Fusion Monitoring Part 2: Accurately Viewing Compositions In ACES Workflows

September 19, 2023

Images in Fusion can look different to the Edit and Color pages when color management systems clash. Here's how to fix that in ACES workflows

How to Color Manage ACES Correctly in Fusion

Color management is an incredibly important skill for any colorist to master, and to do so requires both a technical understanding of color pipelines and an ability to keep up with the latest industry developments. This Insight will help you do both!

In this Insight, you’ll learn how the Fusion image pipeline behaves within an ACES DaVinci Resolve project. By understanding its specific tonal and gamut requirements, we can correctly color manage our compositions – and, more importantly, see our work accurately represented in Fusion’s viewers.

Part 1 of this series covers how to do this when working in HDR Davinci Wide Gamut Intermediate.

Work Accurately with ACES Color Management, inside Fusion

The Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) is a popular industry color management standard allowing post-production workers across multiple disciplines to convert camera formats to a single wide gamut of color space.

It is used worldwide for managing projects captured in various raw camera formats and then output to every conceivable viewing platform, from digital cinema to HDR broadcast and streaming services.

Due to its unique primaries and tone treatment, it clashes with Fusion’s VFX industry output color space of sRGB Linear. This mismatch of values can result in a visual shift of the image between Fusion page and the other pages in DaVinci Resolve, as well as within Fusion’s viewers.

By setting up an ACES project and observing the behavior of the image, we can implement monitoring solutions that will match the output across Resolve’s pages and apply a gamut correction for accurate compositing in Fusion’s viewer and on your external reference monitor.

Key takeaways from this Insight

By the end of this Insight, you should understand how to:

  • Take into consideration the source of our media when working in ACES.
  • Match the Fusion viewer to the other pages in Resolve using the ACESTransform tool.
  • Color manage compositions and source media on the Fusion pipeline.
  • Load a third-party OCIO config file to correctly monitor a composition in the Fusion viewer.

DaVinci Resolve Fusion ACES Color Management Settings

Mixing Light members: Scroll down below the video to see my settings throughout this Insight.

External Links

Related Mixing Light Insights

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Homepage Forums Fusion Monitoring Part 2: Accurately Viewing Compositions In ACES Workflows

  • Balaji Gopal

    In color Space Transform node of Fusion in Resolve 18.6 you dont have option to select use Timeline in Input Color Space instead it comes as Rec709 or have option to choose all other color spaces?

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by  Balaji Gopal.
    • Thank you for pointing this out! I’ve just come back from IBC and hadn’t spotted this CST behaviour until now.

      I was able to successfully map my source media by replacing the CST node with an ACESTransform and mapping the video signal like so:

      ACESTransform to map media colour space:

        • ACES Version > ACES 1.3
        • Input Transform > ACEScg – CSC
        • Output Transform > sRGB (Linear) – CSC

      This might look like a simple reversal of the ACESTransform node we see at the end of the pipeline (before the MediaOut), but it’s not! First, this node allows you to keep the working color space of your pipeline as sRGB Linear, which is important for consistent effects work. Secondly, it also accurately maps the tones of the video signal – note that in the first instance of the ACESTransform node the sRGB is Linear, but in the subsequent one it is not.

  • Thank you both for explaining this 18.6 change. I was just about to bring this up – nice to see you two already were on it.

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