1 2 Previous Next 49 Replies Latest reply on Nov 24, 2008 6:27 PM by Dan Isaacs

    captured video-material appears far too dark

      hi there!

      I have a great problem (being under time-pressure with a project): video-material, taken with a canon HV30, that looks all right on the camera-screen, appears FAR TOO DARK (not usable), after beeing captured. the problem does not seem to be a premiere-problem (I have CS3), since windows movie maker produces the same fault. it is neither a pc-screen-calibration or -regulation-problem, since the same material played onto the same screen by another pc, that displays everthing else perfectly, is also too dark. the answer must be between the cam-corder and the capturing software? does someone have a clue? (the problem seems to be not only mine if you check via google... and the solution seems not to be at hand...)

      I'm working with DV-widescreen(16:9)-PAL-material converting it with 16-bit sound and 48 kHz.

      following my relevant systems-data... (everything is updated with the most recent drivers...)

      thanks very much indeed in advance!

      hilmar

      ------------------
      System Information
      ------------------
      Time of this report: 11/21/2008, 23:54:29
      Machine name: PC02
      Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 2 (2600.xpsp_sp2_gdr.080814-1233)
      Language: German (Regional Setting: German)
      System Manufacturer: MAXDATA
      System Model: *
      BIOS: Default System BIOS
      Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 4400 @ 2.00GHz (2 CPUs)
      Memory: 2048MB RAM
      Page File: 766MB used, 3172MB available
      Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
      DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
      DX Setup Parameters: Not found
      DxDiag Version: 5.03.2600.2180 32bit Unicode

      ------------
      DxDiag Notes
      ------------
      DirectX Files Tab: No problems found.
      Display Tab 1: No problems found.
      Sound Tab 1: No problems found.
      Music Tab: No problems found.
      Input Tab: No problems found.
      Network Tab: No problems found.

      --------------------
      DirectX Debug Levels
      --------------------
      Direct3D: 0/4 (n/a)
      DirectDraw: 0/4 (retail)
      DirectInput: 0/5 (n/a)
      DirectMusic: 0/5 (n/a)
      DirectPlay: 0/9 (retail)
      DirectSound: 0/5 (retail)
      DirectShow: 0/6 (retail)

      ---------------
      Display Devices
      ---------------
      Card name: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS
      Manufacturer: NVIDIA
      Chip type: GeForce 8600 GTS
      DAC type: Integrated RAMDAC
      Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_0400&SUBSYS_040110B0&REV_A1
      Display Memory: 256.0 MB
      Current Mode: 1280 x 1024 (32 bit) (60Hz)
      Monitor: (Standardmonitor)
      Monitor Max Res:
      Driver Name: nv4_disp.dll
      Driver Version: 6.14.0011.7824 (English)
      DDI Version: 9 (or higher)
      Driver Attributes: Final Retail
      Driver Date/Size: 10/7/2008 13:33:00, 6058112 bytes
      WHQL Logo'd: Yes
      WHQL Date Stamp: n/a
      VDD: Nicht zutreffend
      Mini VDD: nv4_mini.sys
      Mini VDD Date: 10/7/2008 13:33:00, 6133856 bytes
      Device Identifier: {D7B71E3E-4740-11CF-906D-0A2400C2CB35}
      Vendor ID: 0x10DE
      Device ID: 0x0400
      SubSys ID: 0x040110B0
      Revision ID: 0x00A1
      Revision ID: 0x00A1
      Video Accel: ModeMPEG2_C ModeMPEG2_D ModeWMV9_B ModeWMV9_A
      Deinterlace Caps: {6CB69578-7617-4637-91E5-1C02DB810285}: Format(In/Out)=(YUY2,YUY2) Frames(Prev/Fwd/Back)=(0,0,0) Caps=VideoProcess_YUV2RGB VideoProcess_StretchX VideoProcess_StretchY DeinterlaceTech_PixelAdaptive
      {335AA36E-7884-43A4-9C91-7F87FAF3E37E}: Format(In/Out)=(YUY2,YUY2) Frames(Prev/Fwd/Back)=(0,0,0) Caps=VideoProcess_YUV2RGB VideoProcess_StretchX VideoProcess_StretchY DeinterlaceTech_BOBVerticalStretch
      {6CB69578-7617-4637-91E5-1C02DB810285}: Format(In/Out)=(UYVY,YUY2) Frames(Prev/Fwd/Back)=(0,0,0) Caps=VideoProcess_YUV2RGB VideoProcess_StretchX VideoProcess_StretchY DeinterlaceTech_PixelAdaptive
      {335AA36E-7884-43A4-9C91-7F87FAF3E37E}: F
        • 1. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
          Harm Millaard Level 7
          Capturing is a simple transfer of 0's and 1's. What is on tape is transferred to the PC without alteration. When you see things darker or lighter, it is a matter of monitor setup, not of capturing. This could be your camera setup or your PC setup. How does the captured material look when played on a properly calibrated monitor, not a computer monitor? If bad, then reshoot, if ok, then adjust your PC monitor settings.

