ACES workflow

Hello friends. I will be doing some cleanup work on a film and they want me to work in aces. Can I get some advice on setting up the flame project.

Shot on Alexa LF / Raw.

most simple workflow ever, when starting the project just select aces 1.1 as colormanagement policy aaand you are basically done.

tagging files “from source” should get everything correct, doublecheck the dabayer settings of the arriraw, and watch my aces logik live :slight_smile:

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I`m with Finn, ACES 1.1 preset just works tm

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Thanks guys,

I’m going to be given EXR’s so what should I set my Cache and Renders setting to?

And I’m guessing that I set the Res to what the camera raw file is? 12bit??

12 bit would be fine (all float stuff would be cached to float format, despite this setting). And most likely you would be given ACEScg sources, not ARRI, but I`ll double check this with other side

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answering here as well, there is 3 roads:

  • cache as 16bit float acesCG, i would just autoconvert everything to acesCG on import, then cache , rendersettings wont matter. this is pretty heavy on storage and all but its the most clean way

  • cache as LogC, in that case its either uncompressed or prores444 depending on how much money the client has :wink:

  • cache as acesCCT instead of logC because you can.

as long as your sources are correctly tagged, its all fine. when you deliver EXR just make sure your render/write node is getting acesCG or ACES-2065 data and is set to 16bit float :slight_smile:

and do ask them if they have any special decode settings in mind for the arriraw …you can change a bit of stuff there similar to red.


Also, @Hardave and @PlaceYourBetts had some really good conversation on yesterdays logik about this! Maybe reach out to them?!


Yeah @johnag

Get yourself comfortable jumping in and out of linear when appropriate.

ACEScg - ArriLogC or ACEScg - ACEScct

One of my favourite clean-up/beauty techniques is using the high pass filter
How to use Highpass
You can’t do this in a linear colourspace. Also tracking and resize work better non linear.

I am available in a timezone very close to you @johnag :wink: Reach out to me anytime.


If I’m getting EXRs and they are asking you to work in ACES, I would agree with Val in assuming ACEScg. But check with whomever is supplying them. There may be information in the header of the file as well.

16 bit workflow is key.

I like using for project setup Legacy and do my own color management. I set my rendering to UNCOMPRESSED/RAW for render settings.

I tag my sources as ACES CG on import.

Use color management nodes to bring into ACES CG or ACES CCT.

Do my comping in ACES CG or ACES CCT. Sometimes with a viewing transform applied.

One tip for comping, use the plate as much as possible. Do your work and different matte or combine all your mattes and put the comp on top of the plate and send that. I have had client call that out.

Use your scopes when you do a comparison of the plate versus the render node. If the scopes move (particularly the vector scope) then there is a issue.

Send back ACESCG and your will be good.

Thank you @finnjaeger @val @PlaceYourBetts @ace_elliott @Hardave so much for the feedback. Randy’s video gave me a great start too. THANKS @randy

OK so I’ve got some test files and they come in great as ACES cg. What is ACES cct ??

The test exr’s are 4448x3096 (1.43). I’m guessing this is the arri full gate but not sure how I should display it. Do I just work in this res/aspect ? I’m assuming that I will supply back to them ACEScg as this is what they gave me. Anyhow, I will be having a meeting with vfx sup in a week or so.


ACEScct is a working log space. So, great for performing comp tasks that perform better in log.

Yeah, they give you a file at a specified resolution and aspect ratio, don’t change it, work on it, give it back the same way. Easy peasy.


Do many people use cg as an interchange format. I was under the impression that all aces exrs should be 2065.1, you could choose whichever working space you prefer, cg/cct but when exporting as aces, convert back to 2065.1.
Sounds like cg is widely well
Just curious

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Technically you are correct. On the commercials side, nobody is interested in storing/mastering ACES 2065-1, only a Rec ProRes master/generic, so it’s the Wild West for us and ACEScg is fine for that.

There isnt a single technical reason to go to aces-2065-1 other than “convention”.

It was invented before acesCG, so its a bit of compatibillity.

You can store the same values in acesCG as in 2065-1, some out of gamut values in acesCG that would fit into 2065-1 might go negative but that really not a issue.

Then in case if 3D renders, they render as acesCG EXRs, and why would you spend the time converting them to 2065-1? Then there is nuke, nuke cant deal well with different colorspace EXRs so youll have to make it work with python by reading the filename (metadata is hit or miss…). and you need to write the colorspace in the filename in the first place. its easy to misinterpret 2065-1 as acesCG and vice versa

So what I do is I keep every EXR inhouse acesCG, its just easier and then go 2065-1 on export if client wants it, or if it was delivered as that…

There is a edgecase though that requires handeling of different colorspaces …

When you get delivered native camera gamut files like linear/AlexaWideGamut , when you convert that to 16bit acesCG or 2065-1 there is a rounding error that slightly changes pixel values (very much invisible but its there).

In that case you have to keep original camera gamut for all files written , work in 32bit completely (if you convert the gamut to aces working space, which you should, just dont write out a file) and then write out 16bit linear/aalexaWidegamut again …

Its a bit weird of a thing but yea, for me its either acesCG or linesr wirh camera native gamut for writing out and then all filenames have to have the colorspace written into them.

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Cheers Finn,
Makes sense, great info as always

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So I have a bunch of files imported and my gui from the sourch file to ACTION and to the render node is equal. On my broadcast rec709 monitor the gamma changes when I view the ACTION node. My colour management setup in prefs looks like this

How do I get the monitor to display the correct image.

What do you have in your viewing rules @johnag ?

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So your broadcast could be taking any one of those ACES Viewing LUTS.
Trim it down to just one of them for now and see if that helps.

Since you are working on an ACEScg project and you have a GUI and a broadcast, you don’t need to have any of the HDR or cinema options. Start with ACES SDR-video - Any Scene-linear or log - Any SDR

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