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It seems there are no zebra lines in FCP X. Correct?

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Noam Osband
It seems there are no zebra lines in FCP X. Correct?
on May 10, 2015 at 5:08:44 am

I love having zebra lines in FCP 7. (Well, finding them and then removing them....) It seems FCP X doesn't have the ability to see zebra lines in the viewer. Grrr...I love so many of the changes but so many basic things don't seem to be here. Just double checking: am I right there are no zebra lines?


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Bret Williams
Re: It seems there are no zebra lines in FCP X. Correct?
on May 10, 2015 at 5:27:03 am

We sure don't. I'd forgotten all about those. They were awesome. Bring back zebra lines! But we do have pretty kick ass scopes now.


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Noam Osband
Re: It seems there are no zebra lines in FCP X. Correct?
on May 10, 2015 at 5:29:27 am

True. I love seeing a bunch of scopes at once...But there are some really basic things 7 had that I'm just flummoxed why X doesn't have: zebra lines, color correction dropper, the ability to resize windows however you want. Little things that would make this program a lot more enjoyable.


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Bret Williams
Re: It seems there are no zebra lines in FCP X. Correct?
on May 10, 2015 at 5:34:12 am

Zebra lines is not a basic thing. I don't believe it exists in any other app. That was a bizarre carryover from how cameras function(ed). The original version of FCP 1.x didn't have scopes except on digitize mode, so the zebras were likely to compensate for that. It didn't have audio meters either. Or an audio tool. So they never took them away as the app grew up.


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Bill Davis
Re: It seems there are no zebra lines in FCP X. Correct?
on May 10, 2015 at 6:54:24 pm

Zebras make sense on a CAMERA where you can adjust the amount of light that falls on the chip in order to properly set exposure, although on modern monitors, zebras have largely been replaced with false color overlays that show much more than just what exceeds a particular IRE level - and therefore give you WAY more useful information across the exposure spectrum beyond just what's being overexposed at the top end.

But zebras make very little sense after the exposure has been baked in.

Analyzing and manipulating lumanance levels in an existing shot is what your various Waveform Monitors are for - and X has excellent ones built in.

Zebras are dying out, because there's better tech in the digital age. Simple as that.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Noah Kadner
Re: It seems there are no zebra lines in FCP X. Correct?
on May 10, 2015 at 7:01:45 pm

Zebras also made more sense when camcorder viewfinders were black and white and overexposure was difficult to distinguish visually. Nowadays a wfm/vectorscope are what you want to master.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
Call Box Training


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Noam Osband
Re: It seems there are no zebra lines in FCP X. Correct?
on May 11, 2015 at 1:23:20 pm

Where I found it useful...and maybe someone here can tell me how to do this without it...was seeing what specific parts of a shot were overexposed? Sometimes I'm shooting in public where there are bright lights in the background. I don't mind if those are over-exposed if it means I can bring up some darkened exposure of a subject. But with the waveform meter, sometimes I can't tell if it's a light in the background or perhaps something more relevant I don't want overexposed.

Thoughts?


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Craig Alan
Re: It seems there are no zebra lines in FCP X. Correct?
on May 30, 2015 at 10:03:10 pm

Bill, does a camcorder's built in light metering have the same limitations as a digital still camera in that it measures the reflected light bouncing off the object rather than the light that the object is actually exposed to. I remember reading that camera meters can give false readings because the object's reflectivity is not factored. Unlike a quality light meter. I see this when taking stills. Though there I'm looking at a meter that is really averaging the entire frame where as zebras are showing contrast within a frame. I agree with you that the scopes are way more informative than zebras in post. However it would be nice to see the zebras that the cam operator could have been looking at as a learning experience. Oh that's what it looked like and it was still under or over exposed. So you learn what to look for while shooting with that cam on that subject in that environment. Hope that made sense.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Bill Davis
Re: It seems there are no zebra lines in FCP X. Correct?
on Jun 5, 2015 at 11:47:31 pm

Sorry I didn't see this earlier.
I think the key is to realize that zebras have always measured light falling on the camera sensor. Light meters, on the other hand, are designed to be moved from the plane of the sensor to the location of the subject. It's two totally different approaches.
As others have said, zebras were sufficient in the era of small chips and gross rasters and little expectation of wide dynamic range. Those days are gone.

Zebras told me if the face was bacically exposed properly.

A $500 Marshall camera top monitor in false color mode tells me that PLUS how big the difference is between the face and the background, whether anything like a background window has hit 255, How MUCH of my screen has hit 255. Whether the falloff on my green screen is acceptable, and a bunch of other incredibly useful things to know.

Nothing wrong with zebras.

Just like there's nothing wrong with a "church key" type can and bottle opener.

But if I'm serious about camping, I'll pick a multi tool on my belt over a church key 10/10 times.
That's all.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Noam Osband
Re: It seems there are no zebra lines in FCP X. Correct?
on Jun 6, 2015 at 4:12:44 pm

To me, the appeal of zebra lines in FCP 7 was I could tell what was overblown. With the histogram or wave form monitor, I can get a good idea what's blown out....but I can't see precisely what it is. Sometimes, if na image is dark enough, I don't mind if something is overblown if it's inconsequential and it means I can brighten the rest of the scene. But it's hard to be as precise for that usage without zebra lines in X.


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