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Color Degeneration

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adam yeremian
Color Degeneration
on Dec 17, 2009 at 6:33:57 pm

I'm working with an older director who had recently been complaining about a new "brightness" occurring on every shot of his feature. He seemed certain that these digital files, like film, gradually degenerate in color and quality. At first we all brushed his theories off because no one could tell a difference.

HOWEVER, upon further investigation we DID notice a subtle change in the brightness and color of the shots. We took a project file from 2007 and compared sequences from 2009. After using QT conversion to export still images from both sequences, we found that the shot from 2007 was slightly darker and more saturated. No filters were used in either shot or sequence and the color space was the same ( 8bit YUV ).

I can only think of a couple of things that have changed from one project to the other.

- Version of FCP has been changed from 5 to 6.
- Duplicate sequences have been made of the same material since 2007
- Latter (2009) sequence is nested and previous (2007) was not.

PLEASE, if anyone has any info for me it would be greatly appreciated. We go into Color Correct next week and would like to resolve this mystery beforehand.

adam@hungrymonsters.com



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Aaron Neitz
Re: Color Degeneration
on Dec 17, 2009 at 7:01:40 pm

What codec?

Are you referencing the EXACT same quicktime source files from a common drive?

it sounds like the infamous QT gamma problem(s) might be culprit



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Alan Okey
Re: Color Degeneration
on Dec 17, 2009 at 7:30:04 pm

[Aaron Neitz] "it sounds like the infamous QT gamma problem(s) might be culprit "

Bingo.

Information on the codec and workflow used would be helpful here.


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adam yeremian
Re: Color Degeneration
on Dec 18, 2009 at 5:00:10 pm

FCP Movie Files shot on Sony HVX housed in external drives brought into Final Cut. Scene by Scene sequences have been made from original assembly, nested sequence for the whole feature has been made from there.
Over the course of this process we have upgraded FCP from 5 ->

Codec: DVCPRO HD(720p60) Integer (Little Endian)

There are 2 shots using a difference camera that have been placed in one of the nested sequences, could this throw the entire thing off? Codec: XDCAM EX 1080p24 original format MPEG HD.

What is this QT gamma problem you have mentioned?


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adam yeremian
Re: Color Degeneration
on Dec 18, 2009 at 5:19:20 pm

yes, exact same QT files. Non common drive for some of them though. The bulk is on a 2TB Lacie and there's about 500GB worth on another 1TB drive. We didn't want to fill an entire 2TB.


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