12 Replies Latest reply on Nov 24, 2015 5:39 AM by Szalam

    On a deadline and STUCK. AE is altering the contrast of my original clips - how can I fix this???

    HopeHalloway Level 1

      I am on a PC. THIS IS MY PROBLEM: If I import a clip and simply render it back out, the AE rendered clip is not identical to my original clip. The contrast is pushed. I have noticed that as soon as I import the clips, and preview them, they already look like their contrast has been arbitrarily slightly pushed. They are not identical to my original clips. They render looking the same way: Not identical.

       

      I have tried for many days now to resolve this problem, to no avail. I am running out of time with my deadline ... When I render out, I get the same result. I compare the shots (original and AE rendered) side by side and can see a noticeable increase in brightness and the blacks are more crushed.

       

      You can see screengrabs here:

       

      http://www.deuceofspadesmovie.com/tech_related.htm

       

      How can I tell adobe to not alter the color and contrast of my original clips neither when importing nor when rendering them back out???

       

      USEFUL NOTES: The original clips are either .avi or .MTS (MPG-2)

       

      1. TURNING "COLOR MANAGEMENT" OFF DID NOT CHANGE OUTCOME (I thought it would... but no such luck)

      2. I have tried to render both as avi and quicktime, (both lossless and JPG2000) - same results

      3. I have tried to render as RGB and as RGB + Alpha - same results

      4. I have tried to pre-render the clip to a different format then .av or .mpg (for example I rendered them as quicktime using Sony Vegas, then imported them into AE, but had the same problem)) and then import it into AE, to see if it is the native format of the clips that AE has difficulty reading accurately, but same problem.

      5. Using Sony Vegas to import and then render the SAME clips tested in AE, I do not have the problem: Vegas renders are identical to the original clip. So I know it is not my computer, my monitor, my clips or my codecs.

       

      The only logical conclusion is that AE is the culprit, that it is interpreting my clips differently than it should. As I said turning OFF color management did not resolve the problem.

       

      I AM NEW AT AE, SO MAYBE THERE IS A SIMPLE SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM? I have posted great details on creative cow, you can read that thread to see the details of my tests and screengrabs. Note that so far no one there has offered any useful solution and I am running out of time and frustrated. Thread link: CreativeCOW

       

      PLEASE HELP????

        • 1. Re: On a deadline and STUCK. AE is altering the contrast of my original clips - how can I fix this???
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          The only logical conclusion is that AE is the culprit

           

          No, it isn't. Your system is simply not calibrated/ mis-tweaked/ uses a wrong monitor color profile. Hence any efforts at even trying to fix your issues with color management are bound to fail - no calibration, no proper CM. AE has a color metrics engine, Vegas has not nor do have basic video players. That's all it comes down to. Of course certain CoDecs may introduce additional color shifts during rendering due to how their compression works, which is another of those things. either way, you have some reading to do. Start with this (even if it's for PS):

           

          My colors look different outside Photoshop. | Mylenium's Error Code Database

           

          Mylenium

          • 2. Re: On a deadline and STUCK. AE is altering the contrast of my original clips - how can I fix this???
            HopeHalloway Level 1

            I read the info your link provided. OK, then explain to me this:

             

            Out of curiosity I tested this theory. I took the .jpg screengrab captured with vegas, imported it into Photoshop...Photoshop saw my .jpg screengrab exactly the same as vegas. And rendered it IDENTICAL to the vegas render, identical contrast as my original video clip.

             

            So now I took it one step further. I imported the screengrab into AE and rendered it out as a 5 second clip, using my identical render settings (quicktime jpg2000) used to previously test the problem. The resulting clip is identical to the vegas screengrab and identical also to the original clip.

             

            So AE and photoshop both are able to interpret the color of a still image the same way Vegas does, but AE is not able to do the same with video clips. Please explain.

            • 3. Re: On a deadline and STUCK. AE is altering the contrast of my original clips - how can I fix this???
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

              AE will handle video clips the same as it does still images. If there are color shifts, then something is up with the CoDecs used in relation to the absence of color management, which I suppose is my point. AE by itself does not modify anything. Check your footage interpretation and what have you.

               

              Mylenium

              • 4. Re: On a deadline and STUCK. AE is altering the contrast of my original clips - how can I fix this???
                HopeHalloway Level 1

                Please elaborate, the info you gave me above is not enough for me to understand what i am supposed to do. I have only been using AE for 10 days, and as a self contained indie filmmaker, I am certainly not a Post Production expert, cause that is not what I do full time. Any detailed pointers appreciated.

