1 2 Previous Next 64 Replies Latest reply on Jan 3, 2011 4:45 AM by Koray Birand

    Export Colour Shift

    esteban_zissou Level 1

      Hi Guys,

       

      So I just installed After Effects, and imported a .mov which I cut together in Final Cut.

       

      The .mov's colour matches that of the original clip in my final cut timeline, and this is also true when it's sat in after effects.

      My problem is when I export from After Effects there seems to be a shift in brightness.

       

      I am rendering the composition as a .mov with 'best settings' and 'lossless' but the file it creates seems to be much brighter than what is sat on my timeline.

       

      Anyone know why this is happening?

       

      Thanks for your help!

        • 1. Re: Export Colour Shift
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Yes, this is a known issue/ fact - ever since Apple changed the default system Gamma, nothing seems to work in Quicktime anymore. Either adjust it with an additional Levels adjustment, enable/ disable the "Match Legacy QT Gamma" options or use color managemnt with profiles. There's an article on it somewhere (maybe on Todd's Blog?) explaining this in further detail...

           

          Mylenium

          • 2. Re: Export Colour Shift
            esteban_zissou Level 1

            Thanks for the reply Mylenium.

             

            I tried both selecting 'match legacy gamma' and setting my project and clip to sRGB but neither preserved my colours on export when I open them in quicktime they are still brighter. Any ideas?

             

            Thanks for your help!

            • 3. Re: Export Colour Shift
              TimeRemapper Level 4

              Mylenium is right. Gamma issues have been popping up all over the place since Apple decided to implement the "correct" Gamma value with Snow Leopard. I'm grateful they did it, but it'll take a little time for everything to settle. It has a similar ripple effect as to when Adobe corrected their PAR values. Once again, grateful but little things will pop-up here and there that will need to be tweaked until all of the old files, projects, etc... get updated accordingly. Growing pains.

               

              In the Output Module settings while clicked on the "Color Management" tab, do you have "Preserve RGB" enabled?

              • 4. Re: Export Colour Shift
                esteban_zissou Level 1

                Thanks TimeRemapper, I have tried ticking 'preserve rgb' with and without the legacy option ticked, makes no difference.

                 

                So am I right in thinking that everyone who is using after effects has to tweak their levels before exporting? This just seems crazy to me.

                • 5. Re: Export Colour Shift
                  TimeRemapper Level 4
                  I have tried ticking 'preserve rgb' with and without the legacy option ticked, makes no difference.

                  Have you tried not color managing your project and rendering making sure that Preserve RGB is checked?

                   

                  So am I right in thinking that everyone who is using after effects has to tweak their levels before exporting?

                  Not quite. I get along without difficulty as do others. Perhaps it's something in your workflow?

                  What codec is the footage that you exported out of FCP using? ProRes?

                  • 6. Re: Export Colour Shift
                    esteban_zissou Level 1

                    Yup, tried that too.

                     

                    The footage is ProRes 422 (HQ)

                     

                    It seems strange to me that the export from final cut matches the clip sat on both fcp and after effects' timelines.. its only the after effects export that shifts.

                    • 7. Re: Export Colour Shift
                      TimeRemapper Level 4

                      Ahhh, ProRes.

                       

                      Check out this article on Todd's blog and see if it helps.

                       

                      Alternatively, try exporting a version of your movie out of FCP as a Quicktime movie using the lossless PNG codec and replacing the ProRes footage in your timeline(s)/project in order to troubleshoot this as a culprit.

                      • 8. Re: Export Colour Shift
                        esteban_zissou Level 1

                        Thanks. Im using CS5.. do I still need to do this?


                        • 9. Re: Export Colour Shift
                          TimeRemapper Level 4

                          I think that before trying to hack any files you might want to just to a test as a QT/PNG or Animation codec out of FCP first. If it works, then maybe we can find the right rules file for CS5 and take a look?

                           

                          BTW, here's a bit better of a link to Todd's blog concerning editing the interpretation rules.

