Before I went about adjusting things, I would try in another player, besides QT. It is known to have Gamma issues, and also color issues, though I know of those mainly from QT on the PC, but perhaps it's the same, or similar on the Mac?
I am aware of the issues that QT has and so I have tried it in other media players but they all look the same as each other. This is the same for Vimeo and Youtube also. The only place it looks different is in Premiere Pro.
OK, and thanks for that clarification. I did not want you joisting with windmills, when it was but a player issue.
Now, I have not encountered what you showed, and am also a PC-only guy, so not sure how much help I can be. However, there are some great folk here, and they will be by soon, with some useful ideas.
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Did you use Quicktime's H.264 export option? Or just standard h.264 using the .mp4 container? If you used the Quicktime h.264 the option itself is flawed. Here are some links regarding the issue.
If you read around the net a lot of people have had this issue with h264. A couple of the articles I posted are supposed to "fix" the problem although I haven't ever tried any of them myself. I've never experinced a gamma shift when using the standard h.264 format option in Premiere, however if you have already used that option and you're still having issues then I have no clue what is going on. However when I import ProRes files into Premiere they don't appear washed out, but when I play them in Quicktime or VLC they do appear washed out. I've always just assumed Premiere was somehow correcting it, because when I export my video to mpeg-2 for playback on our server it looks like it looked in Premiere.
From what I have read though the reason the Quicktime format does this when using the h.264 codec looks and looks washed out is because of a incorrect gamma tag. But Premiere isn't affected/fooled by this like most media players are. According from how they made it sound on provideo and the one other site I read it on anyways.
Thanks for the information ComputerNovice25.
I use the standard H.264 option when encoding from PP or Media Encoder. There are H.264 Blu-Ray and Quicktime options but I use H.264 which results in /mp4 files. Strangely, even when I use MPEG-2 or MPEG4 I'm still seeing the same issues.
I have a feeling that my problem is not limited to the H.264 codec but, like you said, something to do with how PP is interpreting the footage for playback. If this is the case, would the simple solution be to compensate for the gamma shift before encoding - so the footage looks too dark in PP - but acceptable when playing afterwards?
Since you're having issues with mpeg-2 I know something wierd is for sure going now. Do you have a NVIDIA graphics card? Sometimes when people have NVIDIA GPU's and they have their color range set to limited 16-235 it causes stuff in their media players to look washed out. I'm not sure how to weak this on a mac though but you need to make sure your colors aren't set to 16-235 because that's what I'm starting to suspect, because I haven't ever had issues with mpeg-2 appearing "washed out". Unless their is some wierd bug going on here.
Also often times with mac's you need to check the following settings
Check this too... Scroll to the bottom of the post there is also one towards the middle that might help.
There are a couples settings mac's have that make things look washed out. Also could you upload a small test file that I could check on my system? The reason I don't think it would be good to make the color darker is because I'm thinking this is probably a GPU/OS on your specific machine possibly causing the issue. Video used to be washed out on my PC too but once I found the 16-235 and changed it then all my media players looked correct. Before they looked terrible though and Premiere looked okay.
Hopefully this doesn't turn out to be a bug but I don't think it is, because I use mpeg-2 several times a day when I export for broadcast and I haven't ever had it wash my video out in any media player at all unless my GPU settings weren't correct.
I do indeed have an NVIDIA card - NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M 256 MB - running on OS X 10.7.4. Your theory sounds quite close to what the problem actually could be.
Here's a test clip (mp4) - https://www.dropbox.com/s/12h1htyacchr8dk/Gamma%20test%206.mp4
Here's an MPEG2 for comparison as well - https://www.dropbox.com/s/tprd7k7blprpztl/Gamma%20test%207.mpg
Both look identical in both VLC and QT, ie. washed out compared to what I'm seeing in PP.
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The fix may be within your Nvidia Control Panel settings. I was having this issue when exporting from Premiere CS6 and uploading to Vimeo (the video once posted to Vimeo was washed out and/or hazy).
The fix I found was to use the NVIDIA control panel to control your video playback instead of the video player’s settings.
