Fix QuickTime Gamma Shift

Using mp4 or h.264 when compressing through QuickTime can make the final video look washed out. This is a common problem that seemed to have no solution… until now. The gamma shift can actually be fixed inside QuickTime Pro without re-compressing your video by simply changing a few settings.

Scrimski at posted a good walk-through. Thanks!

SOLUTION: After rendering into a QuickTime/h.264 file, open it up in QuickTime and select “Show Movie Properties.” Highlight the video track then click on the “Visual Settings” tab. Towards the bottom left you should see “Transparency” with a drop-down box next to it. Select “Blend” from the menu then move the “Transparency Level” slider to 100%. Choose “Straight Alpha” from the same drop-down and close the properties window and finally “Save.”

See the difference on our Promos:
Download and follow the steps for yourself.

The Bullet



In a few weeks many videos will be updated to the correct gamma but I though I would pass along this great tip.

June 17th, 2008 @ 12:41 am
That's perfect for one characther of mine who travels in time
June 17th, 2008 @ 12:42 am
Wow, thats a great tip Andrew, thanks!

Greetings from Holland.
June 17th, 2008 @ 12:49 am
Sweet! I've had this problem and it sucks!.. Thanks for the solution.
June 17th, 2008 @ 12:56 am
That is spooky...I just had to export some h.264 files and noticed that problem...I did a quick fix by compensating by +5 contrast -2 Brightness in the AE export. It sure is a bad way to do it but nobody noticed!...good to hear it is possible to do within QT Pro...Thanks man.
June 17th, 2008 @ 12:56 am
Thanks Andrew! You guys always keep us abreast of things. Its nice to know you're looking out for us, helping us along the way.
Bye Tom
June 17th, 2008 @ 12:57 am
Nice! I have to remember that.
June 17th, 2008 @ 1:04 am
Thanks! Great tip, to improve my video.
June 17th, 2008 @ 1:14 am
Awesome, thanks for the tip.
I'd previously just increase the contrast levels in Quicktime Pro, but I'm glad there's a more suitable way to fix it.
I wonder why Apple haven't provided an update to fix the problem? I mean, it certainly effects a hell of a lot of people.
June 17th, 2008 @ 2:26 am
Ahh, thanks for that tip Andrew. Been wondering why h.264 renders look more washed out than other codecs. Finally a way to fix this!
June 17th, 2008 @ 2:28 am
Oh thank you Andrew!

You can't imagine how long I searched for something to solve this problem! Finally I got it! Thank you so much!

Greetings from Germany!
June 17th, 2008 @ 2:49 am
cool! thanks andrew your great!
June 17th, 2008 @ 3:16 am
Thanks AK!
June 17th, 2008 @ 3:33 am
Thank you for this,, thanks again andrew
June 17th, 2008 @ 3:47 am
I get some strange results when using those sliders. It's like the sliders don't react in real time. Once I move it over to 100% it takes a few seconds and then it goes white.

If I wait after I change it back to straight alpha, it goes back to the video once again but looks no different. ???

Here are my results:

Pretty much the same right?
    February 4th, 2011 @ 5:11 am
    this is a windows only fix
    February 4th, 2011 @ 6:44 am
    The correct fix is to "enable FCS colour compatibility" in QTpreferences.
June 17th, 2008 @ 3:56 am
thanx again andrew , u'r king of ae
June 17th, 2008 @ 4:06 am
Good tip man thanks. It's always the simple things that do it. =)
June 17th, 2008 @ 4:11 am
thanks Andrew, solved my problem
June 17th, 2008 @ 4:32 am
Thanks guys ... great tip ... long time wondering how to solve that annoying "defect" in QT.

Thanks for share! >> Scrimski at

June 17th, 2008 @ 5:23 am
thanx Andrew great tip! Quick question, where does all the great music for your promo videos come from? do you compose it in a program or somebody else composes it for you? cheers...
June 17th, 2008 @ 5:58 am
Thanks! Great tip,
June 17th, 2008 @ 6:45 am
Heck of a tip...

This will help in many ways.


