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FCPX Color Issues

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Thomas StrandFCPX Color Issues
by on Aug 17, 2011 at 4:16:23 pm

I am experiencing a discrepancy between what I see for color, contrast and brightness in the FCPX viewer and how QT sees me output file. Quicktime playback looks the same as what I saw in FCPX but my Vimeo upload looks dark and contrasty. If I load the original output file into Compressor 4 or MPEG Streamclip it reveals a darker video file. What gives? Has anybody else experienced this? It is making color grading impossible as I have to guess and over lighten my video files. Please help!


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Oliver PetersRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Aug 17, 2011 at 6:45:30 pm

This is a long-standing FCP and QT issue. Both are adjusting the display of the video to optimize it to look good on your screen. The Vimeo and MPEG SC appearance is what the file actually looks like when not displayed by QT Player.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Thomas StrandRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Aug 17, 2011 at 7:30:07 pm

Thank you Oliver-
Do you then export and do your actual color grading in a 3rd party program? How does someone working with video edits on a daily basis deal with this? It seems that you can't just do a simple adjustment in Compressor because you don't have enough control. And how odd that Apple would have Compressor 4 view and display differently than FCPX. As someone shifting into this from still I am amazed how many screwy things have to be dealt with in video editing that still shooters don't have to deal with.


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Oliver PetersRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Aug 18, 2011 at 12:12:28 pm

Thomas,

If you are coming to this from stills, then think of it as the same as using different printers.

Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Thomas StrandRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Aug 18, 2011 at 12:48:22 pm

I'm convinced this is an Apple issue. My monitors are calibrated and I see the problem if I view the video in Compressor or Mpeg Streamclip. It has nothing to do with players like Vimeo. I can see the problem even before upload if I view out of the QT environment.

Rafael-I don't think you're understanding my problem. Please note that I see this issue on my monitor. This is not a monitor issue. If I export from FCPX into Compressor 4 the image looks dark. Compressor 4 is showing me the real image rendition for some reason. This is not monitor or player related.


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Thomas StrandRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Aug 18, 2011 at 1:50:03 pm

I did some testing and tried importing several different codecs into FCPX and only optimized the one that was straight from the 5d. All showed the same bright image. Codecs AIC, ProRes 422. I transcoded these in MPEG Streamclip which showed a dark image. I did no adjustments. So FCPX is showing a brighter gamma than the file actually is. I then opened the original camera file in MPEG Streamclip, Compressor 4 and Quicktime 10 and 7. Both Streamclip and Compressor showed an underexposed image but QT showed a bright well exposed image. This is a QT issue and the way FCPX is adjusting images is going to be an issue for color grading unless there is a way to change viewer gamma. It would be nice if you could calibrate the viewer in FCPX.


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Thomas StrandRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:19:43 pm

More info I found on DVX forum-

As related by Apple support to user

It has to do with your color profiles. i was using a calibrated profile I made with my x-rite Colormunki(which i use for Cs5 and lightroom work) and this does not play well with the new colorsync/FCP-X relationship. Once I changed my color setting back to the default LED Cinema Display in *system pref / display / color* it fixed my problem. I have sent The FCP-X engineers my .icc profile so they can try to fix this problem in a future update. but for now the work-around is using a profile calibrated by apples own methods, not 3rd party.


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Rafael AmadorRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Aug 17, 2011 at 7:48:59 pm

[Thomas Strand] "I am experiencing a discrepancy between what I see for color, contrast and brightness in the FCPX viewer and how QT sees me output file. Quicktime playback looks the same as what I saw in FCPX but my Vimeo upload looks dark and contrasty. If I load the original output file into Compressor 4 or MPEG Streamclip it reveals a darker video file. What gives? Has anybody else experienced this? It is making color grading impossible as I have to guess and over lighten my video files. Please help!
"

That's what happens when you use different players.
Vimeo is not QT but Flash Player.

You have to make a version with the gamma corrected for Vimeo, that's how things works.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Thomas StrandRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Aug 17, 2011 at 9:31:50 pm

Thanks Rafael. I got that. But how do you correct for a player format when you can't judge in your program what it looks like? Also, when viewing the file in either compressor or mpeg streamclip it looks dark. So it's not just flash it's quicktime as Oliver stated. So how do I know what I am correcting if FCPX is not showing me an accurate rendition?