                          • 10. Re: Export Colour Shift
                            esteban_zissou Level 1

                            Ok, so here's a strange one...

                             

                            I exported from Final Cut as a PNG quicktime like you said and this matched the colour sat on the timeline, but when I imported this into after effects it is much darker.. but then.. when exporting again from after effects (lossless mov) the colour goes back to matching that which is sat on my FCP timeline.

                             

                            Does that make sense?

                            • 11. Re: Export Colour Shift
                              TimeRemapper Level 4

                              Sorry if this is redundant, but is this image what your Project Settings window looks like?

                              Screen shot 2010-12-16 at 11.56.31 AM.png

                              Also, have you installed the latest updates for CS5?

                              • 12. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                ninteknohardcore

                                On a gamma shift note... I've found that quicktime player sometimes adds some funny business that makes it seem like there is a gamma shift when there isn't... so I always check the .mov with VLC or Windows Media player as well or whatever other video player you might have on your system. Was driving me nuts with some Ae renders testing different codecs until I isolated the issue to be with Quicktime player screwing with the gamma.

                                • 13. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                  esteban_zissou Level 1

                                  Yes, I have the latest updates!

                                  and those settings match exactly

                                  • 14. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                    esteban_zissou Level 1

                                    Thanks ninteknohardcore,

                                    I did wonder this, but surely the colour when dropping it back on my final cut timeline would be correct if this was the case (which it isnt).

                                    • 15. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                      tordenver Level 1

                                      Are you color managing your project or not? I would.

                                       

                                      If you are working in HD in FCP, I would make sure that your imported footage in AE is interpreted with the correct workspace, HDTV (rec. 709). Then I would setup your Project setting with the same workspace if your intent is to output an HD file.

                                       

                                      The other things you may want to double check is your reference monitor and your video player to determine if they are some gamma shift happening or not. Are you using any third party hardware like Blackmagic or Aja? what is your video output? computer monitor?

                                       

                                      David

                                      • 16. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                        esteban_zissou Level 1

                                        No I'm not, Im not really 100% when it comes to colour management in video.

                                        What should it be setup as?

                                         

                                        My output is web, streaming HD video. So what should I go with here?

                                         

                                        No im not using any third party hardware. Its all just via my NEC Monitors and I've also had a look on my Eizo (which is calibrated for my print setup)

                                        • 17. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                          tordenver Level 1

                                          If your video output is for the web, I would recommend to work in sRGB color workspace which is the default workspace for the web, even so you might still have some issues depending the web browser / OS used to watch your movie.

                                           

                                          But first you need to make sure that the color workspace of your imported movie in AE is recognized correctly (see my previous email). Then when you render your comp, your default color working space should be (by default) your working color workspace, in your case sRGB (it is under the Color management tab).


                                          Regarding your reference monitor, in order to make sure you are seeing the "true" color of your movie, it needs to match your movie color space, in your case sRGB. Also, like ninteknohardcore was saying, some video player will disregard your embedded color space flag: so if you are concerned, double check with different players. If you are going back to FCP with your rendered movie, be aware that FCP works in video color space only (Rec. 601 for SD or Rec. 709 for HD).

                                           

                                          I hope this help,

                                           

                                          David

                                          • 18. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                            esteban_zissou Level 1

                                            Thanks for the reply David,

                                             

                                            ok, so if im working in final cut with ProRes 422 then my color space will always be Rec. 709 right?

                                            So if I were to export straight from here and upload to say vimeo, am I going to notice a colour shift?

                                            How do people who create content for web in FCP get around this?

                                             

                                            A couple of questions

                                             

                                            1. How do I check what color space my footage within AE has been recognised as?

                                             

                                            2. Am I correct in thinking that If FCP only works in Rec. 709 and im going out to the web (but visiting AE first) should I bring it in to AE as Rec. 709 and then make sure my working color workspace within AE is sRGB before rendering it out?

                                             

                                            3. When I go to project settings and change my working color space, how come this doesnt seem to have any effect upon my composition? If I were to do the same thing in Photoshop I would notice colour shifts between profiles.

