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I want to use Filmic color space for my renders, but I also want to override Filmic's constraints in the Compositor for the final image.

Filmic + GIMP is what I would like to pull off in Blender alone

My current workflow right now is to open my Filmic renders in GIMP to adjust the brightness and contrast to my liking, but attempting to do the same with Blender's own Brightness/Contrast node in the Compositor doesn't allow the colors to leave their muted state.

In other words, if the color white was in my Filmic render and I wanted to raise the brightness to a full white, the Compositor doesn't let me get brighter than the dull gray white that's already in the render, so I have to either open the image in GIMP to have full control over the brightness and contrast, or switch back to the harsher and less accurate colors of the Default color space.

How can I get around this so I can keep my workflow entirely in Blender?

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TL;DR SOLUTION: While using the Brightness/Contrast Node is limited to Filmic's usual muted colors, the Color Balance node, when set to the drop-down option "Offset/Power/Slope (ASC-CDL)," will let you manipulate the colors fully.

I've found the two controls highlighted in red to act most like brightness and contrast settings, but it's better to read how to fully use this node here.

color balance node

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    $\begingroup$ Related: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/78284/… and blender.stackexchange.com/questions/92177/… $\endgroup$ – cegaton Jun 9 '18 at 5:07
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    $\begingroup$ Also, somehow outdated, but the principles still apply: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/55859/… $\endgroup$ – cegaton Jun 9 '18 at 5:08
  • $\begingroup$ "Filmic's usual muted colors" ... not really if you know how to set your light values and materials correctly. Moreover using the different looks provided as part of the filmic blender's display transforms you can get very pleasing results without resorting to shifting values in the compositor... $\endgroup$ – cegaton Jun 9 '18 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ Are there any StackExchange posts or general articles on how to properly take advantage of Filmic? $\endgroup$ – RobotUnderscore Jun 10 '18 at 6:59
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    $\begingroup$ Filmic isn't the thing to focus on. The thing to focus on is how there is a transformation of the constrained RGB energy model from the scene (scene referred) to the display (display | output | device referred) that forms a virtual camera of sorts. Understanding what is happening in that interstitial area between the scene and output encodings is critical to elevating and understanding the craft. $\endgroup$ – troy_s Jun 10 '18 at 18:21
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Using filmic blender requires you to use much brighter values on your lights, as it is designed to work with a much wider dynamic range. To understand how it works read the following link carefully: Render with a wider dynamic range in cycles to produce photorealistic looking images .

Also you need to explore the different look transforms in the color management section to set the contrast to your liking. Read: https://github.com/sobotka/filmic-blender.

You can use the false colour look to evaluate the values within the image.

Lastly, you should try using the ASC-CDL node to make adjustments. Read: What is the the ASC-CDL node?

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