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Color is washed out when exporting from Premiere Pro

New Here ,
May 23, 2023 May 23, 2023

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So I know what the issue is, and why it's happening. (When working in Premiere Pro, the color looks fine, and then after the export, the color has lost saturation and contrast.) I know what Adobe's solution has been in the past - Download the Gamma Correction LUT. But that means you're eyeballing your color grade based on what it might look like after correction. The export (no correction lut) looks great on any screen that isn't apple, but washed out on all apple products. Now here's my question - how do big brands always end up outputing their deliverables to look great regardless of the screen it's being viewed on? I know that they don't have time to trial and error every single video, while holding up different screens to compare and try to split the difference. Is there some sort of magic that I've just never heard of?

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Editing , Export , Hardware or GPU

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Community Expert ,
May 27, 2023 May 27, 2023

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What application are you viewing your exports in? The issue with MacOS is that there's a gamma shift with QuickTime player so it doesn't appear to match your Premiere Pro program. The corrective LUT is merely to shift the color so that it appears correct in QuickTime, which can be useful if that's what your client is using. Try using an app like VLC to review your outputs, that should give you the "true" color of the while without worrying about the gamma shift. Uploading to YouTube and viewing the video in a browser will also be more accurate. If you do either of those and the color is still off then let us know as there is something else going on.

 

HTH,


JVK

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LEGEND ,
May 27, 2023 May 27, 2023

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The issue is of course the gamma the system uses to display the image. Apple has chosen an intriguing 1.96, which is roughly the camera (scene) transform, as the display transform for their Rec.709 setting. Which is typically 2.4 in nearly all other applications and uses. (2.2 for "bright room" viewing, & web-only.)

 

BUT ... if a Mac user has their system set to HDTV instead of Rec.709, then it will be displayed with the full Rec.709/sRGB/gamma 2.4 specs. So on some Mac screens, a standard Rec.709 export from Premiere Pro or Resolve works fine.

 

As it does on the older, pre-Retina Mac screens. Which makes this whole thing even more of a mess. It's not even totally consistent among Mac screens.

 

So ... how do pro colorists handle this? I work for/with/teach pro colorists, and this gets a LOT of angst among that crowd. As there isn't any actual "fix". Only workarounds and choices of which is the lesser poison.

 

The most commonly used choice is very simple. Export all Rec.709 as straight Rec.709, and ... fuhgedaboudit.

 

Why? Well, as is said among colorists ... "You can't fix gramma's green TV."

 

Which is based on the reality all colorists work under: no one ever, ever, sees the same image you see on your Grade 1 Reference monitor. No matter whether it goes out as network broadcast, streaming, movie, web, or BluRay. You can't even make two identical monitors show everything identically when side by side connected to the same system with the same calibration routine.

 

So ... people are always used to their screen as being "normal". And assume it's at least sorta mostly what the colorist saw. Hint: fuhgedaboudit.

 

Another colorist or firm will try to mush things in-between if going for web. Say use a gamma 2.2 or so, less than 2.4, more than 1.96, kinda in-between. Not too bad on either system.

 

So ... understand ... what you see ... what I see ... doesn't mean we're seeing exactly what the colorist intended. And we can't even tell that it's off because we don't simultaneously see a reference image.

 

And that's one of the first things you get drilled in colorist training.

 

Neil

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