                                             

                                            Thanks again!

                                            • 19. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                              ninteknohardcore Level 1

                                              If you click on your footage in AE you should see what it is interpreted as in the little info window on top left... or you can right click and go into the interpret footage dialog...

                                               

                                              I've found in my own experience that exporting to some codecs shift gamma while others do not... When I was working on FCP I found that exporting to ProRes would always shift the gamma and make the clip brighter so I applied an adjustment before render to compensate for the brightness shift...

                                               

                                              I'm no expert but depending on how you set FCP up... it will either work in Rgb or Yuv... and Ae is always RGB so your shift might have something to do with an rgb<->yuv shift as I'm pretty sure ProRes is Yuv...

                                               

                                              That kind of stuff can drive you crazy! To avoid it all... as I trust AE's render engine... I switched to Premiere so I don't even have to render anything out of the editor...just use dynamic link to import it into Ae and render from there...

                                               

                                              But yeh for the web setting your working space to S-rgb is the right thing to do... So I say experiment with exporting to different codecs and see if you still get the shifts... I ended up eventually buying the Sheer video codec for my lossless 10bit Rgb or Yuv needs.. and it never causes any shifts ever.

                                              • 20. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                tordenver Level 1

                                                You're welcome esteban_zissou.

                                                 

                                                ok, so if im working in final cut with ProRes 422 then my color space will always be Rec. 709 right?

                                                Yes if you are working in HD. If you are working in standard definition, then your color space will be Rec. 601.

                                                 

                                                So if I were to export straight from here and upload to say vimeo, am I going to notice a colour shift?

                                                Unfortunately I believe they are many parameters that will play into how Vimeo deal with your video file: if you export an HD movie from FCP using a ProRes codec for example, it will be in Rec. 709 color space. Now can Vimeo accept a Quicktime ProRes file? (I haven't done it recently, but last time I did it with Youtube, you could not send a ProRes file. H264 was the codec recommended) So if it does, I believe they will move from your Rec. 709 color space to sRGB color space at the same time they optimize your movie compression for their platform. You will have to run some test to know for sure.

                                                 

                                                How do people who create content for web in FCP get around this?

                                                You do all your own conversion... and test !

                                                When I work in HD in FCP, I export my master as a self-contained movie (using ProRes codec usually). Then I use AE to convert from one color space to another, and at the same time down size the movie, change your pixel aspect ratio from non-square to square if necessary, and export always as ProRes movie. Finally I compress my movie in the codec of choice, usually using Compressor to fit my delivery platform. These days I use most of the time H264 codec (actually I prefer the open source x264 encoder because it gives you more control over the encoding process)

                                                 

                                                1. How do I check what color space my footage within AE has been recognised as?

                                                Just like ninteknohardcore said, you go into the Interpret footage dialog box, and look at the Color management tab.

                                                 

                                                2. Am I correct in thinking that If FCP only works in Rec. 709 and im going out to the web (but visiting AE first) should I bring it in to AE as Rec. 709 and then make sure my working color workspace within AE is sRGB before rendering it out?

                                                Correct and make sure your render output is also setup to sRGB color space (it is set to your working color space by default in CS5 I believe)

                                                 

                                                3. When I go to project settings and change my working color space, how come this doesnt seem to have any effect upon my composition? If I were to do the same thing in Photoshop I would notice colour shifts between profiles.

                                                Yes you should, but it depends on your color spaces in and out, and obviously the color used in your footage. I believe gamma issue is the most common shift people notice.

                                                 

                                                David

                                                • 21. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                  esteban_zissou Level 1

                                                  Thanks for the replies, really appreciate it.

                                                   

                                                  So now I am even more confused. I exported out of AE and then came back into FCP to add some audio and transitions. I graded this again (as it suffered from the gamma shift) then exported as a .mov. I opened it up in quicktime and it looked fine, the same as it does in FCP. Great.. but then, I came to my windows pc and opened it up in Quicktime and its really bright, I tried it on another windows machine and its the same.

