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ProResHQ gamma shift - I've tried all the workarounds!?

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Jimmy BrungerProResHQ gamma shift - I've tried all the workarounds!?
by on Jun 9, 2011 at 5:28:48 pm

Hi All,

Quite frankly having a nightmare trying to import a PPRo project into AE for grading and fx. I've tried just rendering out an animation codec QT of the timeline - to just use various adjustment layers over top to CC on...but some of the shots are coming out of PPro with *huge* gamma shifts - most of these appear to be h264 encoded - but these are the source files I was given, so I'm stuck there. The shift is so bad that there's not enough picture info to even grade it out.

SO - workflow No.2: I have gone back to what I started trying to do - import premiere pro project into AE...

This has given another set of headaches - certain subclips have totally shifted their in&out points, other clips have come into AE totally shifted out of their place in the timeline and the main problem I don't seem to have a fix for is the apparent gamma shift I am seeing in all of the ProResHQ clips from my project (which is about 60-70% of them)

I have done all the interpretation rules hacks suggested by Todd and even done a few of the clips manually, but I can't get any of them to match my animation QT which I have at the top of the stack for reference.


I really need some help guys - any ideas?

Many Thanks,
Jim.


BTW - I'm running CS4 Production Premium on Snow Leopard. My source footage is a mixture of ProResHQ, XDCAM HD422, XDCAM EX, h264 MP4 and QT and also a couple of AVC codec MP4's.


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Dave LaRondeRe: ProResHQ gamma shift - I've tried all the workarounds!?
by on Jun 9, 2011 at 5:45:45 pm

[Jimmy Brunger] "I'm running CS4 Production Premium on Snow Leopard. My source footage is a mixture of ProResHQ, XDCAM HD422, XDCAM EX, h264 MP4 and QT and also a couple of AVC codec MP4's."

Danger, Will Robinson!

With all that long-gop footage, it's no surprise you're having troubles in AE. You won't like reading this, but you need to convert everything to the SAME CODEC; since it appears you have access to FCP, I'd recommend converting it all to ProRes 422, re-editing from scratch, and life should get better immediately. No FCP? My vote's for Photo JPEG then.

The reason: AE 9 can't deal well with long-gop footage, and you have a bunch of it. AE 10 handles it much, much better, but you don't HAVE AE 10. So the following still applies:

Dave's Stock Answer #1:

If the footage you imported into AE is any kind of the following -- footage in an HDV acquisition codec, MPEG1, MPEG2, AVCHD, mp4, mts, m2t, H.261 or H.264 -- you need to convert it to a different codec.

These kinds of footage use temporal, or interframe compression. They have keyframes at regular intervals, containing complete frame information. However, the frames in between do NOT have complete information. Interframe codecs toss out duplicated information.

In order to maintain peak rendering efficiency, AE needs complete information for each and every frame. But because these kinds of footage contain only partial information, AE freaks out, resulting in a wide variety of problems.

I'm a Mac guy, so I like to convert to Quicktime movies in the Animation or PNG codecs; both are lossless. I'll use Apple's Compressor, Adobe Media Encoder or Quicktime Pro to do it.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter SoykaRe: ProResHQ gamma shift - I've tried all the workarounds!?
by on Jun 9, 2011 at 5:59:06 pm

Premiere Pro is not color-managed, but After Effects is. If you are using color management in AE, and if you have all the correct profiles assigned to all your footage, then I think it's likely that you've been looking at mis-interpreted footage in PPro this whole time.

In other words, I'd think the animation-codec QT out of PPro may be suspect and not a suitable reference.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jimmy BrungerRe: ProResHQ gamma shift - I've tried all the workarounds!?
by on Jun 10, 2011 at 10:33:13 am

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the input.

Dave - I know the issues with long gop stuff in AE, but have used XDCAM and h264 footage in AE for years. That said - we are about to upgrade from CS4 to CS5.5 production premium....I don't like to upgrade in the middle of a project, but on this occasion is it worth me installing now to make my life happier!?

Walter - Didn't realise that about PPro - I know it operates in YUV colorspace as opposed to AE's RGB standard, but not had issues like this before. The weird thing is - some of the clips in my 'master' animation QT PPro export match perfectly with their imported source clips in AE, but others are way off.

To compound that - my export from PPro has messed up the gamma HUGELY in some of the shots to the point where they're unusable - otherwise I would have just graded on top of that flattened render for an easy life. My second option was to put the render ontop of layer stack in AE and chop in and out of that/the layers to get to the good stuff...But essentially between the botched imported PPro project and the QT export there are several shots that I don't have at all!

Anymore ideas guys?


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Dave LaRondeRe: ProResHQ gamma shift - I've tried all the workarounds!?
by on Jun 10, 2011 at 3:28:18 pm

[Jimmy Brunger] " I know the issues with long gop stuff in AE, but have used XDCAM and h264 footage in AE for years. "

However, the symptoms you describe are just like those caused by long-gop footage. I've read many instances of an AE user who suddenly lost the ability to work with it... and they all ran pre-AE 10 versions.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Jimmy BrungerRe: ProResHQ gamma shift - I've tried all the workarounds!?
by on Jun 10, 2011 at 4:42:10 pm

So do you think it's worth me installing CS5.5 to eliminate these problems? Is 5.5 much better at handling XDCAM and ProRes source files (I'm mainly talking about Premiere tbh, as it's shocking with both formats in CS4!)


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Dave LaRondeRe: ProResHQ gamma shift - I've tried all the workarounds!?
by on Jun 10, 2011 at 5:06:31 pm

[Jimmy Brunger] "So do you think it's worth me installing CS5.5 to eliminate these problems?"

I do not. I think it's worth it to convert the long-gop footage to a useful codec. Perhaps convert ALL the footage to the same codec. If by any chance you're on a Mac and you also have Final Cut Suite, I enthusiastically recommend ProRes 422. No ProRes access? I'd use QT's Photo JPEG.

Once the project's over and done with, THEN upgrade. Yeah, it's time-consuming and a Right Royal Pain, but you avert disaster... and that's always good.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter SoykaRe: ProResHQ gamma shift - I've tried all the workarounds!?
by on Jun 10, 2011 at 8:56:48 pm

[Jimmy Brunger] "Didn't realise that about PPro - I know it operates in YUV colorspace as opposed to AE's RGB standard"

I wasn't referring to the difference between YUY and RGB -- since Adobe handles the translation quite well -- but rather the fact that AE can use color management [link] to keep the way colors display consistent across different devices and color profiles.

Adobe has a nice white paper on their color management workflow [link].


[Jimmy Brunger] "The weird thing is - some of the clips in my 'master' animation QT PPro export match perfectly with their imported source clips in AE, but others are way off."

This could happen if you're using color management, but assigning the wrong profile to imported clips, or if you've got color management off altogether.


[Jimmy Brunger] "To compound that - my export from PPro has messed up the gamma HUGELY in some of the shots to the point where they're unusable"

Maybe this is a PPro problem? Are there any effects applied to those clips?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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