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Premiere introduces banding in Exports

Participant ,
Dec 14, 2016

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We've been having this issue for some time... and looking through the forums I see that people have been complaining about this problem as far back as CS6. I should also add that the people commenting in the past have been on both Macs and Windows. So this looks to be an engine problem not a platform-specific issue.

Before you comment, let me ensure you this isn't a color bit-depth setting problem within Premiere itself... this is purely an issue introduced when exporting video out of Premiere regardless of the output files target bit depth.

I can confirm this is STILL an issue under Adobe Premiere CC 2017.

I've also seen subtle color shifting occur when exporting out of Premiere. But I digress back to the original topic.

To preface I should state that each of our guys tasked on attempting to solve this problem in the studio have well over two decades of post-production technical experience.

Source media in the Premiere timeline are ProRes4444 (also tried ProRes422HQ).

Viewing them in Premiere they look perfect. However, the exported file has significant banding introduced into the output file.

We have tried exporting in every single ProRes format available... without any difference in the introduced banding.

We've tried every thing possible we could think of:

1) Setting sequence to maximum color depth

2) Setting sequence to maximum render quality

3) Setting export to maximum quality

4) Disabling metadata at the export

5) Exporting to various tile types and bit depths.

Nothing changes the output.

We've attempted exporting an animation codec version which also has the banding, but barely reduced overall.

HOWEVER... if you IMPORT this project into After Effects and render the timeline from within After Effects.... there isn't any banding at all. So clearly there is a major issue within the export engine that Premiere uses. Our only work around to ensure there isn't banding, as well as not having the color shift I briefly mentioned, is to import the timeline into After Effects and rendering from there.

This is a significant flaw in Premiere that is just mind-boggling that it has existed for at least 4 years at the minimum. Adobe should be putting this problem at the top of their bug fix list for Premiere.

Let me reiterate that our exports from Premiere were set to Maximum bit depth and maximum render quality. And we rendered to ProRes4444 files.... the same format in which the files were sourced... but banding was introduced.

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Premiere introduces banding in Exports

Participant ,
Dec 14, 2016

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We've been having this issue for some time... and looking through the forums I see that people have been complaining about this problem as far back as CS6. I should also add that the people commenting in the past have been on both Macs and Windows. So this looks to be an engine problem not a platform-specific issue.

Before you comment, let me ensure you this isn't a color bit-depth setting problem within Premiere itself... this is purely an issue introduced when exporting video out of Premiere regardless of the output files target bit depth.

I can confirm this is STILL an issue under Adobe Premiere CC 2017.

I've also seen subtle color shifting occur when exporting out of Premiere. But I digress back to the original topic.

To preface I should state that each of our guys tasked on attempting to solve this problem in the studio have well over two decades of post-production technical experience.

Source media in the Premiere timeline are ProRes4444 (also tried ProRes422HQ).

Viewing them in Premiere they look perfect. However, the exported file has significant banding introduced into the output file.

We have tried exporting in every single ProRes format available... without any difference in the introduced banding.

We've tried every thing possible we could think of:

1) Setting sequence to maximum color depth

2) Setting sequence to maximum render quality

3) Setting export to maximum quality

4) Disabling metadata at the export

5) Exporting to various tile types and bit depths.

Nothing changes the output.

We've attempted exporting an animation codec version which also has the banding, but barely reduced overall.

HOWEVER... if you IMPORT this project into After Effects and render the timeline from within After Effects.... there isn't any banding at all. So clearly there is a major issue within the export engine that Premiere uses. Our only work around to ensure there isn't banding, as well as not having the color shift I briefly mentioned, is to import the timeline into After Effects and rendering from there.

This is a significant flaw in Premiere that is just mind-boggling that it has existed for at least 4 years at the minimum. Adobe should be putting this problem at the top of their bug fix list for Premiere.

Let me reiterate that our exports from Premiere were set to Maximum bit depth and maximum render quality. And we rendered to ProRes4444 files.... the same format in which the files were sourced... but banding was introduced.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Dec 14, 2016

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Did you read this color banding in Premiere exports ?

