ACES Project Plan

In October 2023, the ACES Architecture and Implementation Technical Advisory Councils greenlit a comprehensive roadmap for the rollout of ACES 2.0. Targeting a developer release in February 2024, ACES 2.0 is designed for seamless integration into both hardware and software ecosystems. The broader “User Release” is slated for Fall 2024, by which time we anticipate a robust suite of tools will be ACES 2.0-compatible.

Below is the projected feature set for ACES 2.0:

New output transforms (based on CIECAM16 with simplified 2022 Hellwig hue uniformity modifications): These new output transforms incorporate advancements from the CIECAM16 color appearance model, enhanced by Hellwig’s 2022 hue uniformity modifications. They aim to improve color rendition and perceptual uniformity in various viewing conditions.

Github repository restructure / New versioning system and transformIDs / Clearer community contribution mechanism: ACES 2.0 will have multiple Github repositories for various ACES components including Looks, Input Transforms, and Output Transform Presets.  The core algorithms repository will be version controlled with the ACES version number.  The new versioning system, coupled with revised transformIDs, streamlines updates and version tracking. A clearer mechanism for community contributions is also established to encourage more collaborative development.

Updated TransformID specification: A revised specification for TransformIDs for clearer and more consistent tracking of transforms.

TransformID generator and validator: A web-based toolset for the creation and validation of TransformIDs allowing users to confidently generate valid TransformIDs for their own ACES transforms. 

Look Library: A repository of ACES LMTs shared in Common LUT Format (CLF). It serves as a valuable resource for artists and colorists, providing a range of looks that can be applied to ACES content. Providing looks in CLF enables greater interoperability across different software and hardware platforms.

IDT Database: An ACES Input Transform (IDT) database containing both Color Transformation Language (CTL) and Common LUT Format (CLF) files. 

IDT Calculator Tools: A set of web-based tools to assist camera manufacturers with the generation of ACES Input Transforms (IDTs).

Enhanced AMF specification: An updated ACES Metadata Format (AMF) specification includes new features and enhancements, aimed at increasing metadata robustness, interoperability across systems, and support additional use cases.

OpenEXR compression recommendations for VFX workflows: Recommendations offer guidelines on using OpenEXR compression methods to optimize storage and performance in visual effects workflows.

Expanded documentation: Updated documentation provides more comprehensive guides and tutorials, aimed at both newcomers and experienced users, to navigate and utilize the various features and tools more effectively.

New ACESlog specification: A new specification defines the ACESlog encoding curve, providing a standardized way to handle logarithmic data within the ACES ecosystem.

In preparation for the ACES 2.0 release, below is an updated the project Gannt chart. This is a living document and is constantly being revised.