27 Replies Latest reply on Nov 8, 2012 6:19 AM by Fuzzy Barsik

    Problem with Superwhites in AE

    FORWARD-FILM

      Dear Colleagues,

       

      We have problems  with AE.

      Recently we had claim from our clients what files we produced for them are clamped( in whites), other words  superwhites image data is lost. We have made serious research in that field and found out what Adobe After Effects has problem with YUV images ( usually Proress422 or DVCPROHD)  containing superwhites.

       

      1. After Effects CS5.0, CS6.0 , Mac (LION)or Win(7) version are not able to export QT uncompressed YUV 10 bit, or Prores 422 10 bit without clamping superwhites . If we have brightness of certain pixels in original image  ,  let’s say 1.1( in 32 bit mode)  in composition, rendering makes it equal to 1.0  in output file.
      2. AE CS 5.0 Win version reads Proress422 with superwhites correctly, but AE CS 6.0 Win version clamp superwhites on input. Any setting like,  working color space, color space conversion utilities,  does not help.

       

      Typical input files from client –Apple Prores422 10 bit, DVCproHD 10 bit.XDCAM HD 422.

      Output files - Apple  Prores 422, Uncompressed YUV10 bit.

      We are working in 32 bit mode, ReC.709 color space.

       

      Please advise us,  how we can deliver  to client file without losing image data in output file?

      And How we can see correct Proress422 in AE CS6.0 Win version and why it is different from AE CS5.0?

       

      Best Regards,

        • 1. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          AE doesn't do super-whites and that is that. All it's value ranges are normalized RGB. It's inherent in its internal math for non-float formats. This stuff is really kind of a hacky concept from the video world to expand the luma range If you realyl want to use that stuff, then your only option is to compress the entire color palette in AE in a controlled manner and expand it again upon importing in your target edit suite.

           

          Mylenium

          • 2. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
            chauffeurdevan Level 2

            Hi,

             

            You need to set the project working space to HDTV (Rec. 709) 16-235. Set the same color profile to footage in the interpret footage.

             

            For more information, please check this pdf at pages 27-28 http://wwwimages.adobe.com/www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/devnet/aftereffects/articles /color_management_workflow/ae_color_mgmt_wkflow.pdf

            • 3. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
              FORWARD-FILM Level 1

              We used that color space, it does not work. Yes we can compress levels and expand them lately in Final Cut Suite, but it is already  tricks. Also Why does CS5.0 recognize super-whites in Prores422 but CS6.0 does not?

              • 4. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                chauffeurdevan Level 2

                There is a lot of variables going on.

                 

                Besides setting the working space and fottage to 709 16-235, there is the display output color management (I use ouput 709, preserve rgb checked, sim output 709 16-235), and there is the output module color management.

                • 5. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                  FORWARD-FILM Level 1

                  Thanks,  Yes we know about IN and OUT color management options. During rendering process all super-whites are clipped and getting equal 1.0. we use uncompressed YUV 10bit codec on Win machines and various Prores and DVCproHD on MacOSX machines,  same result.

                  • 6. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                    chauffeurdevan Level 2

                    Hi,

                     

                    Just did some test, and depending on the footage, the HDTV709 color profile is embedded (or is it forced by AE) in the footage. If it is locked, yes the brightness seems clamped.If it is not, then you can do like I said, put working space to HDTV709 16-235, and interpret footage color profile HDTV709 16-235.

                     

                    I tried rewrapping some footage that the profile was lock, but still no chances.

                     

                    So I suppose you footage is locked to the HDTV709 ?

                    • 7. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                      FORWARD-FILM Level 1

                      Finally solution has been found. Fortunately Adobe Media Encoder looksa like has internal YUV math. AME interprets all footages correctly, and transcode them correctly to files recognizable by AE. And Most important thing is,  what we can render AE comps from AME!!