- Open your NVIDIA Control Panel (type NVIDIA in your start menu search field and select NVIDIA Control Panel).
- Go down to Video and select “Adjust video color settings.”
- Under #2 (How do you make color adjustments), select “With the NVIDIA settings.”
- Under the Advanced tab change the Dynamic Range with the drop down to “Full (0-255)” (not “Limited (16-235)”).
- For my display to look as it should, I had to uncheck “Dynamic contrast enhancement.”
My video now appears as it should (not washed out).
I have been looking for a fix for a long time.
I'm a YouTuber and this problem was about to kill my channel, but this works!
Thank you so much!!
Wow.... After more than two years of frustration, this was the solution. Thank you digabyte.
Hi, but this will fix the colors on the video for anyone who watches the video on Youtube for example? Or this fix the problem only on your monitor settings, but not in the video file?
The answer to your questions illustrates the difficulty of working with all the various devices we have: there is NOTHING you can do to see that those who view your video work have appropriately set devices, whether desktops, tv's, laptops, tablets, or smartphones. The best you can do without going crazy is:
1) CALIBRATE your own system with a decent "puck" and software package.
2) TEST your output across a variety of devices you WILL be delivering content to, especially if it is for-pay to B-cast stations, satellite/cable companies, content distributors, anything like that. You may need slightly different post-process practices for different markets/user-groups.
3) Accept that you cannot control the infinite variables of an un-calibrated world. And get on with getting work out the door by following 1) & 2) above.
Yeah, I know, but this particular H264 issue with the washed out colors have been driving me crazy.
I work mostly with 2D animations, and the fact that a red background (which is the client color) suddenly turns to pink on the final H264 is a huge pain in the ***. In videos these washed out colors aren´t that big deal, but in animations, this is a deal breaker.
The issue isn't that the color has changed in the file ... the issue is that the gamma or the outer-range of signal have been changed by a video player. Or both. Similar to the note above in this thread by another person, my video card (EVGA GTX-770/4Gb of course nVidia based) installed itself using it's own default setup for video programs: 16-235. Unless a video player (such as that within PrPro) insists on doing it's own thing, that will "rule" what happens. Shrink a 0-255 video to 16-235 and wow ... the darks just ain't so dark, the highlights mush, and the color tends to flatten a bit ... as of course does contrast (the last two are linked, of course, as far as "data" goes).
Now, let's throw on top the gamma question ... different video players treat gamma a bit differently. In other threads when someone provides an example of "bad" export by PrPro, another user has taken the "bad" clip, changed the gamma inverse to what the used video player typically does, and gee ... it suddenly and completely matched the "original" example set side by side with the "bad export" example. Again ... it wasn't that PrPro had done a bad job, but that the gamma used by the video player was a bit different.
You cannot control those variables in other machines run by other people ... the range issue or the gamma issue ... on all devices that will show your material. You can check if PrPro is exporting other than expected by bringing an exported clip back into PrPro ... with appropriate settings on the export, it SHOULD match the original. If on another machine in say Quicktime ... it probably will not. Given that many nVidia chipped cards set up with an assumed 16-235 range, and shrink all other material down into that range, there's a problem right there. Throw in the typical gamma mismatch between Quicktime and most anything else, you've got two variables that are WRONG. And that you as the "content provider" cannot control.
After changing the default nVidia control panel setting to assume 0-255, VLC seems to behave properly on my machine. Quicktime treats the same output into different codecs differently. Matched exports ... always play like the original in PrPro, and since I changed the nVidia setup default they play the same in VLC, but ... play differently depending on which codec is used in Quicktime.
Which is why around "here" a lot of folks stay the heck away from it. At least as far as any "critical" viewing goes. Or use it only to get an idea how Quicktime will mangle their efforts. If "your" market is all running Quicktime, then ... plan for it by testing and finding what settings you need to make in PrPro to make "in the wild" Quicktime players "show" your file somewhat maybe closer to what you want. And if they're on nVidia chips, well ... you might need to output to 16-235.
