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I am trying to figure out if blender keeps all baked object in "raw" color space until image is saved or color space matters for empty images:

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From my testing, intial color space does not matter. Blender keeps all image data in raw format. I can alter color space and view it in different spaces.

Can someone confirm that all baked images are in raw space even after baking and even saving?

My understanding is that I alter only color space for display / render and I can still save "non-color" even if I got color space set to srgb or any other. But it gives me a little head ache as I am trying to fix some color miss match.

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I believe Blender keeps image data as it is in the image in question, however while rendering any manipulations and the rendering itself is done in internal linear color space with with Rec.709 chromaticities. Baking is a form of rendering and it also uses internal linear color space so the result is in that space at first.

If you save an image in some color space in most 16 or 8 bit image formats, Blender does write it in the color space you set, but it does not attach any ICC profile or information in any other format specifying what color space the image is in to the image file and when you reimport that image back, it is assumed to be sRGB by default, so that's a problem. You would need to manually select the correct color space in Blender or assign it in any other software.

One good very simple way to deal with this especially if you stay inside Blender is to just use EXR format that ignores color management completely and just saves the images in that internal reference color space Blender uses. It is read correctly when you load EXR images in Blender as well. You can use PIZ codec that compresses the images really well even if they are in 32bit format:

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it clarified something. It was confusing at first, when I backed texture it was "generated" object type, and when I save it with any color space, blender did convert it to another color space, and then applie also anotther conversion withit view space. $\endgroup$ Feb 22 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, with EXR it's the same, only EXR is in the correct Blender's linear color space so it works. I believe what actually happens in the situation you attempt to describe is: Blender saves an image in some color space without any indication of what it is attached to the file, you load the file, sRGB is assumed, the image is incorrectly converted from assumed sRGB to linear color space, then your color management settings are applied to it and the output is whatever your Display Device is set to, so most likely sRGB again. There can be issues with it, if you are using a P3 display for example. $\endgroup$ Feb 22 at 15:47

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