          You can update your video drivers to a more recent version and see it that improves your view (it won't alter the view externally) and you may try to tune your system somewhat better. It is not optimal with current settings. Update to SP3, set a fixed pagefile size, etc.
          • 2. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
            Level 1
            hi, dear harm!

            thanks for your opinion! sounds plausible at first... but the problem is: you can change the order of these 0's and 1's terribly much... I'm producing mostly for dvd & computer-screens; so evading to "properly calibrated monitors" is of no help. further more: in earlier productions I never had a substantial difference between TV- und PC-screen! and it should be like that! I can trick using the video-display-regulation-tools of my "powerful" nvidia-graphics-card; that produces a somewhat bleached out, brightened up version (like with a digital image, you arificially light up), where I can see a bit more detail, o.k. but on another pc the thing looks bad again... I can correct the luminance in premiere with corresponding effects and render...; but the result is also bleached out and poorer, than what I see an my cameras display!!! (e.g. the patterns on someones jacket, which almost have gone after post-"improvements" - so you see: the display is not doing, what I do through various ways of corrections [display-adjustments, effects]: 'pumping white in' as it were, diluting things...). so there is a big quality-loss somewhere underway (it's like pouring black into the colors, you paint with, and then 'compensating' by pouring white in...). and that should not be so!!! so please guys: keep thinking! where is the error to be found??!!
            thanks a lot!
            hilmar
            • 3. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
              shooternz Level 6
              Play the footage out of the camera directly to a tv or monitor screen via analogue.

              You say it looks unuseable in both Moviemaker and Premiere so you have already eliminated both these softwares.

              How was it captured?

              How was it shot and exposed - scopes, zebras, meter?

              Was it under exposed when shot? - I suspect so.
              • 4. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                Level 1
                hi craig!

                thanks for your thoughts and questions!

                indeed, it's not the software.

                catured via firewire and IEEE1394 (I suppose).

                a camera like the HV30 offers zebras, but the point is: the display of the camera is able to interprete the digital stuff on the tape in a satisfactory way, and I want and need (!) a system that captures and interpretes the data in the same way. so talking about the exposure and reshooting and so on does not hit the point.

                I do not have a TV-screen and I don't need one, since I produce for PC-people (as I said). do you have an idea how you can use a pc-monitor directly (the canon-handbook does not mention such a solution among 6). and what's more: another guy (here: http://community.avid.com/forums/p/62073/350905.aspx) has the same problem and he can see that his material directly watched on a TV-screen from the camera without capturing is fine!

                so please keep thinking! thanks!

                hilmar
                • 5. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                  Level 1
                  same problem here e.g.:
                  http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/241859 (interesting).
                  no solution came up...
                  • 6. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                    shooternz Level 6
                    Do as a simple camera test.

                    Shoot a test clip with a Grey scale / Color chart or at least something with true Black , White and a mid grey( a face would do). Set that exposure in camera by using the Zebra at 100% on the white.

                    Capture it into Premiere and check it with the Wavform scope.

                    If the camera can produce Color Bars. Record some and import a clip of that into Premiee Check it on the scope as well.
                    • 7. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                      Level 1
                      thanks,
                      dear craig,
                      for your thoughts and tips!