                                                   

                                                  Now obviously I can compensate in the grading, but then that would make it even darker on my mac.. argh!

                                                   

                                                  What would you do here?

                                                  • 22. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                    esteban_zissou Level 1

                                                    So I just did a quick test.

                                                     

                                                    I opened the file in vlc, quicktime and media player (on my pc) and these were the results:

                                                     

                                                    Quicktime: Bright

                                                    VLC: Dark

                                                    Media Player: Darkest

                                                     

                                                    I then uploaded the same file to vimeo and the brightness matched that off Media Player.

                                                     

                                                    Anyone know what's going on here?

                                                     

                                                    Thanks again

                                                    • 23. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                      ninteknohardcore Level 1

                                                      I can't say I know exactly what's going on but it sounds very similar to my experience when grading and doing final output... I use both Pc's and Mac's and the thing that I remember that really screwed me up on the Mac was before Snow Leopard the mac used 1.8gamma and now with Snow Leopard its at 2.2 which is the same as Pc's and everything else...So I would see no differences between the Mac and Pc as long as they are using the sale color space...

                                                       

                                                      So between gamma shifts because of the codecs, yuv<-->rgb conversion, the whole 1.8 - 2.2 gamma thing and the fact that quicktime does odd things when interpreting video files it can be a bit frustrating...

                                                       

                                                      So what I do now is first... test all of my codecs and choose the one that does not shift the gamma at all... so you know that is correct... then make sure all the computers your testing on are using the same color space...I use sRGB... Make sure all the computers are using 2.2 gamma if possible, set your working space in AE to sRGB as well..I just use pluge bars and the graphics card control panel to calibrate the brightness... Once you know your rendered file is as it should be then test out playback programs to see which one correctly displays the video with no gamma shift... I've found VLC to be the most reliable....

                                                       

                                                      About Vimeo...if you upload your files to Vimeo or Youtube they are reprocessing them so whatever they are doing could cause some gamma shifts as well... So just do some tests and compensate for the modifications the vimeo encode does in your export...

                                                      • 24. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                        tordenver Level 1
                                                        I exported out of AE and then came back into FCP to add some audio and transitions. I graded this again (as it suffered from the gamma shift) then exported as a .mov. I opened it up in quicktime and it looked fine, the same as it does in FCP. Great.. but then, I came to my windows pc and opened it up in Quicktime and its really bright, I tried it on another windows machine and its the same.

                                                        You need to give us more details if you want us to help! Codecs used, color spaces in and out, from and to your programs, color space of your monitors, ...

                                                         

                                                        David

                                                        • 25. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                          Koray Birand

                                                          I have been facing the same problems...

                                                           

                                                          I am on Mac Os X 10.6.5

                                                          I have dual display..

                                                          one is Eizo CG241w

                                                          one is Apple Cinema Display 23"

                                                           

                                                          I use both Canon 5D and 7D for video footage.

                                                          I use Premiere CS5 to edit and then After Effects CS5 for color and compositing

                                                          render out as animation 100% quality and Adobe Media Encoder CS5 for different encoding.

                                                           

                                                          and then to vimeo.

                                                           

                                                          Please Check out my different output results with Match legacy option checked and unchecked.

                                                           

                                                          aftereffects.jpg

                                                          just incase if the image file is downscaled please checkout :

                                                          http:www.koraybirand.com/download/aftereffects.jpg

                                                          for bigger in size.

                                                           

                                                          If the match legacy option is checked before render, VLC is the only player able to display

                                                          as I see in after effects.

                                                           

                                                          I did many tests with different codecs and same result, quicktime player is not able to

                                                          display correctly. So I am a bit confused what to trust. Since the default player that everybody

                                                          have on both operating systems is not VLC.

                                                           

                                                          And all these problems occur when I get an output render from : Adobe Premiere CS5.

                                                           

                                                          I am not using any color management because as far as I have tested my different color space

                                                          tests the color shift and gamma **** occurred as well..

                                                           

                                                          Thanks for all the suggestions.

