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Old October 9th, 2009, 06:32 AM   #1
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16-235 Confusion

Hey everyone,

this whole studio RGB thing keeps confusing me, and I'm unsure how to proceed.
Right now, I've got a film in Sony Vegas which I've graded such that all colors fall within 0 and 100 IRE. On my computer monitor, the resulting image looks washed out with no proper blacks and whites.
To judge the image on my computer monitor, I've added a Levels FX onto the track which expands the black and white levels to go from 0-255 instead of 16-235. Doing this, everything looks great.

Now the question is: how do I need to encode this? With the Levels FX turned on or off? I intend to encode using Mainconcept AVC, and this is supposed to be burned to Blu-ray and played back on standalone players.

Thanks
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Old October 9th, 2009, 08:38 AM   #2
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you should always stick to 16-235 , this is the standard and you never know how 0-255 could be interpreted (some software/device just cut, others rescale).
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Old October 10th, 2009, 07:59 AM   #3
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Okay, and everything outside of the 16-235 will get clipped to black and white when played back, right?
The reason I'm asking is because I believe the various codecs do include all the data between 0-15 and 236-255. So when the playback device realizes that there IS data in those areas, it'll still set black to 16, clipping everything below? Or do I need to make sure there is absolutely no data in these areas, basically pre-clipping before encoding?
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Old October 10th, 2009, 08:07 AM   #4
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clipping is bad

adjusting levels to avoid clipping is the way to go

I am sure most NLE have waveform monitors, follow these basic rules
How to read waveform monitor and vectorscope
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 05:59 AM   #5
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Right, so I now rendered a test video where I kept everything within 0 and 100 IRE. I encoded it using Mainconcept MPEG-2, using these color settings:
Color primaries: ITU-R Rec. 709 (1990)
Transfer: ITU-R Rec. 709 (1990)
Matrix Coefficients: ITU-R Rec. 709 (1990)

However, when I play back the video file, the colors are washed out and I get no proper white and black. I tried using Windows Media Player, DVD Architect and Power DVD.
I would think that at least DVD Architect and Power DVD should display everything the way my Blu-ray hardware player will, so I'm worried now that I'll end up with washed out colors.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 06:09 AM   #6
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be sure the PowerDVD software player does not have any visualizations set, that will stuff up the natural look
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 06:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Gotzinger View Post
Hey everyone,

this whole studio RGB thing keeps confusing me, and I'm unsure how to proceed.
Right now, I've got a film in Sony Vegas which I've graded such that all colors fall within 0 and 100 IRE. On my computer monitor, the resulting image looks washed out with no proper blacks and whites.
Thanks
3 things:

1. What Version of Vegas are you using?
2. In File > Properties what color space are you using? 8-bit or 32 bit?
3. Are you really trying to make color decisions based on what you see in your computer monitor? If so, you'll NEVER get accurate results. Rec.709 is a broadcast standard. Your TV responds to those signals very differently than your computer does.

The advice to stay in 16-235 is an interesting one. It has it's merits. I choose to work in linear gamma 0-255 from end to end and much prefer it. But since I use .mov on my timeline (specifically DNxHD) I am immune to many of the issues you guys see editing other formats.

Glenn Chan has a great page set up to discuss these issues. I suggest you read it and absorb it.

Vegas 8: Glennchan.info
Vegas 9: Color spaces and levels in Sony Vegas 9
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 07:26 AM   #8
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@Anton: all of those settings look good to me, I'm not using any visualizations.

Quote:
1. What Version of Vegas are you using?
Pro 8.0c

Quote:
2. In File > Properties what color space are you using? 8-bit or 32 bit?
8-bit

Quote:
3. Are you really trying to make color decisions based on what you see in your computer monitor? If so, you'll NEVER get accurate results. Rec.709 is a broadcast standard. Your TV responds to those signals very differently than your computer does.
I know the colors won't match 100%, but I still need correct black and white levels.

Maybe one of you could look at the short test video I rendered out? It's about 15 MB.
Test video

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Old October 22nd, 2009, 07:55 AM   #9
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This is one of those things that appears to get fuzzier as delivery formats expand. If you're delivering for broadcast, it has to be legal. Full stop. If you're delivering for DVD, I'm not sure but I don't think 16-235 is a hard and fast rule. Could be wrong about that though. Delivering for the web or computer? 16-235 is irrelevant.

Looking at the luminance parades, neither video appears to be legal. The vectorscope appears to show values out of bounds above the Yl marker. I know enough to know that you can get video closer to the way you think you want it to look with illegal values but there are other consequences.

