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Rendered video darker than preview

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ryan hood
Rendered video darker than preview
on Feb 19, 2019 at 12:09:00 am
Last Edited By ryan hood on Feb 19, 2019 at 12:12:45 am

Hello everyone.

So I've been working for a few months on a project and now that it's time to render it I've come across an issue that I've had in the past.

Simply put:

- The preview of the video is fine in sony vegas, but when I render it and play it back everything is a lot darker.
- It is darker in both VLC and other players

In the past I've resorted to applying a 'VEGAS levels' effect to the entire video and choosing 'computer RBG to studio RBG' I really would prefer not to do that as that makes the video lighter than I intended when it's on Youtube.

Throughout the years I've bypassed this by changing my VLC settings and fiddling around with stuff like YUV > RGB conversions and things like that, but I honestly don't know what I'm doing in that regard.

I'm thinking about testing out different 'colour spaces' , which is something I recently found in the rendering settings. Since I've had sony vegas I believe I've had it on 'default' but in the drop down menu I see a lot of options including things like 'ACES' and 'ACES RRT (sRGB)' which I have hope for if my assumption that that means studio RGB.

In case it helps, my current pixel format is 8-bit and my compositing gamma is 2.222 (video)

I would really appreciate some words of wisdom of how I can render the same brightness as is in the sony vegas preview.

Thanks very much.

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Ole Kristiansen
Re: Rendered video darker than preview
on Feb 19, 2019 at 11:15:36 am

Hi Ryan !

read this

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ryan hood
Re: Rendered video darker than preview
on Feb 19, 2019 at 11:50:07 am

I appreciate the link Ole, but a lot of that goes over my head as a very occasional video maker.

Just to make things clear, I'm working with a lot of images in the video and those images look fine when working in sony vegas (the preview window) but when I render them they are darker and have more contrast. I also have an approaching deadline of sorts, and don't really have the time to start looking into scopes and things like that.

Is it possible to achieve the original colour/brightness of the images just changing the render settings?


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Ole Kristiansen
Re: Rendered video darker than preview
on Feb 19, 2019 at 1:42:52 pm

First, the Video Preview Window in Vegas Pro is only for cutting your footage and Scope's is your best friend !

When you have to Render your movie out of Vegas Pro - you need a codec that is Broadcast Safe 16-235 !

I read what you write - so first I would try to put an FX: Sony Levels - Preset: Computer RGB to Studio RGB -
on the video track on the timeline and see what happens!

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George Dean
Re: Rendered video darker than preview
on Feb 19, 2019 at 4:38:35 pm

Hi Ryan,

I think Ole is providing some great guidance. Without reading the link he provided, I hope I am not contradicting....

First, keep with the 8 bit. Your source media is most likely 4:2:0 8 bit, therefore any other pixel format such as 32 bit float is not going to offer any improvement, rather require additional processing power and jumping through unecsesary hoops. If your source media is 4:2:2 10 bit, that is a different story.

I would suggest downloading and installing SeMW, install, then load the option window under 'Tools' > 'Extensions' make sure the 'Preview Levels' is checked. Then go to the Preview display. At the top will be an option 'Original' with a down arrow. Click on that and select 'PC'. This will only effect the Preview display. Set your color corrections (using scopes is the best) to suit your taste, then render your file. Setting the Preview to 'PC' levels using this SeMW feature will not effect your rendered file. Then see how you like the VLC playback and Youtube playback. SeMW can be downloaded from here:

Keep in mind that every video that is uploaded to Youtube goes through a conversion process, which Youtube has been known to change occasionally. Also, desktop players such as VLC can be changed to suit your taste.

There is no option when rendering to change the brightness or contrast, you get what you get from each render format dependent on the codec used in that format.

Also, to my knowledge, there is no magic bullet button that allows us to out think the NLE processing procedures and results. We can change them but we have to invest the time to determine what each change does so we can make the changes we prefer to get the results we are happy with.

Best Regards......George

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