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After Effects not Preserving Color & Detail when changing Brightness (Curves, Levels)

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Zak Ciotti
After Effects not Preserving Color & Detail when changing Brightness (Curves, Levels)
on Sep 18, 2014 at 2:32:09 pm

On the LEFT is After Effects CC and on the RIGHT is Premiere Pro CC.



Both have Curves applied using the same values. In AE the darkening turns the brights grey, but in Premiere it's as if the exposure is decreasing (which is nicer and what I want to happen).

Why is one preserving Color & Detail and the other isn't?

I think this used to work in After Effects (but perhaps a setting has been changed or CC doesn't work the same). In the same project, I'm also noticing that Optical Flares looks hot white (like usual) when using the "Add" Transfer Mode in After Effects, but looking at the flare in Premiere (via Dynamic Link), it looks yellow. This may be evidence of a greater color issue. This has never been an issue previously. Any insight would help, I'm trying to get back to the way it was instead of using my workarounds.


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Walter Soyka
Re: After Effects not Preserving Color & Detail when changing Brightness (Curves, Levels)
on Sep 18, 2014 at 4:05:02 pm

Have you tried changing the Ae project's color depth to 32bpc?

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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Zak Ciotti
Re: After Effects not Preserving Color & Detail when changing Brightness (Curves, Levels)
on Sep 18, 2014 at 5:48:09 pm

Yes, I have tried 16bpc and 32bpc. No success.
Could this have to do with Color Profile Management? I've tried changing it from the default "None" to "sRGB" as someone suggested with no success.


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Chris Wright
Re: After Effects not Preserving Color & Detail when changing Brightness (Curves, Levels)
on Sep 18, 2014 at 10:04:40 pm

premiere doesn't support color management. anything going in that was designed for color interpretation, is going to come out looking messed up. to fix this, the color management has to be burned into the codec before use in premiere.
AE has a free utility that does this. utility profile color converter. burn in rec.709 255 or rec.709 16-235 NTSC or whatever your conform is and they will import/export looking exactly the same. don't forget premiere has 16-32bpc stuff too. ALSO, Any 8 bit effects will destroy the color.


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Walter Soyka
Re: After Effects not Preserving Color & Detail when changing Brightness (Curves, Levels)
on Sep 19, 2014 at 1:26:32 pm

[Zak Ciotti] "Yes, I have tried 16bpc and 32bpc. No success."

Can you post a clip of the original footage? It looks like the highlights are being clipped, but that shouldn't be happening if you're bringing the footage into a 32bpc project and not applying 8b/16b effects.

As for color management, Chris Wright is right on. You need to manually manage your output space with an extra effect to get Rec. 709 to Premiere Pro.

A possible difference between Ae and Pr is that Pr's curves may be working linearly, not gamma-encoded. You will get a different result from Ae's Curves effect if you linearize your working space.

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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Zak Ciotti
Re: After Effects not Preserving Color & Detail when changing Brightness (Curves, Levels)
on Sep 19, 2014 at 4:05:36 pm

This should help!

Here's a WeTransfer of the 300mb file that I referred to: http://we.tl/tgdKdFv5eq

Please take a look and hopefully you will see what I mean!


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Walter Soyka
Re: After Effects not Preserving Color & Detail when changing Brightness (Curves, Levels)
on Oct 2, 2014 at 6:23:05 pm

Zak, this has stumped me. I don't think it's behaving as it should and I've filed a bug report.

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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Zak Ciotti
Re: After Effects not Preserving Color & Detail when changing Brightness (Curves, Levels)
on Oct 2, 2014 at 6:27:51 pm

I know, it's weird. Thanks for responding anyway. If anyone has any theories, I can try it out. Just let me know.


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