Originally Posted by metalrahul
Thanks for the reply jbills, it is really good to have discussion on this issue as there isn't much info anywhere else on web. Btw what you think about Steve Wright's option of adjusting display gamma of a calibrated monitor?
I assume you mean to paint on log images?
sure, that's about the only way you can and still remain in 16 bit.
that's what we have to do to paint on film images in 16bit, and it might even be a valid workflow for working on CG renders or other images that have a similar amount of data as a film scan. I don't claim to be quite as big of a pixel nerd as Wright and some of those guys - :) - but I think the general consensus off the top of my head is that there's about 13.5 stops of theoretical data able to be stored in a 10bit log film scan, with a good 4 or so (usually) being above the mapped white point - and a half float EXR can hold what most agree is a similar amount of light referenced data with the handy advantage of storing the data as float values. So when your data amount kicks up into that range with a fair amount outside of 0-1, yes, better paint in log and keep as much data where it matters most to the human eye.
but also be prepared for some whacky behavior from most of the tools in photoshop that are expecting linear images and not log. or in the case of some of the legacy plugins it's actually expecting sRGB, but regardless things get weird when you try to apply something simple like a levels or a brightness. the sliders get touchy and unpredictable. Clone tool still works, though!
There is a filter out there that fnord put out I think that mimics the after effects "cineon convertor" effect, and I think when Adobe finally gets it together and updates it's dinosauric filters to be fully 32 bit compatible, then things get much much easier. You'll just pull in any source and work truly linear float like we've grown to love in Nuke and other programs, and there will be not workaround or compromises. And you can convert a dpx into linear with the fnord plugin and be rocking your way to a fantastic float image.
but the sad fact is adobe doesn't really prioritize our little industry - we're just a blip on their map. Even though joe photographer should really see the advantage of working in 32 bit as well...
I think it's safe to say most matte painters have been working this way for a while and will continue to.
Maybe Mari or one of the up and coming texture paint apps will get enough brushes and effects built up to knock photoshop off the top spot. I know painting directly on geo has to appeal to more than a few of the more technical matte painters. If the Foundry could beat photoshop to the punch and catch the crowd before adobe fully gets on the 32bit bus, I'm sure you'd have quite a few people willing to take the pepsi challenge and possibly make the switch! I'm just a comper but I'd certainly not have any loyalty to old man photoshop if something made my occasional matte painting life that much easier!