Linear workflow (LWF) is a concept that I try to explain to others when dealing with realistic lighting and rendering. LWF has to do with how we are perceiving the light intensity of our images calculated by our rendering application and it being applied to our screens. I plan to cover this concept more, especially for those using Cinema 4D as Release 12 introduces the LWF option, and this post serves as a definition of the LWF concept.
Due to an issue that our hardware does not have a linear correspondence to the light intensity being rendered we run into issues when trying to portray lighting realistically. In a nutshell LWF is the process of accommodating the issue of the nonlinear display output and making a compensation adjustment in our process to return the output back to a linear display. This is where the value (variable) of gamma comes in. Well, rather than typing, here are a couple of videos that very clearly explain the concept and the process of adjusting our nonlinear displays for linear output. Why I chose these videos is that they are presented very simply by a presenter who self-admittedly is newly experienced with LWF and should resonate with those wanting to learn about the concept.
Linear Workflow Explained – Part 1
Linear Workflow Explained – Part 2