H264 mp4 color inconsistencies across browsers

Since WFH has become the norm, our artists are becoming more reliant on the overlay player in the web browser and reporting color inconsistencies. Sure enough, I compared several browsers (chrome, Firefox, safari) across several OS’s (Mac and Centos/Linux) and there’s a range of color differences in rendering the H264 movies used by the overlay player. Contrast is generally the same, the differences seem to be most pronounced in hues of saturated colors. Chrome and Safari on Mac seem to produce the closest match to the original uploaded QuickTime, whereas Firefox (Mac) and Chrome (linux) appear to have the shift. Nothwitstanding that it’s probably ill advised to rely on a browser for color critical review, is this a known issue and if so is there any documentation on recommended browsers?

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Hi @nico.vandenbosch,

Welcome back to the forum! Sorry I cannot help too much of the color inconsistence as I do not have the tech eyes. But we do have recommended browser associated with Shotgun release. Worth to check that here.

Leave the rest for tech folks from our team.

Cheers,
Ben

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Thanks @Ben_xzj. Although I’m particularly interested in recommendations for overly and the h264 (and webm if it’s relevant to overlay player) color rendering differences across browsers and platforms. I’d be surprised given the amount of reviewing that is done directly via overlay that the issue wouldn’t have come up with other studios. Even if the response is “web browsers are a moving target and an unreliable environment for judging color”, that’s at least something we can relay back to the users.

Also, just to dispel any suggestion that it’s specifically a shotgun issue, I took shotgun transcoding and overlay out of the equation entirely, I can reproduce these same color discrepancies with arbitrary h264 media played back directly in various browsers.

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Hi @nico.vandenbosch,

Every browser implementation is reponsible for properly honoring Color Management metadata (color profiles, color spaces, etc.) and rendering it correctly on the display device. Shotgun Overlay Player relies on those capabilities to render images/videos correctly. The extent of support depends indeed on the browser and the OS. There are a lot of Color Management Browser Test Pages you can use to qualify your browser, here are a few :

http://pages.physics.cornell.edu/~cmuhlberger/color-checker/
https://chromachecker.com/info/en/page/webbrowser
https://cameratico.com/tools/web-browser-color-management-test/

More Info : https://cameratico.com/guides/web-browser-color-management-guide/

RV currently offers a more robust workflow for proper Color MGMT, you might consider using it for review.

I hope this helps,

Eric

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Understood @desruie but what’s fairly apparent at this point is that not all browsers are compliant, and I was hoping to avoid having do this extensive legwork to personally vet all permutations across all browsers and operating systems. Seeing that shotgun already maintains a list of recommended browsers (and some caveats associated with each) it would seem like a reasonable expectation for this list to include this information.

As for RV, it has been our preferred review solution but it’s not always the most expedient and practical solution when factoring in the demands of artists working from home.

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Hi Nico,

I’ll leave whether we should evaluate browser color management consistence to Eric, but to configure your RV to be more WFH-friendly, you could check these docs below for some inspiration.

Hope they bring you some value.

Cheers,
Ben

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@Ben_xzj very useful information thanks. We’re actually successfully leveraging shotgun descriptors for remote deployments of some shotgun apps. We’ve not yet used it to attempt to deploy our RV setup remotely as there’s currently quite a few complex dependencies to sort out.

As far as RV sync, it’s not really an option for us since this requires network visibility between all participants, and our remote users aren’t set up with VPN access to make this possible. In those instances where synced playback is needed for joint reviews cinesync ends up being the fallback solution.

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