BlacksMatch_2.0 v1.1

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Contributor: Tony Lyons
This tool recreates a toe operation that's able to input an external image as it's black point and has controls for the multiply (the amount above the blackpoint that the operation stops affecting the midtones and highlights), and a control for the Gamma, or falloff, which is the bottom part of the curve and how it's blending with the blackpoint. You can toggle a preview overlay of a plotscanline and see how your blackpoint is affecting the rest of your image.
12.0, 11.3, 11.2, 11.1, 11.0, 10.5, 10.0, 9.0, 8.0 or later
Linux, Mac, Windows
09 Nov 2019




BlacksMatch recreates a Toe operation with merge nodes, meaning you can now plug in an external image are your black color and it will perform the operation taking each pixel's value into account as the blackpoint.  


You can control the Multiply, which is how far above the blackpoint the blacks match with stop affecting your midtones and highlights.  For example, if you plugged in 0.15 and had the multiply set to 2, then values above 0.3 remain unaffected.  


The 'falloff' or Gamma control just controls the falloff of the curve into your blackpoint color.  if it's really high, it will act more like a screen or plus (still ending at the blackpoint color times your multiply control), and if it's really low, it will act more like a clamp.  Your blackpoint will not ever fall below your input color while you manipulate the curves.


There is a preview plotscan button that helps you visualize how your curve is behaving with your settings.  Just move the plotscan picker around and it will sample your blackpoint color at that area and give you an overlay of your curve.  (Don't forget to turn it off when you are done)


I personally think this is a tool every comper should have in their toolkit, as it's by far the most controlable way to match your blacks properly!



There is a full video Tutorial about the BlacksMatch workflow, along with a Tool Demonstration at the end.  If you want to know how I made it and whats going on under the hood, please watch the whole video. It might give you some ideas of how to re-think your matching blacks workflow.

For those who just want to quickly see what the tool does, I'll include a time-stamped link to that part of the Demo.


For the full tutorial about the blacks match workflow, how to match blacks correctly, different operations, and tool demo, please watch here:

For just the tool Demo bit and to skip the tutorial, jump ahead to the timestamp:

For those more into reading and interested in and in-depth write up and cool gifs:


Visit my compositing blog for the detailed write-up:

Here is also a dropbox link to some of the project files I used in the tutorial:

There you'll find a link to a small script:


Some various reference images of complex black points in foggy/hazy night photos, that you could use as practice:


And the original statue exr render, with beauty, depth, World_Position, and Normals passes. Thanks to Ernest Dios for the render:


Hopefully you can use the project files and statue render to practice matching your blacks, color corrections, and maybe fitting the statue into either the cool reference photos I gathered, or your own background images.

Also, if interested, download the tool from my github, where you can find a repository with all my tools in one place:



- Changed the default multLowRange value to 4, and RollOffGamma to 0.35, I thought is was a better, more aethetic default than just a toe.


The old defaults were 2, and 0.5 if you like those better. The old result was exactly a toe operation, the new has more falloff.

- Changed the minimum output of the blacksMatch tool to be the result of a toe operation, before you could go below a toe operation and the minimum would be a clamp of the black value. You are safe to play around with the sliders and know that your new range is between the min result of a toe and max result of a plus.

If you need the result to be lower than a toe, there is a new dropdown menu, 'Min Value is:'
1.) Toe result
2.) Clamp result (the old setup).
So if you crank your settings all the way down, the minimum value can be either a toe or a clamp.


Please login in order to download these files.


+4 # Andrea Geremia 2019-07-01 15:15
Really cool tool and alternative technique! I loved your tutorial... finally someone who explains the math behind the operations 8) Thanks Tony!
+1 # Oliver Banasiak 2019-07-09 01:30
Really awesome, but a little comp-newbie over here. How do I generate the blackColor. Is picking it from the viewer in a constant node and hocking that up an efficient way or even a correct one? Also, doesn't seem to work with Nuke 11.3v3 since it was made for 11.3v4 or does that error not matter? Thanks a bunch for the tools you provide, they help guys like me understand the process behind it!
0 # ankur suvarapu 2019-10-21 05:10
Thanks tony, I love your tuts and gizmos
0 # Marvin Sprengel 2019-10-23 15:56
That's an amazing tool, and the tutorial that comes with it is really superb! Thanks so much for sharing!

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