                      So at first any file goes to AME-and then in AE, only 32 bit  projects , after all is done render certain AE comp in AME via Dynamic link.

                      All tests prove that pipeline.

                      • 8. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                        chauffeurdevan Level 2

                        So for the final pipeline, did you configure color management for input, footage, display simulation and output ? What are they ? Is the footage color profile locked on each one ?

                        • 9. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                          FORWARD-FILM Level 1

                          In our case color management does not make sense. Yes,  we will try different color profiles and output simulation. But If you have file with clamped luma ( most software with RGB math inside do that) no chance to get coorect image.

                          About locked color profile (embeded), we have no clear picture yet. Prores422  is problem on Win machines, on Mac is fine, in the same time XDCAMHD422 MXF wrapper is readable without problem on both.

                          • 11. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                            FORWARD-FILM Level 1

                            Yes:),  how otherwise we can read Prores422 on Win? Just on Win machines AE CS6.0 read Prores422 incorrectly with clipped super-whites, what I was mentioned in topic start post.

                            • 12. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                              Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              As far as I know the ProRez reader for Windows does not fully utilize the 10 bit structure of the codec. I'd suggest using some other 10 bit or higher codec in your production pipeline.

                              • 13. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                                FORWARD-FILM Level 1

                                Yes it is true,  Windows Prores decoder has some limitations, but in real,  it is noticable only in complicated cromakey footage ( semitransparent fabrics, smoke, hair). For other footage it works quite well. Also there are not too much 10bit YUV codecs with hi bitrate (Prores\ Uncompressed\  what else? DNxHD is clamping superwhites, XDCAMHD -8bit and 50mbit, DVCproHD has squized image and also 50mbit . etc)

                                • 14. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                                  chauffeurdevan Level 2

                                  good to know about prores limitation on windows.

                                   

                                  By the way, I'm wondering for what specific use do you need/want to have superwhite ? I always thought that the extras margin - superblack and superwhite - was in fact only for analog to digital recording as analog voltage can vary a little bit, so your protecting the black from being too easily cut, and if there is too much voltage, most analogto digital converter will wrap clipped values to black, creating highly undesirable and visible artifacts.

                                   

                                  I was thinking that now that most beta sp and other analog format/broadcasting are mostly gone, superblack and superwhite margins should be removed, at least by default in all NLE (same thing with interlacing that have no meaning in digital)

                                  • 15. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                                    FORWARD-FILM Level 1

                                    No it is not only analog video issue, it is common issue for videoworld. Most modern (sony XDCAM line, Panasonic P2,)  cameras record it's data in YUV space and has superwhites, NLE like Final Cut and I suppose Premiere work in YUV internally, so all YUV data is stored and rendered correctly.Superwhites are very important for color corrections, when you may get details from overexposed image ( for example sky),  instead of solid white image.  But most CG software like AE , NUKE, and Digital Fusion work internally  in RGB. So, our client gives us Prores with superwhites an suppose to get footage with superwhites back for final color correction, and in this moment we stuck between 2 worlds-YUV and RGB. But fortunately problem is solved.

                                    • 16. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                                      Dave LaRonde Level 6

                                      ...it is common issue for videoworld. Most modern (sony XDCAM line, Panasonic P2,)  cameras record it's data in YUV space and has superwhites...

                                       

                                      Who on Earth told you THAT?  XDCam and Panasonic P2 cameras do NOT record either super white or super black.

                                       

                                      Please name a source so we can debunk this myth for you.