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Participant ,
Dec 14, 2016

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Yes.... that's actually where I started doing my research. The answer isn't in there. There is clearly an actual issue with their render engine inside Premiere that doesn't exist in After Effects.

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 15, 2016

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Hi DWalla,

I can verify that another customer is having the issue and we do have a bug filed. If you could file separately with your own observations, it would be enormously helpful. Here's a link to the Bug Report form​.

I apologize for this issue. I can understand how frustrating that might be.

Thanks,

Kevin

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New Here ,
Feb 08, 2017

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Hi Kevin, after the recent updates i hoped the banding export issue was resolved, but it still is not. can i expect a solution soon or do i have to find other software to edit with?

thanx, pim

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Participant ,
Feb 08, 2017

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For right now the only real editing solutions with clear color-accuracy tools are FCPX and Davinci. Premiere has serious enough issues that I can't recommend using it for anything that requires accurate color or gradients.

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Explorer ,
Feb 08, 2017

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What kind of hardware acceleration were you using for the render, if any?

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Participant ,
Apr 13, 2017

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We've exported this on numerous machines from iMacs to Mac Pros all using different video cards. Nvidia as well as AMD. Exact same results on all machines. No issue if you take the project into After Effects and render the Premiere timeline out of AE. Everything is flawless using the AE render engine.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 13, 2017

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Fascinating. I know a number of colorists who work with PrPro outputs in Resolve every day (well, most days ... ) ... on their massively expensive, heavily calibrated setups with more money on the calibration systems than my entire suite, outputting files to national broadcasting and such, who aren't having any issue.

So it wouldn't seem to be an "everybody has this" issue. Or they'd be yelling about it.

Which gets back to wondering what it is that is causing this for your group, and as Kevin noted, the other client. I do seriously wish they'd get this sorted though because that sort of thing is just a big freaking wall. Banding ... ain't usable.

Neil

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Participant ,
Apr 13, 2017

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Taking the timeline from PP to Resolve isn't the same as exporting from PP. Basically you're bringing the project into Resolve and doing your colorist work on the source files. This is completely different. BTW... we use Resolve for a lot of colorist work. But we do get some fast projects where the client doesn't want to pay the extra for the Resolve process. So exports come directly out of PP... and banding (as well as slight color shifts) absolutely happen out of PP. If we take the PP project and import it into AE or Resolve, there are zero banding issues. This is clearly a problem with Adobe's export engine under PP only.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 14, 2017

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Again, fascinating. And frustrating!

Neil

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New Here ,
Jun 15, 2020

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Also a problem for me in 2020 with 10bit Sony FS7 footage. Export with max render quality 16bpc, software only rendering to either ProRes HQ or CineForm. The export bands like it's 8bit! All effects on the clips are 32bpc and the preview/program in Premiere does not display any banding at all... 😞 

 

(Latest version PPro, Windows, Nvidia GPU)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 16, 2020

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Max Render Q is only to help with frame resizing when you are getting jaggies on diagonal lines. It does nothing to help for normal exports, and under some circumstances oddly enough can induce artificats so I always leave that unchecked.

 

When you export the file that appears banded, does it look so when re-imported into Premiere?

 

Neil

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New Here ,
Apr 20, 2017

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And again, i was hoping that it is solved after the latest update, but NO AGAIN. still severe banding on exports. it doesn't matter which render engine i use. I only have the problem when shooting with the canon c300 MK2, XFAVC intra codec that is.

Pim

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 20, 2017

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File that bug report form again, and ... as with most of their roll-outs, they've got some stuff to work on it seems.

Neil

https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

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Participant ,
Apr 20, 2017

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This problem has continued to exist since CS6.

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Participant ,
Apr 20, 2017

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Banding appears regardless of the codec I've used when exporting. It's very irritating. Seems like the Premiere Pro team needs to walk across the hall and talk to the After Effects team and figure out what they are doing right.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 20, 2017

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I don't think the two teams are actually "across the hall" ... they're pretty spread out across the world, with a center of the boss & some of the folks. But I think even those are in different cities.

