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HDR and Apple's P3 Displays

Explorer ,
Nov 10, 2020

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I have some really basic HDR related questions.  I just bought the new Canon R5 and it can shoot HDR video.  I am wondering if Apple's P3 displays in the new Apple Silicone based Macs that just got announced today are considered an HDR display?  I know Premiere isn't optimized for those Macs yet, but with Lightroom coming in a month and Photoshop early next year I asuume Premiere will get there sooner rather then later.

 

Also if I edit a HDR video what happens if I play it on a non HDR display.  Do I need to make an HDR version and a non HDR version?

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HDR and Apple's P3 Displays

Explorer ,
Nov 10, 2020

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I have some really basic HDR related questions.  I just bought the new Canon R5 and it can shoot HDR video.  I am wondering if Apple's P3 displays in the new Apple Silicone based Macs that just got announced today are considered an HDR display?  I know Premiere isn't optimized for those Macs yet, but with Lightroom coming in a month and Photoshop early next year I asuume Premiere will get there sooner rather then later.

 

Also if I edit a HDR video what happens if I play it on a non HDR display.  Do I need to make an HDR version and a non HDR version?

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Nov 10, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 10, 2020

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Premiere has more HDR capabilities than it did, but ... in order to actually set the tonal/color accurately, you must have added gear to send a clean 'out' to the HDR monitor. You cannot simply connect an HDR monitor to the GPU, and have Premiere feed that monitor an HDR image.

 

This thread which I started with a FAQ on Premiere's HDR setup last March will give you some information, and show the gear and procedure to setup for working in HDR with Premiere. Note, as of this point, there are no Grade 1 Reference monitors (and yes, that is a very specific thing) that are useable for full grading in HDR for less than somewhere around $17,000 USD ... most are up in the $25,000 to $32,000 dollar range. For a series of good reasons I won't go into, it's too detailed.

 

https://community.adobe.com/t5/premiere-pro/faq-setting-up-for-hdr-work-in-premiere-2020/m-p/1064640...

 

I need to upgrade the FAQ as a number of things have changed, including the way you can now set a color space for clips in the Modify/Interpret dialog in the Project panel, and the Sequence panel also has a color space option area at the bottom.

 

The scopes can be set to HDR and work quite well. But still ... to see the HDR image out of Premiere, you must have that external kit from BlackMagic or AJA.

 

Neil

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Explorer ,
Nov 10, 2020

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Thanks for the information Neil.  I understand what you wrote there, but I do have some questions.  I'm just an amateur so I'm not doing any pro work or have a pro budget.  I just have a camera that shoots HDR and soon to be a TV that can display it.  And with Apple including shooting in HDR on the iPhone I'm sure there are going to be a ton of people like me.  So here are my questions.

 

1) Can that Apple laptop display HDR content?  Apple says P3, but I'm not sure what that means.

2) Can you edit HDR content without the HDR monitor and just judge the color by using the scopes and then export the movie and watch it on the TV to see how it looks?

3) What happens if you watch an HDR video on a non-HDR display?  Does it mess up like viewing a ProPhoto file on a noncolor profile aware app?

4) Can I shoot in HDR now and just edit in SDR and go back and redo it when HDR technology gets cheap enough for an amateur?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 10, 2020

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1) P3 is a color space, it's how many colors the screen can show. HDR is a dynamic range thing, how bright the screen can go with full very dark blacks at the same time. They aren't the same. HDR displaying properly requires a screen that has massive contrast ... not just brightness.

 

A common problem with "HDR capable" TVs and monitors is that while they may have the ability to go up to perhaps 500 or a bit more nits brightness, they only have X-contrast range. So as you set the screen brighter, the darks get lighter also.

 

That ain't real HDR. It's just a bright TV. A true reference monitor will have whites uniformly well above 1,000 nits, typically 1500 nits or more, while black is still as black as any SDR monitor out there. Yea, that's a massive range of tones from black to white.

 

And a way to get around that contrast difficulty in manufacturing screens is to have "dimming zones", so that when the screen is showing a really bright thing, that part of the screen will go lighter, while other parts of the image can stay darker. It works, but really ... only if you have a lot of dimming zones.

 

That $5,000 new Apple "HDR" monitor has relatively few dimming zones, so it's a joke as an HDR monitoring screen. (Though pretty decent as an SDR grading monitor apparently.) Watch something with say a space scene of stars and dark void, and the area around the stars "blooms" because "black" in those sections is way, way brighter than black in the next dimming zone over.

 

2) Perhaps ... sort of kind of but not really, as you've no clue what's actually happening in those bright washed out areas of the program monitor. Now understand, I'm a guy that hammers relying on the scopes for tonal/color work ... but you must be able to also see the image.

 

You're welcome to try this, but ... having any success will be difficult.

 

3) This depends on the display. I've seen some that simply wash out the bright parts of the image, some that mush the brighter parts down to more closer to a Rec.709, and some that simply will not show anything with HDR metadata in the signal.

 

4) Yes. Shoot the wider dynamic range, then bring that down within the range of SDR gear in processing. Many cameras these days can shoot the wide dymanic range needed to get really fine HDR, and they are graded into SDR productions every day of the week.

 

Understand, I find the cost to be frustrating and maddening. I do primarily things for local clients, web, and tutorials for teaching. There's no way I can justify a $20,000 grading monitor. Ain't ever gonna happen!

 

Yet ... for my teaching and such, I do need to somehow get to working with some HDR. Yea, it's a really, really difficult thing to do. One of the best current options for doing so "cheap" is getting say a 48" LG in their new "X" series of TVs, and feed it a signal from the BlackMagic or AJA kit with a LUT box.

 

You need to use say the Lightspace color profiling software to profile the TV image using an i1 Display Pro puck. It generates a LUT then that you can put in the BM/AJA LUT box to convert the image to proper needs for viewing a somewhat mostly color-correct image on that LG-X TV.

 

It doesn't have the number of dimming zones to do well, not quite the contrast ratio or total brightness ... so it's all sorts of compromises. But from what I can tell from working with colorists, it's probably as good a "cheap" solution as possible.

 

But "cheap" in this case is about $1500 for the TV, $350-800 for the LUT box, maybe $500 or so for Lightspace (been a while since I checked, could be off there), and $350 or so for the puck ... around $2500 minimal, to get sort of pseudo-kind-of HDR. It mostly gets you an ability to see the end result on a mid-quality consumer TV. And give you therefore some idea of what you're doing while working.

 

Neil

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