Mixing Light offers free ACES online tutorials
November 1, 2016

Mixing Light offers free ACES online tutorials

HERNDON, VA — Mixing Light is a training and educational Website featuring courses covering the  spectrum of color correction for moving images. The site recently published a free, three-part tutorial on the Academy Color Encoding Specification (ACES), designed so that colorists can understand the specification and how it will impact their workflow.

ACES, published by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), is a global standard for motion picture and television production encompassing imaging, interchange and archiving designed for visual consistency throughout production, VFX, post and archiving workflows. As ACES becomes the industry standard for managing color throughout the lifecycle of a motion picture or television production, it has also proven itself invaluable in solving the problems that arise from using a variety of digital cameras and formats within a single production, as well as worldwide collaboration using digital files. 

“While not a new standard, ACES has been gaining in adoption and use on features and higher-end television productions,” notes Patrick Inhofer, one of the three co-founders of Mixing Light. “AMPAS has been pushing the message of ACES and the advantages of a sophisticated color management system at events all over the world since the launch of ACES 1.0 last year. However, it is now finding its way into other productions, such as documentaries, which would normally be graded using Rec. 709 color space, which makes manually matching shots and tweaking any VFX/CGI sometimes difficult. We thought that the time was right to provide this free tutorial to colorists whom might find themselves having to deal with ACES on upcoming projects.”

“One of the main benefits of an ACES workflow for colorists is that it takes captured referred data that is specific to the design of each camera system's signal and reverse engineers that back into the pure linear unadulterated light information that was in the actual scene in front of the camera, theoretically, without any camera bias,” adds Robbie Carman, co-founder of Mixing Light. “That’s why ACES is often discussed as being scene referred or with the more technical phrase scene linear. Technically ACES seems intimidating, but once you get to know it, you realize its power. Our three-part tutorial on the essentials of ACES is geared toward the DaVinci Resolve colorist looking to quickly get up to speed with its terminology, setup, and workflow. I think our series does a good job translating the technical aspects of ACES to a language a wider audience of colorists, editors, directors, and DPs can understand.”

ACES is future-proofed, as its color space is so large that it actually encompasses the entire visual locus — or everything that humans are capable of seeing.

Mixing Light’s ACES tutorial topics including:
- The “Parts” of ACES
- The ACES Pipeline
- Is ACES Right For You?
- ACES Terminology
- Getting Setup to Work with ACES in DaVinci Resolve
- ACES Version Numbers and Why It Matters
- ACES Between Grading Platforms
- ACES VFX Round Trip Essentials

The free three-part primer on ACES, starting with part one — “Getting To Know ACES” — is available at https://mixinglight.com/portfolio/getting-know-aces/ which contains links to the other two free sections.