Export issues (again, I know)

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Dylan Neild

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Export issues (again, I know)

PostSun Sep 18, 2016 8:12 pm

I'm wondering if someone can give some suggestions as to how to make Resolve (12.5 as of now) output a ProRes 422 file that actually looks like what's in the Resolve viewer. No matter what, every time I export out of Resolve, my files are always colour (or possibly gamma) shifted to a "lighter" appearance. They never look correct.

It's gotten to the point where I try to re-solve this problem every month or so but always re-abandon Resolve again and just go back to finishing all of my projects directly in Final Cut Pro X or Premiere (depending on who I'm working with). X and Premiere are always consistent from edit to output.

I know this is a question that gets asked often but no matter how many answers I read I can't find a solution that ever resolves (no pun intended) it for me.

Reproducing the problem:

a) Pull any file into Resolve. For this example I'll use non-RAW (just an MOV file with AVC in it). The file looks like what I expect it to when it comes into Resolve in it's original state.
b) Apply a colour correction and grade with some nodes.
c) Output to ProRes 422 HQ in Resolve.
d) Open the resulting file and A/B between Resolve and the MOV file it rendered.

Without fail, Resolve's viewer window shows what I want and the MOV file Resolve has exported is lighter and washed out looking.

Now, I know: "QuickTime has a gamma bug" is usually the standard reply here and I shouldn't be comparing between the QuickTime player and Resolve.

Two problems with this suggestion though: if I use ANY other software to adjust colours and export and then A/B between it and the resulting QuickTime movie, it's accurate. Case in point, if I do all my colour grading and correcting directly in Final Cut Pro X and output to ProRes 422 HQ, the QuickTime window and the Final Cut window are identical. Exactly what I made in Final Cut is exactly what appears in the output.

Additionally, if I import what Resolve creates back in Final Cut Pro for additional editing it's still wrong there too - no matter what I view Resolve generated video with, it's wrong. But no matter what I view Final Cut Pro X generated video with, it's correct.

Also, according to Apple, the QuickTime Player Gamma bug was solved in 10.7...

Also, this is also not a calibration issue per se - I'm A/B'ing on the same monitor by Alt-Tabbing between Resolve and the QuickTime window (positioned in the exact size over the Resolve window and at the same frame for easy comparison). On the same monitor, Resolve is what I wanted and what Resolve writes to ProRes is wrong.

Lastly, if I pull the file that Resolve exported BACK into Resolve, it's actually DARKER than what I wanted. That's where I just throw my hands up and go back to editing colour in Final Cut Pro usually. So, if what's in the Resolve viewer window is what I want then what Resolve export to QuickTime is LIGHTER than the viewer window and what Resolve re-imports (from it's own export) is now DARKER than the viewer window.

Stuff I've tried:

- Enabling RCM and changing the Input, Timeline, Output colour space and gamma settings. No matter what I set, what comes out in the QuickTime output is ALWAYS lighter. I can shift the viewer hard to dark but what comes out is still lighter.
- Enabling / displaying "use Mac colour" option. Same, output is always lighter.
- Video vs Full output data levels. This HELPS but it's not actually solving the problem - the output video gets its blackness levels back as everything is shifted down but the lights are now too bright as well. It's not actually rendering out what I want it's just covering up the problem by adding a lot more black back in.
- Enable Flat Pass is off. This isn't that.

Can anyone, on macOS with a calibrated display, suggest any basic setup procedure of any kind where what is showing in the Resolve viewer window is what renders out in a ProRes 422 HQ file? I'm assuming there is something major I'm missing completely here because Resolve is effectively useless for me (which is a real shame given how powerful a tool it is).

It's to the point where I don't even shoot in CinemaDNG any more and just shoot in ProRes to avoid involving Resolve in any way; if Resolve touches my footage, it's going to break the colours. That's how bad this export issue is for me.
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waltervolpatto

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostSun Sep 18, 2016 11:47 pm

the "gamma issue" is in most of the cases a wrong scaling mapping coupled with a wrong monitor calibration.

1) do you have an external monitor with a proper card?
2) if you export a dpx and you import it back, does look correctly?
Last edited by waltervolpatto on Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Dylan Neild

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostSun Sep 18, 2016 11:48 pm

waltervolpatto wrote:the "gamma issue" is in most of the cases a wrong scaling mapiping coupled with a wrong monitor calibration.

1) di you have an external monitor with a proper card?
2) if you export a dpx and you impetus it back, does look correctly?


What do you mean by "wrong scaling mapping"?
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waltervolpatto

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 12:04 am

video/auto/full range scaling in input, in output and how the image is visualize
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Bogdan Grigorescu

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 1:01 am

Hey Dylan, can you try an A/B between Resolve and QT7?
beforehand, please check the box: project settings>color management>use mac color display profile for viewers

cheers,
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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 3:20 am

Dylan Neild wrote:I'm wondering if someone can give some suggestions as to how to make Resolve (12.5 as of now) output a ProRes 422 file that actually looks like what's in the Resolve viewer.

I'm now officially making this answer a boiler-plate.