                      I will do that just for curiosity. but then I would have to know how the waveform-scopes should ideally look like? where can I find model-scopes? (and, what's more, the camera "gave up its spirit", as we say in german: can't be switched on any more - brand new... so I'll have to get it fixed...)

                      but: it seems to me, that your path-finding leads in the wrong direction... see: the camera records pictures digitally on a tape. from the tape it is able to read the data again out onto a screen - and fine! now: you should be able to reproduce that outside the camera - and not blame it somehow...

                      others seem to have the same problem with different cameras and different systems-cominations (operating system, graphic cards...). so it can't be just my camera. the problem is not so easy...

                      the guy here - http://forum.videohelp.com/topic281706.html - seems to aim in the right direction (imho): he touches the point of the colour-spaces used! he says inside the camcorder IRE 0.0 / 16-235 color space is used. right? well: outside the cam on a computer-screen RGB or sRGB is used, right? so some transformation has to happen - or may be, it is not done - with the bad result, we have...

                      now the chap there speaks about the possibly wrong codecs. a codec however has to do with compression/decompression. but - they say - the capturing via firewire is just the unaltered transmission of data, and .avi (the resulting format) is compression-free! so the problem is not a codec-problem. but how's the software called that changes the color-spaces or should change them???

                      what astonished me very much is to see that, when I change the screen-settings for color/luminance with my nvidia-graphics-card, then everything on the screen changes exept! the to video-images in the two screens (source, program) in premiere... so premiere seems to use its own screen-controle here!

                      and why actually can't I choose somewhere which the output-conditions for and after the capturing shall be, e.g. the clip-format (.avi, .mov etc.) and - may be! - the color-space! I can just say "DV 25i PAL max. bit-depth" and, under device(=cam)-controle, brand and type of device (and again PAL). now I can choose "canon" but not "HV30" (not contained in the list) - just "standard" instead. but that raises the question: what colour-space are the various cameras using and sending??

                      now if I check the supported camera-brands and -types online on the adobe-website (http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/dvhdwrdb.html) I can't find canon's HV30 (just the semi-pro-models, for which "conditional support" is promised... but problems seem to lay elsewhere).

                      on the website, where you can check the compatibility of your cam with premiere, adobe boasts its "Preconfigured solutions
                      Certified Adobe OpenHD configurations (that) help ensure compatibility between hardware and software components." if you click on the linked text some general boasting and buy exhortations about the "creative suite" come up - no precise information...

                      should this well known and ill suffered compatibility problem not be handled more clearly and competently?

                      please help me finding the solution, which is: to interprete the recorded data on the tape, that get transferred via capturing, like the camera does!

                      thanks a lot indeed!

                      hilmar

                      ps: it is interesting to check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_space, where it says: "YIQ was formerly used in NTSC (North America, Japan and elsewhere) television broadcasts for historical reasons. This system stores a luminance value with two chrominance values, corresponding approximately to the amounts of blue and red in the color. It is similar to the YUV scheme used in most video capture systems[2] and in PAL (Australia, Europe, except France, which uses SECAM) television, except that the YIQ color space is rotated 33° with respect to the YUV color space. ...
                      " you see: two different color spaces in TV and CAPTURE SYSTEMS! is premiere not a capture system?? and what do the graphics-devices underway between the camera and premiere??
                      • 8. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                        Level 1
                        it is helpful to read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_capture. there it says: "Finally, the data is transformed by a COLOR SPACE CONVERTER to generate data in conformance with any of several color space standards, such as RGB and YCbCr."

                        now, where do I find the mentioned software on my system, where does it operate (camera, firewire, graphics card, capturing software resp. video-processing software)? and how can I influence what it does, mainly its targets?

                        hilmar
                        • 9. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                          Level 1
                          some more hints can be found here: http://forum.videohelp.com/topic266427.html

                          discussing the question of when to use the color-ranges
                          * IRE 7.5 = 00-255
                          * IRE 0.0 = 16-235 = sRGB (studio RGB) [!!!]
                          someone says (ignore the horrible orthography...)
                          someone says:

                          "...the conversion of the DV
                          sources YUV to RGB, becuase DV is stored inside a YUV container.
                          When you decode it, with a DV Codec, whatever the editer you
                          are using at the time (ie, vdub) it is (through the dv codec) converting the YUV to RGB."

                          I chose, if I remember well, 16-235 in canon. what happens if this is converted to 00-255 (pc-screen-range, if I am not wrong)? or if it is shown on a computer-screen with 00-255-range. it must seem much darker... is that the origin of the problem??

                          where sits the codec? how can I exchange the operating codec? and which one shall you use???

                          hilmar
                          • 10. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                            Dan Isaacs Level 2
                            Hilmar --

                            In answer to your questions about DV codecs and luma range: Some DV codecs (Matrox, Canopus, Cedocida) give you the option to choose how the range is handled during YUV->RGB conversions.

                            In Premiere the DV codec is "hard-wired" and will always use YUV(16,235) <-> RGB(0,255).