Now ... they obviously do do a lot of their work collaborating via the wonderful world of web ...

Neil

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Participant ,
Apr 20, 2017

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I can't believe you took me literally.... /smh

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 20, 2017

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I didn't ... but I've found over the years here that so many folks read a comment in a thread and then "know" that say, " ... the PrPro & Ae development teams are like literally across the hall from each other ... why don't the stoops actually like, talk to each other? ... sheesh ... "

So it seems somewhat prudent to make a light reference to the way they're actually structured as a perhaps educational moment for the many who'll view through this thread. Going to NAB or MAX and getting to meet some of the team members of various programs, it's fascinating how many countries they're from. And quite a few of the apps actually have the teams based in Asia or Europe or somewhere.

Neil

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 20, 2017

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DWalla: I know this thread has been lively (and hopefully helpful) since Dec 2016 but I wonder if you could post a screen shot of what kind of banding you're talking about. Perhaps show the same shot in the Program monitor as as you've output it?

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Participant ,
Apr 21, 2017

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This has been going on for longer than December 2016. Just this thread is that old.

I don't have any screenshots at the moment, as we've moved off using PP for any color correction. We use it for editing but do all of our renders out of either AE or Davinci. I do check it every patch or two to see if anything has changed. It's easy to replicate though and it's not an occasional issue. It happens every time.

There are two key problems with PP export:

1) Banding is introduced in the gradients

2) There is a small color-shift that occurs on all exports

These occur regardless of which codec is the source for the media, the sequence settings, or the export settings.

For instance... or first notice of color shift issues is when we were doing a fairly intense color correction piece for a particular client. We noticed that no matter how we got the footage to look on screen, the color would shift on output. This is when we first discovered the AE fix. Import the PP sequence into AE and export and the color would be accurate.

We noticed the banding when working on a firearms piece for a manufacturer. We had produced a piece in 3D and were assembling the elements into the edit in PP. The source footage was all QuickTime ProRes 4444. The sequence was also QuickTime ProRes 4444. And the export settings were identical to the sequence. While watching the edit on screen, everything looked perfect. Both on the display as well as the output monitor. However, when we exported the file, banding showed up in the gradients. It was clearly visible in a side-by-side comparison between the source 3D files and the exported files. Again, we imported the PP project into AE and exported to QuickTime ProRes 4444 and it looked perfect.

If I get some free time I'll see if I can put together some screen shot comparisons.

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New Here ,
Mar 26, 2018

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We experience this exact issue, and likewise solve it by rendering Premiere sequences out of After Effects. We have tried all kinds of bit depth/file format experiments just like DWalla, and are confident that this problem is created as a result of using Premiere's export engine (Media Encoder via Premiere exhibits the same issue).

This issue must be addressed for Premiere to be a viable editing option for us.

HP z840

Intel Xeon E5-2680 v4 @ 2.4GHz (x2)

128 GB RAM

nVidia Quadro M6000 24GB (driver 391.03)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 26, 2018

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I can't answer in great specifics, as you've not given any. But ... are you using 8-bit effects in those sequences? Especially if you use them before the last bit, in the processing chain, you are more likely to get this.

Neil

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New Here ,
Mar 26, 2018

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Thanks for the reply. I have not included any further details because DWalla's multiple posts state in great detail the problem we are experiencing, and the remedies we have attempted.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 26, 2018

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Which didn't answer my question at all. Some of the effects in PrPro are still processed in 8-bit internally, and if you have any of those they need to be either replaced or at least used at the very end of the processing chain. It's a small possibility, but ... possible. If you have those in use, and early in the processing chain sequence in PrPro, you would be very likely to get banding on the project with the sort of effects I would guess you're using.

Is it something that should be fixed by updating all the processing stuff for the effects still based in 8-bit? Certainly. Why are they still using that for some effects? No clue. Doesn't make sense to me. (Sadly, they don't always just do what I wish ... )

So, please ... post that bug-report, as this is something they do need to be jogged about. AGAIN. They seem to be cleaning up the old stuff slowly cycle by cycle. This one needs to go.

