Hi everyone, i do cg character art and i accidentaly discovered and loved ACES,
unfortunately color management is literally rocket-science.

I use ACES 1.2 OCIOv1 with an environment variable
Softwares: Maya2022, Mari 4.6v3 and Substance Painter 8.1.0

On the internet, it seems very clear how to use ACES 1.2 OCIOv1(or previous configurations),
how to use it with the different and “latest” software, Maya2022+,SP8.0,Mari4,etc…
and,in some cases like in mari, how to set up the “roles” in the config.ocio for them.

i wish i could upgrade to ACES 1.3 OCIOv2.3, and i was wondering if someone could help me with
these steps/doubts that i really can’t find an answer to:

1)- from which versions of Maya, Mari an Substance Painter, ACES 1.3 OCIOv2.3 is supported?

2)- if a software says it supports OCIOv2, it can support also OCIOv2.3?

3)- when i download ACES 1.2 OCIOv1 i have 3 folders(baked,luts,python) and a config.ocio,
for ACES 1.3 OCIOv2.3 one simple “cg-config-v2.1.0_aces-v1.3_ocio-v2.3.ocio” is that all i need?

4)- ACES 1.3 OCIOv2.3 has different roles and display colorspaces, for example:

Roles: “color_picking: Output - sRGB” becomes–> “color_picking: sRGB - Texture”
is this fine or i have to change something when working with Maya, Mari and SP?

Display colorspaces:
“Utility - Linear - sRGB” that i used for HDR in Maya can be found only in aliases(?)…so now is called Linear Rec.709 (sRGB)?

  • !
    name: Linear Rec.709 (sRGB)
    aliases: [lin_rec709_srgb, Utility - Linear - Rec.709, lin_rec709, lin_srgb, Utility - Linear - sRGB]

where i can find a guide that compares the new display colorspaces(ACES 1.3) names with the previous ones(ACES 1.2)?

5)-i see a lot of artists that don’t use ACES 1.2 OCIOv1 on Maya2022+ to avoid problems,
(for example the Display and View functions in color management,
that are available only for OCIOv2 remain visible and are set to Display>ACES and View>sRGB.)
and they use the Maya2022-config.ocio (that i have no idea which aces version is inside of it)
while keeping ACES 1.2 OCIOv1 on the other softwares like SP and Mari(since they maybe don’t support OCIOv2)
it’s a wrong workflow right?

If you reached this point thank you so much, i just started getting interested into ACES
but even if i love it, i really can’t find answers, hope i can find them here.


Hello and welcome here !
Versioning is confusing, let me try to address as best as I can:

  1. Check the release notes of each software and try using ctrl+f with OCIO keyword. To check the major bump 1 vs 2 I made this page:
  1. Depends what the software means by OCIOv2 :upside_down_face: but in theory a OCIOv2.3 config is not supported by OCIOv2.1 for example. In all cases you can just test by modifying the version key at the top of the config, and see at which version the DCC breaks.

  2. This is one of the change of OCIOv2, all the luts are now builtin transform part of the OCIO library. The python folder should probably never have been shipped as this is just the “code source” to generate the config. The code can now be found directly in the main github branch while the config is a release.

  3. I don’t think you have to change anything, unless you were using some scripts that were relying on specific colorspace values like Output - sRGB. I don’t think there is a guide for a comparison of the changes. There is a bit of explanation on the GitHub 1.0.0 release but not really what you are asking.
    However some DCCs might define custom roles (like substance painter) that need to be added to ensure maximum compatibility between the DCC and the config. Even some software like redshift expect some specific OCIO config configuration.

  4. I would say it is an error-prone workflow which increase confusion and risk of mistakes. But it would be possible to have a similar result. The main difference between ACES 1.2 and 1.3 is the gamut compression algorithm but I remember it needs to be applied on the IDT stage.

Hope that helps,

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Hello Liam, what a coincidence!
You already saved me 2-3 years ago (I wrote you an email asking for help with ACES for SP).

So, THANK YOU SO MUCH(for the second time), you have no idea how much.
I feel like I’ve learned a good 500% more, you made my day.

If I may, I’d like to ask you a few more questions about point 3:

I see that you’ve linked both a link for the code and a link for the release.
I apologize, but… being more of an artist than a technician,
I would need you to explain it to me more straightforwardly,
assuming that OCIOv2.3 is supported by all the softwares:

To switch to ACES 1.3 OCIOv2.3 and use it on Maya, Mari, and SP,
do I just need to download “cg-config-v2.1.0_aces-v1.3_ocio-v2.3” from here:

put the file “cg-config-v2.1.0_aces-v1.3_ocio-v2.3.ocio” in a folder C:\OCIO,
and set the environment variable to have it in all the softwares?

Or do I need to download other files and follow other steps?

Lastly, if the “installation” steps i wrote are correct,
I had inserted these Roles in the config.ocio of the previous aces 1.2:

mari_int8: Utility - sRGB - Texture
mari_int16: Utility - sRGB - Texture
mari_scalar8: Utility - Raw
mari_int_scalar: Utility - Raw
mari_float: ACES - ACEScg
mari_working: ACES - ACEScg
mari_monitor: Output - sRGB
mari_scalar_monitor: Utility - Raw
substance_3d_painter_bitmap_import_8bit: Utility - sRGB - Texture
substance_3d_painter_bitmap_import_16bit: Utility - sRGB - Texture
substance_3d_painter_bitmap_import_floating: Utility - Linear - sRGB
substance_3d_painter_bitmap_export_8bit: Utility - sRGB - Texture
substance_3d_painter_bitmap_export_16bit: Utility - sRGB - Texture
substance_3d_painter_bitmap_export_floating: ACES - ACEScg
substance_3d_painter_substance_material: Utility - sRGB - Texture

Will I need to re-write them in “cg-config-v2.1.0_aces-v1.3_ocio-v2.3” updating with the new names of the color spaces?

Thank you a thousand times again!

Happy to help !

yes, note that the releases also supply configs for lower OCIO 2 versions

yes too

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Perfect! Understood!! :star_struck:

About this, do you know where i can find the OCIO 2.0 version of ACES 1.3? i really can only find 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 versions of OCIO

Sooo the OCIO-2.0 config is available in the 1.0.0 release of the config linked earlier which is ACES-1.3 but doesn’t include the gamut compression as look because it was made possible in OCIO-2.1.

If now you really want to use the config v2.0.0 which is only available for minimum OCIO-2.1, you could:

  • edit the top ocio_profile_version top key and just put 2 instead.
  • remove the looks section (with the unsupported gamut compression)
    (I didn’t tested but I think it could work)
1 Like

Ohh okay!!
Thank you so much again Liam!!