                            DV does appear "darker" when converted as YUV(0,255) -> RGB(0,255), But it also loses some contrast, since black will not be truly black.

                            When DV (and HDV) are captured via Firewire, no colorspace conversion (or any alterations) take place.

                            The problem certainly has to do with your video card settings and/or calibration software on your system... or parhaps (as others suggested) your footage is underexposed and you are seeing it correctly.

                            If you have VirtualDub, go to Options/Preferences/Display and turn off "Use DIrect X for display panes". Also disable Options/Allow Video Overlays. Open your clip in VirtualDub. Is it still "dark"?

                            Would it be possible for you to post a short clip somewhere so I/we could evaluate it?
                            • 11. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                              shooternz Level 6
                              Hilmar

                              You are making the basic test I suggested far too complicated ( and I suspect a lack of understanding of both exposure and image control)

                              Any scope shows White as 100% if corecly exposed as white ie. 100% zebra.

                              Black is 0% (or 7.5% - no matter and dont worry too much about black)

                              The test I suggest is to establish if the basic camera exposure is correct.

                              Under or over exposing white will show on the waveform scope.
                              • 12. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                Jim_Simon Level 8
                                >In Premiere the DV codec is "hard-wired" and will always use YUV(16,235) <-> RGB(0,255).

                                That certainly explains why superwhites get crushed when I add any effect that necessitates such conversion. My question is why the hell is my camera recording out of range? Added latitude is nice, but only if I can use it. I'd much rather Panasonic clipped the whites at 235 like the DV codec requires and give me more shadow detail.

                                Perhaps the Scarlet...
                                • 13. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                  Level 1
                                  dear dan! dear craig!

                                  thanks again for your thoughts and suggestions!!!

                                  definitely, craig, I'm a neebee... but that does not change the logic of my thoughts: it must be possible to interpret the footage on the tape like the camera does while displaying it on its lcd-screen! under-exposed or not!!! (so forget all the testing-trouble... and note please: my display is not brightened up, just standard middle-values!)

                                  applying filters after capturing is possible of course, but the result is very lossy! I - and everybody else - want, what I see on the camera-display!!! and there I see more than after capturing and applying effects...

                                  dan, you say: "When DV (and HDV) are captured via Firewire, no colorspace conversion (or any alterations) take place.

                                  The problem certainly has to do with your video card settings and/or calibration software on your system... or parhaps (as others suggested) your footage is underexposed and you are seeing it correctly."

                                  I can of course change my graphics-card-settings and do, what the effects do, i.e. see a deteriorated brightened-up picture of my footage. but what does that help??? on the next pc (someone elses, or one of my three) the same footage is then again as dark as my coal-cellar... and I can not tell everybody, who buys dvd's from me, to first tweek and distort their graphiccards to the extreme...

                                  no! what's the trick the camera uses to show this how-ever under-exposed material satisfactorily well??? and how can we reproduce this trick outside of the camera?

                                  if, that is, it is true, that no alterations take place during firewire-capturing, where I have, frankly, my doubts...

                                  is my thinking and what I expet correct??

                                  please bear with me - and all the others - to find a solution! thanks!

                                  hilmar
                                  • 14. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                    Level 1
                                    and, dear dan,

                                    you write: 'If you have VirtualDub, go to Options/Preferences/Display and turn off "Use DIrect X for display panes". Also disable Options/Allow Video Overlays. Open your clip in VirtualDub. Is it still "dark"?'
                                    despite the fact that I don't have VirtualDub (I'll find out what it is for and if it might be useful for me): your suggestion is in the same vein: fumble around with the display. but I (and everybody) want the stuff to be displayed on any un-altered, plainly normal display!

                                    any changes I make in premiere, regarding displaying, do not hit the mark, since I can capture with windows movie maker as well and windows media player will show me the same scrap... so where is the faulty device THAT ALTERS THE QUALITY OF THE BASIC MATERIAL???

                                    thanks! :-)
                                    hilmar
                                    • 15. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                      Level 1
                                      dear dan!

                                      you wrote: "In Premiere the DV codec is "hard-wired" and will always use YUV(16,235) <-> RGB(0,255).

                                      DV does appear "darker" when converted as YUV(0,255) [isn't that a typing-error here?? shouldn't that be: 16,235 - as you wrote before?] -> RGB(0,255), But it also loses some contrast, since black will not be truly black."

