Why does my video's color change from preview to rendered?

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  • Updated 5 months ago
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  • (Edited)
When I export videos in any format I've tried (avi, mov, mp4, wmv) the white is showing up as slightly greyish beige, even though in the preview window inside Camtasia it looks proper pure white. It may be that the whole video is somewhat murkier, I am not sure, but this is not acceptable export quality for my business.
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Damon Muma

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Posted 8 years ago

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Kelly Mullins, TechSmith Employee & Helper

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Hello,
I'm sorry you are having this trouble.
Is there a way you can share one of your videos with us so we can see this? You can upload it to Screencast.com if you have an account and share the link with me at k.mullins@techsmith.com. You can also send the video as an attachment to that same email address.

As a first shot at troubleshooting, do you have your computer properties set to High Color (32 bit)? It could be if your system is set to Medium Color (16 bit) your video palette is being skewed.
Here is how you can change your system colors:



Let us know if this helps.
Kelly
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Dave O'Rourke, Senior Software Engineer

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This can happen when your screen is set to 16-bit color instead of 24-bit or 32-bit color. For example, last night I was connected via remote desktop, which was set to lower the color depth in order to preserve bandwidth. The result was that some of the whites turned a little bit grey.

Or, the player that you're using is doing some type of color conversion. You can check this by trying different video players to see if you get consistent results.

Can you share a screenshot (or better yet, the video) that shows the color change you're describing?

Hope this helps.
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Nis

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I'm having a similar problem. It reminds me of a gamma issue, but it's been a long time since I've dealt with such stuff and I've forgottten everything.

In my case I've exported an MP4, and gotten a slightly grey result. If I use the WMV container, the video is white, and if I use a flash controller for the MP4, it's white.

I'm concerned about cross-platform functionality so I want to use an MP4, but due to the method of sharing the file I can't use a flash controller.

Any ideas how I can get, I guess a higher contrast MP4 without a flash controller?
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derk

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I have this same issue too, and it has nothing to do with monitor settings. Submitted a ticket, not happy.
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StephenKiers2

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Any news on this issue. I have the same problem. Blue goes from our brand blue to a very different shade.
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David Patton, Employee

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Hi @StephenKiers2,

Could you please show me a screenshot of what you're looking at? I want to see how it's changing hue. Thanks!

Best,
David Patton
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StephenKiers2

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Here is a jing video of the problem. Also, I have left both videos (good and bad in the account). :) 
http://screencast.com/t/VUyCeqXMv7
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StephenKiers2

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So, maybe my issue is a screencast.com problem, not so much an export problem. RE: @Kevin Mojek
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kayakman, Champion

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I too see color changes; for me, these are mostly browser dependent; IE = closest to tp seen in project; with chrome, greens and blues are shifted
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Kevin Mojek, Employee

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For things like logos or branding images that may have a lot of solid-color content, color shifting can be introduced both during the production to MP4 and by the player. To minimize any color shift from production, your best bet is to go the custom production settings route and choose the 'High' H.264 profile which will do a better job of preserving color fidelity than the default settings:

With those settings, local playback in Windows Media Player should match up very close to what you see in preview. However, not all mobile devices will support video encoded to high profile so there may be a trade-off between color fidelity and device compatibility.

Also, I think kayakman is right, different browsers may have their own unique color shifting which may be unpredictable. I don't know of a good solution to that problem.
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cathy.raymond

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Having the same problem.   I don't believe it's anything to do with screen settings.   I've produced my video using the custom settings option and the first frame of the video has the correct white background - but as soon as I hit play, it goes purplish grey right through until it rests at the last frame and it goes to the correct white again.


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Alex

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I see the same problem. My first idea was that this is due to the headroom and footroom in Rec. 709 which only allows values between 16 and 235. So, white would be stored as 235/235/235 (R/G/B) instead of 255/255/255. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rec._709)

The question is, how can I force the encoder to ignore headroom and footroom?
(Edited)
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rodney

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ATTENTION - This issue is not being resolved as is quite concerning.

