Karen Engel

Karen Engel

Is there some secret to optimize color in videos for playback?
Color is great while editing (calibrated monitor), but once it goes online the color is way over saturated. Skin tones comes out like little red devil/demons.
Safari, Opera, Firefox - no difference. I've tried the recommended settings for OSX -
Also tried .mov and mpeg-4 formats - no difference.

I used export to Quicktime -
Compression Type: H.264
Frame Rate: 30
Data Rate: Automatic
Key Frames: Automatic
Frame Reordering: Unchecked

To confirm it's not my monitor or browsers - other videos here look good - just not mine (after upload)!

Short sample of my bad color in link

Link: vimeo.com/32835968

Ian Durkin

Ian Durkin Staff

Hi Karen, sorry for the trouble. Because we do transcode all videos that are uploaded to Vimeo in order to optimize their online playback, the original video will always look better than the version on Vimeo. We try to minimize this change in quality but unfortunately, it is the nature of online video. Consequently, I recommend color correcting according to what the end result is showing you. Because you are noticing that reds are being boosted after being uploaded, try lowering them in your editing software.

Karen Engel

Karen Engel

I think ultimately this has something to do with too many generation losses and conversions on the example I posted.

Original video captured from a browser window (Safari - color managed but already incorrect color)
Screen capture app (SnapzProX record resolution limitations and maybe color issues too)
Export from screen capture app to compressed format
Import/Export to/from iMovie or SimpleMovieX
Import/compress on Vimeo/YT etc.
Plack back in Flash - terrible color management - really really bad.
Play back in another browser - more inaccurate color.

Add all this up together compounding one on top of the other and you see the result!

I did find something interesting in Vimeo - "Couch View" seemed to have better color.
Anyway, I've since uploaded other regular (non-screen capture) video and had far less color issues -
vimeo.com/33072405
Not perfect color, but much better!

Ian Durkin

Ian Durkin Staff

Okay, I'm glad you were able to get better colors out of your video. That is interesting about Couch Mode having better colors, I will look into it.

Michael Romano

Michael Romano

Aside from the compression artifacts, the web lives in sRGB, not REC709/601 or DCI-P3 color spaces. What this means is that when viewing through a browser window, even on the same display you corrected with, your gamma and colormetric information will look different. Best bet is to get a LUT that translates from your program working space to sRGB. I won't lie though, with all the variation in end user monitors you'll never get it to look the same across all screens. Even browsers treat images differently - Safari is the only one that will respect color space info as of right now and the rest default to sRGB. Even MORE complicating is that if you're viewing in a flash based viewer it has the potential to be different from an HTML5 based viewer. Vimeo supports both I believe. Ugh! Correcting to sRGB before compression is the best bet but you'll never win!

Good luck - Mike

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