                                                          Koray Birand

                                                          • 26. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                            Koray Birand Level 1

                                                            I have made an other test:

                                                             

                                                            I setup Mac Os X 10.5.6 on the same computer to an other partition and compared all the previews and outputs:

                                                             

                                                            Upper window is MacOsX 10.5.6

                                                            Adobe After Effects CS4

                                                             

                                                            Lower window is MacOsX 10.6.5

                                                            Adobe After Effects CS5

                                                             

                                                            It seems that 10.6.5 quicktime output is same with 10.5.6 After Effects CS4 Preview, 10.5.6 Quicktime and 10.5.6 VLC

                                                            and 10.6.5 with 10.6.5 Vlc and 10.6.5 After Effects CS5 Preview window are same...

                                                             

                                                            aftereffects2.jpg

                                                            to see in higher resolution please check:

                                                            http://www.koraybirand.com/download/aftereffects2.jpg

                                                             

                                                            Koray Birand

                                                            • 27. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                              tordenver Level 1

                                                              I am not using any color management because as far as I have tested my different color space

                                                              tests the color shift and gamma **** occurred as well.

                                                              I use AE CS5 WITH color management on and I get the result that I want. You may want to revisit your workflow, otherwise you will get some unpredictable results.

                                                               

                                                              I did many tests with different codecs and same result, quicktime player is not able to

                                                              display correctly. So I am a bit confused what to trust. Since the default player that everybody

                                                              have on both operating systems is not VLC.

                                                              If you are concerned about what your target audience will see, then you have to compare with your final delivery file. If you are delivering via Vimeo, then I would upload an H264 movie file with color space set to sRGB. I would also use x264 encoder to have a better control over your movie encoding.

                                                               


                                                              David

                                                              • 28. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                                Koray Birand Level 1

                                                                tordenver wrote:

                                                                 

                                                                I am not using any color management because as far as I have tested my different color space

                                                                tests the color shift and gamma **** occurred as well.

                                                                I use AE CS5 WITH color management on and I get the result that I want. You may want to revisit your workflow, otherwise you will get some unpredictable results.

                                                                 

                                                                Actually I have made a lot of tests with different color management setups no matter which one I choose the output is always different from my preview window.

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                I did many tests with different codecs and same result, quicktime player is not able to

                                                                display correctly. So I am a bit confused what to trust. Since the default player that everybody

                                                                have on both operating systems is not VLC.

                                                                If you are concerned about what your target audience will see, then you have to compare with your final delivery file. If you are delivering via Vimeo, then I would upload an H264 movie file with color space set to sRGB. I would also use x264 encoder to have a better control over your movie encoding.

                                                                 

                                                                Ofcourse I check my result as H264 and X264 as well but first I need to match my preview with my output If you see all the tests I have made you will clearly see that the CS5 preview has a darker look according to 10.6.5 quicktime, CS4 preview 10.5.6 quicktime and 10.5.6 VLC

                                                                 


                                                                David

                                                                • 29. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                                  Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                                                                  This is a long and convoluted thread, so here's a simple question to try to focus it:

                                                                   

                                                                  Are you having any problems when using color management and leaving QuickTime out of the picture entirely?

                                                                   

                                                                  It seems that all of the confusions happen because of the QuickTime format's gamma tag and QuickTime Player's (and other software's) inconsistent reading and writing of it.

                                                                  • 30. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                                    Koray Birand Level 1

                                                                    Hi Todd,

                                                                     

                                                                    I want to say that I almost read everything that you have posted

                                                                     

                                                                    Yes you are rite the sample screen shots that I have posted have no color management.. Why ? Because when I was using 10.5.6 with CS4 I had no problem matching my output with my preview window of AE. Now on Snow Leopard with CS5 my preview window does not match with any of my outputs (h264 and animation codecs with vlc, quicktime x, quicktime 7.x and vimeo). And for the test I am using the same project file on both OS (10.5.6 with CS4 and 10.6.5 with CS5).

