Access Preferences settings under General preferences or under Lumetri Color settings found in Premiere Pro (Beta).
Display color management
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Learn about color management and how it works in Premiere Pro.
What is color management?
Color management helps you to achieve consistent color among digital cameras, scanners, and computer monitors. Each of these devices reproduces a different range of colors, called a color gamut.
As you move media from your digital camera to your monitor, the colors shift. This shift occurs because every device has a different color gamut and thus reproduces the colors differently. For example, the colors on one frame of a video appear the same on a computer LCD monitor and a plasma screen. All the colors may not match exactly because each device has a different range of color intensities. Color management translates the media colors so that each device can reproduce them in the same way.
Set up color management
Now you can also access Preferences under Lumetri Color settings which were earlier only accessible through Premiere Pro (Beta) > Settings > Color.
Select Enable Display Color Management (requires GPU acceleration) from the Preferences dialog box or select Display Color Management to display accurate color values on any monitor and Extended Dynamic Range Monitoring to display out-of-range color values without clamping when available.
If Enable Display Color Management (requires GPU acceleration) is dimmed, do the following:
Select File > Project Settings > General.
Under Video Rendering and Playback, set the Renderer to Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration.
If the renderer is grayed out:
- Check the VRAM of your GPU. The VRAM should be more than 1 GB for Premiere Pro to detect the GPU.
- Check if your GPU drivers are up to date. Or if any warning is being reported in System Compatibility Report.
Learn more about GPU and GPU Driver Requirements for Premiere Pro.
Effect of color management on a project
Premiere Pro uses television broadcast standards, while macOS uses a less common standard. You now have the option to choose how video is displayed in Premiere Pro.
The Settings tab of the Lumetri Color panel now has a Viewer Gamma option, enabling you to choose either the broadcast standard 2.4 gamma or the macOS 1.96 gamma.
The option is also available in Project Settings, Team Projects Settings, Production Settings, and the Color section of Media Encoder Preferences.
For native Rec.709 video, this feature will work anywhere in the application where the video is displayed, like the Source Monitor and the Program Monitor. For video that is color managed (for example, log video where the color space is auto-detected and then tone mapped into Rec.709), Viewer Gamma will affect how the video is displayed only in the Program Monitor.
When is color management useful?
Display color management isn't required if your monitor (display) color spaces match with the timeline color space, e.g., a user working with properly calibrated (Rec. 709) may keep it disabled.
Use the following table for guidance on when to enable Display Color Management.
Display when color management is disabled
Display when color management is enabled
Display is fine.
Display is fine, but it is not required.
Display is too saturated
Display is fine.
Display is slightly washed out. Matches what YouTube viewers see on their sRGB display.
Mid Tones match Rec. 709. Some shadow details might be lost.
Shadow details are lost because sRGB encoding in the shadows doesn’t have the fine granularity of the Rec. 709 shadows. In an 8-bit signal, the 20 lowest Rec. 709 codes are crunched into the 7 lowest sRGB codes. For 10 bit, the 78 lowest Rec. 709 code values are crushed into the 28 lowest sRGB values.
Display Color Management works for both internal and secondary computer monitors used as part of the OS desktop. It shows the accurate colors and contrast that are required for your display to be calibrated or characterized.
Effects of Display Color Management on sRGB based display
Most computer screens are sRGB. Some newer displays are P3 (like the iMac Retina displays and HP’s DreamColor displays) or some other wide gamut color space.
Broadcast Monitors are Rec. 709. Some displays, like the DreamColor displays from HP, can show multiple standards: sRGB, Rec. 709, P3.
Most people edit on sRGB because it is a common monitor. It is problematic because most videos are Rec. 709. Enabling color management makes the Rec. 709 video appear closer than a broadcast monitor. There is also loss of quality in the display.
Most sRGB displays are only 8 bit, so the 19 lowest 8-bit Rec. 709 code values are crushed into the 7 lowest 8-bit sRGB values. 8-bit Rec. 709 codes, 0-6, are mapped to 8-bit sRGB 0 (if rounded to nearest).
Some video cards use floor instead of round, so:
- 8-bit Rec. 709 codes 0-8 are mapped to 8-bit sRGB 0 (using floor instead of round).
- The 78 lowest 10-bit Rec. 709 code values are crushed into the 8 lowest 8-bit sRGB values.
- 10-bit Rec. 709 codes 0-26 are mapped to 8-bit sRGB 0 (if rounded to nearest).
- 10-bit Rec. 709 codes 0-35 are mapped to 8-bit sRGB 0 (using floor instead of round).
Many displays are “sRGB-in-name-only”, SINO. Although calibrated to sRGB, a SINO display can be off target, since most calibration tools take few samples. So, a SINO display shows fewer details than what is represented in a sRGB encoding.
There is some loss of detail regardless of how you set Display Color Management. Your sRGB display will never be able to show true Rec. 709.
You can select Viewer Gamma from the dropdown menu under the Project section of the Lumetri Color settings.
The feature allows users to toggle the viewing gamma of Premiere Pro between 1.96, 2.2, and 2.4.
While 1.96 is relevant only for macOS, you can test the gammas in Premiere Pro and on target display devices to find the optimal gamma setting to match how the video looks in Premiere Pro and where the exported video will be played.
Here are screen grabs from an sRGB monitor, showing Rec. 709 video with Display Color Management enabled and disabled. The difference is in the shadows and saturation.
Video: Displaying color management in Premiere Pro
Watch this tutorial to understand how to set up color management in Premiere Pro on macOS and Windows.
Viewing time: 7 minutes.
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