Or ... output correct material. And know you can't control what others do.
Whichever fits your market needs better.
Thanks for the explanation man!!
I thought calibration for stills shooting such that what "we" saw on screen was what we got back from a lab as difficult.
Video is SO much more complex ... but some of it is just out of one's control. Or you go nuts. Naw, set your gear up "righteous", know thy market, and get the stuff out. Get a glass of beer, wine or coffee, and enjoy life ...
I do have a similar problem, but it is only when exporting through AME. If I export directly from Premiere, it is fine, but not by the Media encoder. Do you have a clue what could be the cause?
Again, more info is needed. What's your footage ... camera, frame-rate (f-r) & frame-size (f-s), codec, and sequence settings in PrPro ... and then screen grabs of the export boxes for both PrPro & AME would be best.
Next, is this evaluated by looking at within PrPro, or through some other video player ... and if so, which?
Thanks for reply. I guess it is not about footage, it is about hardware. Two other computers with totally equal setting in same project are OK but this one is not. (It is Prores HQ/422 - 1080p/2160p)
Exports checked in Premiere. Looks different. (H264 from AME is brighter then should be, export out of PrPro is OK)
Intel Xeon Hexa Core 3,2GHz, 24 GB RAM, nVidia Quadro 4000.
Yay, your Nvidia suggestion saved the day. I'm running after effects on PC to color grade my PP footage (Dynamic Link style) and every time I rendered .mov files using Quicktime H.264 it was washed. Is there way to render just the H.264 mp4 version from After Effects? Seems only the Quicktime H.264 is available to choose. I would like to render straight from AE instead of send to Media Encoder.
Is that H.264 "washed" when viewed in PrPro ... or when viewed in a freebie player like the Quicktime player? It may be that if you're not viewing it in PrPro after export, you might be looking at it through a gamma-challenged player. Which is often the case.
I also have the same issue. I have no problem playing it on VLC, but QT is just a pain.
I am running on a new imac 5k with AMD Radeon R9 M395X. I don't think I could change the dynamic range setting like in Nvidia. Any solution to mac users?
Fixing the Nvidia settings they suggested in the forum fixed mine thank goddd
Sent from my iPhone
Anyone find a solution for this problem in the 5k iMacs?
Try changing the color profile to sRGB under monitor settings. It is defaulted on the 5k iMac to the P3 which is a much wider gamut and makes the exported file and the preview file in premiere look different. Most likely premiere is overriding it with their own color settings and thus causing it to look different on a media player when exported. If you bring up your quicktime file and compare it to the timeline image in premiere and select different color profiles, you will see wild variations between the two. My recommendation is to set it to sRGB. Then double check it on a TV or ideally a properly calibrated monitor. It also might still be slightly off due to gamma issues in each media player. That's another issue. Google quicktime gamma issues for more information on that. Color management is a nightmare. . .
I've noticed this problem with exports on my new 5K iMac. My Retina Macbook Pro did not have this issue.
I would love to find a proper fix for it as the files also look washed-out on Youtube/Vimeo (so playing the files in VLC is not really a fix). For now, I have found that using the 'gamma correction' effect and setting to a value of 11 will counteract the shift. I put this on an adjustment layer just before exporting. Not ideal, but better than leaving the washed out exports as is.
It could be as little as a setting on your new iMac ... being different than one on your Retina. On the PC side, there's a setting in the nVidia control panel as shown here ...
That "How do you make ... " section is crucial. If "With video player" is checked, whatever the heck any video player prefers to do with the stuff it plays to "enhance the viewer's experience" will be done. Including things like say, jumping the gamma (contrast) for more "pop", and interesting variants of what "they" think their users use for incoming material & cameras ... so it could be choosing to set 'full range' levels to 16-235, 16-255, or 0-255. And each player WILL do it differently!
Changing the settings on my own beast to "With NVIDIA settings" and Dynamic (signal levels) set for Full (0-255) means I get fewer of the surprises of the delightful creators of the general-use video players.