June 17th, 2008 @ 6:57 am
Sorry I am a bit on a rush right know, so I'll keep it brief:
Well, this will fix the final output slighly, but will not work (correctly) for every movie.
The trick is much more simple: Render your footage as Motion JPEG and convert this to h.264 inside Quicktime Pro. This will avoid the gamma shift at all. Try it. :-)
    October 30th, 2013 @ 9:42 am
    I actually prefer exporting as Motion JPEG as it bypasses a lot of the issues with h264
Some Guy
June 17th, 2008 @ 7:01 am
Andrew, do you remember? It was June 17th 2007 - exactly one year ago - as you made the first blog entry. We even saw a comment from your mother. It was an informative, entertaining and just awesome year!!! Thank you and good luck in the coming year!
June 17th, 2008 @ 7:57 am
Yep really a gr8 TIP. thnx
June 17th, 2008 @ 8:09 am
Nice! thanks for letting the community know, great tip, thanks again
June 17th, 2008 @ 9:06 am
Thank you Andrew, Great tip! I always appreciate your helpful tips and my work is better for it. Check out my watercross DVD project im working on. Thanks to you and your products its looking better than ever.
June 17th, 2008 @ 9:35 am
Great tip! Thanx fo' sharing this (and many more tutorials).

VideoCopilot fans are doggedly enthusiastic, and rightfully so! Count me in.

I'm going to pass this tip around to some aesthetes who could use it too!
June 17th, 2008 @ 9:47 am
Thanks Andrew.

Hey, are you going to the Cine Gear Expo at Universal Studios?

I will be going on Friday. I think Redrock Micro will be there. I'm looking forward to seeing that adapter you were talking about awhile back.

Now that you have had that adapter for some time, how do you like it?

June 17th, 2008 @ 9:49 am
andrew u rules!!!!
thnx for sharing this solution
the best is we dont have to re-render the videos
June 17th, 2008 @ 9:52 am
btw, have you seen the selective focus lens called Lens Babies?

Check out the sample clips. Some interesting DOF effects in there.
June 17th, 2008 @ 9:59 am
It's actually a Core Video issue, and something that Apple hasn't address properly for over a year.

VisualHub users can circumvent the problem by selecting "Force: FFmpeg Decoding" when compressing H.264 material.

StaxRip and MpegGUI are great Windows H.264 encoding solutions that also don't exhibit the issue on files they produce.
June 17th, 2008 @ 10:20 am
Hi Andrew!

Thanks for that tip!

By the way, what operating system do you recommend (XP or Vista) as the most efficient with APremiere and AE?

Good luck!
June 17th, 2008 @ 10:54 am
Not sure what i amm doing wrong guys, but when I follow the steps all i get is a white screen when i put the transparency to 100%
June 17th, 2008 @ 10:56 am
Great tip Andrew!!
June 17th, 2008 @ 11:24 am
Wow, thats a super tip. Need to get my hd camcorder first...
June 17th, 2008 @ 11:38 am
Wow, simple solution. Powerful fix. Thanks!
June 17th, 2008 @ 11:42 am
It seems that I need the PRO version of Quicktime to acess those options. But that is a awsome hint! Thanks Andrew! I really like your work!
June 17th, 2008 @ 12:31 pm
how do u make a good mp4 file in quicktime pro? anyone know of any good settings? mp4 better then h.264?
June 17th, 2008 @ 1:39 pm
Thank you, very nice... now how about the Contest? :D
June 17th, 2008 @ 1:49 pm
Hey Andrew,

Thanks so much for the tip on this. How can you get around this at the encoding-level, instead of the work-around at the 'playback-level'? Do you happen to know? You mentioned that all your new encodes will fix this gamma-shift... was wondering what needed to be done for that to happen? In other words, since most people won't know about this quick-fix within QT player, how can we encode our h.264's so they display properly without shift for everyone else? Thanks a ton!
June 17th, 2008 @ 3:42 pm

If you have quicktime 7.1.5 [which btw, is practically useless as a standalone player] you must ignore the fact that it appears not to do anything at first.. but it does change it when it closes and you re-open the video!

