PRODUCTION | COMPOSITING AND COLOUR MANAGEMENT

EXPLORING THE UNKNOWN

September 7th, 2018

BLENDING MODES, COLOUR NODES, BROKEN, SCENE REFERRED, DISPLAY REFERRED

Chiefly, once the lighting is set up correctly using the Linear EXR data as an environment map, and by setting the colour management to ‘Filmic’ – the colour management system written and developed by Troy Sobotka –  much of the heavy lifting is done.

That said, it seems that Filmic Blender or LInear, Scene Referred Colour is not as widely supported inside Blender as it could or should be.

  • Validity of Research 90%
  • Complexity of Content 95%
  • BENEFIT OF ACTIVITY 100%

Above is a screengrab of the final Node Tree prior to export. NOTE: the workaround for atmospheric/mist pass, which has some strange anomalies in Scene Referred space in 2.79. Seems to be inverted.

Primary Practice

COMPOSITING AND COLOUR

From my research in to Troy Sobotka via Reddit, other Blender practitioners and my own practice, it is clear that all of the Blending mode options still use the outdated, 8 bit display color transform rather than the ‘Filmic’ Scene Referred colour transform. To this end, none of them can be used in your node tree, which in turn limits the ability – for example – to build procedural light wraps and makes atmospheric and AO work difficult to manage.

One very positive outcome from these composting tests is that the completed .EXR image sequence, once exported from Blender, scales back to any other working or display-based colour space once imported into Davinci Resolve. For example, the Linear EXR composites that import as linear from Blender can be quickly and accurately scaled to REC709 (Display Referred) using an Open IO LUT, thus proving the surprising accuracy of both Blender and our original DJI footage, once converted via our custom LUT. In fact, it is so accurate, that is can be converted from Linear to any other display and/or working colour space, like ARRI film, redLogFilm or BMCC Film.

That said, it does seem that many of the filters work accurately within scene referred space, for example, lens distortion and glare nodes. Additionally, the aberrations that these effects create also see plus white, Super White values in 32 bit Float, resulting in highly realistic distortions.

All of the above can be seen in the Video Playlist to the left.

Core findings

SCENE = LINEAR; COMPOSITING MODES = 8BIT

Frustratingly, many of the nodes in the Compositor still do not support Scene Referred, ‘Filmic’ colour inside Blender and thus can break or damage the impact of linear effects such as saturation shifts and shadow density.

ALL blending modes are 8bit – BROKEN

It is clear that all of the Blending mode options still use the outdated, 8 bit display color transform rather than the ‘Filmic’ Scene Referred colour transform. To this end, none of them can be used in your node tree.

Linear, EXR export scales perfectly back to REC709 in Resolve

One very positive outcome from these composting tests is that the completed .EXR image sequence, once exported from Blender, scales back to any other working or display-based colour space once imported into Davinci Resolve.

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