4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 8, 2008 6:50 AM by (Cris_Daniels)

    AE CS4  Color management with HDTV

      Working with the Sony EX1 and EX3 which according to Sony engineers works in the 709 HDTV colorspace.

      This space is about a dead ringer for sRGB when overlayed in Colorthink. The issue I am having is that if you actually assign the 709 or sRGB profile to a still image that is captured off a recorded clip, the blues are out of wack. I can export a single frame of the color bars from the Sony application, and the frame is tagged sRGB. Open the image in Photoshop CS4 or AE CS4 and use the embedded profile and the bars look purple. Apply no color management, and the lineup looks correct, nice and blue. Anyone know what is going on here?

      I'm not exactly sure how to integrate AE sequences if assigning the 709 output profile is going to wack the colors.

      Yes the monitor is calibrated, its the NEC 3090 (12 bit Hardware LUT) with Spectraview II.


      Cris Daniels
        • 1. Re: AE CS4  Color management with HDTV
          Level 1
          Purple? That's just odd. Is this on the main display, or a preview device? We do no color mgmt on preview devices, they get workingspace pixels.

          If your workingspace is HDTV (Rec709) and you Assign Profile:HDTV (Rec709) AE won't do any colorspace conversion. Which makes me think your workingspace is something else, and that is why you are getting a color shift. What is your workingspace?

          • 2. Re: AE CS4  Color management with HDTV
            Level 1
            ok, I think I am onto something. My footage is 709, and my workspace is 709. It defaults to "none", but I change that to the 709HD profile. I am not checking any of the linear options because it is all 8-bit footage and if this is anything like Photoshop, 8-bit data in a linear space is a no-no.

            Here is the $64,000 question, what the heck does the "Use display color managment" option in the "view" menu actually do?
            At first I though that I should leave this on, but THIS option is what is wacking my footage. If I leave that setting off (unchecked), my colors look ok. Even if I leave this option on and set to "no output simulation" it changes the preview.

            Right now I am a little confused as to exactly how that "use display color management" functions. It almost looks like turning it on is somehow double color managing my display and therefore the weird color shift. Is it safe to assume that AE is already using my colorsync profile like it does in Photoshop and that I do not need to check the "use display color management" at all?

            For what its worth, the AE color when setup correctly (uncheck the display color management), matches the Sony HDCAM clip browsing and transfer software, and Photoshop. Originally I was comparing AE to Premiere Pro, and Premiere Pro doesn't match anything perfectly (grrrrr....) but at least I now have three apps matching up great.
            Premiere Pro is weak on color management to say the least, and I've heard that it does not correctly display the Sony HD footage, so looking for a total match to AE is probably a dead end.

            Anyway, if you can explain the display color management option I can get my head around that a little better.
            • 3. Re: AE CS4  Color management with HDTV
              Todd_Kopriva Level 8
              I recommend that you start by reading the "Color management overview" section in After Effects Help. That section points to a paper that gives click-by-click instructions for specific color management scenarios, including Rec 709 HDTV.

              > Anyway, if you can explain the display color management option
              > I can get my head around that a little better.

              The Use Display Color Management option allows you to see what the output will look like on some other (non-color-managed) device.

              Here's an excerpt from the "Enable or disable display color management" section in After Effects Help:

              "When color management is on, the default behavior is for RGB pixel values to be converted to the color space of your computer monitor from the working color space for the project. Color appearance is preserved; RGB numbers are not preserved. This behavior is adequate for most uses, but you sometimes need to see how the colors are actually going to look when viewed through a system that does not use color management. For example, you may need to see how the colors will appear when viewed in a web browser. When display color management is off, the RGB color values are sent directly to your monitor, without any conversion through the monitor profile. RGB numbers are preserved; color appearance is not preserved."
              • 4. Re: AE CS4  Color management with HDTV
                Level 1
                Well then this does not make any sense at all. You are saying that this option forced AE to use my display profile, and that toggling it off actually circumvents my display profile.

                My display profile is fine, Eye One hardware, looks excellent in Photoshop, all images display correctly and have proper gray balance.

                The only way Photoshop matches AE is to TURN OFF display color management, then it is a perfect match. And yes, Photoshop at that point is using my display profile. I never disable that under any circumstances. How could the images match perfectly if in AE the display profile is bypassed, and in Photoshop the display profile is active? They can't, so AE is doing something I do not understand. And you can check "no output simulation" in the AE menus, you would think that this would allow you to "pass through" any profile that simulated another output device. Nope. This hoses things up as well.

                I have real everything Adobe has published on this and called their gurus twice.

                Everything about the color management workflow Adobe describes in their documents is logical and makes sense, except this behavior. And by default when you "engage" color managment, this "use display color management" is turned on so it immediately wacks the image. My point is, it appears that the display is at that point "double color managed" as my gray balance is then incorrect, flesh tones go to hell, etc... I think that my best be will be to apply my display profile to an image in Photoshop and see if it has the same results as what AE is doing. This should confirm that AE is wrong, by forcing Photoshop to double color manage the identical image.