Latest post Sun, Oct 9 2011 10:59 PM by hbrock. 11 replies.
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  • Tue, Sep 27 2011 4:39 PM

    • sheriff
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    AMA link vs import & After effects

    Hi,

    We did shoot a commercial on Sony F3 (s-log / prores 422 (HQ)

    When importing these files in Avid they look contrasted just like the quicktime-files viewed in the QT-player.
    When importing these files in Avid through AMA they look more dull, not contrasty ( more like 709).

    What is correct? How should they look?

    When I import the same files in After Effects, they look exactly like they look on the original QT-files (contrasty)

    We are about to grade the film in Davinci Resolve, and Im afraid how it will look when I use AMA for import to Avid (this is our finishing tool today).

    I guess I cant apply any color profile on the ama-import. Is the ama-import really not native and as the files are shot??

     

    Stig

  • Tue, Sep 27 2011 4:43 PM In reply to

    Re: AMA link vs import & After effects

    Right click on a file and select Source Settings.  Then you can adjust whether the video was shot at RGB or 601/709.

    Remember, 601/709, which is correct for broadcast, will always look washed out on a computer monitor.  That's the way it is.  You should work in whatever format will ultimately be used for distribution.

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  • Tue, Sep 27 2011 4:53 PM In reply to

    • sheriff
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    Re: AMA link vs import & After effects

    Thanks, but I dont have that opportunity working with Sony F3 prores (HQ422)? This works on Red but when I right click on the files in the bin, this is not a choice.

    I know 709 is ok to work with, but as I said - when I open these files in After Effects, they look more contrasty (just as the original qt-files) and the color profile in AE is 709.

     

    Stig

  • Fri, Sep 30 2011 6:32 AM In reply to

    • hbrock
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    Re: AMA link vs import & After effects

    Because it's S-log you'll probably have to apply some rudimentary color correction on a upper track to get a reasonable facsimilie of the final contrast.  The auto-black and auto-white buttons on the color corrector will get you a decent result most times.

    Levels should be 16-235 unless they specifically shot RGB and indicated as such (not even sure if that's possible with XDCAN-EX).

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  • Fri, Sep 30 2011 6:04 PM In reply to

    • sheriff
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    Re: AMA link vs import & After effects

    Hi,

    Unfortunately that is not a proper and professional workflow. A bad solution for working with / transfer the files to and from different applications.

    I guess what you guys are telling me is that the is not really a good enough support of S-log in Avid. If the files cant be read correctly there are no good solution for this.

     

     

  • Fri, Sep 30 2011 7:22 PM In reply to

    • Strypes
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    Re: AMA link vs import & After effects

    Well, if you are color correcting in the DaVinci Resolve, you don't have to worry about LUTs. A properly set up Davinci Resolve will grade in the color space that your end user will be watching in- usually rec709 or Truelight managed color spaces for film out.

     

    Effectively, no one you deliver to, will watch your film in S-log. S-log is an intermediate color space to help preserve the granularity of an image through digital quantization. Ideally you would view your edit with a proper lut, but that is purely a viewing LUT. You do not process your image through a viewing LUT in your NLE. The most important part of the NLE is to preserve the source values of an image. From what you are expecting from S-Log you are clearly mistaken about what S-Log actually looks like. Near the bottom of the link, is a before and after done on the Davinci Resolve. The before image looks awful, pasty... And that is log viewed in linear space without a viewing LUT. It's great for colorists to receive files with that sort of values. Why? The purpose of the log curve helps sneak in digital bits based on the perceptive response of the human eye. That image is then graded while monitoring through a display LUT that is based on the color specs of your delivery medium.

    The in between- the colors you see on your NLE- whether you are viewing through a view LUT, or if your footage came from a one light session, or whether you are slapping on color correction curves during the offline on an adjustment layer in Avid, is secondary to the quality of the final output of the film. The other issues I am seeing is that you do not seem to be watching on a properly profiled monitor. You should be checking the quality and calibration of your signal through external hardware scopes and proper broadcast monitoring, if you intend to check the quality of the signal. Yes, it is possible to get the color spaces wrong (there is a common QT gamma bug that plagues everyone from RED to Adobe to Avid when trying to deal with QT media).

     

    And just a question... Is anyone able to do proper external monitoring to 709 HD when working in lin in AE? I could never get that to work, so I expect that anyone who tells me about Lin in AE to be working on a Quadro staring through a DreamColor...

  • Fri, Sep 30 2011 8:03 PM In reply to

    • sheriff
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    Re: AMA link vs import & After effects

    Hi, and thanks for taking time to answer me.

    I know how S-log should look like, flat, dull, less contrasted then regular RGB and so.
    I also know about the QT gamma issue. But this is not the problem.

    The problem here is that when I import the original files through AMA in Mediacomposer its probably showing me a 95% correct picture on my calibrated screen (not monitor). It looks like S-log should, dull and flat.

    Buy, when I look at the same original files on ny calibrated screen (not monitor) in After Effects, the original files looks more contrasty, less dull, more like a RGB-signal. Its like After Effects is treating the files as RGB-files or something. They look like as if Im watching the files in the QT-player.

    So, why is NOT AE showing the files correctly if Avid AMA is showing them correctly?

    And yes, the output is 709, but thats not important here, this thread is about how I see the original files in the different applications - AE and Avid.

