Color Saturation not correct on Premiere Pro

Explorer ,
Dec 29, 2018 Dec 29, 2018

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Hey everyone, I am needing some help with my Premiere program.

The issue that I am having is that the Software for premiere is reading the color of my footage differently that how the footage truly is.

The footage the premiere is showing within the software is more saturated and seems to be already color corrected, when in fact it is not.

I'm going to post a photo below that has a side-by-side of what I am explaining. The image on the left is the footage directly from the SD card, the footage has not been imported or tampered with. The image on the right, is within the Premiere software, after I import the footage.

When My projects are complete, I export the project and open it up to view it, and it returns to the same dull saturation from its original state before import.

This leads me to think that the software is just portraying the colors differently.

When I'm editing with premiere, I would like the colors to be true to what it is, because it is deceiving while I'm trying to color correct all my footage. Please let me know if you've had this problem and know the solution. I can screenshot anything you need within the software for help.

Screen+Shot+2018-11-28+at+10.40.07+AM.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 29, 2018 Dec 29, 2018

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The problem isn't Pr ... it is that you are completely unaware of the process of displaying colors on computers, TVs, and other devices ... or you wouldn't be asking about this. I'm not being rude, this is a complex issue and so many starting out have expectations that are simply not possible in this or any multiverse potentially in existence.

First ... the data off the camera is just a series of NUMBERS ... no images whatever. Those numbers are then interpreted by the OS/software/hardware to create images on screens.

Second ... there are many color spaces to begin with, that media or OS or monitors/screens can be expected to 'see' images within. No screen except for expensive pro-level broadcast screens come calibrated either. They all need to be set correctly for the space of the media used, and calibrated to those specs.

If the user does not take control of the multitude of variables here, the user HAS no control over how they see the images.

So ... have you chosen a screen for it's color space to make sure it works with your media? Have you calibrated it to the space/profile of your media? And are you only viewing your media in apps that apply appropriate color-space/profile interpretation to the media they display?

If you answer 'no' to any of those three questions, well ... you have a problem.

Almost assuredly, the device recording that image data did so assuming that it was to be worked and viewed within the standard that is the vast majority of use now ... Rec.709, which specifies that the media should be displayed on a screen set to video standards sRGB, and calibrated to Rec.709 at 100 nits brightness. Pr is designed to work within those specs ... rigidly.

As you're showing Apple screens, I would guess you're on a Mac ... duh! So ... is it an older one, or a newer one with the P3 very-wide gamut monitor? I'm guessing the P3, as when you take an image 'plotted' for one color space, and plop it on a much wider color space, you "lose" visible contrast for both the luma and chroma data. Ergo, it looks less saturated and less contrasty.

The problem isn't that Pr isn't showing the "original" colors/tones, it's that your monitor and any calibration are not set to show the original media's chroma/luma properly.

Pr attempts within the app to show proper video sRGB/Rec709 treatment of the media. Though it cannot over-ride your OS, monitors, or other apps of course. If you were working on a system set for b-cast standards, you woudn't have the trouble. Someone may pop in and say that FCPx seems to work fine ... well, Apple being Apple, they 'juice' their in-house apps to work specifically with their OS. Every other app company ... and of course the Mac users of those apps ... need to work to make sure they also have proper display on a Mac.

Colorists go to very expensive lengths to set up systems that show them precisely calibrated chroma/luma info ... images ... on their very expensive screens. That is the only way of course to guarantee you are seeing the actual data as it was expected to be shown. Monitors all above $5,000, more than that in calibration gear/software, all signals to monitors run through external boxes that have various LUTs developed by the calibration systems to adapt that monitor to whatever color space/profile is needed at the moment.

Check out the info ... pages & pages ... on this sort of thing from Light Illusions ...

https://www.lightillusion.com/viewing_environments.html

Since Apple decided to stick their users with an admittedly gorgeous (with the right material) but not-heavily used color space, without a lot in the way of user choices for getting the system to properly show video sRGB/Rec.709, Mac users have some head-scratching to do. The Pr team did add an option in the Edit/Preferences menu, 'enable display color management', that can help display the video-level sRGB/Rec.709 of Pr more correctly on the Mac P3 monitors. For some, this helps a lot. Because although Pr is trying normally to display images correct, they cannot change the monitor. What that option does is attempt to apply a generic setting to convert the image to display on a P3 monitor.

However ... each size of P3 Mac monitor has a different actual profile as a group and as always with screens, no two screens of identical manufacture are ever actually totally alike. So a 'generic' setting is somewhat limited in what it can do.

