Layout CS (Color Space) Tab

Since LightWave 10, LightWave has been able to use Color Space information to give better results, above all with images used for texturing. Color space conversion is performed in four places in LightWave.

  1. On loading, an image can be converted from its native color space format to linear.
  2. When sent to the Image Viewer, an image can be converted from linear to another color space.
  3. When saved from the Renderer, an image can be converted from linear to another color space.
  4. When picked from the Color Picker, a color can be converted from and then to linear color space.

By default, LightWave is set not to do any conversion - the Linear setting, but to better suit work for the monitor, switch to sRGB. For better work for widescreen high-definition TV choose Rec709. These choices will help convert images that may already have color space definitions and keep their colors pure.

LightWave provides presets for sRGB and rec709 but a personalized mix can be set up with the dropdown choices for each of the different elements and saved as a preset for future use. You can also load in color space definitions to exactly match existing setups. A color table can be loaded by using Load Table from the pop-up. The color tables are stored in the project directory, in a directory called ColorTables.

The options are as follows:

Convert Color Space to Linear

  • Picked Colors - Colors chosen from the LightWave or other color picker
  • Light Color - The color chosen for lights
  • Palette Files - Palettes loaded into LightWave
  • 8-bit Files - 8-bit here refers to images that are 8 bits per channel such as JPGs, PNGs or TGAs, previously known as 24-bit or 32-bit. These benefit the most from color space conversion.
  • Float files - Images using floating point colors schemes don’t benefit from color space conversion, indeed it would cause severe banding and thus this should always be left on Linear
  • Alpha - Again, alpha images need to be preserved exactly as they are since the level of gray indicates distance. As such they don’t require or want color space conversion

Apply Color Space

  • Display Color Space - What Layout looks like. Normally, this should be left at sRGB unless you are working on a cinema screen or loom or something
  • Default Final Render- This is the color space for your renders. Again, if they are for the monitor choose sRGB
  • Default Buffer - These should be left as Linear
  • Embedded Alpha Channel - This should be left at Linear as for the conversion settings

Other Options

  • Auto Sense on Load - when you load a scene LightWave detects what CS setting were already in use and changes to them automatically when this option is activated
  • Color Correct OpenGL - to better match the colors of polygons and lights when not viewing in VPR or a render
  • Affect Color Picker - Best left checked since otherwise the colors you choose in the color picker won’t be those you get in the render
  • Convert 8-bit to Float - Converts 8-bit per channel files, otherwise known as 24-bit, to floating point files. This increases the memory overhead a lot for textured images. It will increase the fidelity of the results but is not always needed

For more information about Color Space and Linear workflow go here.