How is your display calibrated? Are you using a color-managed output? Read p. 664 of the Resolve 12.5 manual: "Limitations When Grading With the Viewer on a Computer Display." This goes into some detail why you cannot accurately monitor directly from the computer and operating system. You have to have a color-managed output, like one from a Blackmagic display card.

Turn off "Use Mac Display Color Profile for Viewers" in the Color Management config settings.

As a test, place a second or so of SMPTE color bars (and/or gray scale) at the head of the file, bring that back into Resolve, and check both files on the scopes. They should be identical. If the scope readings are identical, then they pictures must be identical.

Don't try to make judgements on uncalibrated GUI displays. That will lead down a perilous road of pain and suffering. And if you do look at anything in the GUI display, don't compare it to what you see in Resolve.
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Dylan Neild

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 12:24 pm

Ok, I think I understand this issue now (page 664, as you say).

My display is calibrated using a custom ICC profile, generated by an external calibration probe (Spyder). The manual (page 664) says that Resolve doesn't support custom ICC profiles, which makes me believe that what Resolve is showing in it's GUI preview window is problematic in that it's either using the default ICC profile for my display (which will make things much worse) or, if i turn off the "Use Mac Color Profile for viewers", is just uncalibrated completely (also not good).

By comparison, FCPX supports custom ICC profiles end to end so what I see in FCPX and then what I see in QTX (also ColorSync managed) and then what I see on Vimeo (playing in Safari, which is also ColorSync managed) is correct and displays as expected.

Unless I'm missing something you basically can't use Resolve without an external monitor and get reliable colour reproduction (at least in my case where my main display needs an ICC profile to correct it)?
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waltervolpatto

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 1:28 pm


Unless I'm missing something you basically can't use Resolve without an external monitor and get reliable colour reproduction (at least in my case where my main display needs an ICC profile to correct it)?


that is the preferred configuration.

the minimum is the bm mini monitor, 150$ plus a somewhat calibrated tv
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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 4:03 pm

Dylan Neild wrote:...you basically can't use Resolve without an external monitor and get reliable colour reproduction?


Yep. Since this is such a common misunderstanding for people delving into color grading, perhaps Resolve should have a warning icon that lights up next to the viewer in the Color workspace if no Blackmagic card is present.
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Martin Schitter

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 4:38 pm

JP Perry wrote:
Dylan Neild wrote:...you basically can't use Resolve without an external monitor and get reliable colour reproduction?


Yep. Since this is such a common misunderstanding for people delving into color grading, perhaps Resolve should have a warning icon that lights up next to the viewer in the Color workspace if no Blackmagic card is present.


that's a good proposition!

... and they could remove it again, whenever resolve learned do to it better and utilize the real power of actual graphic cards in a more satisfying way. ;)
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Adam Archer

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 6:48 pm

If you played your file in VLC then that will match what you are seeing on Resolve. QuickTime Player is not to be trusted


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Dylan Neild

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 8:12 pm

Adam Archer wrote:If you played your file in VLC then that will match what you are seeing on Resolve. QuickTime Player is not to be trusted


Sure... because VLC isn't colour managed at all so it's at the mercy of your display's native (or hardware) correction (just like Resolve). Two wrongs don't make a right (literally in this case).
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Adam Archer

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Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 8:34 pm

I'm sorry but I believe your logic to be flawed here. My reasoning.

Export a still from your sequence. Open it in anything. It will be colour accurate. Export a ProRes. Open it in Quicktime Player. Compare that to your still. It won't match. Open it in VLC. Compare it to your still. It will match.

Unless you are running your monitor calibration using QuickTime Player as the feed to your monitor from which the scope is analysing, then QuickTime Player does not display true. Oh, and you'd need a different calibration per codec you are viewing as it does not treat them the same.

Or play several different codecs of the same encoded source and watch QuickTime Player change the look of everyone whilst if you compare the files on a broadcast monitor there will only be slight differences due to compression (if you're using a decent encoder).

Anyone trusting QuickTime player for colour accuracy is walking a tightrope.

Also, I would always trust a calibrated end point then having software like QuickTime guessing what the endpoint is then calibrating to what it thinks is right. Resolve, the still & VLC on my LCD set to sRGB colourspace is a close match to my fully calibrated OLED broadcast monitor. Playing the same clip in QuickTime on my sRGB calibrated GUI monitor compared to my calibrated OLED shows a sizeable difference.


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Adam Archer

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 8:49 pm

One thing I would add is that if you're only finishing for web content then it may require a different approach but if you are finishing for TV or Film then avoid QuickTime Player at all costs. There are excellent free media players out there like Switch or Scratch Play if you don't like VLC.


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Dylan Neild

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 8:52 pm

Adam Archer wrote:Export a still from your sequence. Open it in anything. It will be colour accurate. Export a ProRes. Open it in Quicktime Player. Compare that to your still. It won't match. Open it in VLC. Compare it to your still. It will match.


Hmm.

If I export a still from my sequence and I open it in Photoshop, it's wrong. If I export a ProRes and open it in VLC, yes it matches Resolve BUT when I then view that on anything else (a TV, for example) it's wrong.

Basically, if it comes out of Resolve, it's wrong (when compared to Resolve's viewer).

