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FAQ: Setting up for HDR work in Premiere 2020

Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 02, 2019

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[Edit 24 March 2020: BlackMagic Desktop Video software from ver. 11.5 allows certain BM gear to work with Premiere's HDR signal.]

 

Setting up Premiere 2020 for working with HDR Media

 

You can work with HDR media in Premiere, including exporting to HDR, IF ... you have the right gear to get the HDR signal out of your computer, a true HDR monitor, and understand the process and the steps required. This discussion will cover both the hardware and options within Premiere to be able to work fully with HDR material.

 

Premiere does not send an HDR signal through the normal video-out process from your computer. So first, you must have a device that can "see" the Premiere Pro HDR signal, and send that via HDMI to a proper HDR capable monitor.  The cost of the external gear to connect your computer to the monitor runs between $645 for the BlackMagic Decklink Pro 8k to $3,900 for the Avid DNxIQ.

 

Of course, any "professional grade" HDR monitor is still well above $10,000 USD, with most of the monitors Netflix and DolbyVision list as "acceptible" costing between $20,000 and $30,000 USD.

 

Viewing the HDR Signal in Premiere

 

Premiere Pro 2019 is still internally "wired" to display images using the main broadcast standard, Rec.709. Which is SDR or "standard dynamic range". This means the internal monitors such as the Program monitor panel and Transmit Out are expected to be used on a monitor set to video sRGB, Rec.709, gamma 2.4, and 100 nits max brightness. This of course will not work with HDR material, as the values above 100IRE/nits simply clip out.

 

To view the HDR signal correctly on your monitor, you need to have the exact gear currently listed between your computer and the monitor. Why?

 

Premiere cannot display the proper signal "internally", and uses a separate HDR signal it creates specifically for HDR. The Premiere engineering team has published the API for hardware vendors to tap into the Premiere HDR video signal stream for external monitors.

 

As of today, 24 March 2020, the full list of HDR signal connecting gear from BlackMagic includes the  UltraStudio 4kMini ($995USD), UltraStudio 4k Extreme 3 ($2,995USD), DeckLink 8K Pro ($645USD), and the DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G ($895USD).

HDR Decklink BM.PNG

 

Also, using the BlackMagic Desktop Video software, are the Avid DNxIQ ($3,900USD) and DNxID ($999USD).

HDR Avid DNxIQ.PNG

 

For AJA devices, it's still the following two pieces depending on whether you are on a Mac or a PC.

 

For the Mac OS, you must use either the io4K or io4K+ external box.
https://www.aja.com/products/io-4k

HDR io4K.PNG

 

For the PC user, you must use either the AJA Kona 4 or Kona 5 PCIe internal card.
https://www.aja.com/products/kona-4

HDR Kona 4.PNG

 

From the AJA devices, you must use an HDMI cable from the device to the HDR capable monitor. I don't know yet about connections from the BM devices to the monitor.

 

From the AJA or BlackMagic software controls, select the Premiere HDR signal.

 

Setting up the Lumetri color and Scopes Panels

 

  • In Premiere, go into the Lumetri Workspace. Click the three-bar menu next to the word "Lumetri" at the top of the Lumetri panel, and select "High Dynamic Range".
  • Go to the Scopes panel, right-click, and select "Color Space/Rec.2020".
  • Then right-click in the lower right-corner drop-down box and select the "HDR" scope scaling.

 

There are a couple major changes between color/tonal corrections with SDR and HDR media. In HDR there are four tonal ranges. The three familiar ones from SDR: Shadows, Mids, Highlights/Whites, are joined by a fourth tonal range, HDR Speculars. And there are settings for the user to decide where the "pivot" point between Whites and Speculars controls will be. One for the main controls in the Basic and Color Wheels tabs (which also controls HSL tools) and a second for how far up the signal the user wishes the HSL Curves of the Curves tab to affect the signal.

 

HDR White Slider

 

Go to the top of either the Basic or Color Wheels tab. I suggest setting the HDR White slider to "203" for starters. It is the current "standard" setting for Netflix and DolbyVision material, and seems rapidly becoming the normal setting for other services as well. Setting this in either tab sets the same option in both. This is the "pivot point" where the current White control will pass over into the new HDR top range, Speculars.

 

Think of the "White" brightest value as a white paper outside in the sun, and the Specular range running from there up to the sun reflected off a bit of chrome metal or glass. The "pivot point" between the White and Specular controls will of course be blended across the two ranges in the same manner as the Shadows, Mids, and Highlight regions blend into one another.

