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Color or Gamma/Brightness Shift in FCPX output...anyone else see this?

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Rich Kaelin
Color or Gamma/Brightness Shift in FCPX output...anyone else see this?
on Nov 21, 2016 at 12:35:48 am
Last Edited By Rich Kaelin on Nov 21, 2016 at 12:47:01 am

Hi. This is a long but detailed description of issue, but please read and see attached files. I have avoided FCPX but finally got on board. In FCP 7 I would see a NOTABLE color shift (or gamma shift, making colors a bit more washed out) on the rendered output, so I just did a test with FCPX and this issue is still there. It is really noticeable on graphics, for example if a client sends me an image of a logo. That is how it was first discovered; a client re-branded and was VERY PARTICULAR about colors. When she first said there was a shift I wrote it off to monitor variation. IT WAS NOT.

If you bring clips into After Effects, you can use the info window to see the RGB values of any given point. This is all in 8 bit color for these tests. First see the attached still. This is all done from screen shots. I took a Photoshop PSD file of a client logo, Rendered it out in ProRes222 in FCPX and In Premiere. I layered the clips over each other in After effects and used a mask, the blue dividing line you see in the image, to compare the two side by side. On the LEFT is the FCPX render, on the RIGHT is the Premiere render. The red arrows point to the approximate area being sampled for each info window. While this is created with screen shots, so the reproduction is not perfect, if you do the same you will generally see the same values in the areas the arrows point. That is, if you save the image and load into AE and use info window to compare areas, you will generally see these values. For the record, the Premiere render, the RIGHT image, matches the original Photoshop file with 100% accuracy. REFERENCE IMAGE:



I then took a video clip originally acquired in XDCAM EX 50mbps 422 color space, and bought it into FCPX and Premiere and then rendered an output in ProRes422. You can see the comparison in the attached video. The Premiere render matches the raw footage near perfectly, while the FCPX image is brighter, as if there is a gamma shift. It is a bit washed out. This is annoying at best, and a disaster when you have a picky client. Watch the video to see it.
HERE IS A YOUTUBE LINK TO VIDEO OF COMPARISON:




If you want original, let me know, I will send a link.

The only work-around I found in FCP7 was to export as an animation file, go into Squeeze and export ProRes, bring back into FCP7 and layover original to get audio back, and output again without re-compressing video. An inefficient workflow to say the least. Any way to fix this? I did note that in the settings for After Effects it offers an Auto Gamma correction dropdown, but I don’t find that option this anywhere in FCP. This shift also seems to happen in every codec I tried in FCP, except the uncompressed animation. Ideas welcome, or there is really no point in my continuing to try to learn FCPX, as I cannot tolerate the shift in client provided artwork. Premiere and After Effects match original sources with virtually 100% accuracy. And I am comfy in them, as I am new to FCPX, I find it annoying, yet I can see the power behind some of the annoyance. Honestly, renaming stuff and changing shortcuts was not necessary, and just confusing. Thanks for feedback.

Rich Kaelin
Kaelin Motion Production Services
http://kaelinmotion.com
New York


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Damiano Galassi
Re: Color or Gamma/Brightness Shift in FCPX output...anyone else see this?
on Nov 21, 2016 at 4:40:19 pm

Does After Effects handle color profiles properly? Final Cut uses ColorSync to convert between color spaces and color profiles. So it probably converts your source image to the color space you are currently working in (probably BT. 709), and when you export the ProRes file it will properly write the color tag to the file.
The thing is, a lot of video software (editor and players) just ignore the color tag and goes YOLO, guessing the color space or completely ignoring the color space info, before blaming Final Cut X (probably the first editor that finally color manages everything properly), you should check if After Effects and Premiere actually handle color space the right way or just show whatever they want.

This whole mess is the reason you have to still use an external broadcast monitor for color grading.


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Rich Kaelin
Re: Color or Gamma/Brightness Shift in FCPX output...anyone else see this?
on Nov 21, 2016 at 6:35:09 pm

I am not all that well versed in this. However, if you read my post thoroughly, the client noticed the color shift in their logo. It actually seems like a gamma or brightness shift. Look at my post carefully, I submit evidence...like in the youtube video where I compare the original clip to a premiere render and an FCPX render. The original and Premiere render match perfectly, and the FCPX render is always a bit brighter or "washed". The client accepts work out of Adobe, but will NOT accept FCP renders as they see the difference in the colors of their logo. NO, I am virtually certain it is FCP. Premiere and AE renders open side by side in other viewers look identical to original source, FCP shows a shift.

HOWEVER - you say FCP is using a certain color space...can I choose that? Perhaps it is just defaulting to a space that causes the issue? If I can find the proper setting maybe I can avoid the issue. It is a better program for straight cutting, although I think the Premiere/AE combo beats it when heavy compositing is involved.

Thanks for any feedback.

Rich Kaelin
Kaelin Motion Production Services
http://kaelinmotion.com
New York


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Chris Wright
Re: Color or Gamma/Brightness Shift in FCPX output...anyone else see this?
on Nov 23, 2016 at 1:26:51 am

this should convert the gamma
https://f1.creativecow.net/10598/fixmyyoutube


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Rich Kaelin
Re: Color or Gamma/Brightness Shift in FCPX output...anyone else see this?
on Nov 23, 2016 at 4:49:54 pm
Last Edited By Rich Kaelin on Nov 23, 2016 at 5:03:02 pm

Thank you, but I am not sure what this is nor why the need for it. So, does this mean there is no way to click a setting in FCPX and undo this? Your response seems to indicate that this shift is known and indeed real. Is FCP forcing "broadcast" safe colors? Clipping highlights and boosting shadows?