Another misconception is that the user can control what others see on their screens. Give it up, ain't happening. Not one colorist EVER ... working a suite with many thousands of dollars of specialized gear ... has ever been able to do that.

It's against the laws of physics actually, let alone manufacturing/viewing environments/settings/OS/and around a thousand other variables. Which is actually why they have all that gear ... they work to Standard, so that when put out "in the wild", it will appear similar to other material professionally produced to Standard on whatever device/screen it is viewed on.

Learn about standards. Apply them as much as possible to your working setup and your working environment ... then do your work and move on.

Here's my setup ... without the spendy Flanders monitor I'd love to have, but still ... carefully chosen upper monitor used for "confidence" monitor, using the transmit-out option in PrPro. Calibrated weekly with puck & software. ALL auto-crap turned off, levels set for proper calibration. You can see the difference light showing on the wall behind, set to 10% of the reflective brightness of the transmitted whites from the confidence monitor ... in a nearly darkened room.

Is it full b-cast guaranteed? No. But my stuff shown on a colorist's screens was spot on. IF I were going to send anything to b-cast though ... it would go through a friend's setup to make sure it was all legal and close to "pretty" at least! But ... I doubt I'll ever do b-cast.

Neil

Setup overshoulder.PNG

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Explorer ,
Dec 29, 2018 Dec 29, 2018

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Ok, I did not need to read all of this... and it was very unhelpful.

I understand I can't help what people see on THEIR screens, and all that. I am talking about the difference between the footage on my camera and the way the Premiere is presenting it in the software. All these numbers and hyperlinks your throwing at me mean nothing to me. Respectfully, I'm glad you have a bunch of knowledge but I don't need you to throw up on me.

This is the issue I have, and I need a solution. Like in maybe one or two paragraphs, not a semester's worth of information that means nothing to me.

Premiere Pro is incorrectly displaying the saturation of color on my screen. The comparison that I have screenshot is how the footage is viewed from FinalCut Pro, My iPhone, and directly from the SD card. I want the footage that is displayed on Premiere to export the EXACT SAME WAY it is viewed within the software. As soon as I export it, it immediately looses its saturation and results back to its color from the SD card.

How do I correct the color being presented within the Premiere software to be exactly how it is exported. Look at my reference photo.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 29, 2018 Dec 29, 2018

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Yeah, your not getting it.

Both versions in your screenshot are being viewed as you said via 'software', though you seem to think only the Adobe side is software. I also notice you feel it is the adobe side that is in err...

Neil gave you the full version. The short answer is your viewing software is the problem, not Premiere.

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Explorer ,
Dec 29, 2018 Dec 29, 2018

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Ok, This is getting somewhere. Now if I adjust the settings of my monitor, that is not going to fix anything, because Premiere will still read the footage in its own way.

If premiere is able to present the footage as saturated and clean as it does while I am editing, how can I make that footage stay that saturated once it is exported? Rather than resorting back to its old dull look?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 29, 2018 Dec 29, 2018

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Now you have to read Neil's response!

Get a better program to view your footage outside of Premiere.

You are probably using Quicktime to view that footage in the picture above, that is one of the worst 'color' offenders.

I use PotPlayer mostly and VLC also. PotPlayer played Cineform files and VLC just add that feature recently. I'm not sure what people use on Macs, thought I just did a quick google search and see VLC appears to have a mac version.

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Explorer ,
Dec 29, 2018 Dec 29, 2018

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This I understand. Unfortunately I have to work with what I got. And what I have is apple products. The footage I am exporting is exported onto my iphone and uploaded to youtube, instagram, and other social media outlets. So, If I am going to continue working with Premiere Pro, is there a way to correct the software to portray the footage exactly as from the MAC's monitor? Final Cut easily does this, because it is an apple product, but I enjoy editing on Premiere more, and if I am to color correct on Premiere then export the footage onto the apple products that I am working with, All the colors will appear different than when I was in the editing mode. This is the solution I need to find. I am using a MAC, and apple products.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 29, 2018 Dec 29, 2018

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That's a frustrating issue, and I do understand that. Mac has always "worked" by exercising total control over the user and their environment. Which, when it works, is fine. When it doesn't ... it's ... difficult. The Macoverse being such a small niche in total world "devices", it's ... an intriguing environment.

You can try the "enable display color management" option in the Edit/Preferences/Display tab ... that may help. It does for some Mac rigs.

Past that ... no, really, short of another monitor as mentioned. Apple wants to confine you to their products of course. I hardly think the sweet link between FCPx and their P3's compared to what any other app gets on those systems is accidental.

