Pale colors in the editor and exported video compared to original


First, I’m completely new to Shotcut and video editing. I’ve watched youtube tutorials with the basics. But now I have a problem that I do not know how to solve. And I don’t know what it’s called so I don’t know what to search for. I checked the FAQ and tried searching without luck. Sorry if this has been posted before but I just failed to find it.

Either way, when I’m exporting a video the exported video has brighter and somewhat weaker colors. It kind of looks like there is a white layer with high opacity over the video. I uploaded an image to illustrate the problem.

I have watched youtube videos with codec settings etc. I use the settings from this video so I use the H.264 High Profile (or the youtube one, but the color are equally pale regardless) with libx264 codec, quality based VBR (no idea what those are) and I increase quality to 100 %.

Does anyone know why my exported video gets so pale and what I can do to fix that?

Thanks in advance, and sorry if this has been up already, I just couldn’t find it.

Your original video is probably HDR, a workaround is to use the Covert in the properties panel and check BT.709 color space.

I am not entirely sure but I don’t think you can fully work on + export HDR content in Shotcut. You can search the forums to see more details from previous discussions.


Thank you! I will check that out. I just checked settings and the Playstation 5 saves recordings in HDR. I turned that off and will try to save a video from it without HDR and see if that makes any difference. :slight_smile:

I tried saving a video without HDR and it didn’t make any difference. The video is till this pale like in my example image above.

When I check the color space in properties it says: ITU-R BT.2020.
I don’t even know how to change that :slight_smile:

In properties there is also a “Color range” option. I can choose between Broadcast Limited (MPEG) and Full (JPEG). when switching between those the colors are a bit stronger with the Broadcast Limited than with Full JPEG, but it’s not that big a difference.

That is often used for HDR. What does Color transfer say?

Color transfer is set to SMPTE ST2084 (PQ).

I did some additional testing. The videos from Playstation 5 comes as .webm. I converted one of them to .MP4 to compare but I couldn’t see any difference.

I also imported an old mobile video in .mp4. In that one all the colors looked great. When that video was highlighted in the timeline the Color Space and Color Transfer were both automatically changed to ITU-R BT.709.

This doesn’t say anything to me but maybe you guys understand what’s going on from that? :slight_smile:

That is HDR. Please use Properties > Convert and use the conversion result.

Okay! Great thank you. I will try that when I get home from work today :slight_smile:

Edit: Tried to convert it as you instructed and now the colors looks normal again. Thank you so much for your help!

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