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Working with DPX + LUT in AE

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Brett Harding
Working with DPX + LUT in AE
on Mar 15, 2016 at 2:01:36 am

I am creating comps in AE at 5.5K using a film out LUT. Source media is all DPX. I have been working in 16 bpc and rendering out DPX with no color management, LUT disabeled.

I have been bringing the rendered sequences back into AE to generate QT proxies with burn ins (turning LUT back on for this). At this stage I notice a problem: The render looks different under the LUT than the comp. Specifically, it is darker, "crushed" in the lower ranges. I can see more detail in the low end in the comp.

I have turned the LUT off on both the comp and the render to compare. They look exactly the same and measuring the pixel color values affirms that they are. This leads me to suspect the LUT (applied as an effect on an adjustment layer - "Apply Color LUT") is not displaying the layered comp properly.

I have tried a few different troubleshooting approaches, but am at a loss, and not a colorist myself. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Not sure what info you need, but here's what I'm working with:
AE CC version 13.5.0.347
OS X Yosemite
Processor: 2 x 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
Memory: 128 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2048 MB


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Chris Wright
Re: Working with DPX + LUT in AE
on Mar 15, 2016 at 3:28:37 am
Last Edited By Chris Wright on Mar 15, 2016 at 3:40:55 am

you can setup your monitor profiled at gamma 2.2 if you want to match PC's easier.
You should think about editing your working LUT to your native monitor gamma.

If you want to stick with gamma 1.8, continue reading.

1. for playback, QuickTime preference, General tab:
"Enable Final Cut Studio colour compatibility"

2. in AE,
Choose File > Project Settings. "Legacy Quicktime Gamma" preference via render queue, not export
https://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/kb/quicktime-movies-too-dark-light.ht...

3. there's quicktime 1.8 iluts in speedgrade/premiere as well.

if those fail, just use dispcal(free), or brizsoft to create a custom gamma lut 1.8.

4. setup color management by placing this .icm into this folder and use AE file interpret color management or its utility profile converter set as this .icm
PC
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Adobe\Color\Profiles
MAC folder is probably similar

(example)
AE's color profile converter
input quicktime gamma 1.8
output project working space

download quicktime gamma 1.8 icm color profile
9887_quicktimegamma1.8.icc.zip


5. or just use this sRGB 1.8 iridas cube LUT if you don't want to use color profiles
download sRGB 1.8 x16 iridas preview quality
9886_quicktimegamma1.8x16iridaslut.icm.zip

x64 render quality(slower)
9888_quicktimegamma1.8x64iridaslut.cube.zip

final note, the lut and color profile converter will negate needing to do the legacy preferences or quicktime player as its considered "burned in" although regular color management with simulate preview will not work unless you setup color management manually.


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Brett Harding
Re: Working with DPX + LUT in AE
on Mar 15, 2016 at 6:03:34 pm

Thanks for the in depth response, but to be clear, the problem is happening before QT render.

Let me try again:

1. comping with DPXs under LUT
2. rendering to DPXs without LUT
3. importing rendered DPXs back into AE and viewing under LUT

Step 3 is where the difference between the comp and the render are apparent.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Working with DPX + LUT in AE
on Mar 15, 2016 at 10:01:38 pm

[Brett Harding] "1. comping with DPXs under LUT
2. rendering to DPXs without LUT
3. importing rendered DPXs back into AE and viewing under LUT
Step 3 is where the difference between the comp and the render are apparent."


Do you see the same issue if you simply render/re-import the DPX files, untouched? Do your Cineon/DPX settings in the output module match what you're expecting to input, or are you inadvertently altering them there in the output module?

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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Brett Harding
Re: Working with DPX + LUT in AE
on Mar 15, 2016 at 10:27:19 pm

Do you see the same issue if you simply render/re-import the DPX files, untouched? Do your Cineon/DPX settings in the output module match what you're expecting to input, or are you inadvertently altering them there in the output module?

Yes. I just did another test, this time by taking the source dpx, pulling it into a new comp to maintain source settings, and rendered untouched (setting Output Module to DPX/Cineon and leaving color management as "Working Space - None". No other settings are changed)

Bringing this dpx back into AE produced a slightly different result: the image is now brighter, rather than darker, than the original source media.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Working with DPX + LUT in AE
on Mar 15, 2016 at 10:34:13 pm

DPX has settings for range that operate outside of the normal color management system. These can be found in the output module when you're rendering, and in interpret footage when you're importing.

In the Output Module settings dialog, where you chose DPX as the format, there's a "Format Options" button. Click that. It takes you to the output module's Color Management tab, where you can click the "Cineon Settings" button.

Do your output settings here correspond with what you expect?

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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Brett Harding
Re: Working with DPX + LUT in AE
on Mar 15, 2016 at 10:57:20 pm

I reset the interpret footage settings to all be "Over Range" and did a render test with the same settings on my test dpx. Voila, this worked (bringing back into AE, it looks exactly the same, with and without LUT, as the source).

However... I went back to the layered comp and did the same thing. Bringing the dpx back in produced the same error. I am now noticing that the error is NOT the same on every layer. I am working with two layers, both are masked, but one is heavily feathered. The un-feathered layer is exactly the same pixel color values - no issue here. The feathered layer is mushy and crushed. Is this a result of the masking? Is there any way around this?


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Brett Harding
Re: Working with DPX + LUT in AE
on Mar 15, 2016 at 11:46:00 pm

Quick update: after reading about the many issues with AE masking, I replaced the mask with a shape layer matte and added gaussian blur. This confirms that my problem now lies with the masking. With the shape/blur fix, it looks better, but still substandard (not at all like the display in the comp).

I will keep reading, but if you have any info or know of other threads you can point me to that would be very appreciated. Thanks.


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Chris Wright
Re: Working with DPX + LUT in AE
on Mar 16, 2016 at 1:36:47 am

what is your interpret alpha as? straight matte, or premultiplied or none?


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Brett Harding
Re: Working with DPX + LUT in AE
on Mar 16, 2016 at 1:43:20 am

Premultiplied (assuming you are referring to "Color" setting under Video Output in the Output Module Settings).

Under Interpret Footage, Alpha options are grayed out.


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Chris Wright
Re: Working with DPX + LUT in AE
on Mar 16, 2016 at 2:19:47 pm

is there any way you can reduce the project file and attach it here? I tried several things with feathered masks and alphas and couldn't re-create your "bug"

And DPX does support RGB+Alpha btw :)


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Walter Soyka
Re: Working with DPX + LUT in AE
on Mar 15, 2016 at 10:33:43 am

[Brett Harding] "The render looks different under the LUT than the comp. Specifically, it is darker, "crushed" in the lower ranges. I can see more detail in the low end in the comp."

How are you evaluating the render? In other words, what application are you using to view it?

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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Brett Harding
Re: Working with DPX + LUT in AE
on Mar 15, 2016 at 4:53:41 pm

I am bringing it back into AE after rendering.


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