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Color Grading: Color Managed Workflow in Baselight

The intent of this document is to serve as a reference for configuring Baselight in a way to support a color managed pipeline, which ultimately enables the delivery of quality assets to Netflix, including the Non-Graded Archival Master (NAM).

The steps in this document are not proposed as requirements, but instead as recommended practices. The two approaches described below are an ACES Workflow and Camera Native Workflow, but these do not cover all possibilities for a color managed workflow.

As a further resource, Filmlight has created a series of videos to offer guidance in the area of color management:

 

Setting up an ACES project in Baselight

Topics include: 

  • ACES overview 
  • Loading different types of footage
  • Applying CDL values
  • Dealing with out-of-gamut colours
  • Creating Truelight Scene Looks from LMTs
  • Rendering and preparing VFX plates

 

Setting up a RED IPP2 project in Baselight

Topics include: 

  • Installing the IPP2 DRT family
  • Scene setup
  • Interpreting RED footage
  • Custom IPP2 DRTs
  • Rendering VFX plates

 

ARRI color workflow in Baselight

Topics include:  

  • Installing the ALF-2 DRT family and ARRI Look Library
  • Scene setup
  • Interpreting ARRIRAW and LogC footage
  • Notes about the ALF-2 DRT family
  • Rendering VFX plates

 

FilmLight's T-Log / T-CAM color pipeline

Topics include: 

  • Truelight CAM overview
  • Why another colour pipeline?
  • Scene templates
  • Working with the inverse DRT
  • Applying scene looks
  • Viewing condition compensation
  • Managing blacks
  • Camouflage looks
  • Delivering proper plates for VFX

 

This guide is currently updated for Baselight 5.1 versions.

 

ACES Workflow 

If you are unfamiliar with ACES, please visit ACES Central for more information on the Academy Color Encoding System.

Scene Configuration

In Job Manager, create a new scene. Select ACES Template as the Scene Template. You will see this automatically selects ACEScct: ACEScct / AP1 as the Working Colour Space. Unless you have good reason to change this to ACEScc, leave this setting as-is.

image10.png

Ensure the Working Format resolution is UHD, 4K or greater (unless otherwise approved by Netflix). The frame rate should match the delivery frame rate for the IMF and VDM.

After creating the scene, open Views > Scene Settings and verify your colour-related settings match the below:

image3.png

Under Views > Cursors, set the Viewing Colour Space to match the calibration of your reference display. For example, if you are doing an SDR grade this would be Rec.1886: 2.4 Gamma / Rec.709:

image11.png

The Viewing Format should be set to the delivery resolution for the IMF and VDM.

Colour Space Journey

From here, conform or insert your media into the scene. Open up Views > Colour Space Journey, and verify it looks something like the below:

image2.png

The critical part is that the Working Colour Space is ACEScct, and is then converted using the ACES RRT (“converted with family DRT” means it was automatically chosen) to the Viewing Colour Space. In the above example, the source is an ACES archival file (linear-encoded OpenEXR).

If this were a Dolby Vision grade on a 1000-nit reference monitor, the same shot’s Colour Space Journey would look like this:

image8.png

In most cases, the actual source will be the original camera RAW footage, which Baselight will automatically debayer into a defined color space that maximizes the amount of information it can pull from it. For example, if the source media were from a Sony camera, the Colour Space Journey may look like this:

image1.png

The Prefer Automatic/From Metadata setting we enabled in Scene Settings is automatically debayering the Sony shot into a linear, camera native space. Baselight subsequently transforms the images into ACEScct: ACEScct / AP1, which is where the grading operations are done -- this is why the Colour Space Journey has a Graded In field.

Rendering Deliverables

When you are ready to render your deliverables, open up Views > Render. You’ll probably want to make a new deliverable set for the Netflix deliveries.

The only deliverables that need to be provided to Netflix are specified in the project’s Content Hub page. However, this section will go over every potential deliverable for Netflix.

Remove any deliverable tabs in the Render view. Go to Deliverable Set > Define New Deliverable Set. You could call this Netflix Deliverables.

Rename the first tab to NAM. For the Non-Graded Archival Master, ensure you have the following render settings: 

Output Sequences
File Type OpenEXR
OpenEXR Compression Uncompressed
Render Format Equal to the scene’s Working Format (default selection in Baselight)
Render Colour Space ACES: Linear / AP0

Additionally for the NAM deliverable, ensure you are not including any layers that affect color in the render. Use your best judgment to include as much of the transform/spatial-only operations as you can in the NAM render, such as Transform and Pan & Scan operators.

Refer to "Content Hub - Preparing Picture Mastering Assets" for details on folder structure and file naming conventions.

