22.1 Linear Color Space

Coming from Photoshop or After Effects, you’ve likely worked in 8-bit sRGB color space

Nuke works in 32-bit linear color space, and the linear space has huge implications for color corrections.  The luminance distribution from black to white is very different in linear space, most obvious in the lower greys

sRGB is designed to display greys the way we perceive them, linear is a technical space and not supportive of perceiving greys

sRGB Gradient

Linear Gradient

Note how different the lower greys appear

50% mid-grey sRGB ~ 0.2 linear

35% dark grey sRGB ~ 0.1 linear

Linear Gradient 0 – 0.10

In linear color space, color correction of shadows and dark tones means dealing with very small values

More on 8-bit and 32-bit: Floating Point vs Integer