GSG Cast: 2.2 Gamma Correction in Cinema 4D

March 24, 2009

Thanks to Chad Ashley at CGPOV, I finally understand how working in 2.2 gamma space can help achieve more realistic results. For the story, visit his post on the subject here.

Download this Cinema 4D scene.

Tutorial Focus:  ,
Software:  ,

  • Where can I get the lightbox settings and such? Is that done with a separate program or plugin?

  • Rick, This scene has no lightbox settings or anything. It’s just a plane with a white texture on it. Are you having issues rendering? You do need the Advanced Render to use GI.

  • Although not directly related to this post, I’d love to hear about how you deal with colour shifting issues, from Photoshop to photo print, or even AE rendering codec issues. I know it’s a world of pain, but you make everything else sound so easy… Cheers.

  • Hi Nick, since you have said a couple times that we should add to the comments what tutorial we would like to see or what we want to learn, I actually would like to know how you did the DNA strand in you 2008 reel, I’m guessing its C4D, I also saw a tutorial on how to make the DNA and make it travel through a spline. But I just would like a tutorial by you, since you are funny and easy to watch and listen, plus you are a great designer.

  • new blog design is good!

    here’s balloons in b&w for me:

  • Thanks a lot from Italy, i love the passion that move this blog…great!!

  • what version of cinema are you using…I’m on R11 and a lot of the settings you have are not in my render settings (plus rendering with the global illuminations doesn’t look quite the same but produces the same results)…

  • Benjamin: I will be upgrading to R11 soon. I haven’t played around with it. I’m using 10.5 right now. I’ll have more info after the upgrade.

  • ok cool thats what I thought…seems like the settings are not in the render settings by default, but can be added from the bottom (like ambient occlusion, GI, ect)…and you can also add them as separate render channels for composting…

  • Any all this time I was thinking that setting the gamma value in the “Render Gamma” within the Render Settings dialog was doing this correctly.

    Being that “Color Correction” is a post effect, applied after the render, you can actually get very similar results by simply applying 2.0 gamma to a 1.0 render in either AE or Photoshop. I compared a 1.0 and 2.0 and couldn’t get them to match exactly when compared in difference mode, but they are extremely close. The important thing to grok is that it really does not change the way C4D renders light, or how the light falls off, it just makes it look like it does.

    That being said, applying the effect within C4D gives you the opportunity to try and get your 3D render much closer to the look you are going for, which will save post time.


  • Those render settings might not be acceptable in close ups,
    download the provided scene file by nick, re-orient point of view camera in order that you are much closer and with the plane giving light from your back the camera should be in between light plane and spheres render with and without the color correction effect and see for yourself as the color of the spheres are washes with color correction on.

  • If you’re to increase the Gamma to 2.2 and utilize a a linear workflow, you also need to drop all of your materials into a filter and reduce their gamma down to .4545

  • I like your tee-shirt! it’s sold out!?

  • Well explained – thank you.
    I wonder if It has benefits to render out in 32 Bit at 1.0 Gamma and then crank it up inside AE (linear inside AE means 32-bit, right?). I mean do I have to activate something in the AE-Projectsettings or setup a plugin inside AE to achieve the best results?

    Great blog btw.!

  • To really take advantage of a linear workflow you want to leave your 3D renders linear (with a 1.0 gamma) and composite them using a linear color workspace and then add the 2.2 correction at the very end. This will make your 3D renders composite in a more natural way with your other composite elements.

  • @Lloyd:

    And where do I have to setup the 2.2 correction inside AE? Only thing I found is the Gamma/Pedestal/Gain Plugin, but it wont work in 32 Bit. So I am not shure if its the “real thing”…

  • OH… I just saw that AE levels work in 32bit mode. And there I can set the gamma to 2.2

  • @illd – You want to use color management to handle that. Check out this doc to learn how to use CM in AE. You are going to want to “linearize” your profile. For HDTV work I use rec.709 but for web work I would suggest you use sRGB. Then in your comp make sure that “Use Display Management” (under View) is on and simulate output is set to your output device, like rec709 for HDTV work.

  • Do you know how to lower the gamma of the materials in the scene to .454? I’m trying this on another scene and textures are washed out. Thanks!

    • Is there an easy way to apply this globally to texture maps and color chips? Or did you just go through and do the reduction manually?

  • nevermind, i figured it out

  • Just a quick hint in r11 GI has a gamma selection in it where you can raise it there without using the color correction effect

  • great great site. I decided to try out cinema 4d after watching these tutorials. Keep up the good work

  • hey,
    nice work. do you remember how long it took to render the scene for the gamma correction 2.2? its been 30min and render bar is only halfway through.
    also-i need to upgrade(got dual 2ghz ppc with 4.5ggb ddr ram vidcard=64mb stock ati radeon 9600) would you recommend a video card or ram upgrade when dealing with long c4d and ae renders? i need both, but can afford one. lol.

  • Stuart is right, you also have to put a filter with gamma 0.4545 (1/2.2) on all materials and textures, as these are already on gamma 2.2 and otherwise get added another 2.2 in from the render settings dialog.
    If you however want to work on in a linear workflow, say compositing the picture in AE for example, you better dont apply the 2.2 gamma in the render settings dialog, but stay with 1.0 and set your after effects color correction on linear space and srgb.

    • Andi and Stuart make really good points about the textures and also this vid does not talk about the monitor gamma setting which will also make a difference in the workflow.

  • Hi, I have a question about gamma in c4d.

    When I use GI in C4D 11.5 on Windows 7 am I supposed to raise the gamma to 2.2 into GI settings or into C4D preferences? Or both? I’m a little confused…

  • In R11, there’s gamma options everywhere. If I want to stay completely linear, I understand I need to filter all my textures and colors by inversing out the gamma (.455). But say I want to render with GI, there’s a gamma setting there along with the another one in the main options area. Do we apply 2.2 to both for correct viewing purposes, or just one? I don’t want to accidentally double up the 2.2. I’m assuming we keep them at 1 for final renders though.

    • yes..i have the same question, why there are 2 options?

      Options – Render Gamma… 2.2
      Global Illumination – General – Gamma… 1

      Can someone please “ILLUMINATE” me on this?

  • to have better resuts you have to CALIBRATE your monitor in gamma 2.2, in order to see the final result on your monitor. you can find many tutorials over internet to show you how can you calibrate your monitor but the best way to do it, is with a gadget, its a little expencive but if you want to be a pro! you must have it.

    take care!

  • so what about the color correction? should i always work with this at 2.2 as well?


  • i used it and it is amazing but am i supposed to change the GI gamma to 2.2 ?

  • You are the best !! thanks

  • I think, after set gamma to 2.2, you’re whole render is washed out, so after that you need to set up you`re materials used in the scene to correct the gamma. So every material has to have 0.45 gamma filter.

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