But I do not know how that could be, given the process I used above hasn't changes any levels, gammas or settings.
Sure it has. AE by default is unmanged like most video apps are. Assigning any color profiles in PS therefore will require to use the same profiles in AE for correct results. That and of course merely assigning a specific colro profile has nothing to do with proper color management in the first place...
Thanks Mylenium. Any suggestions on how to stop PS from applying color changes and keep it unmanaged? (I might be looking in the wrong place, but in PS I'm going to View -> Proof Setup, and it needs one of the options ticked).
There has to be a straight forward way to do this - I would think exporting a frame for manipulation then reimporting it would be a very common occurrence.
Just checked - in AE when I go to File -> Interpret Footage -> Main with the image file selected, it reports it is using the internal color profile as above (sRGB IEC61966-2.1). So I'm guessing it is using the right profile from PS, unless the very act of doing that puts it at odds with the footage. But the profile options are greyed out and cannot be edited in AE. So I guess I'm back at: how do you prevent PS from inserting a profile? Is that even possible?
Simply "turn off" color management in PS by choosing "Monitor Color" and then disabling any profile conversions. Though you can always already set to not embed color profiles in the save dialog. Otherwise you can always set AE to honor color management by enabling it in the project settings and that should fix such issues...
Thanks for the suggestions Mylenium - they're appreciated.
I tried disabling the color profile in the PSD by selecting "Monitor Color", though there were no conversions. I also tried a REC709 profile, but no success. (Interestingly it does not let me "save" after making these changes, I have to "save as". Perhaps they're not being committed to disk?)
In AE project settings I've tried all the color depths (just to be sure) as well as matching the working space profile to the file. I also tried "Blend colors using 1.0 Gamma" and "compensate for scene-referred profiles", all without any success
Through all this, I noticed no change in the overlayed images - they all still have the same wrong color. I would have thought if we were tweaking the profile, there would be some perceptible differences. I don't know if this might be a clue?
Well, I have an outcome, but not an answer. I took the project files to a friend who has a much older version of AE (version 5?). He followed the same procedure and produced a PSD for me, and its color space is fine. I am using that.
I cannot work out how or why the color space is being a problem - or even if that is the cause. I've checked the settings and they are the same as his. I'm guessing the fault is with the initial AE export, because I'm using his PS file - if the fault was with a PS color space, or importing the file back into AE, then I'd expect I would still be experiencing the trouble.