Video export is desaturated?

Community Beginner ,
Jun 30, 2022 Jun 30, 2022

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I cannot figure this out. When I export my video (ProRes422 or H.264) the video becomes desaturated and lower contrast. As you can see in the screenshot, it ONLY changes when exporting video. When I do "export frame" it looks just like it did inside Premiere. Why would it look fine when exporting a framegrab vs when exporting a video? I am clueless. Any help is appreciated!   

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 30, 2022 Jun 30, 2022

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UPDATE:  when I drag the exported desaturated ProRes422 mov file back into Premiere, it looks just like the source monitor inside Premiere. So why does it look off when viewed outside of Premiere? But the framegrab JPEG looks fine! 

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Guide ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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We have all been there. On the Mac side Adobe used to have a LUT to compensate for the gamma shift. You can still use a LUT but I use an adjustment layer once I am done editing. The video link below might be helpful. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 01, 2022 Jul 01, 2022

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If I played that file on my system, a heavily regulated Rec.709 system, I'd see very close to what you see in Premiere. Why? Well, my system is set for Rec.709 standards.

 

You're on an Apple computer. Apple ... in all their self-perceived wisdom, made their ColorSync color management utility to handle both still and video image quality details. Which doesn't use normal video/Rec.709 settings for Rec.709 video, according to the established and long-used standards.

 

They apply a gamma of 1.96, rather than the "standard" gamma of 2.4 (or 2.2 in "bright room viewing situations") that is the normal, professionally used monitor gamma for Rec.709/Bt1886 workflows.

 

Using that gamma means the lower values from the shadows into upper-midtones are lifted a fair amount. And that means that apparent saturation is lessened because of lightening (and effectively lowering the contrast) of the shadow/mids of the image.

 

And no, there isn't really a "fix" so that a video will be seen both on a properly setup system for Rec.709 and on a Mac using ColorSync, especially using the QuickTime player and Chrome or Safari browsers.

 

Depending on settings, VLC player and Firefox browser may get you closer to 'normal' Rec.709 viewing conditions.

 

This ongoing problem drives the many pro colorists I work and communicate with daily totally bonzo nuts. And most of them are total Mac geeks. But again, no pro colorist I know of uses a standard monitor connected through a GPU for their "reference". They will use an actual reference monitor, fed a signal from a "breakout" device by BlackMagic or AJA, so the signal is never touched by either the OS or the GPU.

 

But of course, many of their clients will look at things on their Mac ... and see a "wrong image" ... and want to argue with them about it. So most have things like client contracts that specify that only comments made while watching on an approved screen will be accepted as valid.

 

There is an upper-level iPad Pro model that with a number of setting changes, can come pretty close. So some colorists have a stack of those they provide for clients during jobs.

 

And ... nearly all pro produced media, especially broadcast/streaming, is made to that Rec.709 standard. Does the image look "wrong" to you when viewed on your Mac? Probably ... not. Because you've never seen the 'original' graded image, so what you're used to seeing looks "normal" to you. Which is ... realistically ... how things work.

 

Even in movie theaters, you've never seen the exact image the colorist graded to ... hopefully something sorta close, but that's the best we can ever get.

 

Neil

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 08, 2022 Jul 08, 2022

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Thanks Neil. What I have learned is you want to place your "color and contrast" to what the final output viewing monitor(s) will be. If its a movie theatre, you color for that screen. If its mobile devices, you color for that screen. If its TV, you color for that screen. Wherever the end product goes, COLOR for that screen. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 08, 2022 Jul 08, 2022

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Correct. For example, movie projectors normally need a DCP package, and that needs a gamma 2.6, P3 primaries, and what, around 48 nits max brightness? Something real low like that.

 

So the colorists that do that work simply say never send a final for theater release you haven't tested on a movie projecter. If you don't have one in-house ... and at many thousand apiece, most of us don't! ... then rent a theatre for a couple hours.

 

If broadcast, it's straight Rec.709 unless you have prior instructions for an HDR file. Which would typically come with specific instructions, and may or may not include the need for an accompanying SDR version.

 

For "general" where the client will use it in several ways, and you're giving one 'copy', then typcially simply Rec.709 will be the choice.

 

If it's known to be only for web, then doing one at gamma 2.2 is maybe good. Although a 2.4 with very slightly lifted shadows will work as well. But most colorists don't even bother to do 2.2 or lift 2.4 shadows for web work.

 

As ... out 'there', who will be able to tell?

 

Neil

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Guide ,
Jul 12, 2022 Jul 12, 2022

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Your computer and NLE must be setup 100% correct as seen in the video link below. 

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