II.K - Gestion des couleurs : BlenderColor management: Blender

Blender use natively OpenColorIO* (cf. I.N - OpenColorIO et ACES) for color management, and the parameters are very simple to set up.

An excellent default OCIO configuration comes with Blender, which includes spaces for importing image and video files, exporting in several formats, and a Filmic workspace that works very well for 3D rendering.

However, we can easily use a configuration with ACES if we want to take advantage of it or integrate Blender to a production pipeline in ACES, the ACES workspace being slightly different from Filmic.

K.1 - Default configuration: Filmic

a. Render without color management, with sRGB standard. workspace

b. Color managed render in the Filmic. workspace.

With the default configuration and the Filmic space for rendering (scene referred), here are the few color settings in Blender.

K.1.a - Rendering (scene referred) and display

These settings are located in the rendering settings, section Color Management.


  • With OpenEXR output, only the raw (linear) data is saved.
  • For other formats***, the settings are applied during the conversion to the color space of the output format.

It is important to note that in a color managed workflow, and using the OpenEXR* format as an intermediate format (and therefore for saving at the output of Blender), all these options only influence the display of the rendering in Blender but not the data saved in the OpenEXR file ! So you have to re-apply the same settings in the following applications of the chain (compositing applications like Nuke, After Effects, etc. for example).

If the other applications do not use OpenColorIO* (and we cannot therefore give the OCIO configuration of Blender), we can however find these settings via LUT* exported from the OCIO configuration of Blender. Cf. I.2 - Manufacturing chain OCIO.

However, this is not the case when images are saved in other formats (PNG, video, etc.), in which case Blender applies all the settings to the image which, unlike OpenEXR, is saved in a specific color space (sRGB for images, Rec.709 for videos, etc.).

Blender also offers an image adjustment tool via curves, which allows fine retouching of the image.

This example pretty much replicates what the Filmic space does.

If this tool can be useful to correct images coming out of Blender, it is not recommended if you work on a color-managed pipeline using the OpenEXR format: it would be too complicated to reproduce exactly the same effect of curves in the applications that follow Blender in the production pipeline.

K.1.b - Output

Blender does not display color options (except for some modes and depth) for image output; it uses the standard space of the output format (sRGB for image formats, linear raw data in OpenEXR)

In OpenEXR the two depths* are :

Depending on the compositing to be done in the following applications or the final formats, we may prefer Float (Full) keeping in mind that the files will sometimes be much larger and heavier in calculations.

Cf. chapter I.K - Pixels formats for more information.

Things to remember:

K.1.c - Input (textures)

When adding images to Blender, the Color Space selector allows you to specify the color space used by the file in question.


The presence of the Linear ACES space allows you to import images that have used ACES, but Blender does not fully integrate into a production pipeline that uses ACES by default; indeed, it does not offer a ACES workspace.
See. I.3 - Using ACES

K.2 - OCIO pipeline

Cf. II.D - Design a production pipeline with OpenColorIO..

The OCIO* configuration provided by default with Blender, Filmic, is available in the Blender configuration folder, datafiles/colormanagement/config.ocio.

It is therefore possible to use this configuration throughout the production pipeline by pointing to this configuration in other applications, or by setting the OCIO environment variable to this file.

To include applications not using OpenColorIO in the pipeline (like Adobe After Effects or Adobe Photoshop), it’s always possible to generate the necessary LUT*, especially the LUT that converts linear images (like in openEXR*) to sRGB or other common spaces. We offer several of these LUT for download here, in different formats. You just have to apply the desired LUT to find the Filmic space of Blender in another application.

K.2.a - Changing the OCIO configuration

To use a configuration different from the default Filmic, Blender does not allow to select a configuration via the interface, but two solutions are possible.

It is of course also possible to edit the ocio.config file of Blender yourself, for advanced users.

K.3 - Using ACES

It may be interesting to use the ACEScg workspace rather than the default Filmic of Blender for a slightly different look, or to integrate Blender into a production line using ACES.

Here is a comparison of the results of the same rendering in different spaces:

a. Render without color management, with the sRGB workspace standard.

b. Render with color management, in the workspace Filmic ( “Medium-Contrast” setting).

c. Render with color management, in the workspace ACEScg.

As you can see on these images, ACES keeps the saturation of very bright colors better, and a little more contrast, while Filmic tends to dull the images a little.

To use ACES* with Blender and take advantage of its powerful workspace, simply use the corresponding OCIO* configuration.

However, the configuration provided by OCIO for ACES includes a long list of color spaces corresponding to various camera models, which is very useful in cinema for working on filmed images, but which complicates the task in animation and especially in Blender.

The list of color spaces displayed in Blender with the original ACES configuration!

We offer for download here a modified version of ACES specifically for animation, notably by limiting the number of color spaces included to those that are potentially really necessary in animation. This work done from Sony Pictures ImageWorks sources is available here on Github.

The list of color spaces displayed in Blender with the configuration ACES adjusted by us.

Here are the new settings available once this configuration is installed.

K.3.a - Rendering (scene referred)

Here are the settings for the rendering parameters, color management, once ACES* is available.

Simply choose the display space corresponding to your screen (usually sRGB).

K.3.b - Input (textures)

For the import of images, a large list of different color spaces is available. Here are the most useful and common ones.

In a nutshell :

Sources et références