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Adobe Premiere Pro Blue Render Bug

After pulling my hair out for the better part of a month, I think I’ve finally identified the steps to trigger a bug affecting After Effects, Premiere Pro and Adobe Media Encoder and, steps to work around it.

The Problem: When exporting videos from Adobe Premiere Pro that contain a rendered clip (like a title sequence) from After Effects that uses the Animation Codec, the AE clip turns blue when exported through Adobe Media Encoder.

In short, clips that should look like this:

look like this instead.

Others have been bedeviled by this problem and it’s finally nice to have a reliable workaround until the problem is fixed.

The Trigger: The bug seems to be triggered only by a specific set of steps. They are as follows:

1) Export a clip from After Effects using the Animation codec.

2) Import the clip into Premiere Pro and add to the timeline

3) Export a new video from Adobe Media Encoder using the “Queue” option instead of “Export” and export to one of the common QuickTime formats (Animation, ProRes, Cineform, DNXHD). Interestingly, exporting to H.264 does not trigger this problem.

The Workarounds: There are three workarounds that I currently know of:

1) Export clips from After Effects using another codec. I’ve been reliably using ProRes 422 and have not seen the problem on recent projects.

2) Replace the affected QuickTime movie within the Premiere Pro timeline with an After Effects Composition.

3) Within Premiere Pro’s export module, select the “Export” option instead of “Queue.”

I’m curious to find out whether this is a problem affecting specific machines (e.g. a broken piece of QuickTime locally, or whether it affects all users of Premiere Pro CS5 and CS5.5. If you’d like to give it a try to help me find out, I’ve posted the source files and project files for download. (375 MB)


16 comments for “Adobe Premiere Pro Blue Render Bug”

  1. I have the same problem but with an imported clip that was Apple Intermediate Codec form. When I exported to H.264 (so problem occurs with that too!), the “blueness” only affected the clip that was imported.

    So I converted the clip to ProRes 422 and exported again (using the queue method), it seemed to work.

    However, the first time I queued with the AIC clip, it worked. It was only when I re exported it that it seemed to not work.

    So is it the imported clip? Is it something to do with the rendering? I was really enjoying APP until that final delivery part.

    Anyway, thanks for your workaround suggestions. It helped me at least continue working.

    Posted by Chris Hsiung | July 8, 2011, 11:04 am
  2. Chris,

    I’ve had intermittent problems with this as well. I’m glad the ProRes switch seemed to alleviate the problem. This is really the only workflow snag I’ve found in Premiere Pro to date.

    I’ve forwarded the information to the After Effects and Premiere Pro team in the hopes that they can address it in a future release, or at least shed some light on the problem, but have not yet had a response.

    Good luck with Premiere!

    Posted by Jay | July 8, 2011, 12:06 pm
  3. Please submit a detailed bug report:

    It’s just luck that I stumbled across this blog post. In the future, please use the bug-report form.

    Posted by Todd Kopriva | July 8, 2011, 5:25 pm
  4. Please try this workaround and let us know if it works:

    Apply the Crop effect, but leave the properties at the default so that nothing is actually cropped.

    Does this prevent the blue problem?

    Posted by Todd Kopriva | August 11, 2011, 2:38 pm
  5. Todd, You are correct. Applying the Crop effect to the rendered AE clip within the PP timeline does eliminate the problem. Thanks for the follow up and the solution!

    Posted by Jay | August 12, 2011, 11:51 am
  6. No problem. Sorry it took so long.

    Here’s a document with more information:

    Posted by Todd Kopriva | August 12, 2011, 12:10 pm
  7. Though it is certainly an error of some kind with the Animation codec from After Effects, I have found that if you simply add an underlying layer of opaque footage under the entire section of footage that you intend to export, there won’t be any problem. I’d recommend a black gif or jpeg for obvious reasons.

    I have no idea why this prevents the glitch in the out put however and I merely stumbled across this work around as I initially thought premiere was reading the alpha channel incorrectly or something.

    Posted by Gerald O Brien | November 11, 2011, 6:55 pm
  8. Gerald,

    If you follow the link from Todd Kopriva’s response, Adobe has recognized it as a bug where the color channels are read out of order. Adobe’s recommendation is to add the Crop effect to the footage in PP and set your crop window to the full size. This effect forces the channels to be read correctly.

    Posted by Jay | November 12, 2011, 6:49 pm
  9. Thanks for the post . Just converted from FCP and had this happen.

    Posted by Scott Anderson | November 14, 2011, 1:45 pm
  10. I’m glad the post was helpful. Welcome to Premiere Pro!

    Posted by Jay | November 14, 2011, 2:05 pm
  11. FYI, I’ve found that rendering a preview of the affected area and then exporting with the “Use Previews” option selected is a viable work-around.

    Posted by Dan | January 12, 2012, 2:07 am
  12. Dan, Thanks for the tip. That seems like it would work as well!

    Posted by Jay | January 12, 2012, 11:17 am
  13. It appears that you can bypass the problem by exporting the clip by clicking the box matching the sequence setting in Media Encoder.

    But I can’t admit I have found a workaround to preserve the desire output format/codec.

    Posted by Michael | February 3, 2012, 6:02 pm
  14. So glad I found this article! I am using PPro CS5 and had this “blue bug”, I have been pulling my hair out! But you were right, it was the Animation Codec.. BUT it wasn’t from AE, it was a clip I rendered from a Digital Juice DVD. I checked the settings and it defaults to the Animation codec. I just re-rendered with a different codec and replaced the clip in my sequence and it worked perfectly! Thanks for the tip, you saved me a LOT of hours and frustration!


    Posted by Dan Rollins | March 28, 2012, 7:21 pm
  15. Dan, I’m glad I could help!

    Posted by Jay | March 29, 2012, 9:00 am
  16. I found i had this problem with certain clips not necessarily connected to exports from AE. Initially I placed black layer below clip. This worked in many cases but not all. I also found that if I added a non-adjusted RGB effect to clip that would often cure it.

    I have since seen an Adobe recommendation to add a clip effect without any parameters set as a work around. They are aware of the bug and I expect we will eventually see a solution.

    Posted by Rick | March 31, 2012, 4:36 am

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