                                      first: it seems necessary to check with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YUV#Luminance.2Fchrominance_systems_in_general, where it says:

                                      "Y'UV is often and mistakenly used as the term for YCbCr. However, they are different formats. Y'UV is an analog system with scale factors different than the digital Y'CbCr system.[3]

                                      In digital video/image systems, Y'CbCr is the most common way to express color in a way suitable for compression/transmission. The confusion stems from computer implementations and text-books erroneously using the term YUV where Y'CbCr would be correct."

                                      so probably we are actually talking about Y'CbCr, which gives me some hope, since Y'UV is "lossy", and Y'CbCr is not. read this:

                                      "However, this color space conversion (from RGB to Y'UV) is lossy. ...

                                      Instead of Y'UV, Y'CbCr was used as the standard format for (digital) common video compression algorithms such as MPEG-2. Digital television and DVDs preserve their compressed video streams in the MPEG-2 format, which uses a full Y'CbCr color space. The professional CCIR 601 uncompressed digital video format also uses Y'CbCr, primarily for compatibility with previous analog video standards. This stream can be easily mixed into any output format needed."

                                      now, where do you get these values from: "YUV(16,235)"?? Y'CbCr-values is usually defined on a range of -0,5 and + 0,5. in the YCbCr-parade of premiere we find %-values from 0 - 100.

                                      whatever, isn't that a very stupid procedure?: first I capture in "YUV" with a broadcast-geared curtailed range; then I blow it up i.e. dilute it for RGB-screens to 0-255, the I cut parts of the dilution again while exporting for broadcasting...??

                                      why can I not clearly control
                                      a) what the camera writes,
                                      b) what is taken in during capturing, and
                                      c) what I export (that at least can be controlled with premiere)?

                                      thanks again! ;-)
                                      hilmar
                                      • 16. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                        Dan Isaacs Level 2
                                        The reason I suggested that you open the clip in VirtualDub (and that you turn off the overlay settings) is just for troubleshooting. If it magically looks OK when you do this, then there is almost certainly something wrong with your display card settings. If not, then your footage is simply underexposed to begin with.

                                        Again -- I could tell you very quickly if you could avail some sample for me to download.

                                        > now, where do you get these values from: "YUV(16,235)"?? Y'CbCr-values is usually defined on a range of -0,5 and + 0,5. in the YCbCr-parade of premiere we find %-values from 0 - 100.

                                        (16,235) are the low- and high- luminance limits for "broadcast" content using a 0->255 scale. You could express this using a double float or a percentage or any other system you like. BUT -- since 8-bit video has precision of exactly 256 steps, the first option seems more logical to me.

                                        I think it is silly that Premiere only has the % and/or IRE scales in their scopes but that is just my opinion.

                                        > Y'UV is often and mistakenly used as the term for YCbCr

                                        It is easier to type, so whatever. We're not talking about anything analog here, so it's just a semantic difference.

                                        > first I capture in "YUV" with a broadcast-geared curtailed range; then I blow it up i.e. dilute it for RGB-screens to 0-255, the I cut parts of the dilution again while exporting for broadcasting

                                        Yep. That's pretty much how it works.

                                        I don't understand exactly what you mean by "lossless" conversion. But, if you want to make yourself really crazy, you can start reading about chroma subsampling, matrix coefficients and compression algorithms... but none of this will help an improperly calibrated display or underexposed footage.

                                        > (why can I not clearly control) what the camera writes

                                        Because this is generally determined by hardware on the camera -- and is usually manafactured to meet a particular standard.

                                        > (why can I not clearly control) what is taken in during capturing

                                        Because DV is captured as-is, there is nothing to control.

                                        > what I export (that at least can be controlled with premiere)?

                                        It seems you answered your own question within that question :)
                                        • 17. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                          shooternz Level 6
                                          >(so forget all the testing-trouble...

                                          A test takes about 5 minutes and provides trouble shooting clues to help resolve your issue in the process.

                                          eg. if the scope shows levels as correct with the test footage but the pc screen looks dark, you have eliminated the camera(exposure) and indicators point towards the graphics card.

                                          If the scopes show tst footage levels are down...then that points at camera exposure.

                                          The Color bars clip is the baseline and should be correct.
                                          • 18. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                            Dan Isaacs Level 2
                                            > That certainly explains why superwhites get crushed when I add any effect that necessitates such conversion.

                                            Yes. That's true.

                                            > My question is why the hell is my camera recording out of range? Added latitude is nice, but only if I can use it.

