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Normal / Full Range

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stig olsenNormal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 12:36:08 pm

Hi,

Some more talk about this...

I have always worked normal range, exporting mxf to Avid, and mastered in Smoke/Flame for TV.

When I took my (TV-commercial) normal range file to another post production house today I noticed that all of the other commercials on the Flame (from different production companies) was viewed as full range on the Flame. Mine was the only one viewed in normal range. The blacks on my file was duller than the true black on the other commercials. We had to compensate with black and more highlights before uploading to Adstream for delivery.

I also testet one of their davinci suites and they also have the normal range button pushed, but when opening the DPX from Davinci in Flame it looks black black.
Stop Stockholm also grades through their remote system with Resolve and also these files were viewed as full range in the flame.

What the heck is wrong with my file?


Stig


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Ola Haldor VollRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 12:54:40 pm

I don't see any problem here, really. You work in normal range, you render in normal range, and you the scope is telling you exactly what you are feeding it. Normal range. 40-960 I guess.

I'd say it's the others who have made something wrong, if they are working in normal range.


If you want it to have deeper blacks and full range like you say the other commercials are, you should be working and rendering full range too, right?


Sounds to me either you have your settings right and the other guys wrong, or vice versa, depending on what you have to deliver.


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stig olsenRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 1:06:45 pm

Sure,

But it confuses me that all of the other commercials Im referring to graded at other post production companies from both Oslo and Stockholm deliver their films in full range, when everyone at this forum say the always work with the normal range button checked.

Anyone here working full range, and deliver full range for TV? I dont really see why some colorists need to work with that normal range button checked.


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Ola Haldor VollRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 1:49:50 pm

I didn't for one TV-series, I guess their technician made whatever adjustments was needed before it went on air. On another TV-series, the technician was super strict about me making sure it was broadcast safe.

I think you'll get a better answer if you talk to the guys you're delivering to. If they are OK with full range, fine, play in full range and deliver.


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stig olsenRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 1:56:39 pm

This is exactly why I dont understand why we should use this normal range button.
If you work unscaled you will have the entire range to work with, without any limitations. It doesnt matter if the TV channel want it broadcast safe, because you can simply scale (not clip) the full range image to a normal range image if that is what they absolutely need.

When I talked to the technician today that do masters for commercials everyday - he told me he everyday deliver everything in full range.

Anyone else have some opinions on this?


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Kevin CannonRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 2:38:01 pm

[stig olsen] "This is exactly why I dont understand why we should use this normal range button."

Hi Stig,

That button (under config>monitoring, right?) only affects the monitoring output, and not the renders. So if your displays are set up to accept only broadcast legal levels, you would select that regardless of what you are delivering. A lot of displays can be set up to accept either full or legal. In my case, my external scopes function properly at legal levels, so I work internally in Resolve in full-range, and then monitor in legal with the displays set up for legal. But I still can choose to render full or scaled when I go to output...

If your displays and scopes are expecting full range and the folks trafficking the commercial work with full range... then I don't think you would need to use that button.

KC

Prehistoric Digital


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stig olsenRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 2:51:01 pm

Hi Kevin,

We use OLED and the Panasonic BT300.
The OLED is set to ITU-709.

It is a significant change in depth (black levels) when switching from normal to unscaled monitoring in Resolve. Is this what you mean with "set up to accept only broadcast legal levels"?

The way you are working (internally full but output legal), do you mean that you do something special to work this way - or is it the normal way Resolve reads, lets say, RED-filesø?

When you render full range (and viewing normal range) I guess you miss control some place? Like when you transfer the material to online.

I cant really see the logic in this.

Stig


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Kevin CannonRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 3:23:51 pm

Hi Stig,

Here's my understanding: resolve always works in full-range internally. In order to accommodate workflows that use monitoring, scopes, and tape decks that expect broadcast-legal levels, they put the button in the config > monitoring section (also one in config > deck playback) that allows you to scale just the monitoring/deck output from Resolve's internal full-range and output broadcast levels via the Decklink card. So what I'm doing is nothing special - I'm just turning the monitoring switch to "normally scaled."

This won't affect renders - renders will be scaled if you add an output LUT that scales them, or change the data level in the render window. Often Resolve scales the levels based on the codec you are going to. There are other threads on those specifics.