BTW, anyone know the best version of quicktime for a windows XP user?!
I know AE CS3 requires 7.1.5 for QT .h264 [which if you don't need to load QT files in your AE proj for some reason, you can use Core AVC instead which has a simply fantastic and easy to use .h264 encoder] but I have so many problems playing .mov files with QT 7.1.5!!

BTW, you guys need to check this video out:
I used Evolution [amazing!], Trapcode Horizon [amazing!],
and a load of other plug-ins, some Chad Perkins-esque, and
Crazy Talk 5.. vote for me please :-]!!!

Thank you VCP for the great products!!!
June 17th, 2008 @ 3:46 pm
Thanx for the tip, Andrew! :]

U know? ive been thinking bout it...and i REALLY think, that a Good quick Tip [maybe as a part of the SHORT-CUTS] would be about Exporting\Rendering in the Best\Sharpest quality in AE.
I always feel like i dont know something, and that my projects come out not as sharp and Crisp as yours.

This is something So Basic..its a Must...and i bet alot would find this useful.
i know im probably missing something there.. :\
June 17th, 2008 @ 3:47 pm
@ Kevin (June 17th, 2008 at 1:49 pm)

Try to encode a h.264 in QuickTime Pro out of a Motion JPEG (100% quality) encoded mov. For some reason, the gamma shift (which seems not to be encoded "hard" into the videostream but rather as information on how the movie will behave when played as far as I know) will not occur this way.

Source for the MJPEG tip:
Source for Gamma-Tag:
June 17th, 2008 @ 4:06 pm
You know why Andrew's vids are always sharp and crisp.. because he actually sings to them..

and you know I am not saying that a friend of a cousin of an ex-girlfriend's blind step-mother's father-in-law.. who was related to Andrew... told me or anything..

BUT I heard from somewhere this was the trick..

so Andrew.. the question is: how much do we have to pay for you to sing to our videos?!
June 17th, 2008 @ 4:28 pm
Sweet! I've been wondering about that for my videos. Thanks man!
June 17th, 2008 @ 4:33 pm
You all right, my clinic eye is too bad...

and now is better.
June 17th, 2008 @ 5:52 pm
Christopher Gruber @ good stuff but couldnt you get better actors...
June 17th, 2008 @ 6:58 pm
If anyone knows Bruce Banner, they should really point him to this page -- I understand he's had troubles with 'Gamma Shifts' in the past... ;p
June 17th, 2008 @ 8:45 pm
Great tip, thank! I was wondering what settings you use in Sorenson Squeeze to output your videos so they come out clear and not huge file sizes. This seems to be a mystery to me as well as the Gamma "Crush"!
June 17th, 2008 @ 9:53 pm
Hey Andrew, thanks for all of your hard work.

Although this does correct the gamma problem, it creates a huge amount of overhead because its actually changing the properties of each frame. Playing HD material may jerk or cause slow playback.

Does anyone know where to get the Gamma Stripper Utility? It doesn't seem to be at the link posted anymore.

Cheers! Great business plan Andrew keep it up.
Ben Wotton
June 17th, 2008 @ 11:10 pm
Great discovery Andrew.

Oh, and just chucking this out there-even though it hasn't happened in this post....people asking for forums!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think Andrew already knows that people want forums, and he doesn't need people chanting it repeatedly in their posts. THIS IS A FREE TUTORIAL WEBSITE!!!!!!!! Don't take it for granted people!

Does anyone else agree with this?
June 18th, 2008 @ 1:05 am
Andrew has a forum on creative cow anyhows....
June 18th, 2008 @ 1:42 am
@Ben Wotton

I 2nd that, but I think it should just be NOT to BEG for stuff. Yeah it's a free site for Andrew to do what he wants with, but it's also a business. I'm sure AK would agree with me that it's fine to ask for things that aren't here, but not to pester him with repetetive requests and anoy him. The worst thing that could happen is he says "No."

Thanks again for the great tip Andrew.
Craig Paup
June 18th, 2008 @ 2:10 am
Unfortunately the “Blend 100%/Straight Alpha” solution Andrew mentioned above is NOT a complete fix. It only gets you about half way there as far as matching gamma levels to the original. Better than nothing but still not a perfect fix.
June 18th, 2008 @ 3:06 am
That is great Andrew, just tryied and worked perfectly. Ty from a brazilian in Spain.
June 18th, 2008 @ 3:42 am
Now I don't have to tolerate Animation's [the codec] massive file size..
Thanks to you guys.
Keep up the good work!
Just Amit
June 18th, 2008 @ 5:25 am
Great find!

