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Color shifts on output...but inconsistent

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Rich Kaelin
Color shifts on output...but inconsistent
on Sep 3, 2015 at 7:47:47 pm

Hi,
To start this off I need to mention that I have a client that is VERY particular about color...they make lighting booths used for professional color matching under different sources.

I am editing in FCP 7 (I know) and color on all graphics pages is consistent on import, but when I export to a self contained .mov file there is minor color shift, very minor, on 4 of 5 videos, but major shift on the 5th. I open the final movies in after effects and use the info window to see this. The minor shift is literally +1G and -1B, not noticeable, but the 5th major shift is +22 and +18...very noticeable.

Then, and here is where it gets tricky, when I bring them into Squeeze 9 to compress to h.264 mp4's for upload, they shift all over. The one that was WAY out, comes back to almost exactly their original art, and 2 of the 4 that were fine have major, and different, shifts.

My questions are...if I export from FCP in ProRes422(HQ) will that help any shift there...or even as uncompressed, or 444 or any other codec, like Animation, what will provided the best consistency?

Then is squeeze, I use the same preset for all, YouTube 1080p, all I change is I set quality to best (16) and I get wild results. Is there a better setting to use? Should I adjust any particular parameters? These are the fies I upload to YouTube for approvals and the files I would like to eventually provide to client for upload to their streaming system (which may be youtube as well, I don't know.

Any insights are appreciated.
Thanks,
Rich

Rich Kaelin
Kaelin Motion Production Services
http://kaelinmotion.com
New York


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Shane Ross
Re: Color shifts on output...but inconsistent
on Sep 3, 2015 at 9:15:00 pm

First off, what codec are you editing with? Working with in FCP?

Second...how are you critically judging this color? External broadcast monitor properly calibrated? or the FCP Canvas which isn't designed to be accurate? Or the Color Viewer which also isn't color accurate?

Also....whenever you compress to another format...H.264...YouTube...anything where you reduce the file size, you are doing so by getting rid of information...and color information is included. So the file you compressed for YouTube won't be as full and rich as your full res, ProRes 422 or ProRes HQ export. it can't be.

I am no compression expert...I deliver shows for broadcast. So I can't go into the science of why the compressions look exactly the way they do, or why they differ when you compress it the same way, three different times. But clients can't expect it to look exactly as it does on the broadcast monitor at full res.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Rich Kaelin
Re: Color shifts on output...but inconsistent
on Sep 3, 2015 at 10:14:04 pm

I am seeing a difference on my studio Monitor, which I assume is calibrated. Here is the thing...I rendered all moving animations from AE to ProRes422HQ, and all still composite images as .psd. When I compare the two, from the same time line, exported directly from FCP, both containing a logo, they are quite different. Different export codecs yield different results...BUT if I use Uncompressed 10 bit, the prores parts match perfect, and the still are "brighter. I determine this, as I stated originally, by importing clips into After Effects and using the info window. When I hover over prores parts, I get the exact color from original file, right back to their source. When I hover over a still PSD, it is "Brighter, by about +20 in the R, G & B values. if I also inspect the original Prores and PSF files that were used in the project, both match 100%. I think FCP just sucks at color, and I should have edited in Premiere. Adobe seems solid...but converting maybe difficult.

Rich Kaelin
Kaelin Motion Production Services
http://kaelinmotion.com
New York


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Shane Ross
Re: Color shifts on output...but inconsistent
on Sep 3, 2015 at 10:29:59 pm

[Rich Kaelin] "I am seeing a difference on my studio Monitor, which I assume is calibrated."

Studio monitor...what is that? A computer display? HDTV or Broadcast monitor? Connected to the computer how?

[Rich Kaelin] " I think FCP just sucks at color"

Well...yeah, in the PREVIEW and PROGRAM monitor...it does. Those are not designed to be accurate...so color sucks there. BUT, send a signal out of an AJA or BMD or Matrox IO device, to a calibrated TV or Broadcast monitor...and it's spot on. Otherwise all that broadcast stuff that has been cut on it would not have been possible.

Yes, anything you export and then open in QT and compare the QT with the FCP Canvas...it will be different. Absolutely. Because the Canvas isn't accurate.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Rich Kaelin
Re: Color shifts on output...but inconsistent
on Sep 4, 2015 at 12:46:31 am

It is a High end JVC monitor.

In the end, my exports do not match themselves...READ CAREFULLY.

PRORES segments and STILLS that have the same color value going in show different color values once rendered. I output the clip as a prores file...and the blue in the log shifts from stuff that was ProRes footage that I animated and the Stills. If you bring all 3 into After Effects, The animation, The Still, and the render that assembled them, The 2 source clips match RGB when inspected. In the rendered clip, the animation (ProRes) and the still (PSD) have different RGB Values. This is NOT IN OR ON A MONITOR. This is with a digital inspection of the rgb values. AND they look different across all monitors.

Also, if I bring the same source clips into premiere, then export a Pro Res HQ 422 movie the resulting clip has perfect color matches across all 3...NO DRIFT AT ALL.

Rich Kaelin
Kaelin Motion Production Services
http://kaelinmotion.com
New York


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