There's another user ... chris something, the rest is a bunch of numbers ... who has a few LUTs you can try to put on your media in Pr so when exported out it more closely looks like what you see in say QuickTime viewer. Though ... I had someone send me a short clip they'd worked on this way, and on my machine it was pretty over-worked. So it may help for those using Apple devices, may look not so good outside Apple devices. But I've only looked at one such clip on my machine. That means ... this is perhaps anamolous shall we say. Not tested to destruction ergo a "known" thing.

So search this forum for Mac color threads and LUTs. You should see comments by Chris, and he's been very helpful about this.

Neil

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New Here ,
Jan 10, 2019 Jan 10, 2019

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Dear Neil,

I appreciate your knowledge that's amazing.

I have just one question left:

why does it happen now ? I mean I use Pr now over than 1 year with the same iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017), the same settings and the same camera for my footage.

Cap

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 10, 2019 Jan 10, 2019

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Has your OS updated during that time?

Pr is only one of several things that could have changed ... and it's actually the most 'stable' of them for this sort of thing. A setting could have been accidentally reset in your monitor when turning it on/off ... the OS updates ... monitor firmware change setting auto-controls back on ... all sorts of things. Even changing your room lighting significantly.

Um ... are you running a puck/software calibration of some kind to set your monitor to ... something?

Neil

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New Here ,
Jan 11, 2019 Jan 11, 2019

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R Neil Haugen

unfortunately I am not using any calibration software.

I think it happened after the macOS Mojave Update... But on my Macbook Pro is the same problem and on this one is still the old OS version.

I have already tried all of your recommendations but nothing satisfied me.. It's not the same as usual and it's really hart to get that look I want.

Do you think on Final Cut this won't happen?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 11, 2019 Jan 11, 2019

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Apple 'broke' the video color system going to the P3 monitors and with changes it seems especially in Mojave to the OS. And then wired FCPx to work with their OS to get around the internal/external changes.

So that may work better for you. Sort of. Kind of. As long as your stuff is viewed in the Apple-verse, by folks on the newer P3 monitors and Mojave ... generally.

Fun. Or ... not so much. But sadly true.

We've had quite a number of Mac users on here who come back ... "but all my clients/viewers (across YouTube & etc) will be on Macs." Which seems a rather naive concept. Based more on "cool people use Macs" than actually looking at the total computer base out there. Macs are a fairly small percentage. If your work is ONLY going to be seen by a few people in a graphics industry ... maybe as much as 40% might be on Mac. If you're lucky.

It's not an easy thing, doing video post-processing color.

Neil

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 11, 2019 Jan 11, 2019

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Hi CapSea,

Do you see this gamma shift when comparing the same clip between VLC and QuickTime?

Thanks,

Fran

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 11, 2019 Jan 11, 2019

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 29, 2018 Dec 29, 2018

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Daniel, the problem is people want and expect "simple". And it isn't. When I came over from stills, which is comparatively AMAZINGLY simple, I was stunned. Yelled, screamed, pounded the table. And I do mean all that quite literally. For a few days, in fact.

But I ran into some experienced people who just shook their heads and said yell away. Very far away, actually. But when you want to get somewhere, call me.

I finally did. And then made some changes. And ... gee, it worked.

Macs and FCPx are set for displaying on a P3 screen, internally set for handling video on that ... BUT ... not necessarily truly set for pro level video work. If they were, your videos would show pretty much the same in the OS as in Pr. Which is what I get on my rig. Apple may have done you wrong, really.

All colorists work from monitors connected to external LUT boxes fed from the computer to get the OS and all other software out of the signal so ONLY the actual image data is displayed and that in a correct color space/profile for the media involved and what it will be delivered in. Takes time to think through that sort of system, more than you could really justify. But ... you need to be aware of the same issues.

You bought a system expecting there was a one-size-fits-all solution included for properly seeing your media. The only time that exists is say if you buy a turn-key setup from Puget Systems or SafeHarbor Computing designed to run Pr, Resolve, whatever ... out through BM or AJA or Kona boxes to a spendy pro monitor.

Other than that, you have to learn how to select the right components to make your own set up function according to the media you're working's standards.

As a suggestion, if you're not doing b-cast work ... you might be able to get by through buying another monitor with very good color rating reviews and full sRGB coverage, that can be set to turn off EVERY happy assistant they build into the durn things, get it totally manual ... and calibrate it with say an i1 display pro puck/software setup. Use that for your "confidence" monitor, and check your media in that AND WITH YOUR SCOPES. The Mark I Eyeball is an amazing ... relative ... visual device. The scopes ... are reality. Use that for your 'confidence' monitor, your Mac's P3 for the UI.

If you need standard video work ... that's a monitor calibrated to video sRGB/Rec.709/gamma 2.4, in a semi-subdued working environment.