I have finally got the time today to work with this awesome trick. I tried it on some of my most washed-out videos and it did a a great job fixing them! Before i was attempting to fix this issue with color correction tools but i now realize why that does not work.

Thanks for the great post and as always looking forward to more!
Kevin Christopher
June 18th, 2008 @ 11:33 am
As a recent Final Cut Convert(Insert Kicking and Screaming) I noticed this right away. I Searched and searched the web for answers and got many puzzled looks by FCP users until I demonstrated it. Now finally a solution, until apple finally fixes it.

June 18th, 2008 @ 12:10 pm
I have a different issue when exporting with the animation codec. My videos always look alot darker after they've exported. Anyone else have this prob?
June 18th, 2008 @ 1:42 pm
hey andrew

I know this is only for after effects, but is it possible that you can upload or send me the 3d max file of twitch, cause i followed the tutorial you did and it worked out great but its would be nice to have the 3d max file and play with it too (cause i saw other elements and lights)

pleaseeee, thanks!

Alvaro from Chile
June 18th, 2008 @ 6:31 pm
Nice tip Andrew, thanks for bringing that up for us. And for Daniel H., thanks for that info as well. I will have to rerender some clips of mine to see how they come out.

This will come in very handy guys. Thanks again.
June 19th, 2008 @ 2:36 pm
G'day Andrew!

Is this more of a QT on PC issue?

Because on our MACs we have no real issue with washed out h.264 files having produced nearly 50 TVCs in this codec.

Also, I just tried the Fix as a test on some of our MAC produced files and there seems to be no real visable change.

So I'm with Bones!

Love your work!!!

June 19th, 2008 @ 9:27 pm
Thanks for posting a fix to this annoying problem.

The one trouble I still have is that when I render out a video with hinted streaming to be viewed in a browser, performing the gamma fix in QT seems to remove the ability to stream, causing the video to take ages to download before it plays. I've messed around with the streaming settings in Quicktime a little bit, but haven't been able to fix it.

Any solutions, anybody?
Moca MX
June 20th, 2008 @ 1:55 am
You could put Sam inside that energy in tutorial it would be cool :D
Moca MX
June 20th, 2008 @ 2:01 am
@ Paul: THAT IS GREAT!!!!
What program are you using for Motion Tracikng, and do you have some tutorial on how to do that??
June 20th, 2008 @ 11:11 pm
Moca, to make that, just use a program like Boujou, create the solution, then export the camera data under .ma . Then using Max or Maya, etc... Import the .ma file, place the cube, text or w/e and render it out.
June 22nd, 2008 @ 6:47 am
June 23rd, 2008 @ 4:17 am
did u guys notice that after this gamma fix the video playback is laggy ??? any comments on fixing the lag while retaining the gamma fix ?? !!!
June 23rd, 2008 @ 11:27 am
here are my results of my gamma correction:
June 23rd, 2008 @ 1:35 pm
Thanks man! That problem has been haunting me for quite some time now. I've even switched to flv with On2VP6 to avoid the loss in contrast. This bug ( or feature ) really mucks up your nicely graded colors.
June 27th, 2008 @ 12:17 am
Many thanks for the 264 fix.

Now, have you run across a solution for Sorenson 3 (which darkens the picture and increases the gamma) when we have to make QTs for people with slow computers?
June 30th, 2008 @ 7:13 am
pls I need to know your (Krammer) system configuration thatr makes your afffter effect work so fast cos i have this lap top with 250 g hardrive 3 g ram core2duo, 1.83ghz but my after effetc does not work well. i believe u can help cos u are a great guy. You can reach me thru my email now. Thanks.
July 18th, 2008 @ 10:29 am
Has anyone found a way to automate this? I've got alot of un-corrected H264 files that I want to correct. Do I have to do each of them individually?
July 27th, 2008 @ 12:59 am
Hey Andrew and Co...

there might be another way to solve this problem, at least it solved it a few times for me now:

In the render settings / output options, go to the color management tab and check the box saying "Maintain RGB" (I'm not sure it says exactly that as I'm using a german version of CS3...). That way it doesn't mess around with color profiles and there is no way to interpret it wrong. Worked for me. I didn't check it on TV screens, though...

