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Washed out colors when exporting from Adobe media Encoder

Community Beginner ,
Apr 02, 2024 Apr 02, 2024

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I'm having a problem with video, exported as MP4 - the colors appear to be washed out.

However, when using After Effects for exporting, the colors appear correct (black as #0C0C0C, which is close enough to the real color, which is #0D0D0D)

comparison.png

I have read other posts in this community and tried exporting software- and hardware, configuring LUT etc. but no cigar. Initially, I thought it was the player, since the same video appeared different in QuickTime player and VLC, but as mentioned, it can be solved by exporting from AE.

When exporting as .MOV from AME, it's almost spot-on.

However, I would very much like to continue using AME, since it contains a lot of functionality that I take advantage of and gives me a boost in production. Any ideas?

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 04, 2024 Apr 04, 2024

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Asking our friends over at Color, After Effects and Formats team.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 09, 2024 Apr 09, 2024

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Much appreciated. If you need additional information, the project files or a video that shows the process, please let me know.
I did a little test with just a simple rectangle (#0D0D0D), exported as a 5-second video, which shows similar behavior.

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 09, 2024 Apr 09, 2024

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Can you post it here? I will file a bug for this, too.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 09, 2024 Apr 09, 2024

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Yes, here it is.

If you compare the two versions (AE and AME-encoded videos), you can clearly see a difference in the colors.

For some reason, the AME-version has correct yellow, but the dark grey is much too light

The AE-version has a correct dark grey. The yellow is slightly off (#FEF200 and not #FFF200) but it's close enough
Both versions have been encoded with default settings.

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 09, 2024 Apr 09, 2024

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I just tried to repro on my MacBook Pro 16" (2021, M1 Max, 64 GB) using Adobe After Effects (Beta) 24.2.0.71 and Adobe Media Encoder (Beta) 24.4.0.37. The results were different but not that drastically. Also in stable releases Adobe After Effects 24.3.0.50 and Adobe Media Encoder 24.3.0.49 differences were similar.

Please provide your specs (OS, CPU, GPU, memory). Can you retest with software only mode and verify if there are differences?

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 09, 2024 Apr 09, 2024

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Strange. I have tried hardware- and softwarerendering (attached) but it still results in washed out colors in both of them (attached). I use a PC from 2023 (Intel i9 13900KF, 64 GB of memory and a nVidia Quadro RTX A2000 12GB and latest drivers).

Software: 24.3.0 Build 50 (After Effects), 24.3 Build 49 (AME), running on Windows 11, fully patched.

 

I also tried encoding the same project on my laptop (i5 with a nVidia 2050, 32GB, fully patched and default settings when encoding) with the exact same results as on my workstation.

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 10, 2024 Apr 10, 2024

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I retested on my Surface Book 3 (Windows 11) and the differences that I see are similar to my Mac results. Your differences are much bigger, especially the color of the background. I don't have any idea. Will get in touch with my Friends over at After Effects.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 10, 2024 Apr 10, 2024

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Much appreciated. I will do some more testing as well on a brand new workstation, belonging to my boss to see if he experiences the same shenanigans.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 15, 2024 Apr 15, 2024

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We have done some more testing - my boss has a brand new i9-14900K workstation from last month, 64GB of memory and a nVidia 4070 SUPER, Windows 11 Pro, fully patched.

He has the exact same experience as me; that the Media Encoder changes the colors (especially the dark, which you mentioned yourself) and his results match my observations 100%.

If it helps, I can make you a video which shows the entire process.

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 15, 2024 Apr 15, 2024

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Yes, please provide a screen recording so that I canpass it along to Color or Formats team. Thanks!

 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 17, 2024 Apr 17, 2024

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Hello again. Here's a video, documenting the process (attached).

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 18, 2024 Apr 18, 2024

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Thanks, I'll ping our Color experts again…

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 19, 2024 Apr 19, 2024

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The Color team has filed a bug and will investigate. Thanks for letting us know!

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 19, 2024 Apr 19, 2024

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After Effects sends a Rec709 output to AME. So you can set the Color Space to 709 and then send it to AME. Not ideal. We want to fix this. But here's a workaround till then:

  1. Go to the File -> Project Settings -> Color tab -> Color Settings section
  2. Change the Working Color Space to "Rec.709 Gamma 2.4"
  3. Uncheck "Use Display Color Management" from the "Channel and Color Management settings"; those color-rings right below the monitor. (This is only to confirm that the color values are the same, immaterial of the display color space)
  4. Now export to AME.

The exported file should hopefully not have the color issues. Please let us know how this goes. If you do want to bring the output file into After Effects to compare, please note that you will need to disable the Display Color Management for it again and then compare the colors.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 24, 2024 Apr 24, 2024

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Yes, now the colors are correct.

Thank you for your assistance, both of you.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 24, 2024 Apr 24, 2024

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Update: I got the testfile correct, but I'm experiencing problems, using the method on other projects - will get back...

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