                                      • 17. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                                        Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

                                        Try Cineon/DPX sequence, it has 'Over Range' settings. I recently dabbled with transcoding CinemaDNG footages (courtesy of John Brawley, Blackmagic Design), and e.g. for this frame

                                        CinemaDNG. 6th Frame.jpg

                                         

                                        difference between graded source and DPX Over Range sequence in 32 bit linearised colour space looks something like this:

                                        CinemaDNG vs DPX Over Range.jpg

                                         

                                        whereas the difference between graded source and e.g. TGA (as well as any other 444 intermediates) in 32 bit linearised colour space looks something like this:

                                        CinemaDNG vs TGA.jpg

                                        • 18. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                                          Darby Edelen

                                          Looking into an answer for you I've found that the interpretation of imported YUV/YCbCr footage seems limiting.  While AE interprets this footage in the HDTV (Rec. 709) profile it does not allow you to change the input profile in the footage interpretation dialog.  Seems like a shortcoming to me but maybe there's a reason.

                                           

                                          Anyway, assuming that you have the correct superwhites in your composition, the workflow for outputting to a YUV/YCbCr file and preserving the full range should simply be as follows:

                                           

                                          -Output Module > Color Management > HDTV (Rec. 709) 16-235

                                           

                                          Render.  The working color space shouldn't matter in most cases.

                                           

                                          The way the source footage is interpreted does matter and this is where the above limitation is a pain.  This may not apply in your case as it sounds like you're seeing your source footage superwhites in AE.  However, if the source footage is YUV and can't be interpreted in the 16-235 range you may need to apply the Color Profile Converter effect and set the Input Profile to HDTV (Rec. 709) 16-235 and Output Profile to HDTV (Rec. 709) in a pre-comp.  Again, this is only if AE isn't correctly interpreting the YUV footage to have superwhites to begin with.

                                           

                                          As you're aware all of the above requires 32bpc enabled.  Also the Color Profile Converter effect work around will not work correctly if your working space is linearized (bummer).

                                           

                                          If there are problems beyond this, as I suppose you've already discovered, it may be specific to how the encoding of a certain format is handled.  I know DNxHD, for example, has an option that allows you to specify whether the YUV footage should be expecting RGB or YUV color levels.

                                          • 19. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                                            FORWARD-FILM Level 1

                                            ...it is common issue for videoworld. Most modern (sony XDCAM line, Panasonic P2,)  cameras record it's data in YUV space and has superwhites...

                                            16.Dave LaRonde

                                             

                                            Who on Earth told you THAT?  XDCam and Panasonic P2 cameras do NOT record either super white or super black.

                                             

                                            Please name a source so we can debunk this myth for you.

                                             

                                             

                                             

                                             

                                            Ok,  let's say just "cameras record it's data in YUV space".

                                            Please take a look at 2 images below. Original footage -is Prores422 file from  Final Cut suite , camera Panasonic 3000 P2. First image imported in AE CS5.0, project-32bpp, working color space rec709( but really does not matter, not too much difference with working space -none, as well as with rec709(16-235). As You may see in the metering window in the top-right corner, there is brightness above 1.0 . Second image  is the same file with exposure -0.8,( same result we can get with "levels" effect)  Do you see how many details are in the sky?

                                            SW1.jpg

                                            SW2.jpg

                                            My client wants to get footage with inserted CG stuff , but in the same quality,  without clamped sky.

                                             

                                            When we use AE CS6.0 we get image with clamped brightness like image below.

                                            SW3.jpg

                                            And if we render file in AE (any versions, and to any codec with any settings) we get the same image with clamped whites. Only render via Dynamic Link in MediaEncoder provide us correct image(with brightness above 1.0 and details).

                                            That is why I am sure what problem is in YUV-RGB math inside software.

                                            • 20. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                                              FORWARD-FILM Level 1

                                              Try Cineon/DPX sequence, it has 'Over Range' settings.

                                               

                                               

                                              Yes, we have large experience to work with dpx\cin footages and other over range files like Open EXR DNG etc.

                                              Unfortunately you can not convert superwhitesYUV-to-DPX correctly, Yes, there will be superwhites after conversion, but they will be very rough\harsh. We were trying to import footage to NUKE that way. only Open EXR format works for that.

