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Color space roundtrip Avid/AE

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Benjamin von Cramon
Color space roundtrip Avid/AE
on Jan 3, 2015 at 10:55:57 pm

While I'm able to maintain levels roundtripping from Avid Symphony to AE and back again, I'm struggling with how to match levels of graphics that are overlayed to video in AE.

Stills from Photoshop come in 0-255, which if I'm only doing image pan animations, I can import to Avid, in the options setting checking Computer RGB (0-255), or if linking via AMA, auto levels remaps as well. This doesn't seem correct, just a work around, as I expect to link via AMA and not do a thing, and not wanting to import and generate a new file.

Furthermore, if as originally stated, my intent is to overlay an image mapped to 0-255 over a video clip coming in 16-233, how is that handled? In AE I see the Levels - computer to video filter, and though the output black and output white sliders seem to be where I'd expect them, the effect looks way off, super washed out. Again, this seems a work around, so how's it done?

I've read about exporting AAF from Avid, is that a must? I'm just using Fast Export to QT, same as source, see no loss, and again, when such clips return from AE, I see no difference from the original (except what I've layered on top).

Thanks for guidance!

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John Cuevas
Re: Color space roundtrip Avid/AE
on Jan 4, 2015 at 12:41:42 pm

For me, the best method is to change your project settings to 709(16-235) and export to the avid codec. If you correctly export video from Avid to AE(double check that your imported footage is in 709). Create your graphic overlays, then when you render, make sure in the codec settings you check 709 you will maintain color integrity throughout. AE will properly map your graphics to that color and everything will be legal in Avid.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.

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Benjamin von Cramon
Re: Color space roundtrip Avid/AE
on Jan 6, 2015 at 11:04:37 pm

A delayed response, just returning to this project. I had been able to roundtrip Avid to AE and back and maintain Rec 709, my issue having been those graphics added sometimes in AE atop the video layer. You said to ensure I my footage was coming in to AE Rec 709, which in the Project tab was actually presenting in the monitor profile, sRGB..., but since I was maintaining Rec 709 in that footage (back in Avid the cut between original and AE output showed no shift), I wondered what difference it made, but thought okay, let's interpret that clip into Rec 709, new output no difference. I set the Project to Rec 709, no difference. I thought let's throw levels on the graphics to bring them into 16-233, but levels in AE doesn't display those values, then discovered the filter, levels: computer to video (16-233), which produced the unpredicted effect of jacking up setup way beyond 16. This is when I first posted. I questioned why this filter wouldn't work, tried it again, this time (different day with restart between) it worked, go figure, maybe some system-level hiccup. So, now I'm good with video and graphics, except, I noticed a certain sequence was still coming in with computer levels. As I scrubbed through the clip in Avid inspecting the waveform, I noticed the setup dropped below legal only in a particular region, realized this region was where I had dropped opacity in a graphic to in effect drop the levels, background set to black. So, that pointed to AEs background not respecting the project setting of Rec709. I then created a new solid instead set to black, applied the levels:computer to video filter to it, now that section produced legal.

What’s now weird, and maybe I confused myself somewhere along so many tests with notes, and maybe my system introduced another hiccup, but now that I dialed in how to handle 0-255 graphics, solids, etc. when I output that not interpreting the footage and not setting project to Rec 709, which never posed a problem before roundtripping just the video (for noise reduction and such), when I now put it all together, all of a sudden my video levels were dropping below legal. I went back to interpret footage to Rec 709, Project settings to Rec 709, use of levels: computer to video on all graphics, that’s the way. Any idea what explains why I was forced back this direction, I’d be curious, but not to lose sleep if I never know ;^)

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