R3D Color is okay, and not a hell world

I’ve always hated r3d files for their “well what color do you want it to be?” approach to color management. Arri has one near-perfect lut (LogC), Sony makes a bunch, and Red seems to update their color science every time there is a full moon. It doesn’t help that Flame doesn’t have a “Use the R3D viewing lut” the way it does for Sony, Arri, Panasonic, Canon, and other cameras.

But, having just banged my head against the wall for a few minutes, I now see that with r3d files, you just set your format options to the color you want. Pick your primaries, and pick from one of seventeen gamma curves (Scene Linear is in there. Just pick that. Then convert it to LogC afterwards if you want Log files)

So yeah, I still hate it, but I’m happy that I could get what I want out of it this fine evening.

Party on friends.

(and share tips about how to deal with r3d footage here)


Since RED introduced their IPP2 I never had any problem with them.
RedWideGamutRGB gamut / Log3G10 gamma and you good to go. Convert to other primaries/gamma if needed by your pipeline. Prior IPP2 there was some troubles, famous one is “Red cameras hate red color”.

Last 3 big jobs I done was in ACEScct/ACEScg working colorspace with custom tonemapping for delivery. One of them was mix of Red and Sony. Went great.


Agreeing with Val, I just straight debayer into Aces AP0 and call it a day, works great. Aces is the way to go, just takes off all the pain.

I Used the IPP2 stuff before and it certainly felt like a great improvement only issue was that there are still a bunch of “weird” settings you have to think about, different contrast output luts (that you can generate with redcineX) and a “soft clip” setting iirc.


I’ve just started using ACEScct/cg as well…and THINK I’ve finally got a handle on it. As a lifelong REC709 guy, it’s been a challenge wrapping my head around it all.

Probably a dumb question, but how do guys dial in the highlight rolloff? When using IPP2, I would mainly default to a med contrast with a soft rolloff as a starting place, but find myself struggling to dial in results as smooth in mastergrade in ACES.

Using the RED LUTS in a rec709 project seem to look better initially than a straight ACES import, if that makes sense.

I agree , IPP2 has been ok the only “issue” right now is the multiple 709 luts they provide, still have to ask around “what to you want for dailies” … but I just started doing aces-sRGB as my display referred output from any footage with a slight adjustment (less contrast) as it was made for 100NIT displays… and most people have their screens cranked up so high so it looks a bit too contrastry, or I use the alexa-709 (go aces-> LogC/AWG -> 709-alexa-lut, that also works fine. tbh look gets decided in Grading, as soon as I have a scene linear file i am looking at a scene and not a display output if that makes sense.

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Hi gang,

Need to key and comp some red footage with some stock footage (assume rec709 or sRGB) and get to baselight for grade. Any tips when tagging? Been testing this afternoon but it’s not matching nuke. Don’t need to go aces route, delivering rec709…

Do you have more details on the workflow?

Generally ACES will just make your life a lot easier, even if you only deliver 709 as you dont need to deal with specialsauce LUTs and viewer setups everything just matches.

Basically you want to conform them in some software(resolve,flame.nukestudio, scratch e.t.c) and export your shots as ACES .exr files (I personally go for acesCG… even though you are supposed to write aces-2065-1 according to the aces standards…) . For Red thats easy, you just switch the decoder settings to IPP2/Log3G10/RedWideGamut.
After that you scale down and convert from Log3G1/RWG to Linear/acesCG (you want to scale the shot in LOG hence not debayering straight into Linear).

Stockfootage you do have to assume sRGB or 709 as you said, I would go for 709 if thats your finishing space but it wont matter much. for that you use the output-Rec709 ODT as your IDT and also output Linear/AcesCG EXR files

then you switch flame and nuke to ACES mode, select the correct view transforms (probably sRGB or 709 depending on the displays used) in both of them and now everything will match, yay!

So its actually exactly the same process as with Arriraw. :slight_smile:

I`m with Finn on that. Going with ACES will save you from lots of headaches, even if you need to deliver only in rec709/sdr.

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Still trying to get out of the hell world frame of mind with RED and could use a little help. Trying to get a couple of raw shots over to the nuke guys, who want linear (i’m fine with acescg too). importing the raw red Debayering Full / Color set to get the information from the file which is REDWideGamutRGB Log3G10. sweet… read the autodesk page, this seems to be what I should be doing (firm “maybe” on that one). to get it to a different flavor I need to use a Color MGMT, so, put the CM on. Mode, Color Transform Custom. and this is where everything goes bananas. I try type:Camera Log3G10 to scene-linear with the Tagged color space as scene-lin rec 709 and it clips the highlights. I’m able to throw an image node on post CM and correct it to prevent clipping and it’s working for the keying and roto that needs to be done on the ungraded. However, I have a suspicion that i’m screwing something up and it should actually work without manhandling the footage into shape. Any recommendations, suggestions, insults are welcome. I’m lucky enough to not have to deal with raw, like ever, so… Thank you if you read this far!

If you go into the Preprocessing tab of an impored R3D file there’s a colorspace tab. Chose your options there using the IPP2 setting and picking ACEScg. That should be all you have to do. The R3D fille will now be ACEScg. Tag it as such in flame and it should look correct and export correctly.

I can get a few screencaps of this later, but I’m under deadline and can only post during renders ATM.

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I will try that out. please worry about your deadline and i’ll poke around. Thank you!

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there’s probably something obvious i’m just not seeing here. When I select IPP2, the two buttons under it grey out and are not available. Selecting Color science from file activates said buttons, but will only allow REDWideGamutRGB and Log3G10 to be selected. There is an Aces option under the REDWide button, but will not take when selected. If I switch to Codec 3.x I can select ACES (16bit fp) but it’s craze-balls even when the tagged color space is Aces 2065-1 or Aces cg (assuming that is incorrect). Anyways, no rush, just wanted to post up what i’m seeing for options.

I have the same issue. I’m not sure it’s correct, but I changed my Codec to “Codec 3.x” and then picked ACES and my image looks good under the ACES lut.

BY aces Lut, do you mean your project color setting is ACES 1.1? I feel like it would have to be so that the colors work with the scopes correctly, but I’m not sure. I just went through the steps and changed my project color setting, I think it’s working. The product is not the most attractive color-wise, so it’s still ugly, but I think good ugly?!?! I’m going to send this over and see what happens. Andy, thank you so much for your help!

Yeah, I meant the “ACES to SDR video” view transform.

fingers crossed they’re happy with it!

and camera footage is often a bit lousy looking straight out of the box.

Yes, the ACES to SDR view transform is what I was looking though once I switched the project over to ACES 1.1 color profile. I’m sure there is a way of doing that outside of the profile, but I was in a hurry and it was working. I’m going to explore further now that I’m in the ACES rabbit hole. Thank again for everything and I’ll report back if I find anything worth sharing. Might even write up up a RED to ACES for dummies mill academy style doc once i’ve discovered i’m not wholly doing it wrong. Actually, Logik Academy might be a pretty rad idea…

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I SAW THAT @Cory_Davis

For my money, the easy way to deal with .r3d footage is to just to set up your project with the default ACES1.1 project supplied by autodesk. Do that and then just leave your setting as “auto convert” and the Input colour space “from file or rules” and the working space “from project”.

Then when you bring in the .r3d files they look correct to the eye, and they are already to go. All the dynamic range is there safe and sound. From that point you still have all options open about what to do with it, including converting it to rec709 with a view transform, or to log etc etc…

If the job needs it we will export it to CG or Nuke with no need to do anything, as it’s already linear.

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@randy I felt like I dropped that in the right place.

I SEE YOU @Cory_Davis