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Exporting a Prores file has a color shift issue. Someone tell me if I am crazy, please?

Community Beginner ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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Hello all. This is going to take a bit of explaining...

 

I am a motion graphics artist for a live events company. I often build graphics for live shows and export them for playback. For the most part, we use Millumin or sometimes Resolume. COVID happened a while ago, so our live events didn't really happen that much. That said, recently, we started regularly doing shows again, and I have been going to shows and doing playback with Millumin.

 

2 shows ago, I was getting video files from several seperate production houses, all of which didn't listen to me and gave me MP4's instead of prores files. That was fine, because I would just turn them into prores files for playback reasons. I had so many color issues that I had to put fades on everything so people wouldn't see the brand colors shift. At the time, I was calling for the heads of the production houses for not knowing how to put in a stupid hex code.

 

The last show I did, same issue. I got files from a production house, but I also got his After Effects file. Same issue; color shifts. I ended up opening his after effects file, seeing that he put on a color profile, turned it off, and rendered all his files again. Same issue; Color shift. 

 

To go into a bit of detail about my work flow, here is what I do most times. If we have a video, that is exported as a prores. If we have backgrounds that are still, I render out PNG's. I have been doing this for atleast 10 years prior. These past two times, I have noticed that when I render a PNG and a Prores, their colors are off. Meaning, when we cut from a Prores file to a PNG or visa versa, you can see a pretty dramatic shift in the color on screen. So, here is the data. For the record, this has been done on my laptop, my home computer, my work computer, and other coworkers computers and even computers from people I know that just use after effects. All of which are seperate machines with difference hardware built in. They are consistantly wrong. Since it matters, I'll say that my work computer is an i9 with 64 gigs of memory with a 3090 graphics card. My home computer is a ryzen 5900x with 32 gigs of memory and a 3080 graphics card. My laptop is an i7 with a 2070. Other computers include different i7's or i9's with 3080 or 3090 graphics cards installed. All of which are Studio Drivers.

 

Color in After Effects -> 0B2D71 ->

//   Export as PNG -> 0B2D71

//   Export as Prores -> 0C2D72

//   Export as H264 -> 0B2E71

//   Export as Animation Codec -> 0B2D71

 

I tested this on every machine I can get my hands on. Each and every one of them export these colors exactly. PNG's hex code is correct, Animation Codec is correct, while Prores and H264 are incorrect.

 

After I confirmed that this was an issue, I called Adobe, and the guy I talked to was very nice and we tried a bunch of things to see about resolving this issue. 3 phone calls later, he calls and said the engineers are saying that Prores is a compression, and when it gets compressed it has a color shift. Ultimately, they blamed the prores codec for the issue. Am I crazy? I do not remember that being an issue before. I have my workflow that I've been doing for several years, and I'm pretty darn sure I have never had this issue before.

 

Here is a list of things I have tried.

I have rendered out a PNG sequence, then re-exported it as a prores. Same issue.

I have rendered out Animation Codec's, and converted it into Prores. Same issue.

I have rendered a PNG, imported that into After Effects, then exported a Prores. Same issue.

 

I haven't really messed with color profiles, mostly because all the things that I end up rendering out show up on a screen that is calibrated by an engineer.

 

My grammer sucks, so I hope you all understood this. Can anybody confirm this? or maybe tell me what I'm doing wrong? 

Bug Unresolved
TOPICS
Import and export , Troubleshooting , Workflow

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5 Comments
Community Beginner ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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For clarification the Prores I was exporting needed an alpha, so I did Prores 4444.

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Engaged ,
Feb 22, 2023 Feb 22, 2023

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Never in my 10+ years experience was ProRes unaffected by gamma or color shifts. Now, if I need pixel proof files, I'm using 444 RGB 12-bit encoding, either in a MOV or MXF container. It's pretty solid. Don't ask about videos with alpha channel 🥴

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Engaged ,
Feb 22, 2023 Feb 22, 2023

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Oh I'm sorry I just read your addendum, so please ignore my response (and message deletion doesn't seem to be a thing on this clumsy forum).

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 23, 2023 Feb 23, 2023

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Well, I tested it on a Mac Pro, 2019 model. Adobe After Effects 2023. I suppose I'm not surprised, but the hexcode came out correct for Prores 4444. No color shift.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 02, 2023 Mar 02, 2023

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I went one step further.

I opened an old project from 2019, and dragged in my prores render files.

Blue color:

Hexcode from 2019 project: 0A66C2

Hexcode from Prores (2019) file: 0A66C2

Render with After Effects 2023 Prores: 0B66C3

 

Interestingly, the green color stayed the same between all three files.

 

Green color on all 3: Comp: 83941F, 2019 Prores: 83941F, 2023 Prores: 83941F

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