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Background colors change when exporting
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ErikJon777 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Feb 26, 2015 17:15 Messages: 23 Offline
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Hello, friends.

I'm using PowerDirector to make a Karaoke video with the lyrics to a song, in ordinary white text, on the default, true-black background.

Nevertheless, when exporting to mp4, my black background turns into a medium gray throughout.

Can you please tell me how to fix this?
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This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Feb 18. 2021 14:57

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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 6534 Offline
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What happens if you use a different player app, like VLC or PotPlayer? You may also need to set your monitor to display the full dynamic range as described in this old post.
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ErikJon777 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Feb 26, 2015 17:15 Messages: 23 Offline
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First of all, my monitor sees the original, true-black background without any special calibration, while editing. The problem begins only when exporting to mp4, and at that point my monitor is in exactly the same state as it was when I began exporting to mp4.

As you can see from today's screenshot, the playback video looks just as bad in VLC as it does in QuickTime; namely, the true-black background turns into a gray background.
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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 6534 Offline
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Can you share the produced clip here? Use the Attachments button below the forum's text box so osther people can examine it in detail.

I've just produced the attached clip using PD13, and as you can see in the screenshot below, the background is solid black in VLC:

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PD13 sample.mp4
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sample clip
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334 Kbytes
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9 time(s)

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Feb 18. 2021 15:33

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ErikJon777 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Feb 26, 2015 17:15 Messages: 23 Offline
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Wow. Thank you for taking the time to run that test.

Yes, I was trying to upload the mp4 output, but I must have lost a connection. It is a 13MB file.

So I am trying to make a smaller version to share with you....
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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 6534 Offline
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The forum software should now be able to handle clips up to 100MB, but if you're having trouble try uploading it to OneDrive or Google Drive and paste a publicly shareable link here.

See the Share a file publicly section in this Google FAQ or this OneDrive support page if needed.
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ErikJon777 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Feb 26, 2015 17:15 Messages: 23 Offline
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Here is the whole PDS file reduced in size.

I removed the mp3 soundtrack, to make it smaller.

The font used is also attached.
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sample PDS file.zip
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547 Kbytes
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11 time(s)
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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 6534 Offline
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I have no trouble producing a solid black background with your project, but there's a missing clip on Track 1. If that clip has a dark gray background it'll show up behind the text:

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ErikJon777 project.mp4
[Disk]
 Description
Produced in PD13
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27619 Kbytes
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5 time(s)
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ErikJon777 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Feb 26, 2015 17:15 Messages: 23 Offline
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Oh shucks. Sorry about that. The missing item is just a black color background from the little tab that says something like "color boards" It is supposed to be jet black.

There was never any gray background used.
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ErikJon777 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Feb 26, 2015 17:15 Messages: 23 Offline
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At first I just placed a black square in JPG format, then, just as a test, I used the default black colorboard, and both gave me the right look on the editing screen, but neither one exported to true black when converting to mp4.

Attached is my homemade black screen in JPG format, but you might as well try the built-in black colorboard, instead.
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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 6534 Offline
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The built-in colorboard should work, as should your all-black JPG. I've attached what I got when producing with it, and again, there's no gray background.

I can think of two things to try. First, don't put anything on that final section of track 1. Leave it blank so there's no chance PD can "add" any other color there.

The other thing is to uncheck the Fast video rendering technology box on the Produce page and also uncheck the hardware decoding option from Preferences | Hardware Acceleration and see if that makes a difference.

If you still have a gray backgound, attach the produced clip so other people can take a close look at it.
 Filename
ErikJon777 project #2.mp4
[Disk]
 Description
With "black screen.jpg"
 Filesize
27581 Kbytes
 Downloaded:
6 time(s)

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Feb 18. 2021 20:49

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ErikJon777 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Feb 26, 2015 17:15 Messages: 23 Offline
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What a nice guy you are. Thanks for those tips.

The first option that you mentioned was already unchecked.

I have since disabled the acceleration option that you mentioned, and tried to export, but I saw no improvement in the results.

By the way, I failed to mention that I am a bit of an amateur with this program anyway, for lack of time to learn more. Did I at least put things onto the right tracks? Which track is best for such a background color?

You know, when I drag something onto the timeline, if the cursor turns into something that suggests that certain spots on the timeline are acceptable, and others are not, I have not concerned myself too much with which line I chose.
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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 6534 Offline
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Items on placed on higher tracks are always in the background, so your placement for the background color was correct, just not needed if you're wanting a black background.

I'm not sure what you mean by some spots on the timeline are unacceptable, though. You can't drag a video clip to the Title track; you can't drag an FX or transition to an empty media track. That's by design - is that what you meant?

Again, it would help to see the clip you produced with PD13. Please upload it like you did with your project.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at Feb 19. 2021 13:14

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ErikJon777 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Feb 26, 2015 17:15 Messages: 23 Offline
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Sorry for the delay. I thought that having the original PDS file would be even better.

At any rate, I could not reduce the size of the mp4 in order to send you the results, until today. Meanwhile I tried to upload the 30MB file yesterday, but with little success.

I have removed the audio, and shortened the file, to keep the mp4 small. Please find it attached.
 Filename
Produce.mp4
[Disk]
 Description
 Filesize
1902 Kbytes
 Downloaded:
9 time(s)
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optodata
Senior Contributor Private Message Location: California, USA Joined: Sep 16, 2011 16:04 Messages: 6534 Offline
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Having the project isn't all that helpful because there wasn't anything special about the content, that's why I wanted to see what PD13 produced on your computer and whether it showed up as gray on my system.

As it turns out I see no gray background whatsoever in your Produce.mp4 clip. When I extend one side of VLC's window, it fills in the area beyond the clip boundaries with pure black, and you can see there is no edge at all on any side:





This brings us back to the original link I posted that talks about setting up your monitor correctly to display the proper range of black values. I think you will need to change it to use full dynamic range. Here's an article with more info.
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ErikJon777 [Avatar]
Newbie Private Message Joined: Feb 26, 2015 17:15 Messages: 23 Offline
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You are the best, my friend. You ought to work in a laboratory, really.

So, I just could not understand how I could be seeing pure black during the editing, and gray in the output, all on the same monitor.

I mean, if other projects print as they look on the screen, it would seem that the monitor was already well calibrated. I stand corrected.

You have resolved the issue, then, especially since the same "gray" video shows up black on your computer--and with no "border" as you cleverly discovered.

Thanks for sharing your ingenuity with those of us who are mentally underprivileged. Ha ha.

And thanks for the link!

Sincerely,

Erik
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