EXR render view color discrepancy vs After Effects import

Below I have a screen grab of my After Effects workspace with the Blender Render view over it. In the Render view (on the left), the neuron scene looks correct (using Filmic). When the 16bit EXR is imported into After Effects the lights look very hot and blown out and the color has shifted (on the right). When using PNG, this doesn’t happen. Is there anything I can do to be able to use filmic with EXR in After effects and have it look the way it does in the Blender interface?

I believe you may have to use ACES from opencolorio.org? Not sure though.

When exr is saved, looks are not applied, so you miss the filmic part of it. It should be possible to apply filmic transforms using OCIO plugin in AE, but it is kind of messy. Search the forum for this, some explanations of how to do it should come up.

Thanks…I tried installing all of that stuff in After effects and it just didn’t work. Also, the process in the video I watched was so convoluted there’s no way I’m doing all of that crap every time I import footage. I’ll save to PNG or TIFF…or not use Filmic. Why in 2019 are we dealing with BS like this? It should just work when it gets imported.

Contact the Adobe developers and let them know.

Don’t use .png, save to 16 bit .tif.

Better yet, if you can, would be to use something that handles colour correctly, such as Nuke or Fusion.

Have you tried the fnordware plugin? Last time I had to use it, it worked out just fine. (Aug '18 maybe)

Use a generally acknowledged color space and transforms if you want stuff to work in 2019. ACES for example. Oh, it doesn’t work out of the box either… and it is just about the widest used and most coherent color management system there is for film and animation. Color handling in AE is bad, just as it is bad in PS. Use Nuke or Fusion or Natron if you want something less convoluted. Filmic conf works fine in Nuke if you know what you are doing (it doesn’t “just work” there either).


  1. Adobe is an entire ecosystem. The tools must work coherently within their own limitations.
  2. Adobe has legacy code in the count of millions upon millions. Changing code is a glacially and complex endeavour if attempted.
  3. Adobe began life as a display referred application with unassociated alpha. Great decisions in 1988, horrible decisions in 2019.
  4. Adobe’s market cap is based on keeping their installation base working. Changing something, even in the name of “progress”, cripples legacy installations that require compatibility.
  5. Pixel craftspeople need to understand what they are doing. This has little to do with Adobe as a company, but underlines an unfortunate trend.

TL;DR: Adobe made some very reasonable decisions back in 1988 that, in 2019, are godawful for working on photographic and photographic-like content. After Effects is simply awful software.