Linear workflow and Gamma

I’ve had some requests for this tutorial in the past, but never came around to making it.
Fortunately Ismail Rebbane offered to write a guest post explaining this subject, so here goes :)

Linear Workflow and Gamma allow you to process texture, color and light in a correct mathematically way.
It has nothing to do with creativity or art, just a matter of working with correct math versus broken math.
We unfortunately can’t avoid it!

If you usually get dark corner, textures and color that doesn’t much the reference. or, doubling the light’s intensity all the time to make the scene brighter then, working in a linear manner is what you’re missing.

After you watch the video below, you’ll have a complete understanding of Linear workflow, Gamma and how to set it up correctly, starting from 3ds max, Vray and finally in Compositing (Photoshop, After effects, Nuke).

Quick tip:
One trick i learned recently from Austris to speed up the rendering process while keeping the Linear information, is to “change the color mapping to Reinhard with burn value at 0.8~0.9 and keep the mode set to none”.
You’ll get the same image and faster render time, because vray will sample the highlight areas more efficiently!


Color Mapping. Tone Mapping is very important, make sure to visit this page and learn more about it.
Gamma and LUT Preferences. Gamma policy in 3ds max.
ProEXR. Extracting passes with this tool is a piece of cake.

About Ismail Rebbane
3D Artist and Visualizer, specializing in the field of Architecture Visualization.
Also the guy behind, which is the place where he shares what he learned over the years working in the visualization Industry.


2 thoughts on “Linear workflow and Gamma

  1. Thanks for the info, and can’t you use clamp Output too for optimize highlight sampling?

    • Hi Raymarcher,
      glad you found the video useful,
      to answer your question:

      Yes you can clamp it, just make sure to pick a higher value than 1 just in case you need to edit the highlights later in post.

      hope that helps,
      all the best.

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