If you need Rec.2020, well ... then you need a different monitor, setup and calibrated for that. The pro gear does multiple calibrations for a single monitor via the external LUT boxes I talked of. But then, monitors that really handle wide-gamut 10-bit media well ... and can be carefully and properly set up ... are very expensive. Plus, not many places need Rec2020 yet, though HDR stuff is going to come in over the next five years or so it seems.

And ... we users do need more controls in Pr to tell it what our chosen display space/profile is, and what we want to export into, similar to that within Resolve.

Neil

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Explorer ,
Dec 29, 2018 Dec 29, 2018

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This I understand. Unfortunately I have to work with what I got. And what I have is apple products. So, If I am going to continue working with Premiere Pro, is there a way to correct the software to portray the footage exactly as from the MAC's monitor? Final Cut easily does this, because it is an apple product, but I enjoy editing on Premiere more, and if I am to color correct on Premiere then export the footage onto the apple products that I am working with, All the colors will appear different than when I was in the editing mode. This is the solution I need to find. I am using a MAC, and apple products.

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New Here ,
Mar 13, 2021 Mar 13, 2021

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What a bunch of pretentious BS! Premiere has had major major color issues for generations. The color doesn't even stay the same between different windows within the Premiere UI. How you could write that much in a post (with a picture even) and not offer a single piece of actual useful advice about settings inside Premiere is just a joke. Premiere will make any colors look inaccurate no matter what display you output them too. Even mercury transmitting through dedicated hardware to a reference grade monitor. But please, feel free to keep spending all your time trying to gaslight users into thinking it's their own fault when they post here looking for actual answers. 

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New Here ,
Jan 16, 2021 Jan 16, 2021

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Hey Daniel, I was having the same issue and almost pulled all of my hair out trying to figure it out BUT I did. Here is a non condescending fix to the issue. Also tons of people are still trying to figure this out so I hought I should share. Basically the issue for me was that my color display settings on my Macbook Pro were set to "Color LCD" so my video I was looking at from my SD card using Quicktime was less saturated like yours. Then when imported to Premiere it looked super saturated in the project window but then when I exported and saw it again on my macbook display it looked the same at the file on my SD card. So I figured since Premiere displays video in REC 709 then I would have to change my settings on my macbook from "Color LCD" to "Rec 709" so everything matches. Everything matches now. All you have to do is click on the left corner Apple logo>system Prefrences>Displays>Color>HD709-A This should match the colors on your Macbook to the project in Premiere. You can then color grade to your hearts content in Premiere knowing that when exported it will look the same as the project window you were working on. Side note: The reason this happened in the first place was because i plugged in my movie projector to my macbook and it automatically changed my color settings on my Macbook so nothing was matching up when using premiere pro since it displays rec709 and my display was set to LCD Display. SO FRUSTARTING.  HAHA Hope it helps. If youre on a PC Im positive theres the same explantion so just change your display color to rec709.  ALSO, if you dont have the rec709 option on your macbook just choose sRGB its pretty much the same. 

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New Here ,
Jan 16, 2021 Jan 16, 2021

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Also, found this article from Premiere Pro that explains exactly what I just said : https://premierepro.net/color-management-premiere-pro/  OK See ya. 😃

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Explorer ,
Mar 07, 2021 Mar 07, 2021

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I have the same problem. The very same clip in premiere pro on my macbook pro 15 and premiere pro 16 are looking totally different. On my 15" I notice I have a custom profile and I have no idea where it came from. On this computer the clip looks normal.

But on my 16" the same clip also imported in premiere pro is soooo saturated, like the skin is red literally. This computer is set to "Colour LCD". I'm trying any other profile and they're all wrong. I don't see the REC709 you're mentionning.

I do have "Rec. ITU-R BT.709-5" but no HD709 as you said. When I try this one it's also very off.

The clip shows as it should in quicktime but inside premiere it's a mess...

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 07, 2021 Mar 07, 2021

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Did you set the preferences option of "Display color management" option on? That way at least inside Premiere you'll see a more correct Rec.709 image.

 

Color management is a morass, unfortunately.

