I was recently asked by a user for some help getting started with ACES. There are three main topics being asked about. Rather than just provide my own perspective, I thought the ACES community here might be able to chime in and help me out in providing some answers from their own experiences with ACES. Thanks in advance!
The three topics:
1 - Having never used an ACES workflow, is there general introduction material to help get started and understand the basics of setting up an ACES workflow?
2 - The project will use Resolve 14 with a custom look LUT. How would this LUT fit into the ACES workflow? And how would it be implemented in Resolve 14?
3 - How should monitors be calibrated?
For a very basic introduction, see the ACES Primer.
For more details and technical documentation click here.
And of course, peruse this forum for other user’s questions and experiences.
Resolve supports ACES but exact implementation can be tricky. There are a few posts up here already about Resolve 14, including this. There are a number of people on this forum much more experienced in practically using ACES in Resolve 14 than I am, so hopefully others will chime in here.
There are no ACES standards for calibrating monitors, per se. Instead, the ACES Output Transforms are designed to be compatible with common monitor calibrations (e.g. Rec. 709 colorimetry w/ BT.1886 EOTF).
If monitors are calibrated to these specifications (provided by ITU or others), then simply picking the corresponding Output Transform (or “ODT”) will produce imagery rendered for display on that monitor.
The primer is great. There’s also allot of videos on the web… I personally, just dove right in. It’s very close to the way we “normally” would do color management. One important thing to know: if your grading in DCI-P3 (using the ODT) the Rec709 D60sim is your best friend for the 709 trim.
Adapting a LUT to avec is quite tricky and almost impossible (to my own knowledge and experience). I’ve asked about this many time and there’s not straight answer. It think it requires allot of knowledge about the maths and is not very practical. It would be great for someone who’s very knowledgeable to build a software for converting LUTs into ACES. The only way would be to match the grade manually.
Like you would always do. Nothing special. Calibrate and use the correct ODT.