 

Camera Native Workflow

A camera native workflow assumes you are using color spaces and transfer functions that are designed by the manufacturer of the project’s primary camera. This guide will not cover every camera manufacturer, but will instead outline how to prepare a scene for any of these workflows, including some examples.

Before launching Baselight, visit this page on FilmLight’s website and download any additional files related to your camera’s manufacturer. These include Truelight colour space files (.flspace) and display rendering transform files (.fltransform and .cub), which should all be placed inside the following directory on the Baselight:

/vol/.support/etc/colourspaces

Scene Configuration

After launching Baselight, create a new scene in Job Manager. Ensure the Working Format resolution is UHD, 4K or greater (unless otherwise approved by Netflix). Ensure the frame rate matches the delivery frame rate.

The Working Colour Space will now be set to a log-encoded camera native color space, and the name will begin with the camera manufacturer’s name. For example, if captured on a Panasonic camera, you would choose Panasonic: V-Log / V-Gamut. If captured on a Sony camera, you may choose Sony: S-Log3 / S-Gamut3.Cine. And so on. The overall idea is the color reproduction remains faithful to the camera’s own processing, and the images are log-encoded to maintain dynamic range and work better with traditional color grading tools.

After creating the scene, open Views > Scene Settings and verify your colour-related settings are similar to the below. The Working Colour Space and Display Rendering Transform are the settings that will differ per project, depending on the primary camera. In the below example, the primary camera was RED.

image6.png

Note: If you are doing a Dolby Vision grade, ensure the Displaying Rendering Transform selection has this icon to signify it is a “family DRT”, which means it has HDR and SDR versions:

image4.png

Colour Space Journey

From here, conform or insert your media into the scene. Open up Views > Colour Space Journey, and verify the media is being automatically decoded into a defined color space, and then converted to the Working Colour Space. Subsequently, the Display Rendering Transform will be automatically chosen to help convert to the display-referred Viewing Colour Space. Here is an example for an ARRIRAW shot:

image5.png

If this were a Dolby Vision grade on a 1000-nit reference monitor, the same shot’s Colour Space Journey would look like this:

image7.png

The Prefer Automatic/From Metadata setting we enabled in Scene Settings is automatically debayering the ARRI shot into a linear, camera native space. Baselight subsequently transforms the images into ARRI: LogC / Wide Gamut, which is where the grading operations are done -- this is why the Colour Space Journey has a Graded In field.

Rendering Deliverables

When you are ready to render your deliverables, open up Views > Render. You’ll probably want to make a new deliverable set for the Netflix deliveries.

The only deliverables that need to be provided to Netflix are specified in the project’s Content Hub page. 

Remove any deliverable tabs in the Render view. Go to Deliverable Set > Define New Deliverable Set. You could call this Netflix Deliverables, or whatever you like.

Rename the first tab to NAM. For the Non-Graded Archival Master, ensure you have the following render settings:

 

Output Sequences
File Type OpenEXR or DPX
OpenEXR Compression Uncompressed
Render Format Equal to the scene’s Working Format (default selection in Baselight)
Render Colour Space EXR: Linear version of the scene’s Working Colour SpaceDPX: Same as the scene’s Working Colour Space

Additionally for the NAM deliverable, ensure you are not including any layers that affect color in the render.

For the Render Colour Space, this would still be prefixed with the camera’s manufacturer.  For example: Sony: Linear / S-Gamut3.Cine.

Add a copy of this tab, then rename the duplicate to GAM. For the Graded Archival Master, ensure you have the following render settings:

Output Sequences
File Type OpenEXR or DPX (16-bit)
OpenEXR Compression Uncompressed
Render Format Equal to the scene’s Working Format (default selection in Baselight)
Render Colour Space EXR: Linear version of the scene’s Working Colour SpaceDPX: Same as the scene’s Working Colour Space

Add a copy of this tab, then rename the duplicate to Dolby Vision VDM. For the Dolby Vision Video Display Master, ensure you have the following render settings:

Output Sequences
File Type TIFF (16-bit)
Render Format Equal to the delivery format for IMF master (e.g. 3840x2160)
Render Colour Space Same as the scene’s Dolby Mastering Display

Add a copy of this tab, then rename the duplicate to SDR VDM. For the SDR Video Display Master, ensure you have the following render settings:

Output Sequences
File Type DPX (16-bit)
Render Format Equal to the delivery format for IMF master (e.g. 3840x2160)
Render Colour Space Same as the Viewing Colour Space used during grade(typically Rec.1886: 2.4 Gamma / Rec.709)

For each deliverable, you’ll likely leave all other settings default. Refer to "Content Hub - Preparing Picture Mastering Assets" for details on folder structure and file naming conventions.

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