Broadcast level output has been 16-255 recently, if I've got it right, and many "pro" things use that. I think in the tape days it was 16-235 to preserve adequate extra headroom. And is going to 0-255 on pro level outputs, and as HDR comes in, what's been referred to as the IRE scale has become Nits, as a measure of signal luminance, with 0-255 Nits replacing the 0-255 IRE scale. But HDR can go anywhere from 400 Nits to 1,000 Nits. Perhaps more. The Lumetri scopes in both PrPro & SpeedGrade can handle well over 1,000 Nits when set to HDR.
And it all gets back to ... if your stuff is going to be viewed on the web by who knows who, on no one knows what "device" from a smartphone to a huge workstation, with/without monitor calibration, and of course ... AFTER YouTube/Vimeo/Whoever Service has jacked around with your upload, you can't control squat.
The only way to keep your sanity and keep working is make sure your own system is fully calibrated with a puck system & software at least ... a lovely full broadcast reference monitor and BM or AJA connector parts is even better though several more thousands of buck of course ... and that the material stays within proper bounds on your scopes and when viewed over say a standard TV from maybe a DVD or something, and viewed over other computer monitors, it looks ok. You'll NEVER be able to make it look perfect on any other uncalibrated device ... period. But as long as your material looks the same as other properly prepared material (meaning BROADCAST quality things viewed on that device) ... it's the best you can do.
I have a problem that seems very similar that all that have been described. I am on Windows 10 with Premiere with an AMD Radeon graphic card.
When exporting from Premiere CS5.5, the colors are washed out like described but besides, it is also a little bit pixelated. This makes the quality of the final video really bad... I'm trying to export in 1920x1080 in format H.264, with a 50 frames frequency, a 5.1 level and VBR 1 pass.
I tried every possibility of settings in Premiere with H.264, nothing changed... I tried the solution proposed by digabyte (but with my AMD card, it wasn't exactly the same) and it didn't changed a bit. I'm desperate, can anyone figure out what I'm facing and maybe help me ? :-) Would be so great !
Thank you so much !
Those are 3 screenschots of the original footage played on VLC:
And those are 3 screenschots of the project exported from Premiere, alos played on VLC (you can see the pixels on the jacket in the second image and the washed out colors of the trees and the gun):
I have an nvidia card, I experience the issues mentioned here. I understand this is a display problem, but the issue is how to make sure that what I output look at least most users settings. I'm pretty sure that there's a tiny percentage of people that are making those adjustment settings you mentioned. In fact those are probably the default settings that no one care about, the issue remain the same. I look at VLC and Youtube, and the colors are crushed and washed out, and if I view it in Windows player it look pretty much like in Premiere editor. But my target is pretty much youtube.
I also made some tests with other codecs, and some of them appear just like the editor in the before mentioned players that showed the issue, unfortunately I can't use them because either Youtube doesn't support them or they are just too massive.
It's back to the issue ... you cannot out-guess you're clients, and you have to accept that. Remember, they will see this not in comparison to YOUR "beautiful" version, but only in comparison to all the other stuff they view in their setup.
ALL b-cast quality stuff they see is delivered at the standard b-cast levels to YouTube, and viewed by users with the same issues as you're complaining about. If you deliver b-cast or near b-cast standards material, it will appear to them as the same or very similar to the OTHER good-quality stuff they get.
If you deliver something that is "other" than what they get as the "good" stuff, that's what they'll notice ... if they notice anything. And at that point, yours is "different" than the studio-quality stuff they view.
All broadcasters, even the good old networks, have this issue ... NO ONE controls how all those stupid tv's are setup, nor how the screens of the computers/devices are setup. They ALL deliver to their standards and have to leave folks to their own setups.
So ... do you think you're smarter than the networks, cable companies, and such, at out-guessing all possible computer/device screens?
If so ... there's room in various nice facilities, food provided ... locked key-passed doors ... endless days to think by yourself ... plot your takeover of the world ... watch the clouds go by ...
But it not about client side... I get also the washed out effect on my own players. This is not about the others player settings. I can check the erroneous colors either on my device or at work, and they look like the same washed out issue. Not the differences of the players of what you describe. Besides, settings of nVidia doesn't do nothing, at least to me.