Now, I understand this is because my display (LED Cinema Display) is calibrated via ICC profile (lacks any hardware level controls), but in terms of my workflow, the fact that Resolve and VLC match is of no help for me. As soon as I view it on another display it's all bad. On the other hand, what I make in FCPX and review in QuickTime Player (both colour managed) end up looking acceptable on my other displays by comparison.

I understand it's great for you (because your display is hardware calibrated to sRGB) but for my setup, it seems there's nothing to be done short of going down to the camera store and buying a hardware interface and a display (which is what I'm going to do).
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Dylan Neild

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 8:54 pm

Adam Archer wrote:One thing I would add is that if you're only finishing for web content then it may require a different approach but if you are finishing for TV or Film then avoid QuickTime Player at all costs. There are excellent free media players out there like Switch or Scratch Play if you don't like VLC.


Yeah I'm only working for web or native digital production - no broadcast or film. Thanks for the tips though - will check out those app suggestions.
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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 9:32 pm

Dylan Neild wrote:
Adam Archer wrote:Now, I understand this is because my display (LED Cinema Display) is calibrated via ICC profile (lacks any hardware level controls), but in terms of my workflow, the fact that Resolve and VLC match is of no help for me.


you could use mpv instead of vlc. it supports ICC profiles and accurate dithering in opengl[-hq] output mode.
sure -- it's no simple substitution of much more advanced professional equipment, but it will do it's job as good as possible.
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Adam Archer

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 9:40 pm

I would say that the still in Photoshop, if your monitor is calibrated, should be colour accurate.

How have you calibrated your monitor? What application were you using for the scope to line up to? Is the OS colour system flagged correctly?

Interestingly enough, I opened a ProRes in Quicktime Player & VLC and they are pretty much identical, plus they match Resolve/Preview/Photoshop/Smoke/Nuke/Fusion. It is not always the case with Quicktime Player , it all depends on codec/wrapper. I have seen the exact same h264 encoding, just in a different wrapper (one mp4 the other mov) look different in Quicktime Player when they should be identical in every way.

You are correct, my system is set to display sRGB and my GUI monitor is lined up for sRGB. I'm on Mac.
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Dylan Neild

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 10:40 pm

I would say that the still in Photoshop, if your monitor is calibrated, should be colour accurate.


Why? Photoshop is colour managed. It'd be as inaccurate to Resolve as QuickTime (or Final Cut, or any other colour managed application is).

How have you calibrated your monitor? What application were you using for the scope to line up to? Is the OS colour system flagged correctly?


Everything is fine. I've calibrated with multiple applications to test; the issue isn't the system calibration. it's just Resolve. I've solved my issue though - Resolve isn't colour managed and my monitor needs colour management to be even close to accurate. I'm just going to move to an external display.

I made a 3D Display LUT for Resolve to see if this would help; it gets it to within the ballpark. It's obviously not identical LUT'ing Resolve's display to my colour managed desktop but it's not immediately and obviously wrong the way it is without a LUT. Still, the real solution is an external display.
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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 10:46 pm

Dylan Neild wrote:...Unless I'm missing something you basically can't use Resolve without an external monitor and get reliable colour reproduction (at least in my case where my main display needs an ICC profile to correct it)?


Welcome to DaVinci Resolve! two possible monitoring scenarios:

1) Resolve/Decklink/SDI/calibrated SDI monitor (eg:FSI/Sony OLED)
2) Resolve/Decklink/SDI/SDI to DP converter/Calibrated PC Monitor with DP input and 3D LUT support.
Last edited by Craig Marshall on Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Adam Archer

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 11:38 pm

Colour management in Quicktime is known to be flawed, that is why.

I don't agree that you can't use a calibrated GUI monitor for Resolve for colour evaluation. It is how you approach the calibration that is more the issue. So Resolve is not displaying incorrectly, it just does not fit into your particular method of calibration. As I have mentioned, my GUI display in Resolve closely matches my calibrated OLED. What I am seeing in Quicktime & Resolve (on Pro Res at least) is identical.
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Dylan Neild

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Sep 19, 2016 11:57 pm

Adam Archer wrote:I don't agree that you can't use a calibrated GUI monitor for Resolve for colour evaluation. It is how you approach the calibration that is more the issue. So Resolve is not displaying incorrectly, it just does not fit into your particular method of calibration. As I have mentioned, my GUI display in Resolve closely matches my calibrated OLED. What I am seeing in Quicktime & Resolve (on Pro Res at least) is identical.


I think the issue is that you have a display that you've calibrated by adjusting controls on your panel until sRGB is sRGB. The panel I'm using can't be calibrated this way - it has no external controls (even brightness is controlled via software). 100% of the image controls in an Apple Cinema LED are done via a ColorSync calibration. Because of this, it's basically useless as a colour accurate Resolve monitoring panel as far as I can tell.

So you're totally right - the right, calibrated GUI display can probably be used for reasonably accurate colour evaluation. But that doesn't help me, any. :)
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Adam Archer

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostTue Sep 20, 2016 12:00 am

Totally understand. Not trying to be difficult.

One option could be a LUT box to have your profile in?
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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostTue Sep 20, 2016 2:39 am

Hi Dylan,

this is a complex topic. Most people do not have enough technical knowledge to fully understand what is going on.

