I have some footage that was shot in HLG3, working colour space has been set to rec709 and the clips colour space overide has also been set to rec709. Whenever exporting the colours end up slightly desatureated, h.264 of quicktime, the only the time the colours remain true is if I export with quicktime uncompressed. Any advice on how to export with the correct colours would be massively appreciated thanks!
The photo below shows the differnece of how it appears in the timeline and how it appears on the export.
Sorry, but that issue is a problem with the decision by Apple to improperly apply the Rec.709 standards to displayed video. Neither Premeire nor Resolve can solve what Apple messed up.
Rec.709 initially had only a camera transform involved, as when digital capture first started, "we" were still all using the old CRT type cathode ray screens. Which had their own response pattern to signal strength, so the Rec.709 camera transform was simply designed to invert the CRT image and then the final image on the CRT screen looked 'normal'.
Digital "flat screens" don't have that CRT response, so BT.1886 was added to the Rec.709 standard to make the image stay the same. That was well over a decade ago.
But when Apple designed their Retina screens, they made their ColorSync utility apply only the camera transform, NOT the added display transform.
Premiere works properly internally, applying the FULL Rec.709 standards. Both camera and display transforms.
Outside of Premiere on a Mac, any app that allows ColorSync to control color will improperly use only the camera transform, and will not apply the also required display transform. So QuickTime, along with Safari and Chrome browsers allow ColorSync to control color. They normally give a similar image.
But VLC and Firefox don't, they allow the user to set whether the OS (ColorSync) or the app sets color handling. So you may well see a very different image in VLC from what QuickTime showed ... and one more like unto the image in Premiere. Or closer to what I'd see on my highly calibrated system.
I work with a lot of pro colorists, with (naturally) mostly Mac based people, and this pisses them off no end. Because there isn't any way to make a file display the same when you use 1.96 gamma (Mac) on one screen, and 2.4 gamma (EVERYTHING else) on the other.
Now, another interesting point. No one ever sees exactly what a colorist sees, as all screens and viewing situations are different. So understand, not one person on the planet will ever see precisely what you see on your screen.
And conversely, as your Mac doesn't properly display pro-produced Rec.709 media, have you ever noted while watching something that what you were seeing was "wrong"? Probably not. Because, to you, on your screen, however pro media looks seems 'normal' as it is consistent with the way other pro produced media looks.
Hi Neil, thanks for the insightful response! I'm a little new to this so I have a couple questions to clarify: Is there any sort of work around that can make the result look anymore similar to what I am seeing in premiere? Or are you suggesting that since everyone's screens display things differently I shouldnt worry about the difference?
As to the first, there physically isn't a way to display file image data at two rather different gammas and get the same result.
Adobe has a "gamma correction LUT" that if applied in the export process will darken the file, so it looks mostly the same in QuickTime player on the Mac. BUT ... that of course means it will be way darke when displayed on most non-Mac screens.
BlackMagic, makers of Resolve (which started as a colorist grading app) have the "Rec.709-A" export option, which uses NLC tags to trick ColorSync into using the full Rec.709 standards. BUT ... that's a "hack" of the NLC standards. And just like the Adobe LUT, on most non-Mac systems the file is way too dark.
No colorist has a way to actually "solve" the issue. Some suggest using a lower gamma setting that is kinda in-between, so that on Mac it's not too light, on all else it's not too dark.
As to 2) ... what it gets down to is that any content we produce is really out of our control, as soon as we publish it. So colorists say you setup the most 'standard compliant' screen possible to do your color work. Then let it go "out in the wild" and move on.
As then, it will always ... relative to other professionally produced work ... look "proper" on any screen it is seen on.
But it will never look like the image they graded. Not even in theaters or broadcast, as the screens and projectors in theaters do vary, and TVs are all over the freaking place.