Color Management in Premiere doesn't match the export

Community Beginner ,
Nov 27, 2018 Nov 27, 2018

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Hello.

I'm having some trouble with my colors in Premier Pro.

I'm using the latest version of Premiere ProCC, an external Monitor (4K Not calibrated) and I just bought an external graphic card (Radeon RX Vega 64)

It is my understanding that using the "Color Management" option under file>General it's "better" (To put it simply).

Now, before I never had a problem in terms of color: What I graded and saw in my preview was pretty much what I was getting in my export but now my export is a lot less contrasty that my preview.

Is it because I'm using the color management option?

Should I not use it and grade it again or should I change some setting during export maybe?

(I'm exporting both in ProRes HQ, and H264 4096x2160  VBR  2 pass: 48 and 60; highest bit color range and and render at maximum quality) and I have the same problem.

Is there anybody that could help me with this?

or anybody that could suggest a different solution?

Thank you so much.

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Adobe Community Professional , Nov 28, 2018 Nov 28, 2018
Color ... "control" ... is not nearly as solid a thing as most expect. Monitors all vary, even the same models ... the OS and video card settings can be different even for different monitors out from one card. And the color space coverage for monitors within the same space will vary.There just isn't anything like making a color the same on multiple monitors.The closest is to have a setup as close as possible to full broadcast standards, with the material viewed on another system set for the same...

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LEGEND ,
Nov 28, 2018 Nov 28, 2018

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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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Community Beginner ,
Nov 28, 2018 Nov 28, 2018

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Hey Jim,

Yes, I know it has been discussed before and I know about the calibrated monitor.

My problem is simply that I can't afford one.

Since I haven't had a problem with this before, what I am asking is:

Is that one option (Color Management) really helpful? or should I not use it at all?

Thank you

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Guide ,
Nov 28, 2018 Nov 28, 2018

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try to calibrate your monitor to bt1886. that is premiere's program window color profile, but its color engine will still export srgb 2.2.

if you had a video player like madvr that could playback bt1886, you'd see a match, but web colors are different.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 28, 2018 Nov 28, 2018

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I don't think I can Calibrate my monitor, it has very few options.

May I ask you: what's the big deal about grading without the color management option in premiere?

Thank you.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 28, 2018 Nov 28, 2018

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matteob50581971  wrote

I don't think I can Calibrate my monitor, it has very few options.

it is a Windows option:

windows+calibrate+monitor

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 28, 2018 Nov 28, 2018

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Why is this so difficult?

My monitor is pretty bad, it's a cheap monitor that I don't care to calibrate.

When I do the color I what it on the Mac monitor. not on the external one.

And when I see the export, I watch it on the Mac. There's should be no difference.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 28, 2018 Nov 28, 2018

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Color ... "control" ... is not nearly as solid a thing as most expect. Monitors all vary, even the same models ... the OS and video card settings can be different even for different monitors out from one card. And the color space coverage for monitors within the same space will vary.

There just isn't anything like making a color the same on multiple monitors.

The closest is to have a setup as close as possible to full broadcast standards, with the material viewed on another system set for the same standards.

Neil

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New Here ,
Dec 18, 2018 Dec 18, 2018

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I've also been having this problem for close to 6 months. What I just don't understand is if color varies depending on the signal path and on different viewing systems, how does Hollywood regulate the color interpretation of their movies? Is the fix simply trusting the color of a properly calibrated monitor and just sending it out to the world based on that?

The color shifting that I experience from QT to YouTube to instagram to every other viewing platform is an absolutely absurd difference. I want to learn about this stuff, I really do, but the people who should know most about the issue *cough*Adobe* don't do anything but tell me there's a problem and that I have to wait. That simply won't do.

I don't understand why this problem just surfaced within the last year. At this point I'll do anything.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 18, 2018 Dec 18, 2018

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What I just don't understand is if color varies depending on the signal path and on different viewing systems, how does Hollywood regulate the color interpretation of their movies? Is the fix simply trusting the color of a properly calibrated monitor and just sending it out to the world based on that?

Yes ... do you see their taking over you computer or TV and changing settings? No? Neither do I.

Even with "calibrated" movie theatres, the difference between one room and another in the same theatre can be remarkable. For broadcast it's even worse.

What b-cast pro colorists do ... is build a carefully designed working system that is calibrated all the way for b-cast specs especially in the choice of monitors. Calibrate the heck out of it every couple months with several grand of in-house calibrating gear, then have a pro come in once/twice a year to do a "full" calibration.