I am using Mac OSX 10.11.4 on a Retina 27" iMac with a BMD mini-monitor feeding a Flanders Scientific calibrated monitor.

I have a very good match between the Mac display and the Flanders. I use a Spyder 4 to get a reasonable calibration of the iMac display. I use the "Use Mac display calibration for viewers" option.
My video range ProRes outputs match exactly when imported into Resolve, but Quicktime player (and other players) look different when compared to the Resolve viewer. The reason is because the iMac GUI display is sRGB and is displaying a rec709 encoded movie designed for broadcast. Resolve is correctly interpreting the rendered movie when it is imported. A full range ProRes output does NOT match when re-imported to Resolve because it does not conform to the rec709 spec. To make it match one must change it's clip attributes to full range in the media pool so that you override the default interpretation of rec709 levels.

The things to consider are:

ProRes codec is optimised for rec709 spec. Levels are expected to be 64-940. If you want to use full range levels 0-1023, then ProRes is NOT a good choice because other software expects video range from a ProRes file.

rec709 and sRGB are similar but different enough to cause a lot of confusion. sRGB is an RGB encoding method designed for computer displays and rec709 is a YUV encoding method designed for broadcast monitors and TV's. Most modern flat panel TV displays are sRGB but they are designed to deal with the mpg2 encoded broadcast streams.

Without a calibrated reference of some kind it's almost impossible to know if your setup is accurate.

If your ProRes output files do not match when re-imported into Resolve, then you can be sure it is NOT Resolve but is some issue with your configuration.

I'm happy to help if you want to send me more detailed info on your exact Resolve config. and project settings.
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Adam Archer

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostTue Sep 20, 2016 4:36 am

What you are saying about ProRes Peter is only true for its 422 flavours. The 4444 variants are RGB and utilise the full range of values.
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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostTue Sep 20, 2016 6:07 am

Adam Archer wrote:What you are saying about ProRes Peter is only true for its 422 flavours. The 4444 variants are RGB and utilise the full range of values.


it depend how you map out and flag it...
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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostTue Sep 20, 2016 6:44 am

Adam, the OP specifically mentioned using ProRes 422 HQ. That's why I did not mention the exceptions with certain ProRes variants. ProRes 422 can also support full range but is not always interpreted correctly by some software. I explained this in my post.
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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostTue Sep 20, 2016 4:24 pm

waltervolpatto wrote:
Adam Archer wrote:What you are saying about ProRes Peter is only true for its 422 flavours. The 4444 variants are RGB and utilise the full range of values.


it depend how you map out and flag it...


that's right! but in fact it's often a little bit more complicated, because this flags can be set on different levels (container [in this case quicktime] and codec [prores]) and are often specified in a quite indirect way (for the given case of of quicktime and prores by the "source pixel format" resp. color subsamplings "compression type"). not all applications respect all this eventualities and requirements. they often chose the wrong choices in case of discrepancy and misleading data.

for tristimulus RGB data, quicktime/prores usually uses full range.
the use of legal range is only specified for YUV resp. YCbCr data.

in apples specification documents you will always find the terms:
"Scheme A" for "wide range and "Scheme B" for "legal range".

which one of them has to be expected, depends on the source pixel format:

'yuv2' uses "scheme B" (legal range) 4:2:2 8bit
[ '2vuy' uses "scheme A" (full range) 4:2:2 8bit ] <= not used/specified in the prores 'src_pix_fmt' options!
'v308' uses "scheme B" (legal range) 4:4:4 8bit
'v408' uses "scheme B" (legal range) 4:4:4 + alpha 8bit
v216' uses "scheme B" (legal range) 4:2:2 16bit
'v410' uses "scheme B" (legal range) 4:4:4 10bit
v210' uses "scheme B" (legal range) 4:2:2 10bit

this is more or less the base level how this things are usually set/expected for prores, but you can increase the complexity by defining some different settings and color transformations on the enclosing quicktime layer...

a simple range flage isn't available in the quicktime specification -- it was introduced later in slightly different context:

"The QuickTime file format was adapted to become the ISO Base Media File Format, but with the color characteristic atom changed to “nclx” and the data augmented by an additional field that indicates whether the colour data is encoded at studio-swing (as is standard in BT.601 and BT.709) of “full-swing” (as is the custom for so-called sYCC). There is virtually no professional content encoded with full-swing Y’CBCR. In professional video, there is no need to clip luma to 16..235 or chroma to 16..240, though professional material is often mastered such that no sample values in the footroom or headroom regions are presented to the encoder." (http://www.poynton.com/notes/misc/sde-n ... -nclx.html)

that's one of the really important differences between .mov and .mp4 containers!

if you have to use quicktime, as in the case of prores or by some software that doesn't support mpeg-4 containers because of some other murky reasons, you always have to be very careful that everything works as expected.

by using only apple software, you will hardly fall into this trap, but in most other cases you should always check the compatibility twice.

adding SMTPE HD color bars to the footage by resolves test pattern generator is a very simple precaution. if you watch the values of the gradient in this test pattern, it's easy to judge, that everything works as expect. this check should be done in an independent software. ffmpeg based tools are a good choice for this kind of simple tests:

