Dipublikasikan tanggal 29 Mar 2020
Dark scenes in television, ID-tv, and streaming platforms all look pixelated and blocky. Here's why.
Animation by William Marler: wmad.co.uk
I'm at tomscott.com
on Twitter at tomscott
on Facebook at tomscott
and on Instagram as tomscottgo
Komentar: 5 801
I can promise there are no jump-scares in here. And yes, I finally got an animator to do in a couple of days what would have taken me a couple of weeks...!
how is this from 2 weeks ago
I wasn’t expecting a jump scare before, but now I’m hovering over the pause button
(2 weeks ago)
Even if there was a jumpscare, it can't beat the skull drill in the brain surgery video.
I bet people in the future will intentionally add banding as "2010's aesthetic"
You might be onto something
I already do this because my equipment is incredibly cheap
i’ve already seen it happen
This is one of those videos I come back to every now and then because it’s so good
I watched it like 7 times now
Actually same, now I notice things that cause noise or banding on digital videos much more often.
@wmascolina once you start noticing it there is no going back.. blessed are the ignorant ones
I do the same thing! I sure wish I could put the green screen to such use if I had the digital resources and time to make such thing!
Gotta love that fun looking editing
A verified user with one like
Oof 4 likes
The editor must have a fun time
@Anka8kot nope this type of editing is never fun.. so much dedication is needed
@Lex Of All Trades but imagine doing all that and ending up with a masterpiece that got 3 mil views (above average for tom)
0:42 no way this dude just sneakily taught us how greenscreening works entirely in the edit
Not really, he'd look green if that was the only step taken. He did let us know it existed and teach how it worked, but not teach exactly what he did, that would distract from the video and slow his transitions down.
@Bing Bing what
oh crap XD
so when you see the background getting more detailed, that means something's coming
Just like in old cartoons.
Those markings drawn differently were so annoyingly
@Intenselly LIt I think they mean the *normal animated drawings that give away the fact that it's gonna be animated soon.
Actually it happens when the thing already came, giving it by a moment a compressed look.
I actually noticed that if I add noise to my RAW photographs I can reduce color banding, but never knew why
It's probably acting a bit like dithering.
@BeanieTeamie it actually is, and the same concept exist in sound
@Santiago San José Huh, what would I have to search to read more about the audio equivalent of dithering?
@BeanieTeamie I really don't know. Ever since I learned about that, I've been trying to know more about it. I got introduced to it by a colleague, I actually work in videography.
@BeanieTeamie I dont know about photos, but at least with video compression it can often force the encoder to compress these areas of frames less.
He's really mastered how to present a topic , his 6 min video feels like a 2 min video
@Dzidkapl Like you can do better...
I agree with Simon, it’s a simple video and went by fast but I don’t feel like I actually got anything out of it, unless I were to watch it again, maybe.
How didn't you get anything out if it? It was clear and precise. You can now explain why there are blocky mess of colors in video and photos.
I watched the video at 3x speed and it felt like 2.
In any point of my life, i have never thought i could see Tom Scott deep fried, yet here i am.
Does that make ID-tv lightly fried video?
@Nkopane Lesedi Lebona Mildly boiled.
@Nkopane Lesedi Lebona medium rare
@Sinfull Occultist prime rib
@Sinfull Occultist make sure to reverse sear
I have literally always noticed this even as a kid. I could never enjoy a movie as much as i could at home as apposed to a theater. Thats why i watch official releases at theaters and not at home with hbo max. I like the real deal.
Just buy Blu-ray’s?
@awdadw adwad Still has the problem
@Joshua Galvez less of a problem.
