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Need to add 100/0 Color Bars for HD TV

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F. David Robbins IVNeed to add 100/0 Color Bars for HD TV
by on Jan 6, 2016 at 1:32:23 am

Hey there,

I've got a specification for 100/0 (100%) color bars for my export that will air on HD US Cable TV. I've tried both the Premiere "Bars and Tone" and "HD Bars and Tone", but both have been rejected by QC.

Looking around the web, I can't seem to find a reliable answer as to what specific set of color bars needs to be on screen.

I've tried these two with no luck:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SMPTE_Color_Bars.svg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SMPTE_Color_Bars_16x9.svg

Saw these, but I've never seen those before and may not be real:
http://s43.photobucket.com/user/crunchb3rry/media/testpatterns/originalcolo...
http://static1.squarespace.com/static/558e91ace4b003b31166c38c/55dd64a8e4b0...

Any help on what video needs to shown would be most appreciated!!


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Mike KellandRe: Need to add 100/0 Color Bars for HD TV
by on Jan 6, 2016 at 7:57:10 am

Download the Blackmagic Desktop video software from their website - it has a folder in the package with bars. There's a 100% bars file in there that is what you're after. The bars go from top to bottom of screen, just 8 lines of color - will appear very bright on your video output monitor as all colors are at 100 percent. Think FCP7 has a 100% bar generator too.

Hope that's what you're after. I use the Blackmagic one to meet Channel 4 specs for sending to the UK.


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F. David Robbins IVRe: Need to add 100/0 Color Bars for HD TV
by on Jan 6, 2016 at 8:21:40 am
Last Edited By F. David Robbins IV on Jan 6, 2016 at 8:58:03 am

Thanks for the response! I've installed the software, but looking through the programs, and in the package contents (on a Mac), I see no color bar files. Is the one in the Blackmagic program you're referring to similar to the last of the 4 examples above?

Not sure if it makes any difference though, but I'm delivering to a US station, not UK.


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Mike KellandRe: Need to add 100/0 Color Bars for HD TV
by on Jan 6, 2016 at 11:54:01 pm

Open the installer and on the first window you'll see a folder called 'test clips'. They're in there :)


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F. David Robbins IVRe: Need to add 100/0 Color Bars for HD TV
by on Jan 7, 2016 at 3:42:12 am

I don't see anything like that on my Mac when installing. Maybe they removed that from new installs? Either way, I was able to get on a copy of FCP and grab it from there. Hopefully it's correct. Thanks!!


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Matt QuinnRe: Need to add 100/0 Color Bars for HD TV
by on Aug 29, 2016 at 11:47:10 am

Just for the record, I have downloaded the installer onto a windows machine, and can confirm that there is not folder of sample files... I even went as far as installing the application on one machine; still no samples.

Perhaps a link would be useful?

Does anyone know of an accurate graphic or reference file that CAN be used? I'm afraid both SMPTE and 'HD' bars as generated by CS6 are unacceptable for delivery to many broadcasters now. - Particularly in the UK.


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Craig HowardRe: Need to add 100/0 Color Bars for HD TV
by on Sep 8, 2016 at 4:20:16 am

I am amazed that the U.K and U.S still use Bars on deliverables. ( ie Digital Deliverables.)

What possibly do they do with them?

If supplied as part of the "program file " they would need to "edit" them off via an export.
If separate to "program file " ...what are they checking? !!!

They serve no purpose apart from setting up systems and dubbing pipelines. Its doubtful they do either with digital files.

QC uses scopes primarily to check Luma and Chroma ...and they have other criteria that are less critical but still noted in q.c apps such as Black Magic Ultra Scope.

Bars , tone and countdown leaders are gone along with analogue.

Craig Howard
Shooter Film Company
Auckland
New Zealand

Adobe CC2014 Suite, Resolve
Windows 7-64 bit:Assus P6T Deluxe Mob, 24 GB BM SDI Decklink, . HD Workflows



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Tero AhlforsRe: Need to add 100/0 Color Bars for HD TV
by on Sep 8, 2016 at 6:39:42 am

[Craig Howard] "They serve no purpose apart from setting up systems and dubbing pipelines. Its doubtful they do either with digital files."

