Thread: DNxHD Clips look washed out

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  1. #1 DNxHD Clips look washed out 
    I have exported DNxHD LB files from RedCine X. When I import these files into Avid MC 8.7 it appears the color space looks off. The files appear to be washed out compared to the RedCine look which has more of a crushed blacks look. I am kind of new to Avid so not sure if is how the project is set up or if it is something in the rendering.
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  2. #2  
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    What settings did you use in Redcine-X Pro? It could be you used RedLogFilm, which would be appropriate for final color but not good for editing. Do some tests and watch the workflow videos (and read the manual):

    http://www.red.com/learn/workflow
    marc wielage, csi colorist/post consultant daVinci Resolve Certified Trainer
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    Are you monitoring via SDI out of redcine using a proper output box? If not your just guessing, the viewer is not accurate enough
    JAKE WILGANOWSKI
    Director of Photography / Filmmaker
    CINE-AUTOMATIC.COM
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Peter Moretti's Avatar
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    Also, you should realize that Avid's source and record viewers *display* full range. For example for 8-bit video what you see as black in the viewer has to be 0 (not 16) and what you see as the brightest white has to be 235 (not 255). This has the effect of making footage look washed out in the viewers. But if you have an external monitor or use full screen playback, you can change the levels to video. And you might now be able to change the levels for the source and record viewers; I'm not sure, but can check next time in front of an Avid. (You can by right-clicking on the viewer and choosing Display Color Space.)

    One reason why Avid does this is that historically some cameras, like Sony and Canon could be set to (or default to) record into those "super" black and white areas to extend their recording latitude. This really isn't necessary with the higher bit depths that are out now, but many cameras can still do it. The other reason is that imported still images/graphics are very frequently mapped to full range, not video range. So Avid shows exactly what's going on there.
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    Yes sounds like you need to get educated on full range vs video levels and proper viewing output options. Otherwise it's a confusing shit show for sure. You have to know what signal your giving and getting, how programs interpret them etc. this drove me crazy for a long time too, and most people fight this so your not alone
    JAKE WILGANOWSKI
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    CINE-AUTOMATIC.COM
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    Make sure your color space is correct. Sounds like you are on the wrong one.

    There's RGB, and Rec709. Flip these in Avid, at your project settings.

    Remember, Prores "flips" the color space for you within a Quicktime. Regardless of whether a Prores file is encoded Rec 709 or RGB, Quicktime will always "display" it to you accurately on your RGB laptop (even though the color spaces are about 15% off on black levels, hence the washed out look you're seeing).

    DNX doesn't have this "adaptive" feature built in (Quicktime and Prores work very well together, Apple won the codec war for a reason!)...so you have to set the color space manually.

    It's frustrating, but also why Rec709 DNX quicktimes always look washed out on a laptop. They have to be seen inside a Rec709 project, and on a broadcast monitor.

    Hope this helps
    Nick Morrison
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member Peter Moretti's Avatar
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    Nick, I may be wrong, but I don't think that you want to change anything at the project level in Avid (if I understand what you mean). What you do want to do is right click on the viewer(s) and choose 709 (Full Range). That will map the 16 to black and 235 to white, which will increase the contrast and clip the superblacks and superwhites.

    And I totally agree with you about DNx and QT. I fought with Avid for years over this. Some media encoders do encode DNx to display properly for QT, but Media Composer couldn't, which was/is crazy.

    Another thing that really helped Prores was 4444 and that the first Alexas could only record Prores.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Moretti View Post
    Nick, I may be wrong, but I don't think that you want to change anything at the project level (if I understand what you mean). What you do want to do is right click on the viewer(s) and choose 709 (Full Range). That will map the 16 to black and 235 to white, effectively increasing the contrast and clipping the superblacks and superwhites.
    Peter your probably right. I honestly never dig that deep, as all our clips are 709, so we match our projects and everything works.

    Having to live btw both color spaces has always been a PITA...it's not talked about enough, too....
    Nick Morrison
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Peter Moretti's Avatar
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    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. So I wind up trying to create a QT reference or a DNx 444 and bringing that into Adobe Media Encoder. A royal PITA. So I'm willing to deal with the growing pains of Resolve if I know that final product, and all the steps along the way, will be WYSIWYG.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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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. So I wind up trying to create a QT reference or a DNx 444 and bringing that into Adobe Media Encoder. A royal PITA. So I'm willing to deal with the growing pains of Resolve if I know that final product, and all the steps along the way, will be WYSIWYG.
    I hear you.

    Are you saying the H264 from Resolve looks terrible once loaded into Media Composer?

    For Color Accuracy between Davinci and Avid we've found the following works pretty well:

    1) Export DNXHD Quicktimes from Resolve. Make sure they are 709. AMA them into Avid, and consolidate and transcode. These should look identical to what you see in Resolve.

    2) Create MXF media out of Resolve. This is always the most realiable, as MXF is native to Avid and I believe has the most accurate color within Avid ecosystem.

    That said, QT's are far more convenient - for clients to screen, for GFX designers to work with in AE, so my cients always request DNXHD QTs.

    Hope this helps.

    best
    Nick Morrison
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