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ACES in Photoshop

There are multiple ways to add an ACES transform to footage in Photoshop, the most common methods are covered below. 

ACES via fnord OpenColorIO Plugin for Photoshop

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titleClick here for ACES via OCIO plugin in Photoshop workflow...

Step 1

OCIO Support for Photoshop is still less than ideal, for now the best way to use ACES in Photoshop is to first download and make use of the fnord plugin OpenColorIO for Photoshop.

Step 2

First open your ACEScg footage in Photoshop.

Step 3

Then convert your ACEScg layer to a smart object.

Warning

This is a very important step if you will be doing any editing. All adjustments mustoccur inside of the ACEScg smart object itself in order to properly make use of the ACES workflow.


Step 4

Then apply the OpenColorIO plugin as a smart filter to your ACEScg footage layer.

Step 5

Then set your OCIO config file path.

Set the mode to "Display"

Input Space: ACEScg

Display: sRGB (or your own monitor's display color space)

View: ACES 1.0 SDR-video (or the same View transform you were using in Redshift)

Step 6

Now the ACEScg footage is being previewed with the correct ODT but it still does not look correct in Photoshop, this is due to an extra gamma correction that Photoshop is applying.

Step 7

To counteract this gamma correction issue apply another OpenColorIO smart filter to the ACEScg footage, but this time with different settings.

Use the same configuration file used last time.

Set the mode to "Convert"

Input Space: sRGB

Output Space: scene-linear Rec.709-sRGB

Step 8

Now the ACEScg footage looks correct and is working properly with its two OpenColorIO transforms.


Info

Reminder

The correct way to adjust ACEScg footage with the Photoshop workflow above is only possible inside the smart object itself as demonstrated in the video below.

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ACES via a LUT in Photoshop

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titleClick here for ACES via LUT in Photoshop workflow...


Warning
titleSimplicity vs Color Accuracy

Please note that using this method has the potential to result in slight color shifts in the final output, especially for highlights, that may not match what is seen in the Redshift Render View and other more compatible OCIO viewers so please only use this method with that understanding.

However, this LUT method is much more simple than the alternative Photoshop workflow outlined above and still maintains most of the benefits of an ACES pipeline.  


Note
titleRequired Photoshop LUTs download

You will need the following LUTs in order to utilize this method. 


Photoshop_ACES_CSP_LUTs.zip credit Saul Espinosa

Step 1

First open your ACEScg footage in Photoshop.

Step 2

Then, from the Layers panel, create a new Adjustment Layer > Color Lookup

Step 3

Next you must load the appropriate LUT from the Color Lookup's Properties panel seen below. 

Click on the "Load 3D LUT" drop down and then click on the "Load 3D LUT..." text to bring up a file open dialog. 

Step 4

Navigate to where you saved the downloaded LUT files on your computer and load the appropriate LUT for your project.

You may need to select the .CSP file type (instead of the default .CUBE type) from the drop down menu in order to be able to see and select the LUTs.

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Note
titleDefault Settings LUT

For this OCIO demonstration and any Redshift project that uses the default OCIO ACES settings you should use the ACEScg_Photoshop_to_sRGB_ACES_1.0_SDR-Video.csp LUT file. 

You may need to select the .CSP file type (instead of the default .CUBE type) from the drop down menu in order to be able to see and select the LUTs.

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Step 5

Now the ACEScg footage looks good and is working as expected with the properly setup Color Lookup Adjustment Layer.


Info

Reminder

The correct way to adjust ACEScg footage with this Photoshop workflow is above your ACEScg footage but below the Color Lookup adjustment layer. This is demonstrated below with an Exposure effect being applied to an adjustment layer titled "Color Correction" in between the two layers. The reason for this is that you want to apply any color corrections to the ACEScg footage when it is still linear so it must be done before the ODT conversion that converts your image to non-linear via the Color Lookup. This also means that you can composite multiple ACEScg openEXRs render layers all under the same one Color Lookup adjustment layer.

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Correct color correction result and layer orderIncorrect color correction result and layer order






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