With the industry rapidly moving towards the ACES workflow, we wanted to showcase how to use our elements in the ACEScg colour space within Adobe After Effects.
Using ACES in After Effects can be slightly confusing as it is not natively set up yet. There are a few other ways of this workflow, but we're going to focus on the one that we use on our professional projects.
First of all, let's set up our 'Project Settings'.
Depth: 32 > Working Space: ACEScg > Check on 'Linearize Working Space'.
Then, go to 'View' and uncheck 'Use Display Color Management'. This will override the default colour space AE applies.
In our case, in this composition, we have the different elements e.g. Fire, Smoke etc. separated in PreComps as well as our 'Footage'.
For our 'Footage' PreComp, we added a new adjustment layer on top and added 'OpenColorIO' effect.
Configuration: aces_1.0.3 > Input Space: Output sRGB > Output Space: ACEScg
In each of the PreComp that contains our VFX elements, we added a new adjustment layer on top and added 'OpenColorIO' effect.
Configuration: aces_1.0.3 > Input Space: Utility - sRGB - Texture > Output Space: ACEScg
Everything is now converted to ACEScg. So let's go back to our main comp, where we have all the PreComps combined and let's add another adjustment layer on top and add 'OpenColorIO' one last time.
Configuration: aces_1.0.3 > Input Space: ACEScg - Texture > Output Space: Rec 709 (or sRGB - This depends on what color space & gamut your outputting for.)
Lastly, to render this correctly, press ctrl+M (or cmd+M on Mac) on your desired comp.
Output module > Main Options > Format: Quicktime > Format options: Quicktime 4444 > Color Management > Check on 'Preserve RGB'.
Rec 709 Workflow
ACEScg Workflow - Rec 709 Output
As you can see, ACEScg provides a much wider gamut, therefore the end result is a much more realistic. The composition was created with just simple Rec 709 workflow and later converted to ACEScg workflow, but the settings are all kept the same.
Why should you start working with the ACES workflow?
Not every artist is required to work in the ACES workflow, although many VFX artists do because it has great advantage. Many big studios and even smaller post-production houses have now integrated ACES into their workflow and many times colour houses will ask you for delivery in the ACES colour space.
Online ACES convert:
- Tags: After Effects