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fcp and color output settings

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Bernard Lyall
fcp and color output settings
on Feb 25, 2010 at 2:07:30 pm

I'm having a problem with sending to FCP from color. When the graded sequence is viewed in FCP, it's darker than in Color, though using the same monitor. Are there settings I can check to make sure FCP and Color are both set up the same way for viewing?

HDV project, working in pro res 422 (HQ).

Thanks,

Bernard


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Shane Ross
Re: fcp and color output settings
on Feb 25, 2010 at 2:15:10 pm

Please don't tell me you are looking at the footage on the COMPUTER monitors. Because that is the LAST way you judge the quality and look of your footage. You need an external broadcast monitor (or at least a TV) to judge this. A computer monitor will not show you the actual image that you have.

And yes, the image you see in the color REFERENCE window will be different than the image you see in the FCP Canvas. They aren't meant to be used as final viewing options.



Shane



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walter biscardi
Re: fcp and color output settings
on Feb 25, 2010 at 2:24:08 pm

What external monitor are you using and how are you feeding it?

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Bernard Lyall
Re: fcp and color output settings
on Feb 25, 2010 at 2:32:49 pm

Hi, I'm using the Apple Cinema display (and yes, I know it's not a broadcast monitor but it's all there is here) set to 2.2 gamma and 6500K. The point is that the same material looks different in Color and FCP. Even before I grade, the Color display brightens the shot. I don't know which output I should trust more. Since to output to tape I have to go through FCP, I'm worried that that is what it'll look like, not the sequence I graded.


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walter biscardi
Re: fcp and color output settings
on Feb 25, 2010 at 2:43:55 pm

[Bernard Lyall] "Hi, I'm using the Apple Cinema display (and yes, I know it's not a broadcast monitor but it's all there is here) set to 2.2 gamma and 6500K. The point is that the same material looks different in Color and FCP."

Ok, you're feeding this with a graphics cable and you're grading in Color using the little Preview display in Color? That is not accurate in the least for Color grading. Color is completely designed to work with a properly calibrated external monitor being fed by an SDI or Component video signal, not a computer monitor.

In Final Cut Pro, if you're using the Final Cut Pro Canvas, this is not accurate in the least for color grading or color review.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Bernard Lyall
Re: fcp and color output settings
on Feb 25, 2010 at 2:44:04 pm

After more experimenting, I'm getting a contrast shift both when I send to Color - seems brighter and more contrasty - and then again when I send it back to FCP. This without doing any grading, just rendering the ungraded shots.


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walter biscardi
Re: fcp and color output settings
on Feb 25, 2010 at 2:48:49 pm

[Bernard Lyall] "After more experimenting, I'm getting a contrast shift both when I send to Color - seems brighter and more contrasty - and then again when I send it back to FCP. This without doing any grading, just rendering the ungraded shots."

When I Send to Color, I see exactly the same image on our broadcast monitors as I saw in FCP.

After Grading, when I Send to FCP, I see exactly the same image on our broadcast monitors as I saw in FCP.

Also, keep in mind the Broadcast Safe function in Color is going to clip off your video.

No way to know for sure exactly what your image looks like without feeding it to a properly calibrated monitor. The Preview Windwo in Color almost always looks different than the Canvas in FCP.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Bernard Lyall
Re: fcp and color output settings
on Feb 25, 2010 at 2:54:44 pm

Thanks for your help Walter, very much appreciated.

The round-trip experiment was to remove the effect of however Color is monitoring compared to FCP. The material changed, without me doing anything to it, when it arrived back in FCP, compared to the original FCP sequence. That's the problem, irrespective of however accurate or otherwise my monitoring is.


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walter biscardi
Re: fcp and color output settings
on Feb 25, 2010 at 3:14:59 pm

[Bernard Lyall] "The round-trip experiment was to remove the effect of however Color is monitoring compared to FCP. The material changed, without me doing anything to it, when it arrived back in FCP, compared to the original FCP sequence. That's the problem, irrespective of however accurate or otherwise my monitoring is."

Broadcast Safe and Codec change are two quick things that come to mind.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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walter biscardi
Re: fcp and color output settings
on Feb 25, 2010 at 3:30:52 pm

[walter biscardi] "Broadcast Safe and Codec change are two quick things that come to mind."

And one other thing. The GPU that's installed in your machine directly affects the renders out of Color. ATI cards are better for Color than nVidia. Yes, there is a color difference between the cards.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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Bernard Lyall
Re: fcp and color output settings
on Feb 25, 2010 at 4:02:42 pm

I think you're right, a codec change is what's going on. I found this earlier thread

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/223/8005

which throws some light. What I'm getting is a gamma shift. When I apply a gamma correction to 0.85 in FCP, I get something indistinguishable from the Color output. I'm running with that for the moment, and next time make sure I'm using codecs Color is happy with. Later software versions might help me too.

And, of course, proper monitoring, in case anyone is about to remind me again. Not my set-up.

Thanks all.

Bernard


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walter biscardi
Re: fcp and color output settings
on Feb 25, 2010 at 4:13:09 pm

Are you rendering in RGB in Color? that would cause a gamma shift too. Be sure you have Color properly set up for your project.

Or do you have the floor raised to 7.5 in Color?

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

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B.J. Ahlen
Re: fcp and color output settings
on Feb 25, 2010 at 4:21:06 pm

The gamma shift happens in the conversions between the "YUV" in FCP (technically YCbCr, but that is such a mouthful) and the RGB used in Color.

The Sheer codec was a pioneer in getting this right, it's just amazing that it has taken so long for it to come to light elsewhere.

Someday soon the last TV engineer will be laid to rest, and grateful (for the end of an era) video editors will put the last remnants of interlaced and YUV video in the coffin with him, with a heavily garlic-garlanded silver cross through the whole thing, plus three rows of industrial rivets around all edges of the coffin, plus unbreakable chains all around, and to be on the safe side, dropping the package into burning thermite (usually a reliable source of 4500F/2500C when you need it).

I hope nobody here gets the idea that I don't like interlacing and YUV...

:O)


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Arnie Schlissel
Re: fcp and color output settings
on Feb 25, 2010 at 2:54:39 pm

Both Color and FCP are designed to be used with an external reference monitor. The internal computer displays are not accurate and simply should not be used to judge the contrast & color that you see.

Color & FCP are quite different internally, they do not display video the same way internally, and this is reflected in the difference on the internal computer display. IOW, you must use a calibrated broadcast monitor connected to a video capture card if you want to accurately see what you're doing.

Arnie

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matthew bradshaw
Re: fcp and color output settings
on Feb 25, 2010 at 3:50:36 pm

Arnie, did you read the whole thread?
Matt.



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