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William DePalmaRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Aug 17, 2011 at 10:57:50 pm

Great questions, really. Answers?
Bill


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Geoff DillsRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Aug 18, 2011 at 2:10:42 am

I haven't seen any issues with my uploaded videos looking any different from what I see both while I'm editing, and in a Quicktime player. The only calibration I've done on my monitor was using the built in tool in the OS. I just did a test with bars to Vimeo both straight from X and then a ProRes export compressed with Compressor and then uploaded to Vimeo and all outputs look the same.

Best,
Geoff


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Rafael AmadorRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Aug 18, 2011 at 11:59:04 am

[Thomas Strand] "But how do you correct for a player format when you can't judge in your program what it looks like? "
Think that if you are correcting in a computer monitor, you are correcting for THAT monitor.
You can't predict how things will look in other monitors, other players or other platform till you watch thing there.
To get the same picture in two systems, you would need exactly the same gear: Harware, software, settings..
That's the real value of using an external monitor; but even the best Pro monitor wont tell you how things will look in Vimeo in your friends PC.
Your only chance is testing and see how things look; being aware that the displaying-variety (systems, players, navigators, platforms, monitors..) makes impossible that a clip will look the same everywhere.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Rodrigo FerrazRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Aug 18, 2011 at 11:53:05 am

I'm having a color thing going on too. I capture my videos with a Canon T2i and when I import the files into final cut the colors of the clips look awful in the viewer even though the original colors are shown in the events tab. It's somethink like this:



When I playback the original files in any video player the colors are faithful to the original. Anyone having the same problem? Any idea how to fix it?


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Aaron BradleyRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Aug 25, 2011 at 12:01:18 pm

YES, I have this exact same issue. I dont have any solution, Can someone help me here?


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Oliver PetersRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Aug 25, 2011 at 4:07:42 pm

Wow, that's really messed up! I'm going to guess that you have the automatic color balance turned on and FCP X is trying to "fix" it. Make sure this is turned OFF in your import preferences.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Aaron BradleyRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Aug 26, 2011 at 4:48:23 am

I just tryed, with both on and off, in import settings, (analyse Colour balance), then tryed turning on and off the color balance in the video inspector, on both of those and it didn't change anything, there was a slight difference , but hardly noticeable.


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Mark EskeyRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Sep 3, 2011 at 2:32:32 pm

I am experiencing the same issue. File looks great in FCPX, and it I export to quicktime it still looks great. As soon as I send it to compressor is appears dark.


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Thomas StrandRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Sep 3, 2011 at 3:02:25 pm

Mark-
I still haven't got to the bottom of this but I have read that QT ignores gamma and color profiles and attempts to adjust the image to look good on your screen. It may not be doing exactly that but the jist of it is that QT is altering the color and density. Is FCPX utilizing QT in it's viewer somehow? What OS are you on? I was told by Apple that there were some QT issues related to gamma and Snow Leopard. It does make color grading impossible and Compressor is worthless for adjusting the contrast and density. I am trying to find time to get in to meet with a Final Cut expert at the Mac store. You try to explain this over the phone or in emails and people think you're nuts.


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Mark EskeyRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Sep 3, 2011 at 4:01:50 pm

I found the solution!

Once you select your filter output settings if you look in the inspector there is an icon (4th over) that when clicked reveals the VIDEO, AUDIO, and COLOR Tabs. In the color tabs you can make corrections. Hope this helps.


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Mark EskeyRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Sep 3, 2011 at 4:43:12 pm

My apologies. After additional experimentation this is still not offering the solution as files adjusted to look correct in compressor look washed out when uploaded to YouTube for example. Also even the corrections in the video tab in compressor never look quite as good as the original and lack color saturation.


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Thomas StrandRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Sep 4, 2011 at 5:22:07 pm

Re what Apple told me about potential color issues with QT10 and Snow Leopard:

QT7 has the ability to set some preferences and I noticed in the general preference window the following option-"Enable Final Cut Studio color compatibility. When enabled, video is not displayed using ColorSync. Source colors are read with 2.2 gamma and are displayed in a color space with 1.8 gamma".