                                            You can use it: Just not with any RGB effects in Premiere. Try first applying a CC filter like "Luma Curve" or "Fast Color Corrector". These filters do not force RGB conversion and so allow you to use the "superwhite" range and retain some subtle shading on the highlights.

                                            > I'd much rather Panasonic clipped the whites at 235 like the DV codec requires...

                                            It does not require this. The "codec" can store any value between 0 and 255: It's just that only 16 through 235 are considered "legal".

                                            > ... and give me more shadow detail.

                                            It's more likely that it's the CCD in your camera (and possibly the DV compression itself?) that are limiting the shadow detail. I guess you could theorically have a bit more range if it were to use full 8-bit luminance, but DVD has the same limitation.
                                            • 19. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                              Jim_Simon Level 8
                                              >I - and everybody else - want, what I see on the camera-display!

                                              That could be an issue. Camera displays may not be accurate. It's entirely possible yours is off, and what you're seeing on the computer is what the footage actually looks like.

                                              For reference, you really need a properly calibrated NTSC monitor, both during shooting and during editing playback. Without that, it can be very difficult to find where the error lies.
                                              • 20. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                                Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                >You can use it: Just not with any RGB effects in Premiere.

                                                Well, that's kind of my point. Most of them are RGB, as well as the add-in effects such as Looks.

                                                >It's just that only 16 through 235 are considered "legal".

                                                Again, kind of my point. It'd be nice if DV cameras shot "DV legal" video.
                                                • 21. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                                  Dan Isaacs Level 2
                                                  > DV cameras shot "DV legal" video.

                                                  They do shoot DV legal --- DV has a range of 16-255. It's just not the same as "broadcast legal".

                                                  So, if you want to use an RGB effect like Looks, apply Luma Curve first to pull the highlights down a bit.

                                                  Slightly off-topic: I have another function I wrote for AviSynth called SoftLimiter() that does this automatically. You could "plug" that into your dv2film process if you wish :)

                                                  There is no harm in having these high values. In the all-Adobe workflow, they always get clipped when exporting via AME anyway -- so there's no risk of creating "illegal" content on DVD.

                                                  The real crime here is that AE is RGB-only (and thus all of the filters built on the AE model are also exclusively RGB). It's also too bad that Premiere does not have an option to allow full-range YUV<->RGB conversions (Well, it does for me because I use Matrox H/W).
                                                  • 22. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                                    Level 1
                                                    dear jim! dear dan!

                                                    >Camera displays may not be accurate. It's entirely possible yours is off, and what you're seeing on the computer is what the footage actually looks like.

                                                    here's the critical point, that many people do not want to confront, including you yourself (because it seems so 'easy' to blame everything on a display-problem... again I say: it has not to do with my display-settings because I can look at the material on various computers with different settings, that normally show everything according to high standards, and its always too dark... and I had a firewire-capturing-procedure via panasonic-win2k-3d-prophet-graphics-card-pinnacle without any problems! so the problem is in the constellation canonHV30-winXP-asus-motherboard-nvidia8600GTS-premiere!)!

                                                    the camera-display shows me a (sufficently) well lit scene with sufficent details!!! you can not call that "off", all right?! it is exactly spot-on!!! and I - as everybody else - want the same right after capturing on a screen with standard settings (without very lossy effects applied later)!

                                                    there is no use in testing material that through the capturing-process is altered!!! it would make sense to test the stuff that's on the tape - but we can't access it directly. only the camera does this while playing back.

                                                    so please look into the eyes of the problem and not somewhere else even if it is tempting...

                                                    you say: firewire-capturing is a process without alteration. I just have my doubts here, because of the codecs implied.

                                                    the point seems to sit in this codec-question (and may be the color-space-conversions included), the "codec to capture" (quotation premiere manual!). you wrote:

                                                    >Some DV codecs (Matrox, Canopus, Cedocida) give you the option to choose how the range is handled during YUV->RGB conversions.

                                                    sorry for the newbee-questions: but aren't the names you mention in brackets names of capture-cards (not codecs)? if not, where do these codecs with the 'screws' for the settings sit on my pc (or in premiere?) and how can I access them? would it be of use to buy a capture-card for the digital firewire-capturing and to make sure somehow, that the data are only processed by this card and nothing else?

                                                    thanx again!

                                                    hilmar
                                                    • 24. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                                      Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                      >DV has a range of 16-255.

