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Andrew Currie avatar image
Andrew Currie asked ·

Color space workflow

When color management is turned OFF in preferences (in Maya 2018), I can adjust my lighting to create a nice constrasty image with good highlights and shadows. But, when I bring that rendered image into Photoshop or After Effects, its exposure is blown way out, and I have to do a levels pass on it to bring it back to what I had in Maya.

When I turn color management ON, (all other color settings at default), I have one-to-one consistency from Maya to Photoshop, which is great, and I assume this is the more "correct" way to work. However, it's really difficult to adjust lighting/materials to have much contrast or saturation, it's as though my scene exists in a haze where it’s not possible to get contrast or saturation past a certain point. So all I can do is create a flatly colored image from Arnold and then do a levels pass in post to get back the contrast I need.

I don't mind doing some color correction in post but I feel there has to be a workflow where I can get un-hazed (contrasty and colorful) render previews in Maya that will carry over to the compositor with 1:1 accuracy so I can get things looking close to what I want in Maya. Trying to understand color management makes me want to die inside but I feel I must be missing some simple way to work as I would expect? Thanks for any help!

Andrew

Maya 2018, Arnold 5.2.2.0, Windows 10, Dell and Cintiq monitors

color space
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Andrew Currie avatar image
Andrew Currie answered ·

Thank you Dave for the response! This sounds like a good tip to keep in mind. However, in this scene, I'm not actually using textures, just materials with a few ramps and things.

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Dave Cook avatar image
Dave Cook answered ·

Hi @Andrew Currie

Have you checked that the tx files are being made fresh every time you change the colour management settings? I would disable rendering with tx files when doing these tests and re-enable it when you have the settings that work for you. They are not automatically remade when you change settings in Maya, but they will always share the date stamp of the original textures (at least mine do!)

hth

Dave

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Andrew Currie avatar image
Andrew Currie answered ·

I'm going out of my mind here! I can't be the only one having this problem?

I tuned all of the scene's lighting and colors with the "Raw" setting in the ArnoldView drop-down, and I'm happy with how it looks there. It looks the same in Render View when I render. But no matter what settings I try in the Color Management options or render options, the EXR that is saved looks washed-out in other programs.

I was going to save this 2nd problem for another post, but it may be related: Even with "Half Precision" checked ON, I'm getting 32-bit images every time. I did a test by rendering a 16-bit TIF file, and that image opens looking correct! But when I render as 32-bit TIF, it has the same washed-out issue. Is there a bug with Arnold only rendering 32-bit EXRs? Or a setting I'm missing?

Sincere thanks for any help or responses.

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Andrew Currie avatar image
Andrew Currie answered ·

Thanks for your response!

I believe my settings are fairly default across the board. In preferences I even went to that top menu setting and did a "restore default settings". I am rendering EXRs using the "Render Sequence" option, which is saving out 32-bit EXRs. The "view transform" settings on the viewport and in RenderView are set to sRGB. I will attach screenshots to be sure I'm being accurate.

So am I missing something in my workflow to remove the haze and still be 1:1 with Photoshop/AE?


colorspaces2.jpg (96.2 KiB)
colorspaces3.jpg (31.9 KiB)
colorspaces4.jpg (40.0 KiB)
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Lee Griggs avatar image
Lee Griggs answered ·

It is recommended that you have Color Management enabled. Which File>Save Image Options are you using? Are you saving out as 32-bit exr? Which View Transform are you using?

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Andrew Currie answered ·

To show what I mean, here's my project, the left is how I originally lit it with color management off, the right is when it's on, this is about as good as I can get it before adjusting in post to get it back to the desired look.


colorspaces.jpg (99.0 KiB)
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