You can easily see if there's something wrong with the interpretation of levels if you have bars in front of the program.


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Matt QuinnRe: Need to add 100/0 Color Bars for HD TV
by on Sep 8, 2016 at 11:53:52 am

Bars & Tone 'should' be the reference point from the originating system to the handling destination - A bit like someone blowing a pitch pipe to ensure the rest of the group follows in correct harmony and volume.

"QC uses scopes primarily to check Luma and Chroma ...and they have other criteria that are less critical but still noted in q.c apps"

Which is most sensibly (some will argue can only be) done when you know the reference points used by the originator. Otherwise the actions become those of 'educated guesswork'. - Something that is both very possible and very common but not at all desirable.

By "QC" I assume you mean some final 'clean up process' or post-production activity that you might expect the broadcaster or a finishing house to carry out? But really QC should be thought of as an ongoing process that starts with preparing the camera for a shoot and ends with the delivery of material that is minimally flawed.

If a workflow is such that its output demands extensive rework at the QC stage then that workflow carries an overhead and therefore a cost that might be usefully avoided. Certainly, leaving off a meaningful reference for those involved in final finishing isn't helpful. In our case we'll send out the file for final QC and 'wrapping' to AS-11/DPP if it's to be broadcast. But we want the op-1a file to be 'as right as possible' - including the correct bars and clock.

"They serve no purpose apart from setting up systems and dubbing pipelines."

Not so. The signal itself is part of any active system and the path from sensor to the viewer's retina is all part of a pipeline. Broadcasters and others require a line up at the head of a piece for much the same reasons they always have. And part of the Automated Quality Control (ACQ) process is that it seeks and (I suppose) makes reference to the line up!

"Bars , tone and countdown leaders are gone along with analogue."

It would appear not... From the June NZ "Technical Standards and Documentation Guide for the Delivery of Commercials."

"1.3.3 Video Line-up

Line-up signals serve to identify individual signal channels and to provide reference levels that will confirm that the content transmitted is likely to be within transmission signal limits and will be as the producer intended.

At the beginning of each tape, line-up signals consisting of at least one minute of first generation Colour Bars shall be present (for SD - 100/0/100/0 bars is preferred, but 100/0/75/0 is acceptable. HD -100/0/100/0 bars).

The start of each commercial shall be preceded by a graphical identification (Slate) and a countdown leader (optional). The Slate must show the Key number, Production house, Advertiser and product description where appropriate.

The video and audio signal levels must be related accurately to their associated line-up signals with no deviation being permitted
"

...There seems to be little significant difference between what the NZ broadcasters are asking for and that required by DPP group broadcasters in the UK.

The question remains though; how do you generate meaningful bars of you're running something like CS6 which doesn't have EBU bars? - For the record I'm not convinced that running an existing video sample from some random source IS the way forward.

Personally, I've not yet had any difficulties with acceptance of a pattern I set up in Photoshop, but I have my nagging doubts as to how 'right' and valid this is as a technique. I can set a Betacam deck to output bars and 'capture' that, scale 'em up to frame and it produces a the appropriate display on the software vectorscope - but again, I'm not sure how useful this is as it seems more of a bluff than useful/relevant reference.


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Craig HowardRe: Need to add 100/0 Color Bars for HD TV
by on Sep 8, 2016 at 10:42:40 pm

Little point I should make to clarify. My experience is in broadcast TV Commercials and my comments relate to this mainly.

Bars and Tone as a Reference..totally understood and have used it for many years..including post prod pipelines and edit suite set ups for monitors etc. We still use bars and tone from cameras and field sources as well.

Digital Delivery changed just our deliverable requirements

The Bars and tone generated by Premiere has always been accepted by the "broadcast gatekeepers" QC when we used it in analogue to set up machines for the inherent station dubbs from Master TAPE ie tape to tape.

