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Exported video is desaturated

Explorer ,
Jan 27, 2019 Jan 27, 2019

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Hi,

I'm having a problem whenever I export a video from Premiere Pro CC (last version). I'm noticing a severe desaturation of color when exporting in H.264 codec/mp4 file. Colors are vanished, gamma is higher, lower contrast. Even when I upload the same video on YouTube, the color are the same as in preview window on Mac.

— I’m using iMac 5K 2017 (last MacOS), original last Adobe CC collection.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Explorer , Jan 28, 2019 Jan 28, 2019

Thanks for all replies and help!

I've found the "proper" solution for this after all your comments. I've changed Built-in Retina Display>Colour>Display profile from iMac to P3 D65 Gamma 2.4. Than I've made Adjustment layer above all with just (lumetri color) Contrast +50 and Vibrance +10.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 27, 2019 Jan 27, 2019

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If you bring the exported video back into Premiere Pro, is it desaturated on the timeline?

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Explorer ,
Jan 27, 2019 Jan 27, 2019

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no, the color reappears inside Pr

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Community Expert ,
Jan 28, 2019 Jan 28, 2019

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If the color is ok in Premiere then the player or whatever is used to view the file is off.

QT is known for its gamma issue.

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Explorer ,
Jan 28, 2019 Jan 28, 2019

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But when I upload it to YT is the same as in QT.

- VLC and Premiere (saturated)

- YT and QT (desaturated)

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Community Expert ,
Jan 28, 2019 Jan 28, 2019

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That is something you have no control over, YT re-encodes.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 27, 2019 Jan 27, 2019

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You are expecting things to look the same no matter the color space and settings of the viewing system. Does not ... cannot ... work that way.

Digital images are simply numbered coordinates. Vary the matrix you lay them out on, you get a different look to the image.

Pr works in Rec.709 standards which is video sRGB, and at the "middle" gamma of 2.4. That's what it uses internally, tries to show in the Program monitor, and exports into.

That system of yours is using a P3 monitor which is a vastly more massive color space. Some Macs do have a user setting somewhere where you can set the OS to sRGB, a couple users have posted.

Neil

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Explorer ,
Jan 27, 2019 Jan 27, 2019

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So the only solution is to change color space to sRGB? Or is the codec problem also?

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LEGEND ,
Jan 28, 2019 Jan 28, 2019

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"Variants of this question have been covered to death on this and every other color grading forum. The answer is always the same.  The only way to get a [proper] image you can trust is to run SDI [or HDMI] out to an accurately calibrated reference monitor.  Grading by viewing the image in the GUI just doesn't work."  - Jamie LeJeune

B&H Photo Video

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Explorer ,
Jan 28, 2019 Jan 28, 2019

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Thanks for all replies and help!

I've found the "proper" solution for this after all your comments. I've changed Built-in Retina Display>Colour>Display profile from iMac to P3 D65 Gamma 2.4. Than I've made Adjustment layer above all with just (lumetri color) Contrast +50 and Vibrance +10.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 28, 2019 Jan 28, 2019

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You can do this, and for the small segment of computer users on Macs with P3 monitors it may even work.

Of course on the 98% of other screens out there it will look bad, but who cares about the 98% of others,  right?

The reason that when you loaded it up to YouTube it was the same as in QuickTime was probably due to using Chrome or Safari browsers, neither of which do any color management any more than does QuickTime.

You are judging on a system not setup to meet standards. And guaranteed your media won't show " correctly" on any system setup to standards.

Nor will it show relatively the same as other pro matter on about any system.

But it will look ok on your setup.

Neil

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New Here ,
Apr 23, 2020 Apr 23, 2020

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Maybe that video would help you! 

It actually worked. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noFlexiSJxo

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 06, 2020 Jun 06, 2020

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This is ridiculous that this is the only answer from adobe. Classic Adobe. 

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Community Expert ,
Jun 06, 2020 Jun 06, 2020

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Monty ... I'm puzzled at your comment. This is a user to user forum provided by Adobe, and there hasn't been an official answer by any Adobe staffers on this particular thread ... huh.

 

But bluntly, Adobe is not responsible for the decisions of the companies that make operating systems, either Mac or PC. There is no way that any Adobe app can take over control of the Mac ColorSync utility, which is where the problem on the Mac systems originates. The Premiere developers did include an option in the preferences to tell the program to look at the ICC profile for the monitor, and remap the image to approximate a proper Rec.709 image on that display.

 

This can only affect viewing the image inside Premiere of course, it has no effect on the ColorSync utility nor the Retina monitor. Nor on anything of course after you export a new file from Premiere.

 

Apple designed their Retina monitors around the larger P3 color primaries, and built them to be rather brighter than the professional Rec.709 standards call for. These would not be a problem if the Mac OS ColorSync utility applied the proper full Rec.709 standards to Rec709 video media, but they do not. Not even close.

