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Windows Media Player and colors ...

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KiboOst
Windows Media Player and colors ...
on Dec 15, 2005 at 5:28:31 pm

ok, to follow this : http://forums.creativecow.net/cgi-bin/new_read_post.cgi?forumid=20&postid=8...

I've done a few more tests, comparing a QT which is perfectly color respected, and a wmv iso mpeg4.
When I encode isompeg4 wmv with ppro, procoder, and sorenson squeeze (demo), I allways got the same file, colors are oversaturated.
BUT ! If I load these files into combustion or old mplay.exe (the good old windows player), colors are ok !! In Windows Media Player (9 and 10), or even real player, colors are oversaturated. So, I guess it's not the file/encoding, but a problem with the player. As I can't tell customers to use mplay.exe to play it, can I encode in the file a setup to tell windows media player which color preset to use ? Or any other solution ? This player is crazy !!! And dvd players with dvd files (mpeg2 or DVDs) do the same !
And no, compensating this by desaturating whie encoding isn't good, it is less worse but really not good.

If you have any idea or information on this, please take a few minutes to answer, I really need to find some solutions. Will write anything I find on this probleme here too.

Thanks
Kib


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Charles Simonson
Re: Windows Media Player and colors ...
on Dec 20, 2005 at 11:54:22 pm

Are you using an nVidia Quadro graphics card to display these? If so, there is a long standing but not well-known bug with the drivers (due to OpenGL rendering) and the way it displays windows media content in Windows Media Player. That is why players such as Media Player Classic and VLC do not have the same problem. Switching to a GeForce or ATI Radeon will solve this.



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KiboOst
Re: Windows Media Player and colors ...
on Dec 21, 2005 at 8:06:14 am

Hi, thks for the info I didn't know that. But no I have standard geforce, and it does that on all machines here.
But, I've talk with someone doing editing/post prod in a big company, and he said me it is well known that windows media player boost the color, just to "enhance" the content, like a compact camera do saturation/sharpness on photos. We had a long talk about that, and there is nothing to do to have accurate colors while distributing a wmv video. And what surprise us the most is that everyone doing lot of finishing know this, but hey it's microsoft, so no one talk about that ! It would be a third party free player, no one would install it due to this, but it's microsoft, so thanks microsoft for fucking up all our contents sent to customers. Hopefully there is QuickTime !

Kib


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Charles Simonson
Re: Windows Media Player and colors ...
on Dec 21, 2005 at 1:20:24 pm

Well, I can't completely agree with your statement that WMP does the oversaturation no matter what. I work with encoding Windows Media everyday, and I have seen the issue with Quadros, but not to the same extent with GeForces (using 7800 GTXs and 6800GTs). While you can't trust that your color will look the exact same on any system with material that is to be distributed online, it definitely shouldn't be so bad like that which you describe. I would suggest updating drivers and the OS. I know I get very accurate color if I use Windows Media Player to output to an SDI monitor.


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KiboOst
Re: Windows Media Player and colors ...
on Dec 21, 2005 at 1:37:16 pm

It's not a monitor problem, as I can edit and see the file on same system. and allways the same, qt are exactly like editing, wmv are allways saturated (when played in windows media player), on ten different machines here with different graphic cars. And I can't ask all customers to update os sdi monitor drivers and graphic card. we have some player 9 and 10 and it is the same, with all our animations, and yes it's only the player as the file is good with old good mplay.exe or in combustion for example.
So what you say is that when you open a wmv file in windows media player on your machine, and the editing (ppro for example), you get exact same colors ? we encode not from dv rushes but jpg or tiff to uncompressed avi streams. And I can assure you that seen in wmp, a wmv allways sucks ... windows xp pro sp2 on dual amds (xp and opterons) with nvidia geforece card (5200, 6400, 6800GT). wmp 9 or 10, the same. And once more, it is only via wmp, the wmv file itself is good (when play with other players).

Kib


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Charles Simonson
Re: Windows Media Player and colors ...
on Dec 21, 2005 at 9:20:46 pm

Most of the editing I do is on a mac and then the Windows Media encoding is done on a PC. On the PC, I use uncompressed source files in AVI YUY2, UYVY, and YV12 formats. On the mac, it is mostly uncompressed QTs in Targa and BlackMagic 8 and 10 bit formats. I have seen shifts of color when using BlackMagic 8bit to compress on the PC, but beyond that, the color and saturation of encodes from the other formats matches pretty well to the editing samples when properly QCed. I'm not arguing that you are noticing a shift of some kind. And I am not that this may be unacceptable for you. But it is curious that it is that noticable and I'd like to get to the bottom of this.



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KiboOst
Re: Windows Media Player and colors ...
on Dec 21, 2005 at 9:40:31 pm

Charles, no offense, I'm just explaining my problem, who many others have but accept (thks bill). I tried to do editing/QT/wmp screens, but with wmp we can't do screen (overlay related I guess ? Maybe this overlay is also the problem hmm ?).
on pc we use tiff and so from 3dsmax, so rgb. mpeg2 and wmv mpeg4 seems to be yuv files. So maybe there is something to do with rgb/yuv conversion ? As you work on yuv files this come to mind, but hey, I don't know lot about yuv files.
And yes, I want to go to the bottom also, because many customers ask us wmv iso mpeg4 files, and it is frustrating to send them around 10min full 3d animation per month knowing they won't see the same stuff we made. I think you know how I feel ;-)
we are actually on pc, using 3dsmax->AE->ppro->pro coder2 encoding (Like I said I also loaded a wmv file into combustion demo and it is right).
thks for your help to sort this out
Kib


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Charles Simonson
Re: Windows Media Player and colors ...
on Dec 21, 2005 at 11:10:10 pm

Totally understand Kibo. Hope I didn't come off angry in the last response, that definitely was't my intention. Forgive me as I didn't pay attention to this before, but are you encoding to the MS MPEG-4 codec? Have you been able to try encoding to WMV9 and see if the issue still occurs? The conversion of RGB to YUV (Windows Media is a YUV 4:2:0 format) can sometimes cause these shifts, but it probably doesn't apply here because you have reported that play back from MP Classic is fine.



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Ben Waggoner
Re: Windows Media Player and colors ...
on Dec 31, 2005 at 9:37:43 pm

Any chance you could post a link to the file so we can download it and test it ourselves?

I'd be happy to get someone on the codec team to take a look at it and see if they can figure out what's happening.


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