Okay, so after some exhaustive testing, I have determined the issue is stemming from Quicktimes delightful "Enable Final Cut Studio Color Compatibility". If I toggle this switch, it changes the color exactly the same as the differential I am seeing between AE & Nuke. Clearly one application is recognizing this flag whereas the other application is not. I HATE APPLE & QUICKTIMES! Arg.
It is not a gamma issue, this is something to do with Apple's ColorSync. With that said, does anyone have additional information on ColorSync and whether AE uses this toggle switch? This is maddening.
Hey Adobe guys you will be happy to know this further pushes me into switching our facility to Premiere Pro.
Any information or links would be greatly appreciated.
I have more results after further testing.
Running OS X 10.8.4
My AE project is setup as a 16bpc, HDTV (rec709), Blend Colors Using 1.0 Gamma, Match Legacy After Effects QuickTime Gamma Adjustments, Compensate for Scene-referred Profiles.
I import a FCP 7 generated QT ProRes4444 file. The file is rendered as YUV Full Precision with Super-Whites. In an attempt to round trip the file, I rendered the singular file with no effects back out as a ProRes4444 file with rec709, sRGB or Preserve RGB color profiles. Once imported back into AE, each of these 3 files matches the original identically. Quite well actually, even when I turn on difference mode and crank the gamma, they hold up really well. Nothing perceptually different here.
NOW, when I render out as DPX, EXR or TIFF, I get a completely different result. EACH image sequence imports identically, so DPX matches EXR matches TIFF. BUT they are all identically different than the original. Once again there is a color shift. NOT a gamma shift, a HUE shift.
I am rendering each file as a rec709 and importing as a rec709.
Here is the kicker, when I switch to my windows box (WIN7 SP1), then open my AEP file. The colors match identically across all files & formats!!! I literally set my OS X AE comp to solo 2 layers on difference mode. There is a clear difference. When I open the same file within WIN7, pure BLACK. NO DIFFERENCE. Holy crap this is alarming. Side note, still have the hue shift within NUKE across platforms but it is consistent.
WIN7 64bit SP1
I am not going to blame Adobe, since I am almost certain this is an APPLE issue. I would like to ask the Adobe AE Team, what value is AE reading that Nuke is not? Is there different QT importers?
My advice is to avoid QuickTime, especially with Nuke. Pick a way to convert QuickTime to something like a DPX sequence and then use that for all your production, converting it back to whatever format you need at the end.
Yes, this is sort of a drag and will take up a lot more disk space, but it's the only way to be sure that all programs will read your source material the same way.
Thanks for the input. I am not overly concerned about the storage required for image sequences v. QTs. I do agree an image sequence based workflow allows better control.
With that said, I am surprised someone else hasn't had this issue? Rendering a QT file to a image sequence within AE causes this color shift. SO even attempting to begin an image based workflow breaks at least using AE to generated the image sequences.
Anyway, I think in an ideal situation I would completely remove FCP from our pipeline. Going to start testing out Premeire Pro. Do I dare go back to Smoke?
I am going to run a few more tests.