iMac Pro + Premiere Pro, Color Not Matching Export

Dec 30, 2020

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I've seen similar posts to this and maybe there is no solution, but I thought I would ask in 2020. Many posts I saw were older and maybe there has been an update or feature I'm not aware of? 

 

Anyways, I have an iMac Pro and do my editing in Premiere Pro. I've noticed (like many others) when I'm color correcting, the exported file seems less contrasty and a little less saturated than what it looked like in Premiere. I found the article with that 'Gamma Compensation' LUT and that does work pretty well.

 

Is there something I'm missing or is this the only real solution for now? I've read some articles that say the issue is the display and it's color profile, some say the issue is Premiere not displaying the color properly, I'm just wondering if there's something I should be doing? 

 

I did try the 'display color management' in the preferences but that didn't seem to make it better. Any help is appreciated and if there's no solution yet, oh well. Thanks! 

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iMac Pro + Premiere Pro, Color Not Matching Export

Dec 30, 2020

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I've seen similar posts to this and maybe there is no solution, but I thought I would ask in 2020. Many posts I saw were older and maybe there has been an update or feature I'm not aware of? 

 

Anyways, I have an iMac Pro and do my editing in Premiere Pro. I've noticed (like many others) when I'm color correcting, the exported file seems less contrasty and a little less saturated than what it looked like in Premiere. I found the article with that 'Gamma Compensation' LUT and that does work pretty well.

 

Is there something I'm missing or is this the only real solution for now? I've read some articles that say the issue is the display and it's color profile, some say the issue is Premiere not displaying the color properly, I'm just wondering if there's something I should be doing? 

 

I did try the 'display color management' in the preferences but that didn't seem to make it better. Any help is appreciated and if there's no solution yet, oh well. Thanks! 

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Dec 30, 2020 0
Dec 30, 2020

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It's Apple being Apple, mostly.

 

The long-standing Rec.709 standard has two required transforms: the camera-referred transform, and the display-referred transform. It also requires a 2.4 gamma though 2.2 is used for 'bright room' work. Among other things.

 

Apple chose to apply only the scene-referred or camera transform, and not to apply the display transform function.

 

To add to the quandary for users, they chose to use what they call "sRGB Gamma" and it's said by various testers to be 1.95 or 1.96. It seems the difficulty is there's a bit of an odd shape in the shadows, and so puzzling out which works best to try to create the same shape, 1.95 or 1.96 is a matter of personal conjecture.

 

The result, of course, is the Mac systems don't display Rec.709 media the way a properly setup system will. Period.

 

I hear about this a lot. I'm a contributing author over at MixingLight.com, a pro colorist's teaching subscription website. Some of the top pro colorists work and study over there. The founders were the team that Dolby hired to produce the in-house tutorial videos on professional setup and use of the DolbyVision HDR system. So ... it's a very knowledgeable group.

 

And a mostly Mac based group, as you'd expect. So they and pretty much all colorists around the world have tried to figure out how to get around this problem. And the answer?

 

Ain't possible.

 

There's been two different attempts by "outsiders" to solve this. The Premiere Pro approach of using the Display Color Management option to tell Premiere to mod the image to show a correct Rec.709 image within the odd Apple system is the first part, and that allows Mac users to work within Premiere with images that will, on export, work well on properly setup systems following the complete Rec.709 requirements.

 

And if you want to mod the file to look 'similar' within the Macosphere, the export LUT.

 

However, once that LUT is applied, the exported video file will look good on Macs ... and not so good on everything else out there. The other 85% or more of screens in use.

 

Resolve took a different approach. In Resolve, you can export as "Rec.709A" and yes, the A stands for Apple. It changes the NLC tags in the file header, and gets the Apple ColorSync utility to apply proper Rec.709 standards complete.

 

However ... on most non-Mac systems, that file looks exactly like the export from Premiere Pro with the export LUT applied. Not ... so good.

 

So you, the Mac user, have a choice. Look good on Macs but bad on the other 85% of screens. Look good on 85% of the screens out there, but a little low in contrast and saturation in your case on Macs.

 

No one can fix what Apple chose to break. And this sort of thing just ticks off colorists like crazy.

 

Neil

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Dec 30, 2020 1
Dec 31, 2020

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Hey Neil, thanks so much for the response and all the info, really appreciate it. 

 

I didn't know that the Gamma Compensation LUT didn't look good on non-macs. I guess I've only tested it on my iMac Pro, my Macbook pro, and my business partner's Macbook as well. We've looked on our phones and it looked pretty good but I think either way looked pretty decent on my iPhone. 

 

I guess I may try the Display Color Management for a bit and see what happens. Good to know I'm not missing any solution. 

 

Thanks again! Stay well and happy new year!

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Dec 31, 2020

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Best of the new year to you also!

 

And one thing I always wish for is for the idiotic OS and gear vendors to actually get together and USE standards. There is no freaking reason why they can't currently. It would take very little effort on their part/s.

 

Not holding my breath ...

 

Neil

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