@Joshua Galvez not if you have 8k
@awdadw adwad The standard blu rays have the same colors, UHD Blu Ray supposedly bumps it up to 10 bits per color. Theatrical releases often are even higher definition than you can find on any disk, plus if you go to an obscure enough movie you'll get the big screen and speakers to yourself :)
Tom Scott is the kind of guy who tells you what you wanted to know for a long time without asking.
the production behind this video was amazing, easily one of the best, massive respect to your crew and you
This always made me angry when it comes to windows wallpapers. The image preview looks fine, but when you set it as a wallpaper, windows compresses the image very heavily (even on PCs that have loads of RAM and graphic memory), and makes evey dark wallpaper look extremely bad. Not to mention Windows 10 and 11 does even worse job, and you can see compression on their stock wallpapers. All because Microsoft wants that stupid mobile market.
That's why I used to circumvent this by putting the files in the wallpaper folder myself, so Windows doesn't do it for me while also compressing it. BTW: This has nothing to do with RAM and VRAM.
You can turn that compression off by changing a registry entry. But it still doesn't look especially good. Which is why any wallpaper involving starry sky is no more an option on Windows 11, unless you have an IPS display with aggressive smoothing.
That’s due to using an image that doesn’t have the same resolution as your monitor
Does this also happen on MacOS?
there is a regkey that you can change to avoid compression of wallpapers
“256 Shades of Green” is the boring spinoff of a franchise we never asked for
That sounds like a rip-off rather than spinoff lmao
Leonardo Taufan no not really
Or the code name of Marvel's Hulk movie.
It involves botany.
@ClickPause Yes indeed, maybe a teen pot-smoking road-trip movie?
This video was amazingly well done. Everything was perfectly laid out in an easy to understand format, and then scripted and edited to perfection. It must be a lot of hard work to plan this out so that each piece not only flows and fits together, but complements each other too. Tom is extremely talented.
Having worked with digital video as a hobby since the Video Toaster's introduction, I've understood this phenomenon for ages. Your explanation - with animations - taught me a few things I hadn't given much thought to. It also explains banding better than I could ever hope to. Brilliant video as always. Keep up the great work!
I’ve finally found a video that explains what I’ve spent hours and hours explaining albeit rather poorly to friends of mine regarding banding. Thank you so much for putting this up on ID-tv
Have watched this videos multiple times at different time points. The editing is just ON POINT. I love the small details like the echo of Tom's voice in the movie theater and the robotic sound when the backdrop switches. This is high quality stuff! Just shame of that ID-tv compression ;)
Thanks for this easy-to-digest explanation of this phenomena. I deal with this kind of noise constantly in videos, and the inclusion of scanlines in those areas on top of the lower-bitrate they typically receive on top of the re-encoding by youtube to an already-compressed video, can make for some really weird visual anomalies that hopefully our codecs and hardware can get better at dealing with in the future.
It looks even worse once you realise how dirty your screen is
Clean your screen! It might be covered with Corona Virus!
beat me to it
fingerprints and dust are way more distracting than color banding
What a coincidence I cleaned my screen today. But you're right, when your screen is dirty, it sometimes ruins the content on the screen. I mostly don't notice it though. Now I wonder, what is it that makes our monitors dirty? (I'm talking about non-touchscreen computer monitors here) Is it fly poop?
Quite literally the bane of Google Stadia and cloud gaming. Bitrate can help overcome some compression but this is by far the biggest change between even buffered streamed video and “live” cloud gaming video, let alone local render.
This is why games look more realistic than TV these days
The reason I love good 4k restorations is because I hardly see these. Even back in the 2000s I noticed those brands in my blu rays on 1080p TVs. If you haven’t seen The Godfather, for instance, in 4K I highly recommend it. It’s never been more dark, shadowy and crisp since the theater.
Tom , this is your best video so far. This effect is described incredibly neat and easy. Thanks for your videos!
The animations here are outstanding. Whoever helped you with this is a genius.
Thank you Tom!!! this question was driving me nuts. I have an absolutely incredible and very expensive screen on my laptop and it kills me that all the dark and gloomy shows look rubbish no matter that I do😭 at least now I know it is not due to my hardware. I just need to switch back to physical media.. oh damn.. they all went bankrupt didn't they🥺
This mans editor should get a round of applause
@Os haha you've seen the other video about bitrates nice.
and a raise
These motion graphics are fantastic. Also I never thought about the meth behind taking 256 colors and stretching them to 1080 pixels, but it makes perfect sense. Really cool stuff.