Could this be an indication that QT10 is adjusting display in FCPX? Is there a way to disable QT10 and have FCPX us QT7?


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Aaron BradleyRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Sep 7, 2011 at 5:21:24 am

Yes i am running on The latest update of Snow Leopard, i just recently updated it from Leopard (which my computer came with), Do you think it would help if i updated to 'Lion' Operating system? Have they solved it in Lion?


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Ed McCarthyRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Sep 20, 2011 at 12:19:31 am

Greetings,

Any update on this? I'm having the exact same problem, except mine is worse because all of my media originates in motion 5, so the colors look right in FCPX and wrong everywhere else once I export. Short of having to correct for the color shift in Color (not my strong suit), are they any options to fix this?

This is a serious problem. I'm using a client's company colors, and they look completely wrong when I try to show them edits.

Thanks


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Aaron BradleyRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Sep 20, 2011 at 7:46:01 am

Yes i'd like to know how to fix this as well, Except im having the problem, Of FCPX viewer is displaying dull color, and then exporting as a .mov fine.


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Emiliano TidonaRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Mar 28, 2012 at 10:25:31 am

Any update on this?
Upgrading to Lion solves the problem?


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Thomas StrandRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Mar 28, 2012 at 2:50:40 pm

I never resolved this myself and had to move on. Fortunately for me I usually hand off files to an editor. I did, however, get back into FCPX last week again and was immediately reminded that the problem exists.
Sorry I have no answers for you.


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Steve RosenRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on May 5, 2012 at 2:48:49 pm

Although I've read here for years, this is my first post...

I am experiencing the same problem, but when making DVDs. The image looks great on my Thunderbolt Display, and - as no one else has mentioned here - everything looks correct on the FCPX scopes.. but the resultant DVDs are very dark - unacceptably dark. This is on a new IMac i7 that I bought last month (after giving up on a new MacPro) and set up as a stand-alone FCPX work station.

Okay, it gets even weirder - when I export a QT to a drive - and import that into FCP7 in my four year old 3,1 MacPro - the QT looks good there on my Cinema Displays and on the external monitor - but when I burn a DVD it is still just as dark. Crunched blacks and ugly chroma - except for he resolution it looks like bad VHS.

It's as if there is some latent demon lurking that is transferred over from the FCPX edit that won't go away.

I hope someone has an answer for this, because I'm about to give up on X.


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Thomas StrandRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on May 6, 2012 at 6:46:59 pm

Hi Steve-

I started this post but never did resolve the problem. I'm curious, when you export from FCPX what program are you using to burn your DVD's. Are you going into Compressor 4?
If so, does Compressor reveal the true dark nature of your video? I have looked at my exported QT file in both Compressor and MPEG Streamclip and both programs show my video to be dark.


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Steve RosenRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on May 16, 2012 at 10:11:47 am

Sorry I haven't answered sooner, I'm in London and haven't been checking my mail.. I have used both compressor from fcs3 and compressor 4 and the resultant video has been dark from both, although less so when going directly from FCPX to compressor4. I have resorted to exporting a QT Movie from FCPX and tweaking it in FCP7 (about plus 6 black in 3 way color corrector), then exporting that to compressor. I'm told by those in the know that the problem is a gamma issue with QT which is no longern adjustable.


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Reuben KingRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Jul 24, 2014 at 8:12:53 am

Hi Thomas, I just read this thread as I have been experiencing the same problems and was wondering if a couple of years down the track if you ever managed to find a solution?

Specifically I have been exporting ProRes videos from FCPX and finding that they look fine (same as in the FCPX viewer) in QT X but in any non apple player the color is much darker and more saturated... It's a web web based project (I'm converting to H.264 with X.264 through compressor 4 for internet upload) and there is a huge variation in appearance in different browsers.. Firefox and Chrome look very dark and saturated Safari looks good, much like it did in the FCPX viewer...

Any thoughts?

Reuben


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Steven MioriRe: FCPX Color Issues
by on Sep 10, 2014 at 2:30:31 pm

I am experiencing same exact issue.. My ProRes Video looks one way in FCPX and Quicktime, but different in Youtube, Vimeo, Mpeg StreamClip etc..

This is what my image looks like in fcpx:


this is what it looks like when uploaded to Youtube:


Steven Miori
...learning every day.


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