When I say that your display would be set up to accept legal or full range, I mean in the actual settings and calibration of the display, which could read something like "range:64-940" "0-1023" "16-235" etc. I'm not familiar with the menus of the OLED or BT300 - and it's possible that setting the OLED to "Rec. 709" already sets this range and there is no separate option.

You should see the same image on-screen with the monitor set to 64-940 and resolve set to legally scaled as you would with the monitor set to 0-1023 and resolve set to unscaled.

KC

Prehistoric Digital


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Andrew AndersonRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 4:19:00 pm

why is it that this issue always comes up from time to time?
because its a huge fundamental issue.
Why do we have monitoring range and render range?
Why isn't what you see is what you get (i hate that phrase), but
why isn't it?

If I'm grading and displaying for P3 DCI then it should be unscaled
and so should the renders (which they are) unless you render a 422
codec. Therefore in this instance does the 422 render look like what
Im grading. No!

So why, because the 422 codec doesn't handle the headroom of the P3
colorspace.

Why doesn't Resolve take care of this correctly.

If you grade a TVC for broadcast (rec709) and monitor on a normal CRT or LCD that cant handle the headroom, then why should I be able to render a result that doesn't reflect what I'm viewing.
For example, if I render the above grade TVC out to poorer 422 and bring that file back in, it looks the same. But render that out to prorez444 RGB and we're talking a different color.

I was recently doing a dailies job, viewing on a projector and monitor config was unscaled, looked great, but rendering for offline, the images looked a little under contrast, blacks up, whites down..
NOT what you see is what I got..

This thread has gone on long enough, what do we have two options to change this setting, monitor and render (auto, unscaled or scaled)

It really is time for this to be sorted technically,
so if I'm grading for P3 display, resolve should auto correct the out put when rendering a 422 codec…or in turn have it correct when rendering a 444 or RGB codec.

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stig olsenRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 8:49:57 pm

Hi Kevin. I do also monitor normal, but I guess this is wrong because it naturally will not let me work with real black. And I cant work with the monitor set to normal range and export full range, because then I get a resultat that is different than I have seen on the monitor when grading. This is some silly mess that is not logical to me.


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stig olsenRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 8:56:19 pm

The only thing I can understand is that I should work full range and render render full range. DPX or something that dont scale. Please give me one good reason why I should monitor normal. I know people here say they do, but I cant understand why. It gives limits that should not be there.


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Kevin CannonRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 9:10:55 pm

I'm not saying you should monitor normally scaled - you should set it to the one that is correct for your display and configuration - if it creates problems then it's probably not correct. You should send color bars to external scopes and the display to be sure that the signal is as expected, but once it is correctly set up, you should get consistent "what you see is what you get" results.

KC

Prehistoric Digital


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stig olsenRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 9:39:48 pm

I have no problems with the normal monitoring workflow, but I cant see why you guys are using it. Like I say, if you have a grading monitor (it doesnt matter what kind) you should be able to view full range. A regular TV can show black levels under 16. If I understand things correct, everyone working with normal monitoring limit their work. Flame/Smoke/Avid/AF can read full range, so why should we monitor normal range. And the method of monitoring normal range for then to render full range is completely something I dont understand, as it leaves you with no control. What you see is not what you get, working that way.


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Juan SalvoRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 9:53:04 pm

Because broadcasters (at least here in states) will either reject content delivered in full range, or will clip it on broadcast. Producing crushed blacks and clipped highlights.

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stig olsenRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 10:05:53 pm

Ok, but I think you can work full rang anyway because that way you can scale the full range file to legal levels in any mastering tool outside of DaVinci. That preserves the black levels made in "full range mode" without clipping. Lets say you feed a full range DPX into Smoke, and scale on the render. Correct me if Im wrong :)


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Kevin CannonRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 10:18:46 pm

[stig olsen] "Ok, but I think you can work full rang anyway because that way you can scale the full range file to legal levels in any mastering tool outside of DaVinci. That preserves the black levels made in "full range mode" without clipping."

That's exactly what you do inside of DaVinci when you select legally scaled data levels in the render window, or apply a scaling output LUT, or DaVinci will do this automatically when going to certain codecs. Davinci does the math in 0-1023 while grading, then scales it on the render as needed or specified.

