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Old January 5th, 2006, 03:10 AM   #1
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WHY IS THE CLIP LOOSING LIGHT ON MY NLEs

Hello guys,
I have a problem, I have Sony Vegas and After Effect.

I have already captured the footage on Vegas, anytime I add a footage to the Vegas or After Effect's timeline, the footage tends to loose lights. The same thing is happening in vegas.
Whereas, if I try to play the footage directly from Windows Media Player, it tends to be really nice and bright just like I shot it even though, you can still feel the loss which is probably due to the monitor.
Anyways, the footages tends to be much more darker on my NLEs (Vegas and AE) but shows almost perfect when being played on Windows Media Player, what could be the cause of this and how can I fix it please?


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Eniola.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 08:18 AM   #2
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WHERE are you seeing this? On the computer display? Or on an external monitor? They are different! Check the output on an external monitor and see if it doesn't look correct.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 10:10 AM   #3
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Edward,
Thanks for the response.
Ok, when you capture a footage from your camcorder. It is saved as a WMV file which you can play back just by double clicking on it. If I play it, it shows fine with no major sign of pixel loss or whatever, but once I open Vegas 6c or After Effect and I add any of the captured clip to the time line for editing, the clip gets to be darker and not as sharp as if I played it on the Window Media player.
The only NLE that I was able to get a very sharp image when I added the clip to the editing timeline was with Premier Pro 1.5, but the Premier pro was a trial version :(.
I am not sure but probably I need to modify some settings on the NLEs to get my raw, clear and sharp footage back. Because I don't know why it is so sharp on WMP but not on my NLEs.

This happens on my Windows Monitor attached to my Box.


Help guys.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 10:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eniola Akintoye
Ok, when you capture a footage from your camcorder. It is saved as a WMV file which you can play back just by double clicking on it.
Mine captures as a DV-AVI file - NOT a WMV file.

The computer monitor IS different that the external monitor.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 10:51 AM   #5
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Yeah, it is .avi file but plays back on WMP. I don't know what you mean by External Monitor, or you meant something like a TV. Well, I am using a CRT monitor that came with the computer.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 02:28 PM   #6
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Eniola,

Certainly either WMP or your NLE are not displaying it correctly. I would guess WMP is not playing it correctly, since the NLE's are better tuned for professional results.

Regardless, you cannot trust your computer monitor. You need to have an external TV monitor, and it needs to be properly calibrated. That's the only way to know what this stuff will look like. If you can get that setup, you can then calibrate your computer monitor to match the TV set, in which case you can get pretty close.

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Old January 5th, 2006, 02:54 PM   #7
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Josh,
Thanks for the response.
I think it is the NLEs that are not displaying it correctly because the footages I shot lookes really nice and sharp when I played it back using my WMP.
I would actually like to use an external monitor like my TV (if that is what you meant by an external monitor) since I have a 37" Flat screen Sony TV with 4:3 and 16:9 letter box features.
Besides that, it makes the vidoe look really really sweet, clear, and sharp.

I which I can connect my computer to it for editing since it will provide me with the best color details during color correction.

Last edited by Eniola Akintoye; January 5th, 2006 at 06:18 PM.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 02:57 PM   #8
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Vegas does display video differently that WMP does (at least in Vegas 6, and in V5 too I think). The newer versions of Vegas have the Vegas DV codec, which uses the 16-235 color space (instead of 0-255).

So black level in the video gets translated into 16 16 16 RGB instead of 0 0 0 RGB, and white goes to 235 instead of 255. This is a good thing because it clips off less information from the original video.

This doesn't however explain why the video is darker. It only explains why the video appears with low contrast.

2- Windows Media Player may have some sort of video card overlay going on. The video card can alter the colors of the WMP output.

3- To figure out how your video actually looks, try this:

Hook up an external monitor to your Vegas system.
Read this article for instructions.

Calibrate black level on that monitor.
See http://www.sundancemediagroup.com/ar...s_part_one.htm

You should also calibrate white level. One way to do this:
Turn the contrast control all the way down (by contrast, the TV manufacturers actually mean white level and not contrast at all). Increase it until the white bar (in the lower left part of SMPTE bars) no longer appears grey or dim. You should never set white level lower than this.

The other way of doing things:
Also look at the white bar and begin by setting white level all the way down. Increase it until you see the image do one of two things:
The electron beam loses focus. You will see the white part blur into adjoining regions. And you will see the raster lines blur into each other (the raster lines are the bunch of horizontal lines you see if you put your nose up against the monitor).
There is geometric distortion- the picture slightly changes shape.
To make it easier to spot this distortion, put a piece of paper on the monitor until you see just a sliver of the white bar.

Raise white level to the point just before distortion. If the white appears dim or grey, make a compromise and increase white level until the white bar appears white and not dim.


Start a new Vegas project. Go into file > project properties (alt+enter) and match the settings to the .avi clip (it's DV AVI right?). The match settings icon looks like a folder.

Import the media and see what it looks like on an external monitor. I assume you are targetting television sets and not computer monitors for distribution (i.e. DVD and not web streaming).

