Auto White Balance and Color Histogram Equalization

Someone recently suggested adding auto white balance adjustment and color histogram equalization to V6.  Both of those effects have existed in Studio Artist since V1.  I would encourage you to check out the White Balance IpOp effect and the Image Compressor IpOp effect respectively.

You can also build both of these kinds of color statistics manipulation effects using MSG processors.

Studio Artist V5.5.5 also has a new IpOp effect called the Image Compeller.  It allows you to manipulate the statistical properties of the color density of an image to try to match a second image. So you could for example Compel the canvas to try and move towards the current source color, the source or style images, or the source color palette color statistics.

Both the Image Compressor and the Image Compeller have local adaptation adjustments, making them way more powerful and manipulatable than mere global color statistical manipulation effects.

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    thanks for this, the compeller is a great feature. one continuing related issue i have that has to do with colors is that the they are not consistent on export and i don't know if this is a color profile or codec problem. please see the image above. i'm loading a standard test pattern in SA and exporting to PNG, JPG still and H264mov. the colors are different in all four formats, e.g. yellos is SA:(191,191,0) (192,191,61 JPG) and 201,207,66 in MP4  . SA usually tends to be more saturated than the output, so i always end up color correcting in post production.  is there some internal color profile that is used to render the canvas?

    • We don't restrict the color gamut of our output in any way.  We take advantage of the full 3D RGB space of the your monitor (so the image lives within that 3D color gamut).

      Any lossy compression format might be messing with it, based on how it is doing compression.

      We're assuming people will be doing color calibration in whatever software they are using for their final output if their ultimate goal is to send it somewhere else.  For print, that is typically photoshop.


      I don't see us getting in the color calibration business.  Photoshop already does a gerat job of that, and i'm assuming FCP or Premiere do the same.

      But i'm certainly open to suggestions for tagging the images.


      The Image Compeller is going to be enhanced in V6.  I've been holding off on doing that until we are out of feature freeze with the V5.5.5 release.

      • You could probably use the existing force color map option in the Color Palette Map IpOp effect (it uses 2 color palettes to force a mapping from the first palette colors to the second palette colors) to do what you want to do. The Smooth option.

        We can talk about it and see if theres a way to make it work.

        • thanks for the reply. from the point of view of usability, it would be valuable to have a way to have consistency between how the operating system displays an image and how it appears in SA. i had not realized until i did this test because i use SA for image synthesis and not processing, but even if i use a source image and then clear the canvas to source in SA, the canvas looks different from the way the source is displayed in mac os Preview.

          from the point of view of quality, i agree completely that working with the largest gamut possible for as long as possible and doing color correction in post makes the most sense... but from the poit of workflow convenience, i think i would love to have a mode where everything is, say, sRGB, input, output and in-between.

          a typical scenario for me is getting really into somec complex iterative/recursive animation process. tweaking the colors for a long time because they affect both the feedback system as well as the look, getting really excited that i got it just right and then exporting to mp4 on only find that the animation looks nice but the colors are dull, then color correcting in after affects and realizing that i should have used an image sequence all along. in general there seems to be a bigger discrepancy between SA canvas and movie export compared to image export even if i used photojpeg for the movie codec. 

          i realize that this is probably too specific and not applicable to most use cases, just sharing for future consideration. i've tried using color palette map to enforce color consistency but i found that in practice it seems to reduce the color space too much even if i use smooth (or maybe i'm not using it right), so perhaps having a way to color palette map to some standard profile or even a way to preview in SA how the thing would look once it is exported to a movie would go a long way






          • We're going to add a color gamut visualization viewer in V6, so that will help you to do the analysis.

            We're beefing up the movie codec output options too in V6.

            In V5.5 i think the best scenario if you really care about the color quality is to output numbered png image frames, and then convert that into your movie file after the frame render.


  • I'm going to point out that you can also custom program the paint synthesizer to build custom paint effects that manipulate the color statistics of the canvas image. The trick is to use the Brush Load control panel features.  Many of you are familiar with the colorization options hiding in there that are often used to build self-colorizing photo mosaic effects. 

    But you can setup the Brush Load Source to be the current canvas, and then run that through the brush load colorization algorithms. So then rather than colorizing your current source brush (typically an image folder brush, or a movie brush, or an image brush), you colorize the current local canvas image associated with the positon of the paint nib you are dropping down on the canvas.

    I use this kind of thing all the time in movie processing in V5.5.5. So you will see it in some of the new factory presets we are shipping in V5.5.5.

    Of course you are not restricted just to that.  You could build custom MSG effects that colorize, then drop them into your paint brush.

    There are all kinds of slick adaptive color manipulation and/or style transfer effects you can build in the paint synthesizer via building your own custom paint presets.

  • An alternative approach to manipulating the color statistics of an image is to use the Color Palette Map IpOp effect.  Again, this particular IpOp effect has been in Studio Artist since V1.  It allows you to re-map an images color palette to another images color palette. Or a color palette you built from scratch.

    David Kaplan used this IpOp effect to great artistic advantage in his award winning Sundance feature length animated film 'Year of the Fish'.  He used Studio Artist to automatically derive custom color palettes off of famous paintings, and then color palette mapped his video footage to mirror the color aesthetics of the famous paintings.

    Studio Artist V5.5.5 has some additional new features in the Color Palette Map ip op effect that allow for more automatic white balance sensing and subsequent re-mapping of the automatic color palette mapping process.


    We do want to cover all of the professional color grading options people like to use in V6.

    Things like separate adjustments for low-mid-high density range.

    If you care about that kind of stuff, feel free to suggest the particular features you would like to see us add.

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