I think I finally got to the bottom of the washed out Quicktime movies I’ve been experiencing. I had been noticing for some time that H.264 movies I created on my machine tended to have the colors look washed out compared to what I’d see in the Final Cut timeline. The weirder thing was when I’d upload the video to Vimeo or Youtube, the movie would look a lot closer to the timeline version. After contacting Larry Jordan through his Digital Production Buzz podcast, and Googling this yet again for the tenth time, I’ve found 2 ways to address it…
Larry Jordan informed me Compressor’s settings for H.264 encoding is whacked. The adjustments he recommends involve adding 2 filters:
- A Gamma filter set to 1.05
- A Color Correct Midtones filter with red, blue, and green set to 3
The other option comes from Ahrengot’s blog. It involves 2 steps:
- Have Compressor create your H.264 movie the way it’s always created it for you
- Then perform an additional exporting step via Quicktime Pro using the x264Encode encoding
Of the two solutions, the x264Encode approach yielded the most color accurate results, which leads me to believe the issue I’ve been seeing is really a Gamma bug in Quicktime Pro. I plan to give the x264Encode approach another try on the next project I complete. I’ll make sure to post some details then on what I find.