KC

Prehistoric Digital


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stig olsenRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 10:30:21 pm

Hi, I know that it is the same scaling that happens. But, this should not be done in DaVinci - thats my point. That should be done in The mastering tool, because that is the only way to preserve true black. When working with the NS button on, you will not be able to produce the black that you want to be scaled later on. It set a limiter before the scaling.


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Joseph OwensRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 10:38:41 pm

[stig olsen] "When working with the NS button on, you will not be able to produce the black that you want to be scaled later on. It set a limiter before the scaling."

I hear you. I used to argue against grading with a legalizer in the monitor chain, but in the end, if you are delivering to broadcast, it is the destination, not the trip.

jPo

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Juan SalvoRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 10:39:53 pm

In my opinion, and largely the industry standard is to do it in the grade session (for broadcast), plenty of other stuff to worry about in mastering than scaling values. And some looks make it difficult to tell if image is scaled. Mistakes get made. The standard and expected workflow is for a colorist to deliver something fit for broadcast. If its not scaled, it's not fit for broadcast.

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Knut JansohnRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 11:04:22 pm

[stig olsen] "Ok, but I think you can work full rang anyway because that way you can scale the full range file to legal levels in any mastering tool outside of DaVinci."

Hi,

as I under stand it:
You work always full range in Resolve because that is the workspace and this is always shown in its internal scopes.
Render to legal values for video or monitoring legal values for video does not mean to clip anything but transfering bit-values from 0-1023 to 64-940. That means 'real black'(and white) is now represented by an other bit-value.
For some reasons 64-940 is the norm for broadcast video, thats all :)
Seeming disadvantage is that you loose 147 steps from black to white but on the other hand it's well confirmed that the human eye can't perceive more than 300 (or something) steps from a scale.
So the important thing is only to label and determine right and to deliver clients the expected range.

K.


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stig olsenRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 11:19:48 pm

I have delivered commercials working normal range. But each time when watching them on TV I have noticed that some of the commercials before and after had purer blacks. When I delivered today, my film was the only one with legal levels. The rest of the companies included Stop delivered full range. Maybe Norway accept full range pictures, I cant think of any other reason.


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Joseph OwensRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 10:27:05 pm

[stig olsen] "A regular TV can show black levels under 16. If I understand things correct, everyone working with normal monitoring limit their work. "

The difference is Y'CbCr vs. RGB mapped to SMPTE259M. In broadcast 0-100 IRE, the active portion of the gamut is 64-940, which allows for over- and under-shoot. AKA your "superwhites", where you are allowed to flirt with above-and-below 0-100 IRE... If you want to send 0-1023 as if it was 64-940, it will get re-mapped to those values, with resulting floating blacks and compressed whites. Its very simple math, but gets a little bit complicated as the gamma coefficient will also change the grey scale interpolation. In that case, a simple linear LUT won't fix it, even when you try to "tweak"-eyeball the values back to their unscaled rendition.

Everyone working with "normal monitoring" is not limiting their work, they are adhering to international SMPTE/EBU standards. This does not apply to digital cinema workflows involving RGB containers, for example, TIFF, TGA, CIN, DPX...

http://www.tri-sysdesigns.com/Articles/BlackisBlack.html

All of this is extremely obvious with even superficial meter-reading skills.... that is, using scopes of the outboard variety that are not being tainted by a software application's possibly erroneous assumptions.

Why this may be a problem for a lot of users is likely to be a training deficiency, as very few individuals are exposed to technical fundamentals anymore. Me, I pine for the days of Reed-Solomon, but that is all in the past. Back to the rocking chair...

jPo

You mean "Old Ben"? Ben Kenobi?


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stig olsenRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 15, 2012 at 10:52:43 pm

Joseph, Im pretty sure you are correct - that is just to advanced for me to understand :) The one thing I know is that a full range file fed into Flame, mastered for TV have pure black levels on TV. A file monitored normal range, rendered normal range and fed into Flame reading legal levels, look flatter (grey in black) on TV. I also know that some high end post production houses in Oslo / Stockholm works full range and feed the Flame with a full range file. Why I dont know, but today I had to extend the levels from my normal range file in Flame for not showing my blacks sa grey on TV.