 

The ColorSync utility applies only the first half of the required two-part transform function operations, the camera transform function. It does not apply the also required display transform function.

 

Then ... they completely mis-apply gamma, using what they call "sRGB gamma" ... but in testing by many different experts, it's closer to mostly sort of a 1.96 gamma curve but it's got what Steve Shaw of LightIllusions calls "an odd flat shape near the bottom". Steve is the chief color scientist for LightIllusions, one of the two top creators of calibration/profiling software used by pro colorists. Not at all connected to Adobe, you might note. (Rec.709 calls for 2.4, or in some circumstances, 2.2)

 

In fact here's a link to an article by Steve the includes some very good and easy to digest information about setting up an appropriate display for color correcting/viewing professional media ... and it has a very specific section dealing directly with the problems with Apple devices ...

Why Master On A Calibrated Display?

 

These errors are not caused by anything the the Premiere Pro developers have any control over. I would note that Resolve's BlackMagic supervisors decided, after messing around with this a bit, to add an additional tag in their exports that causes Apple's ColorSync utility to handle their exports a little closer to correct (not spot-on, but ... better ... ). I've suggested to the Adobe color engineers that they do the same, but ... they just note that this is a completely wrong setting and use of that tag or flag in engineering terms and can cause problems elsewhere. Technically, they are correct.

 

So if you're using a Mac with a Retina, you have a monitor designed to completely abrogate the professional video standards. The images on one of those can be quite beautiful ... but for video work, it is almost impossible to get the image even close to accurate without additional hardware such as an external LUT box.

 

As a user, as any other computer user on any OS, you need to set your system up for proper viewing if you expect some level of professional appearance of your video. There are some things the Adobe developers can do to ameliorate working on a Mac/Retina system within Premiere.

 

There is absolutely nothing they can do about the Mac ColorSync utility.

 

I can provide you with other links to a vast amount of information on video color management, and ... that includes my own work. I'm a contributing author at MixingLight.com covering color correction in Premiere. That's a subscription site to teach pro colorists how to work with Resolve, Baselight, and other grading apps. One of my tutorials there is about the Premiere color management system, and that is outside the paywall, free for all. And has been linked to by other pro editors/video post people across the web.

 

Last ... Apple does make one fine monitor for Rec.709 color grading ... the new "Pro Display XDR" ... which contrary to their claims completely fails as an HDR reference monitor primarily as it does not have nearly enough 'dimming zones'. However, the testing of this has shown that actually the Rec.709 option on that monitor is a bit bright but other than that pretty close to Rec.709 reference standards.

 

Neil

 

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 10, 2020 Jul 10, 2020

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Just came to say, this Neil guy is a huge POS huh? Also hilarious he signs every message with his name. 

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 10, 2020 Jul 10, 2020

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t61b6Nk-YPw

 

This guy has helpful tips and fixes without being rude! Amazing!

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Community Expert ,
Jul 10, 2020 Jul 10, 2020

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Mr. Johnson unfortunately gives rather bad advice. Perhaps you get what you pay for ...

 

First, for the Macs, he never mentions the itty-bitty fact (that is clearly noted on the Adobe forum article he references) that applying that Aodbe-provided LUT on export means your video will look as you "expect" outside of Premiere (or any other properly color managed app) on the improperly managed Apple ecosystem.

 

However ... when that same video is played on anything with a proper Rec.709 management in place, it will have oversaturation and crushed blacks. Hey, Apple screens are under 10% of the screens out there, so if you like that look, go for it. Or if you only care about people seeing your material on Apple screens.

 

Next as far as PCs ... oh my. His information is simply wrong.

 

First, Premiere does not operate in 'full' range with Rec.709 media. Period. Premiere is hard-coded for complete application of the Rec.709 broadcast professional standards ... video sRGB for primaries, Rec.709 profile including both the camera and display transforms (Apple's ColorSync color management utility leaves out the display transform), gamma 2.4, and a presumed screen brightness of 100 nits in a semi-darkened room.

 

They hardwired the program for those standards, with the assumption the users will see that their system also supplies a monitor/s setup properly for Rec.709 work. While there is some HDR now being produced professionally, the vast majority of colorists don't even have full-on HDR kit yet as it wouldn't be profitable ... nearly all pro media is still SDR, meaning Rec.709.

 

Plus ... nearly all YUV video files are presumed by codec and broadcast standards to be 'legal' or 'limited' range. Premiere strictly adheres to that standard. The exceptions for legal range are typically the full RGB 4:4:4 codecs, which are (nearly) always presumed to be full range. This is because the YUV codecs are 4:2:2 or 4:2:2 chroma sub-sampled, and the 'limited' range allows more lattitude for dealing with over/under values and rounding errors caused by the sub-sampling.