Code: Select all
ffplay -vf waveform=display=overlay:components=7:graticule=green:flags=numbers+dots FILE

or
Code: Select all
mpv --lavfi-complex='[vid1] waveform=display=overlay:components=7:graticule=green:flags=numbers+dots [vo]' FILE


peter metioned another important detail:

Peter Cave wrote:The reason is because the iMac GUI display is sRGB and is displaying a rec709 encoded movie designed for broadcast.


sRGB and rec709 are quite close to each other. the use in fact the same colors and differer only in the used gamma curve. but in practice this is an important difference.

computer monitors are usually calibrated to sRGB conventions, because that's what most software will expect. that goes ditto for still images. a freeze frame from a rec709 movie, that doesn't have been translated to the sRGB transfer curve and do not include any additional color space hints, will simply look wrong!

there are many ways to work around this divergent conventions. most applications, which i use in my dally work, utilize OpenColorIO to handle this kind of transformations on I/O operations and automatically translate the internal color representation to the output on screen. on software, that doesn't use this kind of more advanced image- and video color transformations, you can use e.g. ociobakelut to generate accurate 1D LUTs in many common formats for this purpose.
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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostFri Jan 13, 2017 2:27 am

Dylan Neild wrote:It's gotten to the point where I try to re-solve this problem every month or so but always re-abandon Resolve again and just go back to finishing all of my projects directly in Final Cut Pro X or Premiere (depending on who I'm working with). X and Premiere are always consistent from edit to output.


And it's gotten to the point where I try to re-solve this problem every month or so but always re-abandon Resolve after reading this thread!

I have scoured the related threads as well. The technical justifications for this really frustrating shortcoming are interesting (I mean that sincerely), but the relevant answer to Dylan’s question is really quite short:

No, there is no way to make the appearance of a clip in DaVinci Resolve's viewers match the appearance in a QuickTime export 100%, even on the same display, even with the same QuickTime codec from source to export.

Is that really possible? It doesn't sound possible given Resolve's color prowess, which is why I keep hoping to find the setting that will fix this, but it sounds like the color management that is baked into just about every other Mac photo/video app, just isn't part of Resolve. DaVinci Resolve 13?

And what is “Use Mac Display color profiles” supposed to do, if not fix this exact problem?!

As has been mentioned several times, Premiere and FCPX do not have this issue with QuickTime. If Adobe can make it work on a macOS, anybody can.

I cut broadcast spots and occasional theatrical material, but the majority of exports will never be seen anywhere other than on a computer display or mobile screen (most of which happen to be made by Apple). I should be able to export video from my MacBook Pro that matches the viewers in my professional color grading software.

I understand Resolve's heritage as expensive hardware-based systems, but Blackmagic is clearly trying to broaden its appeal. If I am just not the target audience, that's a shame. A handful of other professional editors need to post to the web too. ;)

I really like Resolve, both for grading and more and more as a complete NLE. I loath Premiere but end up using it lot because I have to. FCPX seems to pulling away from both. Avid is Avid. I'm still rooting for Resolve though. I guess I'll check back next month.
Last edited by Dax Roggio on Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Peter Cave

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostFri Jan 13, 2017 10:54 am

[quote="
No, there is no way to make the appearance of a clip in DaVinci Resolve's viewers match the appearance in a QuickTime export, even on the same display, even with the same QuickTime codec from source to export.

Is that really possible? It doesn't sound possible given Resolve's color prowess, which is why I keep hoping to find the setting that will fix this, but it sounds like the color management that is baked into just about every other Mac photo/video app, just isn't part of Resolve. DaVinci Resolve 13?
[/quote]

It matches very well for me on a Retina iMac, but I know a lot about technical setups and calibration. Most people struggle with these things, but it keeps me employed with high-end facilities.
post-production starts with pre-production
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Paul Willis

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostFri Jan 13, 2017 1:15 pm

Dax Roggio wrote:
Dylan Neild wrote:It's gotten to the point where I try to re-solve this problem every month or so but always re-abandon Resolve again and just go back to finishing all of my projects directly in Final Cut Pro X or Premiere (depending on who I'm working with). X and Premiere are always consistent from edit to output.


And it's gotten to the point where I try to re-solve this problem every month or so but always re-abandon Resolve after reading this thread!

I have scoured the related threads as well. The technical justifications for this really frustrating shortcoming are interesting (I mean that sincerely), but the relevant answer to Dylan’s question is really quite short:

No, there is no way to make the appearance of a clip in DaVinci Resolve's viewers match the appearance in a QuickTime export, even on the same display, even with the same QuickTime codec from source to export.

Is that really possible? It doesn't sound possible given Resolve's color prowess, which is why I keep hoping to find the setting that will fix this, but it sounds like the color management that is baked into just about every other Mac photo/video app, just isn't part of Resolve. DaVinci Resolve 13?

And what is “Use Mac Display color profiles” supposed to do, if not fix this exact problem?!

As has been mentioned several times, Premiere and FCPX do not have this issue with QuickTime. If Adobe can make it work on a macOS, anybody can.

