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Gamma mismatch between comp, output played in VLC, QT player, YouTube

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Greg Sage
Gamma mismatch between comp, output played in VLC, QT player, YouTube
on Dec 3, 2015 at 1:35:26 pm
Last Edited By Greg Sage on Dec 3, 2015 at 4:40:39 pm

Everything I do on AE:

Looks great while working on it.

Looks dark and overly contrasted (especially in dark tones) when output and played back in vlc, youtube, or facebook.

I have come to understand this is a gamma issue. Something about 1.8 vs 2.2 interpretation if I recall. I don't remember changing any global settings.

Anyway, it's all being viewed on the same machine, so it's not a monitor issue. The only thing that ultimately matters is how it looks on FB and YouTube, so I need to get my monitoring to match how the output will look.

Not clear whether I should be changing something about the way AE displays while working on the comps, or about how it outputs them.


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Ben Marcheski
Re: Gamma mismatch between comp, output played in VLC, QT player, YouTube
on Dec 3, 2015 at 6:46:58 pm

Greg-

Gamma shifts during After Effects renders have been an epic battle depending on what codec/output module you are using, IE, Pro Res, Animation, QT, etc. What is your workflow from AE, and what codec is your file when you render from AE?

Ben Marcheski
____________________________
media hype creative
http://www.mediahypecreative.com


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Greg Sage
Re: Gamma mismatch between comp, output played in VLC, QT player, YouTube
on Dec 3, 2015 at 7:55:16 pm

Project settings:



Output module:



Then I run it through media encoder to turn into mp4 with YT's recommended specs.

I remember doing a bunch of digging on here a couple years back to get a starting point and being so discouraged by the flood of unresolved info that I just left it alone. Not looking to write a thesis on color management here. Just want a decent workflow where I don't have to worry about gamma shifts or other issues where YouTube version doesn't match what I've been working on. (compression artifacts aside)


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Ivan Myles
Re: Gamma mismatch between comp, output played in VLC, QT player, YouTube
on Dec 3, 2015 at 8:37:26 pm
Last Edited By Ivan Myles on Dec 3, 2015 at 8:49:53 pm

Do you have Premiere Pro? First step would be to verify that the issue is in the exported file. In Premiere Pro create a Dynamic Link to the AE comp and import the H.264 file. Insert one above the other on a timeline. Set the Reference Panel to the YC scope, RGB Parade, or combination. In the timeline turn the upper track on and off and note any differences in luminance and color levels. It is natural to get a slight shift in color when exporting to H.264, but if there are significant changes in the YC curve then there is a definite problem with the AME export.

Are you using color management in the AE project?

[Greg Sage] "Then I run it through media encoder to turn into mp4 with YT's recommended specs."

Please clarify what you mean by, "run it through media encoder." Are you creating an intermediate file, or linking to the AE comp and exporting H.264 from AME? Other?

If you are using an intermediate file then include it in the Premiere Pro scope analysis described above.


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Greg Sage
Re: Gamma mismatch between comp, output played in VLC, QT player, YouTube
on Dec 3, 2015 at 8:52:23 pm
Last Edited By Greg Sage on Dec 3, 2015 at 9:00:14 pm

AME settings to compress for delivery to YT and FB:



Yes, I have PR. Not sure what the scopes are you're referring to, but I'll open it up and start figuring it out.

No, no color management on AE project. If I remember correctly, I should also be doing something like sRGB with linearized workflow and higher bitrate, but I never could get all the details worked out, and video production is only one in a wide range of activities I rotate in and out of, so if I don't get it all squared away into a preset, I'll forget some of the details by next time around.

OK. I appreciate the help, and you've got my attention. Time to work out that preset. Opening PR and setting up dynamic link...


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Ivan Myles
Re: Gamma mismatch between comp, output played in VLC, QT player, YouTube
on Dec 3, 2015 at 9:00:45 pm

[Greg Sage] "Not sure what the scopes are you're referring to, but I'll open it up and start figuring it out."

Under the video image in the Program, Reference, and Source panels there is a button to switch the video mode from "Composite" to the different scopes.


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Greg Sage
Re: Gamma mismatch between comp, output played in VLC, QT player, YouTube
on Dec 3, 2015 at 9:15:28 pm

The images from the dynamic link and the final mp4 are essentially identical. Scopes almost identical as well.


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Ivan Myles
Re: Gamma mismatch between comp, output played in VLC, QT player, YouTube
on Dec 3, 2015 at 9:22:05 pm

It would seem the problem is with the YouTube transcode or the individual media players. QuickTime has known issues. You noticed the same problem with VLC? Have you tried uploading to Vimeo?


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Greg Sage
Re: Gamma mismatch between comp, output played in VLC, QT player, YouTube
on Dec 3, 2015 at 9:37:33 pm

Nope. My mistake. VLC looks right. Yeah, issue appears to be the transcode at YT.

Upon some digging, though, it would appear my (cheap lcd tv) monitor is also drifting significantly, so even though I'm in same room with fairly well controlled light leakage, no reflections on screen, and (best I could manage) calibration via colormunki, it would seem that there was a fairly significant gamma shift from when I output it to when I uploaded it (both viewed on same system and same screen. I've got windows blocked out, etc.

Since I recently had a major issue from output to QT player, I guess I assumed more if the issue was due to those sorts of issues. I've since figured out to just not ues QT player at all due to gamma mismatch. VLC seems to be much truer to how it looks on YT or fb (all I really care about)

Anyway, thx. It's an opportunity for me to dig in and fix some of my workflow / color management issues once and for all... but that's an item for another thread.


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Ivan Myles
Re: Gamma mismatch between comp, output played in VLC, QT player, YouTube
on Dec 3, 2015 at 9:57:48 pm

As a final check, try downloading the YouTube file from the Video Manager page (on the YouTube site) and compare it to the AME H.264 file using the scopes in Premiere Pro.


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Greg Sage
Re: Gamma mismatch between comp, output played in VLC, QT player, YouTube
on Dec 3, 2015 at 10:19:17 pm

Yeah. a minor issue there. Possibly less of a gamma issue perse and more of crushed blacks. Bigger issue appears to be the monitor drift though. Thx. Need to save up for a better monitor if it's going to shift enough to be noticeable within 24 hours. I knew it was an issue... just not this big of an issue.

Moved on to some of the lingering color management issues this has touched on that I need to get squared away in this thread:

https://forums.creativecow.net/thread/2/1068667

thx again. Good to have a troubleshooting system in place.


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