Colours alter on video export

Whenever I export my animations to video in Toon Boom, I’ve noticed the colours alter slightly i.e. they are lighter, washed out and not as bold as I would like, or are even a completely different shade to what I need them to be.

I am starting work on a corporate, inforgraphic animation which is potentially going to be done partly in Toon Boom Harmony and partly in Adobe After Effects, and the background is a bold green colour, which differs when exported in After Effects from when it is exported in Harmony. Is there a way around this to ensure that a consistency in colour? Are there any settings that need changing in Harmony?

Thank you.

Unfortunately it’s a Quicktime thing. If you google “quicktime washed out” you’ll see a whole lotta people with the same problem. The good news is there are a lot of people with workarounds. I haven’t tried this yet, but maybe this could help:

In the past I worked around it by adjusting the gamma settings in the quicktime export box but now I find the best thing to do is to export as an image sequence and edit it in another program.

Good luck

It is interesting that this would have any effect as the Quicktime Export features are disabled according to Toon Boom Support.

That’s right they are disabled. I’d export the film from Toon Boom at the highest quality I could and then open it in Quicktime Pro, play with the settings and export it from there. This wasn’t ideal obviously which is why I now export as an image sequence to Adobe Premiere. I’m not an expert at all, just putting it out there that this used to drive me crazy too and this is what works for me now.

I added the link above for anyone who does want to export a high quality copy from Toon Boom, and then adjust the gamma settings in quicktime.

I understand now. Thanks for clarifying that.

You can also create depth of field effects in Harmony using the Focus module.

Generally the H.264 codec is pretty good but to get the best results make sure that the “Compressor” slider is set to “Best” and the Colour Space is set to “Millions of Colours” or to “Millions of Colours+” if you need transparency - otherwise there will be compression that could affect the colour space.

Since there is no single “Best” codec they all have good and bad aspects to them. Try out a few tests to see which one works best with your particular project’s demands.

Exporting to TGA and importing into AE is also a possible solution as others have said but my suggestions are made just to add more options and choices.

Sorry for the late reply.
First, make sure you export an image sequence with alpha from Harmony, say TGA4.
Then, import the sequence as a sequence in AE. AE will ask how to treat the alpha. If not, you can always select the sequence in your project, right click and select “interpret footage” > “interpret main” . Set it to Premultiplied.

Rendering to an image sequence always has the advantage of only having to re-render the faulty frames or elements.
Furthermore, if you have lets say a television set, you can render the broadcast as a separate element, and put a television look on only that element in AE.
Other example: depth of field effects, where you can blur the foreground element only.

Hi Elodie,
Most likely, the color space of your animation codec is too limited.
Better to output to a decent image sequence and import that in After Effects.
I render to multiple TGA4 sequences, so I have my Foreground elements apart from my Background elements, and all elements I need for special post treatments in After Effects in separate image sequences with alpha.

I don’t know a lot about the specific color spaces of the different codecs, so I hope you’ll find a codec that supports your bold green.


Hi Mark,

Thanks for the advice, I will give it a go!

How do you go about setting images to Alpha in After Effects?