I'm jealous of how well written literally every one of Tom's videos are
The editing on this video was top tier! Everything was motivated and actually contributed to me understanding 🙌
Oh gosh, this may be a year old but I've gotta compliment the fantastic animation. I certainly hope the new animator helped dramatically increase your views, because it is fantastic and really makes me think it was money well-spent.
Something interesting I've noticed that photo compressors do is that they tend to blend the shadows into solid colors in order to save space and so darker images tend to take up less space on my computer. It's not just a small difference either, some photos of the same resolution are twice the others storage simply because they display more sharp color and contrast.
When the video is just so interesting and well made that it doesn't matter of how fancy it is. It's just feels really good to watch.
It could also serve an artistic purpose. There’s an idea in visual art that you should lose detail in shadows which might relate to why we prioritize the bright parts of images.
If you're a digital artist, sometimes this is a thing when trying to blend colors together and IT'S INFURIATING BECAUSE YOU KNOW IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN
I’ve been searching why this is happening, finally found this video. While frustrating I feel comfortable it’s not something I’ve done, and it means physical media is still boss for ultimate enjoyment. I have managed to adjust some of the settings on my Sony OLED within the clarity menu which has subdued the effect so it’s not as dramatic. The Last of Us has really brought this issue to my attention.
Another effect that happens is sprite artifacts. The compression creates sprites, areas of the image which are the same from frame to frame except they are positioned a bit differently. The compression may lose the fact that the sprite image has rotated a bit (perhaps rotation cannot be expressed in the encoding) or that two nearby images area are not quite moving in unison and so should each have their own sprite but don't, etc. This results in strange effects like people's facial features moving around on their faces as they move their head. This problem seems to occur more on darker and less in-focus images, perhaps because the compression decides they are less important.
Good lord this is so well done
This has driven me CRAZY - I never knew why backgrounds of scenes looked so blocky and I have never heard anything about this before. SO COOL and so informative!!
Thanks Tom, I always wondered about that. Your videos are always very informative. I appreciate that. I also appreciate the video demonstrations that go along with your videos.
Modern video encoders handle dark regions of the image much better than they used to, in my experience. I think developers finally figured out how to properly calculate the visual impact of macroblocking depending on brightness and weight it accordingly during the encoding process.
Very good! This video definitely gives an incredible overview of video codecs that’s perfect fir beginners. Very well put!
This video helped me tremendously. I was struggling with compression artifacts when I had a few seconds of text over a solid dark grey background. Then I remembered this video and decided to switch the background to a light blue gradient. Far less artifacts. Cheers Tom!
I feel like Tom just got a degree in every possible thing and knows everything about everything. Less like Einstein and more like the guy down the road who you can ask any question and get an answer. Tom is google, but in more detail.
Anna Baldur same
It is good to have a well rounded science education to understand the foundation of how the world works, then you can look up the details of a specific subject and have enough of a foundation to understand the explanation of the details.
God put all of his character creation points into intelligence
That's just mathematics: the basis for all serious science
This was great I appreciate him taking the time to explain these small details that I've always wondered about
You also missed screen back lighting. Depending on your screen you may have a bunch of lighting zones that try their best to make bright things bright and not illuminate anything else. This creates light bleeding and squares on the screen on the edges between light and dark.
As a digital illustrator who has to combat color banding on digital art programs, thank you! I never knew this was a thing until you mentioned it, and it immediately clicked as the reason why my gradients always look a little...unblended.
I'm having the same issue when doing illustrations and it's a nightmare!
I've noticed recently with HDR video this seems to be far less of a problem. The newer encoders seem to be far better at compression without causing massive dark colour banding.
I used to work for Sharp Labs - this issue was a problem when DVDs came out - they didn’t have enough colors compared to the LCDs we were making. The researchers were able to add image processing to the display pipeline to smooth the gradients. The Abyss movie was one of the reference movies because it had such bad banding in the dark. The algorithm had to identify the foreground and background and smooth out the background. Once Blueray’s came out the dynamic range of the source and the display became rematched. But then, we moved to streaming 4K and also TVs had to become cheaper. It can still be done probably.