Neil

Adobe Bug Report /Feature Request form: https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

(They never respond, but all reports filed are collated and distributed to all managers in the app involved.)

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Participant ,
Mar 26, 2018

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No matter how complex or simple the edit, the export functionality under PP has this serious color/banding issue. If you use it on a project using exclusively Lumetri as the only effect... it still shows up. If you import this same PP project timeline into AE and render from there, the color is correct and without banding. It's just that simple.

If I get around to spending time on this again I'll actually snag some screenshots. It's obvious to the naked eye. We spent lots of hours going through every possible solution. Our team is incredibly tech savvy on this front. There is clearly a problem with PP's export engine.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 26, 2018

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I don't doubt you're having it, please don't misunderstand. Nor do I question the tech-savvy-ness of you or your staff, most of whom I do assume know more especially in regards to how your shop runs than I.

But there are many other shops & individuals not having this much problem. There are issues with banding at times with certain effects, layer order of effects, that are problems within the program. There are also interactions of some kind where some individuals/shops have issues that others don't.

It's puzzling out this latter that can be rather complex. Sadly, I'm not an engineer on the team. But trying to puzzle out a way for your shop to get around this seems worth the while. This sort of thing is way past annoying well into a professional problem. Affecting workflow & delivery, and those working in this for a living tend to have tight timetables. NOT good.

Neil

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 26, 2018

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Hello DWalla,

I found that in most of these cases, most are stumped around the banding issue because they continue to verify the issues using QuickTime Player, thinking that it is the "gold standard" for monitoring. Unfortunately, it no longer is.

The problem is that both the QuickTime 7 and QuickTime 10 Players do not offer accurate monitoring for high quality footage with both displaying banding that is simply not there in the native file.

I advise you to use either a high quality broadcast monitor using a 10 bit capture card to monitor uncompressed footage or if you do not have one, at least try VLC or even HandBrake.

The other problem is that some users expect that their 8 bit source footage rendered in a 10 bit codec, like ProRes 4444, will not exhibit banding. It will, if there are gradients in that 8 bit source footage.

Some explain that After Effects does not have the same issue when rendering from the Render Queue. Rendering can be done at 16 bit from the Render Queue, where 8 bit banding can appear to be reduced, however, it is still there.

My advice is to shoot 10 bit footage. Keep the pipeline at 10 bit the whole way through. Monitor using a 10 bit capture card and a proper broadcast monitor. At least use VLC. Try these things and report back if you still see banding in gradients.

If you have 8 bit footage anywhere in the pipeline, you'll see banding in gradients, especially drone shots of the sky. That's the way it's always been.

Report back with precise workflows and screenshots if you find this not to be the case.

Thanks,

Kevin

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LEGEND ,
Mar 26, 2018

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they continue to verify the issues using QuickTime Player, thinking that it is the "gold standard" for monitoring. Unfortunately, it no longer is.

I would argue it never was.  I would argue that the only valid method of QC is now and has always been (as you later suggest) a calibrated display from a hardware device, leaving the computer's OS, graphics driver and software variables out of the equation.

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 27, 2018

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I know you're a QuickTime nay sayer and never pass up the opportunity to throw shade at it, however, I rather agree that using a player app, especially QuickTime is not the best way to assess the true quality of a video signal for things like banding and color accuracy. This is especially the case with current versions of QuickTime Player. 

This, coming from the guy that had a Targa 2K Pro/20M2U in my Mac G3 using FCP when FireWire DV was all the rage. I could verify and show clients why my outputs were going to be cleaner laying back to Betacam SP, than some DV dude. 😉

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Participant ,
Mar 28, 2018

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We are not verifying through QuickTime Player.

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 28, 2018

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What are you using to verify banding? Do you have any 8 bit source in your workflow pipeline?

