Month In ACES

Dan’s Month In ACES

June 1, 2017

Dan spent a month in ACES getting to know the new way of grading. In this insight he shares his thoughts on the good the bad and the ugly of ACES.


My Time Getting To Know ACES

Well, it’s the 1st of June and I’ve (almost) stuck to my guns for my month in ACES.

I can honestly say that I’ll be happily using ACES as part of my regular workflow from now on.

In a happy coincidence, an Amazon Fire Stick commercial came in last week and thanks to my deep dive into ACES the HDR grade was as simple as swapping my Output Transform and doing a trim pass.

Let’s jump to my video below where I explain some of my jobs this month.

I’ve included links below to videos of each job if you’d like to check them out full screen while I speak about them in the video.

Some Of My ACES Jobs

Topman Suits

Topman suits was a the perfect introduction into the world of ACES.

It was an unattended grade with supplied stills to match.

The grade took a single node and about an hour to dial in and made me extremely happy on day one!

Renault Family Life

This job was a kick back to earth.

Well shot Red Helium was a breeze to grade but how about some dash cam and cheap drone footage!

This was a much bigger struggle but by the end of it I was quite happy grading away as normal.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

This job job was a precision macro grade where every possible area was masked off and refined.

The surprising issue I ran into on this job was making it look more video.

The client requested that I crush the black to zero and highlights right up to the top.

Due to the curve in ACES it was impossible to get a true white with the output display transform rolling off the highlights nicely each time.

Our work around on this job was to push the image post grade in the Flame!

MØ – Nights With You

This is the job where I abandoned ACES entirely and went with a regular grade.

Around 2:36 in the video lots of neon colors arrived into the image and started causing posterization effects.

I made a call there and then to swap out of ACES for the job and investigate further when I had more down time!


I’m sure you have many questions to ask so please do and I’ll do my best to answer them all.

ACES has been a great fun experience for me and I’d love everyone to be happy working in color managed color spaces.

If you’ve got any questions, be sure to leave a comment!


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9 thoughts on “Dan’s Month In ACES”

    1. I haven’t spent a huge amount of time in RCM so far but I found it’s more transparent than ACES. ACES has a curvey filmic look baked into the ODT where the RCM is a much more neutral starting point.

  1. Hi Dan,
    the problems you are describing it (and by the video look) in the MØ video sounds like they are given by hi saturated lights or led lights that are straight into the lens.

    there is a dctl that you can find on aces central (link below) that fix the problem.

    I use it when there are actual problems, otherwise if i want vivid saturated colours I avoid it as makes everything a bit too “normal”

  2. I’m surprised to hear about highlights and shadows, or that there’s really no ability to control that within resolve.
    Shouldn’t we have an option to chose if we want the roll off or not? Seems very limiting if not..

  3. Dan, how did you get that slight teal/cyan in the blue denim in the Renault ad? Obviously many ways to it but not using the old Kodak film LUT if you were using ACES? Could you though? Would you want to? I was a nice grade anyway so it’d be good to see your nodes! Thanks again

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