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Dropping the exposure in AE

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Mikko KovasiipiDropping the exposure in AE
by on Oct 7, 2010 at 8:14:58 am

Hi. I have shot some footage with Sony Ex-1 and there are some over bright spots. In Final Cut Pro I can fix those, but if I try to darken the image in AE it just makes the white gray. Is there any way I can retain the color information in AE? Sorry, quite hard to explane, but here is one example...

http://www.mizako.com/ae_vs_fcp.jpg

Thanks.
Mikko


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Mikko KovasiipiRe: Dropping the exposure in AE
by on Oct 7, 2010 at 11:14:34 am

I guess I'm talking the super white issue here. While FCP can handle 110 % of the white area, AE can handle only 100 %. It would be nice to use the original clips in AE that I can color correct rather than first color correct the clips in FCP, render them out and bring them again in AE...


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Dave LaRondeRe: Dropping the exposure in AE
by on Oct 7, 2010 at 3:26:50 pm

[Mikko Kovasiipi] "I guess I'm talking the super white issue here. While FCP can handle 110 % of the white area, AE can handle only 100 %."

My guess is the shot you posted is simply overexposed, and that the best thing to do is to shoot it over again, this time with proper exposure. It's the simplest and most effective thing to do. You don't have much detail in the bright areas, and AE can do VERY LITTLE to bring that detail back without looking bad.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter SoykaRe: Dropping the exposure in AE
by on Oct 7, 2010 at 7:53:10 pm

Magic Bullet Colorista II has a nice highlight recovery tool, too.

Well, they call it highlight recovery; technically, I think it's more like highlight reconstruction.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Chris WrightRe: Dropping the exposure in AE
by on Oct 7, 2010 at 5:23:16 pm

export video out as .jpeg or .tiff sequence then enable camera RAW mode for jpg's to restore highlights

tutorial
http://library.creativecow.net/articles/larsen_carl/camera_raw_sequence.php


or try my AE cs3 aep program that does the same thing with video
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=7T8L00DR

http://technicolorsoftware.hostzi.com/


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Dave LaRondeRe: Dropping the exposure in AE
by on Oct 7, 2010 at 5:57:51 pm

I'm still wondering how either technique you mention will resurrect detail in highly-overexposed footage acquired in the lossy, 8-bit MPEG codec.

If you've got a good explanation how that happens, I'm all ears.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Chris WrightRe: Dropping the exposure in AE
by on Oct 7, 2010 at 6:00:50 pm

if he uploads a full rez tiff, I'd be glad to post the result with both camera RAW and my project as comparisons. Even with jpg's, there is restore possible.

http://technicolorsoftware.hostzi.com/


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Dave LaRondeRe: Dropping the exposure in AE
by on Oct 7, 2010 at 6:12:27 pm

I completely understand that a tiff sequence has greater bit depth.

However, it was ACQUIRED in a codec that's barely passable as an acquisition codec to begin with: it uses interframe compression and 4-1-1 color resolution. If overexposed to the extent I saw, the damage has been done.

In one technique, simply turning it into a 32-bit tiff sequence does nothing to restore the bit depth in the image. In the other technique, there's so much noise inherent in the signal that using it to restore detail in overexposed areas is questionable at best.

Two terms come to mind: "silk purse" and "sow's ear".

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Chris WrightRe: Dropping the exposure in AE
by on Oct 7, 2010 at 6:47:40 pm

I perfectly understand what you're saying, but the tiff was merely a good way for him to render an image out to me in high enough quality so that I wouldn't lose even more quality, i.e. re-rendering out to a jpg would lose even more quality. As for testing wise, I got some of the color and details back even with his very small posted jpg as shown below using my project. Other programs can then repair the chroma damage furthur, such as Topaz.

Now obviously, he would want to re-shoot, but if it's impossible, I'm simply giving him the best way I know how to salvage his problem.



http://technicolorsoftware.hostzi.com/


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Jon BaggeRe: Dropping the exposure in AE
by on Oct 7, 2010 at 10:58:10 pm

I think you guys might be heading the wrong way. What I think is happening here is the difference between FCP working in YUV space and AE working in RGB space.
In FCP black/white is 16-235 (per colour channel in 8-bit. In 10-bit the numbers are different but that doesn't matter here). Overbright areas are 236-255.

Most cameras that I work with shoot overbright whites, and during colour correction I bring them down to 100% (235), which is what the OP is trying to do and which every editor should do anyway.

The problem is the method you use to move over into After Effects. Typically this involves conversion to RGB space, so 16-235 is remapped into 0-255, thus clipping away all the overbright areas and leading to the OP's problem.

I've found a way around this problem myself, and although I use Avid+AE I'm sure you can make it work for FCP too.

1) You need to export a QT from FCP that regains the YUV space. I assume a normal Prores QT should do this. (I export from Avid with the '601' box ticked)

2) In AE turn on Color Calibration and set the working color space to SDTV (601) or HDTV (709) PAL/NTSC. (for SD or HD) Use 16-bit internal processing.

3) In the interpret footage dialogue for each clip make sure the colour space is set correctly to 601 or 709 depending on your footage. In AE they're called SDTV / HDTV (Rec 709), and there are TWO versions: normal or 16-235. Make sure you Don't use 16-235.

Your footage should now look milky in the composition window since black/white is now 16-235, but your superbrights are intact. You can check this by appying a 'levels' effect. You'll find the blacks are at 16 (or 2047 in 16-bit) and the whites at 255 (32767).

Now colour correct, making sure to stretch the black down to 0 as well as fix the white in whatever way you chose.

You can fix the blacks by applying a 'levels' effect and set the input black to 16 (2047 in 16-bit), or you can simply fix everything by whatever your favorite colour correctin method is.

I hope this is of any use to you.

Good luck!

--------------
Jon Bagge
Editor - London, UK
Avid - FCP - After Effects


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Lu NelsonRe: Dropping the exposure in AE
by on Nov 3, 2010 at 8:44:26 pm

Jon, your answer is the first to get the original question.

However I've just been working on the same problem and I would qualify a few points:

1. Codecs out of FCP are "automatically" recognized by AE as to their profile. You can't select it in the interpret footage dialogue. That's my experience with DV25/50 and ProRes.
2. Therefore the handling of the color space is all down to the Color Management settings in the project settings, and in that case you need to set your working space to 16-235 (whether SD or HD), and
3. in order to AE to be able to *see* superwhite or superblack values you have to be in 32bit mode. Even 16bit mode still clips them off regardless of your working space.

Lu Nelson
Berlin, Germany
--
[MacProQ2.66, 8GB, Sys10.5.6, FCP 6.0.5, AE 9.0.2]


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