Color Workflow

Color workflow for the post-production industry was challenging enough in an era in which all displays were CRTs, and all CRTs had more or less the same color gamut.  Today, however, the assumption that a viewer will see material on a display that has a similar color gamut to that on which the post-production was performed is unlikely to be correct.  New display technologies are enabling the attainment of ever-wider color gamuts.  This display chaos represents a new challenge for the industry.

Genoa’s Scene-to-Screen demonstrations, as seen at CES and the HPA Technology Retreat, illustrates Genoa’sColor Workflow capabilities, and has important and promising implications for the post-production industry.

Scene-to-Screen Description

A scene with an assortment of objects with different color attributes (natural and artificial, high and low saturations, memory colors, etc.) is captured with a “prosumer” video camera. The video is fed into two screens: 1) a TV / monitor with standard RGB gamut and 2) a Genoa multi-primary display with an extended color gamut. When the signal to both screens is processed through Genoa’s ColorPeak hardware, each delivers a very high match to the screens for the objects within the screen’s gamut.  Of course, the limited gamut of the standard RGB display means that it fails to accurately display a considerable number of objects.

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Implications of Scene-to-Screen

Three principal conclusions can be drawn from the Scene-to-Screen demonstration:

  1. Multi-primary color (MPC) displays are capable of reproducing a wide color gamut, larger than the gamut of standard RGB.
  2. Genoa’s color processing technology delivers accurate reproduction of the scene colors on both the MPC and the RGB displays, subject to the actual gamut of each display. For the wide gamut (MPC) display, color fidelity is maintained both for out-of-RGB-gamut colors and for in-RGB-gamut colors. Color reproduction is carried out in real-time and in device independent color space.
  3. Real world objects may have colors which fall outside the range of current standards. Wide gamut displays coupled with a correct color workflow can display these colors even if the scene is captured with a standard camera. This implies that wide gamut color fidelity can be delivered today using normal capturing equipment and processes and before dedicated standards are implemented.

Inherent Advantages of Genoa Color Workflow

Today, the achievement of high color fidelity is highly dependent on a very controlled and inflexible workflow.  3-D LUTs are built for a particular display under a very specific and narrow range of conditions.  The entire cumbersome process needs to be repeated each time one of the conditions changes, for example a change in the color temperature, a change in the ambient viewing conditions or a change in the origin of the video material.  Furthermore, the accuracy achieved requires a trade-off as compared to other image quality parameters, such as color smoothness.  The result: high quality is regularly achieved, but at a high cost.

Using the Genoa color workflow, there is a far better “match” between the flow and the physics of both the capture and display devices.  There is no need to recalibrate the process each time a basic parameter is changed.  Color accuracy can be achieved without difficult trade-offs.  As a result, high quality can be more easily achieved, at a much lower cost and with less dependency on strict control of the process.