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Andyjaggy
01-07-2009, 05:23 PM
I've always been a fan of quicktime, but I finally have given up. The gamma issue which I am sure many of you are familiar with has finally defeated me.

I've tried x264, I've tried gamma strippers, I've tried every quicktime codec known to man and every one displays over bright washed out videos on the PC. (Except for the big ones like animation, bmp, etc......) The only solution that kind of works is to do the trickery in your .mov file where you go into movie properties and go straight alpha, etc... I am sure those who have looked into this issue know what I am talking about. That does fix your blacks, but it plays back choppy.

I even downloaded files from the Apple movie trailer site. They were washed out on my machine as well. Files from my Video camera. Washed out. Files from my SLR. Washed out. Files from my AE training DVD's. Washed out. Everything, in every situation is washed out in quicktime player. Apparently the files themselves are fine because if I open them up in AE then they display correctly. It is just the quicktime player that washes them out.

(I've also viewed them on multiple color calibrated and non calibrated machines and they all display the issue, some less then others, but it is still there. The issue is also documented and well known enough that no, it is not just me or my machine.)

So I've quit using quicktime and embraced WMV. Holy crap. Talk about an amazing video format. Super good looking, and super small. H264 can't even touch it. I've been totally blown away. The drawback is it's not as universal as quicktime, and also you can't scrub through it in real time, something I love about quicktime. Great for client meetings and feedback. Other then that though, goodbye quicktime. Or at least until Apple finally gets their a$$e$ in gear and fixes this long standing and well known issue.

monovich
01-07-2009, 05:25 PM
apple seriously needs to fix this. its embarrassing.

I need scrubbing or I'd use WMV too.

cresshead
01-07-2009, 06:43 PM
what about ogg?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogg

use vlc to play it

caesar
01-07-2009, 06:45 PM
I think QuickTime X (a totally rewrited app) will be ready for Snow Tiger (OS X 10.6) will correct it, performance issues, add gpu support and other fancy features (soft subs, etc...)

Stooch
01-07-2009, 07:03 PM
So I've quit using quicktime and embraced WMV. Holy crap. Talk about an amazing video format. Super good looking, and super small.

you know people always looked at me funny when i would tell them that i prefer the size/quality of WMV, i think it was just a case of MicroHate. I tried to use quicktime too, just for cross platform reasons. seems that while people with pcs enjoyed my WMVs, the pesky mac guys would ***** and moan.

anyway i decided to use neither. im happy with FLV for web delivery.

toby
01-07-2009, 07:28 PM
There's tons of wmv videos on web that are compressed badly, especially from early in the net's life, it's easy to think it's not such a great codec. I compressed something to wmv back in 2000, and it was hideous. I bet a lot of mac people don't know about the gamma issue either, I didn't know until just now.

Have you tried the photo-jpeg codec, that's what we use at work and it looks identical to other formats. Not that it's a better choice than wmv, but if you have the same problem with photo-jpeg, maybe I can find out what they did here to fix it.

Andyjaggy
01-07-2009, 07:48 PM
Yes same problem with jpeg.

JeffrySG
01-07-2009, 09:05 PM
Does anyone know why QT Player does this? Is it an 'apple feature' of some sort? Just kind of curious myself.

Silkrooster
01-07-2009, 11:32 PM
I have yet to see such a problem with quicktime. But then again my monitor is not calibrated. I think you guys will find out it has to do with the color profile. I recall awhile back that one of browsers I think safari had a similar issue. It would assume some other profile than sRGB. Its possible quicktime is suffering from the same issue especially if they share code for color management.
Silk

nikfaulkner
01-08-2009, 12:51 AM
we use quicktime all the time at work, and although it is a pain. it is useable.

here's a fix for the gamma issue from andrew kramer

http://www.videocopilot.net/blog/?s=gamma

avkills
01-08-2009, 01:22 AM
WMV in the past was horrid. But the WMV9 and WMV10 codecs are actually quite good if you compress them correctly.

I've not noticed this on the Mac side; so it must be a Windows only problem.

-mark

toby
01-08-2009, 02:37 AM
It is Apple laziness, nothing more. I like QT due to the universal nature of the format and the scrubbing. But that's about it. QT offers nothing quality wise that I can't outdo with other codecs.

