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Finished video looks SO different depending on player?

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Gerry Bayne
Finished video looks SO different depending on player?
on Aug 15, 2011 at 11:34:56 pm

I did some colour correction on a video recently. I rendered to H.264 1280X720. On the image I attached: on the left I'm playing the video in QT. On the right, I'm playing the video in Windows Media Player.



Why am I getting such different images? Which one is the "real" image? Is there anything I can do to avoid this phenomenon? I'm worried that if I send the video out for review, I'll get kudos or fired depending on the how they play it!


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Finished video looks SO different depending on player?
on Aug 16, 2011 at 5:42:28 am

QuickTime Player has a half-baked kind of color management that it does in which it tries to gamma-correct some movies based on codec and the presence of a gamma flag in the QuickTime movie.

This makes predicting how movies will appear in QuickTime Player very difficult.

I think that someone has a utility for stripping out that gamma flag from QuickTime movies. I'll do a quick search...

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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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Todd Kopriva
Re: Finished video looks SO different depending on player?
on Aug 16, 2011 at 5:44:03 am

http://aeportal.blogspot.com/2008/12/brightness-issues-with-h264-quicktime....

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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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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Finished video looks SO different depending on player?
on Aug 16, 2011 at 2:03:35 pm

Gerry -

Also bear in mind that it's going to look different everywhere it gets played back as well, unless of course you're on an inspect monitor in a control room at a TV station.

When I was in broadcast, I would have commercial clients tell me all the time - "our logo has to match the colors in our print ads". And then they would proceed to send me a CMYK copy of the logo which had to be converted to RGB - can you say "color shift"? This is just to help you understand that once you spend all the time and care making sure the colors are accurate, every stinking computer it will get played back on will have a different setup, or no setup. Or the playback software will have its' own idea of what it should look like (Quicktime, for example).

We used to joke at the station, that "once it's been strained through a sock into a tin can", no one will no what color it was. That's the nature of the distribution world. You get it as close as you can, and hope someone on the other end cares.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Jeff Brown
Re: Finished video looks SO different depending on player?
on Aug 19, 2011 at 4:40:55 pm

Absolutely, Joe.
I'm old enough to remember the saw that "NTSC" stands for "Never the same color."

-Jeff


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Finished video looks SO different depending on player?
on Aug 20, 2011 at 12:02:44 am

Absolutely right, Jeff. When you look at what passes for standards these days, it's pretty pitiful. I see national spots airing in which the buzz from illegal whites is enough to drive you crazy!

The trick to making colors accurate is convincing the client that there is really no way to get PMS colors accurate on a TV screen, and that they have to approve by eyeballing it. And also to make the client responsible for any color space conversion (CMYK to RGB) which has to happen as part of the process. Past that, it's plug and pray!

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Steve Brame
Re: Finished video looks SO different depending on player?
on Aug 20, 2011 at 12:31:32 pm

"Standards???!! We don't need no stinking standards!!!"

I heard that in a film once...or something like it.

Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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Jake Huddleston
Re: Finished video looks SO different depending on player?
on Sep 7, 2011 at 10:50:38 pm

Hey everyone. Sorry to bring the thread back to life, but I have a question about this. I am currently trying to burn a wedding DVD I shot and edited in Premiere Pro. I did some basic color correction in Premiere Pro, and burned the DVD through Encore. However, when I play the DVD back on my HDTV, it's almost as if I didn't do any color correction at all! I'm wondering if there is a way to match these? From what I've gathered from the talk about everything playing differently depending on the playback device, it seems near impossible. But yet, how do DVD movies always look great when played on different devices? The color is fine on my HDTV, standard def TV, and laptop. What is the difference? Thanks for any help!

Jake Huddleston


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Tom Daigon
Re: Finished video looks SO different depending on player?
on Sep 7, 2011 at 11:22:55 pm

In order to do any reliable color correction you really need to monitor the HD-SDI output on a professional external monitor. Using your computer screen will never allow you to see what the true nature of the color is. Any other way is just a crap shoot unfortunately.

Tom Daigon
Avid DS / PrP / After Effects Editor
http://www.hdshotsandcuts.com
Mac Pro 3,1
8 core
10.6.8
Nvidia Quadro 4000
24 gigs ram
Maxx Digita / Areca 8tb. raid


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Gerry Cast
Re: Finished video looks SO different depending on player?
on Feb 21, 2019 at 9:39:18 pm

Hi Jake,
Did you ever find out how to fix this? Here it is 2019 and my PPro exported H.264 files look fine with my Blending Mode and color correction, but after I burn a Blu Ray or a DVD in Encore, all color and Blend Modes (which helped darken a theater that was too bright on the audience), were gone. Please let me know. Thanks.