4- I would not calibrate a computer monitor to match a TV set. That however is a preference on how you want to work.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 12:57 AM   #9
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for analog connections ( don't know about DVI)
your graphic card has NO affect on the video playing inside WMP or QT player .. the graphic card will affect the whole desktop area and all areas of WMP except the video image playing .. to fine tune WMP play back SMPTE bars and then adjust the bars using the monitor CC/brightness controls ( not graphic cards - you might set graphic card CC to nuetral positions) ...
once you have WMP adjusted ..
open vegas and drop SMPTE color bars in TL .. then adjust the color bars using the computers graphic card CC/brightness etc ( do not touch the monitor settings) ... once set then SAVE the setting as IE: "Vegas editing "... you might need separate settings for word , photoshop etc .. onced save you can later reload the settings ...

once WMP & Vegas is set to BARS they should match .. if you change any setting on your monitor it will throw both WMP & vegas out .
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Old January 6th, 2006, 11:16 AM   #10
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I had this problem with Vegas. It drove me round the bend. I fixed it on my system by using the Main Concept DV codec instead. Much better IMHO.

Again, I think it relates to the colour levels, ie 16-235, whereas the Mainconcept codec uses 0-255
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Old January 6th, 2006, 12:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
your graphic card has NO affect on the video playing inside WMP or QT player .. the graphic card will affect the whole desktop area and all areas of WMP except the video image playing .. to fine tune WMP play back SMPTE bars and then adjust the bars using the monitor CC/brightness controls ( not graphic cards - you might set graphic card CC to nuetral positions) ...
From what I remember, Nvidia/ATI video cards have controls for the overall image and for video overlay. The video overlay controls will affect the video image in WMP but not all the overall desktop.

I can't test this out right now because I don't have the control panel stuff for my ATI card installed.

2- "Adjust your computer monitor to SMPTE/color bars"
In my opinion, you should not do this. To clarify, it depends what color bars you use. I'll assume the color bars in Vegas (not to be confused with other color bars, which can be different). If you do this:
A- You can't match Vegas to WMP if using the Vegas defaults. Vegas uses the Vegas DV codec, which decodes black to 16 and white to 235. WMP decodes black to 0 and white to 255.
B- If you set the monitor to color bars in Vegas, then your computer monitor won't display computer graphics or streaming video properly. It'll clip blacks at 16. And depending on the monitor, it may or may not clip whites at 235 (some monitors, especially CRTs, can't be set to clip whites).

If you hook up a broadcast monitor to your editing setup, then you will be able to see video accurately. And if you set your monitor normally (black at 0, white at 255) then you see computer graphics properly.

3- Using a DV codec other than the Sony Vegas DV codec:
In my opinion, you should not do this. The main disadvantages are:
A- Confusing. Someone else may be expecting Vegas to be using the default codec and 16-235 levels (as opposed to 0-255). If you talk with people on forums like this, what they say may only apply to the default codec.

B- You lose more color information from the original DV signal.

DV is stored in Y'CbCr form. The Y' component is the luma component. Luma values range from 1-254 (0 and 255 are reserved). Legal luma values are from 16-235.
Cb Cr store color difference components.
The Y'CbCr color space is a lot bigger than RGB color space, so extreme colors will get lost/clipped when converting to Y'CbCr to studio RGB (16-235). Converting to computer RGB will lose even more information. You will lose the superwhites (losing 0.3+ stops of exposure latitude).

C- Test patterns won't display correctly. The color bars in Vegas are only appropriate for Studio RGB (which is what the default codec decodes to). Using it with the Main Concept encoder will mean Vegas cannot output the blacker than black PLUGE bar. It may be possible to temporarily switch over to the default codec for test patterns- I don't know if this works myself. With the Main Concept codec, you may need to apply studio RGB to computer RGB conversion on the color bars generator (I haven't tried).
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Old January 6th, 2006, 03:58 PM   #12
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I tried changing the setting on my monitor but it only has the usual
Red, Blue and Green adjustment bottons. I guess I still have to play around it the more.
I was able to connect the Computer to my XL2 and the my Sony TV.
Definitely, it was 70% much better and besides, I could see how my color correction is doing.

Ok, I finish with the color correction + editing + animation bla bla bla. Will the rendered or finished clip look like the way I saw it on my TV or will it have the quality it did when I previewed it on my CRT monitor?.

The reason why I am asking is because I captured a clip late last year and after editing and rendering it, the quality of the clip wasn't really like I saw it when I was playing it directly on my TV from my XL2? Basicly, the quality reduced. Could this be because of the loss of quality in capturing + editing + rendering + Burning on a DVD?
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Old January 6th, 2006, 04:27 PM   #13
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Oh, for sure the rendering, but especially the encoding to DVD is going to cut quality, even if done under optimal conditions. DVD is highly compressed MPEG-2 compared to lightly compressed DV. That is to be expected. However, quality aside, the brightness/colors should look the same on DVD from what you are now seeing on your TV. That's the point of an external monitor.

Did you calibrate the TV with color bars?
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Old January 7th, 2006, 05:36 PM   #14
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i guess it all comes down to how your finished project is viewed ??

you shouldn't be judging your image with WMP unless the web is your delivery format !! the web is 0-255 ..

however if TV/monitor/broadcast is you delivery then that is 601 spec which is 16-235rgb ( vegas codec) .. microsoft, mainconcepts etc are not 601 spec's = a 0-255 image will not display correctly on a NTSC monitor ...
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