QuickTime in general needs a major face lift and a de-bloat treatment as well as getting the 64-bit treatment. Apple has completely dropped the ball on this one.

QuickTime is probably a tangled mess with years and years of code bloat to contend with, so that is probably why Apple is fighting to bring something worthwhile to market.
Blah blah blah, ***** and moan about apple at every opportunity, bringing *nothing* to the conversation.

Find ONE app that can do all these things:

load image sequences
reference external movie or image files
export to dozens of codecs (including wmv)
quick editing
quick compositing
image distortion
filters
Pan, orbit and dolly in 3D files with fbx
qtvr
add text
multiple simultaneous playback and/or export
custom chapters
custom skins
jog shuttle
set playback speed
gets used in movies like the Matrix, Speed Racer, GI Joe, Tron2, Benjamin Buttons, 2012, countless award-winning commercials in Windows and Linux, and that's just what I have personal knowledge of.

and for 30 bucks, or forever STFU.

Funny how if something like Lightwave breaks on the Mac, it's Apple's fault. But if QT breaks on PC, it's also Apple's fault. Maybe *just maybe* it's because M$ doesn't give the full dev package to outside developers, or *maybe* it's because QT isn't a part of Windows' system as it is with OSX.

Limbus
01-08-2009, 03:00 AM
To fix the gamma problem:
- open the MOV
- open the Movie Properties
- select the video track and open the tab called visual settings
- set transparency to Straight Alpha
- save the MOV

Cheers, Florian

toby
01-08-2009, 03:00 AM
LOL, blaming MS for Apple's retarded QT failures. That is rich indeed.

You honestly have little grasp on reality.

Why does VLC play back .mov files more smoothly than the QT player on both OSX and Windows? Especially on slower hardware where the difference is more noticeable.
Maybe because it doesn't

load image sequences
reference external movie or image files
export to dozens of codecs (including wmv)
quick editing
quick compositing
image distortion
filters
Pan, orbit and dolly in 3D files with fbx
qtvr
add text
multiple simultaneous playback and/or export
custom chapters
custom skins
jog shuttle
set playback speed

ingo
01-08-2009, 03:11 AM
Yes same problem with jpeg.

Than you maybe have a different problem, as i recall the gamma-shift problem is only with x264. I use photo-jpeg here with no problems.

Andyjaggy
01-08-2009, 09:21 AM
To fix the gamma problem:
- open the MOV
- open the Movie Properties
- select the video track and open the tab called visual settings
- set transparency to Straight Alpha
- save the MOV

Cheers, Florian

Yes that works. But as I said earlier it plays back choppy. Especially when you play it back full screen.

Andyjaggy
01-08-2009, 09:24 AM
Than you maybe have a different problem, as i recall the gamma-shift problem is only with x264. I use photo-jpeg here with no problems.

Care to send me a small file you have encoded with photo jpeg, so I can see what it looks like on my machine?

ben martin
01-08-2009, 09:44 AM
We suffered from that problem recently.

A director sent some plates from is last movie to add VFX.
I've done it all in Fusion and when I send the final plates "QuickTime uncompressed" back... surprise... the image were too much clear (gamma problems).

They work with Final Cut Pro and use the "Apple ProRes 422" Codec.
I sent the plates "QuickTime uncompressed" cause this "Apple ProRes 422" codec is not available for PC version (code part - the decoder is available).

So we had to change to Blackmagic Intermediate codec's to get the job done.
They had to resend all the plates "Blackmagic coded" back to us and we sent the job done in the same Blackmagic format. It was a breeze (completely flawless).

In the next day I received a Skype call from the direct and I cracked-my-self-up laughing to dead hearing the director calling all bad names he could remember to Apple products... and they are working with the latest Mac Pro Workstation… oh boy… what cool day it was! :ohmy:

Andyjaggy
01-08-2009, 09:55 AM
We suffered from that problem recently.

A director sent some plates from is last movie to add VFX.
I've done it all in Fusion and when I send the final plates "QuickTime uncompressed" back... surprise... the image were too much clear (gamma problems).

They work with Final Cut Pro and use the "Apple ProRes 422" Codec.
I sent the plates "QuickTime uncompressed" cause this "Apple ProRes 422" codec is not available for PC version (code part - the decoder is available).