I cut broadcast spots and occasional theatrical material, but the majority of exports will never be seen anywhere other than on a computer display or mobile screen (most of which happen to be made by Apple). I should be able to export video from my MacBook Pro that matches the viewers in my professional color grading software.

I understand Resolve's heritage as expensive hardware-based systems, but Blackmagic is clearly trying to broaden its appeal. If I am just not the target audience, that's a shame. A handful of other professional editors need to post to the web too. ;)

I really like Resolve, both for grading and more and more as a complete NLE. I loath Premiere but end up using it lot because I have to. FCPX seems to pulling away from both. Avid is Avid. I'm still rooting for Resolve though. I guess I'll check back next month.



You have to remember that Blackmagic's business model relies on people purchasing external hardware, the software you're using is free. That aside, you can certainly grade on your GUI and deliver content for the web without any trouble. I do this often on some of the smaller setups I use.

The 'Use Mac Color Profile' option is only of use for more closely matching the gui to an external broadcast monitor. Computer displays and broadcast monitors display using different gamma curves, this setting is just a rough visual aid really just so things don't look so wildly different between the two in a grading session. Just leave this off if you're monitoring only on the GUI and only delivering for web, it'll only complicate things.

I can grade in resolve with default timeline settings (Rec709 gamma 2.4), export this as ProRes 422HQ, video levels, import it into Premiere and see an identical image on my Premiere GUI. I can also watch the file back on VLC and see the same image. Quicktime will display this incorrectly, what everyone says about this issues isn't an excuse, it's a Quicktime issue that's easily solved by not using Quicktime. I can't speak for FCPx, but I have no issues having consistency of colour from Resolve rendered files going back in to Premiere, Avid or AE (as long as your colour management is correct).
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostFri Jan 13, 2017 2:09 pm

In other words- exported files are fine (when it come to what they store), only preview of this stored data is inconsistent and depends on what software you use to view it.
QTX player is not really broken either. Please read this:

https://developer.apple.com/library/con ... index.html

And very important line:

"Important: Media without a ‘nclc’ tag will be color managed by QuickTime X as if it were created in the SMPTE-C color space."

If your file has no colro tag (which Resolve still not always writes properly) then it will be assumed as SMPTE-C color space, which is for me very strange default, but this is Apple :)
Apple wanted to be precise and correct, but in reality this whole color management engine causing more issues than good things.
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waltervolpatto

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostFri Jan 13, 2017 3:03 pm

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:In other words- exported files are fine (when it come to what they store), only preview of this stored data is inconsistent and depends on what software you use to view it.
QTX player is not really broken either. Please read this:

https://developer.apple.com/library/con ... index.html

And very important line:

"Important: Media without a ‘nclc’ tag will be color managed by QuickTime X as if it were created in the SMPTE-C color space."

If your file has no colro tag (which Resolve still not always writes properly) then it will be assumed as SMPTE-C color space, which is for me very strange default, but this is Apple :)
Apple wanted to be precise and correct, but in reality this whole color management engine causing more issues than good things.


can you just make the quicktime and change/fix just the color tag post mortem?
Walter Volpatto - C.S.I.
Digital Intermediate Colorist
Fotokem, Burbank. USA
www.fotokem.com
www.coloristsociety.com

Inb4YouCanJustColorComments: yes you can, good luck with that.
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Andrew Kolakowski

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostFri Jan 13, 2017 4:04 pm

Yes, there are tools to adjust "colr" atom in-place and and this is instant. If you after standard ones (Rec.601 PAL/NTSC, Rec.709) then there is even Automator action for that supplied by Apple. It's mentioned in the link above.
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waltervolpatto

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostFri Jan 13, 2017 5:22 pm

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:Yes, there are tools to adjust "colr" atom in-place and and this is instant. If you after standard ones (Rec.601 PAL/NTSC, Rec.709) then there is even Automator action for that supplied by Apple. It's mentioned in the link above.

Thanks!
Walter Volpatto - C.S.I.
Digital Intermediate Colorist
Fotokem, Burbank. USA
www.fotokem.com
www.coloristsociety.com

Inb4YouCanJustColorComments: yes you can, good luck with that.
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Martin Schitter

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostFri Jan 13, 2017 6:09 pm

Andrew Kolakowski wrote:Yes, there are tools to adjust "colr" atom in-place and and this is instant. If you after standard ones (Rec.601 PAL/NTSC, Rec.709) then there is even Automator action for that supplied by Apple. It's mentioned in the link above.


but you also have to mention the fact, that many applications simply ignore this information if HD or greater resolution is used. in this case, they switch to rec709 colors, because other historic color standards do not fit into any common standard for HD video.

it's a crazy situation, because this very plausible workaround used by many applications -- nearly all free ones! --, may lead to new incompatibilities, if applications try to mimic a very strange historic proprietary behavior (=SMPTE-C default even for HD footage). :(
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Dax Roggio

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostSun Jan 15, 2017 2:29 pm

Paul Willis wrote:Just leave this off if you're monitoring only on the GUI and only delivering for web, it'll only complicate things.


