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Color Managed Rec709 Output does not match Simulated Rec709 in AE

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Kyle Peters
Color Managed Rec709 Output does not match Simulated Rec709 in AE
on Dec 8, 2011 at 2:51:10 am

Okay. I've read the Adobe white paper on proper Color Management workflow about a dozen times now, and I'm still getting some inconsistencies in my render outputs.
DPX footage assigned a Kodak 5218/7218 Profile
Project Settings: ProPhoto RGB
Linearized Working Space
Match Legacy AE QT Gamma Adjustments
Output Profile: HDTV (Rec. 709)

My problem arises from using the Simulate Output>Rec709 option in AE. I cannot get the output to look like this simulated color. Isn't that supposed to work?

I can match the output to AE when I turn off Color Management and apply a Color Profile Converter effect, but there is a shift in color when viewing Simulated Color vs. using the Color Converter Effect.

Also, even in AE the Converter Effect looks different than the Simulated Color.

I was under the impression that the point of the Simulated Output and Display Color Management options were to avoid having to do this. Should I change my workflow and just use the Converter Effect on all my comps? Or do I have a setting wrong somewhere? Has anyone else come across a discrepancy like this?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Color Managed Rec709 Output does not match Simulated Rec709 in AE
on Dec 8, 2011 at 3:39:59 am

[Kyle Peters] "My problem arises from using the Simulate Output>Rec709 option in AE. I cannot get the output to look like this simulated color. Isn't that supposed to work?"

How are you monitoring the output?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Kyle Peters
Re: Color Managed Rec709 Output does not match Simulated Rec709 in AE
on Dec 9, 2011 at 6:48:39 pm

My output is just on a Cinema Display.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Color Managed Rec709 Output does not match Simulated Rec709 in AE
on Dec 9, 2011 at 7:13:12 pm

[Kyle Peters] "My output is just on a Cinema Display."

Have you profiled this display? What software are you using to view the output?

To confirm your output, you'd need to play it on a profiled monitor from a fully color managed application (like After Effects).

Also, why have you selected Match Legacy After Effects QuickTime Gamma Adjustments? I think this should be off.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Kyle Peters
Re: Color Managed Rec709 Output does not match Simulated Rec709 in AE
on Dec 9, 2011 at 8:21:46 pm

Sorry if I'm not clear. I've been watching the renders in QT 7 and QT 10. I'll try turning off Match Legacy, but that still doesn't explain why I'm not getting consistency within AE before I render. I'm previewing it within AE before rendering, and I see a difference between the Simulated Output and a Color Profile Converter.
My color converter right now is set to Input: Project Working Space Output: HDTV (Rec. 709)



What are the equivalent Color Profile Conversion settings to "Display Color Management>Simulate HD Rec 709"? It has to be going through some sort of other step from what I'm doing. Here's a visual on the differences I'm getting in AE...
Color Profile Conversion
Simulated Output


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Walter Soyka
Re: Color Managed Rec709 Output does not match Simulated Rec709 in AE
on Dec 9, 2011 at 8:29:28 pm

[Kyle Peters] "Sorry if I'm not clear. I've been watching the renders in QT 7 and QT 10."

QT7/X players are only quasi-color managed. Does the output look right if you re-import it into AE?


[Kyle Peters] "I'm previewing it within AE before rendering, and I see a difference between the Simulated Output and a Color Profile Converter."

In general, you should disable color management when using Color Profile Converter.

If you can post the DPX file shown in your example, I can try to replicate what you're seeing before I leave the office today.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Kyle Peters
Re: Color Managed Rec709 Output does not match Simulated Rec709 in AE
on Dec 9, 2011 at 9:07:12 pm

Progress!

I exported a ProRes 444 with HDTV Color Management turned on instead of the Converter and then reimported that frame into AE, and it's an identical match with the Simulated Output! Yay!

However in QT7&X it's still far off, although X looks better than 7. the gamma in 7 is way off (dark).

I also tried importing it into FCP but it doesn't look any different.

I appreciate all your help.

Here's a DPX frame for you to play with.

3389_reel1abgrd19.08867.dpx.zip


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Walter Soyka
Re: Color Managed Rec709 Output does not match Simulated Rec709 in AE
on Dec 9, 2011 at 9:38:30 pm

[Kyle Peters] "I exported a ProRes 444 with HDTV Color Management turned on instead of the Converter and then reimported that frame into AE, and it's an identical match with the Simulated Output! Yay!

However in QT7&X it's still far off, although X looks better than 7. the gamma in 7 is way off (dark).

I also tried importing it into FCP but it doesn't look any different."


Yeah, that happens -- and there's nothing you can do about it. QuickTime isn't properly color managed, so it's dreadfully inconsistent. FCP7 isn't color-managed, either. You can't rely on the canvas for color at all, though HD-SDI output from an AJA or BMD card would be accurate for Rec. 709 material.

FCPX does support color management, but of course may not suit the rest of your workflow.

If the next step in your workflow is color managed (or expects Rec. 709), you'll be fine.


[Kyle Peters] "I appreciate all your help."

I'm glad I could help.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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