So we had to change to Blackmagic Intermediate codec's to get the job done.
They had to resend all the plates "Blackmagic coded" back to us and we sent the job done in the same Blackmagic format. It was a breeze (completely flawless).

In the next day I received a Skype call from the direct and I cracked-my-self-up laughing to dead hearing the director calling all bad names he could remember to Apple products... and they are working with the latest Mac Pro Workstation… oh boy… what cool day it was! :ohmy:

It's always nice to see I'm not the only one who has issues with this. It's kind of funny though I think a lot of people just don't realize it. In fact until about two months ago I never realized quicktime had this issue.

I was compressing a particular shot that had lots of darks in it and it looked just awful. I couldn't figure out what was going on. Then I started looking around at all my quicktime stuff and realized that everything was suffering from washed out blacks. Now I can't look at a quicktime file without seeing the problem. Uck.

avkills
01-08-2009, 10:21 AM
Not to throw the fuel on the debate, but there is a distinct possibility that the problem lies in the way Windows does its color synching or color calibration to the screen. It probably isn't, but there is a different gamma on the Mac compared to Windows. All of the Apple applications apply gamma curves without you knowing so they look right on screen -- and Adobe products seem to color correct using the built in color profiles good.

But then again, Apple probably is lazy to the Windows platform, just like Microsoft is lazy to the OS X platform. It goes both ways.

I've just been experimenting rendering out EXR floating point images in Lightwave, and then applying the correct color space in After Effects to the image sequence, and having my project the same color space and it seems to work real well. Rendering this out to a 10bit video codec and I am getting no weird color banding at all - and the color I see in Lightwave's image viewer and the final output from FCP on a NTSC monitor is damn close.

-mark

Andyjaggy
01-08-2009, 10:44 AM
Now that I am looking closer at my WMV files they are a little washed out in the blacks as well. Oh well. Guess I just can't get any format that will display my blacks as black.

ben martin
01-08-2009, 10:44 AM
Not to throw the fuel on the debate, but there is a distinct possibility that the problem lies in the way Windows does its color synching or color calibration to the screen.

I believe, but I'm pretty sure that it comes from Apple code (or lack of it).


I've just been experimenting rendering out EXR floating point images in Lightwave, and then applying the correct color space in After Effects to the image sequence, -mark

Despite the fact that I don't use AFx, that was my first approach idea but they prohibit me from apply any color correction filter, (except the ones strictly necessary to the VFX slots).

So I couldn't apply any Film or CC filter to final image.
Anyway, it should work fine without any workaround! :thumbsdow

Scazzino
01-08-2009, 10:53 AM
Does anyone know why QT Player does this? Is it an 'apple feature' of some sort? Just kind of curious myself.

It seems to be over-correcting the gamma for the old Mac(1.8)-PC(2.2) gamma differences. I typically notice it when I author on the Mac but using a 2.2 gamma on my display. It seems that QuickTime player (and the player in Safari) expects a 1.8 gamma in the Mac source, and if it was authored in 2.2, it gets overly boosted when played back on 2.2... I only really noticed it before when using the H264 codec and have switched to the X264 compressor instead. I haven't noticed it as much since switching though.

sadkkf
01-08-2009, 11:44 AM
I actually prefer the Flash video format to any other. Similar quality in both formats generally results in smaller FLV movies than WMV.

MiniFireDragon
01-08-2009, 11:52 AM
I blew through this post so excuse me if I am repeating information, But you do know that on Nvidia systems there is a video gamma correction in the control panel don't you? I find on some systems the monitor displays to dark to to white and the controls need to be adjusted inside Nvidia. And it's a setting ONLY for video playing. Adjusting it does not effect the desktop or general screen appearence.

Red_Oddity
01-08-2009, 01:28 PM
And to make sure not the windows color adjustments aswell as the nVidia panel color adjustments don't screw with your Quicktime player, make sure you set your Quicktime preferences 'video' settings to GDI, not Direct-X.

I hate all this software that screws around with my colors becaue it is expecting or thinking you work in some color profile (Adobe Photoshop is another notorious color f*cker that just slaps some arbitrary color profile on a file it can't quite figure out)

Andyjaggy
01-08-2009, 01:38 PM
And to make sure not the windows color adjustments aswell as the nVidia panel color adjustments don't screw with your Quicktime player, make sure you set your Quicktime preferences 'video' settings to GDI, not Direct-X.

