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Final Cut Studio 3 viewer vs. quicktime in Snow Leopard

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Thatcher Kelley
Final Cut Studio 3 viewer vs. quicktime in Snow Leopard
on Oct 17, 2009 at 5:56:18 am

Forgive me if this is repeated. I searched high and low and couldn't find a thread that could help me out.

I just reinstalled my mac. I have Snow Leopard. I couldn't figure out how to install SL without first installing Leopard from my macbook Pro's original install disks. So I cleanly installed Leopard, then quickly upgraded to SL.

I then installed Final Cut Studio 3. The viewer appears to show a darker gamma than quicktime. I had this problem with SL and FCS2. But I read on a thread here that with fresh installs it should all match with the 2.2 gamma.

Any ideas on what I did wrong? Is it because I installed Leopard first, then SL? If so, then how do I just install SL? I purchased the $30 upgrade SL.

Also, I have a large LCD monitor that I use with my MacBookPro. When I plug it in, it appears to have a lighter 1.8 gamma setting. In order to get it to somewhat match my Macbook LCD, I have to do a calibration, and choose 2.2 gamma.

It is a cheap monitor, and I don't expect much from it. But I'm curious if this is a problem that is coorelated with the other problem I mentioned.

I haven't looked at the viewer in Color yet to see if it gives me the same problem as final cut. it wouldn't surprise me if it did.

Can anyone help me?

Thanks,
Thatcher


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Thatcher Kelley
Re: Final Cut Studio 3 viewer vs. quicktime in Snow Leopard
on Oct 17, 2009 at 7:02:32 am

So as I analyze the fcp viewer vs. quicktime I think I've realized that the difference between the two isn't 1.8 vs. 2.2 gamma. I realized this with the toggling of my 1.8 vs 2.2 gamma in the preferences panel of osx.

It appears that the quicktime output is a bit more saturated and maybe a tiny bit brighter, but not dramatically like a 1.8 vs 2.2 gamma difference.

I also looked at the Color preview window and it matches final cut. So a little less saturated and darker.

Has anyone else noticed this small discrepancy? I'm not too upset with it, but would still like if possible to find a solution (a temporary one that is free).

I know and understand the idea of a properly calibrated broadcast monitor. Unfortunately I'm building my computer station slowly and can't afford an output module (I/O box), nor a broadcast monitor.

99.9% of my work is for web/computer playback. So what a video looks in quicktime on my MacBook Pro LCD is most important to me since a large chunk of viewers will be looking at an h.264 or flash video on an apple monitor. So when color correcting, I'd like to be able to have Color's preview window on my macbook LCD, with the look that it will be when i export it to a quicktime. Does anyone know a way to do this? Such as a minorly adjusting LUT? Or should I just create an adjustment in compressor to make the quicktime look like Color's preview window for my final output.

Thanks for any help!

-Thatcher


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Rafael Amador
Re: Final Cut Studio 3 viewer vs. quicktime in Snow Leopard
on Oct 17, 2009 at 8:56:05 am

[Thatcher Kelley] "Also, I have a large LCD monitor that I use with my MacBookPro. When I plug it in, it appears to have a lighter 1.8 gamma setting. In order to get it to somewhat match my Macbook LCD, I have to do a calibration, and choose 2.2 gamma. "
You need to adjust it in the Display Preferences.
rafael



http://www.nagavideo.com


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Thatcher Kelley
Re: Final Cut Studio 3 viewer vs. quicktime in Snow Leopard
on Oct 17, 2009 at 9:04:59 am

what do I need to change in the preferences? You mean the OSX prefs right?


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Rafael Amador
Re: Final Cut Studio 3 viewer vs. quicktime in Snow Leopard
on Oct 17, 2009 at 11:14:12 am

[Thatcher Kelley] "what do I need to change in the preferences? You mean the OSX prefs right?"
Right.
You need to set the gamma of both monitors to 2.2(in Calibrate).
If you want to match the two monitors here you have to set the same Color Profile and calibrate it.
You may need to use the Expert options.
Cheers,
Rafael


http://www.nagavideo.com


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walter biscardi
Re: Final Cut Studio 3 viewer vs. quicktime in Snow Leopard
on Oct 17, 2009 at 9:15:24 am

[Thatcher Kelley] "I just reinstalled my mac. I have Snow Leopard. I couldn't figure out how to install SL without first installing Leopard from my macbook Pro's original install disks. So I cleanly installed Leopard, then quickly upgraded to SL. "

That's the improper way to do this. You simply put in the SL disc and install cleanly. You do not install Leopard and then "upgrade" to SL.


[Thatcher Kelley] "I then installed Final Cut Studio 3. The viewer appears to show a darker gamma than quicktime. I had this problem with SL and FCS2. But I read on a thread here that with fresh installs it should all match with the 2.2 gamma. "

You should be using a professional external monitor to judge all video quality. This is how FCP was designed.


[Thatcher Kelley] "I haven't looked at the viewer in Color yet to see if it gives me the same problem as final cut. it wouldn't surprise me if it did. "

The Viewer in Color should never be used to judge video quality, that application was designed solely to work with a professional external display.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" now in Post.