    Regarding the LUT, mediacomposer cant use LUTS, and that shouldnt be neccessary eighter in this particular case, because Im looking for a way to view the files correctly in both applications.

     

    Stig

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Fri, Sep 30 2011 9:26 PM In reply to

    • Strypes
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    Re: AMA link vs import & After effects

    I won't look at the display on the Source/Record monitors as being anywhere close to accurate. They are non managed color profiles and they bypass ColorSync profiling. Why not? It was designed for broadcast and film workflows. As a result, we have always used external monitors. The only thing you can take from your computer monitor is the scopes.

    Quicktime X probably uses managed color spaces. Problem is that not all videos manage color spaces properly. Certainly your S-Log video does not have a built in color profile that QT understands. On most videos (with the gamma atom embedded wrongly), QT displays with unnaturally high gamma values (dimmer image). It really isn't an inverse S-Log, but an over compensated image.

    After Effects, uses ColorSync, but you need to set up AE to work in managed color space. But in this case, managed gamma is kind of useless, since your video is not an Adobe color profile. Either way, you can really only do proper comping after the grade, not before it.

    Truth is with Avid, you need to set up your ingest and exports correctly. When I was doing my last FCP gig, I used to get QT movies with colors all screwy. Milky blacks... meh. The blacks on embedded letterbox should always align to video black, not at 10%, and highlights at 100%, not 90%. Not pretty. Those look flat on my computer screen and they look flat on my broadcast monitor.

    You are working with ProRes QTs? I won't recommend ProRes if you are working with Avid. ProRes in a QT wrapper (or even XDCAM EX QTs) do not seem to import properly into Avid. I get the QT gamma bug when I try to bring it into Avid (not blacks and highlights wrongly calibrated, but the midtones are off). Bad. That meant that something along the chain (possibly the QT decode) is running my signal through the viewing LUT. For Avid, either ingest as XDCAM EX via AMA and consolidate/transcode to DNxHD or ingest natively.

    How should you view those S-log files? There is the DaVinci Resolve Lite which is does a one light type of thing. I'm actually fairly new to Avid (not really, but I had tech support when I worked on the Unity), and was more hands on in FCP. So someone else can probably enlighten about the workflow between a one light station such as the Resolve Lite and Avid. Problem is that if you don't have the DNxHD plugin, your only mode of commute between the apps is 1:1x.

    Otherwise, there are plugins such as Colorista Free and LUT Buddy. In essence, what you'll do is to do a one light either on location or before the edit, export those settings as a LUT, pop it into LUT buddy and apply it as a filter to your clips in FCP.

    The same can be done in Avid by applying a color correction setting on an adjustment layer (aka filler with color correction applied to the clip beneath). Of course, you can't export the LUT profile and use that in AE, but heck, your monitoring settings don't match up anyway- you have a managed color profile in AE or a mismanaged one. And QT Pro is no HD SDI connected to a Cinetal. In fact, it's really not something to bother trying to watch S-Log on, so to even attempt to treat both playback devices the same is futile.

    Just run a few good tests to make sure that the ingest and workflow does not embed the infamous QT gamma bug into your videos and you should be good to go. I mean, heck, when you don't have a broadcast monitoring setup, you either assume everything is all nice and beautiful and carry on working, or that everything's totally screwed up and you should not work without monitors. Either one or the other, nothing in between.

  • Thu, Oct 6 2011 10:36 PM In reply to

    • sheriff
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    Re: AMA link vs import & After effects

    Thanks for your answers.

    I ended up creating a soft LUT in Resolve setting the range to 64-940 on my track that influences all the nodes. That also show me the correct range on the scoopes.
    When importing to Avid through AMA the waveform shows everything correct so I guess that was the solution.

    I still have a problem with the files as the whole picture on my computer screen are a little "washed out". Strange because the scoopes shows the same in both applications, and it doesnt look "washed out" on the computer screen when working in Davinci. And yes, its the same computer screen. I guess I just have to watch my scoopes and trust them.

     

    Stig

  • Sun, Oct 9 2011 4:47 AM In reply to

    • hbrock
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    Re: AMA link vs import & After effects

    Avid doesn't remap the levels of the Source/Record window for a RGB computer display.  You're seeing 601/709 video levels so black is going to be a bit lighter and whites will be a bit duller.  That same picture will look correct when sent to a video monitor.

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  • Sun, Oct 9 2011 4:37 PM In reply to

    • sheriff
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    Re: AMA link vs import & After effects

    It should look the same also on the computer monitor in Resolve and Avid if the files are treated correctly.
    If not its impossible to do VFX-work in lets say AE or other applications.

    For now, the only solution that Ive found is to change the source settings in AMA (when importing from Resolve) to "video to graphic levels". It works, but I think its a little strange, because we are not actually working with graphic levels since the scoop tells me its 64-940.

    This is an Avid issue, its some math and scaling issues that should be taken care of.

     

  • Sun, Oct 9 2011 10:59 PM In reply to

    • hbrock
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    Re: AMA link vs import & After effects

    Do you have Perian installed in your QuickTime folder in the Library?  If so, remove it and see if the Source Setting changes it's behavior.

    MacPro, MacBook Pro and a Cube (masquerading as a kleenex dispenser). [view my complete system specs]

    Must think of something clever to go here...

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