Previous articles in this series:


The Spindle is the 3D color shaper at the heart of Photon. It allows for extensive control over color in three dimensions. 

A direct consequence of the unique geometric shape of the Spindle is that it forces color transformations to be inherently smooth and natural. In other words, it's much harder to mess up badly - and even if you do, Photon's color engine is equipped with more tools to facilitate color smoothness any step of the way. 

The Spindle can be used to transform the color space in 3D with a number of different mouse tools. By default the Push / Pull tool is selected and you already used it to change brightness and saturation in the quick introduction.

Mouse Tools

The mouse tools to transform color in 3D
The mouse tools to transform color in 3D

Push / Pull

This tool can be used to change brightness and saturation.



Compress / Expand

Useful for spreading or contracting colors around a selected center point to make quick contrast adjustments.




As the name implies, this tool can be used to rotate the hue. It is mostly useful to make subtle changes to small parts of the color space. Here we're using it to make bold, global adjustments:




This tool works similarly to color wheels in traditional color grading applications but without being confined to a preset brightness range.  It allows you to bend colors towards a specific hue to introduce or change tonality.



As you can tell from the tool demos above, any of the drag moves you made on the image in the first step can also be made directly inside of the Spindle: Try it out! If you place the mouse directly over the Spindle shape you will be able to make simple transforms. Dragging outside of the shape will rotate the Spindle in 3D space.


Looking for more advanced examples? All of these tools can be used to make localized adjustments - this is just a quick preview of the tools working in "global" mode.


Resetting the Spindle

Now that we've made some adjustments it's time to learn how to reset your changes. The simplest way to go back to the beginning is to right click anywhere on the Spindle and select "Reset LUT". Here you can also re-align and reset the camera.




Next articles in this series: