Washed Out Renders – The Gamma Shift Solution

As I rendered more and more video projects, I found myself continually asking are my colors that washed out? I would check HEX codes for brand colors, but the colors always turned out to be the correct codes, so I then turned to my rendering process. I discussed the problem with our Senior Motion Designer, Rob, about it to see if I was missing something but he said it is something he deals with as well. He told me that sometimes it had to do with the compression of the file itself. After talking to him in more depth about it, I searched some forums to see if this was a problem for others in the industry.

As it turns out, many designers had a similar problem. The difference was washed out footage as opposed to washed out graphic elements. Color correction is always an option when dealing with renders, but in my specific case, I wanted to match the colors one hundred percent to the brand. So I did a little more digging. I found an Adobe forum that talked about display settings of different media players. This forum is where I had my “eureka” moment. I realized I did not have to use QuickTime Player as my media player and that the problem I was seeing could be solved by using another player.

After using QuickTime Player as my default media player for years, I made the change to VLC media player. The driving reason for this change was the washed out colors I kept seeing in my renders due to Gamma issues with QT, showing washed out colors specifically in the H.264 format.

As far as QuickTime Player goes, working on a Mac, you do not have the option to change the Gamma settings, but if you are working with a PC, you can follow this quick tutorial to change your settings.

Keep in mind, if you are switching over to VLC, it is free and an open-source multimedia player. It runs a wide span of operating systems, and its interface is very user-friendly. I hope this helps clear up any issues you might be experiencing. Happy rendering!