Linear workflow LDR / HDR questions

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Old 10 October 2013   #1
Linear workflow LDR / HDR questions

I am learning linear workflow. I just want to state my understanding of it thus far to make sure I'm grasping it correctly.

Monitors can't display / don't display actual linear image colors correctly, so they use a sRGB color space. However, using sRGB for rendering, compositing, lighting, etc does not produce a final piece that's real-life accurate. So instead of creating our scenes & renders using calculations done in sRGB color space, we apply gamma corrections to "reverse" their already applied sRGB gamma correction to make them Linear sRGB and thus get more accurate calculations.

But since linear sRGB can't display properly on monitors, this is where Maya's color management come into play... what this does is take all the stuff we've converted to calculate in linear sRGB and convert it to sRGB again. But this time it is more accurate and looks better since all our calculations were done in linear sRGB and are NOW converted to sRGB for monitor display.

Am I on the right track with this? What I'm most confused on is the default input / output of Maya's color management...


It seems I should only export HDR / EXR images with 32 bit frame buffer AND input/output set to Linear sRGB when I know I'm going to composite things. From there, what is the best way to display them back in sRGB for monitor display? I hear photoshop is bad with EXR files, so I'm curious... I also do a lot with transparent backgrounds, so do EXR / HDR images maintain transparency at all?

If I just want to export to sRGB without doing much compositing, it seems I should set input to linear sRGB and output to sRGB, with an 8 bit frame buffer and a typical file type like tiff, targa, jpeg, etc.

Thanks for any feedback.

Last edited by jbardy : 10 October 2013 at 05:27 PM.
 
Old 10 October 2013   #2
Nuke (and maybe AE) can preview your linear images in sRGB. Nuke is smart enough to do this automatically when you're viewing EXR files so you don't really have to worry about it. All your composition will of course use linear space so everything should be accurate.

Photoshop isn't really set up to work in linear space imo.
 
Old 10 October 2013   #3
AE has the option - just have to enable it. Glad to hear I'm on the right track though it seems.

As for Photoshop, I do a lot of still renders for posters and such, so would you recommend sticking to sRGB output for compositing there?

I only learned about LWF starting yesterday. For anyone interested, I watched a few digital tutors sessions (Linear workflow strategies in Maya) and this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf5kDcehYXA to wrap my head around it all.

Thanks!

Last edited by jbardy : 10 October 2013 at 05:52 PM.
 
Old 10 October 2013   #4
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