The concept of color management might seem intimidating, primarily due to its technical complexities. However, with Color.io, the process becomes incredibly straightforward.
Color management in Color.io is comprised of just two key components: Input Color Spaces and Output Color Spaces. These components empower us to lay the foundation for stunning images, enable us to easily integrate Color.io into third-party workflows and create future proof, visually consistent looks across hundreds of cameras and monitors.
An input color space maps the colors from a specific camera into a unified color space for grading. This is usually the very first thing you want to to set up when starting a grade.
Click the camera icon in the top bar of the application and choose your input color space from the dropdown menu. Most photo cameras shoot either JPEG or RAW. For JPEG you can leave everything at the default sRGB setting. For RAW images you want to set your input color space to VisionLog RAW, Adobe RGB or ProPhoto RGB.
When developing show looks, custom LUTs or DCTLs for log encoded footage from cinema cameras, choose the specific log flavor from the drop down - this will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you by normalizing contrast and saturation before you even start creative color grading. Setting the correct IDT will create a nice looking base image literally at the click of a button.
Raw Development: When working with RAW images in Color.io you should set your input color space to VisionLog RAW, ProPhoto RGB or Adobe RGB for the best results.
An output color space is another mathematical color transform that maps the colors from the color grading working space to a specific monitor or projector. Most monitors cover the sRGB color gamut, which is enabled by default. If you're working on another type of display or you are creating show looks or custom LUTs for HDR or cinema projection, choose your target color space from the dropdown under the display icon in the top bar.
Color.io has a set of special options for P3 color space transforms typically used in photography workflows. For color consistency between a display-referred Photoshop or Lightroom workflow and Color.io, it is recommended to choose the P3 Color Space Transform both from the Input and Output menus in Color.io.
These special color space transforms are different from the default input and output device transforms which normally include a reference rendering transform. A Reference Rendering Transform is a stylized way to render an image onto a final viewing device with surround compensation and more. This transform however is not fully invertible and thus a simpler color space conversion is a better alternative for workflows that require round-tripping between applications.
So for seamless I/O, please choose a P3 flavour from the Color Space Conversion category in both the Input and Output menus.
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