I hate all this software that screws around with my colors becaue it is expecting or thinking you work in some color profile (Adobe Photoshop is another notorious color f*cker that just slaps some arbitrary color profile on a file it can't quite figure out)

This is interesting, because I have noticed that if I disable DirectX, and use GDI that the colors display as they should. So maybe this is in fact a video card issue, and not a quicktime issue? Does ATI suffer from this same problem? I think all the machines I have dried it on have been using Nvidia cards.

There is still a problem though, Even if I can fix it on my machine, but I am more worried that they will look correctly on other peoples machines. I guess I could always bundle my videos with a readme file telling people how to change their machine so that it looks correct. Not really an option is it.

On top of that it still doesn't explain why codecs such as animation look correct? While most others are washed out? Wouldn't it apply the same settings to every video?

toby
01-08-2009, 03:08 PM
On top of that it still doesn't explain why codecs such as animation look correct? While most others are washed out? Wouldn't it apply the same settings to every video?
From what I can tell, final viewing codecs tend to lift the blacks, and it's probably reaching a threshold where it stands out. It sounds like you need calibration, I assume you're on an lcd, try this :
http://epaperpress.com/monitorcal/index.html

Andyjaggy
01-08-2009, 03:26 PM
From what I can tell, final viewing codecs tend to lift the blacks, and it's probably reaching a threshold where it stands out. It sounds like you need calibration, I assume you're on an lcd, try this :
http://epaperpress.com/monitorcal/index.html

No my monitor is calibrated, if it were a simple calibration issue then all my blacks, not just my blacks within quicktime would be jacked.

Let me attach a screenshot so you can see the difference. See I'm not crazy. The top is how it looks in after effects or out of lightwave or basically anywhere besides quicktime. The bottom is obviously quicktime.

The Dommo
01-08-2009, 03:26 PM
I've loved WMV for quite a few years. It does its job well. You can scrub if it you try other free players than Windows Media Player.

Quicktime is definitely not cross-platform - the player is on different OSs yes, but the codecs are not. I remember having to use Quicktime for a presentation once. Worked ok on my PC. Open it for the client on their Mac, and oh joy, their Mac codec did not have the Quicktime audio codec, so there was no sound...! Friggin idiots Apple.

avkills
01-08-2009, 05:10 PM
I've loved WMV for quite a few years. It does its job well. You can scrub if it you try other free players than Windows Media Player.

Quicktime is definitely not cross-platform - the player is on different OSs yes, but the codecs are not. I remember having to use Quicktime for a presentation once. Worked ok on my PC. Open it for the client on their Mac, and oh joy, their Mac codec did not have the Quicktime audio codec, so there was no sound...! Friggin idiots Apple.

You do realize that QuickTime is an extensible platform and thus you could easily have codecs installed on the Windows version where somebody with a Mac could not have them installed. Just saying.... but yes I feel your pain.

-mark

toby
01-08-2009, 06:14 PM
No my monitor is calibrated, if it were a simple calibration issue then all my blacks, not just my blacks within quicktime would be jacked.

Let me attach a screenshot so you can see the difference. See I'm not crazy. The top is how it looks in after effects or out of lightwave or basically anywhere besides quicktime. The bottom is obviously quicktime.
I don't think you're crazy or mistaken dude
What I thought was happening, since you said wmv was lifted a little bit too, is that since your monitor isn't displaying linear color, very dark greys in your image normally fall to black, when they get lifted enough in compression they're no longer dark enough to fall to black. If the monitor is was little bright it would aggravate that.

Still trying to find out how they use it here at work

The Dommo
01-09-2009, 04:07 AM
Yeah I realise it's a 'wrapper' but this was using the most basic codecs in Quicktime, nothing special or fancy. However, both the ProRes and HDV codecs are Mac only and therefore not cross-platform. I've learned for audio in Quicktime to just not apply compression, and then it works on any system, just with much bigger files than other solutions.

avkills
01-09-2009, 10:34 PM
What audio codec were you trying to use?

-mark

caesar
01-15-2009, 10:20 AM
Another option is to render to qt/avi lossless, then load it in handbreak (mac/win) and export it to h_264