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8 or 16 bit for color correcting

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Joe Orange
8 or 16 bit for color correcting
on Nov 21, 2010 at 5:53:44 pm

ProRes 4444 clips need color correcting.
In Photoshop to preserve pixel quality it's wise to convert an 8 bit image to 16 bit, work on it, flatten the adjustment layers then convert back to 8 bit.
Does this apply to color correcting clips in AE ie is it essential to use adjustment layers, if so, do they flatten, if not what is the sequence to incorporate them into the movie and at which point should the clip then be converted back to 8 bit?

many thanks in advance


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Todd Kopriva
Re: 8 or 16 bit for color correcting
on Nov 21, 2010 at 7:18:26 pm

You should set your project to 16 bits per channel to work with finer color gradations within your project. (Even better, you can work in 32bpc.) You can render and export an 8bpc output movie. See "Color depth and high dynamic range color".

That's all there is to it.

After Effects works nondestructively in all cases, so there's no need to take the same precautions with adjustment layers and such as in Photoshop. You can still use
adjustment layers to make adjustments to entire composites rather than to individual layers, of course.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
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Joe Orange
Re: 8 or 16 bit for color correcting
on Nov 22, 2010 at 11:33:31 am

Thanks for the reply Todd.
When using Color Balance with 32 bit I am warned that this effect only supports 8 and 16 bit and in 32 bit color won't be so accurate - why is that? Is it unwise to use Color Balance to color correct? or should it be in 16 bit?

thanks


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Todd Kopriva
Re: 8 or 16 bit for color correcting
on Nov 22, 2010 at 2:53:05 pm

> When using Color Balance with 32 bit I am warned that this effect only supports 8 and 16 bit and in 32 bit color won't be so accurate - why is that?


That just means that that effect only uses 16 bits per channel, so colors that are output by that effect will only retain 16 bits of precision per channel.

You might as well just stick with a 16-bpc project if you're going to do color correction using 16-bpc effects. 32-bpc work is mostly useful for glows and blurs and working with superbright highlights.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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