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HDR exports have crushed blacks

Community Beginner ,
Oct 25, 2020

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It would be best to reveal my workflow and what I am trying to do first.  I purchase 4k UHD blurays, rip the video files to save as digital backups and also edit those films to make them family safe.  Often the edit process is pretty simple, just removing a few curse words and a few scenes that are not family friendly. 

 

The video rips are mkv files which unfortunately cannot be imported into Premiere (which is a major hassle and mkv support has been requested ad nauseam but that's another topic) but I then remux the mkv files to mp4 using ffmpeg so Premiere can import them.  Now that I have the 4k UHD mp4 file in Premiere, I make very simply edits and then I export using Neil's HDR guide found elsewhere in these forums.  The resultant exports are ok but every single time the blacks are crushed.  Every single time without fail.  They aren't crushed to oblivion but they are crushed enough to make the file unsuitable to me.  And this is across 15 or so films.  No effects or grades are applied, I only do the most basic of trimming edits so I can't seem to understand why the black level is getting changed.  Also no matter what HDR meta data I enter, the file still looks the same no matter what.

 

To combat this I have been creating ProRes digitial intermediate files.  I create these using FFMPEG and during the creation of the digital intermediate I also embed Rec709 metadata.  This strips away all the metadata that tells Premiere the file is rec2020.  I want Premiere to think the file is rec709.  This thrwarts Premiere trying to convert the video's appearance from rec2020 to rec709.  Once I do that the file looks very different in Premiere than it would have otherwise.  Now Premiere does not touch it or alter so it does indeed look very bad.  But this is good, I don't want Premiere altering it.  I make my simple edits and then export the film using the Voukoder exporter as I find those exports to be superior to what Premiere is able to do.  It's a major hassle doing it this way but I have to because Premiere always crushes the blacks on my exports.  As much of a hassle as this is, it's dead-on an exact match to the source file I brought in which is exactly what I want.  I dont want to make the film look any different, I just want to make simple cuts.           

 

Has anyone else had issues with blacks getting crushed on their HDR exports?  Btw I've tried all the working color space options in sequence settings and they make no difference.    

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HDR exports have crushed blacks

Community Beginner ,
Oct 25, 2020

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It would be best to reveal my workflow and what I am trying to do first.  I purchase 4k UHD blurays, rip the video files to save as digital backups and also edit those films to make them family safe.  Often the edit process is pretty simple, just removing a few curse words and a few scenes that are not family friendly. 

 

The video rips are mkv files which unfortunately cannot be imported into Premiere (which is a major hassle and mkv support has been requested ad nauseam but that's another topic) but I then remux the mkv files to mp4 using ffmpeg so Premiere can import them.  Now that I have the 4k UHD mp4 file in Premiere, I make very simply edits and then I export using Neil's HDR guide found elsewhere in these forums.  The resultant exports are ok but every single time the blacks are crushed.  Every single time without fail.  They aren't crushed to oblivion but they are crushed enough to make the file unsuitable to me.  And this is across 15 or so films.  No effects or grades are applied, I only do the most basic of trimming edits so I can't seem to understand why the black level is getting changed.  Also no matter what HDR meta data I enter, the file still looks the same no matter what.

 

To combat this I have been creating ProRes digitial intermediate files.  I create these using FFMPEG and during the creation of the digital intermediate I also embed Rec709 metadata.  This strips away all the metadata that tells Premiere the file is rec2020.  I want Premiere to think the file is rec709.  This thrwarts Premiere trying to convert the video's appearance from rec2020 to rec709.  Once I do that the file looks very different in Premiere than it would have otherwise.  Now Premiere does not touch it or alter so it does indeed look very bad.  But this is good, I don't want Premiere altering it.  I make my simple edits and then export the film using the Voukoder exporter as I find those exports to be superior to what Premiere is able to do.  It's a major hassle doing it this way but I have to because Premiere always crushes the blacks on my exports.  As much of a hassle as this is, it's dead-on an exact match to the source file I brought in which is exactly what I want.  I dont want to make the film look any different, I just want to make simple cuts.           

 

Has anyone else had issues with blacks getting crushed on their HDR exports?  Btw I've tried all the working color space options in sequence settings and they make no difference.    

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Oct 25, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 25, 2020

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Yowza!

 

What do the scopes look like when you drop the media on a sequence, especially Waveform (YC no chroma)?

 

What export settings have you tried in Premiere?

 

Neil

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Oct 25, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Oct 26, 2020

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Scopes all look normal and render settings follow your guidelines for exporting HDR.  And the exports are ok, some would even say passable, but across the board the blacks are just too crushed.  I dont understand why it's not a 1:1 thing in the end because im not altering the look of the footage in any way.  Premiere is doing some kind of processing.  
But when i render a digital intermediate that adds rec709 metadata (no other changes are made) and import it to Premiere and Premiere thinks its rec709, the exports are perfect.  

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Oct 26, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2020

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I'd like to get @Francis-Crossman in on this.

 

Neil

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Oct 26, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Oct 26, 2020

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That would be awesome.  You would think you would be able to import an HDR video and export it back out and it would look exactly the same (minus neglible compression of course) but I cannot seem to be able to do it.  To help I will post the MediaInfo specs from the latest film I'm having troubles with.  But all of the films I work with share very similar specs except for the HDR metadata numbers, MaxCLL, etc.   media_info_capture.jpg

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Oct 26, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 26, 2020

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Ouch ... variable frame rate, which is a problem right there. Try to get constant frame-rate conversions. Still hoping for Francis to pop in, though.

 

Neil

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Oct 26, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Oct 26, 2020

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Yeah that's one of the annoying side effects of remuxing an MKV (with constant frrame rate) to an mp4.  In ffmpeg I can remux the mkv file to mp4 in a matter of minutes but it does change the frame rate to variable and there's no way around it when you remux.  Of course I just go to Interpret Footage in Premiere and change the frame to constant so it's an easy fix but ideally I could skip this step and just import an mkv file in Premiere.   

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