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Chris Beck
Asked a question 7 months ago

What is the purpose of the new Cake and Ring modes in Photon and how are they different from Local Range Mode?

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With the latest update we deprecated "Global Dynamic Range Mode" in favour of two new intermediate range selection modes called Cake and Ring. Here's the gist of what they do:

Cake (Hue)

This range mode allows you to quickly adjust a slice of colors based on their hue value.
As you can see in the video below, the slices have a smooth falloff to all sides to ensure high color transform stability for all shaping tools. You can think of Cake Range as the 3D equivalent to bezier color curves in 2D applications - just a little more powerful because you can target any luminance range.

Cake Range Selection Mode in Photon
Cake Range Selection Mode in Photon

Ring (Saturation)

Instead of targeting hue slices like the Cake Range Mode, the Ring Mode allows you to target specific saturation intensities in the color space. Saturation expands from the center of the color space, where there is no color intensity, toward the outer edge where the most saturated colors reside. The Ring Mode allows you to quickly target colors based on their saturation intensity. You can use it to easily tame saturated colors or give more neutral colors a boost. 

Ring Range Selection Mode in Photon to target colors based on their saturation intensity
Ring Range Selection Mode in Photon to target colors based on their saturation intensity

I want to point out that since the latest update, all range modes in Photon now work with all shaper tools. This means that it has now become quite trivial to make adjustments that were previously nearly impossible to achieve with manual grading. (Bend only highly saturated colors toward blue with literally two clicks and one drag - the implications are huge!)

Cake/Ring vs Local Range

Cake (Hue) and Ring (Saturation) are intermediate ranges we introduced primarily as workflow enhancements. These modes work great for quick localized and super stable color adjustments without having to dial in any parameters to build custom masks. Technically you could recreate similar ranges with the local range mode by defining a custom 3D color mask but we believe there are at least two reasons why you probably don't have to:

  1. The underlying algorithms for Cake and Ring Selection are highly optimized for the respective tasks of selecting slices of hue and intensities of saturation. You can observe the smoothness of the selection directly in the 3D color model as you make adjustments.
  2. They serve a different purpose. When color grading with Photon, you generally want to go from Global to Local. You start with the most broad adjustments and then get more and more detailed as you refine your grade. Because one of our main objectives is to aid colorists in maintaining smoothness throughout the grade, offering these new intermediate ranges which are neither global nor too fine grained, was the natural next step for Photon's emerging color workflow.


Thank you guys so much for being part of the beta - your feedback and support has made these recent updates possible and we're super excited to see the application grow and become more and more powerful!

Needless to say we can't wait to see what you guys are going to create with Photon!