color management in After Effects CS4: one new white paper, one updated
We just posted two white papers for After Effects CS4 on the After Effects Developer Center.
The first paper is an updated version of the color management white paper that we published for After Effects CS3. It tells you click by click, step by step, how to use color management features in After Effects and Photoshop for various outputs. Separate workflows are provided for HDTV, digital cinema, and SWF outputs.
See the Color management workflow in After Effects CS4 white paper.
The second paper is much shorter. It explains the difference between scene-referred and output-referred color profiles, and it explains why you should care.
See the Image state adjustment in After Effects CS4 color workflows white paper.
Here’s an excerpt from the “Gamma and tone response” section of After Effects CS4 Help that gives the basics about image state adjustment in After Effects CS4:
Color profiles are said to be scene-referred if their tone-response curves are based on the conditions in the typical scene. Color profiles are said to be output-referred if their tone-response curves are based on the conditions in the typical viewing environment.
By default when you use color management, After Effects automatically adjusts the contrast of images when converting between scene-referred color profiles and output-referred color profiles. This automatic conversion is based on the gamma values specified in the HDTV video standard.
To disable this automatic color transformation, deselect Compensate For Scene-referred Profiles in the Project Settings dialog box (File > Project Settings).
The Compensate For Scene-referred Profiles feature also exists in Adobe Photoshop CS4, but this feature does not exist in other applications. To match the colors in other applications—including After Effects CS3 and earlier—disable this automatic conversion. When you open a project created in After Effects CS3 or earlier, the Compensate For Scene-referred Profiles option is deselected.
Note: Some links within these documents may not work yet. We’re still in the early days of posting documents for After Effects CS4. I figured that you’d rather have these posted now than wait until we got all of the kinks ironed out.