8 Replies Latest reply on May 27, 2011 7:49 AM by lastala

    Why does Color Management not work properly in effects?

    lastala Level 1

      I'm using After Effects to correct/recompose Apple ProRes 422 videofiles from Final Cut Pro (6). So I import FCP files to AE and reimport back to FCP.

       

      Now I'm using After Effects CS5.5, but I've some old After Effects 6.0 projects that I would like to preserve for future usage.

       

      I have problems with effects that have been used in the old projects that have been now imported/opened in AE CS5.5. The problems are concerning color managements. AE 6.0 does not color manage the video files, and therefore shifting between AE and FCP works differently with new version.

       

      My projects are quite complex (with Precompositions, Time Remaps, ...) and include (simultaneously on many layers) effects like Tint, MinMax, Matte Choker, Difference Matte, Levels... Therefore I would not like to start from scratch.

       

      In these projects Levels seems to work fine, I suppose because the color values are relative in Levels. However, the color values of effects like Tint are numeric, and therefore don't match with the original colors. Also, results with Difference Matte combined with Matte Choker seem to be very different between AE CS5.5 and AE 6.0. I have tried Color Profile Converter to correct the problem, and it can be used to correct for instance Tint - although the projects have to be recomposed. But it doesn't seem to correct the problem with for instance Difference Matte combined with Matte Choker.

       

      In one AE Help page is adviced that "Select Match Legacy After Effects QuickTime Gamma Adjustments in the Project Settings dialog box to accomplish any of the following: Avoid color shifts when working with projects created in After Effects 7.0 or earlier. Match the colors in a project created in After Effects 7.0 or earlier...". However this does not resolve the problem. I have tried to learn the color management from the AE Help. But what ever settings I make for the Color Settings in Project Settings, the above described problem does not vanish.

       

      As said before, the projects are far too complex to be started again from the beginning, and therefore I would need the effects in AE CS5.5 behave as they did in AE 6.0. Can anyone give me advice, what can be done?

        • 1. Re: Why does Color Management not work properly in effects?
          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

          Your subject line says that color management doesn't work, but I didn't see anyhwere where you said that you were using the color management features.

           

          One thing to note is that there are problems with QuickTime and how it has approached color (specifically gamma) from one version to the next. This problem makes it so that it's even hard to get consistent color within Apple's own applications. We've been trying to hit this moving target for quite a while---and that's what that Match Legacy QuickTime Gamma Adjustments option was for.

           

          See these threads for information on the problems with QuickTime and gamma:

          http://forums.adobe.com/message/3658344#3658344

          http://aeportal.blogspot.com/2008/02/quicktime-gamma-stripper.html

          http://forums.adobe.com/message/3357918#3357918

          • 2. Re: Why does Color Management not work properly in effects?
            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Try turning off color management and making sure that preserve legacy gamma is checked. Things should then match.

             

            Do you need help finding these controls?

            • 3. Re: Why does Color Management not work properly in effects?
              lastala Level 1

              Many, many thanks for both of you Todd and Rick.

               

              to Rick:

              I suppose you mean the Color Settings in Project Settings as follows:

              - Working Space: None

              - Match Legacy ... Gamma Adjustments checked ON

              But it does not correct the colors in effects. And checking or unchecking Make Movie/Output Module Settings/Color Management/Profile/Preserve RGB does not make any difference.

               

              to both of you:

              Those parts of the video image that does not have color effects are just fine. In these parts the color is preserved when reimporting to FCP. However, those parts having color effects (except Levels, as decribed earlier) have altered color results. So, only the parts having effects affecting color are misinterpreted in the image area. The mismatch is of course seen in AE, before making the movie.

               

              What I ment with "Color Management not working properly" is that (instead of "disabling" it) Color Management does not seem to be able to correct this "misinterpretation" or difference in effect handling between AE 6 and 10.

               

              So, would you have any solution for this problem?

               

              Again, many thanks for your fast replies!

              • 4. Re: Why does Color Management not work properly in effects?
                Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
                - Working Space: None

                 

                Have you tried Adobe RGB 1998? That might be more in line with what you are expecting. Also any chance you have inadvertently changed the project bit depth and thus get different color blending behavior?

                 

                Mylenium

                • 5. Re: Why does Color Management not work properly in effects?
                  lastala Level 1

                  Thank you for your reply, Mylenium.

                   

                  No, Adobe RGB 1998 is not the answer to the color problem! And I did check that I've been working all the time in 8-bit mode, both in AE6 and 10 .

                  • 6. Re: Why does Color Management not work properly in effects?
                    lastala Level 1

                    Hello Todd, thank you once more for your reply. You said that the 

                    problem is due to QuickTime, but isn't the inconsistency actually 

                    inside After Effects (at least between AE 6 and 10)? As I replied 

                    earlier, whether the ProRes422 files are Color Managed or not in AE10, 

                    the parts of the video image that have no color effects are rendered 

                    OK. Only those parts that have effects that control colors numerically 

                    (not relatively like Levels), have different results in AE 6 and 10. 

                    (Please see my other post)

                     

                    I do agree that Color Management is an important improvement in AE, 

                    but my original point was how to be able to preserve results when 

                    opening an old project in new version of AE. Even the Match Legacy 

                    QuickTime Gamma Adjustments option would correct the inconsistency 

                    between AE6 and AE10 how to match colors in video files, it seems not 

                    to be able to correct the inconsistency how effects handle color 

                    values - or the values of video files combined with certain effects.

                     

                    Please let me know if you have an advice how to resolve this problem.

                    • 7. Re: Why does Color Management not work properly in effects?
                      Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                      Any chance that those are "old" ProRes files? There were several bugs in the first iterations of the CoDec where color space flags in the streams would not be handled correctly, in turn leading some programs to make wrong assumptions. This could be one such thing. If possible, I'd verify this against a test file generated from the latest version of ProRes.

                       

                      Mylenium

                      • 8. Re: Why does Color Management not work properly in effects?
                        lastala Level 1

                        Thank you for your reply, Mylenium.

                         

                        The files are not that old, but they are mede with FCP6. I checked the 

                        version of the ProRes422 codec, it is 1.0.2. So, I borrowed another 

                        machine having FCP7 (with ProRes codec version 2), and I remade the 

                        file there. However, there was no change in the color behavior. So, 

                        newer codec does not resolve the issue.

                         

                        [One strange thing I noticed: the original file(s) (from FCP6) was 

                        exported as ProRes422 1440x1080i50 and it was interpreted (both in AE6 

                        and AE10) by default 1920x1080. However, when exporting from FCP7 with 

                        absolutely the same settings (ProRes422 1440x1080i50), it was 

                        interpreted as 1440x1080 therefore needed changing the aspect ratio of 

                        the clip from square to 1.33. The rendered result from AE10 was softer 

                        in  FCP. So, to get back the "sharpness" of the image I had to render 

                        the file from FCP7 in ProRes422 1920x1080.]