Camtasia canvas colour is on the left of the screen shot below (the correct colour)

The preview of the exported .mp4 video file is on the right, a different awful colour.

 

There seems to be no settings that I can look into, adjust etc to try and fix this issue.  It seems to drastically change the colour which is very frustrating as this is not our branding and we have purchased this software on multiple devices now, we really need a solution for this please and urgently.

Appreciate any support and comments from others too.  Thanks in advance :)
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kayakman, Champion

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try a custom production; on video settings tab, set H264 profile to high, encoding mode to quality [should be default setting], with slider at about 70% [closer to higher quality]

does that help?

I have seen different colors displayed by different browsers also
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rodney

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I tried that and other combinations recommended / suggested by TechSmith support with no luck, in the end I think I might have to use a combination of Camtasia and Premier, a bit annoying

"
   The other factor is likely one you don't want to hear: Camtasia's compression algorithm. It might be a case where the algorithm we are using has a hard time accounting for that exact shade or color when exporting, and we do not have any settings available to directly account for that. It might be possible to do an Advanced export to MOV, and use one of the available codecs there to get different results, but I cannot guarantee it."
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alcohen750

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I can't believe this has been going on for years and they haven't fixed it.  I just purchased a one year subscription and I think I made a mistake.
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rmcvey

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I am also having this issue, with the most recent version of Camtasia (8.5.1 as I write this). I'm flabbergasted that TechSmith hasn't made this an urgent priority. It makes their product completely unusable for one of its primary functions -- making videos to distribute to others.
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Fred Grover, Champion

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I have been out of the game for awhile but I have not ran into this issue so I might have to give the latest version a try and see what happens for me. I am also hoping that a TechSmith Employee might jump in here with an explanation and a solution for the fix and it will hopefully be recognized and fixed in the next upgrade or new version.

Is anyone else having this same problem that has tried to reproduce the problem. If the ones who are having the problems could share the settings they are using during production I will see what happens when I try it with the same settings. Sorry to hear about this problem and thanks for posting. have a great day/night. Let us know what TechSmith Support has said if you have contacted them and got a response back please.
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rodney

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This is the response I got, which I had posted above from TechSmith support...not very good.

Hello Rodney,

If you play back the exported video in a different media player (such as VLC or QuickTime, depending on what you used here), does the color look any different? Certain media players can interpret the color values differently, leading to some differences in visuals. It is my understanding that QuickTime tends to be the worst offender when it comes to changes in color - though I will note that I'm a bit color deficient, so I'm going off the word of our developers!

The other factor is likely one you don't want to hear: Camtasia's compression algorithm. It might be a case where the algorithm we are using has a hard time accounting for that exact shade or color when exporting, and we do not have any settings available to directly account for that. It might be possible to do an Advanced export to MOV, and use one of the available codecs there to get different results, but I cannot guarantee it.

Kind Regards,

Parker

Senior Support Specialist

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rodney

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I have to use Premiere for the colour intro and outro, so very annoying and time consuming.  Video editing already takes so long.
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cathy.raymond

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I reported it.  The issue was acknowledged as being known but any suggestion of them working to resolve the issue was pretty much blown off and excuses provided.


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cathy.raymond

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Their response :

 

Sep 05 01:17 PM

Hi Cathy,

Im afraid this is a result of the lossy MP4 compression. We change the color to reduce on file size. We're not doing it on purpose and it's different for every video. Im afraid I don't have a good workaround for you. The reason the first frame and last screen are white are because they are images and are not put through that same MP4 compression.

We see this mostly with white going to gray. It's hard to notice with any other colors.

Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.


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Fred Grover, Champion

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Thanks for the feedback and I would probably have to say they are not blowing it off or making excuses at least I would hope not. They may have other features they are putting in that are priority over this issue but, I would have to say I hope they can do something about it to get the problem resolved.

In defense of TechSmith though I have to agree that some video players handle the color algorithms and such as I have seen that problem in different situations and on different monitors or HDTV's too.

Maybe TechSmith will chime in on this issue and let us know if they are looking into this problem. Thanks again for all the feedback as that is what helps others and TechSmith to get the users point of views and conccerns. Have a great day/night and I will keep my fingers crossed they chime in.
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cathy.raymond

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Seriously?  This post has been running for 3 years - I really don't understand that you can defend TechSmiths lack of action on this.

If I can't make a video with a white background that does not turn grey then that's a fairly big issue.   If I cannot make a video that correctly replicates the colour of the company logo, then that's a big issue.  

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Kelly Mullins, TechSmith Employee & Helper

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Hi Cathy,

We understand this is a problem for you. On our end, we are constantly looking into helping customers make great videos - and that includes looking into the color shifting issue you are experiencing.

We continually make improvements in this area and are sorry none of the fixes has helped your particular situation. This is not a simple fix and has a lot to do with codecs being used during the production process, the type of video being recorded, the color/palette being used in the video, the browser used to play back the video, the encoding we do on our end, and about 100 other variables.

No sooner do we fix one thing and another crops up causing issues for some people - not a lot of people - but some. And, this issue is further complicated since everyone has such a diverse array of video projects, installed software, colors, drivers, codecs, and browser versions on their computers.

This is not an attempt to blow you off, it's not an excuse, and it's not lack of action on our part. We hear you. We understand your frustration because we experience this same issue in-house as well. On a list of needed fixes, this probably ranks highest for some people on our internal UA team's list.

However, I can assure you this issue has been / and is currently being discussed with the right people here at TechSmith. I don't have any other information to share on when any possible fix or solution will come along.

We sincerely apologize for this issue. We don't want any of our customers to be unhappy with their use of our product or their finished result.  Unfortunately, we just don't have a fix for you at this time. Hopefully we will have one for you in the future.

Kelly
User Assistance
TechSmith
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Fred Grover, Champion

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Hello Cathy. Yes I can defend them for the reasons Kelly stated above. The things that some people think are so easy to do is not always what it seems to be. And if it was that easy or they feel it is not hard to fix then they should be a software programmer and make a product that is better or has everything they want for an all in one solution. I sure know I cannot do that and would not want to even try to accomplish that so I try to be patient and wait for someone to provide the solution unless I have the knowledge to fix it myself. And no I am not trying to argue just stating the way I feel and the experience of the cutomer service support I have received through the years with the TechSmith Products. Which has been better than most of the software companies I have dealt with through the years.

I have to be honest and say there are things I would love to see implemented into the software and issues with some things I would like to see too. But I cannot and do not expect TechSmith to be able to get everything done that I want to see in their software. I have wanted the ability to see ASIO used for the audio so I and others can use professional recording equipment without issues but there is other software like Adobe Audition or Pro Tools that I use that do what I want for the audio until it is implemented and Camtasia is not an audio editing software so I cannot expect them to just implement that for myself or others. And Adobe sure does not give me the support that  TechSmith has given me and most other software companies do not do what TechSmith does for their customers in making tutorials available or free support. They usually charge you for that at some point in time. Thanks.

Fred Grover
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rmcvey

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Here's how it's working for me: any video I produce in MP4 or MOV looks grey. I've played with all the video settings, including the advice given above, and they still look grey. The grey cast appears in Windows Media Player, QuickTime Player, Chrome, and Firefox. Videos that other people in my group produced in Camtasia years ago also appear grey when played back. I don't get a grey video when I produce as AVI or view the video through the Camtasia flash player. It's not a problem with a specific color -- the whites and all the colors have a grey cast to them.

But my coworkers don't have this issue when they play the videos on their systems, and I myself don't have the issue when I switch to my Mac. So it seems to be some combination of the way Camtasia is producing the video and the way my system is playing it. Not that I wouldn't still like to see it definitively fixed! It's nerve-wracking to share a video and not know if it's going to turn grey on someone's screen.
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Shane Melaugh

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I've had this issue and found a solution. This won't apply to everyone, but it's worth a shot:

If you're using a system that has an Nvidia graphics card, open your Nvidia control panel. In the control panel, go to "Video" -> "Adjust video colour settings".

In the menu point "2. How do you make colour adjustments?", select the "With NVIDIA settings" option.

In the tabbed menu that opens below this option, go to the "Advanced" tab and set the "Dynamic Range" option to "Full (0-255)".

Switching to this full dynamic range option solved the problem where in my specific case, any white parts in a screen recording were showing up as gray in the rendered video.
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rmcvey

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Thanks, Shane, that totally did the trick for me!
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cathy.raymond

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Is that actually fixing the video, or just the way that you are viewing it ?   ie.... will others viewing the video on their own PC still see it as gray ?



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Kevin Mojek, Employee

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I think not all systems with nVidia graphics cards have color settings in the nVidia control panel. On my Windows 8.1 laptop, the desktop context menu has a 'Graphics Properties...' menu-item, which brings up the Intel HD Graphics Control Panel. That has a section for Video and changing the settings from the defaults there can also cause a color shift.
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Shane Melaugh

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@cathy.raymond: it fixes a rendering issue, not just the video output. If the settings are not set to "full range" then white areas show as white in the Camtasia video editor and they also show as white if you render the video as an AVI file, for example. But in the MP4 rendering process, white turns into gray. Changing the setting as described above doesn't affect what the video looks like before rendering, but it fixes the issue in the rendering process.
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cathy.raymond

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Thanks Shane for taking the time to answer my question.   I don't have the NVidia graphics card on my pc, but will certainly look into getting that installed for future videos I do with a white background.


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rmcvey

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@cathy.raymond: In my case, the videos themselves were fine. If someone viewed videos I produced on their system, they didn't look grey, nor did they look grey when uploaded to YouTube. It was specifically a rendering problem on my side, and that was fixed by the tweak to the NVidia card settings.

In other words, it seems like there are a few different things that might be causing the "grey video" issue, some of which might just be playback problems on specific systems like one with this NVidia card. If your problem causes your videos to be grey everywhere, not just on your machine, getting the NVidia card would not fix it. (And also, this problem makes all the colors more grey -- not only white -- but it's most noticeable with white areas.)
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cathy.raymond

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Thanks mcvey - yes, I noticed it's not just the white.   Trying to get our company logo colours correct is also an issue.   Cheers for the reply.    Cathy.


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jay

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This worked like a charm!!!! My videos are white again (no more grey). Thanks so much for the tip!!!

UPDATE: Well, I have to make a followup comment because this did NOT actually work. The rendered video appeared to keep the original shade of white but when I tried changing the nvidia settings back to how they were, the video magically showed up as grey again.

But I did find a work-around. You have to export the file as an avi and then when you click on "video compression" you have to select "full frames" (no compression) and the final product will look exactly the way you recorded it. Once the video is finished rendering, you then have to open it in another program to convert to mp4 (or any other format you like).

The only problem with this method is that the files will be huge! An hour video ended up to be close to 300 gigs! So you'll most likely need a back-up drive with a terabyte of free space to pull this off (since you'll need to have enough room in your temp directly, as well).
(Edited)
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ComputerLady

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I've just run into this on my Win 8.1 laptop with Intel Graphics after updating Camtasia to the latest version. 


As you can see from the above screenshot (created using Snag-It), there is a major change in the color. I haven't tried doing a custom production and changing the settings there. What I did try was looking into the color settings for the Intel Graphics driver. There have been some major changes in the video properties settings as found in Win 8.1 to the point I couldn't determine what the color setting is!

Things are so much easier to control on my Win7 main machine with its AMD/ATI HD Radeon HD drivers! I was planning on doing a test rendering with that machine once I get Camtasia updated there to see if it does the same thing.
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G quARKe

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After seeing this problem for a while I found this thread.  I played with some of the video settings Intel HD graphics Control Panels. there you can even select one of the videos with the problem.  After I adjusted the feedback it looked quite ok on the little preview window. And also when I play my video in windows media player it looks quite good. Still this does not explain really why the same video looks good in the Camtasia Studio but different after production. What is the difference? I can not tell everybody who is viewing a video I created to tweak the Graphic card settings. (?)