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Color Correction

This section describes settings for color correction of the scene.

Scene Color Settings


The tone mapping provides better image quality by remapping high dynamic range (HDR) colors into a range suitable for mediums with low dynamic range (LDR), like LCD or CRT screens. Its most common purpose is to make an image with a low dynamic range appear to have a higher range of colors providing a more dynamic and realistic effect. It lightens the darkest image regions and makes the lightest regions darker.

When using an HDR camera, always apply tonemapping, otherwise color intensity values exceeding 1 will be clamped at 1, altering the luminance balance of the scene.

Tonemapper settings
Tonemapper The type of the tonemapper effect:
  • Disabled — the tonemapper is disabled
  • Filmic — the filmic tonemapper (by default)
  • ACES — the ACES tonemapper
  • Mix ACES With Reinhard — the tonemapper is a mix of ACES with Reinhard
  • Reinhard — the Reinhard tonemapper
  • Reinhard Luma-Based — the Luma-Based Reinhard tonemapper


Parameters described below represent John Hable's artist-friendly tonemapping curve, which is constructed by using the following formula:

  • A — Shoulder Scale
  • B — Linear Scale
  • C — Linear Angle
  • D — Toe Scale
  • E — Toe Numerator
  • F — Toe Denominator

Tone Mapping Curve

For more details about tone mapping curve construction see the article on Filmic Tonemapping with Piecewise Power Curves.

Shoulder Scale The Shoulder Strength tone mapping parameter value that is used to change bright values.
Shoulder Scale = 0.2 (by default)
Shoulder Scale = 1
Linear Scale The Linear Strength tone mapping parameter value that is used to change grey values. Linear Scale controls the length of the tone mapping curve linear part.
Linear Scale = 0.3 (by default)
Linear Scale = 1
Linear Angle The Linear Angle tone mapping parameter value. Controls the slope of the linear part of the tone mapping curve.
Linear Angle = 0.10 (by default)
Linear Angle = 1
Toe Scale The Toe Strength tone mapping parameter value that is used to change dark values. Controls the slope of the tone mapping curve toe (the area of underexposure).
Toe Scale = 0.20 (by default)
Toe Scale = 1
Toe Numerator The Toe Numerator tone mapping parameter value.
Toe Numerator = 0.01 (by default)
Toe Numerator = 0.08
Toe Denominator The Toe Denominator tone mapping parameter value.
Toe Denominator = 0.3 (by default)
Toe Denominator = 1
White Level The Linear White Point tone mapping parameter value, which is mapped as pure white in the resulting image.
White Level = 1.0 (by default)
White Level = 0.5
Saturation Recovery Color saturation recovery value in the [0.0f, 1.0f] range. Filmic tonemapper desaturates image colors in bright areas making them look grayish. This parameter enables you to recover initial color saturation in such areas.
  • by the value of 0.0f - standard filmic tonemapping with no saturation recovery is applied.
  • by the value of 1.0f - color saturation is recovered to the full extent.
When the 1.0f value is set specular highlights appear too saturated, so the recommended value is 0.75f (default).


White Clip The ACES operator's white clip. Controls the cut-off point for white.
Toe ACES operator's toe. Controls the dark color. Higher values result in darker colors.
Shoulder Angle ACES operator's shoulder angle. Controls how much overshoot should be added to the curve's shoulder.
Shoulder Strength ACES operator's shoulder strength. Controls the strength of the transition between the curve's midsection and the curve's shoulder.
Shoulder Length ACES operator's shoulder length. Controls the amount of f-stops to add to the dynamic range of the curve. Defines how much of the highlights the curve takes into account.

Mix ACES With Reinhard#

Mix With Reinhard ACES with Reinhard tonemapping operator contribution. Controls the proportion of mixing ACES and Reinhard tonemappers in the combination. If the value is closer to 0, then ACES prevails. Otherwise, when the value is closer to 1, the Rainhard has a grater impact.



Contribution of the Reinhard tonemapping operator:

C / (1 + C)

Controls the overall contribution that the reinhard operator makes to the final color grading of the image. The higher values in range [0.0f; 1.0f] result in more tonemapping contribution to the final image.