They'll have something like a Flanders Scientific monitor ($3-10 grand) connected via an external LUT-controlled box, with the LUT created by a complex calibration software/hardware system to match that monitor to as tight as possible a specific broadcast profile. If they need other profiles, they have more than one profile for that monitor created by those systems, load the appropriate one, reset any software that needs resetting, and go.

They have to do this to see to it they pass the mechanical QC machines that b-cast services use ... any notable saturation or brightness excursions, it's simply rejected. A VERY bad thing for a pro colorist to have happen ... !

But as one colorist wrote, "You can't fix gramma's green TV."

He'd colored and exported a commercial for a high-end company, was pretty pleased how beautiful it was. Went to Wisconsin to visit his gramma, one of those ladies who just run the TV in the background all day and evening. While it was going, "his" commercial came up ... looking horribly green. But gramma thought it gorgeous ... why?

Her TV was way-off green, so everything looked green on it. "Relatively" speaking, his commercial looked like real good pro work compared to other high-end pro work. It was the same color as the top TV shows and movies that showed on that screen.

You can't even match two high-end monitors in the same freaking suite! A huge bane of colorists, with all the client-attended sessions, is the client looking at the nice big-screen that's also calibrated and running out of a LUT-box, then looking over at the colorist, seeing his screen, and saying "Make my screen look like that one!" ... well, there's been several grand spent to try and get the two screens looking the same.

Now ... take that signal out to a different system/OS, different hardware, and different viewing conditions, none of it calibrated. "Into the Wild" I've heard it referred as. Even on the same screen, during daytime with sun streaming in the room and late-night with lights out, that will be two completely different viewing experiences.

You can't control "Out in the Wild". You can only setup to come as close to b-cast specs as possible, then ... let it go. And get back to work.

PrPro is setup for standard Rec.709, video sRGB, gamma 2.4, using both the "original" Rec.709 camera transform function and the added Bt.1886 display-transform function that is used in most apps and colorist setups for Rec709 work ... as taught by such as Alexis Van Hurkman & others. A bright office viewing might best set with gamma 2.2, dark viewing environment uses 2.6. So most b-cast stuff splits the difference.

The newer Macs with P3 space monitors are very different than Rec.709 in color space, which is why there's the new option in PrPro for "enable color display management" ... which is designed to get the view within PrPro as close as possible on the P3 monitor to a Rec.709 "profile". And for some users, helps fairly decently. Others ... not so much. This isn't to make the view within PrPro look like QuickTime via the OS ... as that's out of whack period. It's to get the view within the PrPro monitors as close as possible to Rec.709 pure and simple. It's all PrPro can do right now.

We do need more ability to "tell" PrPro what the system is as more users will be using P3 monitors or other wide-gamut or high dynamic range media/monitors. The settings that Resolve has for such things would be good, and I argue for that constantly.

More information than you asked for, but ... yea, it's frustrating to have no control of the way others see my material too. But then my colorist friends just snort at that. As in ... grade a National Geo show, see it on an airport TV while waiting ... and it looks relatively sick compared to the way it looked in his suite. But ... it looks just the same as the other stuff on that TV ... which is all you can ever get.

Neil

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LEGEND ,
Dec 18, 2018 Dec 18, 2018

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how does Hollywood regulate the color interpretation of their movies? Is the fix simply trusting the color of a properly calibrated monitor and just sending it out to the world based on that?

Yes.  That's all you can do.

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Guide ,
Dec 18, 2018 Dec 18, 2018

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The problem is, the web is srgb 2.2 and premiere with color management on is BT1886(with it off its rec. 709 but ignores your monitor's profile). you could use a temporary viewing lut to offset grade in a faux srgb 2.2. firefox would match the best unless you'd want to fiddle with chrome's color profile tags. i'd use VLC over quicktime. quicktime is kinda all over the place with color depending on old atom tags from 2005 and custom luma levels.

here's two luts depending on if your going from FCPX to premiere or premiere to web/VLC/firefox. one darkens, other lightens. its a viewing lut only, so you'd disable prior to exporting.

if anyone says it don't work, i'll stop posting, but I haven't heard anything negative yet.

bt1886 to srgb/rec709 2.2 and srgb to bt1886

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1HHxxaOWifI3TEhBwEyGSl139x2jRM9dO

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LEGEND ,
Nov 29, 2018 Nov 29, 2018

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My problem is simply that I can't afford one.

