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It could be that your gamma is incorrectly set on your computer.
Setting gamma and calibrating your monitor so that it displays accurately can be a bit challenging. But, if your video looks dramatically different on your TV than it does on your computer, you probably need to do it.
If you right-click on your computer's desktop and select Properties, then, at the Settings tab, click the Advanced button, you'll find a variety of tools for calibrating your monitor. How many and how much you can do depends on your monitor and your graphics card.
You can also simply adjust the brightness on your monitor with the buttons and dials right on the monitor itself.
Individual programs also can impose color management on your photos, which can change how they're displayed in different media. In Photoshop Elements, color management is turned off by default. But, in the professional Photoshop, color profile are almost always added to photos.
But, again, it's up to you if you think this is serious enough that you want to do this.
Yes, it is serious enough that I have to do something. Regarding the gamma, my monitor display is fine; it is the burned dvd that looks washed out on the TV. Do the monitor settings effect the burning of dvds?
Is there something I can do in Photoshop Elements to fix this? Again, when I see the pictures on the monitor in PS6 or PE4, they look fine. It is when I play back the dvd (on my computer or my tv) that the colors are washed out.
As always, thanks so much for your help!!!
Yes, the TV presentation always looks brighter than my computer under default settings. My old video camera produced brighter pictures on my TV than my new one, (both Sony) so cameras can vary. The best settings of the computer for video are not necessarily the best settings for still images.
As Steve says, getting computer displays to match output is no trivial task. That is one reason why some people use a TV monitor while editing.
If the TV display of your video is too bright, then you need to turn the brightness of the video down in PE before you make your DVD. If the display is then too dark on the computer, then you need to adjust the computer display gamma to make it look right.
Sorry, I see you are using PSE, not PE. The same principles apply, however.
What Steve is alluding to is the full calibration of your workflow with your output in mind. This is very common practice in work that goes to print. There, one needs to calibrate every step in the workflow from scanner (camera in the case of Video/Still) to computer monitor to printer (and even to paper). Until this is done, the artist/editor cannot be sure where the weak-link is.
In Video production it is the computer and monitor, that needs to be set for the output. If you are getting consistant problems, when you view the material on your TV, it is that the monitor is set incorrectly based on the output. Also, most cameras get set to automatic exposure and white-balance. This can create initial problems with the footage. Most pros shoot color checkers and white (and 18% grey) cards and set these manually.
With Premiere Pro (and all higher-end NLE's), the editor does not usually rely much on the computer's monitor, though they do get it calibrated as well as they can. Instead, all color and density corrections are made on an NTSC (or PAL) calibrated CRT monitor. The signal from the computer is fed to this special TV monitor, where the final decisions are made. The problem is exaserbated when one uses a TFT/LCD computer monitor, because these are: 1.) more difficult to calibrate correctly, and 2.) change with even slight viewing angles and 3.) drift too easily from calibration. To give you an example, I can do rough Photoshop work on my laptop, and it is calibrated as closely as I can get it. To do color/density work, I always take the image to my workstation with 2 21" CRT monitors, that can be calibrated to the exact output, based on precisely what that is going to be. I check the calibration about every quarter, and if my client is using a printer, or print process, that I have not built a profile for, we spend a few days working with the printer to make sure that we have a profile expressly for them.
In your case, you are using your computer's monitor twice in the workflow - once to adjust the images in Photoshop and then in PE. That is why you must do all that you can to get it set, based on your output.
With print, this is a bit easier, since your desktop printer can be used to do the final proofing with the exact paper used, or your commercial printer can provide you with 100% specs. on how the job will be printed plus a hard-proof. Then, you just work to make sure that everything in your workflow is set to give you (and your clients) a good look at how things will be when you go to your final output - print. These are viewed in a special light box enclosure to optimum conditions.
With anything going to TV, you also have to work for the "lowest common denominator" as few TV's in the world are properly calibrated either. It's easier in PAL-land, since there are fewer variables. That is why one can only produce for a calibrated NTSC monitor. Imagine a 15" CRT monitor, that'll cost you from US$3000 to $15000. If it looks good there, then it's the problem of the end-viewer to calibrate their TV. Probably 99.9% are set from the facotry, just as they came from the box.
