I am missing some basic fundamental , but can’t quite work out what it is. Just when I think I’ve got it figured out, some detail comes along and screws up my whole way of thinking. I’m dying here.

Let me list my assumptions based on hours of trying to figure this stuff out. Tell me where I am wrong please.

I use the terms darken and lighten to mean the midtones.

Applying a gamma of .4545 darkens an image. Verified with Photoshop and Maya’s gammacorrect node.

Applying a gamma of 2.2 lightens an image. Verified with Photoshop and Maya’s gammacorrect node.

So basically, higher values of gamma are brighter and lower values are darker. Yes, I need to assure myself of this because this is how confused I am right now.

According to wikipedia and others, encoding is .4545 and decoding is 2.2. A raw linear image (lets say an image taken with a camera) has a gamma of .4545 applied to it (encoded in the camera) so as to display correctly on a monitor with 2.2 gamma.

So the image is currently at .4545 of linear before involving Maya. How does applying another .4545 via gammacorrect in Maya put it back to linear? I can see that a .4545 gammacorrect node in Maya is making it darker, so the node knows that today isn’t opposite day and is working as intended.

The correct way to get it back to linear SHOULD have been to gammacorrect it with a 2.2 gammacorrect node and not the .4545, right? right?

I feel so stupid.

So after all my rambling, what I want to know is how does .4545 (camera encoding) * .4545 (Mayas correctnode) = 1 ???