User Guide - Input and Output Color Spaces

How color management works

ACES color managed pipeline in

The concept of color management might seem intimidating, primarily due to its technical complexities. However, with, the process becomes incredibly straightforward.

Color management in 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 into third-party workflows and create future proof, visually consistent looks across hundreds of cameras and monitors.

Input Color Space (IDT)

Raw Development: When working with RAW images in you should set your input color space to VisionLog RAW to normalize the logarithmic (flat looking) debayer prior to grading.  

ACES IDT - Input Device Transform for Arri Log-C footage in - a browser based color grading tool for film emulation.

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.

Output Device Transform (ODT)

ACES ODT - Output device transform list with optional color space conversion for P3 D60

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.

Good to know: The ODT in is for previewing on the intended physical display type. It's a common misconception that this setting should be altered for wide gamut workflows. Leaving the output on sRGB ensures that you're seeing the same image in and ICC based applications like Adobe Photoshop on your physical display while developing looks. It's usually preferable to enable wide gamut only during export to ensure color consistency between applications (see below).

Export Color Management

Managing color between different applications can be challenging, especially when dealing with different color management systems or developing looks for professional cinema cameras. Export color management ensures color consistency throughout your entire image processing pipeline. To recap:

When to use Export Color Management

If you are finalizing your images in a third party application and need to round-trip in a wide gamut color space, change "Same as Preview" to your preferred working space under Export → Color Management when rendering images or saving 3D LUTs.

Please refer to the Workflows category in the side menu to learn about the most common use cases.

With you can edit images and build 3D LUTs with a powerful online raw developer and analog film look designer for photographers and filmmakers. Craft stunning film color in record time that works for any camera, in any software and on any device, directly in your browser.