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Color in .mov file from After Effects CS6

Aug 2, 2012 5:07 PM

Scrren shot of how my animation looks in After Effects CS6 (on the left), vs. how it looks when rendered to a .mov file. (on the right). See how washed-out the colors look?

 

I am on a Mac, latest software versions and OSX.7.4. The source material is in RGB mode,  Color Setting is Adobe RGB 1998, which is my wRGB working space. Color settings are synchronized across the entire suite. In the AE project settings, I see that color management is turned on and we are indeed in the  Adobe RGB 1998 color space.

 

Possibly export settings, because I do not know thing one about those!

 

Thanks,

--Carol Gunn

 

Gunn Graphics

Austin, TXSphere-PRvsMov.jpg

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 3, 2012 8:09 AM   in reply to carolgunn

    To give a meaningful response to your dilemma, please tell us how you rendered out of AE: whether it was an image sequence (what kind?) or if a movie, the media container & codec.

     
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    Aug 3, 2012 10:14 AM   in reply to carolgunn

    Sorry, but I personally can't tell whether you're on a Mac or a Windows machine.  If it's a Mac, you may have Quicktime X installed rather than the latest version of Quicktime 7 for Mac.  QTX is frankly a dog, and I wouldn't use it.

     

    What you're seeing isn't a color isue, it's a Gamma issue... are you familiar with the term?

     

    I also see that your comp's frame rate is set to 24 fps, which is probably incorrect.  Almost every time, footage shot on a video camera AND at film frame rate is at 23.976 frames/sec.  Many camera and NLE makers erroneously refer to this frame rate as 23.98.  Rest assured,it's 23.976.

     

    I get the feeling you come from a Photoshop background, and you might be trying to use AE intuitively, which is a mistake:  too many "gotchas" in AE to attempt it sucesfully.  I don't know if this holds true in Photoshop, but AE can kill you without a good knowledge of the basics.

     

    If that's the case, you may find that life gets a little better following a visit to this page.  It contains a lot of useful information.

     
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    Aug 3, 2012 10:53 AM   in reply to carolgunn

    Read this FAQ: What is the best format for rendering and exporting from After Effects?

     

    Then I would suggest trying a different codec.  When you send your comp to the Render Queue it says lossless next ot the Output Module Settings, that means that it's using After Effect's defualt lossless settings, which uses a codec called Animation.  Animation is an ancient codec that delivers huge files and it isn't used so much in production anymore.  If you click on lossless the Output Module Settings screen will come up where you can change the format of your render and you can change the codec by hitting the Format Options button.

     

    Render_Settings.png

     

    I've seen that washed out issue before with the Animation codec and just did some tests.  I also played with the Color Management settings using the Animation codec by going to the upper right hand tab in the Output Module Settings menu.  That seemed to have no effect on the final look of the render.  A quicktime render with the Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) codec seems to match the AE screenshot almost identically.

     

    Color_Render_Test.png

    Unfortunately, you can't get the ProRes codecs without having either Final Cut Pro installed or Apple Motion.  I think it's possible to buy them from the Apple website.  However, there are other lossless codecs you can try such as Uncompressed YUV 10bit or 8bit, but I just did a test and I got a much darker render than the ProRes renders and the screenshot.  Judge for yourself what's best...

     

    Color_Render_Test_2.png

     

     

    If you want ot know more, here's an FAQ on the basics of rendering and exporting in AE...

    http://help.adobe.com/en_US/aftereffects/cs/using/WS3878526689cb916558 66c1103a4f2dff7-79f4a.html#WS3878526689cb91655866c1103a4f2dff7-79f1a

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 3, 2012 10:58 AM   in reply to BenjaminMarkus

    I'd also recommend Quicktime's PNG codec to render lossles movies.  It's 10-bit and it supports alpha channels.  Compared to the old Animation codec, file sizes are a good deal smaller to boot most of the time.  The exception: animated lower-thirds.  You can't beat Animation for them.

     
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    Aug 3, 2012 11:01 AM   in reply to Dave LaRonde

    Yes PNG is also fantastic, although when I use them I usually just render to image sequences.

     
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    Aug 3, 2012 11:13 AM   in reply to carolgunn

    Ah, the latest versions of all software.  That probably means QTX.  I believe you'll find QT 7 on your OS installation disks, and you ought to take advantage of it and lose QTX.

     

    The biggest consideration in the choce of video codec is how it will be used next.  If, for example, the file is going to Final Cut Pro, it may display perfectly.  Many times you'll receive delivery specifications, and the choice of codec may be out of your hands.

     

    So there's really no one best answer. 

     
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    Aug 3, 2012 11:15 AM   in reply to carolgunn

    It seems to me that the screnshot matches just slightly better to the ProRes render with Gamma correction set to none, so I would use that setting.  As for fps, I personally like to work in true 24 when I'm doing motion graphics animation in After Effects because it displays the individual frames at equal lengths.  Then when I export the comp I go to Best Settings and manually change the fps to a video fram rate like 23.976.  This is especially important if you need the frame rate to match up with some video later.  If I'm doing video work in AE, I set my comp to match the settings of the footage I'm using.

     
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    Aug 3, 2012 12:39 PM   in reply to carolgunn

    My knowledge of Dynamic Link is pretty sketchy: I'm a Final Cut Pro / AE user -- no such convenience for me!

     

    However, I'm pretty certain that if you've opened the AE comp In Premiere via Dynamic link, you're looking directly at the AE comp.  If you quit Premiere, then make changes to that particular AE comp, you'll see the changes when you open Premiere again.  You can also use an "edit original" command in Premiere -- I think that's the term -- to modify the AE comp. 

     

    When the Premiere Project is complete, you'll render all video in the codec & media container you selected at the beginning of the Premiere project.

     

    I hope someone corrects me if I'm wrong, but that's how I understand the process.

     

    Here's where I got my info.  It's a page from Adobe's Online Help for AE.  I typed in dynamic link as a search term, and the page was at the top.

     
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    Aug 3, 2012 1:21 PM   in reply to carolgunn

    It's hard to tell with so many colors, that's why I just did the flat red renders so you can really see the difference.  But, as you can see in my test the uncompressed codecs are way darker and still pretty orange compared t the screenshot.  Have you tried using the PNG codec like Dave suggested?

     
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    Aug 3, 2012 2:14 PM   in reply to carolgunn

    Are you working in 8 bit?  If not I would use the 10 bit as the production codec.  The quality is going to be better.  It may not play on the desktop, but it should play in PR and AE and might end up being a better codec for going in between softwares.  I would suggest using H.264 as a final output codec.  It's also lossless and should have no problem playing off the desktop.  However, H.264 is not a good intermediate codec, meaning it won't hold up as well going in between softwares and being re-rendered.

     
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    Aug 3, 2012 4:37 PM   in reply to carolgunn

    If you match your color profiles, your color management, and your display settings across the board the colors will match unless there's a rendering bug in a codec. Pro-Rez suffered for quite a while with a pesky gamma bug. Some codecs don't respect color management. Some players don't respect color management. The trick here is to establish a workflow that works for you, write it down, save the presets, and stick to it.

     

    It's exactly like matching color profiles with a printer. Everybody and every file and every machine must have the same settings for the colors to match.

     
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