Turning off “Use Mac Display Color Profile for viewers” does help.
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Matthew DiMare

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostThu Feb 02, 2017 1:30 am

Sorry to rehash this issue, but I'm fairly new to grading and DaVinci Resolve.

I have a fairly complex color grade for a 3.5 minute video that I am trying to export as individual files to re-import back into FCPX to finish compositing and export the final project. I'm having the same issue as discussed throughout this thread. My exported clips, in both ProRes 442HQ and 4444 lack the depth and contrast as seen in the Resolve viewer. From what I can gather from the responses this is mainly because I am not using a properly calibrated external monitor for grading (I'm using at 2016 27" Retina iMac and a 2011 23" iMac connected via thunderbolt). Is there no easy fix for this yet? Is there any way to calibrate the iMacs to at least get close?

Sorry if the questions are a little amateur, just really hoping I don't have to do the entire grade again using colorista 3 or fcpx....

Thanks in advance for an responses.

Matt
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Nick West

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostTue May 16, 2017 9:25 pm

I second Matt's query. I share the same issue.

I appreciate this might be a Quicktime bug, but unfortunately my delivery is ultimately Vimeo, which matches Quicktime Player.

My FCPX workflow all matches up perfectly, from the original file in Quicktime Player, to FCPX's viewer, to export and finally on Vimeo via Safari. I really want to make the jump to Resolve but I'm not sure how to get around this issue.

To overly simplify the question; if you are using a single display (i.e. an iMac) is technically impossible to get Resolve's viewer to match how my exports look in Quicktime Player/Vimeo? Or is it a case of having to dial in some extra contrast/gamma adjustment prior to export to compensate for the shift that occurs?

Thanks for your time
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Dax Roggio

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostWed May 17, 2017 1:09 am

Much to my surprise and frustration, it is not possible in 12.5 to perfectly match a QuickTime export with the appearance in Resolve's viewers, even on the same Mac display from start to finish, even using the same QuickTime codec from original source to export. At least that is the conclusion I have reached based on the responses above and my own tests.

Basically, you have to make it look "wrong" in Resolve to get it to come out closer to the way you want it in QuickTime, but it's impossible to achieve 100% accuracy regardless of how well calibrated your system is.

And unfortunately, it's not just the gamma that is off, which would be easy to compensate for.

As you mention, FCP X doesn't have this issue at all, neither does Premiere.

I'm hoping it is remedied in Resolve 14.
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Nick West

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostFri May 19, 2017 2:02 pm

Dax Roggio wrote:Much to my surprise and frustration, it is not possible in 12.5 to perfectly match a QuickTime export with the appearance in Resolve's viewers, even on the same Mac display from start to finish, even using the same QuickTime codec from original source to export. At least that is the conclusion I have reached based on the responses above and my own tests.

Basically, you have to make it look "wrong" in Resolve to get it to come out closer to the way you want it in QuickTime, but it's impossible to achieve 100% accuracy regardless of how well calibrated your system is.

And unfortunately, it's not just the gamma that is off, which would be easy to compensate for.

As you mention, FCP X doesn't have this issue at all, neither does Premiere.

I'm hoping it is remedied in Resolve 14.

Hi Dax,

I feared as much.
Have you found a particular combination of 'wrong' grading adjustments in Resolve that gets you any closer to matching your viewer upon export?
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Dax Roggio

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostSun May 21, 2017 2:17 am

Since I haven’t been particularly satisfied with the results, I don’t really have a “secret sauce” to share. If I settle on some consistent fixes, I will report back. Good luck!
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Jeff Brass

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostSun May 21, 2017 8:02 am

This is what works for me...

project settings - everything set to DATA - not auto


export as VIDEO...again, not auto

quicktime has issues as we know but exporting as VIDEO gets it really close, and spot on in everything else.
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James Harkness

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon May 22, 2017 1:17 am

yep its "display mac color profile for viewing" and using "Data Levels - Video" on export. Strangely I had the same issue with 12.5 exporting less contrasty because I had mac color profile on. Then as I use DR14 I always make sure to uncheck it, but now my videos are exporting how they look with it checked on! So I switched from Data Levels - Full to Data Levels - Video and it fixed it. Just weird how there wasn't consistency between the 2 programs.
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon May 22, 2017 1:57 am

Always render out test signals with SMPTE Bars and/or a grayscale ramp so that you can check the render and verify that it matches the original on scopes. If the test signal matches, then the whole clip should match. Without test signals, it's guesswork.
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Dylan Neild

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostSun Jul 30, 2017 7:56 pm

Ok, to necro this thread a touch and maybe to help someone else, here's what I do with Resolve on my Mac Pro (no external monitoring) to get loosely acceptable render results out of Resolve matching in Quicktime (and therefore matching in Vimeo, YouTube, etc).

This isn't perfect, but it's as close as I can get Resolve 12 to actually being an end-to-end acceptable colour system on a Mac without external monitoring. I've basically given up on Resolve for almost every project (I'm only ever doing web based output) due to how broken it is for this type of work compared to Final Cut Pro X (identical colour / gamma from input -> edit -> output -> upload every time) but I had to work with some CinemaDNG raw data lately and this is what I did to get serviceable output.