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Peter ChamberlainRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 16, 2012 at 1:51:35 am

Hi all, Joseph has the most accurate description just above this post. If I can add;

Most digital image processing systems use the full range of code values to describe the signal. Let's assume the range is 0-1023. Some inputs are not at this full range, some outputs are not, they are often at what's knows as video levels, 64-940. Your HD-SDI monitor will likely expect 64-940 to display a Rec.709 signal accurately.

It might seem ideal for TV work for the image processing to only work at 64-940 internally. Video range in, process and out. This however limits the range of control you have and also does not fit the full range you would get from a film scan, VFX or the like.

What if you are grading a film project and need full range 0-1023, then want to make a tape dub? That needs to be at 64-940. The image just needs scaling to video level which the DeckLink does. In this case you don't want to process in video level and regrade the images just for the tape dub.

In Resolve, we process in full range, but we allow you to set the tape I/O and file I/O, and the monitoring to match the limitations from outside sources/devices.

In regards to where to set the switches... if you have a standard Rec.709 monitor, you need video range for that. If you are sending images from Resolve to another device to finish, like a Flame or Smoke, render and send full range. What you will see on your grading monitor is the scaled representation of the full range that the Flame wants to use.. its going to process in full range too. If your monitor permits full range use that. Resolve does not know that your monitor can accept full or video range regardless of the 444,422 setting. You need to set that. 422 does not mean video range so Resolve can't decide that for you.

Regardless of whether Resolve or the Flame etc is the final mastering device, its at that last step that you want to 'deliver' in the final format you need and most times you want full range data levels for all the processing steps before then. You may be monitoring using video levels but each device would have full range in and out till that last 'deliver' step.
Peter


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Paul ProvostRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 16, 2012 at 5:32:42 am

Thank you Peter
Written in stone

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Teo RižnarRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 16, 2012 at 9:22:55 am

I am doing it also like this. viewing in legal range, grading full range DPX scans, exporting in full range XYZ Tiffs for DCP. It works pretty good! Just be careful not crushing the blacks to hard, what you see in legal range as little clipped in full range DCP it will be super deep black.
Is there any difference on using HDMI or HD-SDI from DeckLink 3D in manner of full range? I am using BVM CRT in legal range, but would the BT300 have an option of setting the signal to full range or video range, but it just clips, it does not work the proper way. I assume it is because of HDMI signal, would i need to use HD-SDI-DVI or HDMI box, as HDlink perhaps?

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John SellarsRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 19, 2012 at 7:06:08 pm

Is there any difference on using HDMI or HD-SDI from DeckLink 3D in manner of full range?

Yes. What most people don't realize is that the HDMI output of the 3DE is legal range only. I have confirmed this by running a full range PLUGE through Resolve/outboard scope. The below black is gone on the HDMI, but visible on the the SDI output through an HDLink Pro to HDMI. Also HDMI output is 8 bit only. I got conflicting answers from BMD on whether the HDMI output is actually 10 bit on the 3DE+.


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stig olsenRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 16, 2012 at 10:27:03 am

Thank you Peter, I think I understand what you are saying.

When you say that "its at that last step that you want to 'deliver' in the final format you need and most times you want full range data levels for all the processing steps before then" you actually mean that we should export full range if (lets say) the final output is done in Flame?

If that is my workflow, doesnt that basically mean that I should monitor full range also, to have full control over how the image will look in the next application? If I work and render full range, but set monitor scaling to normal - I have no idea how the full range file will look.

Like teo say " what you see in legal range as little clipped in full range DCP it will be super deep black."
This is what I want to avoid. I cant look at legal levels when grading, for then to export a full range image where the blacks appears different.

Maybe Im missing something here :)


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Gabriele TurchiRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 16, 2012 at 3:30:31 pm

[stig olsen] "Maybe Im missing something here :)"

as i told you few weeks ago ...yes you have no clear ideas about this concept , i tried to explain it and you have been rude .

g

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stig olsenRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 16, 2012 at 3:39:42 pm

Gabriele,

Its been a long time since I stopped listen to all that nonsense you are serving on this forum. There are enough of well skilled technicians here that is more than willing to share their experience. Im grateful for that, and I dont miss your voice. Not this time either.

Stig


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Gabriele TurchiRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 16, 2012 at 3:47:10 pm

great
will never answer you anymore .

