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Rendering .mov files: which settings?

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Mark van der Berg
Rendering .mov files: which settings?
on Mar 14, 2015 at 10:35:47 am

Hey people! I am currently busy editing a short film for a project. We're using .mov files from a Canon 600d (Ti3 rebel in the States). Currently when I render I use the WMV format, however this is only supported up to 1480x1080 and I want 1920x1080. My problem is, is that when I use the mp4 formats (which I see recommended everywhere) my contrast goes all wrong.

Here's what I mean:

This is a still image using the 'save snapshot to file' option from Vegas.

And here's a screenshot from the WMV video:

And finally here's the MP4:

The blacks get crushed and the contrast get's turned all the way up. Any idea what's going on here? Thanks in advance!

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Russ Froze
Re: Rendering .mov files: which settings?
on Mar 14, 2015 at 2:09:12 pm

Hi, so the mp4 settings are?

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Aaron Star
Re: Rendering .mov files: which settings?
on Mar 14, 2015 at 7:30:33 pm

Depending on how your Vegas preview is configured, the shift is most likely from sRGB to Computer RGB. If you are going from timeline to WMV to mp4, you would be doubling up on the conversion. Timeline to Sony AVC/mp4 should keep the sRBG levels, but when a player like Flash (youtube) or WMP decodes they will expands the levels to CompRGB. This looks like crushed blacks and extended contrast. You could try a test render applying a Sony Levels>set to Comp to sRGB, then try the playback and see if your levels are as expected in the player.

Converting straight to WMV performs this conversion, the player recognizes this and does not perform the expansion. But the shift from timeline sRGB to WMV CompRGB will look like an expansion is happening.

You can go into WMV profiles and create a custom size for 1920x1080. If you want to keep using WMV.

Your problem has to do with maintaining correct levels through your workflow. Its not really a Vegas problem, because vegas is doing exactly what you are telling it to do. There are many ways to apply and view level changes between SRGB and CompRGB monitor standards. It is up to the editor to understand the details of different display technologies.

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Norman Black
Re: Rendering .mov files: which settings?
on Mar 15, 2015 at 3:13:32 am

Canon, and most, DSLRs capture video in full range levels. 0-255. Video for playback normally expects video levels, studio, which are 16-235. What you are seeing is your full range levels being encoded and then the playback player thinks they should be studio and it expands the levels to full range and thus your blacks and whites get clipped/crushed.

Vegas does not try to do anything to keep video levels. It leaves that decision and correction entirely up to you, the editor.

Typically if ones source if full range you place a levels, computer to studio RGB, preset adjustment on the output. Also remember that the vegas preview window only properly displays full range levels, in case you grade using that window.

Now I am going to be a little harsh. Does anyone ever search for anything? The number of times this gets answered here and elsewhere is off the scale.

Also, Vegas should probably have an auto levels adjustment of this on import like Premiere supposedly does. Most DSLR output properly marks itself as full range. Vegas should never give up its full user control abilities. Just an option.

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