Digital does not have the same set up. So what is the point of adding a perfect BARS and Tone reference to the head of a broadcast program that has been manipulated - CC, grade . The bars will always be legal and the program may not be.

Then...the broadcaster has to remove the content ahead of the program by a digital edit and dubb...that might incurr additional changes to chroma. luma etc.

This was a big issue when creating station dubbs from Master files through Final Cut Pro because the famous QT gamma bug issue and the gamma levels of the monitors used!

Keep in mind also that sound levels now have the added "Loudness Standard" which is not much to do with 1000 @XXdB setup tone at all.

In NZ...we deliver content via media servers. I upload online directly to the server and the content is QC;d.
They send a report back to me and then they deliver to the scheduled Broadcasters.

They ask for: a legal video file with a legal loudness audio stream contained, in a few Codec or Format choices ( options).

This file is 1st frame content to last frame content only (exactly) They also ask for separate ID board and the filenames a re a specific protocol of key number. They do not ask for BARS or Countdown leaders. (They used to though)

The QC is entirely on the Video and audio. Why would a perfect reference board help in this regard.


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Matt QuinnRe: Need to add 100/0 Color Bars for HD TV
by on Sep 9, 2016 at 3:11:44 am

Possibly a point I should make myself is that I've spent over 35 years in the production industry having served the first five years as apprentice to a major broadcaster; I didn't just fall into the trade. For 30 of those years I've owned my own production company and dozen of were spent lecturing (Part time, and by invite) in the subject. In my time I've had to originate teaching materials, design and deliver courses to SQA standards... As well as work in the real world...

There is almost-certainly little point in placing random bars from another system at the beginning of a file; which is the point I was trying to gently guide towards... Always better to let the penny drop rather than ping it off someone's forehead. :-) But the presence of meaningful bars at the beginning of an incoming file or recording allows alignment to whatever system it is to be handled on. And the sample footage kindly supplied by Tero provides a good example of why...

Tero is convinced his signal is correct - and it is on his system! I'm not going to dispute that with the guy. But once it's been passed along the chain (for whatever reason) my system says something else... And it's my system I'll be working with. Therefore I know that the first thing I'll have to do with that footage before I start manipulating it is apply a little baseline processing to bring that incoming signal into line with the system I'll be processing it on. Lineup makes that fast easy and accurate.

Suppose I take his footage without the alignment signal and 'correct' it shot by shot... Takes time (and money) for a start. And any changes I might make to the footage that followed would be a form of 'summary justice' that just pulls the signal into what I decide is 'in line'; and my judgement in that respect could be wrong or at least produce a different outcome from that intended by the originator...

" So what is the point of adding a perfect BARS and Tone reference to the head of a broadcast program that has been manipulated - CC, grade . The bars will always be legal and the program may not be."

If you left the originator's Bars and Tone at the head of the programme, and then manipulated it this would be true... Because they provide a reference to the originator's system, not the one you are manipulating the programme with. That's NOT what you should be doing!

However, once I've ingested Tero's file (for instance) and applied the baseline adjustments, then made any other corrections or changes required the line-up signals that head-up the manipulated output come from my system... They (should) reflect the 'benchmarks' I made my measurements against; because that's the reference I've conformed to.

http://www.commercialapprovals.co.nz/documents/Commercial_Production_Standa...

...The document from which I quoted earlier. It's quite clear that CAB are requiring line up signals! So this ISN'T a UK/US thing by any means!

"In NZ...we deliver content via media servers. I upload online directly to the server and the content is QC;d.
They send a report back to me and then they deliver to the scheduled Broadcasters.

They ask for: a legal video file with a legal loudness audio stream contained, in a few Codec or Format choices ( options).

This file is 1st frame content to last frame content only (exactly) They also ask for separate ID board and the filenames a re a specific protocol of key number. They do not ask for BARS or Countdown leaders. (They used to though)

The QC is entirely on the Video and audio. Why would a perfect reference board help in this regard."


