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Exporting H264 - gamma shift??

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Alexander Pedersen
Exporting H264 - gamma shift??
on Aug 15, 2014 at 4:54:52 pm

You've probably heard this problem before but it is driving me INSANE and I simply can't find any solution to this problem whatsoever! Even worse I've run into this issue before but I somehow fixed it - maybe the underlying problem was another. But let's get to it.

My problem is when I export my final video for YouTube upload I view my video in VLC and see my darks are lifted and my highligths are lowered - it becomes very flat. The problem is to me without a doubt something with the full range/broadcast or RGB/709. I'm still a little confused about it all. First of all, this is my workflow:

Record video 1080p with 5D mkII.
Bring natively into Premiere to edit -> Export as DNxHD, RGB
Import to DaVinci Resolve for color grade -> Export as DNxHD, full range (this is the 'RGB' as it is chosen in PP/AE, right?)

I first exported from DaVinci with "auto" levels and I guess it chose "normally scaled legal video" as I got my first contrast problem here. It was flat compared to what I saw in DaVinci. Okay, I then exported DNxHD but with "full range" and in VLC I now saw it as it was in DaVinci. All good!

I then imported this to After Effects where I did some warp stabilizer and sharpening and here comes the problem. I saw it in AE as it was graded in DaVinci but when I export the problem occurs once again. If I export to H264 in both render queue and Media Encoder I get the flat image. If I export to DNxHD RGB i get flat as well, but with DNxHD 709 it is correct. I know VLC might be bad at showing true colors or something, but what I see is what I get when uploaded to YouTube for all three exports and that is my end goal after all.

EVEN STRANGER: When I import both the 709 and RGB exports they show exactly the same in PP/AE even though VLC and YouTube will show these completely different.

Is my AE/PP setup uncorrectly? Did I miss a way to choose to export H264 in either full range/broadcast? Is there something wrong in my workflow with the selection of 709/RGB that somewhere along the road 'destroys' my files?

IT IS DRIVING ME CRAZY. Especially because I need to send it for an application tomorrow!

I really hope you can understand my problem and hopefully help me.

Thanks in advance.



-----------
Messing around in After Effects and Premiere Pro

Specs for whenever I forget to include it in my oh so many forum questions:

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
CPU: Intel i7-4770K @ 3,5GHz
RAM: 16 GB G.Skill 2133MHz
GPU: GeForce GTX 760
Motherboard: ASUS Z87-Pro
Seagate 1 TB


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Alexander Pedersen
Re: Exporting H264 - gamma shift??
on Aug 15, 2014 at 5:09:56 pm

And here is what I mean in pictures:




-----------
Messing around in After Effects and Premiere Pro

Specs for whenever I forget to include it in my oh so many forum questions:

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
CPU: Intel i7-4770K @ 3,5GHz
RAM: 16 GB G.Skill 2133MHz
GPU: GeForce GTX 760
Motherboard: ASUS Z87-Pro
Seagate 1 TB


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Exporting H264 - gamma shift??
on Aug 15, 2014 at 5:11:07 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Aug 15, 2014 at 5:13:49 pm

Recent versions of Adobe Media Encoder have a very good preset for encoding uploads for YouTube. Have you tried it? I'd use a file in a lossless codec to ensure it looks right before you encode for YouTube.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Alexander Pedersen
Re: Exporting H264 - gamma shift??
on Aug 15, 2014 at 5:28:23 pm

Hey Dave

Thanks for the quick answer.
I did that, same old thing. I choose the preset under YouTube: YouTube HD 1080p 23.976 8 Mbps and I get the same flat image in VLC and I just uploaded to YouTube - still flat.

Again the weird thing is when I import this very file I just created back into AE it shows correct once again....?? I'm thinking it might be how AE/PP shows my files? That it shows this flat image as not flat but in reality it is..?



-----------
Messing around in After Effects and Premiere Pro

Specs for whenever I forget to include it in my oh so many forum questions:

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
CPU: Intel i7-4770K @ 3,5GHz
RAM: 16 GB G.Skill 2133MHz
GPU: GeForce GTX 760
Motherboard: ASUS Z87-Pro
Seagate 1 TB


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Alexander Pedersen
Re: Exporting H264 - gamma shift??
on Aug 15, 2014 at 7:25:22 pm

Okay, so it's gotta be something with my export settings or settings in After Effects, not my footage. Cause I just did a test with a whole new project and comp with a simple red background and a black solid. Exported with the YouTube preset from After Effects and both in VLC and uploaded to YouTube it's flat - the black is not pure black. See for yourself (compare with the blackness of YouTube's letterboxes in the bottom):




-----------
Messing around in After Effects and Premiere Pro

Specs for whenever I forget to include it in my oh so many forum questions:

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
CPU: Intel i7-4770K @ 3,5GHz
RAM: 16 GB G.Skill 2133MHz
GPU: GeForce GTX 760
Motherboard: ASUS Z87-Pro
Seagate 1 TB


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Chris Wright
Re: Exporting H264 - gamma shift??
on Aug 17, 2014 at 12:19:43 pm

try your red thing again and use an adjustment layer, utility profile converter rec709. it should burn in the
color management.


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Alexander Pedersen
Re: Exporting H264 - gamma shift??
on Aug 18, 2014 at 8:42:57 pm

Hey Chris

I cannot find said "utility profile converter rec709"? Is it a plugin or what? I only found a Color Profile Converter and even though I messed a little around with that it had no effect on the render of the H264 file.



-----------
Messing around in After Effects and Premiere Pro

Specs for whenever I forget to include it in my oh so many forum questions:

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
CPU: Intel i7-4770K @ 3,5GHz
RAM: 16 GB G.Skill 2133MHz
GPU: GeForce GTX 760
Motherboard: ASUS Z87-Pro
Seagate 1 TB


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Chris Wright
Re: Exporting H264 - gamma shift??
on Aug 18, 2014 at 10:47:49 pm

yes, Color Profile Converter.
obvously, the h.264 is the culprit. did you reimport it back into AE to see if you could match it up?
there's 2 different kinds, 0-255 and 16-235 rec709 color management. You can burn in whatever works in matching up with the utility. its not science, its art. haha.


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Ivan Myles
Re: Exporting H264 - gamma shift??
on Aug 26, 2014 at 1:28:35 pm

The issue might be with the DNxHD codec if you are using the QuickTime version as opposed to the MXF version in CC. I stopped using DNxHD/MOV because of luma clipping and shifting. Try V210, 10-bit YUV, DPX, or AVC-Intra instead.

From an overall workflow perspective, you might also consider applying the AE effects as pre-processing on the source files, and then bringing the adjusted clips into Premiere Pro using Dynamic Links. Alternatively, try to do the adjustments within Premiere Pro.


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