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Display Color Management darkens my footage

Explorer ,
Apr 21, 2023 Apr 21, 2023

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I'm importing footage to Premiere. Everything looks fine on my computer in Finder or QuickTime, but when I import the footage in to Premiere, the footage gets A LOT darker. If I go to preferences and deselect "Display Color Management", the issue is gone and my footage looks normal. I have a P3 display on my MacBook Pro 14", so it seems to be adviced that I turn "Display Color Management" on, but then I get the issue of the darker footage. Is there anything I can do to help with the issue, while still keeping Display Color Management on?

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Explorer ,
Apr 21, 2023 Apr 21, 2023

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Näyttökuva 2023-4-21 kello 17.34.47.png

Näyttökuva 2023-4-21 kello 17.53.20.png

Here are a couple of screenshots. Left side is QuickTime, right side is Premiere.

My computer specs is running MacOS Ventura 13.2 and the Premiere version is 23.3

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LEGEND ,
Apr 21, 2023 Apr 21, 2023

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Was just down at NAB 2023 in Vegas, and one of the devs brought this up ... and is trying to get this sorted and maybe changed. So there might be some changes eventually on this.

 

As he was noting, being as the Mac displays Rec.709/SDR media with the camera transform of 1.96, not the display transform of 2.4, nor the expected sRGB on the Web of 2.2 ... the "QuickTime gamma issue" is that outside of Premiere, Qt/ColorSync will display the media lighter, right? Right!

 

So ... you turn on the DCM in the newer Macs ... your media gets darker like your post. So naturally, you lighten in in color ... and it's even lighter when exported and seen in Qt ... not ... what you'd want.

 

So with a major long-time dev bringing this up, it's under discussion certainly. How long till we get more info, no clue.

 

Neil

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Explorer ,
Apr 21, 2023 Apr 21, 2023

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Thanks a lot Neil! It's good to hear that people are working on this.
As for lightening it up in Pr and exporting, sure it becomes lighter. But then I use the QT Gamma Compensation LUT and everything is fine. Upload to YouTube like that and it looks as it should on any screen that I try it on. So no issues in the end, but it's just a pain to work this way

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LEGEND ,
Apr 21, 2023 Apr 21, 2023

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I work for/with/teach pro colorists. Most of whom are total Mac geeks, right?

 

They're furious with Apple over this. There wouldn't BE any issue if Apple had simply stayed with all other apps/The World and set ColorSync's "Rec.709" option to display Rec.709 clips with the 'normal'/expected gamma of 2.4.

 

As the difference (visually) on most screens between the "typical web 2.2" and broadcast-required 2.4 is less than what you'll get by being in a brighter or darker room on the same screen. But ... 1.96? That's WAY different!

 

I know some colorists that simply do all in 2.4 ... as well, Mac users don't realize that the things tend to show b-cast standard stuff too light as that's what they always see. It's like the old colorist saying, "You can't fix gramma's green TV" thing, right?

 

And some do their work in 2.4, then simply give the gamma wheel (mids contol) a very slight drop action in say an Adjustment layer over the project at export. Which means that on a PC, it will be a bit dark. But not too bad ... nothing crushed.

 

And on a typcial Mac, it will be a bit light ... but not too bad. And say ... that's the best I can do at this time.

 

Some Macs do have a monitor option for "HDTV" as well as Rec.709. And on those, that setting does use gamma 2.4 for all Rec.709. But many Macs don't have that option, and realistically, how many users that have it will know it's there and when/why to use it?

 

I'm not thinking it would be that many, you know?

 

And it would be nice if everyone went by the same standard ... 

 

Neil

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Explorer ,
Apr 21, 2023 Apr 21, 2023

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But hey, it's Apple. So you can't expect them to go by the standards. I'm an Apple fan, but man do I hate how they do specific things. Like the screen issues you are talking about. Or the much-talked Lightning vs USB-C debate. But then again, I love their products, so... But I guess for the time being we just have to work with what we got.

On another note, coloring footage is so frustrating, because sooo many people will watch that video on a bad screen that has awful colors. Spending a day or two on a short video's colors just for people to watch them on a screen that ruins the colors completely? Love it.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 21, 2023 Apr 21, 2023

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Colorists start with reference monitors costing more than most people spend on their entire computer setup just for Rec.709 SDR work. Need HDR?

 

The monitors are north of $25G!

 

And one of the first lessons for Colorists is this: you can't fix gramma's green TV.