I don't use one myself.  No room for it in the current edit suite.

Your only other option is to export the video and watch it on a calibrated TV somewhere else.  I use the plasma in my living room home theater.

The point is, you have to get it onto a calibrated display from a hardware player.  Somehow.  You need to to ensure you're seeing the signal accurately.  You have to eliminate variables from the signal path (like the OS, GPU driver, software players, etc.) which can, and frequently do, alter the signal.

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Contributor ,
Jan 08, 2019 Jan 08, 2019

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The issue of using calibrated monitoring is very old. This problem has nothing to do with monitors.

It has to do with Pr exporting a file that looks different from how it looks in the Pr Program window (where the color tweaking is being done). This can be seen when you place the Program window next to the Export Settings/ Output window on the same monitor. They look different... they shouldn't.

The question is:

1. What is causing this difference between the Program window and export file?

2. Or how can we adjust the Program window's "look" so that it matches the actual output's "look" so that tweaking makes sense?

I'm having the same problem.

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Guide ,
Jan 08, 2019 Jan 08, 2019

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@ marq5.1

Does it look the same when imported back into premiere? the export file may be interpreted differently.

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Contributor ,
Jan 08, 2019 Jan 08, 2019

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The color corrected exported clip brought back into the Pr project actually does not exactly match the Program window from which the export came... That just surprised me!

The clip imported into Pr looks different from it's genesis sequence and from that clip itself opened in VLC player (all compared to each other on the same monitore)... VLC player matches Program window in Pr... Source window in Pr of the same clip deviates from the Program window in Pr... ?!?

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LEGEND ,
Jan 08, 2019 Jan 08, 2019

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This problem has nothing to do with monitors.

One can't know that unless one is using a calibrated monitor.  Viewing it anywhere else introduces the possibility of inaccurate viewing.

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Contributor ,
Jan 08, 2019 Jan 08, 2019

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The assumption is that since the comparisons take place on a single monitor, the calibration of that monitor should be irrelevant since it is effecting all of the presentations of the "same" footage equally... That said... I made a comparison of the three presentations of the same clip (1.Pr Program window of color corrected timeline, 2. Pr Source window of exported timeline re-imported, 3. VLC player of exported timeline)

On my MBP Retina Display 1. and 3. match...

On my crap ASUS 4K gaming monitor with basically random monitor settings... none of them match...

So I guess the Monitor does matter... Un-normed monitors effect the colors each in their own "special" way. Ranges of colors are being depicted in unpredictable ways... even when compared next to each other on the same monitor.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 08, 2019 Jan 08, 2019

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I've spent hours talking color and monitor issues at NAB with engineers ...  I know what the Program monitor is set to do, but even after mind-numbing discussions cannot say that the Source and Export screen/monitor images are as tightly controlled as the Program monitor.

One thing about the Source monitor ... if Pr is picking up that the clip is original to X clip in the app, it will show the clip as-is out of the original bin ... as it is the "source" monitor. This trips up a lot of people.

As to your last comment about monitors ... yea, monitors and their feeding and settings matter. I've spent the odd hour reading Van Hurkman, Steve Shaw of LightIllusions, and others such as the MixingLight guys Robbie Carman and Patrick Inhofer ... all dealing with color control of the editing/grading/delivering pipeline.

I think I've burned out as many gray cells as I've enlightened during that process.

Neil

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Contributor ,
Jan 08, 2019 Jan 08, 2019

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Ha Ha ,

I think that part of the problem is that we expect a possibly unfair level of precision from these products. These tools have advanced so rapidly that we are frustrated when they don't reach the levels of our expectations which we continually adjust upward. There is logically a reason for expensive color correction equipment and trained people to use that equipment. Pr Pro is a powerful professional tool... but there is a next level. I don't think that it's just about intentionally throttling the software with "bugs" to justify more expensive solutions.

That said, I'm interested to know why more expensive equipment does a better job... it's not just that they have more adjustment possibilities. I think that it has to do with norms and standards. Transmitted color rendition is pretty magical stuff. There are frequencies, color depths, and latitudes of visible spectrums. Norms and standards guarantee that results are consistent (not better, but stable). complying with standards is expensive... so even if we think we are paying a lot for Pr Pro, this professional software,... I imagine Pr Pro would be a lot more expensive if all of it's outputs were norm conform. I'm not apologizing for Adobe, I just think that is a realistic assessment.