- In Resolve, Project Settings -> Master Project Settings. Set Color Science to "Davinci YRGB Color Managed".
- In Resolve, Project Settings -> Color Management. Set Input Color Space to Bypass (I was working with multiple file formats in different logs for this project). Set Timeline Color Space to Rec. 709 Gamma 2.4 (should be the default). Set Output Color Space to sRGB.
- In Resolve, Project Settings -> Color Management. Set "Use Mac Display Color Profile for viewers" to ON / Enabled to make Resolve's GUI viewer to participate in the display colour management setup.

Then edit and grade your project in Resolve to taste.

When outputting from Resolve, output as ProRes 422 HQ or ProRes 4444. Use "Auto" for video levels. You don't want to use DATA ever as this is not a real fix for the Resolve output issues - it just looks "better" than the default. Render your file as always. ProRes 4444 looks closer to identical (when the process is complete) to my eye, but ymmv.

At this point your rendered file will have Resolve's signature gamma shift on it when compared to anything else that participates in colour management. This is fine as we're going to the web and we need to compress the ProRes anyways.

Pull the rendered ProRes file into Apple Compressor. I'm using 4.3.2 but you need to use at least the Rec.2020 compatible version as far as I know so that you have access to colour space interpretation settings. It's also possible that previous to Apple Compressor support colour space manipulation it didn't do any colour space management of any kind - so as I say, use the latest version that supports colour spaces.

Set your output settings to taste, but the the key here is to tell compressor that your file colour space is sRGB (per what you rendered out of Resolve). You can access this setting by clicking on the file in the queue and setting the proper setting. This appears to govern the input colour space so as I said, make sure it's set to the sRGB setting.

Compress away.

If you hit Apple-I in the Finder on the resulting file that Compressor created, you should see that it now has "Color profile: HD (1-1-1)" (this is Rec. 709) on it. On the other hand, the ProRes that came out of Resolve has no assigned colour profile (this seems to be part of the problem at least).

Compare the compressed HD from Apple Compressor to the window in Resolve now. For me, these are as close to identical as I've been able to get without external monitoring and the compressed version that's been converted by Compressor to Rec. 709 is worlds closer to Resolve's viewer than the ProRes resolve generated (in sRGB).

Logically you should be able to do the same thing as above but use Rec.709 for output in Resolve and then just make Compressor forcibly interpret the footage as Rec. 709 but this has NEVER worked for me. I don't have enough information about why this is (nor do I really care now that I have a largely working pipeline for Resolve work when I need it).

Hope this helps someone, even if it's not flawless.
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostSun Jul 30, 2017 11:35 pm

Dylan Neild wrote:This isn't perfect, but it's as close as I can get Resolve 12 to actually being an end-to-end acceptable colour system on a Mac without external monitoring...

Your reasoning is flawed: this is going to fail for the reasons stated above. You can't monitor accurately this way.
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Craig Marshall

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostSun Jul 30, 2017 11:43 pm

Marc Wielage wrote:
Dylan Neild wrote:This isn't perfect, but it's as close as I can get Resolve 12 to actually being an end-to-end acceptable colour system on a Mac without external monitoring...

Your reasoning is flawed: this is going to fail for the reasons stated above. You can't monitor accurately this way.


I agree. Bottom line: Resolve is all about a Decklink SDI card and a calibrated SDI Monitor in a controlled lighting environment. Without all of the above, you may as well judge 'color' by using a cell phone screen in the shade of blue tarpaulin. If you're not prepared to make the necessary investment in hardware, Resolve may not be your most appropriate software.
Filmmaker & Media Industry Writer
Resolve 12.5/12G Decklink SDI/OxygenTec ProPanel
HDvideo4K.com
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Dylan Neild

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Jul 31, 2017 1:02 am

Marc Wielage wrote:
Dylan Neild wrote:This isn't perfect, but it's as close as I can get Resolve 12 to actually being an end-to-end acceptable colour system on a Mac without external monitoring...

Your reasoning is flawed: this is going to fail for the reasons stated above. You can't monitor accurately this way.


I have no reasoning - I'm not trying to make Resolve "accurate". I'm just trying to make it output something that is close enough to it's GUI monitor that I can finish a project I'm working on and this is the only way I've found to make Resolve actually useful for outputting to the web in this way.

Will it be wrong on a calibrated Rec709 display? Almost definitely. I don't really care though... I just need it to match on the same display so that when it goes to Vimeo it still looks close enough when viewing on a consumer grade television. This is the only way I've found to do that without manually applying an output correction in Resolve every time.

Resolve is long out of my workflow; it's just not an appropriate tool for what I do and/or the way I'm doing it (web targeted video without a dedicated colouring setup).
Last edited by Dylan Neild on Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:20 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Uli Plank

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Re: Export issues (again, I know)

PostMon Jul 31, 2017 1:05 am

I second Craig's notion regarding a proper video I/O path.

But if you are working in a semi-professional environment, the cheapest Decklink card with HDMI and a good TV like recent models by Samsung or LG could be enough – IF you know your way through the menus, switch off all the fancy stuff (like adaptive brightness) and set it to Rec709.

We tested a series 7 by Samsung last year with a professional probe (Klein K-10) and it was close enough.
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