 

Meaning no one, ever, whether theatrical or streaming or broadcast or Blu-ray  ... will ever see the same image that was on that reference monitor.

 

 

Neil

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 04, 2023 Nov 04, 2023

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Do you recommend that for newer Macs with XDR display that DO have the HDTV/Rec 709 display preset option, to use that when operating in Premiere vs. keeping at stock P3 and relying on enabling the 'Display Color Management' within PP?

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LEGEND ,
Nov 05, 2023 Nov 05, 2023

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@Warren Heatonand @Kevin-Monahan would have better specifics than me there, I think. The last I saw of Karl Soule on this, he just said Mac users should use both DCM and Extended Range in general.

 

And I'm as frustrated as everyone I know in this.

 

One noted colorist friend always comments ... in the ever reappearing discussions on this ... that he doesn't CARE what standard is adopted. But for the love of all that's Holy, could the manufacturers and OS people agree on ONE fricking standard?

 

Yup.

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 05, 2023 Nov 05, 2023

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I tested that, but it seemed like it crushed it too much - in the same way if you had a true reference monitor you wouldn't need to enable DCM in the first place. But of course would love to have some clarity like everyone else here, haha! And I'm definitely not trying to be a pro colorist in PP with a MBP, but just having it as close as possible is good enough for me, especially when bringing in online/conform from graded footage - I want to know what I'm seeing is a decent representation of what came from outside.

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LEGEND ,
Nov 05, 2023 Nov 05, 2023

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Totally understood!

 

As I do tutorials for pro colorists, that they pay for, well, I need to have my tuts showing up within specs, right? But I don't make enough at it to, as a business move, justify that Flanders monitor I'd so love to have.

 

So even though I am using a monitor via GPU, I've gone to a bit of trouble on a every-several-month basis. Reset it ... calibrate to Rec.709 with ColourSpace and using Resolve as the "TPG" .... target patch generator.

 

Then having Colourspace run a profile ... it goes through the whole process again, and produces charts of what the results of the calibration show as post-calibration. Typically takes two-three sets of cablibration/profile before I've got the graphs, and especially, that deltaE number, down where it's "below visual notice".

 

I've also sent exports of the Bars & Tone, and stepped ramps, with some short clips included, to colorists to play on their calibrated/profiled setups using those wondrous Flanders monitors. They always tell me that both their outboard scopes and their playback in Resolve are well within expectations.

 

I've been told I run an amazing setup for not being ... well ... "completely" a colorist's normal 'room'.

 

But it takes care. My current monitor used for reference came with a pretty certificate of how tight to Rec.709 it's Rec.709 setting was.

 

Pish posh. I ran a ColourSpace profile of it right off, and 1) primaries were way off, 2) shadows were all over the place chromatically and 3) brightness was around 270 nits, NOT the 100 of the Rec.709 standard.

 

Don't trust. Calibrate & profile ... ColourSpace has a 'free' version for non-colorists, btw. And a LOT of docs on their lightillusion.com website.

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Participant ,
Jun 10, 2023 Jun 10, 2023

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This issue has been bugging me for ever. Trouble is, I like the PP workflow. So I find myself coming back to it. But there is something worth mentioning, and I think this is important, not least for Adobe to take notice:

 

This issue doesn't exist in Final Cut Pro or Davinci Resolve.

 

Now, with Final Cut Pro, the colour management is handled natively, there is nothing the user needs to do. Renders will match the program monitor window.

 

In Davinci Resolve, there is a small tweak to do to the settings - you have to check "use Mac display profile,"and then set the output colour space to Rec.709-A. And that's it. Your renders will match what you see.

 

I have both of these alternative softwares, and I have to say I don't like FCP's file management one bit. If you're not careful a 4TB hard drive will quickly fill up. Resolve is newer to me, but the first thing I did was a 4K render test. Everything came out completely identical on my screen - QuickTime, Resolve, source file and YouTube. What a blessed relief.

 

So, hello Adobe: How about a "Use Mac Display Profile" checkbox in the preferences? Is it really that hard?

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LEGEND ,
Jun 10, 2023 Jun 10, 2023

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A lot of us have asked for that option and hopefully we'll get it. Because people want it. (Though not because it's correct color.)

 

Why is it not a color-correct thing?  Because outside of the Macsosphere, on anything that uses full broadcast standard Rec.709, that file will be not at all like you saw it. And there isn't any actual, color correct "solution".

 

But a lot users want it. Give the customer what they want is a good idea ...

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