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washed out colours when exporting as .h264

New Here ,
Feb 05, 2018 Feb 05, 2018

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I am having a nightmare with a whole load of exports (15 of them!!) where the colours looks great in premiere but are all washed out once exported (Settings are 50mbps .h264's wrapped as a .mp4) I have spent all afternoon researching what the issue might be and i've come to the conclusion that its likely to be a gamma shift problem. I can't find any straightforward solutions to this though so any help would be massively appreciated! The top image below is a screen grab from in premiere with the correct colours and the bottom one is taken from the .h264 in quicktime player.

Thanks in advance

Matt

premiere frame.pngquick time player frame.png

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Engaged ,
Feb 05, 2018 Feb 05, 2018

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Hello Matt,

have you tried another player like VLC, scratch or sth similar?

Could also be helpful to reimport your h.264 and compare it in Premiere with your original file....

Jo

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New Here ,
Feb 05, 2018 Feb 05, 2018

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Thanks Jo

It all seems fine in VLC, which is great... kind of. Its pretty sucky on the part of Quicktime, I can't believe they aren't on top of an issue like that. Hopefully I don't encounter any problems when uploading to youtube/ insta

Matt

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 05, 2018 Feb 05, 2018

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This is a long-standing issue with QuickTime player ... a lousy player in most respects, actually ... and depending on it seems the location you're uploading from, for some folks YouTube as well.

QuickTime improperly reads the PrPro files as SD/video-tape type material, and plays it back at the 16-235 or 16-255 setting for that older format and at Gamma 2.1, rather than showing it as full-range 0-255 and gamma of 2.4. Sometimes, with an Nvidia GPU, you can use settings in the Nvidia controls to force apps to use 0-255 for all video ... and sometimes QuickTime even plays along. Avoid it.

For YouTube, first ... exporting in the better quality DNxHD/R wrapper avoids the issue for most people. If you stick with H.264 and have issues with YouTube uploads showing this, upload them to your private space on YouTube. Go into the settings, and select the vid and "retouch" ... but as soon as you click retouch, save without doing anything.

Within a couple hours YouTube will re-encode your file, and will now display it correctly.

Neil

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New Here ,
Oct 19, 2021 Oct 19, 2021

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Very helpful, thank you, @R Neil Haugen!  I cannot seem to find "retouch". in the youtube editor. Can you please explain how to do this?

 

Thanks!

Isaac

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 19, 2021 Oct 19, 2021

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LATEST

I think it's now the editing tab option.

 

Neil

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LEGEND ,
Feb 05, 2018 Feb 05, 2018

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I think Jamie LeJeune has it right in the following thread from the Blackmagic forums.  He's specifically talking about Resolve, but the idea holds true for all NLEs.  The upshot is, "The only image you can trust is to run SDI out to an accurately calibrated reference monitor."

http://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=68410

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Engaged ,
Feb 05, 2018 Feb 05, 2018

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Though Jim_Simon is right in principle I think a calibrated monitor would show similar results in this case. The problem here is the NLE and VLC show you the full span of 8Bit colorspace (0-255) and quick time only shows the limited broadcast colors of 8Bit colorspace (16-235). It's a matter of settings in both players. If you don't know what exactly I'm talking about - and I may not use the exact right terms here - dig a little on the web and you will find all answers.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 05, 2018 Feb 05, 2018

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It's a matter of settings in both players.

Which is why the calibrated display is needed...to eliminate variables that can and do alter the image.

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Engaged ,
Feb 06, 2018 Feb 06, 2018

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Which is why the calibrated display is needed...to eliminate variables that can and do alter the image.

But why wouldn't the calibrated monitor, which I would recommand to everybody, just show the same results? Good old VLC Player says to the rightouse monitor: "Show this video in full 8Bit colorspace". "Alright, I do", he answers. Then bad Qucik Time Player is asked to replay the exact same video. He says to the monitor: "Show the video in 8Bit colorspace, but just in the range of 16-235". How can the results the rightouse calibrated monitor is showing be other than different to full range of 8Bit colorspace?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 06, 2018 Feb 06, 2018

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Because using the setup he talks about is NOT the same as just connecting the monitor to the GPU. It uses dedicated pro level hardware, and does NOT use QuickTime as a player either. And yes, it does see things differently than just a monitor connected to the GPU.

Neil

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LEGEND ,
Feb 07, 2018 Feb 07, 2018

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But why wouldn't the calibrated monitor, which I would recommand to everybody, just show the same results?

Because it takes the OS, the GPU and the software player out of the equation.  You're looking at the video from Premiere Pro, not from VLC or QuickTime.  Premiere Pro has a direct connection to the dedicated I/O device.

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Engaged ,
Feb 07, 2018 Feb 07, 2018

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This was not my point. My point was that even if I run the signal of the NLE, Quick Time Player and VLC Player thorogh dedicated pro level SDI-card to a calibrated monitor I will still see different results in between those applications just because they treat the image differently depending on their settings (and in the given example of this thread these differ between full 8Bit colorspace and broadcast colorspace). I just have to know about this fact. However, Jim_Simons and your point to run the signal throgh dedicated hardware to a calibrated monitor is still very important. As you said it elimintaes the uncertaincy of color altering throgh GPU "improvement operations" for consumers and uncalibrated monitors. But it still won't eleminate the fact that different applications (NLE 1, NLE 2, Videoplayer 1, Videoplayer 2, YouTube, etc.) can output the image differently depending on their settings.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 07, 2018 Feb 07, 2018

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it still won't eleminate the fact that different applications (NLE 1, NLE 2, Videoplayer 1, Videoplayer 2, YouTube, etc.) can output the image differently depending on their settings.

