Media Encoder CC17 Renders Rec2020 HEVC files with weird crushed black levels

Explorer ,
Nov 16, 2016 Nov 16, 2016

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OK, so I made a Composition in After Effects. To keep life simple, 32 bits/channel, No Color Management, No Linearize Working Space, No Blend Colors Using 1.0 Gamma, No Compensate for Scene-Referred Files, just a bog simple as I can make it.

I made a ramp using the built in tools, rendered it out using a preset for UHD 10 bit. So far so good:

1-10bit.jpg

Nice and clean ramps, all good.

Now I'll use the exact same setting, just turning on Rec2020 color primaries:

2-10bitRec2020.jpg

Note the upper ramp's blacks - from zero to about 8%, all values have been crushed to black, and then jump to about 23%. And yes, they play back this way too (checked on a Samsung KS8000, a UHD HDR UltraHD Premium Certified set, playing back via USB stick).

So, in summary:

- you CAN render 10 bit Rec709 files OK - so that's good.

-you CAN'T render 10 bit Rec2020 files and have them look right (unless everything is above 23% - BAD.

-if you look here https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2238092

...you'll see that you can't render proper HDR files as well, because they are rendering with something less than 7 bits instead of the 10 required.

Media Encoder is hence useless to make proper UHD HEVC files. I'm going to see what's possible with H.264, but it isn't as efficient by H.265 by a long shot.

-mike

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Explorer ,
Nov 16, 2016 Nov 16, 2016

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Looks like the problem might be between AE and ME - doing some tests now, looks promising.

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Explorer ,
Nov 16, 2016 Nov 16, 2016

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Yeah - results are NOT consistent between AE and ME - looks like exporting to an OpenEXR sequence out of AE, then importing that into ME for encoding yields different results as compared to Add to Adobe Media Encoder Queue within ME. AE does color management, I know Premiere doesn't, perhaps ME doesn't either.

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Explorer ,
Nov 17, 2016 Nov 17, 2016

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More info here, several comments down (I added to wrong thread)

Media Encoder CC17 renders HDR HEVC files to <7 bits. Uh oh. Here's proof.

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Explorer ,
Nov 17, 2016 Nov 17, 2016

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More testing and results:

We already know that Premiere Pro CC17 and Media Encoder CC17 don't color manage. Their results match visually, so this supports the "common/same render engine" angle.

After Effects DOES have color management, and the results are different from PPro and ME - this is probably why the results differ.

Rendering directly from Premiere Pro or adding to Media Encoder Queue seems to generate identical results.

So far the best way I've found to get my After Effects results to an HEVC file is to render an EXR sequence, put that into Premiere, add my audio, and render out directly from Premiere Pro or with Media Encoder. BUT there are still problems - while 4K UHD in 8 or 10 bit works and matches the source, activating Rec2020 introduces a gamma shift, and activating HDR introduces SIGNIFICANT banding (results less than 7 bits/pixel) and a shift towards green.

-mike

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Explorer ,
Nov 17, 2016 Nov 17, 2016

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JUST NOTICED the new versions of AE & PPro that dropped today:

in Premiere - didn't fix the issue, performance same as last version.

in After Effects - yep, still has same screwed up crushed blacks.

These new versions don't fix this particular problem.

-mike

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