                                                      Hmm. So then one must ask why the use of 16-235 when converting to RGB? Why not use the entire 16-255, pushing down only the blacks to 0?

                                                      >I wrote for AviSynth called SoftLimiter()

                                                      This I will look at and report back the results.
                                                      • 25. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                                        Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                        >it has not to do with my display-settings because I can look at the material on various computers with different settings, that normally show everything according to high standards, and its always too dark

                                                        I'm afraid that point only supports my suggestion. If your camera's LCD was set too bright, it may have looked fine there, but will end up looking too dark on other monitors.

                                                        >the camera-display shows me a (sufficently) well lit scene with sufficent details!!! you can not call that "off", all right?!

                                                        Well, if the camera display isn't properly adjusted, it certainly can be off and show you more details than you'd see in a properly adjusted display.

                                                        The point is that without a properly calibrated CRT display, it can be very difficult to track down these kinds of image problems because you just don't have any standard reference to know what the correct image should look like.
                                                        • 26. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                                          the_wine_snob Level 9
                                                          Jim,

                                                          It is similar to an argument seen in the Photoshop forums from time to time. "My scanner's images look great in Windows FAX/Image Viewer, but look like crap in Photoshop and when the print shop produces my proofs. How can a free viewer make things look so good, while an $800 program like Photoshop makes them look so bad? Come on Adobe, I paid good money for Photoshop. Make it better."

                                                          The response is usually, "have you calibrated your scanner, your monitor(s), your desktop printer, and used the profiles provided by your print shop?"

                                                          "No. If Windows FAX/Image viewer can make things look great, I don't have time to calibrate everything. Come on Adobe, get it right."

                                                          And on it goes. It's the same with video, except one also has the lack of calibration of all of their clients' display devices to deal with. At least in print, one can *assume* that the target audience will view the print in a well-lit environment - of couse the person trying to view it by candlelight might think it's too dark and yellow...

                                                          Hunt
                                                          • 27. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                                            Dag Norum Level 2
                                                            I'm not using the LCD flip-out display on my camera (PD150), so I wonder why the heck Premiere is not capturing B/W video, I mean, that's what I see in the viewfinder.

                                                            Dag
                                                            • 28. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                                              shooternz Level 6
                                                              Export a frame (from Premiere) of this dark footage please and post it somewhere we can take a look .
                                                              • 29. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                                                Level 1
                                                                sorry, dear fellows,

                                                                but if you don't want to see the point, let's drop it...

                                                                I do not need high-tech curves to see that the stuff I get after capturing is badly "underexposed"... (by the way: I see them of course here in premiere, very ugly flattened...)

                                                                today we looked at one of my tapes via another camera-display (canon HV30) in a shop with a pro commenting it: "just fine", he said... (and, I say again, they are normal light-values on! no lighting up used!)

                                                                can't you just let go of habitual explanation-models, please! we see on the camera-display a way to interpret the data that delivers a satisfactory result. it can't be called "pro" (photoshop or whatever) to interpret the data in an absolutely unusable way!

                                                                and may be, by the way, dear adobe-fans, its the camera, that gives out bad data, or the two graphics-solutions in my pc (asus-motherboard, nvidia geforce 8600 gts) that spoil it...

                                                                I'll get back to you, if I find a solution, all right?

                                                                thanks anyway!
                                                                hilmar
                                                                • 30. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                                                  Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                                  >and may be, by the way, dear adobe-fans, its the camera, that gives out bad data, or the two graphics-solutions in my pc (asus-motherboard, nvidia geforce 8600 gts) that spoil it...

                                                                  It can't be the first. Capture is just a straight transfer of 1's and 0's to the hard drive. There's no way it could alter the exposure of the recorded video.

                                                                  It could very well be the second issue (graphics card). But again, without a properly calibrated external NTSC monitor, you're flying blind here.
                                                                  • 31. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                                                    Dan Isaacs Level 2
                                                                    > without a properly calibrated external NTSC monitor...

                                                                    I guess that would be a PAL monitor (I think he's in Germany).

                                                                    > ...you're flying blind here.

                                                                    And without showing us a clip, so are we. Good luck.
                                                                    • 32. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                                                      Dag Norum Level 2
                                                                      Hilmar,

                                                                      I just wonder why you can't connect your camera to a TV-set, no need to be a well calibrated one, just an ordinary one where you can watch the news with OK quality, and then tell us what you see.

