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Color Management - Media Encoder vs After Effects?

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Thomas Hannen
Color Management - Media Encoder vs After Effects?
on Feb 5, 2014 at 9:13:42 am

Hi,

I've been applying color management in After Effects using the following technique:
  • File\Project Settings – set colour space to Adobe RGB – this turns colour management on
  • Then when rendering, go to the colour management tab (in the dialog where you can set output type, ie. png seq) and render out using the colour space ‘HDTV REC709’.

This works really well. But I want to be able to batch render in the background, so I'd like to use Media Encoder for the renders.
But Media Encoder can't manage color directly. From an Adobe Forum:
There is no color management in Premiere Pro or the Adobe Media Encoder application.
You can use the Color Profile Converter effect to do the color space conversion that would normally be done by the output module in After Effects.
For example, you could create a new composition with nothing in it but an adjustment layer and a nested composition that is the composition that you want to output. Onto that adjustment layer, apply the Color Profile Converter effect and manually set up the color space conversion. Then send the new, containing composition to AME or Dynamic Link to Premiere Pro or whatever.


The advice above was given for Premiere... Is this the best way to do it in AE too? I.e. drop a Color Profile Converter onto your master comp before saving the project?

Thanks,
Tom


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Walter Soyka
Re: Color Management - Media Encoder vs After Effects?
on Feb 5, 2014 at 11:26:48 am

[Thomas Hannen] "The advice above was given for Premiere... Is this the best way to do it in AE too? I.e. drop a Color Profile Converter onto your master comp before saving the project?"

Yes.

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
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Conrad Olson
Re: Color Management - Media Encoder vs After Effects?
on Mar 8, 2014 at 8:22:32 pm

I'm just getting back into using AE seriously again after a long break. I'm loving the ability to use AME to render projects while I keep working but this lack of colour management in AME is seriously limiting. It feels like a massive oversight, and the precomp solution feels like a hack.

I've just made a feature request to get the color management features added to AME but for now it looks like I'm going back to background rendering

---

conradolson.com


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Jesus Pedrosa
Re: Color Management - Media Encoder vs After Effects?
on Jun 9, 2020 at 3:32:00 pm

6 years later and I'm facing the same problem. And for the life of me I can't get it working right.

I have these settings in my After Effects project:

https://i.imgur.com/OGslzRY.jpg

But even using the Color Profile Converter (tried in each layer, in a nested comp, in an Adjustment layer... it doesn't matter) the colors in AME shows badly washed out:

https://i.imgur.com/XaYTjAN.png

If I activate the "Enable Display Color Management" option in AME Preferences it looks ok:

https://i.imgur.com/M9x80rR.png

But the output files look bad anyway.

What the hell am I doing wrong?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Color Management - Media Encoder vs After Effects?
on Jun 9, 2020 at 4:33:34 pm

Can you share a screenshot of the Color Profile Converter effect you're using?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Jesus Pedrosa
Re: Color Management - Media Encoder vs After Effects?
on Jun 9, 2020 at 5:08:31 pm

Sure, and there goes the "Color Management" settings in the "Interpret Footage" too:

https://i.imgur.com/1kfmXdx.png

I think I tried already all combinations possible (Preserve RGB, No profile, Interpret As Linear Light set to Off)


and the Project Settings: https://i.imgur.com/0RajN6B.png

Tried "Working Space" to None or other colorspace options, "Linearize Working Space" disabled, ... no change.

It is just baffling that after all these years we still have to deal with this crap.
It's not only that AME should render the project the same as AE, but even besides that... how hard is to just put a "Use Color Management for Output" checkmark in AME when it is already doing it right for the display?


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Chris Wright
Re: Color Management - Media Encoder vs After Effects?
on Jun 12, 2020 at 1:25:34 am

from your settings, it looks like it isn't going to do anything. in AE, sRGB and HDTV use the same primaries so the color profile converter isn't going to make any 'burned in' changes. Now, AE may look correct while you have it open because color management is enabled, which means your monitor's .icc profile is being profiled/translated into your project's monitor view.

Now, media encoder has its own color management as well. I guess it's if you wanted to make another last minute change without changing your project file itself.

but here's the thing, color management doesn't do anything in other apps, even if its embedded if the other programs don't understand color management. some can, but very few.

since you haven't 'burned in' any color changes, any dumb program is going to open your image the way they see fit, which is usually sRGB translated through your OS's .icc profile which may be wide gamut if MAC in P3 2.2 or something.

some people have said that changing the OS' icc profile to rec. 709 helps things look what they want, but browsers, video players, etc. will still do what they want. VLC likes rec. 709 2.2 and quicktime player likes gamma 1.96. and different image viewers are all over the place what they like.


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Jesus Pedrosa
Re: Color Management - Media Encoder vs After Effects?
on Jun 12, 2020 at 5:50:13 pm

At last!

Setting the "Working Space" to None and a 2.4 Working Gamma in Project Settings and then an Adjustment Layer with a "Color Profile Converter" with a HDTV (Rec.709) Output did the trick!



Damn AME and its lack of Color Management for Output.
Now let's hope in 2030 we still have the same problem just for the lack of a checkbox in AME Preferences.

Thanks to all for the help!


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