Take care, everyone. :)

August 1st, 2008 @ 7:09 am
That just came in very handy. Thanks
August 18th, 2008 @ 1:22 pm
This tip didnt work for me at all. Im rendering my reel out of final cut using compressor. All the other codecs work, but h.264 gives me the gamma shift. I use this tip, close and save. Opening up the file again, and it still looks exactly the same, washed out compared to the same video with a motion jpg export. I am on a mac using QT Pro 7.5. Any other solutions that work?
October 24th, 2008 @ 11:37 pm
You can download an x264 encoder for Quicktime that is separate from the default Apple encoder, and produces better results faster. It's still h.264, but a different implementation of the standard.
November 21st, 2008 @ 2:41 am
I always knew, that the author is very competent of this question! Thanks the Author! Has received weight of pleasure after perusal of clause. I would like to talk to you more in detail, on this question, but I have not found yours Icq or skype ... :-[
December 16th, 2008 @ 4:46 pm
After hunting around for more definitive answers, I came across this, which I recommend reading:
December 20th, 2008 @ 7:58 am
Thanks for posting this. I was searching for days to find your solution! Maybe you should post this on youtube or other sites as well. Totally worth it!
Andrew Stewart
January 11th, 2009 @ 11:58 pm
Hi all,

I have a quicktime gamma workaround that works for exporting h264s and other codecs that have the gamma shift issue. We use it at work for sending h264's of telecine color grading reference to some very fussy clients, and so far no complaints :)

The blend/transparency/alpha trick comes close, but the blacks are still a little bit grey and dosent give the same results on both mac and pc. The trick we use has been coined the 'tiff trick' and works by tricking quicktime into using default tiff image gamma before an export.

How to do it:

1) Create a small (32x32 pixels or so) tiff or bitmap - dosent matter what color, just make it 8bit and RGB
2) Open a new player and 'Open image sequence' and select the tiff/bitmap. set the frame rate to whatever you're going to be working in
3) Open your desired quicktime in another player, 'select-all' and 'copy' the clip
4) Back in you 'tiff/bitmap' movie hit 'add to movie' - this will add the video over the top of the tiff/bitmap on a second video layer
5) Export using your desired codec

All going well the gamma will match your original video very closely
February 28th, 2009 @ 12:04 am
Dude, that was SO helpful, you saved a film of mine, thanks!
March 11th, 2009 @ 4:47 pm
Adjusting the Visual Settings tab is BAD!

-x264 (can still be viewed by anyone with quicktime7)
or if you can get it to work:
-FUELvfx Quicktime Gamma Stripper software
Mike Behrens
March 21st, 2009 @ 10:42 am
Zach - How do I install x264 into After Effects or, maybe Quicktime?

I know that it is an encoder that may require meGUI, but I once saw a screen shot showing it as a option in a drop down menu in Quicktime.

June 22nd, 2009 @ 7:48 am
I tried everything and the best solution for me is the TIFF trick! Thanks Andrew Steward for posting that.

I tried the following approaches and here were my results. NoteL I'm rendering out of Premiere on my PC to a Apple Uncompressed MOV file (6GB file for a 3-min reel), then going into QTPro:

1) The QT Blend/Transparency/Slider thing never worked for me (using PC, XP x64, and QTPro 7.6). It would simply do nothing, even when re-opening the file. I did notice that it lagged the file's playback though. So I assume this no longer works in the latest versions of QT.

2) Tried using x264, but the PC version takes a CS degree to use (which I have and I still couldn't figure it out). Tried using the x264 on my MacBook Pro with QT Pro (Intel-based, OS X 10.5.6, QTPro 7.6), but it would crash every try. Even changed a lot of the settings to try to get a different result. So no luck there.

3) Tried rendering out of Premiere to a motion JPEG. This did work and I was able to render to a H264 in QTPro but I noticed a lot of quality loss due to the double compression. This is good, but not great.

