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Color space changing

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Jerry Smith
Color space changing
on Jun 14, 2017 at 10:13:51 am

I'm getting better at this color stuff. Swimming in the sRGB vanilla mainstream and never been happier. But I am encountering this weird thing. I encode my AE project in AME in the Animation preset. I put the .mov into AE and I see it has a profile of sRGB. Nice! But then I put that back into AME to get a h.264 with the iPad preset max quality. But when I put that .mp4 in AE, I see that it has a profile of Rec. 709. (going on memory). But my understanding is that AME does not touch ICC profiles. So where did the Rec. 709 come from?? I did play around a bit with 16bit vs. 8bit in AE before the first encode. Other than that I have no clue. Any idea?

Thanks in advance.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Color space changing
on Jun 14, 2017 at 2:34:21 pm

You can tell QuickTime what color profile a movie is (though it is up to the software to interpret this correctly). H.264 MP4 at HD sizes is generally assumed to be Rec. 709, as you are seeing. In other words, it's not that the color space is changing, but rather that different software may interpret different input formats according to different rules.

The good news is that sRGB and Rec. 709 are virtually identical, with only very small color variations in the shadows. Here's a little light reading on the topic:
https://www.image-engineering.de/library/technotes/714-color-spaces-rec-709...

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Jerry Smith
Re: Color space changing
on Jun 14, 2017 at 4:44:31 pm

Thanks Walter, I knew you were going to say that they are virtually the same. But the thing is, I never use Quick TIme. I never leave Adobe programs. So, are you saying that AE is assuming that it is Rec 709?


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Jerry Smith
Re: Color space changing
on Jun 15, 2017 at 1:29:04 pm

Hey Walter,

If you get a chance, could you answer my last question?

Or anybody else for that matter.

Thanks!


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Walter Soyka
Re: Color space changing
on Jun 15, 2017 at 7:27:45 pm

[Jerry Smith] "So, are you saying that AE is assuming that it is Rec 709?"

Yes. But this will only come into play with color management on.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Jerry Smith
Re: Color space changing
on Jun 15, 2017 at 7:53:36 pm

Right. I understand that.

But I still don't understand what is going on? Isn't this a bug? Why wouldn't it tell me the profile that I gave it wholly in Adobe's ecosystem?

It sure seems like a bug.

What about when I send my mp4 out into the world? Is it going to have a profile of sRGB? Or Rec709?

Why isn't it just a bug? What makes it a feature?


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Jerry Smith
Re: Color space changing
on Jun 16, 2017 at 7:56:10 pm

Maybe somebody knows? Why does AE regard an sRGB file to be a REC 709 file? I've worked VERY HARD to understand and deal with the ins and outs of color management. But I haven't heard any convincing explanation for why this should happen? Is it a bug? If not, why not?

Thanks in advance.


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Jerry Smith
Re: Color space changing
on Jun 19, 2017 at 1:42:45 pm

Sorry, to keep asking, but I've yet to figure out what is going on. I need to understand why when I create an h.264 file with AE and AME and then reimport it into AE it shows up as Rec 709 file. Yes, I understand that Rec 709 is very similar to sRGB. But that doesn't give the reason this is happening. Can one of you gurus please explain what this is about?

Thanks in advance.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Color space changing
on Jun 19, 2017 at 2:54:08 pm

Jerry, there are a number of reasons that contribute to what you're seeing. Here are the two biggest I can imagine:

1) After Effects supports a lot more color management control than either Media Encoder or Premiere Pro. The component that decodes H.264 video in Ae is part of the shared MediaCore framework in Ae, AME, and Pr. If that shared component doesn't support color management, Ae cannot do any color conversions directly upon input.

2) The H.264 encoder itself is probably using Rec. 709 internally.

The workaround for any issues like this is manual color management with the Color Profile Converter effect.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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