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Shane Ross
Re: Finished video looks SO different depending on player?
on Feb 22, 2019 at 12:29:09 am

There is no fix for this. You cannot mandate a standard for every LCD screen to display the same color, every cel phone, every computer display, every TV. And then all the players play things differently...QT, VLC...hosting sites, YouTube, Vimeo. All different. And even WEB APPS will display it differently. A video on Vimeo will look different on Safari than on Chrome, and Firefox.

This is why you get a properly balanced grading monitor, and feed it a proper signal. So you grade it to what THAT device shows. THen you know you have it right and good. What happens to it after you send it out into the world...you can't control that.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Gerry Cast
Re: Finished video looks SO different depending on player?
on Feb 22, 2019 at 3:56:45 am

Thanks. I bought a good Sony Reference monitor (not a TV), to use with my Intensity Pro (external) for playback of my Adobe Premier Pro video editing sessions.

My Spyder 5 will only calibrate monitors hooked directly to the computers video card, so how do I calibrate with my Sony hooked to the Intensity Pro? People are telling me it can’t be done (unless maybe it I get a LUT device from Aja).

Any help would be appreciated because I feel the expensive reference monitor is going to waste using it like this. My color calibrated Ben Q computer monitors are showing my deep rich colors, and the Sony Reference monitor looks a lot less saturated.

I used to use a plain old flat screen HDMI input TV as that would reflect what most people would use when playing my Blu Ray or DVD discs, so that seems to make more sense now that using this monitor (which I can return for the next 6 days).

Or, can I just get rid of the Intensity Pro external unit, plug the Sony monitor into my computer’s 980Ti card, calibrate using the Spyder 5 and then move my Premier Pro Program monitor to the Sony Reference monitor, and like you said, do the best I can grading on that?

Everything looks good on my computer monitors, but Blu Ray and DVD disks all are “lighter” looking and the Overly Blending Mode I used to “darken” a bright audience in a theater don’t seem to be translating to discs, but again, all look good on a computer, so the outputted H.264 file is ok, I guess. Frustrating.

I’m starting to suspect Adobe Encore is doing some Gamma (is that brightness and darkness?) shifting when outputting to disk.

Thanks.


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Finished video looks SO different depending on player?
on Feb 22, 2019 at 10:04:06 am

[Gerry Cast] "My Spyder 5 will only calibrate monitors hooked directly to the computers video card, so how do I calibrate with my Sony hooked to the Intensity Pro?"

You can create calibration LUTs in this case. I use Lightillusion's Lightspace but there are different options. Also the Spyder probes are notoriously bad and not recommended. The Xrite i1 display pro is a good cheaper model probe.

[Gerry Cast] "My color calibrated Ben Q computer monitors are showing my deep rich colors, and the Sony Reference monitor looks a lot less saturated."

Deep rich colours aren't necessarily correct. If you're doing an sRGB or Rec709 project on a wide gamut display the colors will look nice and vibrant but they aren't right for what you're trying to do.

[Gerry Cast] "Or, can I just get rid of the Intensity Pro external unit, plug the Sony monitor into my computer’s 980Ti card, calibrate using the Spyder 5 and then move my Premier Pro Program monitor to the Sony Reference monitor, and like you said, do the best I can grading on that?"

No. The point of the I/O device is that it is bypassing whatever the GPU and the OS is trying to do to the colors. You COULD do this (Premiere should have some ICC support now but I haven't tested it) but you should know EXACTLY what you're doing and validate that you're actually seeing what you're supposed to see.

[Gerry Cast] "I’m starting to suspect Adobe Encore is doing some Gamma (is that brightness and darkness?) shifting when outputting to disk."

No. It's using whatever you've put into it. 99.5% of these cases are wrong viewing/playback options and if something looks lighter or darker then it is usually a video/data level issue. Check out: https://www.lightillusion.com/data_tv_levels.html


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Gerry Cast
Re: Finished video looks SO different depending on player?
on Feb 24, 2019 at 6:40:25 pm

Thank you Tero!

Thanks about the Spyder, yes, I've heard the Xrite is better too. Looks like it $125.00 more than the Spyder I purchased already, but I'll consider it anyway.

OK, got it, so the Instensity Pro is bypassing whatever the GPU and OS is trying to do to the colors. Don't know, as you said, if PPro has ICC support, but will try to find out.

Regardless of the above questions and answers, the one weird thing in PPro 2019 ver 13.0 is that I'm using Blending Modes on a projects to darken areas of a theater that has a small audience in it, but that has empty seats. I've successfully darkened those empty areas. I export to H.264 High Quality 2 Pass and the resulting video looks fine. But, when I export of of Encore to make a Blu Ray or a DVD, the Blending Mode darkened areas play back brighter, as if there are no Blending Modes any more. I've tried different burning software, different hardware burners, different DVD/Blu Ray playback devices and different TV's, all with the same result. Any ideas? Thanks.


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