 

HDR Range Slider

 

The Curves tab has a new slider called "HDR Range". It has a very different function than the HDR Whites slider, and I think is placed in the wrong spot in the UI. To me the placement is confusing. While it is placed at the top of the Curves tab, it does NOT affect the square RGB Curves tool at all. The RGB Curves tool always affects the entire signal top to bottom.

 

The HDR Range slider only affects the HSL Curves of the Cuves tab, Hue Saturation, Hue vs Sat, Hue vs Luma, Luma vs Sat, and Sat vs Sat.

 

What this control does is set the top point at which the HSL Curves will affect the signal. You may wish to set this to the same setting as the HDR White setting, as 1) there is not so much color information in the Speculars area as in lower value areas and 2) you do have color controls for that area in the Specular color wheel of the Color Wheels tab.

 

Or you may wish to use the Hue/Sat curves to blend across the Whites/Specular pivot point and partway up into the Speculars. Or finally, you may wish to use the HSL curves to the top of the signal. Your choice.

 

Edit away!

 

At this point, you are ready to do any editing you wish, using any workspace or tools within Premiere. Including of course color corrections with the Lumetri panel. All other functions of Premiere work the same as with SDR material. Although you may find some effects are not suited for HDR work, the vast majority work the same with HDR material as they do with SDR.

 

Just remember to pay no attention to any of Premiere's "internal" monitors, Source, Reference, Program, or Transmit Out. View images only on your separate HDR monitor running through the AJA gear, and judge values by the Lumetri scopes, which work quite well.

 

As always for professional work, TEST each step in miniature before committing large projects to a workflow!

 

Exporting HDR Media from Premiere 2019

 

For exporting in HDR, see the following chart.  The top part gives the basic data for the (24 March 2020) six export options. The items in the boxes in the lower section are options you need to select down in the Video tab on the right side of the Export Dialog box. The left box is the option to select, the right box is the value to use for that option.

 

To set some of the options in the Video tab, such as "Level", you may need to first uncheck the Level box. Then other options appear. As for example, the H.264 export. Down in the Video tab, uncheck "Profile", then from the drop-down select "High10". Make sure "Level" is set to at least 5.1.

 

After selecting High10, two options appear below ... "Rec.202 Color Primaries" and a grayed-out "High Dynamic Range". Select the "Rec.2020 Color Primaries" option and the High Dynamic Range box comes active and should also be selected.

 

The process is similar with the other three formats. Note, the XAVC option requires the selection of an XAVC-Intra option from the MXF-Op1a preset drop-down list.

 

There are five export possibilities in PQ, three in HLG. Four options are 10 bit, two are 12 bit.

 

Encoding HDR in Pr & Me 20 Feb 2020.PNG

 

R. Neil Haugen

October 1, 2019

[edited] 24 March 2020

 

With special thanks to Francis Crossman for his hours of help in working all this data out and training me how to do this!

 

And to Patrick Palmer for graciously making Francis available to me. I couldn't have mastered this without their help!

 

 

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FAQ: Setting up for HDR work in Premiere 2020

Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 02, 2019

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[Edit 24 March 2020: BlackMagic Desktop Video software from ver. 11.5 allows certain BM gear to work with Premiere's HDR signal.]

 

Setting up Premiere 2020 for working with HDR Media

 

You can work with HDR media in Premiere, including exporting to HDR, IF ... you have the right gear to get the HDR signal out of your computer, a true HDR monitor, and understand the process and the steps required. This discussion will cover both the hardware and options within Premiere to be able to work fully with HDR material.

 

Premiere does not send an HDR signal through the normal video-out process from your computer. So first, you must have a device that can "see" the Premiere Pro HDR signal, and send that via HDMI to a proper HDR capable monitor.  The cost of the external gear to connect your computer to the monitor runs between $645 for the BlackMagic Decklink Pro 8k to $3,900 for the Avid DNxIQ.

 

Of course, any "professional grade" HDR monitor is still well above $10,000 USD, with most of the monitors Netflix and DolbyVision list as "acceptible" costing between $20,000 and $30,000 USD.

 

Viewing the HDR Signal in Premiere

 

Premiere Pro 2019 is still internally "wired" to display images using the main broadcast standard, Rec.709. Which is SDR or "standard dynamic range". This means the internal monitors such as the Program monitor panel and Transmit Out are expected to be used on a monitor set to video sRGB, Rec.709, gamma 2.4, and 100 nits max brightness. This of course will not work with HDR material, as the values above 100IRE/nits simply clip out.

