Photoshop - Nuke round trip


we are truing to make a round trip from Nuke to Photoshop and back using ACES so we can standardize the procedure in our studio for doing matte paintings and patch work.

After some time we wound two ways, but both have problems.

From Nuke we export TIFF as 16bit ACES CCT, that way we dont have any cliping eaven in values that go above 16.
Than, we load that in Photoshop.

First way is to use adjustment layer 3d LUT. The problem with that is the artist then needs to make sure that adjustment layer is always on top and applied. So when you have a lot of artists working on a project, the element ow human mistake is big, and it is not a straight forward pipeline.

here it is good

but here its been left under new layers, and it is not working correctly.

Second way is to use ICC profiles. This way we know that the artist can make a mistake working with layers, but now we have this problem.

So when we assign ICC profile, the image itself looks good, but all other colors and color wheels in Photoshop then break. Which makes it impossible to work.!

Either way, when we export it form Photoshop as TIFF and load it up in NUKE, the image is unbroken, and if you put it on difference with original image its good.

We would appreciate any help . We have integrated ACES in the whole pipeline two years ago, but never did get Photoshop to work.

Thank you

Welcome Nikola,

The 3D LUT workflow is probably the way to go as you noticed but there is the always on top issue. What you might be able to do with some scripting is adding a notifier to an event of your choice, e.g. layer creation, and then, assuming your Color Lookup layer has a known name, you can move it to the top with the notifier. I haven’t touched Photoshop scripting API in many years but I think it should be doable and not super hard.

Here is a thread that should put you on the way:

Hope that helps,




instead of a 3D LUT as an adjustment layer you can do the same over the Proof Menu. It was described in another post I think. Then you can CTRL-Y toggle between ACEScct & Rec.709 (for example) without having an extra adjustment layer in the document.

Thank you for your answers.

We tested the PROOF as well as just an adjustment layer. The problem that we have with this method is that it only applies correction to the image but not to the color picker as well… What then happens is that the artist cant pick colors from color wheel. If you have LUT applied to an image it picks the color of adjusted image and then when you paint it, it treats it as a color that needs to be adjusted with a LUT. If you adjust picker to ignore the color adjustments, then it will pick the color which is not treated by the lut, but than the color wheel does not represent the colors that you see. this is because you pick a color that is without LUT and is represented on a color wheel as that, but what you see on the image is the image modified by the LUT.
Eather way, artists cant intuitively pick colors and work, because what you see is not what you get.
We all so tried with third party color pickers, but that does not solve the problem.

For a pipeline to work, we should be able to get to and out of Photoshop, without degrading an image, but all so preserving the intuitive way of working which artists need, so they can stay creative, while maintaining quality and can get expected results.

Thank you all for taking time to help us!

Hi Nikola,

I agree - 3D-LUTS and PROOF are only poor workarounds.
Adobe needs to come up with a solution for that.

Affinity Photo and Krita are having OCIO support for example.

I am using the Nuke & Photoshop roundtrip with TIFF in ACESCCT & PROOF quite a lot. But mostly
to cleanup plates using heal patches and content aware fill.
This is working fine for me, but I use only 1% of Photoshop.

I found I need to be careful when painting & layering in Photoshop in CCT-LOG space, because a full “white” pixel will be around 222 in scene linear when you are back in Nuke.

Hi There

We had the same problem with Photoshop and we just get a nice workaround to solve the problem, it´s not tricky but we need to use a "bridge software " to solve the problem. We need to export the EXR from nuke normalized, i mean, all the values should be beetwen 0 and 1 and to do that we use a normal grade, that we should keep safe to invert that normalization. After that, just open the EXR in Krita, change the color space to sRGB(lineal), which basicly makes nothing in term of change the color values, but it change thye color space value to sRGB, which is more suitable for photoshop, and save them as PSD, so you get a PSD with a “log” look…and that´s all. Just work in photoshop in the same way that when you have log files and save those PSD. When you import back those PSD in nuke, just change the color space to raw, and apply the previous grade inverted