Rich Kaelin
Kaelin Motion Production Services
http://kaelinmotion.com
New York


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Hugh Chaloner
Re: Color or Gamma/Brightness Shift in FCPX output...anyone else see this?
on Nov 25, 2016 at 12:52:27 am

I've been reading elsewhere about problems with output especially if downsized and exported as H264s. From what I gather it's a bug in 10.3, perhaps what you're experiencing is allied to this. However if your source files are "illegal" in the broadest sense, they're never going to reproduce perfectly if they're outside the rec709 gamut.

--
http://www.intercuts.com
(m) +353 (0)86 603 0987


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Rich Kaelin
Re: Color or Gamma/Brightness Shift in FCPX output...anyone else see this?
on Nov 26, 2016 at 9:12:26 pm

No, because it happens across the board, no matter what is put in. As I said, it was first noticed by a client that sent me PhotoShop files, she noticed a color shift (that I now believe is a gamma shift) and that was back in FCP7. I did not use FCP for years after that, migrating to Adobe where I never have the problem. I feel so many don't notice it because they grade their footage, so that would never match original anyway, and they perhaps don't have clients so particular about logo colors. I never would have noticed if not for this.

I would ask a small favor of all. Create a simple graphic in Photoshop (actually, I have done it for you, so import it and do your own render tests). This image has a background of gray at 100, 100, 100 with three colored boxes, a red at 150, a blue at 150, and a green at 150. Use Photoshop info window to confirm this. I then output this via render in FCPX. When I chose save a still, and I did choose save PSD, the color is unaffected, yes, I put image into a timeline and saved from there. IT IS WORTH NOTING that in when I tried to tackle this issue in FCP 7 the only output I found unaffected was the uncompressed animation setting. I assume this is similar to a series of stills wrapped in a QT container. Then when I output the still as a one frame ProRes 422 .mov file, the shift occurs....this time "down." The gray background drops to 88,88,88. red to 138,0,0 green to 0,138,0 and blue to 0,1,139. Open clip in Photoshop and use info window to confirm this. I also tried to export via compressor and turned "automatically adjust Gamma" off under QT Settings, it had zero effect.

Here are the images - COW would not let me upload PSD, but the JPEG colors stayed true.
Original, download and try some renders of your own.
DOWNLOAD IMAGE: colorboxesoriginal.jpg

Here is that one frame pro res to download and compare: 10824_colortestfcpxpr422.mov.zip

Thanks for anything anyone does to explore this issue.

Rich Kaelin
Kaelin Motion Production Services
http://kaelinmotion.com
New York


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Benjamin Evans
Re: Color or Gamma/Brightness Shift in FCPX output...anyone else see this?
on Dec 10, 2016 at 4:16:18 am

This issue is driving me bonkers as well!

I can't seem to find a work around. It's clearly a battle between Apple and Adobe/black magic though. Someone is not willing to budge somewhere to let them talk to eachother properly. (Fast money is on apple being stubborn)

I've been able to work around this by simply finishing it Resolve.. great.. happy days. But now, just like the OP, I have a job where the client are providing logo files etc and i'm going from AE to FCPX (animating the logo and importing the .mov back to FCPX to finish the video) and there is the blasted gamma shift issue. It seems FCPX's import is using the same settings as quicktime and decides to change the gamma for whatever reason. ANNOYING!

There used to be plug ins and solves in FCP 7.


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Chris Wright
Re: Color or Gamma/Brightness Shift in FCPX output...anyone else see this?
on Dec 10, 2016 at 6:36:05 am

does it appear if you render out of adobe media encoder dnxhd -click->config video levels, not full range. that should render out 16-235 instead of 0-255.
also, AE has utility color profile converter input 16-235 rec. 709 output rec. 709.


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Benjamin Evans
Re: Color or Gamma/Brightness Shift in FCPX output...anyone else see this?
on Dec 10, 2016 at 2:52:02 pm

Thanks Chris,

The Utility Color profile in AE made a huge difference. There is still the smallest change but barely noticeable. I think I can tweak settings further to probably get it closer as well. Didnt know about this fx. Thanks heaps for the response.

I also played with a few different preset settings in media encoder and got really close for some alternative options.
Very helpful!

Cheers


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Color or Gamma/Brightness Shift in FCPX output...anyone else see this?
on Dec 10, 2016 at 4:57:01 pm
Last Edited By Jeremy Garchow on Dec 10, 2016 at 10:27:12 pm

In FCP7, RGB graphics would sometimes get misinterpreted as having a 1.8 gamma instead of 2.2. In one of the fcp7 updates, Apple gave us the option to adjust the gamma back to 2.2 which helped. Rendering out Animation kept the RGB and therefore that's why it looked the same on output, but any other YCbCr output would keep an incorrect 1.8 gamma setting. You can add a column called "Show Gamma Level" in the browser and change it from "Source" to "2.2", or if a graphic is in the timeline, you can right click, choose Item Properties > Format and then find 'Gamma Level' and change it there. If you change it in the browser, it won't change it in any timeline, but any new instance you add to a timeline will keep the 2.2 setting when adding to a timeline. This is for FCP7.

FCPX now has color profiles so you can adjust profiles (found in the inspector under a "Color Space Override" drop down menu in "Settings", and as far as anyone can tell, FCPX does float processing so there shouldn't be any shift or hue difference, but there could be interpretations that are going awry. Unless, of course, there truly is a bug.


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