… for Visual Effects

Tip #1579: Understanding ACES for Color

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

ACES is designed to be the industry standard for color.

The ACES logo.

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This article, written by Jourdan Aldredge, first appeared in NoFilmSchool.com. This is a summary.

The Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) is designed to be the industry standard for color. This series will help explain what it is and how to use it in DaVinci Resolve.

ACES is a color management framework for motion images. This means that it offers a standardized way to transform what our camera saw into what our display can reproduce.

Just like our eyes, cameras and displays encode color as a proportion of pure red, green, and blue. But “pure” means one thing to our vision system, and another to any particular camera or display. This is why we need color spaces.

And this is where ACES comes in—it offers a user-friendly system for performing these transformations, allowing us to objectively transform our image from its capture color space into the color space of the display we’re mastering. This process is known as color management, and it’s the foundation of all effective image mastering.

EXTRA CREDIT

As well, the NoFilmSchool article is the start of a multi-part series explaining ACES and includes a video explaining ACES and DaVinci Resolve.

The video is worth watching and run less than 12 minutes.


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