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What causes this color banding?

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David PhiferWhat causes this color banding?
by on Aug 27, 2012 at 11:05:56 pm

Hey, guys! Does anyone know what causes this weird color banding in a video? A friend screened his feature at a theater and some of the scenes looked like this while most were fine, and he says they ALL looked fine on the computer.

Below is an example of what I'm talking about, these are clips from Mortal Kombat: Rebirth. What causes this and how do you prevent this from happening on the finished video file? I appreciate your help, thank you so much!



Mod City Dave


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Dave LaRondeRe: What causes this color banding?
by on Aug 27, 2012 at 11:15:34 pm

That's a tough one to answer. We don';t have enough information to make a good guess.

Typically it's the codec choice. And sad to say, I can't see any banding in your screen shots.

If this guy played the video through the theater's system, you should know that theaters have some pretty specific delivery standards. If he didn't follow them, it could be the problem, depending on the theater's playback device.

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


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keith mcgregorRe: What causes this color banding?
by on Aug 28, 2012 at 4:49:52 pm

I've seen the video online and it is really compressed. If he made it, have him export a full res version and then compress it. He needs to research more on compressing and to do tests. Like Dave I really don't see 'banding', but I do see compression artifacts (even though the screen shots are really small and hard to see much), which is normal in today's web videos. And that black gradation? It's lighting falloff, I assume it was shot on digital? Gotta light for digital cameras, way different than high end cinema cameras.
You'll need to post his actual vid though, as it will explain better what's happening to his vid, verses the MK video.
-Keith


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David PhiferRe: What causes this color banding?
by on Aug 28, 2012 at 7:03:50 pm

Thanks for your insight, guys! I don't have the clip from his video, and now looking at the MK pic I posted, I can see how it doesn't show the banding very well, it did when I had it on my computer, honest, lol.

Yes, the movie was shot on digital. Could it be a problems with using only 8 bits per channel vs 16 or 32? The rest of the film looked fine, but just this one clip, where the dark areas looked separated.

Here's is an example online of the kind of color separation I'm talking about, but I think you guys know what I'm referring to.



Mod City Dave


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keith mcgregorRe: What causes this color banding?
by on Aug 28, 2012 at 9:06:14 pm

When rendering from AE I usually bump it up to 16 for better blurs, gradations and such. But if it's on the source video, then it's the limitations of the camera or codec it records to, or a combination of both. But with video, light very carefully on the low end cameras. I tend to over light and bring down in camera so as to have the most information, being careful not to overexpose the highlights. Yes you shoot at a higher f-stop but you don't loose info in the shadows.
-Keith


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