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Old 03-12-2008, 02:36 PM   #1
totalfreedom
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Default How to fix an MPEG-4 H.264 video conversion 'wash out' issue?

Hi all,

I'm using Procoder 3 and I'm a big fan of this powerful tool - II have migrated from Cleaner XL 1.5.

I mainly use it to transcode to MPEG-2, WMV, RM.

I'm very happy with the overall results but I also need to transcode the same video assets to Quicktime h.264 the best alternative/option I have is to use Compressor in a Mac only because I can't find a solution for the 'wash out' issue in Procoder. [see 1st attachment]

The target profile that I'm using:

System > QuickTime Export File > MPEG-4 > Video H.264... in Video Options I have selected 'Baseline' and 'Best quality (Multi-pass)' and I think it does 4-pass.
[see 2nd attachment]

After spending hours to find a solution I came across with one website* that shows how to fix it i.e: each file manually.
That means that the idea of using an automatic workflow (e.g. watch folders with targets for streaming servers) doesn't really work with these type of solution.

* After you create the QuickTime/h.264 file, open it up in QuickTime and select "Show Movie Properties." Highlight the video track then click on the "Visual Settings" tab. Towards the bottom left you should see "Transparency" with a drop-down box next to it. Select "Blend" from the menu then move the "Transparency Level" slider to 100%. Right after that, choose "Straight Alpha" from the same drop-down and close the properties window. AND finally, "Save."

It's important to mention that this 'wash out' issue only happens if playing in QT Player on a PC (I tried in 6 different PCs). The same file in a Mac its perfect.

Finding a solution will make my workflow much faster and my clients very happy :).

Any help much appreciated.

Thanks,

Fred
Attached Images
File Type: png procoder3_screen.png (40.0 KB, 28 views)
File Type: png procoder3_vs_compressor.png (173.3 KB, 30 views)
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Old 03-13-2008, 12:19 AM   #2
GrassValley_BH
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From what you've shown so far it appears to be a problem rooted in the Gamma uncertainty between PC and Mac... Unfortunately even Mac-centric has some gamma strangeness.

On a similar note, many games now have "calibration" screens that appear in the setup so the user can calibrate their monitor.

Maybe one of the Mac users has some nice solution...
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:04 PM   #3
totalfreedom
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Thanks Brandon.

When you say "Maybe one of the Mac users has some nice solution..." i think you didn't understand my problem.
"...this 'wash out' issue only happens if playing in QT Player on a PC (I tried in 6 different PC’s). The same file in a Mac its perfect." - My problem is on PCs not on Macs.

Can anyone tell if they use Procoder to export/output QuickTime H.264 files - if yes, what are the basic guidelines or what output profile they use.

My aim is to export files similar to Apple Trailers website.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:10 PM   #4
GrassValley_BH
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I understood, it's just the Mac users (like StormDave) have more experience with exchanging files between Mac and PC... :)

Probably the easiest way to compensate is to use the Gamma Correction filter in ProCoder, but if it really is a gamma problem, you're going to get a different look depending on what platform the viewer is on, no matter how you encode it.
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Old 03-14-2008, 01:32 AM   #5
totalfreedom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrassValley_BH View Post
I understood, it's just the Mac users (like StormDave) have more experience with exchanging files between Mac and PC... :)
Sorry, you are right!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrassValley_BH View Post
Probably the easiest way to compensate is to use the Gamma Correction filter in ProCoder, but if it really is a gamma problem, you're going to get a different look depending on what platform the viewer is on, no matter how you encode it.
I agree. Again, you are right :)

I just hope that someone here can share their experience exporting QuickTime H.264 files.
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:55 PM   #6
GrassValley_BH
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Ben Waggoner has been doing it for a while so he probably has some insight in his books and such.

Also, if you find someone with a boxed copy of ProCoder 1.x, there was a nice book in there based off on one of Ben's books. Explains a lot about human perception as well as encoding technologies and the challenges of consistent delivery.
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:55 PM   #7
totalfreedom
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Thanks Brandon.

I began this thread showing all the steps that I have been doing to create QT H.264 files.

I was hoping that more people would come forward and share their experience when it comes on outputting this very common type of file - largely used in all types of websites.

I will not quit from Procoder until I find a solution - unless someone confirms that Procoder is not able to do the job.
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Old 03-17-2008, 01:47 AM   #8
Khoi Pham
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I use Encore to encoded H.264 for Blu-ray and it also wash out, so for now I'm only using MPEG2 codec.
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:30 AM   #9
STORMDAVE
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There seems to be a gamma shift with H.264 files created even unde OSX. I will do a bit of research on this and keep you guys posted....this seems to be a QT issue.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:16 PM   #10
STORMDAVE
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Guys, here's an interesting article regarding this issue:

http://sprynthesis.com/blog/?page_id=51


Some info from Apple themselves, but this is not really related to H264, but Quicktime itself:

http://www.apple.com/support/shake/lbn/40/#Gamma
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