose in View > Simulate Output?

And in all this mess (for my poor head), what profile for the monitor? (Using an old Apple Cinema HD Display)

Thanks all!


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Walter SoykaRe: Working space and Simulate Output
by on May 10, 2013 at 7:29:33 pm

[Adriano Castaldini] "1. do I have to set Rec.709 immediately in Project Settings > Working space, or not?"

You have to set something as the working space to enable color management. Rec. 709 is as good a choice as any, but you could choose any space large enough to contain your colors.


[Adriano Castaldini] "2. to take advantage of BMCC high-dynamic range and 10/12-bit gamut, should I choose Linearize option or not?"

Linearizing the working space changes the math and therefore the look of how colors are blended. You don't need to do this to get more dynamic range -- switch your project to 16bpc or 32bpc to do that.

Linearizing the working space will make compositing more natural (because real light is linear), but may make color correction controls less intuitive (because human perception is not linear).

Whichever you choose, do it upfront before you do more work, because changing it later will change the the math and therefore the way your scene looks, and you'll have to revisit lots of effects controls.


[Adriano Castaldini] "3. what shoud I choose in View > Simulate Output?"

Simply using display color management will translate your colors to your monitor -- if your monitor is profiled, which it should be!

You'd use simulate output to see how your output would appear on an unmanaged device, or a device with a smaller gamut than your working space.


[Adriano Castaldini] "And in all this mess (for my poor head), what profile for the monitor? (Using an old Apple Cinema HD Display)"

You have to profile your monitor (with a device like the XRite i1 Display Pro) to get accurate color. An old Apple Cinema HD Display may not be the best choice for color-critical work.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Adriano CastaldiniRe: Working space and Simulate Output
by on May 10, 2013 at 11:13:48 pm

So, which are the advantages of activating a Color Working Space in the Project Settings? (When I choose Rec.709 nothing apparently changes in footage's colors.)

Thanks for your replies.


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Adriano CastaldiniRe: Working space and Simulate Output
by on May 11, 2013 at 12:57:05 am

It remains a pair of doubts to me:

1. if I set Rec.709 in Working space, which profile should I use for calibrating the monitor itself?

2. Mac OSX is unable to handle more than 8-bit per channel video signal to the monitor, so what is the advantage of use a 10-bit (or more) grading monitor?

Thanks a lot.


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Walter SoykaRe: Working space and Simulate Output
by on May 11, 2013 at 2:35:47 am

[Adriano Castaldini] "1. if I set Rec.709 in Working space, which profile should I use for calibrating the monitor itself?"

You should get a probe like the Xrite i1 Display Pro I mentioned before and create a custom profile for your monitor.

The standard profiles may not represent how your monitor actually reproduces color.


[Adriano Castaldini] "2. Mac OSX is unable to handle more than 8-bit per channel video signal to the monitor, so what is the advantage of use a 10-bit (or more) grading monitor?"

You can exploit a 10-bit grading monitor on a Mac if you use a video I/O card and connect via HD-SDI.

It should be an embarrassment to Apple that they still don't offer 10-bit color support in the year 2013. It works beautifully on my Z800 with Windows 7, a Quadro 6000 and a pair of HP zr30w monitors connected via DisplayPort.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Walter SoykaRe: Working space and Simulate Output
by on May 11, 2013 at 2:15:02 am

[Adriano Castaldini] "So, which are the advantages of activating a Color Working Space in the Project Settings? (When I choose Rec.709 nothing apparently changes in footage's colors.)"

This enables color management.

Two different color spaces may use the same RGB values to represent different colors, and/or they may use different RGB values to represent the same color. When you enable a working space, After Effects translates the colors from their native color profile (defined in Interpret Footage) into the working space, changing RGB values as necessary to preserve the appearance of the color. All manipulations are performed in this common space, then the working space may be optionally translated to one space for displays and yet another for output.

When all your sources are in the same color space as your output (for example, all Rec. 709), color management has no effect (because no colors require translation). When you have sources of mixed profile, or if your output doesn't match your input, then color management ensures that your colors are accurate and consistent throughout your workflow.

Here's a link to Adobe's color management workflow whitepaper [link]. It's a good overview of Ae's color management system. The article mentions CS4 specifically, but the content still applies in CS6 and CC.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Adriano CastaldiniRe: Working space and Simulate Output
by on May 22, 2013 at 2:34:55 pm

Sorry, but I still don't understand a thing:
Up to now OSX can't output 10-bit video signal, so we can handle only 8-bit video signal.
So...
1. does this mean that we CAN handle 10-bit video signal through i.e. the Blackmagic UltraStudio Mini Monitor device?
Or...
2. does this mean that even with Blackmagic devices I can only handle 8-bit video signal?

Thanks


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