                 

                You said: "something is up with the CoDecs used in relation to the absence of color management". Initially I had color management ON (to whatever settings AE defaults automatically to, which is i believe RGB millions of colors? But don't quote me on this LOL), noticed the problem, so then I turned it OFF to see if that would solve the problem (as we know, it didn't). What color management settings should I now try?

                 

                You also said: "Check your footage interpretation and what have you." what exactly I am to check, please elaborate.

                 

                BTW I have AE CS 5.5, if that info helps, and I am on a PC with windows 7 - 64 bit.

                 

                Many thanks!!

                • 5. Re: On a deadline and STUCK. AE is altering the contrast of my original clips - how can I fix this???
                  HopeHalloway Level 1

                  Still hoping for help. I am still STUCK.

                   

                  I did one more experiment: I opened the same original clip in Premiere, and it displayed the clip differently than AE did. The Premiere preview showed less contrast than AE, but it did show more contrast than Vegas. It somewhat split the difference, sort of. Since Premiere and AE are both adobe products, we can rule out vegas as being the sole culprit of the discrepancy of what i am seeing on my timeline in vegas, between the original clip and rendered AE version. Obviously, not even Premiere agrees with AE ... (And yes, I am viewing everything on the same PC and same monitor with same settings.)

                   

                  IMPORTANT NOTE: I just realized that AE is giving me an error message when i first fire it up, and I should mention it here because I don't know what it means, and could it affect the way the clips are imported (thus creating more contrast).

                   

                  ERROR MESSAGE = "the following plug ins have failed to load: mediaCore\cineform\CFHD_AVI_importer.prm    (and also it lists)  mediaCore\cineform\CFHD_MOV_importer.prm"

                   

                  I have consistently pressed OK and ignored it, and have been able to drag both avi or mov clips into my project without apparent problems, but now I am wondering whether I should not ignore it LOL. Could it be causing the contrast problem?

                   

                  It is asking me to reinstall the plugins, how do I do that? Reinstall the entire CS5.5 Production Suite? Or??

                  • 6. Re: On a deadline and STUCK. AE is altering the contrast of my original clips - how can I fix this???
                    dissidently Level 1

                    Is there anyway you can complete your project by rendering out whatever you're doing in AE as transparent .png sequences, and then composite in Vegas so you don't negatively impact your source footage?

                     

                    This assumes you're doing motion graphics, lower thirds and other "overlay" type things in AE that you can turn off the source footage, render out as the transparent sequences, then composite in Vegas or anything else that doesn't mess with your footage.

                    • 7. Re: On a deadline and STUCK. AE is altering the contrast of my original clips - how can I fix this???
                      HopeHalloway Level 1

                      It won't help because what I am doing in AE is post production on actual footage. I will be using RED GIANT plugins from their SHOOTER suite, to upres, denoise and also convert frame rate of some behind the scene footage. I would have gladly done all this in my own NLE, but RED GIANT does not support SONY Vegas, so I am stuck with having to get out of Vegas and into AE, with which the SHOOTER plugins are compatible. AE is fine by me though, except for the contrast issue. I REALLY NEED TO RESOLVE THIS ISSUE ASAP. Will someone help please?????????????????

                      • 8. Re: On a deadline and STUCK. AE is altering the contrast of my original clips - how can I fix this???
                        HopeHalloway Level 1

                        About the error messages:

                         

                        ERROR MESSAGE = "the following plug ins have failed to load: mediaCore\cineform\CFHD_AVI_importer.prm (and also it lists) mediaCore\cineform\CFHD_MOV_importer.prm"

                         

                        I resolved this issue after intensively googling. Allas, although the error message is now gone, my contrast issue IS NOT. So that error message had nothing to do with my contrast problem.

                         

                        Sigh.

                         

                        So kids, are you all giving up on me now????

                        • 9. Re: On a deadline and STUCK. AE is altering the contrast of my original clips - how can I fix this???
                          dissidently Level 1

                          This "community" is nowhere near as big as you might imagine it to be.

                           

                          Nor is it nearly as helpful (or positive) as it could be.

                           

                          Most of this is because AE has been neglected by Adobe for many years.

                           

                          There's probably 3 guys in here that communicate a lot, and (somewhat) know what they're talking about.