4) Finally tried the TIFF trick on my Apple Uncompressed MOV and it works beautifully. My video looks great!

Thanks for this comment thread. I searched all over and was getting really frustrated. Check out my reel at my website ( ).
July 15th, 2009 @ 9:41 am
Hi there.
I'm also having problems exporting some videos to quicktime using the H.264 codec (Windows), I've tried the various approaches that are suggested in the above posts, even the tiff trick, and none work perfectly, the one that produces the best results is still the QT Blend/Transparency/Slider, but unfortunately this disables the streaming. And contrary to what was posted, the tiff trick still washes the colors out. I wasn't very successful with the QT GammaStrip, from Fuelvfx, didn't work for me, the movie was the same after applying the gamma strip.

My question is, why does Apple has to make it so hard for normal people to use their codec, because it is possible, you just need to go to the apple trailers website, and you have nicely encoded movies in both platforms, mac and pc. I decided to switch to flash video instead for web video, excellent quality and consistent in all the platforms, and plus you don't need to install more software, specially Apple software :P And nowadays 99% of the browsers have flash player installed(

November 10th, 2009 @ 7:15 am
"My question is, why does Apple has to make it so hard for normal people to use their codec, because it is possible, you just need to go to the apple trailers website, and you have nicely encoded movies in both platforms, mac and pc"

They don't though, they have the gamma shift problem as well! It's an infuriating problem.
December 5th, 2009 @ 12:07 pm
Ahhh, thank you!

Having just switched to Snow Leopard, I was frustrated with QuckTime 7 (Pro). This fix is so simple! Thank you very much.
March 28th, 2010 @ 9:50 pm
hi Andrew, Please tell me about your system configuration........... Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease..
April 14th, 2010 @ 9:41 pm
Hi Andrew,

When I use this fix, QT only lets me save the file as a .mov, not as an .mp4 again. Is it possible to keep it as an mp4? Thanks.
April 21st, 2010 @ 12:29 pm
Interesting thread. I'm on a PC, and have problems converting H.264 from my Canon T2i with Procoder 3 for smooth AE editing:

No matter what format I encode to, I get a shift in the dynamic range - the blacks are lighter, the whites are darker. I guess this relates to gamma? Any ideas, as to how I should try to implement the tips in this thread?

Thanks - kind regards,
June 2nd, 2010 @ 3:15 pm
This is a good fix for PCs, but it is flawed when returning to OSX.

Ultimately I believe Steve Jobs refuses to allow QT to work properly on PCs, even if you pay him $30 for QT Pro. This fix works well on the PC side, but once you export the video and watch it on OSX, you see nothing is improved. The gamma is tweaked when exported from the PC and the result is very dark. I'm guessing OSX is trying to overcompensate for the 1.8 gamma settings, but instead it results somewhere around 2.4-2.6
June 11th, 2010 @ 6:23 pm
Hey...I have also been tortured by this for a long time, and I really find it a bit odd that I haven´t seen posts about what I discovered today posted other places....anyway (on mac) the adobe media encoder, makes perfect h264 encodings in the quicktime container (CS4) At least both VLC and Quicktime plays it back with same gamma as the original...and for that I am really happy. Only thing I was a bit nervous about was the fact that it encodes it about 5 times faster than quicktime does...though the end result seems to match the Quicktime encodings just fine ( and with a correct gamma:)
June 21st, 2010 @ 6:44 am
Thank you so much for posting this - I have literally been searching for an adequete solution for days!

Being a visual effects artist, it's so important that my vfx showreel reproduces correctly while maintaining maximum compatibility and reasonable download size. The h.264 codec was really my only option except for that nasty gamma bug in Quicktime... that is, until now!

