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Noticeable banding on export to ProRes

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Don Eitner
Noticeable banding on export to ProRes
on Oct 5, 2011 at 10:25:30 pm

Apologies if this has come up before -- I thought I'd read something about this but I couldn't find it in the site search.

I've created a short scene using Motion 5, a color solid and some shapes. I added a camera with a move and a stationary light with the type "Point". In the canvas preview within Motion it looks pretty good, but when I export to a ProRes 422 movie (LT, standard or HQ, doesn't matter) the final video has very noticeable circular banding radiating out from the point where the light strikes the flat surface of the color solid.

My resolution is Full, my quality is Best and I've tried both with and without Motion Blur and Field Rendering.

Any recommendations?

I'm running Motion 5.0.1 on a 2010 quad-core Mac Pro with 12GB of RAM and a Radeon 5770 graphics card.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Noticeable banding on export to ProRes
on Oct 7, 2011 at 3:22:09 pm

In FCP add a Reduce Banding filter to the clip and see if that helps.

Effects, Video Filters, Image control, Reduce Banding.

Best of luck.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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Don Eitner
Re: Noticeable banding on export to ProRes
on Oct 8, 2011 at 12:28:59 am

Thanks for the suggestion. I'm running Motion 5 but only have Final Cut Express 4 (since I only work on quick, short projects I didn't go in for FCPX, maybe next year).

I found Reduce Banding in FCE4 and it does help but not significantly. Curiously the video displayed in FCE4 is quite a bit darker than when played in QuickTime X and the banding is already less noticeable because of that. I suspect the 2 apps use different color spaces or have different ideas about gamma.

But the image displayed within Motion 5, prior to exporting as ProRes, looks really good with very minimal banding. I just can't get it to export looking that way.


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Mike Kraus
Re: Noticeable banding on export to ProRes
on Jan 27, 2012 at 5:04:25 pm

I'm having the same problem and would be very interested if you have found out a solution.

Cheers,

Mike


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Don Eitner
Re: Noticeable banding on export to ProRes
on Jan 28, 2012 at 3:52:56 am

No, I never found a solution to the banding. ProRes 422 or 4444, Best Quality, Full Resolution, with or without frame blending and motion blur all give the same results. Only turning off lighting (which gives everything a flat light) makes any real difference.


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Mike Kraus
Re: Noticeable banding on export to ProRes
on Jan 30, 2012 at 3:27:48 pm

Thanks for the response.
Seems very strange that there is no way to get rid of banding, but that's how it is!


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Doug Suiter
Re: Noticeable banding on export to ProRes
on Feb 1, 2012 at 8:41:07 pm

Just been through this problem - The animation Codec (via compressor) gets the job done. Interestingly Uncompressed 10 Bit doesn't.

I'd love to get thoughts on why that might be, but I'm also happy to have found a way to get the high quality grandient out of compressor.

http://www.sydneyfcp.info


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DeeJay SchmeeJay
Re: Noticeable banding on export to ProRes
on Feb 29, 2012 at 4:40:25 am

I can't speak for Motion, but this is what I've found with FCPX:

I don't believe it is an export problem, but a playback problem with some apps. For example, if I export a prores movie from FCPX with potential banding artifacts, I'll open it in QT Player and yep, it looks awful. However if I open it with mPlayer X the banding is gone. Also, if I throw the exported movie back into a FCPX event and play it within FCPX (with FCPX playback preferences set to "High Quality" it looks great.

Remember the "bad old days" when we used to have to open the properties window in QuickTime Pro and check the "High Quality" box in order to get our DV movie files to look good? Well in QuickTime X we don't even have that option. Simply put, I believe QuickTime X is set to play back movies for better performance, not better quality.

I wonder if it's exactly the same issue with exports from Motion?
Perhaps we think it has exported badly based upon the way it plays back.

That's my unscientifically proven sixpence worth.
Happy to be proven wrong.

Cheers!


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Don Eitner
Re: Noticeable banding on export to ProRes
on Feb 29, 2012 at 4:55:23 am

Now that is and interesting revelation with a disturbing outcome.

My video looks entirely different (different shades of color and vastly different banding) when played in VLC 2.0 versus QuickTime X. The look in VLC is more pleasing; still banded but with less obvious gradations. The best way I can describe it is that it's like QuickTime X is showing an 8-bit 256 color image and VLC is showing a 16-bit 64K color image -- but neither is showing 24-bit color.

I may just have to warn people not to watch my videos in QuickTime.


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Joerg Niggli
Re: Noticeable banding on export to ProRes
on Oct 6, 2013 at 5:28:15 pm

Thanks for this, was looking for the cause over and over - seems a Quicktime issue. QT X and QT 7 show heavy banding, with MPlayer X everything looks fine, like in the Motion viewer.


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DeeJay SchmeeJay
Re: Noticeable banding on export to ProRes
on Oct 7, 2013 at 2:52:12 am

You're welcome :-)


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