Visual Effects Society Releases Cinematic Color White Paper

The Visual Effects Society Technology Committee announced the release of its white paper, “Cinematic Color: From Your Monitor to the Big Screen.” The white paper, intended for computer graphic artists and software developers interested in color management, introduces techniques currently in use at major production facilities.

The document draws attention to challenges that are not covered in traditional color-management textbooks or online resources, and often passed along only by word of mouth, user forums or scripts copied between facilities.

The 54-page white paper contains text, diagrams, tables and images that address:

  • Technical issues that can arise in handling texture painting, lighting, rendering, compositing and image display in the theater.

  • Color science, color encoding and scene-referred and display-referred colorimetry; extending these concepts to their use in modern motion picture color management.

  • Recent efforts on digital color standardization in the motion picture industry (CES and CDL), and how to experiment with these concepts for free using open-source software (OpenColorIO).
The white paper was authored by Jeremy Selan and reviewed by members of the VES Technology Committee, including Rob Bredow, Dan Candela, Nick Cannon, Ray Feeney, Andy Hendrickson, Gautham Krishnamurti, Sam Richards, Jordan Soles and Sebastian Sylwan.

Please visit Cinematic Color for additional resources related to motion picture color management.