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Color Management blues

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Greg SageColor Management blues
by on Jul 14, 2014 at 11:51:06 pm

I tried asking about some of this stuff a long time ago, and just went around in circles with no resolution whatsoever.

Hopefully, I'm asking clearer and more focused questions now.

I have videos done in AE ready to render. They were set up before I knew anything at all about color management, and are done in 8bpc with no defined color workspace. They look fine, but come out too bright and washed out when rendered to Quicktime. (Individual frames look fine rendered as jpegs.

I've read up about QT issues. I've done the Grayscale Gorilla trick about using QT pro to adjust the transparency settings with no effect.

It looks to me like a colorspace issue. While I'd like to get it resolved quickly, these videos represent years of work, and I'll do whatever it takes to make them look the best they possibly can.

I understand I should have set up a 32bit floating linear space and all that before starting, but that didn't happen, so here I am.

What is my best bet for correcting everything? (Thousands of layers).

I do see other issues like shadows rapidly becoming too dark that also make me believe I'd be better off in linear space.

Thx. Will provide any specific info if it helps. Just not sure what else to mention.


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Tero AhlforsRe: Color Management blues
by on Jul 15, 2014 at 6:50:33 am

In what program are you watching the videos you have rendered out?


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Greg SageRe: Color Management blues
by on Jul 15, 2014 at 12:25:16 pm
Last Edited By Greg Sage on Jul 15, 2014 at 12:30:08 pm

Hmmmm... hadn't thought of that. I assumed a QuickTime movie would look "as it should" in QuickTime Pro. It doesn't. The colors are washed out, and the crushed blacks are gone.

It looks like it does in AE when I play in on VLC, though. Does it need a profile embedded?

1 What does that tell me?

2 What do I need to do to ensure it looks as I intend for the greatest number of users once I run it through Media Encoder for Youtube consumptioon and play on my own site?



edited to add: Oddly, though, the audio is blown out in VLC. At around 1/3, it's full volume. Beyond that, it's adding gain and distorting. I don't use VLC much, so not sure if that's typical. I didn't have this issue before when I rendered out to QT, compressed in ME, and out to YT.


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Tero AhlforsRe: Color Management blues
by on Jul 15, 2014 at 12:52:30 pm

[Greg Sage] "Hmmmm... hadn't thought of that. I assumed a QuickTime movie would look "as it should" in QuickTime Pro."

Quicktime player is complete garbage when it comes to colour accuracy. Don't use it.


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Greg SageRe: Color Management blues
by on Jul 15, 2014 at 1:05:23 pm

OK. Noted.

VLC across the board then, or something else?

Ultimately, of course, it's not my viewing that matters, though... so as I output a compressed 8 bit video for Youtube and my site's HTML5 player... should I be doing something in particular? Embedding a profile or something like that?


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Tero AhlforsRe: Color Management blues
by on Jul 15, 2014 at 1:20:42 pm

VLC is good and I wouldn't sweat about how it looks on the internet because it's impossible to know how some dude in Whateverland is viewing it.


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Greg SageRe: Color Management blues
by on Jul 15, 2014 at 1:25:37 pm

I agree to a point, but since it's my player on my site, and YT's player everywhere else, that's narrowed down quite a bit. I'm only concerned about how it looks in those two instances... browser weirdness and such being what it is.


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Tero AhlforsRe: Color Management blues
by on Jul 15, 2014 at 1:35:13 pm

I'm not quite sure if browsers/streaming sites/HTML streaming will even support video colorspaces. I'd just try to make it as good as it can look in plain RGB and make an H264 file from it.


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Walter SoykaRe: Color Management blues
by on Jul 15, 2014 at 2:53:29 pm

[Greg Sage] "I understand I should have set up a 32bit floating linear space and all that before starting, but that didn't happen, so here I am."

While 32b linear is enormously useful for compositing, nothing will help you get accurate color from QuickTime Player. You have done yourself no harm here (at least in this regard) by working with 8b unmanaged color.

Color management is hard enough for professionals to get right in controlled environments; sadly there isn't anything you can do to make it right on your consumers' displays.

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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Tero AhlforsRe: Color Management blues
by on Jul 15, 2014 at 3:48:09 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Color management is hard enough for professionals to get right in controlled environments; sadly there isn't anything you can do to make it right on your consumers' displays."

Yep. Basically the only environment where you can get close to semi-absolute color values is if you master a movie to DCI specs in a proper color grading suite and watch that in a theatre with calibrated gear.


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Chris WrightRe: Color Management blues
by on Jul 15, 2014 at 5:59:51 pm

SRgb utility color profile,converter in AE will be most browser in which case they are slowly supporting color management.


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