                                                                     

                                                                    And after all these tests, I got into Color management, I tried sRgb, Adobe Rgb and HDTV ... and no change at all... never could match my preview window with quicktime... Strange thing that I noticed is when I check the file info I do not see any color profile info, I even tried assigning profile with automater (Karl Souse send me a document about it ) the colors were even far worse...

                                                                     

                                                                    So I am totally lost now... But what all these test showed me was on 10.5.6 with CS4 all players and preview window matched with 10.6.5 quicktime.. So now I am not even sure if After Effects CS5 on 10.6.5 is showing the correct colors on preview window of AE.

                                                                     

                                                                    Koray Birand

                                                                    www.koraybirand.co.uk

                                                                     

                                                                    PS... every codec displays different colors... And if you check my site I am a professional fashion photographer and color is really important for me therefore I need to get a grip of this problem asap ...

                                                                    • 31. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                                      Koray Birand Level 1

                                                                      It seems that all of the confusions happen because of the QuickTime format's gamma tag and QuickTime Player's (and other software's) inconsistent reading and writing of it.

                                                                       

                                                                      So what am I supposed the rely on if every player is inconsistent, How am I going to show my work correctly ?

                                                                      • 32. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                                        Todd_Kopriva Level 8
                                                                        > So what am I supposed the rely on if every player is inconsistent, How am I going to show my work correctly ?

                                                                         

                                                                        I didn't say that every player is inconsistent. Just QuickTime Player. The QuickTime format and QuickTime Player are very difficult to work with for consistent color. You can't even roundtrip within Apple software with consistent color. So don't use QuickTime formats or QuickTime player if you care about color.

                                                                         

                                                                        As I said, let me know if you have any problems when using color management and leaving QuickTime completely out of the process.

                                                                        • 33. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                                          ninteknohardcore Level 1

                                                                          I see in your image you were using Quicktime X with 10.6.5... did you try installing the older Quicktime 7 from the installer disc and opening the files with that on 10.6.5?

                                                                          • 34. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                                            Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                                                                            > I see in your image you were using Quicktime X with 10.6.5... did you try installing the older Quicktime 7 from the installer disc and opening the files with that on 10.6.5?

                                                                             

                                                                             

                                                                            Oh! I didn't catch that detail. Bad! Bad!

                                                                             

                                                                            QuickTime 7 is at least trying to be a professional video tool. QuickTime X is useless.

                                                                            • 35. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                                              Koray Birand Level 1

                                                                              Yes I did, then I gave up, there is this option about enable Final Cut Studio Color comp... it works sometimes but not always..

                                                                              • 36. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                                                Koray Birand Level 1

                                                                                here is the test of quicktime 7 with no color management... I will post the color management test as well in couple of minutes..

                                                                                 

                                                                                quicktime7.jpg

                                                                                • 37. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                                                  Koray Birand Level 1

                                                                                  and this is with Srgb

                                                                                   

                                                                                  quicktime7_2.jpg

                                                                                  • 38. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                                                    Koray Birand Level 1

                                                                                    and also within the red circle am I not supposed the have my color profile info ?? I am suspecting that my output files have no profile embeded because when I assign profile with automator I do get that info but all I can assign is sd, pal or hd.. no srgb or whatsoever :

                                                                                     

                                                                                    fileinfo.jpg

                                                                                    • 39. Re: Export Colour Shift
                                                                                      Todd_Kopriva Level 8

                                                                                      > and this is with Srgb

                                                                                       

                                                                                       

                                                                                      I don't understand what you're saying. Do you mean that the input image was interpreted as sRGB, that you're working color space for the project is sRGB, that you output to sRGB, that you monitor's color profile is sRGB?

                                                                                       

                                                                                      > because when I assign profile with automator I do get that info but all I can assign is sd, pal or hd.. no srgb or whatsoever

                                                                                      And I don't understand what you're saying here, either. What do you mean by "automator"? What do you mean by "sd, pal, or hd"? Those aren't names of color profiles.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      If your questions are about color management, please ensure that you're actually doing all of the steps that are outlined in this overview here.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      There are step-by-step instructions for using color management here.

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