"Because if it's very dark the consumer won't care..." Me and everyone I know watching a tv show or movie during a dark scene : "I'd be more engaged if I could SEE what was happening"
This is why, when I know it's going to be a dark movie/TV show, I get it on 4k bluray instead of streaming it. It's still not perfect and it depends on the quality of the transfer, but for the most part, it looks way better.
Laughs in "GoT - The Long Night"
@TrveIrrlicht Oh Yess I remember this I was watching the whole season on my Phone so small screen plus extreme darkness = not very enjoyable even tho I was still hyped af before finding out the dissapointing end of it all....
@AluminumHaste Once you watch 4k blu rays on a good HDR display there's no going back. Maybe one day streaming services will have better compression and higher bitrate instead of using a video codec from 2003.
One thing not mentioned in this video is that along with the relative difference in bright colors being larger, brighter colors simply allow you to get away with more of and a wider range of the other colors, allowing for color banding that both looks and actually is smoother
Love it - Would be interesting seeing you explain compression, packaging a little more Everything from mov to h264 etc
Hi Tom . I really enjoyed this one in particular . As a TV engineer from the past now doing Boiler repairs. I'm always looking at the picture and complaining about the supposed quality. Frames updating every 5 pictures balls going missing then reappearing further down the screen due to it being small and moving so fast as well as what you just been informing every one about. Never had that in the old analogue days. It might have been a bit noisy in the background but there wasn't blocks of grass painted the same colour. Sorry forgive my rant I know that when I point these things out to people it can spoil the enjoyment for a short while when they realise how bad the picture is even in HD RESOLUTION. But they soon forget and carry on with the enjoyment. :-)
Thank you. This could not have been explained any better. Rarely do I find such good answers to my questions. Well done sir, well done!
In digital art there’s a rule of thumb where you don’t have a smooth gradient between 0 to 30ish value points without a change in hue. Banding is super noticeable in that range and is a huge eyesore.
After 3 years of searching and scouring forums for the reason my 4K television does this while I’m watching Netflix and Hulu, I finally get my answer from a recommendation on ID-tv. I feel like I completed a long journey accidentally.
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Hey Tom, that's a very informative video. Thanks for breaking down information we don't have the time to research but are curious enough to learn about it.
The freaking level of detail in production, adding a bit of reverb when showing the movie theater.... Awesome!
An insightful & perfectly executed educational video with absolutely impeccable narrative - Was a pleasure to watch & get more info on the topic... A big THX 4 the effort 👀
Excellent explanation! and the most happiest thing is that I found this type of video!! I've been searching for this issue from a long time but I couldn't find the way to describe it and I thought I am only the one who has this problem everyday I was use to blame my brand new laptop for this and sometimes I thought It's because of 144hz screen even tho I know it doesn't makes sense anyways thank you thank you so much for this video. I'm so happy today because I found this~!
Let’s just give a applause for the editor/editors 👏
I'm a graphic designer. Crying over color banding is my job.
As a graphic designer, would you have time to tell me whether the type of panel used (TN,VA, IPS and all sorts of LED) or perhaps the brightness output or anything else makes a difference here. Or is it solely dependant on the display being 8bit or 10bit and higher? Just a simple explanation would do :P Since it's quarantine time, I trust you are bored enough to spend some time replying to a random comment. :D Thanks bud.
@Ondřej Žáček dumb question that was already answered in the video, but I'll say it again because it looks like you didn't watch it. Nomatther how high quality the screen, low bit still looks low bit. And if it can't display that ammount of bits, high bit looks low bit
So you're a liar? :P (Just a joke about the intro video of your channel. :) )
@Gabe Possibly, but Tom didn't cover all of these different display types. Sure the data being sent to them is the same but if you've ever seen a white spot in the middle of a black background on an OLED and an LCD screen you understand that they're not created equal. I don't have the answer but I don't think it's as simple as you make it out to be.