It appears that you want high contrast images but going outside the lines is not the way to get there. Spend some time learning the finer points of color correction and you will get the look you seek.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 08:51 AM   #10
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I never work in 8-bit. EVER. Colors are never accurate. (If I am cutting only I may consider it, but once I start to color, 8-bit is a distant memory)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Gotzinger View Post
I know the colors won't match 100%, but I still need correct black and white levels.
And it's not the matter of the colors matching 100%, it's the matter that you are flying blind. Period. For the purposes of doing final color, you might as well turn your computer monitor off. It's lying to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Gotzinger View Post
Maybe one of you could look at the short test video I rendered out? It's about 15 MB.
If you plan to deliver for broadcast, Tripp has it right. Get the colors and waveform legal. Simple as that. And understand, that if you LIKE the way movies look on TV, they are being broadcast using those SAME scopes. Well, better scopes but same idea.

DVDs do NOT have to meet the same criteria as broadcast. Capture a still from a movie and pull it into your editor alongside your footage and look how it scopes. That was an excellent lesson for me when I was working in DV.

So I propose this...

Take some of your footage, set the scopes so that the video goes from 7 IRE to 100. Take that same clip and place it a little further down the timeline, set that for 0-100 IRE, then do it again and set it for -8 - +105 IRE. Render that out for DVD/BluRay using your current methods then stick it in your DVD or BluRay player connected to an actual TV. Then make your judgements.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 10:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
it's the matter that you are flying blind. Period. For the purposes of doing final color, you might as well turn your computer monitor off. It's lying to you.
You make it sound like there's some funky voodo magic going on.
My monitor is connected to the graphics card via HDMI, and my projector is connected to the Blu-ray player via HDMI. Every film frame is stored in RGB and has a value between 0 and 255. Everything is digital, so you can hardly say I'm flying blind.

If I were to connect the projector to my graphics card as a secondary display, Windows would still look like Windows, with all the same colors that I see on my monitor.

I can't burn a test disc to see what the hardware player does differently than the software players because I don't have a Blu-ray burner. I need to get this right BEFORE I send it off to have it put on Blu-ray.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 11:26 AM   #12
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It's not voodoo, it's just that there are numerous variables.

1. Whether the project properties are set to 8bit or 32 bit (in Vegas 9, there are 3 settings for this)

2. Whether you are working in 2.22 gamma or linear gamma.

3. Whether the file(s) on the timeline are studio or computer RGB

4. Whether the file you are rendering to is EXPECTING studio or RGB

5. Whether you are monitoring via Vegas DV, 3rd party DV, or something else.

That's 5 independently operating variables that all could effect what you have going on. And that doesn't include any layers or nesting that you might have in the files to try and wrangle these variables.

This is why I stay in computer RGB end to end. I have a WYSIWIG workflow that works for me. And it also allows me to output a DPX file at any point to check it with an independent viewer, histogram, RGB parade, and waveform. You can't output DPX in Vegas 8 so you need some other way to check.

Also, how you are monitoring your signal would have been CRUCIAL information from the start of this thread. Omitting that has led to you getting some answers that do not apply to your situation. Maybe someone will have the wherewithal to amend their answers to suit how you are actually monitoring.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 06:44 AM   #13
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when it comes to video of any kind, train yourself not to let Y levels go below 0 and above 100IRE

in your case, the blacks are illegal and so are the whites

here is more waveform basics
How to read waveform monitor and vectorscope

once you have that right, adjust you PC monitor contrast and brightness to your liking
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 08:45 AM   #14
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Anton's post points out another place that you could be flying blind. If your monitor is not correctly calibrated for color and luminance you are not really "seeing" what your video looks like. I selected the Colorvision Spyder to calibrate my monitors as reports on it have been good.

Without proper monitor calibration you could be flailing around in the dark.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 09:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anton Strauss View Post
when it comes to video of any kind, train yourself not to let Y levels go below 0 and above 100IRE

in your case, the blacks are illegal and so are the whites
Lorne Miess has done an fxphd course on color grading, and in at least one of his videos he willingly clips the highlights because that's the look he wants.

So does this mean I need to use some sort of filter that clips all the values below 0 IRE to 0 IRE before I encode? Once again: I WANT those values below 0 IRE to be black, all of them.

The reason why this is so annoying might be how Vegas handles this stuff. Even though I've set my waveform to Studio RGB, it does NOT clip the values at 0 IRE. It allows values all the way down to ~ -7 IRE* What I want is for everything below 0 to be black and everything above 100 to be white.

*and the preview window only displays ~ -7 IRE as pure black. 0 IRE is a dark gray.
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