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can't export ProRes mixdown for YCbC 709 color space, only RGB?

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Matthew Clark
can't export ProRes mixdown for YCbC 709 color space, only RGB?
on Jan 7, 2016 at 1:50:41 am

Hi everyone. So a client has requested we deliver a project for broadcast at Apple Pro Res 422 with a 709 color space. I mixed down my DNx 220x video sequence as such, but when I export same as source choosing either "keep as legal range" or "legal to full range", the color space of the export seems to be coming out as RGB (deep blacks, rather than washed out). Any ideas on why this may be? Does Apple ProRes only support RGB? Would exporting DnX at 709 and then using Quicktime to convert to ProRes cause any loss in quality?

Any ideas or insight would be much appreciated!


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Michael Phillips
Re: can't export ProRes mixdown for YCbC 709 color space, only RGB?
on Jan 7, 2016 at 2:09:14 am

What are you using as a viewer once output? QuickTime player likes to do funky things to levels and color. If you AMA the output back into MC, what does it look like?

Michael


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Matthew Clark
Re: can't export ProRes mixdown for YCbC 709 color space, only RGB?
on Jan 7, 2016 at 2:15:14 am

Hey Michael! We were in fact using QT Player to watch it back. I'll try to AMA the output first thing in the morning and let you know my results. I'm no longer at the office. We haven't had color issues with it before, but we typically export DNx. Is VLC a better alternative?


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Michael Phillips
Re: can't export ProRes mixdown for YCbC 709 color space, only RGB?
on Jan 7, 2016 at 2:05:47 pm

You can try VLC or open the file in Resolve and look at it under its scopes to see if it matches what you mastered in MC.


Michael


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Matthew Clark
Re: can't export ProRes mixdown for YCbC 709 color space, only RGB?
on Jan 7, 2016 at 3:12:02 pm

Unfortunately the problem persists in other players, and bringing the exports back into Avid, they both look RGB. Exporting my Dnx sequence before the mixdown will yield proper 709 levels, but then trying to use QT7 to transcode to ProRes seems to make everything RGB again, even with gamma correction turned off...

Very frustrating. Beginning to wonder if ProRes can't handle 709 color space?


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Matthew Clark
Re: can't export ProRes mixdown for YCbC 709 color space, only RGB?
on Jan 7, 2016 at 3:26:32 pm

Just to clarify, the client didn't specify what color space to deliver in, but since it's for broadcast, I'm assuming they'll need 709. We want to have it both ways so we're ready to go either way. Normally we deliver for broadcast in DNx, so we don't have this issue.


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Michael Phillips
Re: can't export ProRes mixdown for YCbC 709 color space, only RGB?
on Jan 7, 2016 at 3:37:36 pm

QuckTime is a pain in the ass. First I would never use QTX player but open in QuickTime 7. But even that is not guaranteed at times. Rec709 is certainly support in ProRes and is the delivery format for many a broadcaster and OTT vendor. I would try opening your DNx version in Resolve and exporting from Resolve as Prores 709 with the video levels set on the deliver page.


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Matthew Clark
Re: can't export ProRes mixdown for YCbC 709 color space, only RGB?
on Jan 7, 2016 at 3:51:18 pm

Thanks for all your help Michael. Unfortunately we don't have Resolve. We do have all of Adobe CC if there's a similar program/process that would be helpful. Any other suggestions?


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Michael Phillips
Re: can't export ProRes mixdown for YCbC 709 color space, only RGB?
on Jan 7, 2016 at 3:53:24 pm

Also, when you open your output file in MediaInfo, what does it say? You can download MediaInfo for OS X and Windows from: https://mediaarea.net/en/MediaInfo
You can get the OS X version from the AppStore.

I did a quick test (I'm on windows)exporting an R3D file to ProRes Rec 709 from Redcine X Pro and looked at the properties in MediaInfo (Tree view) and got the following:



Michael


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Matthew Clark
Re: can't export ProRes mixdown for YCbC 709 color space, only RGB?
on Jan 7, 2016 at 4:11:34 pm

Thanks Michael. MediaInfo is showing the color space as YUV with Color primaries also as BT.709, but is showing this for both the RGB and 709 versions I exported. Not sure exactly what BT.709 means.


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Michael Phillips
Re: can't export ProRes mixdown for YCbC 709 color space, only RGB?
on Jan 7, 2016 at 4:49:04 pm

BT.709 is more commonly known as Rec709:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rec._709

Keep in mind that Avid's export has always been confusing when listing RGB. What it's doing is scaling video black and white levels (16-235 in 8 bit terms) to graphic levels or full swing (0-255 in 8 bit terms). The color space is still Rec.709 as you see with your exports.

The issue with some players is they ignore the levels and try to make it look nice, so a 16-235 range is getting scaled again so it doesn't look washed out.

Resolve is free and a good application to have on hand for these types of checks and outputs when needed.


Michael


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