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Roundtripping to Motion Without Clipping Highlights?

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Chris Davis
Roundtripping to Motion Without Clipping Highlights?
on Jul 17, 2009 at 12:32:18 pm

I understand that if I send a clip to Motion that contains luma and chroma values over 100%, Motion will clamp these values (because FCP is Y'CbCr, and Motion is RGB). How would I roundtrip to Motion without clipping the highlights?

Do I need make adjustments in FCP so that there are no values above 100%, render there, then open the clip in Motion? Or can I do it without rendering?

(In "The DV Rebel's Guide," Stu Maschwitz recommends a way to avoid clipping highlights when sending clips to After Effects. He recommends placing a black slug under the clip, and adjusting the opacity down to at most 90% before rendering in a lossless codec. But this sounds crazy if I'm working within FCS. Surely there's a better way if I'm just going from FCP to Motion).

I learned FCP relatively recently, and I'm new to Motion, so so any help is appreciated.

Thanks,
Chris


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Arnie Schlissel
Re: Roundtripping to Motion Without Clipping Highlights?
on Jul 17, 2009 at 2:27:22 pm

Motion defaults to 8 bit color space, which is fine for most things. If you want to preserve your super-white colors, try setting your motion project settings to 16 or 32 bit color space. This will take a little longer to render, and it may cause some "object too large to render at this setting" type warnings.

Arnie

Post production is not an afterthought!
http://www.arniepix.com/


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Chris Davis
Re: Roundtripping to Motion Without Clipping Highlights?
on Jul 19, 2009 at 2:10:09 pm

Arnie,

Sorry it took a while to post again -- didn't see your response.

You said to "try setting your motion project settings to 16 or 32 bit color space."

So you've tried this, and this preserves super white?

-Chris


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Chris Davis
Re: Roundtripping to Motion Without Clipping Highlights?
on Jul 20, 2009 at 7:30:00 pm

I set up a project with I tried sending to Motion directly from FCP and back without doing anything to it. It appears the super-white is still there, just judging from the zebras (haven't studied the scopes yet).

Funny AE will apparently clip the highlights even when set to 16 or 32-bit.

I was able to set 16-bit color from the start, but I'm not sure how to make 16-bit the default. If I go Motion (at top)>Presets, almost everything is locked.

Anyway, thanks.


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chris short
Re: Roundtripping to Motion Without Clipping Highlights?
on Jul 13, 2010 at 8:56:08 am

Hi Guys, we are experiencing the same issues, it is proving problematic on this
particular low budget series we are working on, as we are only doing a technical
grade using the 3 way in FCP, usually we grade in color and then do any blurring,
painting etc in motion after so all our levels have been graded within 0-100 in
color and consequently dont have super whites that can be clipped off.

The current series i speak of is an ob-doc following the emergency services and has
super whites present in the DV rushes frequently, we frequently need to blur faces
and car reg's In this case, we find that any 3 way color correction applied before
sending to motion is ignored and stripped when round tripped back to FCP thus our
super whites are clipped and detail lost.

The only solution in this workflow would be to tech grade the shots and flatten out/
reimport before sending to motion for blurring - hardly ideal and too time consuming
given the already tight budget.

Arnie - changing to 16 bit or 32 bit isnt working, scopes are telling us so. I think
it wouldnt make a difference anyway as bitdepth doesnt relate relate to the YcBcR -
RGB mapping?



Or am i missing something here? I can understand completely why the clipping is
occurring, however is there any magic workaround? we have tried setting the video
processing options in FCP to RGB before sending to motion - no good and no change
noticed on the scopes when doing so. Is there any color correction filter of any
sort that can be applied in FCP that wont be stripped by motion and bring our super
whites back into play? I obviously thought well maybe i could use a levels filter in
motion to bring the super whites down prior to sending back to FCP but this isnt
possible either as Motion seems to clip on import, i guess this is obvious if its an
RGB only tool.



