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A Look Inside ACES’ Bumpy Road to Becoming the Image-making Standard

RedShark News’ Phil Rhodes look at ACES–the Academy Color Encoding System that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is pushing to become the industry image-making standard–and some of the challenges that it faces when trying to get to that goal.

He writes, “If there’s any real objection it’s simply a restatement of the ‘fourteen standards’ problem, in which there’s a recognition that there are fourteen competing standards governing a particular technology and someone decides to create a single unifying standard that satisfies all the common use cases, with the result that there are now fifteen competing standards. The Academy cannot force anyone to use ACES, and in fact there’s a directly counter-revolutionary tendency for camera manufacturers to create proprietary colour management systems that undermine the potential universality of ACES. This is a shame, but the problem is intrinsic to standardization. To make something standard, it’s necessary to ensure everyone’s using it, which is of course the hard part.”