Is this saying correct ?
The graphics card and most video codecs store colors in a linear scale.
Video Production Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts spanning the fields of video, and media creation. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
If by linear scale, the (Cinelerra manual) "saying" means gamma = 1.0, then that's not my understanding of most video codecs.
GPUs, OTOH, probably do operate upon values decoded and stored as a linear representation of a higher precision than the source, which would be typically 8-bits per channel.
The correctness of this statement depends on the color model. The statement will typically be correct for color models such as RGB and CMY. In HSx (HSV, HSL) color models the model doesn't store explicit colors, and their transformation to explicit colors is non-linear.
My comment below on YUV is incorrect, YUV transforms linearly to RGB, thanks @Mulvya!
Not likely, most monitors and most display devices have a nonlinear response. This is useful, as human eyes are not linearily sensitive.
Having the data stored in nonlinear scale is thus a very simple compression scheme. In fact, your display device depends on this gamma correction. If you would not have a gammacorected datasource then the image would appear dark. While this image could be corrected you would lose color data as the values would get nonliearily distributed. End result is that 8bit color would no longer be enough to display continious color without banding. This is why cameras have 10, 12 or 14 bit sensors, as he sensors themselves are linear in nature.
So while it certainly is possible to have colorspaces that are linear, most videosoursces would not be linear. Simply because that would mean need to store over 8 bits of color info. Codecs certainly can have different settings and many of the color modes would not be practical without nonlinear data.
In general its rather safe to assume that the data stored is not linear even if stored in a space that could represent linear data. Unless the source specifically mentions its linear and it stores more than 8 bit color then it most likely is not linear.