Animation Specifications (Features)
The following are technical requirements for Feature Animation production workflows to ensure a high level of quality throughout the lifecycle of a project, from creation to archive. This serves the purpose of future-proofing the content as the Netflix platform and viewing experience continue to evolve.
Production Requirements Resolution
The working resolution must be 3840x2160 or higher throughout the production, including drawing, scanning, background, CG and VFX.
Working File Format
- Minimum 10-bit uncompressed image sequences are required:
- 16-bit linear EXR
- 10-bit log DPX
- See color pipeline section for more info
Color Pipeline Requirements
It is important to ensure that images are stored in the widest possible color space until the very final stages of the color pipeline. This is easily achieved by using ACES, which is a high dynamic range, wide color gamut space, and allows the user to simply select the Output Transform for the target viewing display. This can also be achieved while working in a wider color space than your display (such as P3 or Rec.2020) with careful, pro-active color management and the use of display and viewing LUTs.
DPX Example: One example would be to create logarithmic or ‘log’ data in a DPX file. This logarithmic encoding can encode linear light values much higher than 1.0, using a log curve to shape these values into a 10-bit range (0-1023) for example. It could also potentially contain a wider gamut than Rec. 709. However, these files will appear flat when viewed without any sort of viewing transform or LUT. Therefore, a viewing transform or LUT can be used in software to view normal-looking images for artists. This LUT can be designed to output a tone-mapped SDR image or the full range in HDR. There are many flavors of ‘log’ and there are no standards surrounding a DPX animation workflow. However, the open-source OpenColorIO does contain an example color pipeline (called spi-anim) which supports 10-bit log data as a working format.
EXR Example: Another example would be to create linear light data directly in an EXR file. Because OpenEXR is a floating-point file format, it can encode values well above 1.0 and makes for a great container for linear light. Similar to a log DPX workflow, a viewing transform can allow you to create images while viewing them properly on your display. One standardized way to do this is with ACES, which defines a standard color space, and a standard set of viewing transforms for specific types of displays such as Rec. 709, DCI-P3, and PQ.
In either scenario, OpenColorIO may be a good resource, and is now built-in to software like Nuke as an out-of-the-box color management solution.
The minimum spec for a workstation monitor should be complete coverage of the sRGB gamut and brightness of 100 nits (cd/m2).
Ideally the workstation monitors will be able to show the P3 gamut, which is especially important for feature films and series finishing in Dolby Vision / HDR.
For color review, the monitor must be calibrated to the following:
Finishing Requirements Composition
- Compositing software (e.g. After Effects, Flame, etc.) should be set to floating point (16 or 32-bit ) when possible
- After Effects example setting: