Bug: Adobe Media Encoder is shifting color when rendering to h264 codec MP4
After Effects and Adobe Media Encoder 2020 are rendering h264 codec MP4s too bright. The colors are washed out slightly and what I'm assuming is a gamma shift. I'm using Windows 10, After Effects v17.1.4, Adobe Media Encoder v14.4, and Nvidia driver 451.77.
This issue does not exist on After Effects 2019 and Adobe Media Encoder 2019. The MP4s look as you would expect, using identical settings for export.
One additional finding was that using After Codecs plugin, I'm able to export an MP4 using the x264 codec and the colors are correct. That is also using AE and AME 2020. So, from what I'm gathering there is definitely an issue with AME 2020.
I find this annoying issue with nearly every release of AME, and have had it pop up off and on since 2004. This is not an issue with playback between video players, but specifically a color shift in the actual render. I'm not using any display profiles, and have After Effects set to not use a Workspace color profile in Project settings. Have also tested rendering the files with and without Hardware encoding turned on.
Would be happy to send additional info or files if needed. Thank you!
Edward Kwok commented
I had the same problem. To solve it, I created a "MOV" file from After Effects and then adding it to Adobe Media Encoder to create the "MP4" file. Alternatively, make sure the "Working (Colour) Space" is set to "None" in the "Project Settings" in After Effects. Hope this helps. :)
Alexander Chernyh commented
I am having the same problem. When I submit encoding to H.265 from AfterEffects to MediaEncoder, I have color shift. The output is brighter and colors are washed out. If I render output directly from AE to TGA sequence the output colors are fine. If I load this TGA sequence to Media Encoder and make H.265 MP4 file then output is fine. Color connection between AfterEffects and MediaEncoder is broken.
lucia merlo commented
I don't know if it helps, but I found the solution to my colour shift here:
"Try to change VBR to CBR and/or bitrate to at least 20mbps"
Mar Gomez commented
Same issue, plus now my files are not looking HD. I am working with vectors, continuously raster is on. I don't get it.
Adbul Gafur Kalburgi IT-Center-287939 commented
Same issue here please help, its taking **** lot of time to export , export from after effects and then re export from premier to get h264
Stefan Walke commented
Same issue. Same issue. Same issue. Same issue!
ITS INSANE! I Hello Adobe, are you still alive!? Im going to switch to Davinci Resolve as soon as possible,. Im not taking this mismanagement any longer! And because AE is rendering now and blocking me from working on it,, I got a lot of time trying out Davinci Resolve.
Jan Szu commented
I have this issue for years. :(
Countless work hours lost because of it.
Umang Mital commented
Thanks for the feedback.
We need your help in reproducing the issue. If possible, please share a sample project(with media) and output file.
Michael Heid commented
Same issue here. Been going on for a while. PLEASE FIX
Nick West commented
Same issue here. Colour management is on, working space is sRGB.
I discovered that if I export to media encoder from AE then the resulting file (H.264) has the gamma shift. BUT, if I export directly from AE first to DNxHD the resulting file matches my viewport perfectly, and if I then convert this file to H.264 using ME it still matches! So the issue must be somewhere between AE and ME.
Axel Ketz commented
I'm having the issue when I export a mp4 from the AE Render Queue to AME. The wired thing is, when I use in AE "Add Composition to Media Encoder Queue", there is NO color shift. But that work around is annoying. Please fix it.
I've been having the same issue. The After Codecs plugin or rendering a png sequence directly out of AE and exporting to mp4 with Resolve seem like the most reliable workarounds.
As far as I can tell, there isn't even a way to submit this type of thing to Adobe as a bug report. Their tech support will waste hours of your time and refuse to file it as a bug.
Davinci Resolve / Fusion doesn't seem to have any issues with this. Switching to those will probably end up being the permanent fix. Trying to work around these issues with every new release isn't worth it at this point.
Pawel Kryszak commented
I'm having the same issue, but with all *.mov containers as well. It's driving me mad. Adobe from PRO software became very amateur. I can't keep my delivery consistency in check.