One thing however you said that could make sense is the player might be playing the 16-235 range instead of 0-255, but I have no idea how to arrange the final output to match either of these. I know in Sony Vegas there's a way to correct this by either selecting Studio RGB output filter to fix that, but I never found an equivalent in PP.
Here's an other example to illustrate my point.
Here's a screenshot of an output made in h264. High profile, 5.2, 20mbps. The left picture is what I have in PP, the middle pic is what I see in VLC and right, is Youtube. You can clearly see a colorshift difference, the reds is more magenta and the blacks are darkenned a bit. Two different players, yet they show exactly the same issue.
Here's now the same segment, uploaded in Lagarith codec.
The reds are now exactly where I want, and I did not change anything in my computer at all. And as far as I know, Youtube convert to H.264 once uploaded. So there's definitely something with wrong with the h264 codec in PP imo.
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As noted, some of the players show 0-255, some 16-255, some 16-235. Unless you can find settings in the players to change this, which some do allow, they will appear that way on your computer just as for others on theirs. So yes, you can see what they will see. They, however, will NEVER see what you see in PrPro to compare it to.
You can NOT out-guess how to put out something that will appear the same on everyone else's computer compared to on a different computer/player combo ... simply not possible. Everyone will have a slightly different 'view' of your material, especially compared to what you see within a properly managed pro-level program. So you are trying to do the impossible ... and no one else putting out media in general can do this either. In order to do what you're trying to do, you'd have to have multiple outputs of everything you post, listed by output specs, AND rely on the users to know whether they 'need' the 0-255, 16-235, or 16-255 version.
As I said in my last post, no one else will ever be comparing what they see with what you worked in Premiere Pro. They will ONLY see it in comparison with the other media they see on that player with the same settings as their player always uses. If it looks the same as good-quality material they see on THAT screen with THAT player, it will look 'right' to them. As in, again, it looks like their other good-quality stuff they watch.
For general information, PrPro seems to run pretty much 0-255 with most codecs on export, and also seems to handle some camera's outputs that are say 16-235/255 fairly well on import, showing this as full-range material.
So what you are left with ... is the same as any and EVERY other content-provider on the planet: you can't control the screens your content is seen on! You can't outguess how to appear exactly as it does on your machine in a pro-managed program. Period.
All you can do is do your best to make sure that your own system is set up as calibrated as possible. No one else can do it better or differently, as again ... no provider has control over any but their own screens.
There's a very subtle difference in the way it appears, and it is closer in the Lagarith one ... so fine, use that. This isn't to say there's something "wrong" with H.264 within PrPro, as it could as easily be the way that the other players interact with H.264 in general ...
And even on your upper set, where there is a visible difference ... if that is all the difference that this appears on from different computers, you would be the luckiest content provider on the planet. Seriously.
If I showed you one of those by itself, you walked out of the room a moment and back in, you would never be able to be certain which one I had on the screen, whether I'd changed it or not. You might have a guess, and half the time, you'd outguess yourself.
Sitting staring at them compared to each other, it's obvious to you. But color, contrast, and hue are all way too relative to human brains. Use the Lagarith if you feel better, and just get to work. And that's coming from a picky sot myself ...
I don't agree with you. At all. The chroma and lighting in general is in the ballpark of where I want with Lagarith and totally off with H.264, and this is not only this particular shot, but almost on every shots, making the whole video look dull and less colorful as intended.
Again, this is not about what the other might perceive. I think everyone here is smart enough to get that. The point is to preserve the output lightning and chroma the nearest as possible to the proofing media aimed for, and this is crucial in color grading to prevent that the skin look purple instead of pink and such, otherwise I'll be wasting time with vectorscopes. I think my examples above are dead clear about that, you might find it slight, but since many complained about it here and elsewhere, I think it worth to take a look to the issue more seriously.
I would use Lagarith it if I could, but the size are gigantic. If it a flawed issue of the H.264 codec, then yes, learning to accept it is a must, but then, how to make sure you have the right proofing colors output? PP doesn't have any color management system as far as I know so a calibrating puck is like useless at this point.
