13 Replies Latest reply on Apr 11, 2013 11:01 AM by Dave LaRonde

    Gamma problems exporting from After Effects

    stormboxmedia

      Hi there,

       

      I'm having some problems exporting from After Effects. I've had a search on the forums and google and can't seem to find the right answer. My problem I believe is to do with gamma. Every time I export my footage from after effects it seems to render darker than the original footage. I've tried all the different settings in the project settings panel including changing the colour workspace and checking/unchecking boxes such as blend colors using 1.0 gamma and match legacy after effects QT gamma adjustments.

       

      The really strange thing is that after I export my project and import it into Premiere it looks perfectly fine. However, if I try importing it in to another editor (such as Sony Vegas) it doesn't look right. The main problem is that I am currently working on a project in which the editor is running Avid, and is finding the same problem. Also, it's not just Quicktime I am finding the problem on. It's every format and codec I am trying such as .avi and a TGA sequence. I've tested it on both arri footage and h264 footage, and double checked that I hadn't added effects such as a curves adjustment etc.

       

      Does anyone have any suggestions? I've attached some screenshots below so you can take a look.

       

      http://stormboxmedia.co.uk/random/original.jpg

      http://stormboxmedia.co.uk/random/after.jpg

       

      Thanks,
      Matt

        • 1. Re: Gamma problems exporting from After Effects
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          We cannot know. Wou are not telling us anything about your system, whether it is actually color calibrated and if you use any form of color management inside any of the programs. That's all it comes down to.

           

          Mylenium

          • 2. Re: Gamma problems exporting from After Effects
            stormboxmedia Level 1

            Hi Mylenium, thanks for your reply.

             

            Not sure if you need this much detail but the system I am currently running on is:
            Windows 7

            AMD Phenom II X6 1090t processor
            nVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
            Corsair 16gb DDR3 RAM
            ASUS M4A87TD EVO motherboard

            DELL U2311h and U2711 monitors

            2x 500gb Hard Drives

             

            I don't have any specific devices for color calibration. Although I am using a DELL U2711 in adobe rgb preset mode. I don't use any form of color management inside of the programs, haven't even looked in to color management before I encountered this problem. I've tested this both on After Effects CS5.5 and a fresh install of After Effects CS6 yesterday. The editor who is working on the film I am doing the visual effects for has the same problem when I send the rendered clips from After Effects over to him.

             

            Hope that helps,
            Thanks,
            Matt

            • 3. Re: Gamma problems exporting from After Effects
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

              Although I am using a DELL U2711 in adobe rgb preset mode.

               

              Never ever use that unless you actually use color calibration. Reset the monitor to the default 6500k setting and remove any tweaks in your graphics driver as well, download a color chart, start tweaking on the monitor only. Same for your editor's machine. As soon as you start using any color profiles anywhere, Adobe apps will correct for them and that's where the whole thing falls apart, since otehr apps don't correct. Adobe RGB or sRGB for that matter are not the same as your monitor's default RGB.

               

              Mylenium

              • 4. Re: Gamma problems exporting from After Effects
                Klaus_Brandenburg Level 2

                I don't know but Dell might disagree here as they advertise this model as a wide gammut device and it comes with a sRGB and Adobe RGB calibration. I have this model and calibrate it with an xrite i1 and so far I can't say that they promised too much.

                • 5. Re: Gamma problems exporting from After Effects
                  stormboxmedia Level 1

                  Unfortunately that didn't seem to do the trick. I changed the preset mode then re-rendered with no luck. I then tried disabling the u2711 and rendering from my other monitor just to see if that would work but it didn't. In nVIDIA control panel all my graphics settings are set to the default "How do you make color adjustments - With the video player settings." My graphics card driver is also up to date.

                   

                  Matt

                  • 6. Re: Gamma problems exporting from After Effects
                    Matt Dubuque Level 1

                    Your monitor should always be individually and regularly calibrated if you care about color.  No exceptions.

                     

                    Check with any colorist on that.   Everything flows from that premise.  If you are compelled to explore that fundamental premise, start by consulting the work of Steven Hullfish, whose book on color correction is highly recommended by Chris Meyer, as well as Robert Sliga, one of the chief architects of Apple Color.


                    This is a complex issue and it is not routine finding correct answers.  One factor to consider is that the monitor of your editor needs to be calibrated to the same colorspace as your monitor.

                     

                    But obviously this is only a subset of the problems you describe.

                     

                    I'm grappling with similar issues myself. 

