ACES 2.0 Invertability

The front page of ACEScentral has a panel discussion from NAB. When asked what they were most looking forward to in ACES 2.0 they all said unanimously INVERTABILITY!

They speak of being able to roundtrip and have things end in the same place, and make the analogy of being able to “unsear a piece of tuna and serve it as sushi.”

But Isn’t ACES 1.0 invertable already? It definitely has an inverse Output transform. What new magic does ACES 2.0 bring to the table?

Unfortunately, ACES 1.x is not fully invertible. Alex, Scott and others can give you the technical reasons why, but there were some modifiers on 1.x that wouldn’t let you invert what you sent through it. One of the examples that always got us at Disney was using images that were sRGB (like title graphics). You couldn’t invert it through the inverse output transforms in ACES 1.x, overlay it on some ACES EXRs and then get the same colors back when you put the output transforms back on.

But the number one item that we collected during our “listening tour” was that the new ACES 2.0 had to be invertible. And thus, we finally have it! I hope that makes sense.

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Awesome sauce. Thanks Annie!