10 Replies Latest reply on May 5, 2009 8:44 AM by reelhero

    AE import makes footage milky

    reelhero Level 1

      I just shot a commercial on 35mm and I'm adding type in after effects. When I bring the footage (ntsc)  into AE as a quicktime movie (uncompressed) from FCP, it looks milky and washed out in the AE preview and same when i export back to FCP:




      I looked at the quicktime movie that was imported into AE from FCP and its fine. it only happens in AE.


      any ideas?



        • 1. Re: AE import makes footage milky
          Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

          Todd: I am pasting here the reply I just posted on this in another thread:


          Try this: Go to Project Settings (File > Project Settings) and enable the "Match Legacy After Effects Quicktime Gamma Adjustments" checkbox.

          This should make Uncompressed and other Quicktime files look in AE just as they do in Quicktime Player.

          Does this do the trick for you?

          For more information, see QuickTime and gamma in non-color-managed projects in After Effects Help.

          For a more comprehensive solution -but more scary, I know-, you may want to try a Color Managment workflow: Assign a SDTV NTSC or HDTV (REC.709) project working space (in project settings) and make sure the footage input profile is assigned also as STDV NTSC or HDTV (depending of course on the nature of your footage).

          For more information on Color Management, see the relevant section in After Effects help or, better yet, the in-depth white paper on Color Management published by Adobe.

          • 2. Re: AE import makes footage milky
            reelhero Level 1

            thanks so much adolfo..that made a huge difference with the color but the quality is still not the same as the master and for the commercial there has to be no loss in quality..






            any ideas with that?

            • 3. Re: AE import makes footage milky
              Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

              What kind of quality loss are you seeing, Todd?

              I can't tell much by looking at those before and after frames.

              Is AE separating fields for the footage? Select the footage item in the Project panel and see the data that appears next to the thumbnail when you select it. It's tricky, because film obviously doesn't have fields but it would if it went through a SD tape format (not to mention if it had 3:2 pull-down added so it's compatible with 29.97 fps NTSC, in which case you may want to remove it when interpreting footage).

              Is the vertical position value a round even number?


              Just shots in the dark, as I don't see any obvious quality issue in the frames you posted.

              • 4. Re: AE import makes footage milky
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                You may also wish to check out our own Todd's recent blog post:




                I'm not sure since you said you use uncompressed, but it may give a clue as to what's going on and how to resolve your issue...



                • 5. Re: AE import makes footage milky
                  reelhero Level 1


                  the footage coming out of AE is softer..the qaulity shift isn't dramatic but for broadcast quality there can't be a percentage of difference.


                  it is separating it. it says: separating (lower) uncompressed YUV 8 bit 4:2:2 profile SDTV NTSC Y'CbCr.. i shut that off and added guess pulldown..still looks the same..its a little darker and slightly soft (original on left)




                  thanks mylenium for todd's article..i did use pro res on another project but i dont think it helps here..but i appreciate the link



                  • 6. Re: AE import makes footage milky
                    Adolfo Rozenfeld Adobe Employee

                    It shouldn't be softer, for sure.

                    As for it being darker... if you google the terms "FCP", "Quicktime" and "gamma" you'll see unfortunately there's a whole can of worms there. In other words, AE's output being different doesn't mean AE is doing it wrong


                    About it being softer:

                    If it's separating fields on import, then you should render with fields set to Lower Field first from AE.

                    Also, NTSC D1 is 720x486 while NTSC DV is 720x480, is it possible that your Comp is 720x480 or there's any other subtle mismatch there?

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: AE import makes footage milky
                      reelhero Level 1

                      it is set to D1..


                      im seeing it softer in the canvas in AE so would it make a difference if i change the render settings since im seeing it this way before it even renders?

                      • 8. Re: AE import makes footage milky
                        Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                        If you're interpreting the footage with fields, then all your previews are effectively deinterlaced - you're only seeing half the detail in the composition window.  If you then render with fields, both fields will be used in the interlaced output.  But if you render without fields your footage will remain deinterlaced.


                        Turn field interpretation OFF and you'll see the difference.


                        It's important to clarify with the DOP of the shoot how this material was shot.  Was it shot at 24 fps or 29.97/30 fps?  Was pulldown introduced during telecine?


                        It would be rare (and frankly, IMHO, pretty silly) to shoot at 24 fps for a job that's going straight to television.  If the film was shot at 29.97/30fps, and thus has no pulldown introduced, then you should definitely NOT be interpreting fields.


                        If it WAS shot at 24fps, I'd suggest working with field interpretation turned off (just for comfort's sake of seeing all the picture info), but turn the interpretation back on when rendering your final interlaced output.

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: AE import makes footage milky
                          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                          I concur with Andrew, but one more thing: When you place your footage, make sure you do so without introducing sub-pixel values, e.g. by working at 200% zoom or larger or inadvertently using fractional position values. Naturally, AE will have to resample then, slightly softening the result.



                          1 person found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: AE import makes footage milky
                            reelhero Level 1

                            thanks gentlemen you've been very helpful..


                            Andrew, i did have separate fields turned off on the latest import and it still appears soft.


                            we shot the footage at varying speeds, overcranking some of it up to 40 fps.


                            This is a pre telecine cut. I'm not sure if they introduced pulldown. I'm working with the one light transfer and frankly they're not even communicating with the director on this one. This is for the director's cut so I'll be doing my own telecine with a company in a week or so. The agency versions are airing right now. It's for AAMCO.


                            I've only been working at 100% preview Mylenium, so I still remain a little stumped on this. I'm trying to head this off at the pass before i get to telecine so i have all the kinks worked out when i lay in the final transferred footage.


                            It's so important that i get this right. I've never laid type over footage in all my work so i haven't encountered this. I've only done the logo treatments for my cuts (see toddheymandirector.com)