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Old August 19th, 2011, 03:09 PM   #1
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Broadcast Safe, ruining colours?

Hey guys.

Hope you can help me again; I shot a music video for a yuppie local band and they want to stick it on itunes when it is finished. They mentioned that apple need the video to be broadcast safe which I didn't think would be a problem as I learned the basics about how to do it at Uni last year.

However, I'm on Vegas as I type this, trying to make everything legal so it won't blow up anyone's televisions, and my colours look awful.

I have been using the waveform monitor and Sony Levels to balance out the blacks and whites, and the whole thing - in both preview and render - looks horribly flat and boring. I have tried using the colour curves and colour correctors to make it look good again but it is just atrocious.

Am I doing something wrong? I swear the stuff I see on TV has brilliantly dark blacks and vibrant whites where as mine just look murky.

Thanks for the help in advance, guys :)
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Old August 19th, 2011, 03:29 PM   #2
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Re: Broadcast Safe, ruining colours?

I have a feeling you're trying to adjust colors on a computer monitor which frankly leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to that task. I would recomend you hook up to a TV and use that unless you have access to a production monitor that is properly calibrated. Even a TV can be wrong unless it's calibrated and since most people don't bother to adjust anything on their TV other than channels and volume you might need to do some fine tuning first.
Go back to the RAW footage see what it looks like on the properly adjusted TV or production monitor then use the various CC tools in Vegas as needed.
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Old August 19th, 2011, 03:46 PM   #3
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Re: Broadcast Safe, ruining colours?

I am indeed using a computer monitor to adjust the colours. I know that is a bad thing because of the inaccuracies involved, however I need it to look good on a computer monitor as well seeing as the majority of viewers will be viewing it online or - as the band will be when I show them the edit - on a computer monitor. I don't understand how making it broadcast safe would fine on a TV but not on a monitor when the majority of people who view music videos on itunes are viewing them on a monitor.

The biggest issue is the fact that my initial edit looked great on my monitor but as soon as I had to adjust the levels for broadcast safety, it looked flat and boring.

Thanks for the help, Don :)
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Old August 19th, 2011, 06:37 PM   #4
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Re: Broadcast Safe, ruining colours?

I'm running Media Composer but the concept I'll describe here should work for you as well.

The bottom line is simple - You can't create only ONE color correction setup that will look good for both PC and TV.

How I do it is to always color correct TV. If I am going to create a PC version I have a CC effect setup to push up the color and brightness while bringing down the blacks. This would result in the TV world with a lot of clipping and ugliness but when I export to a computer resultant video file it looks great.

All I have to do in Media Composer is create a video track on top of everything else and drop down the "PC" color correction preset I've saved into the effect library. Render out to QT or Windows Media and done.

Make it once and use it many times.
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Old August 20th, 2011, 10:06 AM   #5
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Re: Broadcast Safe, ruining colours?

Correct. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
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Old August 20th, 2011, 03:40 PM   #6
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Re: Broadcast Safe, ruining colours?

not wanting to oversimplify a complex subject, but,
IMO a clip graded to sRGB(16-235) played on a computer will look a whole lot better (may look a bit soft),
than the same clip graded to cRGB levels played on a TV ( where all grays become black and anything almost white is blown).
So if you have to go with one...................
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Old August 20th, 2011, 07:19 PM   #7
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Re: Broadcast Safe, ruining colours?

Answer these questions and we will be able to help you better:
1. Which version of vegas? 8 or 9/10?
2. What is your source format? avchd? hdv? h264?
3. Are you monitoring using only the preview window? or do you have a second computer monitor that you use for the full screen preview?
4. What is your output format? mp4?
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