Minor Color Corrections

Tweaking the Gamma and Hue

Phobos_VIP_17f4Original render data re-uploaded to Layout for some tweaking, with extra finishing touches in Pixelmator.

I’ve been experimenting in unexplored worlds. I was able to open my Lightwave Layout program and load some previously saved renders, tweak some settings (mostly the “Gamma” setting), and even save them in new ways (if I managed to save all the original render data in the .rla file format). It seems one extra benefit to saving any render in “new ways” is that, depending on what format you pick (still learning), you can actually play with more than just the image as originally rendered, but you can even alter or entirely change any image you might have composited into the background due to the “Alpha channel” concept, which I am only now beginning to comprehend. In the above image, I was able to completely replace the starfield background used in the original render, with an entirely new version of stars. I even realized it could help me add this ship’s actual exterior features into the scene more easily than I’d previously imagined. Heck, it would come in very handy for any other interior scene sporting big view ports and complex vistas beyond. It’ll be especially useful for my Starstation India scenes.

I’ve experienced some cool results thus far. And while I’ve yet to reach a clear and full understanding of “Alpha channel compositing,” or wrap my mind around “The School of Linear Color Space,” I think I’ve made a first step in the right direction. 😀

Phobos_VIP_21cTweaking certainly seems to have cleaned up some Anti-aliasing woes on much of the glowing surfaces.

This is by no means a properly corrected image. I was simply trying to grasp a concept or two I’d recently read up on, by experimenting with something I already had on hand rather than starting something from scratch that might not make it to fruition.

I comprehend .00000001% of the Linear Colorspace concept, but from what I gather, our renders and our monitors are rarely in a loving cahoots; Renders that are accurate to the measurements involved typically appear darker than our monitors can (or wish) to portray them. This rift is supposedly being resolved in newer software, but my programs tend to be geriatric by tech standards. Meh. Being a happy little worker drone that likes to push buttons and corrupt pristine Post-It notes with facts and figures that will be gibberish to me in days (No really, you should see my work cubicle), I’m told there are specific fixes to the final rendered images that can make them appear correct on your screen, and I was testing those. Unfortunately, most of us just overcompensate on the render end of things. Also, some elements (such as UV texture images) are apparently automatically corrected for or during the rendering process (?), so applying corrections post render throws those corrections into overdrive. Those issues need to be addressed before rendering.

I’d already compensated for extreme darkness when I first rendered these, by highly increasing the intensity level. Because of this, I was only able to up my gamma settings by a tiny margin compared to my monitor’s fully recommended comeuppance. I wanted to brighten things up significantly without “washing them out.” Also, none of the UV texture graphics had been properly set up before rendering: basically applying an inverse gamma setting to the UV image prior to rendering, all so a post render gamma correction will put all settings back in their proper place… or… something. My final tweaks came after opening the newly saved images in Pixelmator and increasing the hue saturation by about 2% in order to help combat the “wash out” effect a little. Still, upon comparison, the image lost a little bit of contrast and thus some perceived depth, so I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that so-called sacrifice. A curious side effect manifested when some seemingly poor anti-aliasing in previous renders appeared to clean itself up in the new images. However, the problem itself may have been the result of some poorly chosen exposure effects done post render, but at the time I was just trying to see what I’d actually done.

I know, “Alpha… Gamma…” it all sounds Greek to me too. And though it feels a little more like balancing your checkbook than a delightfully fulfilling art or hobby, now that I am beginning to understand even the basics, I’m pretty happy about these initial results.

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~ by starstation on April 4, 2014.

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