For some reason my video is coming out a lighter black than web #000 black.

I'm using After Effects & Web - H.264 profile.

Left: Web | Right: Video

enter image description here

The photo doesn't do it justice.. it's very noticable for what I'm trying to achieve. Is there any way to get this #000 color to match up in the video?


Testing on a laptop with Windows 8, the black in the video was true #000. On my desktop running Windows 7, it's the lighter color (#101010).

Using different browsers made no difference.. odd problem..

  • Video typically has a reduced colorspace yes, no pure blac or bright white, but this depends on many variables such as codec. This may not be the best place to ask, in anycase you may want to be way more specific. Anyway this is a complex issue.
    – joojaa
    Jul 24, 2014 at 6:00
  • How are you determining if it's black or not? Just by looking at it or by color picking it after rendering? Maybe it's just looking off on your monitor? EDIT: It seems you tried to post a still from your video, but it won't show for me.
    – gburning
    Jul 24, 2014 at 10:53
  • The image is a screenshot of the video on a web page. The lighter color is #101010, where I'm expecting #000. Codec is h.264
    – kcdwayne
    Jul 24, 2014 at 14:36
  • yes this is a limitation of the yuv space h.264 uses use a different codec no way around this with h.264. use something that allows rgb.
    – joojaa
    Jul 25, 2014 at 4:49
  • @joojaa Which HTML5 video compatible formats use rgb?
    – kcdwayne
    Jul 25, 2014 at 16:04

1 Answer 1


What you are running into is one of the big differences between video and still photography/design. Video's heritage is television, which has very different technical requirements and standards.

In video there is no such thing as #000. In the same way, there is no #fff, no #ff000, no #00ff00, etc.. TV and video standards do not permit levels of 0 or 255 on any color channel; typically they run 16 to 235 or a similar range.

  • I'm still a bit unclear - why, when using the same file, does it show up #101010 in Win7 and #000 in Win8?
    – kcdwayne
    Jul 25, 2014 at 16:03
  • 1
    @kcdwayne the postprocessor of your player is free to rescale the content and you can give some instructions regarding this in the container. But ultimately the behaviour is up to the player software, you have no control over this. Sometimes it works other times not so much. Anyway what Alan describes is called safe colorspace.
    – joojaa
    Jul 25, 2014 at 16:14

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