 

RGB 4:4:4 media does not receive any chroma-subsampling, and does not need that extra treatment.

 

So Premiere will for display within its internal monitors and in export/encoding operations treat RGB files as full, and YUV files as limited, as the standards require.

 

Even the question is showing a lack of understanding of how full and legal range files are treated within color management if set properly. Any decent application of Rec. 709 standards for color management for a display will take a tagged YUV/legal-range file (16-235) and automatically map it to the full range of the monitor. It will take an RGB/full-range file (0-255) and also map that to the full range of the monitor. Both files will then appear on the screen as 0-255.

 

There is of course a problem with setting the Nvidia card to simply go into full range/0-255 with all media, as if you do a properly encoded Rec.709 YUV file ... like any ProRes, mov, mp4 ... will be displayed such that black values are crushed and white values clipped.

 

Numerous tutorials by actual colorists (who know what they're talking about) display this issue and explain it. And often use Resolve to show the differences, as of course, you can manually set the color management in Resolve. And they demonstrate this issue by taking say a pluge file and setting it to full, exporting as full, then playing it back within Resolve ... which results in crushed blacks on both their outboard scopes and their spendy heavily-profiled full-on Grade 1 broadcast reference monitor.

 

While exporting that pluge to 'limited' and playing back results in a perfect display, scopes and monitor showing the image properly with blacks, whites, and saturation all correct.

 

For anyone working in video post production, you need to have a monitor you can trust for color, setup to full Rec.709 standards. If you just rely on any monitor out of the box, you have no idea whatever what you are producing. So as a user, we all must learn at least a minimum of color management, and do something with our own systems.

 

I know some consider it rude to say you need to learn how to do something, but hey ... they'll never get anything ever past a QC machine. And outside their own little setup, their material will never look relatively the same as other pro-produced material will on other systems.

 

Color management is a mess. I was on a Slack channel discussion of a bunch of colorists yesterday. One HUGE problem they face especially in the 'current situation' is having to do nearly all their client-attended sessions via the web. With the absolute problem that their client rarely has a screen that is properly showing the files.

 

One lamented that this should NOT be so difficult ... if all vendors/suppliers/app companies simply followed the proper specs, at least all screens would be close. But with Apple blowing off proper CM for most things, especially on their computers with Retina monitors ... yet producing the iPad model that actually comes pretty close to the reference monitors ... PCs being all over the place ... Windows sort of following some standards but not requiring the apps to use them ... and basically every browser doing their own thing ... it's a freaking mess for trying to get solid color management.

 

I wish it were other than it is. But I live in Reality.

 

We users have to 1) understand at least some things about color management and 2) do something about it.

 

Yea, that's really rude to say.

 

And I sign my name because I am a person, and I like being treated as a person and not some ... thing ... out there somewhere. I love going to both NAB and Adobe MAX, and meeting people there that I have related with online. I don't write long pieces like this to be rude, but to help people.

 

And that is not an easy task when there is so much bad information and wonky assumptions out 'there'. That sort of thing gets in the way of getting work out the door.

 

Neil

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New Here ,
Oct 09, 2022 Oct 09, 2022

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good lord. all we want is the final product to look like it did when we edit. stop making excuses. it ain't that hard. 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 09, 2022 Oct 09, 2022

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Been doing this for a very long time, and one of the first things you learn (hopefully) is to test on your delivery platform...   Otherwise you and you're client will have unwelcome surprises..   In a professional level tool, there are a multitude of options that effect how your output will look on a variety of delivery platforms.    And unfortunately this workflow keeps changing as new hardware and software and standards become available.  

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Community Expert ,
Oct 09, 2022 Oct 09, 2022

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No one here making excuses. Simply giving the facts of the matter. Which is that APPLE uses an improper and totally "unique" set of standards to display Rec.709 media.

 

The Apple choice of playback "standard" IS NOT used by any other system or ANY professional service. And neither Adobe nor BlackMagic can make a video file that will appear the same when displayed by different gamma settings.

 

If you have a problem with the way the clips appear on your Mac, it is APPLE ... not Adobe ... that is to blame.

 

So say all the top colorists and color management experts. None employed by Adobe.

 

Neil

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 09, 2022 Oct 09, 2022

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Wow neil, it a been like 3 years on this same forum and you still have the manners of a pissy child. 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 09, 2022 Oct 09, 2022

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LATEST

No, simply giving a direct answer. Period.

 

This is something that has been so heavily discussed among colorists and color calibration/management experts since Apple came out with their funky unique video "standard" used by ColorSync.

 

This issue isn't caused by Adobe or BlackMagic, and can't be solved by those companies. As again, there's no way to create a video file that will look the same when displayed with two rather disparate gammas.

 

Some people don't seem to like the answer.

 

Neil

 

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