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Thread: 3 LCS workflows for LW

  1. #1

    3 LCS workflows for LW

    Hello there,

    I've written an article for HDRI3D magazine (Issue #18) about 3 linear workflows for Lightwave 3D that I designed within a general color management workflow that passes through whole production (even if it's not CG). The article is oriented to studios that can't afford expensive color management systems for their CG work, but it's also applicable for CG professionals.

    It could be useful for other 3D packages as well since it's not a tutorial about techniques but instead an article about workflows (which is really uncommon even in printed magazines). It not only shows how to work in linear light cohesively by applying 3 different workflows according to our needs, but also how to set up a general workflow to work in different output mediums (motion picture production, TV and print) by maintaining color consistency as much as possible.

    The article has also some good news for LW users on this topic.



    Gerardo

  2. #2
    Just for people not familiarized with LCS workflows, it's good they know that there's only advantages in to switch to these workflows. If you have realized you need a lot of tweak to get a realistic shading, or you have some flickering problems in animation, or if you can't get that evasive bokeh effect, or if your real fresnel shading in reflections doesn't look so "real", or if still you have problems to integrate through HDRI lighting that CG element with this real footage, or if color bleeds aren't so clean, or if you are getting too contrasted images and you want a 'v-ray look', or if brightness attenuates when you use mblur, or if you have some AA problems in textures... then, you might be interested in to implement a LCS workflow for your own work.

    But not only that, let's say you are working for film, or print, or TV, or web or for all of them and as it's obvious, you have realized colors doesn't look the same in your computer than in the video monitor, or in the theater screen, or in that printed illustration. How to keep color consistency as much as possible from medium to medium? or let's say you want your CG short has a "film look" even if you are displaying it on a video monitor or TV, we can do that? if so, how? or let's say you see a banding effect when you display your sequence in a projector, but you don't see it in your computer monitor; there's a way to get rid off those annoying banding effects? or let's say you are working in hi-res for print; there's a way to convert that result sucessfully to CMYK, or even more, there is a way to work with a CMYK pantone within LW? These questions are answered with a proper color management workflow.

    If some of you have some of these questions, you might find interesting my articles in Issue# 18 and Issue# 19 for HDRI3D magazine


    Gerardo

  3. #3
    A terrific article!

    Very helpful indeed, thanks so much!
    please power off before disconnecting connecting connectors

  4. #4
    Glad it helps

    Thanks,



    Gerardo

  5. #5
    Just to comment I've seen some people confusing FP pipelines with linear workflows. It seems there is a lot of misunderstanding in this topic, which is what this article tries to clarify as well



    Gerardo

  6. #6
    Just to explain this a bit more:

    Working with FP images doesn't mean we are implementing a linear workflow automatically. Processes similar to LightWave's "Full Precision" Renderer and You, by Kenneth Woodruff, Arnie Cachelin and Allen Hastings, are FP pipelines. Notice they don't pretend to be linear workflows, but rather a very useful introduction to the advantages of FP renderers and FP processings.

    Consider also that varing the gamma at the end of the output render without any pre-processing, doesn't mean that we are gamma-correcting colors. Because we are not correcting colors in fact, but the opposite.

    In those specific cases, we are not gamma-correcting colors because flat colors, colors from procedural textures, from 8-bit images, from lights, etc are in log space (this means they are already gamma-encoded). Though the diffuse shading obtained is linear, colors are not linear; so when a simple gamma exponent is applied in post-processing (LW, PS or any compositing package), what we are really doing is cranking gamma up for those colors. this means, we are adding gamma twice! So colors are totally wrong. That's the reason why we get wash out images when we apply a gamma exponnent near to 2 without a proper correction. That's one of the reasons also why is not easy to match properly a CG element with a BG plate even if we have adquired the lighting intensities in location through an HDR image.

    The gamma exponent is not arbitrary as well. If we are applying a linear workflow, we'd want this exponent can be as accurate as possible due to two reasons: Proper Linearization and previewing. Later, in post, we can vary the final gamma for artistic purposes. But be aware: some type of linearization (at least a basic one) is a must in any linear workflow.



    Gerardo

  7. #7
    Btw, article on Issue# 18 explains several ways to linearize colors and several other ways to previewing in log space within Lightwave. In this regard, that's what my article of Issue #19 it's about. It's a tutorial about the usage of an awesome incoming new tool: The first color management system that has been developed ever within a 3D commercial package. These tools have been developed by the brilliant Sebastian Goetsch to work within Lightwave 3D, and pretend to facilitate, make simple and accessible for ALL users the classic linear workflow by adding also color management capabilities within the 3D package. According to other specialists it was a kind of 'impossible mission' with the current SDK. So all my gratitude to Sebastian for developing so innovative tool.



    Gerardo

  8. #8
    Nothing ado about much Exception's Avatar
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    Sounds interesting, gerardo, despite prhaps some excessive self promotion, but how would one get to this information without committing to a yearly subscription of this magazine?

  9. #9
    Dreamer MooseDog's Avatar
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    Barnes&Noble....magazine section

    (if it worked here in Burlington, VT, surely it would work in New Haven )
    We are pirates, we are artists...

    Blog

  10. #10
    Respect The Architect Limbus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exception
    but how would one get to this information without committing to a yearly subscription of this magazine?
    You can buy single issues from the HDRI Mag website.

    Cheers, Florian
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  11. #11
    Nothing ado about much Exception's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Limbus
    You can buy single issues from the HDRI Mag website.
    Only if you get a subscription.
    I'll try B&N

  12. #12
    Respect The Architect Limbus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exception
    Only if you get a subscription.
    I'll try B&N
    If you click on "buy now" you are directed to this website:
    http://www.dmgpublishing.com/Merchan...egory_Code=H3M
    where you can click on "Buy one now". As far as I see you only buy one single issue this way.

    Cheers, Florian
    3DGrafikvonBehr
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  13. #13
    Pixel and Poly Pusher JeffrySG's Avatar
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    sounds very cool... I'm going to look for it at B&N as well...

  14. #14
    Yep, Thanks MooseDog!

    Tom, it's not self promotion. I'm promoting the content of this article: linear workflows and color management for CG work. It's just happens that I've designed these workflows and written these articles too but I'd talk about them in the same way if they had been designed and written by someone else, as I've already made with several techniques and tools. I'm being specially incisive on this because it's an unknown topic for many people and misunderstood by some others and they really can improve our results consistently.

    The other way to get HDRI3D Issues by separate is as Florian has said.



    I thought initially this will interest to CG studios only (since methodical workflows are not a common practice in the most of users), but it's really good to see several LW's CG professionals and advanced users interested in this topic.



    Gerardo

  15. #15
    Nothing ado about much Exception's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerardstrada
    Tom, it's not self promotion. I'm promoting the content of this article: linear workflows and color management for CG work.
    That's semantics.
    You're promoting something which makes you money.
    Which is fine, within reason.

    The other way to get HDRI3D Issues by separate is as Florian has said.
    You can only get one issue this way.

    I thought initially this will interest to CG studios only (since methodical workflows are not a common practice in the most of users), but it's really good to see several LW's CG professionals and advanced users interested in this topic.
    I know about linear workflows. I'm mostly interested in Sebastin Goetsch's color management system for LW, that I am unaware of...
    And next to that you might have some handy tricks up your sleeve and it's always good to read well informed articles.
    I just wish there was a handier way to get these.

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