                                              • 21. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                                                Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

                                                I would appreciate if you could provide some more explanation regard to 'rough\harsh' superwhites with some screenshots posted. I'm not on NUKE and have no idea on how a DPX rendered out of AE interacts with NUKE...

                                                 

                                                And Darby Edelen's suggestion may also help. Here is the difference for the example above between exported with HDTV (Rec.709) 16-235 profile TGA and graded CinemaDNG in linearised HDTV (Rec.709) working space - much less artifacts in superwhites areas:

                                                CinemaDNG vs UT 4444 16-235.jpg

                                                • 22. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                                                  FORWARD-FILM Level 1

                                                  2 .Fuzzy_Barsik

                                                   

                                                  There are many questions in software. Most wierd is what AE and AME(adobe media encoder) work different. Versions of AE(CS5.0 and CS6.0) decode Prores differently too. From all this software zoo we have to set up clear pipeline.

                                                  I always meant AME software to produce correct conversion such as it is work with AE via Dynamic Link.

                                                  May be we do something wrong,  we used various dpx export setups in AME  include "over range" settings.

                                                  Look how AME works with dpx( image below) what I meant harsh.

                                                  SW_dpx.jpg

                                                  Yes, It is possible to get correct dpx file from AE with "over range" settings.

                                                  But again,  AE CS6.0 does not read Prores422 correctly and we have to use external software like AME to convert data to AE CS6.0 readable format, and then render DPX for Nuke. It is too long pipeline.

                                                  But Nuke it is other story not for Adobe forum.

                                                   

                                                  Thanks to everybody for help and suggestions, we have found various solutions for our working process.

                                                  • 23. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                                                    Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

                                                    Well, as far as I know, neither AME, nor PrPro is a colour management aware application. I have never been able to get decent transcoding out of AME compared to AE, it always throws much more artifacts... (probably just for me...)

                                                     

                                                    Regard to different ProRes interpretation in AE CS5 and AE CS6, you'd rather file a bug report.

                                                    • 24. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                                                      FORWARD-FILM Level 1

                                                      >Well, as far as I know, neither AME, nor PrPro is a colour management aware application. I have never been able to get decent transcoding out of AME compared to AE, it always throws much more artifacts... (probably just for me...)

                                                       

                                                      With YUV files all is fine,  if you compare  2 image -one original, second -from AME, difference is noticeable only in exposure +12 and more, and that are compression\decompression artifacts.

                                                      And AME is only way to render YUV QT with super-whites.

                                                      • 25. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                                                        Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

                                                        Not sure I understand the last statement...

                                                         

                                                        QT presets for AE and AME are exactly the same. AE, apart from AME, allows to assign output colour profile, and as I already mentioned my transcoding results are better when an intermediate is rendered out of AE...

                                                         

                                                        Meanwhile, if it properly works for you, leave it be...

                                                        • 26. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                                                          FORWARD-FILM Level 1

                                                          In relation of your statement what AME transcode files with much more artifacts then AE , I wanted to say what I do not see difference in files I use( 10bitProres422). Original file and file encoded with AME are similar, and if I make difference between two layers (one-orginal file, second from AME) in AE comp, I can see artifacts only if I shift exposure in viewport to +12(about 4000 times)/

                                                           

                                                          Presets of QT are the same, but internal math( or encoding part math) in software is different. That is why we get different files from one original, if render from AE and render from AME via dynamic link.

                                                           

                                                          Probably we have different tasks and different workflow,  so we may have different relation and different understanding for the same issue.

                                                          But , as I mentioned I 've found solution and tested overall production chain, client->CGproduction->client.

                                                          • 27. Re: Problem with Superwhites in AE
                                                            Fuzzy Barsik Level 4

                                                            'Difference' test is better done in linearised working space - this way all data shift unnoticeable for human eyes become visible.

                                                             

                                                            AE and AME definitely produce different results, 'cos they interpret input data differently.

                                                             

                                                            And as I said, if your currently established workflow works for you - that's fine (since that's actually the goal).