Filmic Tonemapper in 4.15 - March 16 - Live from Epic HQ


In the 4.15 build of Unreal Engine, there were updates to the filmic tonemapper to have it match the Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) by default. This tonemapper also enables the engine to target multiple display types including HDR displays and bloom settings have been updated to provide a more physically correct result by default. Brian Karis and Jordan walker are joining us to show off and explain these changes live! They’ll open up an example while breaking down the technical details of how and why the filmic tonemapper works.

Thursday, March 16th @ 2:00PM ET Countdown]


Brian Karis - Senior Graphics Programmer - @BrianKaris](
Jordan Walker - Paragon Lead Artist - @Mutantspoon](
Alexander Paschall - Community Manager - @UnrealAlexander](

Feel free to ask any questions on the topic in the thread below, and remember, while we try to give attention to all inquiries, it’s not always possible to answer everyone’s questions as they come up. This is especially true for off-topic requests, as it’s rather likely that we don’t have the appropriate person around to answer. Thanks for understanding!

Old Tonemapper Curves:

Slope = 0.98;
Toe = 0.3;
Shoulder = 0.22;
BlackClip = 0;
WhiteClip = 0.025;

Since this thread is empty, I’ll be the one who will ask whats on everyones mind.

does Alexander wear undergarments??

I mean:
"How to get a nice red/blue/any color really that is very bright, emissive, and not turn white/change color?


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(from: 4.15 tonemapper - is it possible to simulate old effects? - Rendering - Unreal Engine Forums )

And my personal question:

Would it not be wise/interesting/smart to add a new material input that control’s Glow, that can work alongside/seperately from Emissive.

I rephrase what Luos asked:
How to make things glow without turning them white.

In real world glow is caused by several reasons:

  1. Diffusion on particles (dust, fog, air)
  2. Diffraction on the fringe of the object
  3. Aberrations in the optical system

Best example is Blue LED.
Human Eye could perceive blueish color by almost whole retina surface (rods ere cyan/blue sensitive, yet brain see it colorless).
If You look on one, You may see it’s not white (if it’s not super bright), yet it has halo. Effect better seen by peripheral vision (look slightly aside).

Filmic Tonemapper introduces too much clipping. And this isn’t an acceptable amount of clipping any lighter would tolerate.
Compare the Before/After below:



4.15 (Filmic Tonemapper)

Couldn’t you go for a better option? :frowning:

Edit: Original thread: Filmic Tonemapper default settings - Rendering - Unreal Engine Forums

Since we have Brian on maybe he can talk a little bit about what he’s working on at the moment and in the months to come? Always interesting to hear what’s next in terms of rendering features and shaders.

What you see here is not clipping but likely the result highlights rolloff that gives headroom for bright specular highlights over 1.0, your white which was before 1.0 is probably around 0.8 or so, this regular practise in the VFX industry and is appropriate for any content with scene referred linear values.

I don’t get why everyone is complaining about the new default tonemapper. I personally like it, but that’s just a preference. I’ll say again: preference. If you want the old tonemapper, it’s not hard to disable the filmic stuff: r.TonemapperFilm

Seems people are whining just to get attention or troll? I don’t get it. Outside of filmic stuff, there are dozens and dozens of visual settings to tweak. Focusing on a new default setting seems like a waste of time. Time that could go towards running errands for that nice old lady down the street, for money, so one could in theory purchase a penguin. A trained penguin. Trained by the best. Save up that lettuce!

I hate to be a negative nancy, I’m sure the stream will be super-useful to finally wrangle down the tonemapper, but what about that Build System stream? Since that changed just as much as the tonemapper can we get something going for that?

That being said:

Can we finally get proper documentation now on all the post-process settings?

Dear sir,

If “you don’t get why” it doesn’t mean anyone is trying to get attention or troll. Let’s be polite. If you want me to be more precise, I have ~ 16 packages on UE4 marketplace right now that are looking too dark and contrasty I can’t get +1000 customers to disable their Film tonemapper that’s on by default.

Apart from that, in every comparisons, ACES provides too much contrast and results too far from the original picture.

Besides that, disabling the film tonemapper isn’t an option since we wouldn’t have another top grade tonemapper to work with either.

Now that is a valid reason. I was speaking out more towards those that just seem to be jumping on the complaint wagon, without a solid reason.

As for your marketplace content, couldn’t you update your packages? I dig your work, and I’m sure it would be a pain… But it’s the price we pay with such a feature filled engine. I think Epic does a pretty good job of not “breaking” things, but sometimes it can’t be helped. Still, with the amount of people complaining about the tonemapper, I wouldn’t be surprised if they reverted that change.

Thanks for that! Looks like it switched to UTC from ET

Performance impact

HDR, bloom… How affect for rendering up to performance? Drastically? VR recommended?

I think it is wonderful to have the new tonemapper and I do not mind it being enabled by default. I would, however, like to kindly request that the old one not be done away with. Please just allow us to select which tonemapper to use, perhaps somewhere in settings for the project. The old setting allows me to create emissive material effects for things such as lit control consoles, glowing magic circles and the like. These type of effects don’t look right with the new tonemapper. So please at least let us keep the old one as well.

Regarding the Color Grading White Balance setting, shouldn’t lower values be warmer? I’m guessing this is intended to represent black body temperature in Kelvin, where 6500 K is roughly daylight:

Sorry, just a minor quibble :wink: I for one am glad to see so much attention being given to moving things forward, even if it sometimes makes it a rough ride for those of us who want to stay on the bleeding edge!

Brian mentioned in the stream how to achieve the old look with some curve adjustments. I have them now to share!

Old Tonemapper Curves:

Slope = 0.98;
Toe = 0.3;
Shoulder = 0.22;
BlackClip = 0;
WhiteClip = 0.025;

Where do we change these values? I thought it was in the PostProcessVolume but I’m not seeing the properties in the details panel.

PostProcessVolume Details -> Tonemapper. But I wouldn’t say those settings can get back color to emissive materials

Ok, I thought that’s where they’d be but none of those settings show up in my PostProcessVolume’s Tonemapper section. Searching for them also turns up nothing.

This is supposed to be in 4.15, right?

Should be in 4.15, yes. Looks like you might be in a different version? Here’s what I have:

Did you happen to run the console command r.TonemapperFilm 0 in the editor? If so, turn that back to 1, and you’ll see the other version of the settings :wink:

Yes, it’s not exactly perfect. You’d still need to disable the new filmic tonemapper entirely to restore that emissive look, like we show in the stream.