Getting Started with ACES

What is ACES?
The Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) is an industry standard for managing color and digital files throughout the life cycle of most any media production, from motion picture, to television, video game, or immersive storytelling project. From image capture through editing, VFX, mastering, public presentation, archiving and future remastering, ACES ensures a consistent color experience that preserves the creators’ vision. It also “future proofs” your project and simplifies the creation of the many deliverables that are required of today’s productions.

How to get the most from The ACES Community Forum
Please read this short introduction to ACESCentral and then register so you can post and communicate with other members and the ACES Team! It takes about 15 seconds to register, it’s free and we don’t spam you. How to get the most from the ACES Community Forum

Is there something I can download and share with my team that explains ACES?
If you haven’t already seen it, please have a look at the ACES Primer. ACES Primer_070918.pdf (6.6 MB) This is a great" low-tech" document covering all things ACES, and it’s intended to help people that are curious about ACES learn what it’s all about. It’s a great resource to introduce your clients and other team members to ACES and help explain why it is such an important production enhancement. You can download individual Quick start guides for different roles here (more coming!):

ACES Overview Summary 081318.pdf (898.2 KB)
ACES Workflow Sample 081318.pdf (57.8 KB)
ACES DIT Quick Start Guide 081318.pdf (78.6 KB)
ACES VFX Quick Start Guide 081318.pdf (171.3 KB)

ACES Resumen General 81318SP.pdf (1.0 MB)
Ejemplo de flujo de trabajo en ACES.pdf (491.5 KB)
ACES DIT Guía de Inicio Rápido 81318ASP.pdf (65.3 KB)
ACES VFX Guía de Inicio Rápido 81318ASP.pdf (753.7 KB)

What Productions have used ACES?
We keep track of features, television shows and shorts that have used ACES using two community based databases. It’s a great mix of blockbusters independent motion pictures, television shows and shorts that have used ACES. There are many other productions, including video games, VR/AR/MR, and commercials that have used ACES, and some of them are profiled in the Articles Category and other threads throughout the forum. List of ACES productions

How do I get support for ACES?
General Support
The primary support mechanisms for ACES are

  • Joining and posting on this forum. There are many knowledgeable and willing experts including ACES Mentors and representatives from the Product Partner companies who monitor this forum and are excited about helping others in the community.
  • Contacting the manufacturers of the products involved to see how they recommend using their product in an ACES color managed workflow.

Support for Private Questions Should you have a question that relates to a production or issue that can’t be discussed in a public setting, please email us at

Questions/Suggestions for the ACES Team We encourage questions or suggestions for the ACES leadership, technical or marketing teams to be posted in the public discussion forums as this is consistent with our goal of being open and accountable. If you have a situation that needs to be addressed privately, you may contact us at

Meet people and read up on what people like you are saying. You can search the forum by keyword (using the magnifier glass icon) or use the built-in tagging system to find topics of interest. Additionally, we’ve provided a few sample links below, based on some typical production and post production roles to help get you started.

Archive Category
Thread on using ACES for Archiving and Future-Proofing Archiving and future proofing
Thread discussing Reformatting and Archiving for ACES Case Study on short film “The Troop” CASE STUDY: The Troop Redux - Preview

On Set Category
Thread on ACES for Low Budget Shoots: ACES step by step for low budget shoots
Thread from Cinematographer Geoff Boyle A Cinematographer's Take on HDR and ACES

Post/DI Category
Thread on ACEScc vs ACEScct ACEScc vs ACEScct

Digital Imaging Technician
On Set Category
Thread on some known color issues and workaround Colour artefacts or breakup using ACES

Info and Video on ACES from DGA Digital Day ACES Panel and presentation at DGA Digital Day 2017

Edit category
Article from CineMontage (Editor’s Guild Magazine) on ACES: ARTICLE: Everything's Coming Up ACES

Facilities Engineer
Tech/Engineering category:
ACESNext Discussion - consider getting involved in helping design the next generation enhancements to ACES.
List of ACES Product Partners - These companies are working to integrate ACES into their products and are allowing the ACES Team to review the outputs to be sure they’re up to specification. This could be helpful when you design your internal workflows. Meet the product partners

Post Production Supervisor
Edit category
Article from CineMontage (Editor’s Guild Magazine) on ACES: ARTICLE: Everything's Coming Up ACES

Video from Mike Whipple discussing how ACES helps studios and producers ACES for Producers by Michael Whipple (Sony)
Thread with articles on productions and professionals using ACES
Thread from PGA magazine “ACES Matters” PGA’s Produced By magazine: “ACES belongs on Producers’ Radar”
Article on “Why Color Workflows Matter” and can save time and money. ARTICLE: Digital Cinema Report: Why Color Workflows Matter

Visual Effects Supervisor
VFX category
Thread on using Nuke Path: ACEScg to regular sRGB? (Nuke 10.5v1, ACES 1.0.3)
Article on use of ACES for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 One of Studio Daily’s top 10 artticles of 2017! ARTICLE: How They Did It: Marvel Studios’ ACES Workflow for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Videogame Designer or coder
Videogame category
Thread on how Tomb Raider uses ACES: Using ACES to implement HDR in Rise of the Tomb Raider

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