Thanks,
Kevin

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Participant ,
Mar 28, 2018

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Let me clarify how we shoot and our workflow. Since there are a lot of false assumptions being made about what we are doing here.

We shoot 10-bit+ on every shoot.

We shoot RAW frequently.

We shoot on RED Epic and Canon C300 II. We also capture to the Odyssey 7Q.

All of our footage is pristine and at a very high color depth/bit depth.

Many projects are dealing with CGI elements only. Motion graphics, etc. All rendered out in ProRes 4444 or ProRes 4444 XQ. CGI renders are all 10bit+ in color depth. CGI elements looks flawless in Premiere throughout entire process. Color-shift and banding occurs ONLY on export. Taking the exact same project into AE produces a flawless export regardless of bit-depth of the output project.

We render all projects in QuickTime ProRes 4444 or ProRes 4444 XQ.

All monitors are calibrated monthly using Spyder 5 Elite.

We have an array of various monitors from Cinema Displays, wide-gamut monitors, and calibrated broadcast monitors. The issues post-render are obvious on all monitors.

We have experimented with every possible setting on projects. Including timeline settings as well as render output.

Projects rendered out on Premiere and then reimported into Premiere show the banding and color shift.

We have tried every possible codec option to see if the problems are codec specific. Surprisingly, the renders with the least amount of banding (but color-shift still remains) happens to be MPEG4.

We have created entirely new projects and brought in a single clip just to see if it is a corrupted project. Banding and color-shift still occur on export.

Importing a timeline into After Effects and rendering using the AE engine produces the proper color without banding. We've tried this using 8-bit to 32-bit renders on AE. Even the 8-bit looks correct.

This problem occurs on all workstations using PP.

The time we spent trying every possible cause was immense. Easily 80+ hours.

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Participant ,
Mar 28, 2018

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I should add that you can see the banding in QuickTime Player as well as in Premiere and AE.

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Participant ,
Mar 28, 2018

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We discovered this problem a couple years back after doing a lengthy RED-sourced project for a client. Everything was perfect. Client took rendered project with them and called us a couple hours later asking why the color was off. This kicked off the entire process. We now instruct all of our animators and editors to kick off all color-critical projects through AE only. Or to use Davinci for the entire project.

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 28, 2018

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Hi DWala,

Sorry for the frustration. Engineering is saying that they cannot reproduce this error, so precise steps, sample files, and tests with verifiable results would be helpful. With those things in hand (upload items to DropBox or Creative Cloud), I can make sure the issue is attended to. It would be great if we could get this issue handled because I do not like to hear our products are not performing as expected, especially these QuickTime codecs.

I had a similar issue with a customer recently who was adamant about this issue, as well, but something was amiss with his source files.

  • A couple of more thoughts:
    • You are chiefly using ProRes. Have you tried exporting with other high quality codecs line Cineform or DNxHD/HR? What are the results there? If you have not tried another codec, please try a short test and let me know the results.
    • When evaluating in Premiere Pro are you set to Full quality for your playback resolution? Is the Best Quality enabled in the Settings menu? Is the Program Monitor at 100% size?
    • Definitely do not use QuickTime Player to evaluate video quality.
    • I would recommend that you evaluate signal on a broadcast monitor fed from a capture card via SDI, not a computer monitor. Have you tried that yet? If you have not, can you try a test and let me know the results?

Thanks,
Kevin

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 28, 2018

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Hi,

I just did a test with this composite trying to reproduce your error given the same steps you mentioned.

It's a 4K R3D image on V1 with a gradient on V2 with a Screen blending mode added to the gradient. I rendered at ProRes 4444. The footage was reimported into Premiere Pro and is displayed on the Program Monitor at Full playback resolution, 100% size and at Best Quality in the Settings menu.

I don't see any banding offhand, do you?

Screenshot 2018-03-28 10.30.27.png

Regards,
Kevin

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 28, 2018

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Same method, but using DNxHD 10 bit. What do you think?