Can we still get good results in spite of knowing this? I think we can... Knowing this will help me spend a little less time tweaking my ass off for hours, to get that perfect look, when I know that it will look different somewhere else.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 08, 2019 Jan 08, 2019

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The problem really comes from the basic physics that no two screens are alike ... period. Most users expect that "video" is just shown in X manner, period.

But even with all the expensive monitors and calibration gear, colorists can NEVER totally match two screens in their own suite. A constant design issue for pro colorists who often have client-attended sessions is setting up their suite so the clients cannot see the 'confidence' or other monitors the colorist is working from, but only the monitor provided as the client's view monitor.

The bane of a colorist's life is when the client looks over at the colorist's screen and says .. "Make my screen look like that one ... " ... and it happens a lot.

Mind you, this is on monitors from FSI and like places, costing $5,000 and up ... with gear that spendy used to profile then calibrate them via external LUT boxes.

So ... they work very hard to get things set as  tightly to the particular standard for the deliverables they are making at the moment, most often video sRGB/Rec.709 gamma 2.4, viewed in a somewhat darkened room at probably 100nits on the main display. Though other spaces are actually coming in on rare occasions now.

They use their outboard scopes to make sure that there are no excursions of saturation, whites or blacks going to get the project bounced from the QC machine of whatever service the project will be broadcast over. And ... send it out Into The Wild and move on.

Every TV that project is seen on will show a different view of the project. Just think ... even on the same screen ... the contrast and saturation will look massively different just between bright daylight coming into the room from large windows and the same TV/program at night with no lights on.

The entire reason for colorists to have the spendy gear is just to ensure they CAN get tight close to the "standards" because most gear consumers will be viewing it on are so freaking far off. Producing to standard means you get closer to the middle ground of what people will see ... but primarily ... it means your stuff, when viewed on anyone's screen ... will .. on that screen at that moment ... look like other professionally produced material.

And you get on with Life. Get your work done, go home to spouse & kids, your dog/cat/alligator/whatever.

And jump into the next project.

Neil

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Guide ,
Jan 08, 2019 Jan 08, 2019

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if the source monitor doesn't match the program window, I'd call that a major, major oversight. i'd report that as a big, fat bug!

if you want VLC to match premiere, you'll need color management turned on, then a bt1886 to srgb preview lut or madVR with BT.1886 lut playback. VLC is srgb, not rec. 709 2.4(or bt1886 with 0 black level) the web is sRGB or rec. 709 2.2.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 08, 2019 Jan 08, 2019

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Remember the Source monitor is designed to show the *source" material in original state prior to any effects from Pr. So quite frequently the Source and Program monitors show the same clip differently.

Neil

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Contributor ,
Jan 09, 2019 Jan 09, 2019

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chrisw44157881​ that is some impressive technical info you just presented!

Can you put some of that in practical context? Like how would one go about implementing bt1886 in the MacOS color manager? bt1886 is not listed in my Display profile list in my System Preferences color manager utility. a bt1886 to srgb preview lut or madVR with BT.1886 lut playback... to do that do I need additional hardware, or is there a software utility that enables that? Maybe you can be a little more specific. Where does one find a bt1886 to srgb preview LUTs, or madVR with BT.1886 LUTs?

OK... I've had about enough of this ... I was going to write that "regardless of VLCs color profile, it seems to match the Pr Pro Program window pretty well..." and started going through the various Display profiles with the Program window, Export Settings window, and VLC player open on my Retina Display. I wanted to find the profile that got the best match between the Source window and the VLC player from last night...

1. The Program window and the Export Settings Output window are matching better today than yesterday and the VLC player is now slightly off in all of the Display profiles I checked... (Different ambient light in the room than last night?)

2. ... until I reached a profile called "DCDM X'Y'Z' D60 Gamma 2.6"... at which point the Pr Pro windows have shifted into some weird desaturated green color space and the VLC player hasn't changed. In other words WTF! ... There is no handbook for this! Apparently the Display profiles effect various softwares differently. I'm getting the feeling there is no such thing as "what you see is what you get". Too many variables.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 09, 2019 Jan 09, 2019

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There are a couple threads on the LIftGammaGain forum, primarily a colorist's 'hangout' ... that are long things dealing with the proper ways to view spaces, corrective LUTs, the use of ICC profiles or whatever.

If you want your "leetle gray cells" blown out, go read through them. There are several very knowledgeable people there who work in that end of the 'trade' ... have deep levels of experience, training, and knowledge ... and simply do NOT agree on much. Rather ... cantankerously, at times.

Neil

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