Thread: DNxHD Clips look washed out

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  1. #11  
    Senior Member Peter Moretti's Avatar
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    Hi Nick, thanks for the tips, which I'm sure will be helpful! What I was talking about above was that when I would be working on a project in MC, I would send out H.264 QT's to other people, and depending on the media player, platform and OS version of that platform, there would be color range shifts, gamma shifts. Add to that the just generally crappy encoding quality of MC's H.264's, and I wound up with some pretty horrendous files.

    I've spoken to Avid at length about this, and it wasn't their problem, it was with QT (which apparently is a royal effing mess for programmers to deal with). But Adobe Media Encoder and Resolve both make gorgeous H.264's.

    I also spoke with SMPTE about the need for a SMPTE approval process for media *players*. Avid touts that DNx is SMPTE VC-3 certified (which Prores is not). But if the player isn't doing what it should, then even a SMPTE compliant file will still look wrong.

    Avid maybe very well be right that it isn't their fault, but Adobe and Davinci have found workarounds to make the files look as they should, AFAICT.
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  2. #12  
    Thanks everyone for your comments. I will let you know what I come up with.
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  3. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Moretti View Post
    Color accuracy is the main reason why I've been blowing up the Davinci board, lol! When I create an H.264 from Resolve it looks gorgeous and plays properly on every machine, AFAICT. With MC, they look like crap.
    As long as you put a second of color bars and/or gray scale in each render, then check the internal scopes, you'll know very quickly if the levels are right. One of the most critical issues of post is you have to check the workflow.
    marc wielage, csi colorist/post consultant daVinci Resolve Certified Trainer
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  4. #14  
    Senior Member Peter Moretti's Avatar
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    Marc, I definitely agree with that and its usefulness!!

    The problem I regularly confront is creating files for all different sorts of people to look at. They could be producers, investors, actors, writers, friends, confidants, etc.. I have no idea what computer, OS version or media player any of these folks are using. (And they don't have scopes or any kind of color calibrated viewing device.)

    I've found that the H.264's out of Resolve and Adobe reliably look the same across these different variables. But the ones from Media Composer don't. It has to do with flags that are set inside the QT container. I've gone so far as to use a hex editor to set some of these flags manually. It doesn't always work b/c the deep inner workings of QT are poorly documented... and I'm not a developer, lol.

    So the issue is really with QT container's flags that determine how the file is decoded, not how the essence itself was encoded. ...Well there is also a problem with the file encode itself, which has to do with the utterly crappy H.264 compressor MC uses. The artifacting is atrocious. That's b/c MC uses the H.264 compressor that is native inside QT, not something like x264.

    Now with the EOL of QT, maybe this will get better inside MC.
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  5. #15  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Moretti View Post
    Hi Nick, thanks for the tips, which I'm sure will be helpful! What I was talking about above was that when I would be working on a project in MC, I would send out H.264 QT's to other people, and depending on the media player, platform and OS version of that platform, there would be color range shifts, gamma shifts. Add to that the just generally crappy encoding quality of MC's H.264's, and I wound up with some pretty horrendous files.

    I've spoken to Avid at length about this, and it wasn't their problem, it was with QT (which apparently is a royal effing mess for programmers to deal with). But Adobe Media Encoder and Resolve both make gorgeous H.264's.

    I also spoke with SMPTE about the need for a SMPTE approval process for media *players*. Avid touts that DNx is SMPTE VC-3 certified (which Prores is not). But if the player isn't doing what it should, then even a SMPTE compliant file will still look wrong.

    Avid maybe very well be right that it isn't their fault, but Adobe and Davinci have found workarounds to make the files look as they should, AFAICT.
    Oh yeah, Avid is terrible at making QT's. We always just export the Same as Source and make in Sorenson. You can tell Avid gave up on QT encoding, when they GIVE you Sorenson for free.
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  6. #16  
    Senior Member Peter Moretti's Avatar
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    So true, LOL!
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  7. #17  
    Senior Member MichaelP's Avatar
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    MC just uses the basic QuickTime engine to do it encoding outputs which is crappy to start. I always export OP1a out of MC because it is fast and does not have to deal with the MOV wrapper and its mood swings for how to play back a file. From there I encode in a dedicated encoder like Sorenson, Adobe Media Encoder, etc. Here is a blog I did on using OP1a:

    http://24p.com/wordpress/?p=278


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  8. #18  
    Senior Member Peter Moretti's Avatar
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    Michael, I read the blog post. Thanks very much, I especially like the ClipToolz suggestion. One downside, IIUC, is that you are limited to the DNx codecs, right?
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  9. #19  
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    Note that ClipToolz is gone, but "Convert" is a similar application that does some of the same things:

    http://hdcinematics.com/
    marc wielage, csi colorist/post consultant daVinci Resolve Certified Trainer
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  10. #20  
    Senior Member Peter Moretti's Avatar
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    Thanks Marc! And some of the features in the paid version look pretty great, like scopes.
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