                                                                      Dag
                                                                      • 34. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                                                        Level 1
                                                                        dear jim, dear dan, dear dag, dear craig!

                                                                        thanks again a lot for your interest! I don't want to just "steel myself away" (as we say in german), so let me say:

                                                                        1. I grew up without a TV and I never bought one... (believe it or not) so I would have to go to a neighbour - which I will do just for fun, when my cam is fixed again and back. the only thing is: one of the guys grappling with the same problem clearly sais: I'm looking at the footage on my display and directly on a tv-screen (wired up directly) and both looks fine; when I capture it: darkness. so why should it be different here... but let's see...

                                                                        2.
                                                                        > It can't be the first (the camera). Capture is just a straight transfer of 1's and 0's to the hard drive. There's no way it could alter the exposure of the recorded video.

                                                                        the above said already clearly contradicts that: we stated uncontroversially: the color-space is altered, a codec is applied. so I think you will have to say good by to a comfortable myth...

                                                                        3. and last time please: I clearly see that the material I have here is corrupted... why analyse it?? we can't see in it what possibly went wrong during its production, o.k.?! nevertheless to keep you helpful guys happy I made two screenshots, which you can find here:

                                                                        http://www.textandmedia.com/pic/premiere-test/premiere-screen-shot01.jpg
                                                                        http://www.textandmedia.com/pic/premiere-test/premiere-screen-shot02.jpg

                                                                        the first with the unfiltered material + YCbCr-parade,
                                                                        the second after filtering. the lightened-up version moves in the direction of what you get on the cam-display but the quality is clearly lesser (everything behind the usual milky fog of underexposed pictures you artificially violate to become lighter; this fog is not to be seen on the cam-display; there we have more saturation, contrast, i.e. 'plasticity', 'livelyness', o.k.?)...

                                                                        you see: if you said to me: we clearly know that camera-producers apply every illusory withcraft on this earth to make underexposed footage look all right on their displays just to keep the customer satisfied and that this is a known issue - then I would first say: ok, point taken, but then I would ask you: what's the witchcraft? I want to use it myself!!! since I'm satisfied with what I get... (and not with the "pro"-"realism" of the premiere-screen or the window-media-player-screen after capturing with movie-maker for that matter...

                                                                        pleeeeaaaase understand!
                                                                        hilmar
                                                                        • 35. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                                                          Harm Millaard Level 7
                                                                          Hilmar,

                                                                          Es ist ganz einfach, die Helligkeit des Displays deiner Cam ist ersinnig übersteuert, wie ich in Post #1 angegeben habe. Das Material ist ganz gut, nur die Ueberbeleuchtung nach dem Filter ist hässlich.

                                                                          Es hat kein Zweck diese Diskussion weiter zu führen, eine Übertragung von Dateien über Firewire ist einfach das. Übertragung und nichts Anders. Es wird nichts geändert. Die Display deiner Cam ist Schuld. Schluss.
                                                                          • 36. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                                                            shooternz Level 6
                                                                            Thanx for posting.

                                                                            My analysis from the screen shots and the waveform montor.

                                                                            The image is somewhat under exposed. (in camera). The camera viewfinder is artificially enhancing the image IMHO.

                                                                            I would have expected the white reflection in the piano top to be at least 90% + in a correctly exposed image.

                                                                            Lifting the black levels as you have done will increase noise/grain.

                                                                            I still think a test as I suggested in an earlier post - image and
                                                                            color bars would clear this up for you. (us)
                                                                            • 37. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                                                              Level 1
                                                                              hi harm! and everybody else!

                                                                              here comes finally even a test-movie:
                                                                              http://www.textandmedia.com/video/render-test01.avi (caution 28,5 mb) - a short sequence with an effect-filtered clip, unaltered stuff (you get an inkling of a poster on a white cup-board, that you can almost 'read' on the display...), and a test-clip from someone else...

                                                                              slowly it's getting slightly odd: people start telling the seeing: you are to blame, and not the blind - they are right!

                                                                              I want to learn, how to see and not how to stay blind, o.k.?

                                                                              but you are right with your authoritarian "schluss" ("finished!"): we (at least those involved up to here) won't get further...

                                                                              greetings!
                                                                              hilmar
                                                                              • 38. Re: captured video-material appears far too dark
                                                                                Ruud Blauw Level 1
                                                                                >ist er sinnig übersteuert

                                                                                Harm,

                                                                                Meinst du vielleicht "irrsinnig"? :p
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