Just to expain further: I understand the differences in color and tone, etc., when viewing on different machines, but what I am seeing is that the video looks different (brighter) when exported and viewed in Quicktime on the same computer. Is there a way to have some control over how the film looks in a media player?
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QuiRcktime is well reknowned for its quirckyness, hence the name, but it introduces a gamma shift. Better to judge the final quality on a settop box on a fully calibrated monitor. Despite being on an Apple, it often makes sense to avoid Quircktime all together.
The question that brings up for me is what player should I be using to view exported video on a Mac besides Quicktime? The projects I am working on will almost always be viewed on the web, not on a television. I am limited to using the MacBook Pro's monitor or the Apple Cinema monitor, both calibrated.
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The QuickTime gamma shift issue is well-known. There's no guaranteed solution but here are some things that may help:
1. Using the x264 encoder to encode the H.264 file.
2. I'm a little skeptical about this but apparently it's worked for a few people: http://www.videocopilot.net/blog/2008/06/fix-quicktime-gamma-shift/
3. Adobe software is not good at retaining QuickTime metadata. There are various tools you can use to tag the file with the correct gamma / color information which may help. Pro Media Tools can do this: http://www.digitalrebellion.com/promedia (note: I am the developer of this software)
Thanks for the options. Can you tell me a bit more about Promedia and how it tags the files? Do the H264 files contain data much like a still imahe file, with ICC profiles? It sounds as though there really isn't a dependable way of exporting files and predicting how they are going to look once posted to the web.
There are three ways of tagging in the QT Edit app in Pro Media Tools:
1. Color - this allows you to specify NTSC, PAL or HD and it sets the appropriate primary, transfer and matrix for the particular format.
2. Color Space - this allows you to tag it with an ICC profile as you would an image.
3. Gamma - this allows you to specify the gamma the file was created at, such as 1.8 or 2.2. However, it's only there for backwards-compatibility. Apple does not recommend this option because it has been replaced with the more advanced Color tag. You can add only a Color or a Gamma tag and when you add one, the option for the other will disappear.
You can see what it's going to look like in the preview window so I'd recommend trying out various settings until it looks right. These settings are located in the Encoding Attributes tab that appears when the video track is selected in the track window. You may need to click the + button to add the necessary tags.
This is very helpful, thanks. So, assuming I have created a file in Premiere as 2,2 gamma, and output to H264, it will then be played back more or less as I saw it in Premiere? (discounting the differences in web browsers and monitors, that is the file that the viewer receives is the one I created in PP?) Will the tags be read by Vimeo or Youtube? Or only in Quicktime?
It should be respected by QuickTime Player, the QuickTime Player browser plugin and all applications that use the QuickTime API. Services like YouTube and Vimeo are most likely not using the QuickTime API directly so I'm not sure if that information will be respected.
Thanks for the help. I am downloading the trial now.