                           

                          Mylenium is normally one of them, but he's taken a personal angle/tilt at you, and supposed a level of incompetence due to a (likely) disdain for anyone using and/or coming from Vegas.

                           

                          I've used Vegas, I know how good it is, so don't have that particular bias.

                           

                          But I only use AE for things that I know it works for, and have never come across this colour/contrast cast issue you're having. But have found dozens of other problems with it.

                           

                          AE is not the professional app you might imagine it to be, nor are many of its users anywhere near as masterful as they imagine themselves to be. This is generally true of all Adobe's products and their users. Particularly anyone resolutely using Adobe's Illustrator. That thing should be put down.

                           

                          What Mylenium is trying to help you understand (but being a bit short about) is that codecs are complex, varied and incredibly diverse things.

                           

                          There may well be something in the codecs you're using that informs AE of an intention to handle in a manner that causes the change in appearance.

                           

                          .avi and .mts are simply wrappers, the actual codecs used within those wrappers can be any of (literally) hundreds of different combinations of header/tail and compression and decompression information and techniques/approaches.

                           

                          So, let's get a little serious.

                           

                          Where are you getting these files from? Are they direct from the camera? If so, which camera, with which settings?

                          • 10. Re: On a deadline and STUCK. AE is altering the contrast of my original clips - how can I fix this???
                            HopeHalloway Level 1

                            Hey Dissidently, I just sent you a PM, please read and I hope to hear from you . I think I have finally figured out what is going on, but need a little help to be able to continue trouble shooting.

                             

                            Oh yes I know all to well the condescending attitude some people have towards those who are not using the coockie cutter software to make films. When I made my multi award winning film DEUCE OF SPADES, and edited it in Vegas everyone was laughing at me saying you could not edit a pro level film in Vegas, supposedly I HAD to be on FCP. I had a lot of fun proving them wrong. I continued editing in Vegas. When my film was released and won awards and became a cult film, I had the last laugh. What people fail to understand is that THERE IS MORE THAN ONE WAY TO SKIN A CAT. As for me, I like to think outside the box and oftentime take the road less traveled.

                             

                            But back to our problem. After reading up a lot on AE, I now understand why it was able to "see" the JPG screengrab accurately, but not the video version. PLEASE SEE THE BOLD SECTION BELOW

                             

                            "You control color management for each footage item using the Interpret Footage dialog box.

                            The input color profile determines what calculations are performed when converting the colors of a footage item into the working color space for the project. If a working space has not been set—that is, if color management is not on for the project—then you cannot assign an input color profile.

                            In some cases, files that you import have ICC profiles embedded in them. When you import these files, you can be confident that the colors that you see are as the producer of the footage originally intended. After Effects can read and write embedded color profiles for Photoshop (PSD), TIFF, PNG, and JPEG files.

                            If a footage item does not have an embedded color profile, you can assign an input color profile using the Interpret Footage dialog box or by adding or modifying a rule in the interpretation rules file (interpretation rules.txt). After Effects interprets the footage item as if the source footage was created using this color profile, so be certain to assign a profile that matches (or at least approximates) that used to create the source footage. "


                            So I guess that my native clip DO NOT have an embedded color profile, so AE is not reading accurately. I am going to need to find one that matches as closely as possible. I need help with switching to different color spaces because my initial attempt this morning did not quite work. See my next post.

                            • 11. Re: On a deadline and STUCK. AE is altering the contrast of my original clips - how can I fix this???
                              HopeHalloway Level 1

                              Ok so this is what I did:

                               

                              1- I went to PROJECT SETTINGS and set color space from none to : HDTV (rec.709) (why this color space and not another/Cause I read that this was the most commonly used and usually works OK).

                              2- I looked at the clip and even rendere it again but same contrast problem

                              3- I then right clicked on media in project media and selected INTERPRET FOOTAGE then click the COLOR MANAGEMENT tab. According to the Adobe help files, I am supposed to be able to check the box "preserve RGB" or to change the color profile right from there, BUT (there is always a BUT) those options are greyed out, I cannot select them.

                               

                              Does anyone know why and how to fix this?

                              • 12. Re: On a deadline and STUCK. AE is altering the contrast of my original clips - how can I fix this???
                                Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                Is your project set to 32-bit?

                                 

                                (And I like Vegas too. Their surround sound mixing always made more sense to me.)