You can't do anything about that.  No point worrying about it.  You get it looking right on a calibrated display.  How it looks anywhere else is beyond your control.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 07, 2018 Feb 07, 2018

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But it still won't eleminate the fact that different applications (NLE 1, NLE 2, Videoplayer 1, Videoplayer 2, YouTube, etc.) can output the image differently depending on their settings.

A colorist comment about this problem was a first straight comment: you can't correct for gramma's green tv.

He went on noting he'd worked on a major company commercial, a very tricky piece with all the specific colors to match to the trademarked numbers and such ... all done to perfect broadcast specs & QC controls, uploaded & run on all major channels by the ad company coordinating it.

Went to visit his gramma in Wisconsin, who's tv is basically on all day, conversations just take place with the volume turned down. And there came his ad ... looking just as awful green as everything else she saw, because her set is setup horridly.

​Compared to everything else she saw ... ​ it was fine. "Normal". She had no idea her tv was way over-green.

You can't grade for all the variables out in the wild ... only to the main standards. And then know that your material will show up in relative balance to all good media seen on whatever device is in use.

To paraphrase Gandalf of Lord of the Rings ... if you try and anticipate all that ... that way lies ​madness!​ ...

Neil

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 07, 2018 Feb 07, 2018

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/R+Neil+Haugen  wrote

To paraphrase Gandalf of Lord of the Rings ... if you try and anticipate all that ... that way lies madness! ...

I've noticed you've posted this a few times, just had to comment: Gandalf never said anything of the sort. You're thinking of King Lear.

That way madness lies - eNotes Shakespeare Quotes

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 07, 2018 Feb 07, 2018

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Thanks for the correction! Which is of course, what these forums are for, right? 

Just shows it's been too long since I watched that ... hmmm ... have to take care of this!

Neil

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New Here ,
Mar 02, 2018 Mar 02, 2018

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Sorry, whatever you guys are talking about as far as how quicktime handles things.... it's just not flying for me.

On my laptop.  I edit and color something with PP.  It looks identical when I export.  Hold the exported window in any player right next to my program window in PP and they look identical.  Quicktime, YouTube, VLC... all the same.

On my new 5k iMac... do the same thing and the export looks washed out compared to my program window.

So the calibration is kind of irrelevant.  If my monitor has a greener tint compared to the rest of the world, then that greener tint should show in both my PP interface and the export.  Yes, I get that you cannot make things look the same on all displays, but it should at least look the same on the same display.

So even if I can calibrate my display to whatever I consider perfect... or the best compromise for the variety of destinations I'm delivering to, it does me no good if PP just ignores that calibration and displays whatever it wants.

I don't care about broadcast specs or external SDI monitors.  I just edit for web delivery and this seems like a no brainer to fix.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 02, 2018 Mar 02, 2018

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That new Imac is probably a P3 space outside PrPro. So look at something inside PrPro, you're seeing it in semi-managed sRGB (the closest it can do in that space). Look at it in a non-managed player, you're looking at it in a completely different space. Color profile/gamma not at all the same.

It isn't PrPro that's ignoring things ... it's your player in the monitor. So ... you're saying PrPro should just vacate all color management? Mimic the freebie players? Not thinking it would interest me then.

That's the part so many don't get ... they blame PrPro when other apps don't do things by the book. That's like blaming the guy doing 55 in a 55 when you run into the back of him at 90 ... in a 55.

Now ... I have always been pushing for allowing the users to have more say in color managing. Which, depending on the settings they would decide to allow, might help your situation ... or might not.

I will say ... I upload what looks good in my system in PrPro and VLC/Potplayer ... and it looks the same on Vimeo/YouTube in Firefox.

Neil

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New Here ,
Apr 30, 2018 Apr 30, 2018

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I've been having these problems for years in almost every NLE I've used. As a stop-gap measure, I look at the relative difference between the before and after shot, and compensate for that difference. In other words, despite whether my system is professionally calibrated or not, I'm only concerned with the difference between the (working) input and its output.

It's not a 100% gamma/hue match, but below is a LUT I'm using to compensate for that difference. I usually add the LUT to the final stage of export (Premiere Pro/AME) in the "Effects" tab in the Lumetri Look/LUT.

PPCC2018_Celso_Compensator.cube - Google Drive

Disclaimer: I'm using a MacBook Pro, OS 10.12.6, running Premiere Pro CC 2018, so your mileage may vary.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 30, 2018 Apr 30, 2018

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Just curious here. Do you have some friends who can let you look at their laptop or tablet, and see 1) what other fully pro media looks like on their machines and 2) then look at yours, and see how ... in relative terms, your's looks compared to the tv/movie media they can watch?

This is all so ... relative, isn't it? Sigh.

Neil

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Explorer ,
Feb 04, 2019 Feb 04, 2019

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If not resolved, plz try importing your master file back into your PP project, then load the master file in the source monitor and A/B to whats in the timeline. I find that all media players make masters appear a bit washed when compared to the timeline.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 26, 2019 Mar 26, 2019

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genec15886904 I'm interested in trying your LUT! However, the download link you left didn't work--no way to download. Is there somewhere else I can access it?

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New Here ,
Jul 31, 2019 Jul 31, 2019

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Adobe has come out with a fix for this issue. Adobe has created this LUT that will basically export your video in a way that the gamma shift that other programs (quicktime, vlc) or websites (youtube, vimeo) can apply to your exports.

"Why does my footage look darker in Premiere?" Color Q&A

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 31, 2019 Jul 31, 2019

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To actually fix the issues, those on the Macs should watch this video from the Baselight developers. Especially the first 10 minutes as that is where the information on setting up proper color management for the Mac OS and apps is explained.

https://www.filmlight.ltd.uk/training/resources/truelight/QuickTimeColour.php

If you follow the information and instructions your various apps should actually behave properly with Rec.709 sRGB media.

Neil

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