Fixing Quicktime's H264 Washed out color

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  12 December 2013
Fixing Quicktime's H264 Washed out color

Its an old problem…
Export from AE to Quicktime H264 and the colour is washed out.

Are there any new solutions for this these days?

I read this fix using Quicktime Pro from 2008 but couldn't get it to work...
'1. 'Open in QuickTime Pro 2. Select "Show Movie Properties. Click on Video Track. 3. Click on the "Visual Settings" tab. 4. Bottom left you should see "Transparency" with a drop-down box next to it. Select "Blend" from the menu then move the "Transparency Level" slider to 100%. 5. Right after that, choose "Straight Alpha" from the same drop-down and close the properties window. 6. and finally, "Save."

What do you guys do when you need to show a client the work?
Do you you tell them to view it on VLC player or in a Chrome web browser?

Im on OSX.
Suggestions welcome.
  12 December 2013
Had to solve this annoying thing for myself - so not sure if it'll work for anyone else. Works for me tho.

Go to project settings and turn ON color management by setting the working space to sRGB. Pretty much if you keep ALL of your setttings everywhere in every app as sRGB you're good - it's just kind of the default. Why fight it? Everything that assumes profiles will probably assume sRGB. Might as well work in it. Then check 'Match quicktime legacy' or whatev and you should be good.

At least that solves it on my system. And it's how I've worked for the last year on feature film stuff etc. Hope that helps. It's a freaking annoying problem!

// jayse
UI stuff for film
  12 December 2013
This was asked and answered fairly well just last week, do a search for it
Matthew O'Neill
  12 December 2013
I try and keep it 16Bit float at least right until export, then I'll prerender and up saturation by ~20%, it's not the most elegant but it actually does the job most of the time.

I really hate how much H.264 knackers the colour and I can never track down why it happens (it often happens with my sRGB comps as well as Float LWF).

brasco on vimeo
  12 December 2013
Thanks for the pointers guys.

Jayse - Sounds like a sensible approach for no unpleasant surprises. I might adopt this. A bit like when you work in CMYK for print. But its a pity sRGB seems to have a more narrow colour Gamut than others.. less vibrant on reds etc.

Mathew - Thanks. I somehow missed it. You did mean this one on the different codecs yes?.. I saw some useful tips below it too in the comments. x264 codec is one for me to try next...

Brasco - Yes, I've been putting a compensation Gamma and Saturation adjustment on it.
But I think your 16bit approach is better for this.
It does help to compensate, but if the client views it on anything other than Quicktime player it could look too dark and Saturated.

As I understand it, its Quicktime player causing the tonal shift.
I hope Apple fix it one day or at least add an option inside Quicktime Pro. Its been years now.

Anyone else?
How do you like to share work with your client?
  12 December 2013
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