 

Neil

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New Here ,
Mar 13, 2021 Mar 13, 2021

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Gonna try to follow Baabs626's lead and post some non-prentious stuff here. I've found Premiere specifically is terrible at displaying accurate colors. It's not you, it's not even really your Mac and their P3 pension for oversaturdation--Premiere is a joke with color accuracy. One thing you can do to mitigate this is hit Cntrl Tilda on the Program monitor to fullscreen it while bypassing the PR UI when you're color grading. This seems to bring the colors closer to some semblance of what most people out there will see. If you can get your hands on a second monitor like one of Asus's $200 Pro Art displays (forget all the other nonsense posted here about needing super expensive gear or a pro-colorist or reference monitors or anything like that, get real people) and set it in one of its reference modes you can use Mercury Transmit to send a fullscreen image to it that will be closer to accurate. You'll still find once it goes out to youtube, social media, clients etc that Premiere has been showing you oversaturated garbage all along but at least you won't have been working with something quite so cartoonishly inaccurate all along.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 14, 2021 Mar 14, 2021

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On a system with accurate calibrated monitors ... Premiere is dead on with color. As shown thousands of times per day in pro suites, which is what it's designed to be used with.

 

When used without proper user-controlled color managment, yea, things go wonky.

 

That's beause of the system it's displayed on, not the app.

 

And yes, I've seen vids that were "wrong" out of Premiere, then sent to someone with a full-on calibrated setup, and gee ... that vid exported from Pr was dead-on.

 

We've had people here and elsewhere complaining about how bad Pr was with color, who finally setup their system ... and suddenly, there wasn't a problem anymore.

 

There are issues with a couple specific things, particular format/codec mis-applications by Pr. Other than that, the underlying code is correct.

 

Neil

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New Here ,
Mar 15, 2021 Mar 15, 2021

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So when I said "feel free to keep gaslighting people here" I didn't actually mean it. This is a real problem. Coming in here determined to defend Premiere at all costs and offer no tangible advice to people is just a waste of everyone's time. Here's the issue; no color professionals trust Premiere (there's a reason Resolve is the standard and more and more solo content creators are moving to Final Cut). It's the small non-pro or semi pro creators that just need to have some basic level of trust in the colors of their edit that need good color management from Premiere. What are almost all of them using? Macbook Pros. The fact that you have to pull up a friggin screen shot and create adjustment layers as An dy 1968 is suggesting means THERE'S A PROBLEM. It's awesome that this online community is willing to post workarounds but coming in here and telling everyone that it's their fault and the "code is fine" in nonsese. If you can't get even remotely accurate colors on a stock Macbook Pro with your software you have a ease-of-use problem. Blaming users for not being hardcore enough about color calibration is just silly. I've never met a collection of less helpful tech support people in my life as those for Premiere. Sheesh.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 15, 2021 Mar 15, 2021

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Paige5D50,

You are confused. Premiere Pro works like it should with some annoying bugs like any other NLE.

That being said try editing HDV interlaced video using FCPX on an iMac. It does not work. HDV is broadcast compliant in most countries as was Mini DV-25.

You stated most content creators use Macbook Pros. Where did you get that number from? I create content for YouTube all the time using a PC and I have no problems doing so.

That being said computer monitors are not compliant with NTSC,  ATSC,  ATSC 3 or Digital Cinema color spaces. Your video will look different on  an iMac, an HP laptop or a $350 Dell Desktop. OBS, Windows Media Player, Quicktime and Blu-ray players will all display the same video a bit different. What looks good using FCPX and Quicktime on an iMac might look like crap on my PC. If you had to deliver your content on HDV tape to a TV station your FCPX rendition might not look horrible without viewing it on broadcast compliant hardware. Do you see my point?

When using Premiere Pro with products form AJA and BMD your colors and composition can be dead on for NTSC, ATSC and Digital Cinema.  Demonstrate FCXP being dead on for broadcast (ATSC) using HDV tape as the delivery method using only the iMac. Do you see my point?

The products from form AJA and BMD do not help for social media because everyone's computer and sofware of choice will be different. It is like the wild west. Using FCPX and Quicktime might look good to on your computer monitor but less than 10% of the population has an iMac. Do you see my point? What does your video look like on a Windows PC? You need to worry about that more that anythng else.

You can make adustments to the computer monitor's color space using the Mac OS and the Windows OS control panels to help compensate. Most people are not trying to output content to viewed using the Quicktime Player on an iMac. 25 years ago 100% of all video content was seen on an NTSC compliant monitor (broadcast, VHS, Hi-8, 3/4 inch etc). In the year 2006 most people viewed about 90% of their video content on NTSC compliant monitors and 10% on the computer monitor. As of 2021 it is about 50/50 for most people. That being said the video below shows how you can easily compensate for different playback devices. You don't have to create a seperate version for an iMac, HDV tape, Digital Cinema etc. If you had to output for Quicktime, YouTube and Digital Cinema using FCPX or DaVinic reolve you would need to use adjustment layers a well. Do you see my point? Don't get me wrong in DR you can change a few settings at export and Premiere Pro will let you add a LUT at export but in the end you are compensating for different types of media.



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