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creativesau

h.264 Quicktime issue - Altered colors in OSX 10.8

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I've observed some rather serious issue in QT 7 & X yesterday which must be caused by a buggy h.264 component.

 

QT renders the colors of my latest h.264 files way too bright, while VLC and the Adobe CC decode them correctly. I've already observed that issue happening across different web browsers and video players back in 2013, which has led me to write an article about it back then; But by the time I had documented the whole shabang and was about to release the article, the issue had magically disappeared - there must have been a system or software update that fixed the issue.

 

Now the issue is back.

 

A client of mine has been repeatedly complaining about the luminance of a color, which I already had lowered a few times. And as it came out, he's on the latest Mac Pro using the Quicktime Player. I told him to check the file in VLC, and he confirmed that everything was fine.

 

I'll be telling my clients to use the VLC player in the future, and so should you.

I'm on OSX. 10.8, by the way.

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The troubles you got ain't new. QT's been a bastard to color for a while now. If it makes you feel better last night I was having issues w/ renders looking washed out (sounds like the opposite problem you had but in the same software) in both 7 and X. VLC looked fine, AE CC looked fine.

 

There's a desperate need for an industry wide QT killer. not sure if it's vlc but that may do for now.

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if you have any success do share. Its a bit over my head. I usually just output png sequences and then someone at the end of the line does all the compression. But sometimes i do send preview renders and when they get opened in the wrong player (quicktime) they look terrible and everyone is dissapointed, until i explain to them that real designers don't use macs anymore and everyone feels embarassed...

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so as far as I can tell it works like this:

 

vp8 is their codec specification, it writes to webM files. it was meant to compete w/ h264. now it's an arms race for the next gen and HEVC (h265) is already the front runner but google is working on vp9. this is all to be able to bring people 4k content, most of which will be imperceptible in most home configurations. google is already working on a vp10

 

looks like the best option for encoding to all this stuff is ffmpeg which currently supports vp8 and some of vp9 but it's not optimized. and if you don't want to deal w/ ffmpeg's ui or command line interface you can now buy an AEScript (thanks lloyd) and deal with it right in after effects.

 

someone please elaborate on what I'm sure is an appallingly over simplified understanding of all this.

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Highly recommend using ffmpeg. x264 >>>> QT h264.

 

With that new aempeg script, it should be reallly easy to do. I used to export to Lossless and then encode to x264 using x264 CLI or ffmpeg. This is way easier

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the way I've worked around it in the past is to just oversaturate your render and hope it looks right in quicktime. then deliver saturated and unsaturated versions to the client and let them pick.

 

it sucks but if you're dependent on quicktime there's not much you can do.

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