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It's a colour thing. I'm exporting a video - that is sepia / oranges in nature ... and it will NOT, no matter what, look the same as my edit. It's caused me hours and hours of frustration. I have downloaded and tried the Adobe 'correction' LUT but it gets me nowhere near the original.
What is going on here?
Please please help: how do I get what I see in the edit, to export? Simple as that...
I have tried different formats, the correction LUT, adjustment layers to try and 'guess' what settings might get me close.
I'm really at the end of my tether. Can anyone help??? *** attached image shows my preview window (as it should be) and then exports - without and with the so-called correction LUT.
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I work for/with/teach pro colorists. And I unfortunately have to tell you that the differences you're seeing are actually pretty mild compared to what many of the potential viewers will see.
There isn't a single "view" that everyone will see. Period. As every screen out there is different, has different user settings, and is in a different viewing environment. And all of that changes the view, at times rather dramatically. Colorists with expensive colorimiters and high-end monitors cannot make two "identical" screens look ... identical. Which is a terrible thing when you have clients seeing the image on the "client" monitor, and able to see the colorist's reference monitor.
Per your situation, I would assume you're on a Mac. For some odd reason, Apple chose to use the camera transform gamma ... 1.96 ... as the display gamma for Rec.709 video. Which is really bizarrely weird.
As the normal, broadcast and nearly everywhere else standard, is by definition, set for a display gamma of 2.4 for Rec.709 video. That's what Premiere is using, as it is designed for broadcast work.
So within and without Premiere on your Mac, yup, the view can be varied.
But ... some Macs also have a screen/display option for HDTV that does use the proper, standard broadcast 2.4 gamma. So some of your Mac viewers will see it that way.
But many Mac users will see it with the 1.96 gamma you're seeing, in the lighter version outside of Premiere.
And past that, on the same screen, say a tablet, a vid viewed outside in a park during the day, and in a dark bedroom at night, will show the same vid completely differently because the viewing environment has a huge effect on this.
And of course, if you put out a version that is dark enough to look correct on most Macs with 1.96 gamma, then ... on my broadcast compliant PC ... the image will be so dark as to have crushed blacks and shadows. Because on everything with proper broadcast settings, including most PCs, the gamma will be either 2.2 or 2.4.
Yea, it's truly a mess.
In the PrPro Beta public beta version out now, there is an option to use Mac gamma 1.96 for the Program monitor. Doing so will make the image both within Pr on your Mac, and in QuickTime player on your Mac, look the same.
However ... again ... that file will be very dark when viewed on my setup, and most PCs.
This truly is a mess. Most colorists are of course total Mac geeks, and ... they are ticked as Hades at Apple.
But there is the old saw that all colorists are taught at the beginning: you can't fix gramma's green TV. No matter what you do, how the file is viewed Out In The Wild, is outta your control.
So... basically, there's nothing I can do. It's just mind boggling and, for example, in the audio world, I've never come across a program that will literally change the audio on export. So that, what you're working on is never ever the same as what's exported. It's just crazy. It wouldn't be accepted and any such program would be, rightly, crucified never to be used again.
In any case, thank you for your detailed reply. I do appreciate it. Can I ask... is the closest I'll get to a version of Premiere that exports what I see, to be used on Windows / PC? As this is an Apple issue in reality?
I use a MacBook Pro to do all of my editing and so, would investing in a similar spec Windows laptop cure this issue?
The differences between screens is actually very much like the differences in audio. When you think about it.
Listening to something like a symphony, in a controlled audio mastering room with sound-deadening on all walls and full-on Studio monitors, and listening to the same thing on a tiny remote bluetooth speaker on the beach ... ain't the same sound, you know?
So audio people have done things like listen on their studio monitors, then run out and play it on a car stereo with cheapo factory speakers.
Because they wanna see if their mix works adequately both places.
And some colorists do the same, trying to figure out how to get one deliverable that works fine everywhere ... but there's a comment from Gandalf, I believe, that seems to fit: "That way lies madness ... "
For SDR/Rec.709, make sure the shadows aren't too close to black, that "black" is maybe 2-5 IRE (8 bit scale for simplicity of reading) and your 'white' is about 95. Detailed highlights below 85.
Then on almost any screen, that content is at least viewable without crushed or clipped values.
You have never realized, by the way, that you have never seen exactly what the colorist saw, on any program content you've ever seen, have you?
Doesn't matter whether it's a movie in-cinema, cable TV or streaming, or home theatre DVD/BlueRay. As the screens you have seen it on, and the environment you're in, aren't totally matching let alone "identical".
Hasn't bothered you though, right? Because ... you don't know it's not the exact image!
Here, you do, but no one else will. That's the first thing to understand.
