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7D Footage; Contrast/Color Increased After Render

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Jon Salimes
7D Footage; Contrast/Color Increased After Render
on Mar 23, 2010 at 7:58:15 pm

I've had this problem for a while and just cannot find a solution.

My workflow is to take the H.264's from the camera, transcode them to Apple ProRes in Compressor then edit/color-correct in Final Cut Pro 6.0.6. Everything looks great, but then I render (to both Pro Res and as well as H.264). The rendered file has contrast and color issues. Here's an example...

Photobucket

When viewed full screen (and in motion) the difference is quite striking. I've tried different codec and setting combinations throughout the entire workflow and the result is always the same. Not only is the image much brighter and saturated, it also brings out the inherent grain in the image. I realize it's not difficult to adjust the color correction to fix this, but the problem is that while editing I'm not able to see what the image will actually look like. Makes the process 10 times slower and incredibly frustrating.

Any ideas? Thanks!


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: 7D Footage; Contrast/Color Increased After Render
on Mar 23, 2010 at 8:46:06 pm

What were the settings when you set up the project in FCP? I'm guessing you built the project with the prores files and not the raw footage from the 7D. Looks like skin tones suffered the most, but your mids look good. I also see 2 different light sources - one outdoor (in the background on the right) and the rest tungsten or available light?

What color-corrections did you do (ie: blacks, mids, whites, or just white balance)? Did you add brightness/contrast? What did you render to? Did you compress during render (I save compression for later in Compressor)? Almost looks like a gamma correction.

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Jon Salimes
Re: 7D Footage; Contrast/Color Increased After Render
on Mar 23, 2010 at 8:54:13 pm

Yes, the sequence settings match the settings of the ProRes files.

This particular shot actually has no color correction; in FCP it looked perfect so I did nothing to it. Whether I do a compressed or uncompressed render, the results are the same.

Looking at the original ProRes files, outside of FCP, they look how my FCP renders look. So basically FCP increases contrast and saturation in the viewer window during editing. Anybody know why?


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: 7D Footage; Contrast/Color Increased After Render
on Mar 23, 2010 at 9:10:21 pm

Well, my guess is it's a matter of color space: the 7D uses a 4:2:0 color space and ProRes is 4:2:2. Since the 2 color spaces don't match, the conversion to prores is the likely culprit.

Since I color correct everything anyway, I've never noticed it before, but now I see there are differences between the original footage from the 7D and the upres to prores. Try bringing the brightness down a touch and see what happens. I know you obviously don't want to have to do a ton of color correction, but if it means that much more, then do it.

Also, I use the Final Cut display only for basic stuff like movement and simple color viewing. My monitor is NOT color corrected and has banding in areas (I bought a cheap monitor because that's what I could afford). Images in photoshop, illustrator, and other apps never look quite the same on other machines. If you can, run your footage to an external monitor and you'll see all kinds of differences - trust the monitor, not necessarily Final Cut. Try this: view the prores file in quicktime pre-render, then render in FCP and view side-by-side in quicktime, what happens?

Jonathan Ziegler
http://www.electrictiger.com/
520-360-8293


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Jon Salimes
Re: 7D Footage; Contrast/Color Increased After Render
on Mar 23, 2010 at 9:28:49 pm

The color space theory was a good one, but actually when I look at the original camera H.264's and the ProRes files (both pre and post FCP) they all look exactly the same.

Seems that the problem is just the viewer window in FCP with ProRes files; it makes them less saturated with more contrast. I've read that the new Final Cut Studio bundle has improved ProRes support, maybe after an upgrade the files will look correct in FCP.

I'm really shocked nobody else has encountered this problem before. We do exclusively web-oriented videos, so external monitors and in depth color correction isn't necessary. Simple tweaks with 3-Way Color Corrector are more than enough. I just need consistency through the entire process.


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maurice jansen
Re: 7D Footage; Contrast/Color Increased After Render
on Mar 23, 2010 at 10:06:20 pm

do you also have this problem when you use
digital cinema desktop???

grt
Maurice

People saying they don't make mistake's often make nothing at all!


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Jon Salimes
Re: 7D Footage; Contrast/Color Increased After Render
on Mar 23, 2010 at 11:12:21 pm

Yes, it looks the same.


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