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Does FCPX gamma shift footage like all other Apple products?

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Dustin Parsons
Does FCPX gamma shift footage like all other Apple products?
on Feb 28, 2014 at 9:59:48 pm

I recently uploaded a video to Vimeo and when watching it back I noticed it looked washed out compared to what I saw while editing it. I did a few test and realized it wasn't Vimeo that caused the gamma shift, it was Safari... UGH! I though I was done with this crap when I stopped using FCP7 and QT7 but I guess not.

I did a few test and here's what I found: Apple software sucks

Footage was exported from Premiere Pro as ProRes 422 then encoded to H.264 via Media Encoder. All images are screenshots of the video playing in the respective programs.

What gives? I feel like thousands of people have complained about this for years and yet there's been no change. I'm not using FCPX but I'm curious as to whether footage looks like crap in Apple new flagship program or is it just every other product Apple makes? /endrant


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Dustin Parsons
Re: Does FCPX gamma shift footage like all other Apple products?
on Feb 28, 2014 at 11:44:03 pm
Last Edited By Dustin Parsons on Feb 28, 2014 at 11:46:02 pm

So I tried the x264 codec to see if that would fix the problem. It worked in fixing the color representation for QT7 but QTX and Safari remain washed out.



hmmmmm... any ideas? I can't just tell my clients to watch my videos using Chrome or Firefox since they usually have to send it to 3-5 other people for comments and there's no way my request to view in a specific browser would get passed down.

**I realize this should probably not be in the Debate forum. Feel free to move it wherever it's most appropriate.


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Richard Herd
Re: Does FCPX gamma shift footage like all other Apple products?
on Mar 1, 2014 at 12:49:10 am

Well...are you going to visit everyone on the internet and calibrate their monitors to be just like yours?

:)

NTSC -- never the same color


I posted this yesterday or so, might as well post it again, probably own't answer your immediate need, but it's a way to figure out what you can (and can't) do about
"it" (just naming "it" is actually a pain in the b*tt).

http://www.theasc.com/magazine/april05/conundrum2/page1.html


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Dustin Parsons
Re: Does FCPX gamma shift footage like all other Apple products?
on Mar 1, 2014 at 1:30:52 am

It's a given that different monitors are going to have discrepancies in how they display color but my concern has to do with changes in color representation across different programs. You can use any monitor to look at the screenshots I took and there will be a clear difference between the images on the left vs the images on the right (using the image from my first post as an example) so it's not a monitor issue.

Thanks for the link! Don't have time to read it all right now but I'll definitely get into it later.


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Douglas K. Dempsey
Re: Does FCPX gamma shift footage like all other Apple products?
on Mar 1, 2014 at 3:18:31 am

I feel your pain. I have done so many tests I no longer know what I know.

Grading in FCPX on a recent 27" iMac looks perfect.

It never looks that good again on any other hardware, and varies from app to app.

It looks redder on my MacBook Pro 17." It looks yellow on my NEC 24." It looks contrasty on my 13" Retina. But all of that is to be expected.

But the kicker, and this is what Dustin is spot on about -- precisely the same clip, uploaded to Vimeo (where it always gets darker), is washed out if played on the Vimeo site via Safari, contrasty and darker if played on the Vimeo site via Chrome, and looks closest to correct if played on the Vimeo site via Firefox.

These relative results hold, whether played on iMac, MacBookPro or NEC 24" LCD -- although each hardware of course adds its own look, as is reasonable to expect.

I have tried Share via FCPX with no adjustments, Send to Compressor with all manner of variation including the x264 codec and lots of variations in the settings (HD 1-1-1 etc), and also adding FCPX contrast and gamma corrections.

As I said, I start to lose track of what has worked, because it seems to vary project to project anyway. Only consistency is that different browsers deliver difference user experiences.

I assume some of this is me, as I am not all that accomplished in grading and such.

SO... while it is a mess, I am not prepared to blame it ALL on Apple software. Just some of it!

Doug D


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James Culbertson
Re: Does FCPX gamma shift footage like all other Apple products?
on Mar 1, 2014 at 3:49:14 am

I've found that X.264 through Episode Pro is the most true to my original intent.

But I agree with Richard that NTSC still holds true. You really cannot control what your client sees for the most part.


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Mitch Ives
Re: Does FCPX gamma shift footage like all other Apple products?
on Mar 1, 2014 at 5:09:29 pm

[Douglas K. Dempsey] "I have done so many tests I no longer know what I know."

This may be the best line I've read in a longtime....


[James Culbertson] "I've found that X.264 through Episode Pro is the most true to my original intent."

I've come to the same conclusion...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Richard Herd
Re: Does FCPX gamma shift footage like all other Apple products?
on Mar 1, 2014 at 7:14:21 pm

Don't forget Ogg video tests too. There's lots of info to research regarding Ogg, but here's a good place to start. http://www.w3schools.com/html/html5_video.asp


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Bret Williams
Re: Does FCPX gamma shift footage like all other Apple products?
on Mar 2, 2014 at 12:37:09 am

I'll do some tests, but am I the only one that has noticed little difference between QT X, FCP X, Safari vimeo/YouTube, and my Flanders? Except the iMac is too warm and bright compared to the Flanders. I definitely don't see washed out versions of my video. All my uploads are QT h264 movs.


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Mackenzie Criswell
Re: Does FCPX gamma shift footage like all other Apple products?
on Mar 2, 2014 at 2:27:55 pm

I had this same problem for a little while, when I first switched to using Mac but I have found a great way to work around. By default when I hooked up my monitor it was set to use the Adobe RGB colors, so I went to preferences, then display, then the color tab and instead changed it to use the Apple RGB. I use safari and quicktime for everything that I do so this is a perfect work around for me. Of course there are a whole crap load of color presets to use inside of the system preferences menu, so I might recommend playing around with some of those.


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tony west
Re: Does FCPX gamma shift footage like all other Apple products?
on Mar 2, 2014 at 3:04:31 pm

One of the first things I noticed when X first came out, was that the frustrating gamma shift from Legacy was gone.

And not just that, I thought the overall quality coming out of X looked much better.

I was surprised at first that more people were not talking about the quality of the look, but then again there were plenty of other things to hammer and the shock of the new change and all.


I find almost no difference in what I see in the canvas and what I see outside of it. If it's QT or on Vimeo.

And Bret, you are not the only one : )

My Vimeo screen grab is from Safari. They look almost identical to me.



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Özgür Akyıldız
Re: Does FCPX gamma shift footage like all other Apple products?
on Apr 13, 2014 at 12:04:14 am

Well, because you are looking at it on Safari* An apple product. Go see about those videos on any other player than QT and any other browser than Safari and lets talk again.

All of the apple products are adjusted to the same color and gamma levels which are completely wrong. I feel like this is another long term stupid ego game from Apple. They are trying to convince us what we had known as colors are wrong and they known better.


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Erik Lindahl
Re: Does FCPX gamma shift footage like all other Apple products?
on Mar 3, 2014 at 9:14:59 am

One thing to consider is the fact that VLC and a lot of other display outputs - including Premier Pro CC - aren't color managed, QuickTime X and FCPX is. This will make them look very very different on-screen.

I was banging my in head in regards to this doing a music video a year or so back. The sad fact is most deliverable web formats or players aren't color managed. The problem at the moment isn't really "Apple gamma shift" or "QuickTime gamma shift". A lot of times it's simply a display issue.


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