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Thatcher Kelley
Re: Final Cut Studio 3 viewer vs. quicktime in Snow Leopard
on Oct 17, 2009 at 9:36:40 am

"You should be using a professional external monitor to judge all video quality. This is how FCP was designed"


"The Viewer in Color should never be used to judge video quality, that application was designed solely to work with a professional external display"

I understand that I don't have the ideal situation. I don't have the luxury of being able to afford what I "should" do. I'm trying to find the best solution for what I can do, which is use the viewers in the programs. I posted to see if anyone has any ideas of something I can do. I didn't post to see if anyone could tell me that I should never use the preview window.

I'm not pointing fingers at Apple saying that they have flaws in their system. I'm simply looking for a workaround. To me it seems logical that if quicktime displays a certain image, and then final cut, color, and after effects (i was looking in CS4 and discovered that it also gives me the same results), which all three have an identical look, but different from quicktime, then there aught to be a way in my settings or something of the sort to get them all looking the same. Afterall, before snow leopard and FCS3, they did all look the same (except for after effects).

So does anyone actually have a helpful suggestion?

Thanks,
Thatcher


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walter biscardi
Re: Final Cut Studio 3 viewer vs. quicktime in Snow Leopard
on Oct 17, 2009 at 9:45:43 am

[Thatcher Kelley] "I'm not pointing fingers at Apple saying that they have flaws in their system."

Final Cut Pro was designed from day one to be used with an external video display. What you see in the Viewer and Canvas are essentially "proxy" images that do not display full quality or fully accurate color information. This is not a flaw, this is how they were designed as are most professional NLE applications designed.

Color was not even designed by Apple and in fact was not originally designed to be used with Quicktime. That "preview" window is really there for working with vignettes and masks, not for color grading.

Neither application has a flaw in terms of viewing the footage.


[Thatcher Kelley] "So does anyone actually have a helpful suggestion? "

Pick up a Matrox MXO at the very least and feed an HD TV so you can properly view your footage.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" now in Post.

Creative Cow Forum Host:
Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion, Apple Color, AJA Kona, Business & Marketing, Maxx Digital.

Blog!

Twitter!


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Arnie Schlissel
Re: Final Cut Studio 3 viewer vs. quicktime in Snow Leopard
on Oct 17, 2009 at 4:17:42 pm

[Thatcher Kelley] "I don't have the luxury of being able to afford what I "should" do."

But you do have the luxury to afford to deliver a substandard show? I think not.

[Thatcher Kelley] "I posted to see if anyone has any ideas of something I can do. I didn't post to see if anyone could tell me that I should never use the preview window."

What you can do is to rough out your edit and then bring your show to someone who is properly equipped and capable to properly finish your show.

I see problems all the time that are related to improper monitoring. In a small window on a computer screen a lot of problems simply aren't seen.

And some problems aren't even seen on a good broadcast monitor.

We just shot a test out to film for a client and saw a serious, probably unfixable problem caused by their lens adapter. A problem they could only have spotted and fixed on set if they were projecting their dailies with an HD video projector. We didn't even see it on an HD broadcast monitor when we set up their test.

IOW the money you spend on proper monitoring will more than pay for itself in the money and effort saved by not having to fix the unfixable in post.

Arnie

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


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Thatcher Kelley
Re: Final Cut Studio 3 viewer vs. quicktime in Snow Leopard
on Oct 17, 2009 at 4:28:18 pm

"IOW the money you spend on proper monitoring will more than pay for itself in the money and effort saved by not having to fix the unfixable in post"

Thanks for the tip. I actually hadn't even thought of taking it elsewhere for the last step of the process.

I am working on a monitoring solution. I just dropped a grand on adobe production premium. An upgrade from my student copy of AE 6.5. So it will be a little while before I'll have money to spend on monitoring.

Any suggestions on a solution. I get the impression that the MXO box uses the DVI output, disallowing you to use the DVI as a part of the desktop, and only for a monitor output. Is this correct?

Does anyone have any firewire or expresscard solutions for a MacBook Pro setup that is under a grand? I've used the AJA I/O box, which is amazing, but is simply overkill and more than I'd like to pay to get SDI or HD component to a broadcast monitor

Also any suggestions on good, cheap (oxymoron I know) broadcast monitors. I was thining of getting a PVM14L or 20L HD CRT used. Those are fairly cheap. Is the Panasonic LH1700 LCD recommended. I use this all the time in production, but not for color correction. Any other CRTs or LCDs reasonably priced that are worth getting?


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Arnie Schlissel
Re: Final Cut Studio 3 viewer vs. quicktime in Snow Leopard
on Oct 18, 2009 at 1:25:40 am

You can get an MXO2 Mini for around $450, including the express card. The same box can be used with a desktop later by buying a $100 PCIe card.

The mini has HDMI and component to connect you to an inexpensive plasma or LCD TV, or the PVM L5 series Sony monitors that you mentioned.

You should be able to find a PVM20L5 for $500-10000, a PVM14L5 should run $350-700. Both are true HD monitors and are very good.

Arnie

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


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