 

To view the HDR signal correctly on your monitor, you need to have the exact gear currently listed between your computer and the monitor. Why?

 

Premiere cannot display the proper signal "internally", and uses a separate HDR signal it creates specifically for HDR. The Premiere engineering team has published the API for hardware vendors to tap into the Premiere HDR video signal stream for external monitors.

 

As of today, 24 March 2020, the full list of HDR signal connecting gear from BlackMagic includes the  UltraStudio 4kMini ($995USD), UltraStudio 4k Extreme 3 ($2,995USD), DeckLink 8K Pro ($645USD), and the DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G ($895USD).

HDR Decklink BM.PNG

 

Also, using the BlackMagic Desktop Video software, are the Avid DNxIQ ($3,900USD) and DNxID ($999USD).

HDR Avid DNxIQ.PNG

 

For AJA devices, it's still the following two pieces depending on whether you are on a Mac or a PC.

 

For the Mac OS, you must use either the io4K or io4K+ external box.
https://www.aja.com/products/io-4k

HDR io4K.PNG

 

For the PC user, you must use either the AJA Kona 4 or Kona 5 PCIe internal card.
https://www.aja.com/products/kona-4

HDR Kona 4.PNG

 

From the AJA devices, you must use an HDMI cable from the device to the HDR capable monitor. I don't know yet about connections from the BM devices to the monitor.

 

From the AJA or BlackMagic software controls, select the Premiere HDR signal.

 

Setting up the Lumetri color and Scopes Panels

 

  • In Premiere, go into the Lumetri Workspace. Click the three-bar menu next to the word "Lumetri" at the top of the Lumetri panel, and select "High Dynamic Range".
  • Go to the Scopes panel, right-click, and select "Color Space/Rec.2020".
  • Then right-click in the lower right-corner drop-down box and select the "HDR" scope scaling.

 

There are a couple major changes between color/tonal corrections with SDR and HDR media. In HDR there are four tonal ranges. The three familiar ones from SDR: Shadows, Mids, Highlights/Whites, are joined by a fourth tonal range, HDR Speculars. And there are settings for the user to decide where the "pivot" point between Whites and Speculars controls will be. One for the main controls in the Basic and Color Wheels tabs (which also controls HSL tools) and a second for how far up the signal the user wishes the HSL Curves of the Curves tab to affect the signal.

 

HDR White Slider

 

Go to the top of either the Basic or Color Wheels tab. I suggest setting the HDR White slider to "203" for starters. It is the current "standard" setting for Netflix and DolbyVision material, and seems rapidly becoming the normal setting for other services as well. Setting this in either tab sets the same option in both. This is the "pivot point" where the current White control will pass over into the new HDR top range, Speculars.

 

Think of the "White" brightest value as a white paper outside in the sun, and the Specular range running from there up to the sun reflected off a bit of chrome metal or glass. The "pivot point" between the White and Specular controls will of course be blended across the two ranges in the same manner as the Shadows, Mids, and Highlight regions blend into one another.

 

HDR Range Slider

 

The Curves tab has a new slider called "HDR Range". It has a very different function than the HDR Whites slider, and I think is placed in the wrong spot in the UI. To me the placement is confusing. While it is placed at the top of the Curves tab, it does NOT affect the square RGB Curves tool at all. The RGB Curves tool always affects the entire signal top to bottom.

 

The HDR Range slider only affects the HSL Curves of the Cuves tab, Hue Saturation, Hue vs Sat, Hue vs Luma, Luma vs Sat, and Sat vs Sat.

 

What this control does is set the top point at which the HSL Curves will affect the signal. You may wish to set this to the same setting as the HDR White setting, as 1) there is not so much color information in the Speculars area as in lower value areas and 2) you do have color controls for that area in the Specular color wheel of the Color Wheels tab.

 

Or you may wish to use the Hue/Sat curves to blend across the Whites/Specular pivot point and partway up into the Speculars. Or finally, you may wish to use the HSL curves to the top of the signal. Your choice.

 

Edit away!

 

At this point, you are ready to do any editing you wish, using any workspace or tools within Premiere. Including of course color corrections with the Lumetri panel. All other functions of Premiere work the same as with SDR material. Although you may find some effects are not suited for HDR work, the vast majority work the same with HDR material as they do with SDR.

