II.F - Designing a production pipeline with OCIO

The interest of OCIO[]( lies in the fact that, by using it, you can configure the entire production pipeline at once, for all the software in the pipeline (as long as they are compatible with OCIO*).

In general, when you configure a production pipeline using OCIO, you start with an existing config that you modify according to the needs of the project and the artistic and manufacturing choices.

A set of configurations is available in the [OpenColorIO] downloads (, including ACES, spi-anim and spi-vfx, developed by Sony Pictures Imageworks. Another configuration is available with Blender.

F.1 - Setting up

The implementation of OCIO on a production pipeline is relatively simple. First of all, you have to choose a configuration to use, and eventually modify it and adapt it to your needs (see next section “OCIO config anatomy”).

The principle is then to give to each application the path to the configuration file config.ocio. This can be done easily for all of them by modifying the OCIO environment variable, giving it the path to the configuration file.

It is also possible to give a specific path to each application; in this case the method varies according to the application.

F.2 - OCIO configuratin anatomy

An OCIO configuration actually consists of a set of LUT* accompanied by a simple text file containing the actual configuration, always named config.ocio.

Here is for example the Filmic config used by Blender:

The config file is divided into several sections, usually in the following order:

Other sections can be added, see the official documentation for details on

Comments that do not affect the configuration can also be added to the file. A line containing a comment must simply begin with the character #.


The syntax actually follows the standard YAML.

We explain here only the different sections that a current user can modify, but all sections can be manipulated by more advanced users. You should refer to the official documentation of OpenColorIO.

F.2.a - Metadata

Example :

ocio_profile_version: 1
search_path: "luts:filmic"
strictparsing: true
luma: [0.2126, 0.7152, 0.0722]
description: RRT version ut33

Here is a description of some common parameters:

F.2.b - Roles

The roles section is the one that will be modified most often; it is the one that defines how the different color spaces available are used, what the default spaces should be during the different manufacturing stages, etc.

Example (commented) of Blender. :

  reference: Linear
  # Internal scene linear space
  scene_linear: Linear
  rendering: Linear
  # Default color space for byte image
  default_byte: sRGB
  # Default color space for float images
  default_float: Linear
  # Default color space sequencer is working in
  default_sequencer: sRGB
  # Color spaces for color picking and texture painting (not internally supported yet)
  color_picking: sRGB
  texture_paint: Raw
  # Non-color data
  data: Non-Color
  # CIE XYZ color space

On each line, the role is defined, then the color space to be used. The name of the space must be that of one of the spaces available in the list in the following section.

ACES examples:

  color_picking: Output - sRGB
  color_timing: ACES - ACEScc
  compositing_linear: ACES - ACEScg
  compositing_log: Input - ADX - ADX10
  data: Utility - Raw
  default: ACES - ACES2065-1
  matte_paint: Utility - sRGB - Texture
  reference: Utility - Raw
  rendering: ACES - ACEScg
  scene_linear: ACES - ACEScg
  texture_paint: ACES - ACEScc

Here are some explanations on the different roles (alphabetical sorting):


Not all applications will respect all roles: some are not supported, or the application does not allow to change them (for example, Blender does not allow to change its color picker space)

Some applications may also include other additional roles that are not listed here. This is the case for Blender with roles starting with default_ for example.

F.2.c - Displays

The displays section defines the list of different possible displays, for example work screens and projection room projectors.

Each display has a list of possible views, allowing to modify the display, for example for a technical validation, to better discern dark colors, etc.

Example of Blender:

    - !<View> {name: Standard, colorspace: sRGB}
    - !<View> {name: Filmic, colorspace: Filmic sRGB}
    - !<View> {name: Filmic Log, colorspace: Filmic Log}
    - !<View> {name: Raw, colorspace: Raw}
    - !<View> {name: False Color, colorspace: False Color}
    - !<View> {name: Standard, colorspace: XYZ}
    - !<View> {name: DCI, colorspace: dci_xyz}
    - !<View> {name: Raw, colorspace: Raw}
    - !<View> {name: Standard, colorspace: Raw}

The standard view displays sRGB values directly; Filmic Log can be used to check dark areas. Raw displays the data without conversion, for example to perform a technical check of a data layer (normal map, occlusion, etc.). False Color is also used for technical checks of the image.

Example of ACES:

    - !<View> {name: sRGB, colorspace: Output - sRGB}
    - !<View> {name: DCDM, colorspace: Output - DCDM}
    - !<View> {name: DCDM P3 gamut clip, colorspace: Output - DCDM (P3 gamut clip)}
    - !<View> {name: P3-D60, colorspace: Output - P3-D60}
    - !<View> {name: P3-D60 ST2084 1000 nits, colorspace: Output - P3-D60 ST2084 (1000 nits)}
    - !<View> {name: P3-D60 ST2084 2000 nits, colorspace: Output - P3-D60 ST2084 (2000 nits)}
    - !<View> {name: P3-D60 ST2084 4000 nits, colorspace: Output - P3-D60 ST2084 (4000 nits)}
    - !<View> {name: P3-DCI, colorspace: Output - P3-DCI}
    - !<View> {name: Rec.2020, colorspace: Output - Rec.2020}
    - !<View> {name: Rec.2020 ST2084 1000 nits, colorspace: Output - Rec.2020 ST2084 (1000 nits)}
    - !<View> {name: Rec.709, colorspace: Output - Rec.709}
    - !<View> {name: Rec.709 D60 sim., colorspace: Output - Rec.709 (D60 sim.)}
    - !<View> {name: sRGB D60 sim., colorspace: Output - sRGB (D60 sim.)}
    - !<View> {name: Raw, colorspace: Utility - Raw}
    - !<View> {name: Log, colorspace: Input - ADX - ADX10}

ACES does not sort by different displays, and everything is gathered under one display.

Sources & References