5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 19, 2008 7:20 PM by (Steve_Floro)

    How to Enable Color Management? (DV Compression Is Lightening Gamma)

      This problem has plagued me with both After Effects and Premiere. I have a project with a number of .mpeg video files (I know MPEG is a bad file choice, but it's not causing the problem--I tested this with uncompressed media also). In AE, I have a darkly lit scene with gamma turned down to produce pure blacks in the shadowy areas. When I render as DV, Windows Media, or QuickTime and play the resulting file in Windows Media Player or Media Player Classic, the file has rather ugly dark grays where pure blacks should be. I read the article on color management and thought I had found the problem, but the "Use Display Color Management" option is grayed out and I've been unable to re-enable it.

      Also, I don't know if this is of any major value, but the DV and Windows Media file versions look the same in Windows Media Player as they do in Media Player Classic. QuickTime files look slightly better in Classic than in the default QT player. This issue is especially confusing since the article only acknowledged that this can happen with QuickTime, whereas I'm having this problem with all formats except uncompressed. Thanks!
        • 1. Re: How to Enable Color Management? (DV Compression Is Lightening Gamma)
          Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional
          Many codecs, including DV and MPEG, used a compressed colour space known as CCIR 601 (or ITU-R 601). Straight from Wikipedia:

          In each 8 bit luminance sample, the value 16 is used for black and 235 for white, to allow for overshoot and undershoot. The values 0 and 255 are used for sync encoding. The Cb and Cr samples use the value 128 to encode a zero value, as used when encoding a white, grey or black area.

          The CCIR 601 video raster format has been re-used in a number of later standards, including MPEG.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CCIR_601

          What this means is that, if a file is encoded in this format, there is NO true black or white in the visible area of the image. You shouldn't see the same thing in an RGB codec like Quicktime Animation, however.

          Is it possible the problem is being over-stated by your monitor having it's gamma set to high, or something? What kind of display are you using, and what kind of displays will your end product be seen on?
          • 2. Re: How to Enable Color Management? (DV Compression Is Lightening Gamma)
            Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
            As Andrew said - there is never any true black in DV footage as there is never pure white. The CoDec's luma simply doesn't deal with this. if it's realyl an issue for intermediate steps, simply use other RGB-based CoDecs such as Animation or PNG. If you want to retain realtime editability in Premiere, but work in full luma ranges and with better Chroma sampling, than you will have to resort to one of the high quality commercial CoDecs like Cineform or Sheer video. Still, even with that your color range will get compressed again as soon as you play it back to DV tape to comply with the specs.

            Mylenium
            • 3. Re: How to Enable Color Management? (DV Compression Is Lightening Gamma)
              Level 1
              I'm running a Dell E773c monitor with gamma set to a moderate level (Setting the gamma any darker caused white text to look faded). The final product will be DVD--fortunately, the videos I've rendered as DV look perfect on DVD. It's not a big deal for export to DVD (whenever I import a AE-exported DV file into Premiere, the video file looks perfect), but I've been thinking about uploading them to YouTube. I guess it's not a major issue, but it's going to be disappointing since I told my friend (client) that I would make his slightly grainy scene look great when my finished work doesn't look that much different from his. Do all Web broadcasters use PNG or Animation QuickTime? Is there any other way to render full-quality content without using pricy codecs (ideally using DV or Windows Media)?

              Also, it would be really nice to at least let AE show me how the final product will be (at least before DVD). How do I enable display color management? And I guess it's a redundant question, but are the answers to this issue the same for Premiere as for AE? Thanks a lot for the help on this perplexing issue!
              • 4. Re: How to Enable Color Management? (DV Compression Is Lightening Gamma)
                Todd_Kopriva Level 8
                > How do I enable display color management?

                Have you enabled color management for the project (i.e., selected a working color space for the project)? If not, please read "Choose a working color space and enable color management" for an explanation of how to enable color management for a project. "Enable or disable display color management" contains information on managing colors using your monitor's color profile.

                You said that you read "the article on color management", by which I presume that you mean the "Color Management Workflow" white paper on the Adobe Design Center website. That paper links to the "Color management" section of After Effects CS3 Help on the Web and presumes that you'll consult that document for some of the basic underlying concepts and detailed procedures.

                > And I guess it's a redundant question, but are the answers to this issue the same for Premiere as for AE?

                Premiere Pro does not do color management.
                • 5. Re: How to Enable Color Management? (DV Compression Is Lightening Gamma)
                  Level 1
                  Ah, I see now--I was trying to enable color management straight from the View menu before I had set a project working space. That makes sense now. And now the footage I see in the working window actually looks the same as when it's rendered! Thanks for the help, all.

                  Now that that's settled, anybody have suggestions as to what codec to use to render a 5-minute video with completely black shadows to YouTube (and not exceeding 100 MB, which rules out PNG and Animation QuickTime)?