Produced by David Leitner and Mark Forman
UHDTV/4K, high dynamic range (HDR), and wide color gamuts will place unprecedented demand on production and post to create great-looking images. Increasingly diverse camera options and resultant “snowflake” workflows – no two alike – will make it harder than ever to integrate and manage images across many facilities. Released to the industry in December 2014, the Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) is a production-ready suite of technical standards, best practices and support tools designed to manage color workflows and digital images across a wide range of systems. ACES facilitates the interchange of HDR images, management of color transforms, mastering for multiple outputs and display devices, and long-term archiving. What are the essential ingredients of ACES? How was it developed? Who supports it? Do SMPTE standards play a role? What does a production need in order to use ACES today? What is the future roadmap for ACES?
Jim Houston, principal of Starwatcher Digital, consults on new technologies and workflows for TV and motion pictures. He is a Fellow of SMPTE, a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’s Science and Technology Council, and co-chair of the ACES Project Committee. He was previously Vice President of Technology and Engineering for Sony Pictures and has worked at multiple post houses, visual effects companies, and animation studios. He is the recipient of two Academy Science and Engineering Awards, two team 2012 Engineering Emmys, and last year’s Technicolor/Herbert T. Kalmus Medal from SMPTE for “his leadership and contributions in the application of digital technologies to motion picture production and post production processes.”