I've dug around numerous forums and have had no success finding a solution to my issue - .mp4 files color corrected in Premiere and exported in H.264 end up being unacceptably dark, the colors crushed. There are a lot of conversations from 3 years ago about exports being lighter, or solutions offered on a Windows platform (I use a Mac), lots of complaining about Quicktime, but nary a fix for what ails me.

Here's an example of my issue:

Top left = Premiere program monitor; Top right = Quicktime playing the .mp4; Bottom center = Youtube (obviously).

In reading forums, I wonder the issue is that I'm editing in 0-255 rgb range, but it's exporting in the 16-235 range. Or vice versa? I'm fairly new at this and while I'm pretty confident in everything else regarding video production, I can't figure out what's going on behind-the-scenes in Premiere that would cause this.

I have found each video example to be unchanged from Mac to PC, on Safari, Chrome and IE11, exported for Vimeo or Youtube, on the MacBook Pro screen to two differing-model dell monitors.

I work on a 2013 MacBook Pro, with an Nvidia GeForce GT 650M. The drivers are up to date. There are no meaningful graphics card settings on OSX.

At first I thought that Quicktime as a player doesn't have anything to do with it since it shows up the same on Youtube. It must be in the file. Then I imported the .mp4 back into the project and the color/white balance looked fine. So now I have no idea.

Thanks in advance.


  • Can you render a visual whose left half is black and right half is white? Just a 1 second sample, with the same project and render settings.
    – Gyan
    Dec 23, 2015 at 4:23
  • I wonder if its just the way the encoding is handling the footage. If you turn up the quality to 100 and export do you get the same issue? If you export to uncompressed avi, do you get the same thing? Unless I'm misunderstanding the issue it sounds like the encoding itself is the problem. Probably a settings issue.
    – ahackney
    Jan 22, 2016 at 23:23

2 Answers 2


In my experience Quicktime always produces incorrect shading and color with video- period. It shouldn't be used to assess what really "is there".

First, go into Bridge. Under EDIT, make sure you've synchronized all your color settings for all Adobe Products, and that you're using WEB AMERICAN (Monitor Color for sRGB). That would be the correct profile for web content like youtube.

After that; try re-out putting. Also; you can check your NVIDIA settings; but you want to allow applications to control color; so it could be that your system is simply using a different color profile or an expanded color gamut for web vs what Adobe is using.

But I'd shy away from using QT for viewing files (or anything MAC for that matter); having switched over to only using Windows based workstations so many problems like these have been solved for us.

Hope this helps.


I would suggest throwing the video into After Effects (if possible) add some corrections to the brightness then when you go to export, change the codec to Photo-Jpeg with 100 quality. I've been using that for a while now and haven't had any issues.

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