What can I say? There are guys who will take money off you to check the tyre pressures in your car, fill up the washer bottle, check the oil and coolant and wipe your windscreen for you. - Or you can do the same thing yourself in 10 minutes on a Sunday morning...

There are third-parties that will provide this service here too... And ultimately a 'final step' for us is to 'farm-out' the final QC if an item's going to air as it includes things like an PSE check. They'll ultimately 'wrap' the file with the correct shim and 'deliver it for us.

Now. Back in the days of tape these guys would have asked for lineup because those bars would either have been internal from the VTR or perhaps 'house bars' from the facility; in either case they usefully reflect the finishing system. - You'd actually have to go to fairly silly lengths to stripe a tape with 'alien bars', and it would probably get chucked back fairly quickly...

These days? Well, people bluff it! Often quite innocently! ...Suppose in all innocence I just used Tero's bars? And the next person who handles that output assumes those ARE the references from my system; but they're not! - Meaningful bars would be useful; irrelevant ones a menace that would waste a lot of somebody's time... I would imagine that many of these guys will be a little 'weary' of lineup headers that are just not in any way meaningful. Which is maybe why they're asking just for content only...

Clearly what they're going to do anyway is their QC, adjustments, then provide lineup (bars and tone) from their systems and that's what they'll wrap and send to the broadcaster...

Not sure that's best or good practice though. It's certainly not going to minimise the overhead (time is money!) or contribute to best quality output.

And would it be a good idea for something longer than an ad? Really I think not, personally...

Have a wade through the AS-11 DPP stuff that's online; It's a bit like knitting soup as it's so badly presented. But it does make sense and us likely to 'thought-lead' future workflows.

Anyhoo... :-) 04:10 here in Bonny Scotland! Time I was up the wooden hill!


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Tero AhlforsRe: Need to add 100/0 Color Bars for HD TV
by on Sep 8, 2016 at 12:18:14 pm

I captured some generated bars from our Sony SRW-5000. Check out if that would work: https://we.tl/iZRaa0MG72


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Matt QuinnRe: Need to add 100/0 Color Bars for HD TV
by on Sep 8, 2016 at 1:24:57 pm

Thanks for that Tero...

Three images:

1) Bars created captured from an A75P - I did call up 100% bars but need to take a closer look at the machine's settings.... But still, we get the picture.



2) The bars you just posted Teros, the file was simply downloaded and imported with no adjustment. If I received footage with these bars I'd normally 'reign it in' using the appropriate filters.



3) Finally, bars created using PhotoShop and imported as the native PS file. Note the lack of any 'trace' - just green spots bang in the targets.



We've gone with the PS file generally - though rather counter-intuitively it's generated using '0, 255' values.

Note: I'm not saying this is 'right' per se... But so far it seems to have caused no problems. We're outputting to OP1a MXF using AVC100. - Incidentally, a compressed graphic of any kind seems to produce 'less accurate' results.


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Tero AhlforsRe: Need to add 100/0 Color Bars for HD TV
by on Sep 8, 2016 at 1:43:26 pm

I've never trusted Premiere scopes. The file shows up correct in Resolve and Smoke and hits the 100% targets.


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Matt QuinnRe: Need to add 100/0 Color Bars for HD TV
by on Sep 8, 2016 at 4:21:15 pm

OK... Fair enough.

Here is a grab of the bars off the 'official' DPP AS-11 exemplar which is buried on their website. It goes on to play the UK channel 4 'Tokyo' ident... (https://www.digitalproductionpartnership.co.uk/as-11-v1-1-uk-dpp-example-files/)



So this IS a compliant file as broadcast by one of the DPP Partners.

Now, ironically enough I'm not convinced the 'red flag' bars wouldn't be rejected as non-compliant - rumours abound of anything other than full raster bars being rejected with even a simple text ident over them being an issue.

But level and phase-wise they come in as correct; and do show up as such on Premiere.

And this Is the original question really; how do you set up compliant bars in one of the versions of Premiere that doesn't have them? - Bars that actually ARE a suitable reference signal for the particular system in use?


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