Any advice appreciated as always.



Best - Chris Short




Chris Short
Colourist & Online editor
Films@59
Bristol, U.K.
(formerly Granada Media, Bristol)


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Mark Spencer
Re: Roundtripping to Motion Without Clipping Highlights?
on Jul 13, 2010 at 2:00:46 pm

Any filters, generators, or transitions you add in FCP will not make the trip when sending clips or sequences to Motion (with the sole exception of the Smoothcam filter in FCP, which gets translated into Motion's Stabilize behavior). All your Motion tab properties (scale, rotation, etc., keyframes, dropshadow, crop, retiming) DO make the trip.

You'll need to "bake" your CC 3-way filter into your clips before sending to Motion. One way to do this is to first send your clips to Color and render there - makes it quite a bit easier as you don't need to replace each clip one after the other, you can send back to FCP from Color.

--
Mark Spencer
Freelance Producer/Editor/Motion Graphics Artist
Apple-certified Master Trainer
Author, Motion 4 from Peachpit Press
http://www.applemotion.net


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chris short
Re: Roundtripping to Motion Without Clipping Highlights?
on Jul 13, 2010 at 5:38:08 pm

Thanks Mark,
I kinda realised that we would need to flatten and reimport if using FCP 3 ways if their result is to be visible once sent to motion, but i still havent got a definate answer to whether Motion WILL accept and roundtrip the super white information.

If it wont or there isnt a workaround that doesnt involve flattening pre-graded clips then our workflow will need to be re-evaluated.
As stated we arent grading this particular project in color.

Thanks again and any further clarification welcome.

Chris

Chris Short
Colourist & Online editor
Films@59
Bristol, U.K.
(formerly Granada Media, Bristol)


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Chris Davis
Re: Roundtripping to Motion Without Clipping Highlights?
on Sep 19, 2010 at 3:52:33 pm

Chris Short,

Did you ever find a definitive answer to whether Motion will accept and roundtrip the super white information in 16 bit or 32 bit settings?

I noticed you did not post again on Creative Cow. Perhaps your question was answered on another forum?

Thanks,

Chris Davis


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chris short
Re: Roundtripping to Motion Without Clipping Highlights?
on Sep 20, 2010 at 8:49:35 am

Hi Chris,

The 16 or 32 bit setting did not work for me, and as Spencer suggests the process of sending the project through color to render before sending back to FCP and then to Motion works but is protracted, Sure when i use Color (which is most of the time) i grade within 0-100 which produces perfectly in-gamut shots to throw at motion, but this is just not feasible on a low budget quick turnaround show.

As yet i have found no way to do this successfully, motion always clips the super whites. Again, i could grade my shots with the 3 way and render out a flattened quicktime, bring it back to fcp, blade it up, yada, yada before sending to Motion - what a waste of time though.

Heres hoping!

Cheers - Chris

Chris Short
Colourist & Online editor
Films@59
Bristol, U.K.
(formerly Granada Media, Bristol)


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Chris Davis
Re: Roundtripping to Motion Without Clipping Highlights?
on Sep 20, 2010 at 11:09:28 pm

Chris Short
The 16 or 32 bit setting did not work for me...
As yet i have found no way to do this successfully, motion always clips the super whites...

Weird program. In a sense it is well integrated with FCP in that FCP footage roundtrips quickly and elegantly. But it is not integrated at all in the sense that footage (almost) always comes back damaged (missing super white info).

I just checked, and Red Giant Software/Magic Bulle's plug in, Colorista, supports Motion (though not Colorista II). It seems odd to think of a colorist using Colorista, but I wonder if this may be a quick work around.

Anyway, thanks for the info.

-Chris


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Chris Davis
Re: Roundtripping to Motion Without Clipping Highlights?
on Sep 21, 2010 at 9:59:09 am

Please note error above. I quoted Chris Short for the first two sentences only, but forgot to put his words in italics.


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