Screenshot 2018-03-28 10.40.39.png

Regards,
Kevin

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Participant ,
Mar 28, 2018

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I can only tell you what our experience has been. I'd have to dig back into past projects to show you samples. Something I currently do not have the time to do right now. But if I get the time and energy to do so.. I will. Our current policy in our company is that if you are doing projects that are color-critical, don't render them out in Premiere.

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 28, 2018

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Same method GoPro Cineform. Thoughts?

Screenshot 2018-03-28 10.44.17.png

Thanks,
Kevin

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Participant ,
Mar 28, 2018

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Nifty.

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 28, 2018

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I can only tell you what our experience has been. I'd have to dig back into past projects to show you samples. Something I currently do not have the time to do right now. But if I get the time and energy to do so.. I will. Our current policy in our company is that if you are doing projects that are color-critical, don't render them out in Premiere.

  • Only trying to help in verifying your issues and in filing a bug.
    • I do need your assistance in chasing down any bugs specific to your workflow, though. If and when you can find the time to do a short test, please let me know.
  • As you can see from my screenshots, I cannot reproduce your issue given my limited knowledge of your workflow pipeline.
  • Premiere Pro uses rec709 color space, so if you'd like more options for color output, do let the devs know here.
  • We'll also have a new bug report form coming out soon, so be sure to check back after the next release so you can add your voice to others claiming that there may be banding issues or color shifts with Premiere Pro exports.

Thanks for your feedback and sorry for the wasted time in chasing down this issue. I hope I can assist you into getting to the bottom of the problem.

Regards,
Kevin

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Participant ,
Mar 28, 2018

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Maybe you guys fixed it over the past 18 months. We haven't done anything color-critical with Premiere since my original post on here.

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 29, 2018

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OK, thanks! I'll try and get more info on how to prevent banding on exports so we can be sure that you have a reliable way of exporting without this issue. I'll post back here soon with more details.

Thanks,
Kevin

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New Here ,
Jun 18, 2018

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Im on CC2017 (We dont want to upgrade to CCC2018 yet, feels unstable and buggy)

I work for a German Production company and we have constant banding issues with DNXHQX .mxf op-1a exports. A lot of our Documentaries are shot on Canon C300.

When we import a DNXHQX shot in a DNXHQX sequence we will see heavy banding in rendered shot (green timeline) and no banding at all in unredred parts of the seqence (yellow timeline)

C300 Raw

Bildschirmfoto 2018-06-18 um 12.05.48.png

Transcode DNXHQX

Bildschirmfoto 2018-06-18 um 11.30.46.png

I know its not the best medium to display this banding issue but here are two pics to display the banding issue (Its much stronger on our broadcast monitor)

Notice the issue is only visible in the rendered part of the image: (Banding looks like compression artifacts in this pic)

Bildschirmfoto 2018-06-18 um 11.59.43.png

Bildschirmfoto 2018-06-18 um 11.59.57.png

This is very annoying for us. We have to reimport the raw footage and replace it with the transcode, ontop of that we can not work in a dnxhqx sequence since it will ALWAYS introduce banding in our exprts. Why does this keep happening?

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 29, 2018

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I'm finding I get banding in the gradients when using c300 mkii footage, only when I apply a standard effect on premiere pro cc 2018 and placed after applying a Lumetri effect. I'm also noticing that if I remove the lumetri effect and basically disable the standard effect (eg blur set to 0) it does a slight colour shift I can see on the waveform monitor. I never really noticed this before but that may be due to not filming with a white gradient background till now. Below is the background we shot our interview

bkg-no 8bit effect.jpg

bkg-8bit effect.jpg

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Contributor ,
Aug 30, 2018

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That is to be expected, when you have a red timeline. This means the effect is rendered in 8-bit, which will introduce banding. Yellow line means it's rendered in 32-bit. You can set Max Bit Depth in Sequence Settings and render that part of the timeline, and it should look OK. But not until you render. Remember to also use the Max Bit Depth setting in the Export panel, or your exports will have banding, even though your timeline looks good.

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Contributor ,
Aug 30, 2018

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Looks like you've not checked Max Bit Depth in your Export Settings.

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