In your case, I'd work backward a bit, using your TV as your final output. With Video, it's not quite so easy, as you will not have a proof print to easily refer to. The best you can do is move the TV to near the computer, or vice versa. Then you watch the same footage, and adjust your computer until you see exactly what you see on the TV. Then save that profile for NLE use. Check that they match, from time to time. First thing to do, however, is to calibrate your TV. Chances are high, that it's set like it was in the factory. There are some free calibration DVDs (usually files, that you download and burn to DVD) and then more commercial DVDs that are used for this. They feed a known signal to the TV and then one adjusts it with some fairly sophisticated equipment - or by eye, if one does not have the gear. It's the known signal, that makes the biggest difference. Then if your DVD's are still too light, or the colors are out, work backward to adjust your monitor on your computer. Remember, you can only do your best, as others, who play the DVDs, may have horribly adjusted TV's themselves. You can only establish a baseline and work to it.
Last, if you do much with Audio, remember that the Audio end needs to be calibrated in your client's system too, especially with 5.1 SS, DTS or THX. Most are not, so you need to make sure that yours is, and then you'll know that you produced the best product possible, and it's up to the clients to get their system into shape.
To distill what Steve and I just said: your computer monitor is displaying the images too dark (or your TV is displaying them too brightly). If you make your images look good on your computer, they WILL look washed out on your TV. The encoding and burning to DVD is not the problem. It's just laying down the 1's and 0's that you have output. If your output is that TV, then your images, when displayed on your computer's monitor, will have to look a bit "washed out" too.
Most video cards will allow you to build several profiles and let you load them on the fly. You might want to investigate having one for regular computer work, and then one especially setup for Photoshop and Premiere work. Otherwise, you'll never be able to get your output to look good on your TV.
It is not as easy as taking images from an uncalibrated camera, feeding the images into an uncalibrated computer and then burning a DVD to play on an uncalibrated TV. Every step can be the weak link in that chain and needs to be considered to get good results. You have to establish a baseline in the least easy to calibrate link, then work backward from that.
Thank you so much for this detailed explanation!! I have been learning as I go with all of this. I've done about a dozen projects like this one this year. I don't have the volume to justify an expensive TV monitor, unfortunately :)
It occurs to me after reading this explanation and considering this most recent project where the problem presented itself, there is more of an issue with the brightness of photos I scanned in (as opposed to digital photos). So I checked the color management of the scanner. There are many profiles to choose from. Am on on the right track here?
Also, I changed the preset on my monitor from "Normal" to "Mulimedia."
What I have loved about these Adobe products is that someone like me, who is somewhat computer literate but not knowledgeable with respect to video production, can create professional looking photo montages. Thank goodness for this forum and those like you with the expertise!
I just went back at looked at a project that was all digital photos and the playback is more washed out than on my computer monitor in PE.
So to summarize, images on my monitor should look washed out. Then I should use Photoshop to correct that washed out look before sending to PE?
Don't feel bad. Most hobbiests do not have those resources. I mentioned them to show how open to problems a workflow can be.
In your case you ARE using what amounts to a "print" workflow, just outputting to DVD/TV. And, yes, scanner profiles can have a big impact on the final. Still, you are going through PS (or PSE), so you can do some correction in post (post production).
Now, if the images look good on your computer, but "overexposed" on your TV, you will probably have to first get your monitor set up with a profile (again, most cards allow one several of these) that will get you close to the exposure that you will display on the TV. There are software calibration tools, though the hardware & software utilities will likely do a better job. Or, you can eyeball it and establish a set of Curves (can be saved in PS), or Levels, that look too dark on the computer, but display properly on the TV. Remember, you'll only be judging on YOUR TV, and it needs to be calibrated too. What your clients, friends, etc. display will be based on their TV's.
The various calibrations work to keep you from having to "eyeball" it too much. Also, by saving common corrections in PS (just do not know how many of these can be Saved in PSE - sorry), you can batch process, pretty much expecting the corrections to look too dark in PS on the computer, but look good for the TV.
I am sorry that there is not a one-button fix for this, but there are just too many variables. You just need to find out what looks good on the TV and then "memorize" how "off" they will look in PS, or PE.
PS, on my calibrated LCD laptop (as "calibrated" as I can get it), a perfect Level looks over-exposed by about .5 to 1.0/f on my CRTs. That is why I do not do color, or density/gamma on my laptop for anything critical. I know that I cannot trust it there.
Check your DVD player video settings for Black Level and turn it off if it is on.