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Brightness change upon rendering in After Effects CS5, headed back to FCP

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Glenn Camhi
Brightness change upon rendering in After Effects CS5, headed back to FCP
on Sep 15, 2011 at 12:10:06 pm

I know about the old issue in CS4, but I'm using CS5.

I'm exporting ProRes 4444 footage from Final Cut Pro 7 as a QT movie, and importing into After Effects. So far, so good. Looks just right while I work in After Effects.

But when I render out of AE, the footage gets noticeably brighter. I've tried rendering using the Animation (lossless) codec, a TIFF image sequence, and PNG. I've tried it with "Preserve RGB" on and off, and with the legacy gamma switch on and off. No dice.

I also tested this with ProRes 422 (HQ). Same issue.

(BTW, I'm not rendering directly to ProRes because we don't have FCP on the same computer as AE.)

Any suggestions would be most appreciated! Thanks.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Brightness change upon rendering in After Effects CS5, headed back to FCP
on Sep 15, 2011 at 12:48:57 pm

[Glenn Camhi] "But when I render out of AE, the footage gets noticeably brighter. I've tried rendering using the Animation (lossless) codec, a TIFF image sequence, and PNG. I've tried it with "Preserve RGB" on and off, and with the legacy gamma switch on and off. No dice."

The issue is not with After Effects, but rather with Final Cut Pro -- it's misinterpreting the gamma on all these RGB formats.

Import the clip into FCP. Select the clip, then hit Cmd-9 to open Item Properties. Right-click the gamma value (normally set to Source) and set it to 2.2.

Walter Soyka
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Glenn Camhi
Re: Brightness change upon rendering in After Effects CS5, headed back to FCP
on Sep 15, 2011 at 1:17:51 pm

Thank you for the fast reply, Walter!

FWIW, I see the problem in QT as well, not just FCP. But that would make sense if they're doing the same thing.

In Item Properties, there's nothing listed next to Gamma, and right-clicking will not allow me to add anything for that particular setting.

I can however just add a gamma filter, and I find that a setting around 0.82 seems to match, at least on quick initial glance. I was just hoping not to have to alter the image any more. Alas, so it goes. The release of FCX is sending me to Avid next, so this is a temp issue.

Thanks again.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Brightness change upon rendering in After Effects CS5, headed back to FCP
on Sep 15, 2011 at 1:43:40 pm

Might I suggest you consider Premiere instead of Avid? The editing metaphor in Premiere is much closer to Final Cut. (A few years ago when I picked up Avid, I found Avid's metaphor to be a bit outdated.) Also, with the Mercury Playback Engine and other improvements with CS5+, Premiere runs better with HD footage.

But - ignoring all of that - Premiere's integration with After Effects makes it the best choice (in my opinion).

(And I think Adobe is still doing a great price cut for people coming over from Final Cut.)

Here's an article you might find interesting from a long-time Final Cut Pro on moving to Premiere: [Link]
He talks about why he chose Premiere as well as the differences and similarities to Final Cut. Hopefully it is helpful for you.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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