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Peter ChamberlainRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 17, 2012 at 7:04:41 am

Hi Stig, the simple question is; can you monitoring solution accept full range and display it?

If it can, use that, my guess is it can not. So, use scaled video for the Resolve and Smoke/Flame monitor, that's what it can accept.

The file you render in Resolve should be full range if you plan on sending it to a downstream device to finish... that downstream device will work in full range. Keep in full data range till you get to the last step.

Peter


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Peter ChamberlainRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 17, 2012 at 7:46:35 am

One more thing... .Resolve has an Auto mode for source and render settings of video/data levels... unless you know or have been asked otherwise, its probably safe to use 'Auto' especially when dealing with many of the compressed codecs.

My guideline on 'always' full range is from experience using dpx where everything is as you expect.
Peter


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Sascha HaberRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 16, 2012 at 4:02:10 pm

Couldnt agree more.

A slice of color...

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Andrew AndersonRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 17, 2012 at 2:22:25 am

Strange out of line question,

Can anyone comment on how lustre / scratch / baselight or any other system handle the two?

Somehow they must,

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Juan SalvoRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 17, 2012 at 3:54:32 am

Baselight allows you to choose scale or unscaled he-sdi output and scaled or unscaled file export. Believe scratch and Lustre currently work the same.

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Sascha HaberRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 17, 2012 at 7:45:40 am

So does Scratch :



A slice of color...

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Jack JonesRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 21, 2012 at 2:38:32 pm

Nucoda gives you the option of working in a SMPTE or Full Range (CG) project - As well as Log and Video Log.

This sets all the pivot points where they need to be, and there is a great option for scaling CG for monitoring and force clipping on SMPTE (If you really wanted to!).

I tend to use LUTs to do my SMPTE>CG and reverse.

The confusion tends to come in when QuickTime automatically expands SMPTE to CG. Bit of a pain when it comes to proper color management, but once you know what does what you tend to be fine :)

Jack Jones
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--
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Dimitrios PapagiannisRe: Normal / Full Range
by on May 17, 2012 at 11:12:03 am

My guess would be that what happened Stig is that you rendered in "legal mode" and then when you went to the flame it thought is was full range and so then when it was rendered out of flame it was "legalized" again, or now double legalized therefore leading to your lighter blacks. Does that make sense?


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stig olsenRe: Normal / Full Range
by on Jun 5, 2012 at 2:07:18 pm

Hi again, and thanks for all the inputs!

After a week of testing, I have delivered a couple of TV-commercials with the following worklow:


AVID:


Edit Dnx36 as usual + EDL


RESOLVE:


Relink to original Alexa / r3d-footage
Normal scaled monitoring
Render normal range (remap from full range to normal range)
Note: Davinci always work full range intern.


AVID (for client viewing purposes)


Regular MXF dump
Intern scopes show legal values (16-235)

Note: Avid Mojo DX cant monitor full range and my monitor is also set for legal values.
Export RGB that remappes the file to 0-255.


ADSTREAM / ADTOOX encoder for file delivery:


The encoder will remap full-scale RGB to scaled YCbCr
(16-235) and it will be good to go for TV.

I also downloaded the delivered file that was remapped to 16-235.

I questioned the "RGB-look" on this file when viewed on my computer screen in any software. I wondered why it didnt look like a normal ranged file - like the one you are "used to see" when exporting 709 from Avid.

The reason is that the player remaps the 16-235 values (stored in the file and never seen) to 0-255 (what you see in the player) by default when played out on a computer.
In other words, 16-235 is stored in the file and 0-255 is seen on the computer monitor when you play the file. A computer monitor usually assumes 0-255 (if not calibrated in another way). Remapping is done in real-time when you play the file.

On TV, the opposite thing happens: A TV-set assumes 16-235, which is stored in the m2v file and is broadcasted as well.


I guess this remapping issue would not be a problem if the final adjustments were made in Flame. Then I could probably render a full range DPX from Resolve to Flame and remap the signal to legal values on the monitor output.
The problem for me was that I wanted the file to be screened from Avid before delivered to Flame or for broadcast.

This works for me now, but If some of you have suggestions that will improve the workflow, I will be very happy to listen.


Stig


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