Thanks Andrew - you've made my day! To Apple, BOO! ...but cheers to you! :)
July 15th, 2010 @ 10:29 am
wash-out with PC
I don’t render to quicktime only FLV or avi and all my videos are wash out the color is poor, after rendering? The editing looks super but the output is so bad. I have try everything I use Adobe CS4 software and I even when out looking for other editing software thinking that was the issues and the same. I need a way out of this. I don't know what to do with this ugly problem. I read all I can on Gamma and The same? Can any one help me pleaseeeeeeeeeee
jO bLO
July 29th, 2010 @ 1:40 am
OR.... just switch to from "Direct X" to "Safe Mode" in "Advanced setting" and all MOVs will play with proper gamma
August 11th, 2010 @ 3:45 pm
Thanks for the post, it took me forever to find this information! very helpfull
August 29th, 2010 @ 5:04 am
thx jo Blo i switched to safe mode, which is in edit>preferences>quicktime preferences>advanced and it's a radio button in the video section, and now the colors look much richer less washed out.
September 3rd, 2010 @ 5:44 pm
Note that this fix will cause the quicktime file to stutter at full screen playback. This 'gamma shift' appears to be more an issue with graphics hardware acceleration and is actually a black level boost rather than a gamma shift. Dual screen users can see the shift switch off when the player is straddled between screens. I'm sure Apple considers this a feature...
September 27th, 2010 @ 9:38 am
What nobody seems to be talking about is the LAST portion of this tip, when you're supposed to SAVE the settings. I can't believe I'm the only one, along with another fellow a few posts above me that's having an issue by being unable to save it back to MP4... I mean yeah, if I was probably having an MOV container INITIALLY then I'd save it back to MOV, but I have an MP4 that I can open in Quicktime, follow all the tips, but not able to save it back to MP4. The only options are given seems to be MOV.. and both aren't even in megabytes, but in kilobytes..that's useless.

Any help?
December 2nd, 2010 @ 9:12 am
I always found this to be annoying. I wish the conversion didn't affect the gamma at all.
[...] out. It’s got to do with a gamma shift that takes place in the conversion. Here’s a tip from Videocopilot from a couple of years ago that’s well worth filing away: After rendering into a [...]
December 22nd, 2010 @ 9:36 am
This may fix the Gamma issue but the clips will not load into Windows CS5 (After Effects or Premiere) you get a green screen.
February 24th, 2011 @ 8:08 am
Hi: Did anybody find the way to fix gamma on quick time X ???
Filipe Aparicio
February 27th, 2011 @ 11:22 pm
Hey, I'm having the same problem as SteveJ... When I do this, if I import the footage back on After Effects, it will only show a green screen :S its weird cuz it only started doing this recently... I really need to find a way to fix this... I have 2 due dates that are pretty close and the client won't be satisfied if I can't fix this... Its seriously driving me crazy! Please someone... Anyone... Does anyone know how to fix this??
Thank you in advance
March 26th, 2011 @ 3:05 am
TWEAKED SOLUTION: After rendering into a QuickTime/h.264 file, open it up in QuickTime Pro and select “Show Movie Properties.” Highlight the video track then click on the “Visual Settings” tab. Towards the bottom left you should see “Transparency” with a drop-down box next to it. Select “Straight Alpha” from the same drop-down and close the properties window and finally “Save.”
This will fix your gamma issue, but it could make your playback choppy.
If so, re-open movie properties, under “transparency” select none. Re-save, you should still have your fixed gamma, but now your movie should play silky smooth again…
Worked for me anyway!
March 28th, 2011 @ 1:30 am
dammit... seemed to work. now when I reopen them the gamma has slid back... Thought it seemed to good to be true...
April 27th, 2011 @ 1:41 pm
Hi -
and thanx for continuing to host this tip using QT to correct gamma issues with .mov's and mp4's.

I could use one for wmv's avi's and other file formats as well

In searching for solutions, i found this post by Adobe:

ProRes 4444 colors and gamma shift when working with After Effects CS4 and Final Cut Pro.

and their solution:

If you use Apple’s new ProRes4444 codec with After Effects CS4 and Final Cut Pro, you may notice a gamma shift (i.e., colors will seem to have too much or too little contrast) when you bring the movies rendered and exported from After Effects back into Final Cut Pro.

To avoid this gamma shift, you’ll need to edit your After Effects CS4 QuickTime gamma rules XML file. This will add the appropriate gamma tag to your QuickTime files on output.

