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Big Color Shift between exported H264 mp4 and Program Monitor

Nov 22, 2012 5:31 AM

I get a big Color Shift between exported H264 mp4 on Vimeo/Youtube and Quicktime X and Program Monitor.


There are quite a few posts on Quicktime gamma issues, but there seem to be no solutions and the other editors I know don't seem to have this problem.


I know there will be a bit of a shift but this is MASSIVE. At the moment I add a whole extra adjustment layer to all my clips to get it approximately right, but ofcourse this does not solve the issue nor does it give proper results.


Please do not reply with the "You need a real reference monitor via SDI etc etc ..."


By my logic on the same screen the program monitor should resemble what is going to be the final result in a relevant player like Quicktime X which all normal apple consumers use to watch their films.  I know VLC and Mpeg streamclip gives different results, but mostly when playing Quicktime/h264 files Quicktime will play it thus average users ( the people I'd like to downwload/buy my films )will watch it in Quicktime.


Furthermore, Quicktime X's gamma/color looks very similar to the image I get on Youtube or Vimeo - which is where all my current work is going. I'm not outputting to boradcast or DVD etc.


Strangely enough the MPEG 2 stuff I've done for DVD matches the Youtube output with the Program monitor.


What am I doing wrong?


I have a Dell 2711 wide Gamut Display which is calibrated with an SPyder 3 Elite using its full colour gamut ( close to 90% of Adobe RGB - thus bigger than sRGB or Rec709) Could Premiere be ignoring the calibration in the Program monitor and making the image values 16-235 and then Quicktime uses all  values 0-255? If so, how can I fix this?


Any help will be much appreciated!


QuicktimeX_VS_Premiere.jpgAME Sttings.jpg

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 23, 2012 6:12 PM   in reply to DavidForway

    You cannot use PP's built-in monitors for CC or grading.  They are not designed to show you an accurate image.  You  MUST use a properly calibrated external TV.


    Nor can you use software media players on a computer monitor to judge the export.  You MUST get those exports onto the same calibrated TV via hardware.

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    Nov 23, 2012 11:28 PM   in reply to Jim Simon

    I agree with Jim. Even if you have an entry level set up its better than the Source Monitor. (i.e. BMintensity or MXO out to a calibrated Dell ips monitor).


    But with that said......

    H264 has a noticable gamma shift of -1 point. In the setting do a +1 gamma and export. You should be relatively close to what you saw in edit. CONTRAST WILL NOT DO IT for h264.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 6, 2013 7:36 PM   in reply to DavidForway

    David, I think you have problem with nVidia card changing video output color to values 16-235. You can fix it in one minute.

    1. 1. Go to Control panel and open NVIDIA Control panel
    2. 2. Find Adjust video color settings, and under 2. How do you make color adjustments? change to the option With the NVIDIA settings
    3. 3. In the Advanced tab change from Limited (16-235) to the Full (0-255). When you change the setting you can see how the color is changed in the VLC or QT player.


    It works on windows and I am not sure whether it is valid for Macs. Also I highly recommend using x264 codec for making H.264 compatible files if you need small file size with the same picture quality. Sometimes it also helps to get rid of color shifts.

    I hope it was helpful.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 18, 2013 4:34 PM   in reply to DavidForway

    Try x264 . I get perfect results in detail and color.


    Install MeGUI


    Get all of the updates, you will get some MeGUI components. Add a shortcut to your Desktop.


    FIRST you'll need to create a script for every file you convert.


    Go to Tools > AVS Script Creator.


    Under Input click ... in Video Input. Choose a video file. Then there will be some windows, I do not remember what they are about, but I think you will understand what to do.


    Click Save at the bottom of the AviSynth script creator window.


    SECOND choose video output in the main window

    THIRD  In Encoder section press Config.

    Enable Show Advanced Settings. Encoding Mode Automated 3pass, Bitrate 1000 (works fine for me, but you choose whatever you want), Preset Slower (Very Slow), AVC Profile High, AVC Level 4 for 1080p (choose Level 3.2 for 720p, more info:


    Save this preset. It helps in the future.  Click OK.


    FOURTH select MP4 in File format.

    FIFTH  Click AutoEncode


    I hope it will help you with H.264

    If you have a lot of files to encode you can use AviSynth Batch Scripter  to create script for every file.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 12, 2013 2:54 PM   in reply to DavidForway

    I know this has been a while so hopefully you found some help by now, but maybe this will help anyone stumbling across this.


    What people seem to be missing in what you are asking is... this is the same file, on the same monitor, but with a different appearance in different software.  It is not a question of whether the overall monitoring is GOOD, and it is not a matter of hardware settings (as that would most likely propogate across all software) it is that it is not CONSISTENT side by side on the very same monitor.


    I had very similar issues that really seemed to get worse when we got new monitors, which is what lead me to chime in here.  The monitors were also wide gamut displays.


    The problem is likely this...


    1. The difference being shown are the difference between software that properly color manages (i.e. Premier or After Effects) and software that does not (i.e. Quicktime or some web browsers)


    2. The reason it is so severe is that the wide gamut monitors are able to show many more colors and thus the difference between the managed and unmanaged software is much more exagerrated than on regular gamut monitors.


    I found this great link that helped calm my nerves and helped me get handle on much of what is going on.




    Now that is not to say that the 0-255/16-235 issue is not also involved here.  It is definitely possible that a specific codec or compressor is part of the problem, but it sounds like it starts with the color management issue first.


    I hope this helps. 



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2013 11:22 AM   in reply to ShevaPro

    ...or just buy x264pro and do it natively in Premiere/AME instead of that god-awful workflow - which btw is also illegal because it doesn't use a patent royalty paid version of x264.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 10, 2013 8:44 AM   in reply to DavidForway

    This problem is about YUV to RGB color range conversion.


    PP exports YUV video. But video players sometimes convert it to RGB video. It can be a problem.


    Try alternative player or look for some relative options.

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