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How do you export colours more accurately in Adobe After Effects (for Instagram)?

New Here ,
Apr 07, 2020

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I am currently trying to export colour to look the same as a png (matching hex codes) since my job requires me to prepare instagram content. The content sits next to one another in the timeline and the static image colours are always accurate, video colour is never accurate. It is important for me to be using brand colours. Below is an example of what I am trying to resolve. The salmon colour is set to the same hex code but exports very differently.

 

Also if you’re curious about the content check out (at)cruel_co on instagram.

 

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How do you export colours more accurately in Adobe After Effects (for Instagram)?

New Here ,
Apr 07, 2020

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I am currently trying to export colour to look the same as a png (matching hex codes) since my job requires me to prepare instagram content. The content sits next to one another in the timeline and the static image colours are always accurate, video colour is never accurate. It is important for me to be using brand colours. Below is an example of what I am trying to resolve. The salmon colour is set to the same hex code but exports very differently.

 

Also if you’re curious about the content check out (at)cruel_co on instagram.

 

IMG_7699.jpg

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How to, Import and export

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339

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Apr 07, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 07, 2020

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Video doesn't work on hex codes and that's the first major flaw in your thinking. The rest is just a case of understanding color management and the limitations of video CoDecs, including how they treat Gamma or what colors are less than ideal for compression methods with chroma undersampling as employed by MP4, your salmon color being a good example. or to give you the short version: Just typing hex codes into a color picker won't do anything. Since there are no simple explanations for that, I suggest you spend a little time investigating the whole matter in a web search and then act accordingly - resetting and calibrating your monitor, working with color proofing across apps and ultimately a lot of experimentation, including how IG's own server-side processing of your uploaded files further messes them up.

 

Mylenium

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 07, 2020

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I'd also add, if you don't understand color namagement and you don't want to learn about it, then it's probably preferable to switch it off.

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Apr 07, 2020 0
New Here ,
Apr 07, 2020

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Thanks for the response, Mylenium. This is something I have been trying to wrap my mind around for some time, and I have done quite a bit of research trying to understand the relationships between colour and video. I have studied colour in both digital and print application at University. Colour in video has been a lot more difficult for me to tackle, but I am starting to get it. I have done quite a bit of googling, trial and error, and have reached out to some industry peers and haven't really been able to hurdle the specific issue I am having. I realize it is a lot more complex than I probably posed in the question.

 

The reason I mentioned HEX code is because that is how we keep colour consitency across most web applications, and is a good reference point when I am colour matching *visually* as I am preparing the document. I have the source colour open in another application beside after effects (same screen). Is this a wrong practice? Also, how would you recommend visual colour matching? This is the method I have found most effective (although as you see in my example, some colours still give me trouble).

If you don't mind I will rephrase my quesion a bit: I am developing content to upload onto instagram (H.264 codec / MP4/ACC) and am wondering if anybody has any specific recommendations on file prep/export? I am looking for any tips or tricks from people who have succesfully resolved similar issues. I have implemeneted things I've learned thru exploration but it is not good enough. Obviously I will continue to explore, but this is where I am in the process right now! And I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I am genuinely trying to resolve the issue. Been working as a designer for a decade now and I am no stranger to experimenting and spending my time learning my craft, but obviously sometimes you need a helping hand. 🙂

 

Thanks again,

-J

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Apr 07, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 07, 2020

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Hex colors for consistency? OMG! Sorry, but that's utter nonsense on so many levels. Even if you don't get into any of that CM-related stuff, there's still a difference between an RGB color generated from a hex code and "baked" into the pixels of an image and the live rendered page content in your browser. It's one of those "In theory there's the W3C spec, but then..." Every browser handles this differently, even more so since some correct for monitor/ system color profiles, but only under some conditions while most don't and then there's this whole Pandora's box of images potentially being tagged with (wrong) color profiles and some browsers trying to fix that, t0o. You could dig into the Mozilla and Chrom development pages and really get scared.

 

As Angie was suggesting, the most painless way would likely be to dumb things down to not use any CM at all, but even then you still need to start by neutralizing your monitor color, which possibly is your biggest issue, anyway. Since all Adobe apps are aware of monitor profiles even when not explicitly using them for proofing, results can still deviate. In such a case you may even have to ditch a factory default profile that comes with your monitor, but if it's a HDR-capable 10 or 12 bit beast, that won't work because then colors will be utterly wacky. See how this unravels one after another? Lots of caveats.

 

Where the practical approach to video is concerned, some things that usually work:

 

  • Define all your colors in genuine RGB colors, not Hex. Allow for alternate colors and tolerances since e.g. things like oversaturated red will be terrible for MPEG compression and definitely change color and cause aliased edges. Something to do with the color space transform in the CoDec.
  • Same for other "pure" or very vibrant colors. As a rule of thumb the perceived saturation and brightness/ luminance should never exceed 90%, though there are exceptions. You'll learn to deal with this and develop a gut feeling.
  • Reset all CM options in all programs, meaning plain sRGB/ AdobeRGB with no specific proof profiles or extended CM policies set.
  • Create reference color charts with the base colors and your most used project colors. Sample them from screenshots to account for any color profiles - or absence of same. Repeat this for all apps if need be.
  • Double-check your color settings based on the charts, i.e. loading ones from otehr apps into the current app and vice versa. Under ideal conditions this should not show any change in color or only minor deviations. If colors change too much, then something is fishy soemwhere. Do this roundtrip as long as needed for all apps until everything is okay.
  • To account for Gamma shifts, applying a simple Gamma effect as the topmost adjusmtent layer can do miracles by simply dialling in the inverse of the assumed target Gamma/ target deviation. I typically use something like 1/1.2 = 0.835 when needed. This used to be common in the olden days, but contemporary encoders should not have that much of an issue and rarely require manually fiddling with Gamma settings..

 

Everything else comes down to experience and developing a somewhat relaxed attitude. You need to emphasize the overall perceived color rather than the actual color. I know that clients love to throw their CI folder at you and wave with Pantone charts screaming "But that's not our color!", but that's just not how this works. You will need to also have the patience to explain this to them along with working on your own understanding of the whole thing.

 

Mylenium

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 08, 2020

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You sent me a private message saying that you couldn't understand what I was saying. Let me clarify a little.

 

Myllenium has given you the best advice - 100%. However, I'm aware that often, people who post questions here are looking for a quick answer and may be on a job with tight deadlines so need a quick solution. Thats the alternative I offered. It sounded like you were having issues with Color management in the video applications. My suggestion was to switch off color management in the apps and rely on monitor callibration. That's how we used to work before color management existed in the video apps. It has it's own caveats but can take away some of the complexities of dealing with color management if you don't have the time to dedicate to learning about it. Its what I recommend to those who don't have the time or inclination to study color managment. If you need to get the job done quickly its often the best approach.

 

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