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Trouble with Resolve Exports

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Peter Berg
Trouble with Resolve Exports
on Oct 25, 2012 at 2:28:56 pm

Hi,

I think I ran into this problem before, but still having the issue on 9.0.2. Not getting consistent color levels when exporting quicktime files from Resolve.

I exported a number of different quicktimes today and tried many different settings. Pretty much every export had different luma/color levels on the exported file. Quite depressing for a color grading program. I know that quicktime is not a great format, but it's obviously the standard at the moment (unfortunately).

I tried to export a H.264 quicktime. I tried the 'Auto', the 'Legal Video' and the 'Full Range' setting for output levels. None of the outputs matched what I saw in Resolve on my calibrated video monitor (Pro Panasonic Plasma from my Decklink card).

While I know that computer displays do not match video displays, the difference was stark. A dark scene that was very visible on my plasma was 'gone' on the imac watching the exported quicktime. The black levels were so low and buried I could not see the scene. Even if I turned the imac brightness up to full. That does not see right.

I then did a quicktime export using the Avid DNxHD 115 codec (set to 'auto' output levels). This quicktime did not match ANY of the previous H.264 exports, but it actually did look the closest to what we saw on the Plasma in Resolve. So that is what I went with.

My question is why were the luma/color levels so inconsistent and why could I not get a usable H.264 file out of Resolve. That is the most common request from clients when they want to see my work in progress (and when they are not in town to sit in the bay with me).

Can this be fixed so the output levels from Resolve are at least close to what we get on our Plasma video display.

I am on Resolve 9.0.2 and Windows 7.

Thank you very much,
Peter


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Peter Chamberlain
Re: Trouble with Resolve Exports
on Oct 25, 2012 at 3:41:10 pm

Hi Peter, for clarification. You have a plasma monitor connected to your Resolve DeckLink video output. Thats the reference. When you render clips and play them back on Resolve, they should look the same on the same plasma. Correct? What is the application you are using to play the clips when they don't match your original grade?
For most situations, leave the source and render levels setting in Auto and the monitor in video.
Peter


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Chris Martin
Re: Trouble with Resolve Exports
on Oct 25, 2012 at 3:47:28 pm

Definitely don't use quicktime viewer to judge anything!


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Peter Berg
Re: Trouble with Resolve Exports
on Oct 25, 2012 at 5:12:48 pm

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the message. These quicktimes that I am rendering out are for color reference for my client. Basically my question is why do H.264 quicktimes look different than DNxHD quicktimes that come from the same Resolve system and timeline?

All these quicktimes are being viewed on an Apple imac using Quicktime player.

I am just wondering why these various quicktime outputs from Resolve look different when all viewed on the same computer using the same quicktime player. I totally understand how they can look different on different computer screens... but all on the same computer screen?

thanks,
Peter


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Dean Manion
Re: Trouble with Resolve Exports
on Oct 25, 2012 at 5:27:05 pm

Hi Peter,
I imagine the issue lies in the compression of H.264
There's no guarantee that a compressed QuickTime format will not be altered in any number of ways from the original (compressed, albeit less) source file. The reduction in file size alone tells you something major is going on to get it there, not the least of which is reduced luma and chroma range. The client should really judge the original on a calibrated panel. Otherwise all bets are off.

Dean


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Joseph Owens
Re: Trouble with Resolve Exports
on Oct 25, 2012 at 6:20:05 pm

[Peter Berg] "I am just wondering why these various quicktime outputs from Resolve look different when all viewed on the same computer using the same quicktime player. I totally understand how they can look different on different computer screens... but all on the same computer screen?"

H264 is likely following Quicktime ColorSync preferences, which usually doesn't have anything whatsoever to do with Rec709 gamut or gamma. This was a major issue and caused all kinds of grief when a lot of Final Cut editors started roundtripping to COLOR -- even though there was really no choice in scaling, Apple had standardized their user interfaces on 1.8 gamma, while COLOR did everything in 2.2. This is not exactly the same problem, but it is similar.

The "same computer screen" is being fed different interpretations of the QT depending on what application is running, because they run under different rules in the OS. This is a big stumbling block for previewing exported work, because there is no control, it is system wide, and no single manufacturer is going to be able to cure it.

jPo

"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.


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Chris Martin
Re: Trouble with Resolve Exports
on Oct 26, 2012 at 4:07:42 am

Peter,

The problem in Quicktime viewer. We run into this all the time when clients use it and are viewing different flavors of quicktimes.

It's just not a stable way to view and compare. Bring them back in Resolve or in an NLE to judge them.


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Peter Berg
Re: Trouble with Resolve Exports
on Oct 26, 2012 at 6:33:07 am

Thanks Joseph for the info. I guess I still don't know all the inner workings (on non-workings) of quicktime, but your description makes sense.

And yes Chris.. I would love to have all the color reviews happen in the bay with me, but many times that is just not possible (clients in other states/countries, multiple clients who work all over town and can't coordinate to all come into my bay). You never have to send a file to a remote client for approvals? I've had to do it quite a few times and Resolve/Quicktime is not making it easy for me.

I have done Prores quicktimes from our Mac Resolve and those always look correct (or at least close) when viewed on a computer screen.

But these H.264 files from the Windows Resolve are just not usable. Again I would love to not have to send quicktime files for review, but it's a necessary evil and I would love any suggestions about how to get my clients reasonably color accurate files that they can use to review the color work.

Thanks all,
Peter


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John Tissavary
Re: Trouble with Resolve Exports
on Oct 29, 2012 at 5:04:17 pm

You're missing the point that Joseph made. It's not the h.264 QuickTime that's the problem, it's the QuickTime player itself. If you view the h.264 in resolve, does it look like you would expect? If so, try viewing the QuickTime in VLC and see if that doesn't look a bit better. If it does, advise your clients against viewing anything you send them in the QuickTime player.


JT

John Tissavary | colorist | owner
The Post Collective


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Malik Sabah
Re: Trouble with Resolve Exports
on Mar 24, 2016 at 2:29:01 am

hello,
i know what u mean, its to easy
in delivar sitting click more options
then in video / data level its will be auto so u should click ( video (64-940)
after that when u export ur video its will be same the davinci level and color

Malik


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Marc Wielage
Re: Trouble with Resolve Exports
on Mar 24, 2016 at 5:41:49 am

Wow, here's a 4-year-old thread back from the dead.

Do a Google search on QUICKTIME GAMMA SHIFT.


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