The XML file is found here:

[hard drive]/users/[user name]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common/MediacoreQTGammaRulesCS4.xml

Using or a similar text editor, add the following line to your MediaCoreQTGammaRulesCS4.xml file:

‘ap4h’ is the 4cc code for ProRes4444. You’ll notice that the XML file already includes entries for ‘apcn’ and ‘apch’. These are the 4cc codes for the older flavors of the ProRes codec.

Once you’ve made this change, you should be able to round-trip ProRes4444 media between Final Cut Pro and After Effects without experiencing a gamma shift.

Here is a direct link as he also goes into fixing it using AE CS3 in the comments section:

and for AE CS5 users check this link given by the same:

[ProRes 4444 and ProRes 422 in After Effects CS5".]
August 23rd, 2011 @ 1:24 pm
Hey Andrew, great solution! Thx so much!

QUESTION: The video FPS has dropped and is very choppy AFTER exporting (I do not mean stream playback). Also, it doesn't seem to retain the darks when using another player such as VLC. In the end I just want to upload to YouTube, so I wonder if the darks will hold or not.

December 17th, 2011 @ 8:09 am
This H264 fix works, I've been doing it for a while now, but you get the same results by just choosing movie properties, highlighting the video track, and then just choose 'Straight Alpha' in the transparency box. You don't need to do the blend thing with the slider. And then just save the Quicktime file on top of itself. Andrew's way might be more correct in some way, but looking at two movies side by side I can't see any difference in quality at all.
December 29th, 2011 @ 7:58 am
This problem has given me countless sleepless nights including this one. I thought I had finally found the solution with this, but I was wrong. I followed all the steps and it doesn't change anything. I even enabled FCS color compatibility and that only makes it worse. Can someone please help, because I can't take any more of this stress
March 29th, 2012 @ 2:28 am
This DO NOT WORK on Windows 7, as I cannot SAVE the damn file from QuickTime Pro. Neither Save or Save As ... I can save it as a Referenced movie. But that's USELESS!

QuickTime sucks. Period!
    Cory Williams
    February 21st, 2013 @ 11:01 am
    This is happening to me too. The way I got it fixed was by using Media Encoder CS6 to export using the h.264(legacy) format. But after this fix my video is still choppy. Meh :\
    March 5th, 2013 @ 7:57 am
    It DOES work. I just did it, running Windows 7 x64, QuickTime Pro (latest and last version). QT automatically saves this, unfortunately, and you have to wait a bit for the change to take effect.
April 10th, 2012 @ 8:18 pm
THANK you! I've been stuck trying to get a video looking right for YouTube and it's one thing after another. Apparently now 16:9 480p YouTube uploads have to be 854x480 and not 853x480, otherwise you get an annoying green line up the right side. Sigh. I need an assistant...
    July 27th, 2012 @ 11:59 am
    Thanks, I had the same problem. Thanks to your comment, I've solved it.
April 26th, 2012 @ 1:21 am
No effect.
As was so is. Thrtre're manipulations hasn't effect.
July 29th, 2012 @ 2:42 pm
Has anyone come up with a solution for this now that Quicktime Pro isn't available anymore?
March 5th, 2013 @ 8:48 am
Thank you!!! I've been looking for a solution for this, on and off, for years. This has been incredibly helpful, and has eased my biggest issue with using H.264!
May 26th, 2013 @ 5:43 am
yes, it works but it's an unsatisfactory hack because it severely degrades performance and you CAN'T re-save an MP4 in QT-Player...
May 28th, 2013 @ 1:50 pm
Hey Andrew. Big fan of yours and this site. I tried this method when trying to solve gamma shift with H264, but it doesn't seem to have any effect. Are there any other solutions that you, or someone else has come up with? I see that you posted this back in 2008. Surely someone has come up with a solution in 5 years time. And why is it that it's working for some of you, and not others? Anyone? Beuller? Anyone?
kerem ogan
December 27th, 2013 @ 4:41 am
Really helpful. i was looking for the solution of that for years.
March 18th, 2014 @ 9:10 am
Works great when viewed in the quicktime player, but does this actually change the video file? When viewed in VLC or uploaded to vimeo, the gamma appears to be same as before. It's driving me nuts! Any other fixes?
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