Reinhard Luma-Based#

Contribution Reinhard Luma Based tonemapping operator contribution. Controls the overall contribution that the reinhard operator makes to the final color grading of the image. The higher values in range [0.0f; 1.0f] result in more tonemapping contribution to the final image.

White Balance#

White balance correction eliminates the discoloration in the final image due to certain colors in the scene having more intensity and/or a higher or lower color temperature. Adaptive automatic white balance correction ensures realistic coloration of your scenes in real-time mode.

To ensure the most natural look of your scene, adjust colors of light sources by setting color temperatures. In case of heavy high-contrast discoloration (e.g., too warm and too cold lights in a dark room), the final image may look unnatural.
White balance settings
White Balance Toggles automatic white balance correction on and off.

Intensity Intensity of white balance correction.
Do not set too high values for night-time and dimly lit scenes, as it may lead to heavy color distortion making the scene look totally unnatural.
Adaptation Time Time period in seconds, during which white balance correction is performed (0 for instant correction).
It is recommended to use lower values, when possible, to make correction process unnoticeable, otherwise it'll be slow and noticeable. However, setting too low values may result in abrupt switching of colors as the camera moves. So, adjust this parameter carefully to make transition smooth. You can set it equal to the Exposure Adaptation value.

Color Grading#

Brightness Correction of the overall scene brightness:
  • Positive values lighten the colors up to white.
  • Negative values darken the colors up to black.
Contrast Correction of the overall scene contrast:
  • Positive values increase the contrast.
  • Negative values decrease the contrast.
Gamma Correction of the overall scene gamma.
Fade Color Current fade color for the scene on the screen.
White Level White level of the scene.
3D LUT Texture The loading, viewing, or clearing of the Lookup Table texture for color transformation.
Color Correction Tonal range and tone response of the final image. The horizontal input color values are mapped to the vertical output values based on curves for Red, Green and Blue channels. By adjusting all three channels at once, you control the luminance of the final image.
Color correction curves
Preserve Saturation Preserve initial scene color saturation after applying color correction.
Saturation Correction Correction curve of the overall scene saturation. The input luminance values are mapped to the vertical saturation values:
  • The higher the value, the more saturated and vibrant the colors are.
  • The lower the value, the duller and more colorless the colors are.

Saturation curve
Control the saturation of shadows by adjusting the values on the left, highlights - on the right.
Saturation Group Saturation fine-adjustment for 12 major colors of the spectre.

Saturation adjustment
Hue Group Hue (color shift) fine-adjustment for 12 major colors of the spectre.
Hue adjustment

Color Correction LUT#

Color Correction LUT (Lookup Texture) is an optimized way of performing color grading in a post effect. Instead of tweaking individual color grading parameters, only a single texture is used to produce the corrected image. The lookup is performed by using the original image color as a vector to address the lookup texture.

One of the most common applications of lookup tables is to use them to see how images look in different media, such as TV/video or film, which have different color capabilities. Using a lookup table designed to mimic a certain display medium gives a much better idea what your current work will look like after it’s transferred to that medium.

Advantages of using a Color correction LUT include:

  • Better performance — realtime computation is replaced by a simple array indexing operation.
  • More professional workflow opportunities, where all color transforms can be defined using professional image editing software (such as Photoshop or GIMP), which provides a more precise result.

Simple scene with neutral color correction applied.

Same scene using the lookup texture with shadows, highlights and vibrance applied.
Various visual effects can be created by changing the color correction LUT dynamically in realtime.

Lookup Texture Requirements#

The 2D texture representation must be laid out in a way that it represents an unwrapped volume texture (as an image sequence of "depth slices").

A 1024 x 32 texture, representing a 32x32x32 color LUT.

Workflow Example#

  1. Generate a default lookup texture by clicking the button (Save texture) right to the LUT texture field and saving it as a TGA file (by selecting it in the Typefield).
  2. Take a screenshot of your scene.
  3. Import your screenshot into a graphics editor (e.g., Photoshop or GIMP) and perform all necessary image correction operations (brightness, contrast, etc.) to achieve a desired look.
  4. Import your generated default lookup texture into the graphics editor and perform the same operations as for the scene screenshot. Save the modified lookup texture as a new LUT.
  5. In Render Settings -> Color -> LUT texture, select you new texture.

Now your scene in UnigineEditor looks exactly as in the graphics editor!

Last update: 2021-09-17
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