In a Nutshell: a quick summary of how to get it right

Here’s the to-do list for perfect color management without trials and errors!

File formats

Intermediate, render, master and backup exports

Use openEXR for all non-final exports!

Color depth in EXR :

The other depth options are only useful in case of resource constraints…

Compression of the EXR :

Read our guide on EXR compressions here!

Final export and delivery

Refer to the standard spaces according to the delivered format (if the customer does not specify a color space).

Importing into applications

It is always important to know in which space the imported file was made/exported. If you follow these recommendations, the file is always an openEXR file, and most often interpreted by applications as RGB Linear by default.

It may be useful to note the color space used directly in the file name.

Refer to the standard spaces for other formats if you do not know their color spaces.


In the vast majority of cases, we display in sRGB without any other simulation or conversion. Only in the case where a screen uses another display space can another parameter be chosen.


The spaces provided by ACES are extremely practical, and easy to set up using OCIO. If OCIO is not available on the application, the ACES workspaces may still be available natively; as a last resort another wide workspace specific to the application should be chosen.

Drawing, textures, …

Exports in openEXR 16 bpc. When importing into other applications, be sure to specify the space used when making the image.

3D rendering

Or any other space with gamut* very wide and linear.

Exports to openEXR 16 bpc if compositing is done in a linear space.


In 3D, we try as much as possible to use the color space of the 3D render.

In 2D, we prefer a gamut* wide and linear space, ACEScg works very well. If not possible, you can stay in RGB Linear.

Exports in openEXR 16 bpc if compositing is not followed by a color correction step in a non-linear space, 32 bpc in other cases.

Colorimetric correction

We can follow the same reasoning as for compositing, although it may be more convenient to work in a non-linear space. In this case ACEScc is perfect.

Exports to openEXR 16 bpc for archiving, and to standard space file for delivery.