@Gabe Technically it might be possibly for a "fancy" TV to do something about it with all the "AI imagine enhancement" they seem to love having. But most people don't like those sorts of filters, or the latency they create.
I cannot express just how brilliant this video is. This is a masterpiece of an educational video. Wow. Well done.
Props to Tom that he actually went inside a computer software so he can show us the nitty-gritty of the subject matter.
Thanks, finally someone that explains the difference of bitrate between uncompressed format and the format 99% of people know. I tried to explain this to a friend that was skeptical toward h265 HD when only watching h264 HD because of the files's size, by telling him a blu ray was just a compressed format. Now I can send him this video because a guy with millions of views might appear more convincing than me
This video is just so great. Your editing and script are just so on point.
This is something I never notice as a viewer, but something that my perfectionism always notices when editing
That Editing...Wow! How lucky we are to have such talented people posting this kind of videos on ID-tv. Thank you Tom
The editing want Tom, but Tom's still great
Actually I think the editing is kind of distracting
hgfd don't you mean the editing?
hgfd I really liked the part where Tom was being represented by a grid of ones and zeros, which kept changing colour, value and size. I have no idea how to even start animating something like that, so it's incredible to have such high quality content available on ID-tv for free.
not to forget for free
this video just blew my mind , I was noticing the pixelate in dark area in youtube and netflix videos no matter the video resolution and have done research everywhere to find the fix for this, but it turn out just how the compressed streaming video work, the same movie stored on my hard drive and played on the local video player doesn't have the issue with the version on netflix. also the editing quality of this video is just excellent, 1 instant subed!
Amazing video! I'd always wondered why banding was my prevalent in darker scenes, especially on streaming services or photo editing on an old monitor
People really need to appreciate the editing on this video
Video compression is a lot about figuring out what is more important, but massive effort goes into saving data. Much of it is only saving the differences between frames, estimating motion, and many many other tricks to save data. It keeps evolving, compression now is much much better than it was 20 years ago.
I have definitely noticed this ID-tv actually does this very well But some videos definitely do need the extra bit rate like fast-paced gameplay. I would like to see ID-tv improve is overtime.
The quality of this video should be use as example of the term "quality" itself. You made a masterpiece!
592 likes and no reply :(
608 likes and 1 reply :(
@hysterical lover 643 likes and 2 replies
omg 666 likes
696 likes lmao
I don't think I have ever had anything explained as well as this. Brilliant.
If you wind up doing another video on this, you can probably add “low-cost cameras don’t see much difference in darkness” and “trying to pull up the darkness in color correction adds proportionally huge changes.”
Thank you perfectly explained! I always wondered why my videos looked relativ good on my hdr monitor but when uploading on youtube the darker scenes are always are terrible blocky mess, now I know why.
This guy deserves an awards for the best endings of the video
This infuriates me when watching tv. Thanks for explaining why. It always seemed unacceptable to me with modern TVs
I love that on his laptop, the Google search is "is my monitor a waste of money"
Woah I didn't notice that!
2:16 for anyone wondering
@Seb D thx
Idk why I read mother
That was really interesting. When editing my own videos I've often wondered why the dark parts of the footage look off. This explains it.
I wish this video was longer, holy heck, I clicked on this having never seen a video of yours and it ended with me thinking I had just watched a professional TV show. Great job, earned a sub easily!
The editing / animation for this video is incredible
Incredibly well done video. Explains the basics of Video compression in plain language. 👏👏
Me a colourblind person: watches video of a guy in a brown shirt talking about colours that don't exist
Shirt is more of a dark red or maroon than brown haha
@MrStarman926 I think you're missing the point
@MrStarman926 It's brown to them
The editing is huge. Very informative video 👏
I love the callout of The Long Night 😭 that episode is impossible to use in edits because it's too dark to use at it is and brightening it makes it look horrible
Shoutout to the editor/animator, this is just amazing
I appriciate the effort that you put for editing this video and any other
I guess that's a reason why watching dark lit scenes in movies generally sucks, but it sucks more on tv( i.e. Netflix) than the cinema. I've always thought that was a issue with how these scenes are filmed and how our brains understand them, but it's interesting that there is a technical aspect to this as well that relates to how the picture is transmitted.
