David Cecil

Color Fidelity on Export question

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(edited)

Hey everyone. I know this is a very tried and true question, but even after flipping through the other forum posts regarding this I'm still at a loss for how to solve this issue. 

I currently am working through a project in a color managed timeline outputting to rec.709. The pipeline is via a custom ACES workflow that is somewhat similar to something posted on MixingLight, though with Panasonic footage being deliver through an ACES input node to ACES 1.3 and cct, corrected and graded, then an output node taking the ACES 1.3 cct into Rec.709. My project color science is Davinci YRGB since I was doing the color management on the node level, and timeline color space is in ACES and ACEScct since that's what I was transforming the footage into in order to not have to tell the HDR wheels what the input and gamma are directly. I then have it tagged in the render page as rec.709, gamma 2.4.

I have also calibrated my work monitors via a X-rite i1 Display Pro Plus (my workplace does not currently have the funding for a correct video monitor output, so I am left to the iMac display for grading and reference. Also, they have me working in non optimal grading conditions, i.e. office lights above me, ambient light coming through numerous windows, etc.). My settings for video/data input levels in the render page are on auto as well since I knew touching that could really mess up the final delivery.

As can already be assumed, my exports are looking incredibly washed out when sending them for review on Framei.o. I have also made a private link on YouTube just to check the colors briefly, with the results being the same. I have checked Mozilla, Chrome, and Safari as well and they have the same washed out feel, which definitely indicates that I am missing something and am just wanting to figure out what.  

Moreover, I have brought the exported file back into Resolve on an entirely different project, and the colors are exactly as I graded them in the other project. That new project had nothing changed in it as far as color settings (still maintaining Davinci YRGB as the science, though opened with the standard Rec.709 Scene it provides as a timeline color space. No nodes or correcting were done to the image). I also exported a version to take home with me onto my Windows setup (also calibrated via the same X-rite, though in a much more controlled environment), and the file that was put into Davinci there looked near identical to what was being showcased to me in Frame.io on Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, causing me even more confusion.

I have looked at the files in VLC and QT, though I know that can be somewhat of a false starter as VLC doesn't really do Color management in the background and just shows exactly what you deliver to it, and I do color tagging to help QT get within the ballpark of the correct color field (not "entirely" correct, but enough to judge it as a slight shift). 

Since this project is primarily living on web, should I switch the ODT to sRGB instead? That would mean putting a trim pass right before it though to maintain the same color I'm currently grading, however, so I didn't know if would solve the problem. 

While I'm fairly certain a large portion of this can attributed to trying to grade in such a bright and uncontrolled environment, I'm also wanting to ensure I'm dotting as many i's and crossing t's as possible. I also think some of the issue is definitely not having the availability of a dedicated reference monitor and trying to work just on the desktop display, but given that's all that's available, trying to make it as best as possible with the situation at hand is probably the only route, unfortunately. If anyone has any other ideas towards what can be done to aid with this, I would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Edited by David Cecil
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