It's already been a while since the beta with OCIO got introduced. I'm really happy with it's implementation but it's not perfect yet. There are some serious issues that need to be adressed and some other quality of life improvements needed to make this work smoothly for everyone.
Here is my summary of things I hope to see improved or added. It's quite a lot and no fancy pictures so bear with me!
1. OCIO 2.x Display Transformed exports
This is probably the most important one to adress. With OCIO v2.x configs the ACES display view transforms are separated from the colorspaces. This design is a good step forward because it removes the need to list all the viewing conditions paired with every display space as it's own unique color space inside the list itself (making the list unnecessarily long) and can be it's own list for the viewer.
What "breaks" here is that whenever we have the desire to send off tonemapped exports for review we can't bake the view in. Thus we can only export scene referred files which is far from ideal because we'd have to take it elsewhere to make the preview file.
Add a switch option to choose a color space from the Displays list in the config instead of the Color Spaces list on export settings. A conversation about this on ACESCentral can be found here where Derek showed me a similar approach for a custom write node he made for Nuke.
2. OCIO based exports and ICC/video profile tagging
In the same thread of the issue above I was talking about ICC profiles. And while I think they should have no place in the workings of OCIO itself, this still may be a desirable choice for exports. If we export a still/video with some view transform we should also be able to tag it accordingly. When it comes to video files the exports are always tagged BT.709. What if we need HDR? This same issue is present in Adobe Color Managed btw just but not for stills which use ICC which can be embedded.
Add a proper way to tag files on the way out. Whether you want to hard link these to the display view transforms for ACES or not is up to you. It would mean you are responsible for maintaining it and the quirky thing about it is that OCIO is a platform that lends itself to adaptability for custom workflows and needs. One could go into the config and remove/change/add color spaces and displays. Those would break then. Also fully custom configs could be added, say TCAMv2. These would not have linked tagging in place. Therefore leaving the tagging to the user may be the better solution?
3. Input Color Space bug with .png files
When a .png file gets any Color Space assigned it becomes too dark. This happens with any OCIO config.
Fix it 🙂
4. Scopes QoL changes
Currently the scopes always read scene data. For display referred workflows this is fine but we don't always want to see our scene referred data. Especially if we are working with very high values the autoscale also doesn't make the waveform very useful.
Another issue is that the vectorscope either interprets the data as Rec.709 or Rec.2020. This would be correct if the reading was after the view transform but it reads the scene which should be the chosen working color space.
- Add an option to read display referred.
- Make the scene referred readings adapt to the chosen working color space instead of being fixed by the user choice.
- Add option to turn off autoscaling for waveform so we can see if there are negative values or values very high above 1.0 even if they are small relative to the comp. So 1. Clamp, 2. Adaptive scale, 3. Show all (or whatever name works)
5. Info Panel QoL changes:
Someone had this great suggestion. Like Photoshop we could have two values shown. The default scene values and a second with display referred values reading after the display view. This will be especially useful if we need to nail client colors for sRGB/Rec.709 deliverables.
6. OCIO Roles
OCIO roles can't be utilized currently and aren't exposed to the user to change away from the defaults defined in a config.
Add the option to select the OCIO roles in the management settings and also utilize them within the software.
With the working space typically wider than display space color picking doesn't match the typical sRGB/web values we need to use in certain areas.
Add a dropdown menu to pick different colorspaces as input values to the color picker. By default it should be set to the Color Picking role.
8. File Input Color Space QoL changes:
With OCIO we manually manage all incoming data. OCIO roles and aliases can semi automate this process but for most files we will still have to manually assign the proper one. This process is incredibly cumbersome because we select 1 file -> Interpret footage.. -> Main -> Color -> change color space -> Interpret footage -> Remember interpretation -> select all other similar files -> paste interpretation.
Waaay to many steps!
Add the color space list to the preview area above the project list and make it selectable there even when multiple files are selected.
Make interpret footage possible for multiple files selected at once. And maybe also reorganize the interpretation panel so the color tab is part of the tab you open instead of the second tab.
9. OCIO effects QoL changes:
Right now we have support for OCIO File Transform and OCIO Color Space Transform. They work as intended but Color Space Transform only functions if OCIO is enabled. Furthermore we don't have OCIO Display right now. This means that we can't set up manual OCIO color management if we'd desire and we'd have to resort back to the fnord OCIO plugin.
- Add OCIO Display as effect or integrate it as second mode inside the Color Space transform like how it's handled in fnord plugin.
- Add support for loading built-in or custom configs to the OCIO Color Space Transform and OCIO Display so we can use it in manual management setups.
That's all I have at the moment. Quite a lot, but I think some of them can be adressed fairly easy. I hope it's all clear and you can come up with solutions before release so we can get the most out of working in OCIO once it hits!
Have something to add?