"why doesn't the bright background have colourbanding?" me, sobbing: IT DOES, RIGHT THERE, I CAN SEE IT
And I see it constantly in anything that has a gradient like that in other productions too! I would say it's a lot more pronounced in dark scenes, but I notice it every time nonetheless...
Compression adds some of that but another thing that might be an issue is your monitor settings. There's usually all the scenery, game, normal and whatnot modes that mess with the video. On top of that your contrast setting will also affect it but a bit less unless it's near the minimun or maximum value. These two are easy to get rid of using a colour wheel/picker where the colours blend with each other and a smooth + incremental black to white gradients. You should choose a colour mode where the colour wheel looks smooth all over and set the contrast so that dark greys or light greys don't mix with each other or turn completely black or white.
Yes... It's just the video
I'm using a 12bpc 4K monitor as my main PC one for quite some time now. I can't even tell the difference between 1080p and 720p anymore, because both does look like mashed potatoes. ID-tv videos are just full of color banding and compression artifacts. Sometimes i do regret buying this monitor, because it often makes things looking worse than better, because you start to see how terrible the youtube video codec actually is. Or MP4 / H264 in general. I wish there would be some setting which would me allow to watch the video in the originally uploaded non-compressed format or in HEVC high tier at least. On the other side, i do like to collect monochrome CRT monitors, the direct opposite of the PC monitor i have.
That's why real life is so great! Some things just cannot be replicated on any screen at least not perfectly the way our eyes perceive them out in the world :D
this is something that I don't like when it happens, in a video of mine I noticed this scheme of more effort in what matters when it happened on a part of the floor that is not solid white and it was strange, today I prefer, whenever possible, to record in RAW, I can only record 9 minutes with 80GB of memory, but it's worth it, unfortunately the format is not very compatible so I export to ProRes 4444XQ (cinema quality), 80GB ends up becoming more than 100GB, but... it's still worth it. This is just for editing, depending on where this video ends up, the final quality can be from the same as the original to a little degraded
Apart from the reasons stated here, there are some more things that influence this. Like different gamma and color profiles, as well as output ranges. In a perfect world, this wouldnt matter, but with many different soft and hardware versions, manufacturers that interpret things differently and TVs that try to give you the most "wow" picture out of the box the blocky dark mess can become really annoying, even to the technically not inclined person. I hope it gets fixed someday. Wouldnt be so difficult. 10 or 12 bit color is easily doable today, and devices that communicate with each other and get the basic setup right without user input shouldnt be science fiction either.
Editor did a great job. Kudos to him.
I notice this all the time and it's disappointing. I tried to find non-compressed footage online to see if it's just my crappy TV and of course it's not. I had no idea non-compressed videos were so huge. Do you think something like DLSS could help us get rid of the color banding? Given the size of un-compressed footage is there ever going to be a practical and widely available way of accomplishing this?
I think we can assume that this wasn't done in one take, as Tom didn't celebrate at the end.
One take!!! :D
No! I always assume they're one takes; why? Because I want to believe. Every 6 to 10 minutes as Tom speaks, there is born a new video topic for us to behold.
I see more of this in bright scenes than dark, it all comes down to what the brightness and contrast of the final screen are versus the room light it's viewed in.
Great video! Finally, this answers a question I've had for about a year now, when I bought a 2K, 32 inch monitor. I'm also bummed that this is as good as it gets. It also answered the question I had as to why my 1080P 27" monitor didn't seemed to have that problem.
I still think the way televisions work, the way pixels work, is nothing short of magic. Thousands of instructions all at once happening faster than you can process a thought. I still find it utterly incredible technology.
Well done Tom and crew. Great video!