                     

                    I've given myself 30 days, now that I have become much more of a well-rounded beginner in After Effects, to tackle these issues.

                    • 7. Re: Gamma problems exporting from After Effects
                      Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                      I'm not quite clear what you are doing. To reiterate:

                       

                      • Using any form of monitor profile will require calibration.
                      • Apps that are color managed will either use those profiles right away or allow them to be used for previewing like the proof setup you can do in teh AE comp or Photoshop
                      • Where supported, footage imported or rendered may support color profiles and apps displaying those files correct for those embeded profiles.

                       

                      Beyond that of course there are classical scenarios where footage may have different Gamma if from different sources or rendered to a specific CoDec. if it is consistently appearing in all apps but one, it would mean that you have enabled some option in that app, but not elsewhere. Since you mentioned Premiere, this could even be hardware related and something with the Mercury engine. Otherwise I'd realyl take anotehr spin at you monitor settings and system graphics settings. Somewhere there is something mistweaked. to test, also tippy-toe through testing this in Photoshop with normal images comparing them inside and outside PS with proof preview turned on and off may get you on teh right track...

                       

                      Mylenium

                      • 8. Re: Gamma problems exporting from After Effects
                        Klaus_Brandenburg Level 2

                        Just to throw my 2 cents in, it could be something trivial as wrong interpretation of the file. Since I'm an editor and you mentioned editors from different plattforms told you about this "gamma shift" you could ask them back if they imported your footage as RGB footage or 601 (SD) or 701 (HD) and what the original format was? Can you elaborate which screenshot shows what in which software imported whith which settings?

                        • 9. Re: Gamma problems exporting from After Effects
                          stormboxmedia Level 1

                          Thanks for all your comments, appreciate you guys taking the time out to help me.

                          Klaus: in that picture the comparison took place in sony vegas. One screenshot was taken importing the footage directly into the program, and the other is imported footage from after effects into the program.

                           

                          Here is a screenshot I took earlier to display the comparison of the quicktime player view, and when I view it in after effects. (I also tried this comparing with VLC to after effects)

                           

                          http://stormboxmedia.co.uk/random/compare.jpg

                           

                          At first I thought it was just after effects way of handling the footage which was causing the problem. However, the same problem occurs in sony vegas...

                           

                          http://stormboxmedia.co.uk/random/vegas.jpg      and premiere: http://stormboxmedia.co.uk/random/premiere.jpg

                           

                          On the footage with the girl it is encoded in h264 and I noticed on the interpret footage that the color workspace embedded for the clip was Rec709 so I thought this could be the key. However, I get the same problem with arri footage that under color management has no profile.

                           

                          http://stormboxmedia.co.uk/random/arri.jpg

                           

                          It's more subtle with the arri footage but the problem is still there. Going to continue to investigate...

                          • 10. Re: Gamma problems exporting from After Effects
                            Fuzzy Barsik Level 4
                            At first I thought it was just after effects way of handling the footage which was causing the problem. However, the same problem occurs in sony vegas... and premiere...

                            That's not because of After Effects, Premiere Pro and Sony Vegas way of handling the footage, but rather QuirkTime one (no typos in spelling).

                            In nVIDIA control panel all my graphics settings are set to the default "How do you make color adjustments - With the video player settings."

                            Do completely the opposite: set 'How do you make color adjustments?' to 'With the NVIDIA settings' - that will block QuirkTime crooked colour management.

                            • 11. Re: Gamma problems exporting from After Effects
                              Klaus_Brandenburg Level 2

                              So from your new screenshots it looks like there is no problem with AE, Vegas and Premiere because they all look basically the same. Only quicktime itself makes the video brighter.

                              I really can't put this in context with your first screenshots where you had a brighter import with vegas from the same source file.

                              • 12. Re: Gamma problems exporting from After Effects
                                Matt Dubuque Level 1

                                My sense from what Todd and Rick have been saying lately on this gamma shift topic is that different versions of QuickTime treat gammas in substantially different and unpredictable ways.

                                 

                                I guess the clear inference from that is to try different versions of QuickTime and see if you find one that behaves better?

                                • 13. Re: Gamma problems exporting from After Effects
                                  Dave LaRonde Level 6

                                  I don't know if I'd use the term UNPREDICTABLE, but yes, QT has a nasty reputation for diddling with gamma from version to version. 

                                   

                                  The trick lies in knowing the version so you know the diddling that has been done, and you can compensate for it.