What seems clear to me, but not so clear to you at this point (it seems) ... is that you're very worried about a very tight level of proofing control on say PrPro yet feeding your delivery into a system that will throw it all over heck and gone.
What is absolutely guaranteed ... after you upload that to YouTube, not one person on the planet will ever see every hue precisely as you have them in any NLE you might choose to use. How do I know that precisely? I have two good monitors here, both puck-calibrated, and they will NEVER show the same thing identically. Close, but not identical. Within PrPro, the same video player, whatever.
I'm going to NAB, headed to the airport in a couple hours. I'll be spending a lot of time with colorists that use upwards of $30k gear at their editing suite, including all the out-board BlackMagic and AJA and Kona cards & boxes feeding out-board high-end dedicated scopes and their beautiful Flanders Scientific broad-cast monitors. If I mention this discussion, they'll just shake their heads. Yea, for the work they do, pulling secondaries to make sure that some company's logo and other 'trade-marked' colors are precise in the original is absolutely necessary ... and they do it righteously.
But even among their gear, no two monitors will show precisely exactly what another one shows. Close ... it's something they routinely have to explain to clients, as so often they've got two-three computer monitors for working, the scopes thing, and a large monitor for clients to watch "over their shoulder" while working. Colorists talk routinely about wishing they had a way to make sure the client never EVER saw their working monitors and the client-monitor/screen together while working, as there are so often discussions about it ... and some clients are frightened that this screen is "right" but that one is "wrong".
So they deliver those trade-marked colors as tightly according to precise number values as possible. And the commercial is broadcast ... but no two stations doing the broadcast will put out totally identical signals, there will be averaged variations ... and no two TV's that ever show that to the consumer will agree precisely on those oh-so-precise colors. Because the TV's are all over the flipping creation both for what they are capable of, and how they're set ... or not. BUT ... within that system, there are actual standards. And still it's more variable than seems reasonable.
PrPro is used every day by thousands of broadcast professionals to put out highly technically prepped b-cast work, that is scanned for "standards" on submission to the studio and passes without issue. That's broadcast standards, something that can be set and technically evaluated. So ... PrPro is definitely a pro-level tool. Routinely used for pro-level b-cast deliverables. Accurately, reliably.
There is NO such thing for YouTube submissions. Or for the internet in general. Period. It's not the same "field".
People deliver H.264 files meeting b-cast standards from PrPro every day. And Lagarith, ProRes, and many other codecs as laid out by whoever they're delivering their content to. So claiming there's something "wrong" with PrPro's output isn't perhaps ... totally accurate. Might there be differences between PrPro's output that one can find with different codecs, especially viewed "in the wild" on different video players? Of course ... every player does slightly different things with the codecs it sees by any test I've ever made or seen. Partly because some codecs include specific things in them to "set" gamma and levels, and others don't. And partly because of the way the code for that player works.
So I'm not disparaging your work in trying to puzzle this out, or understand it ... but the reason there haven't been other long-term users jumping in to either assist or suggest something else, is we've been through this. You're trying to do the most righteous output/delivery you can, and I understand that ... it's what I do also.
But you're delivering into a swamp-land of no standards whatever ... seriously, which is what both YouTube and the Web and general-use video players are. And trying to relate what something is like after being dumped into the swamp with what it was like in a pristine state.
You'd have better success in say creating b-cast standard stuff to a tv station, then watching that output on a b-cast standard fully calibrated expensive TV. But even then, you still would see variants at LEAST as great as what you show above. In a totally standards-controlled situation beginning to end.
Which isn't at all what we do when we take something from PrPro and put it into a computer and play it on a general video player. Even on our own computer.
Anyway, after searching for the issue in other discussions, the suggestion was to use an external h.264 compressor. Now it look good on both YUV and RGB range and Youtube show the right colors for me and for the others.
Glad you're pleased. Which external compressor did you use, and how about listing the steps ... for anyone else finding this thread ...