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I've been struggling with this issue for a while now as I record and upload video game footage onto YouTube. I record using OBS Studio then usually edit/render the video in Premiere Pro before uploading. I have noticed the video on YouTube looked a little washed out and I always thought it was just YouTube compressing things. However, recently I did a test where I uploaded the OBS Studio recorded footage directly to YouTube and realised it looked a lot better and upon closer inspection there seems to be a loss of colour or vibrancy going on. It's not just a flat desaturation though, as upping the saturation on the Premiere Pro render just makes all the colours look overly saturated while some points still look under saturated.

Here is an image that includes the two footage samples that were screenshotted off of YouTube after uploading, not in any media player on my PC, along with a detail comparison and my Premiere Pro render settings: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/282488029346791424/480420735580635136/Video-Render-Colour-Issue.jpg

Video is recorded to h.264 in OBS Studio and exported to h.264 from Premiere Pro.

I don't know if there is a solution to this or not but I would love to know why this would be happening in the first place. If anyone has an idea of what's going on I would greatly appreciate hearing your input or idea.

Thank you!

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First, Youtube re-encodes anything you upload to it's own streaming format(s), creating multiple down-res'd versions from the file you upload.

So it's possible that:

1.) OBS is outputting a higher-bit rate or better codec than what you're outputting using Premiere.

2.) Browsers ignore for the most part (Chome), color profiles for video and photos, this can cause a lot of frustration wondering why colors look different in Photoshop/Premiere vs in Chrome. That said:

3.) From Bridge make sure your Color Settings are synced across all programs under the Edit Menu.

4.) Set to Web Color sRGB.

In the end, the hard truth is that you CANNOT control the "end result" in terms of how your video will look on youtube on any given computer. Because people have different monitors, different browsers, their monitors may be setup to non-sRGB profiles, etc.

It's very much the same as handing someone a Blu-Ray, that you've quality checked on your studio reference monitor to get the tonality you're aiming for. You have no idea what TV they will use when they take it home, and what Picture Profile they will have set, which can drastically alter the image they see.

Obviously however, whatever OBS is outputting is being converted into a format that Youtube is re-encoding to a file which you are more pleased with. The only solution is to try different output settings from Premiere. But honestly, it's a bit of a fruitless endeavor, as you have no control over how other people will see it; due to browser, color profile, monitor setup, etc.

  • Thank you for explaining! After reading your reply, I tested more with bitrates to see if that affected anything. Seems like I can preserve some of the color, getting half way between the two examples in the image above, by setting the Maximum Bitrate to the highest it will go (300Mbps) and the Target to 60Mbps. It's not perfect and the file size can get pretty huge, but it's better than before. I'm still not sure what OBS is doing that's better as that's set to record at 40Mbps. Maybe it's the NV12 Color Format, 709 YUV Color Space, or partial YUV Color Range? I'll keep messing. – GamerZakh Aug 22 '18 at 7:54
  • I'm not familiar with OBS, but I would agree. It likely has something to do with the NV12 Color Format, Color Space, etc. -- Each program has it's own idiosyncrasies. This is why it's important to establish well tested, and documented SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for tasks such as these, as you can't be troubleshooting output colorspace issues with a client project that's due. 300mbps is absurd for h.264. I highly doubt you will see any difference between 30mbps (blu-ray quality) and even 60mbps, at least not to the naked eye, perhaps- maybe, possible with a scope. – McFlySoHigh Aug 22 '18 at 9:29
  • But back to idiosynchrosies, each program has it's own. What ever OBS is outputting, it appears you're more pleased with the way Youtube's video processing/encoding engine manages the original file and conversion to it's own streaming formats. You could use VLC (free download) and use CTRL-i and CTRL-j to see the media information, and codec information respectively. See what information it gives you for your OBS output, but even if you identify the exact format/codec, and match it in Premiere/AME, it doesn't mean you'll get the same results matching those output settings in AME. – McFlySoHigh Aug 22 '18 at 9:35
  • Reason being, Adobe has it's own rendering engine, and the way it transcodes a sequence to "final output codec" is likely propriatary to adobe (speaking in terms of the encoding process itself). A great example of this is with Adobe AfterEffects, and why, on output, the only way to get a truly high quality output of a rendered composition is to export as Quicktime - Codec: Animation. Why, from AE, exporting an H.264 direct produces less than perfect / far from identical quality than the same content exported from Premiere is a mystery to me... but AE doesn't handle H.264 well. – McFlySoHigh Aug 22 '18 at 9:39
  • Final thought, the one thing you could do is apply a top layer video track to your sequence in premiere, and add fast color corrector as an effect track/adjustment track. Then tweak the color correction until... to raise/lower the RGB gain where needed. You would edit with it off, then turn on for export. The video may look off in premiere, but you'd get an output that then matches your OBS output. – McFlySoHigh Aug 22 '18 at 9:42

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