The second, is again, you can't fix gramma's green TV. Color a commercial for broadcast beautifully, and gramma's green TV is gonna show it green! You have no control on other screens, ever. Period.
But then, as long as you color that commercial to the standard, everyone watching it everywhere will see it looking the same as all other professionally produced media on their screen.
This is why colorists work on their expensive monitors, connected via output devices and NEVER their GPU, and use calibration gear more expensive than your entire video kit, cameras, lenses, lights, mikes, and computers put together.
So they know their stuff is tight to the standard, typically Rec.709 for nearly all deliverables. For pros, most HDR is DolbyVision, which Premiere can't do. For upper amateurs and most web use, then HDR 10 (or 10+) or HLG.
For handing off HDR to another pro, typically PQ.
For your setup, I'd normally suggest that you work with the Display Color Management "on", and on a Mac, with the HDTV setting if you've got it available, the Rec.709 if you don't.
And play the exported file on both QuickTime and VLC players. QT will be showing the 1.96 gamma lifted shadows, VLC ... likely pretty close to Premiere.
If you think it's way too light in the shadows on QT, but not too deep in VLC,
you may choose to then go back, put an adjustment layer over the whole thing. In Lumetri on that layer, push the color wheels Shadow brightness down just a smidge. Try another export.
Is it ok on QT, not terrible in VLC? Then ... go with that.
It's always ... fluid. There is no "solid" other than working on a highly controlled screen in a darkened room with a properly set bias light. And if you ain't got that, you do the best you can.
But either way, do the best you can, then let it GO ... and move on to the next project.
That may get your shadows
Many thanks for the detailed reply. I've taken it all on board.
I would say though, that the parallel with audio is as I stated. My primary work is in audio / music and I own a professional studio and so, yes - I get that you're comparing mixing / mastering: attempting to get the best balance of everything so that the song can be heard well on any and all devices... which will be hugely varied! I see what you're saying about colourists doing the same thing with visuals. However, where I stand by my initial statement is... if I export a song from my studio and upload it to multiple platforms, and then play them all back in my studio, the song will sound the same. Bar some minute changes due to any conversions etc. They will be the same as what I exported. I don't mean on other devices, I mean all through the same studio rig. Whereas with Premiere, I work on a video edit and it looks a certain way. The export looks different. Instantly. And then the upload to YouTube for example will also look different. All on the same monitor! This what I mean when I said: if an audio program output something other than the session / how it sounded, that program wouldn't last five minutes. People would never put up with doing guess work.
In any case, I appreciate your post and it's brought be down to Earth with a bump. It seems that my MacBook Pro - without the pro monitors / rigs etc, will mean I always struggle on this front. It's a massive shame but I'll have to swallow it 😞
And then there are PCs.
Kudo's to @R Neil Haugen taking the time for such great explanations. Video (and audio as noted) have always been this way. You can't control what people watch or listen to it on. A great home theater, or a tiny 'transitor radio'. Apple really are the culprits here.
I agree - but as I said, it's not about what others will watch / listen on. I'm aware of the challenges surrounding that... I'm talking about the export looking different on the SAME machine. I know of no audio program that exports audio that is different to what is being exported. For me, it's a massive frustration and Adobe have even provided a 'correction' LUT based on the issue I mention... but the LUT doesn't work. It's a poor show and whether it's Mac / PC / whatever, I cannot quite believe such an issue even exists. Again, I'm not talking about what others end up watching on. I am just having to work throught it. They can send a man to the moon!
Import the export back into PP, and view it there. It will look as you are expecting.
It's the player you are looking at it with.
It isn't "Adobe" that created the issue though, it's Apple.
By choosing a very non-standard display gamma for Rec.709 media.
Of course, you can get two different views of the same file on the same Apple machine, if it has both the Rec.709 and HDTV settings in the monitor settings. Of if you check Quicktime (1.96) against VLC (most often 2.4) on your Mac.
As the Mac "Rec.709" setting uses the camera transform gamma of 1.96 as the display gamma, which is the total issue. Normal (everywhere else) display gamma for Rec.709 is 2.4.
But ... the Apple HDTV setting uses the proper 2.4 gamma for the display!
The Premiere engineers have added an option now in the public beta, so it's headed for the shipping version at some time. It allows users to set Broadcast standards (2.4 gamma, for anything NOT on an Apple screen) or Mac standard (1.96) for the Program monitor display.
That does make the image look the same within Premiere Pro and QuickTime on your Mac. But of course, then it's too probably too dark when viewed on any broadcast standard equipment, and most PCs and Android devices.
Yea, it's a mess.
It makes me want to cry. Not literally... but close!
The colorists I work for and with are mostly Mac geeks. They tend to a furious response on this ... at their beloved Apple.
But philosophically, no one ever sees exactly what the colorists see on their systems anyway.