 

Just remember to pay no attention to any of Premiere's "internal" monitors, Source, Reference, Program, or Transmit Out. View images only on your separate HDR monitor running through the AJA gear, and judge values by the Lumetri scopes, which work quite well.

 

As always for professional work, TEST each step in miniature before committing large projects to a workflow!

 

Exporting HDR Media from Premiere 2019

 

For exporting in HDR, see the following chart.  The top part gives the basic data for the (24 March 2020) six export options. The items in the boxes in the lower section are options you need to select down in the Video tab on the right side of the Export Dialog box. The left box is the option to select, the right box is the value to use for that option.

 

To set some of the options in the Video tab, such as "Level", you may need to first uncheck the Level box. Then other options appear. As for example, the H.264 export. Down in the Video tab, uncheck "Profile", then from the drop-down select "High10". Make sure "Level" is set to at least 5.1.

 

After selecting High10, two options appear below ... "Rec.202 Color Primaries" and a grayed-out "High Dynamic Range". Select the "Rec.2020 Color Primaries" option and the High Dynamic Range box comes active and should also be selected.

 

The process is similar with the other three formats. Note, the XAVC option requires the selection of an XAVC-Intra option from the MXF-Op1a preset drop-down list.

 

There are five export possibilities in PQ, three in HLG. Four options are 10 bit, two are 12 bit.

 

Encoding HDR in Pr & Me 20 Feb 2020.PNG

 

R. Neil Haugen

October 1, 2019

[edited] 24 March 2020

 

With special thanks to Francis Crossman for his hours of help in working all this data out and training me how to do this!

 

And to Patrick Palmer for graciously making Francis available to me. I couldn't have mastered this without their help!

 

 

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New Here ,
Oct 20, 2019

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Note that H.264 is rarely a good choice for encoding HDR. Pretty much anything that can play HDR can use HEVC. And a good number of those devices may support ONLY HEVC for HDR, or only support H.264 8-bit (SDR only) while supporting HEVC 10-bit.

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New Here ,
Nov 20, 2019

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I've gone through the whole setup. Still no luck. We've got all the right gear. What's preventing this from working correctly?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 20, 2019

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So ...

  1.  You have one of the above mentioned AJA pieces between the computer and the monitor.
  2. The cable from AJA device to the monitor is HDMI.
  3. The monitor can recognize HDR commands.
  4. In the AJA controlling software for their device, you've selected the Premiere HDR video stream.
  5. In Premiere, in the Color Workspace Lumetri panel, you set it to HDR from the three-bar menu by the tab name Lumetri.
  6. In the Basic or Color Wheels tab, you set an HDR Whites pivot via the slider at the top of either tab.
  7. In the Scopes panel, you changed the color space to Rec.2020, and the scope scales setting to HDR.

 

You have all those set as above, and ... what is the issue? Are you not getting an HDR signal through the AJA device to the monitor ... what?

 

Neil

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New Here ,
Nov 20, 2019

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yes

yes

yes

Don't see a place to select Premier Pro HDR video stream. It does say in use by Premier Pro.

yes

yes

yes

Source material is ProResHQ HDR10. In Premiere it appears to ve crushing blacks.

On the monitor it is defaulting to HLG. We change settings in the Aja we can change to Rec2020 PQ. Picture is blown out and not correct. Monitor is ASUS HDR computer monitor being fed by HDMI.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 20, 2019

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I'll see if I can get some assistance on this ... and thanks for posting!

 

Neil

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New Here ,
Nov 21, 2019

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A little more info.

Importing source material into Final Cut shows correctly. Metadata does include Rec2020. Importing into Premiere shows crushed blacks with extended whites. Is Premiere not interpreting correctly? Is there a way to override?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 21, 2019

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I've had a few HDR clips/media on my system, and the scopes when set to the Rec.2020 color space in the Scopes panel (right-click) ... showed the media correctly.

 

Of course, none of the Premiere's monitors can. They all show any HDR media with clipped whites around 103IRE or so, and at times crushed blacks. Whether Program, Transmit Out, Source, or Reference.

 

That's why the Aja kit ... the Kona 4/5 PCIe cards for the PC, or the io4K for the Mac ... are required.

 

It sounds like in your system, it's getting the internal monitors output ... rather than the Premiere HDR signal, somehow. Make sure Transmit Out is disabled in Premiere.

 

And just to check ... which AJA piece are you using? Can you create a screen-grab of the settings for that and use the picture icon to upload it to your reply?

 

Neil

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New Here ,
Nov 21, 2019

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Aja.png

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