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ACES color science is becoming more and more popular these days and I get asked about ACES support in the False Color Plugin a lot. While direct ACES support in the plugin is not something trivial to implement mostly because of number of color science transformations that exists and should be supported, there is a way to use the plugin using ACES color science.

In order to do that we need some of the new features that arrived in DaVinci Resolve 14. False Color Plugin works in REC.709 color science so to make it work we have to convert the input signal to the appropriate ranges. Then the plugin outputs REC.709 signal so again we need to apply the conversion so that DaVinci Resolve will get the valid signal out of the plugin. To apply the conversions we are going to use a new built-in OpenFX plugin called Color Space Transform.

Color Space Transform plugin

The general workflow would be as follows:

input → Color Space Transform → False Color Plugin → Color Space Transform → output

DaVinci Resolve 14 Workflow

If we translate it to the Nodes in DaVinci Resolve we should have something similar to the node tree below:

Now let’s configure the transform plugins. I set up the project settings as ACEScct and ACES version 1.0.3. This means that the first transform plugin will convert the ACES color science to REC.709 (which the False Color Plugin expects). Then the second transform plugin will do the opposite – REC.709 to ACES.

Project settings

In my case the configuration for both transform plugins looks like this:

ACES to REC.709
REC.709 to ACES

Once the transform plugins are configured we can select all 3 nodes and create a compound node to be able to quickly turn on and off the False Color overlay without even noticing the color transforms. The whole workflow can be applied in the timeline node if we want to have the False Color monitoring available for all the clips.

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