I'm trying to figure out the best way to create digital masters of finished projects using the ProRes 422 codec, but I'm running into some problems.
First off, we are moving away from creating a simple quicktime movie out of the FCP timeline, using current settings, and transitioning to exporting a ProRes422 master, no matter what codec the timeline uses (Uncompressed 8-bit, DVCProHD, etc.)
The problem is this: when I export (using compressor, or using QT conversion out of the timeline), and I select ProRes 422, I have the option to set gamma correction to "automatic" or "none", and I'm not sure which to choose. I exported both ways, along with exporting the standard QT movie, and when I open all three in Quicktime, they all look different! Visually, the QT movie is the brightest, the export with auto-gamma is a bit darker, and the export with gamma set to "none" is the darkest!!
When I bring the 3 exports onto the FCP timeline, and compare a shot to the identical shot in the original sequence, I encounter even more questions. In this situation, the export with gamma set to "none" is the only one that looks dark. The other two exports (auto gamma, and the QT movie) both look the same as the shot in the original sequence.
So now, not only am I unsure as to the best way to create a digital ProRes 422 master from my FCP timeline, I'm now confused as to why the files act differently depending on if they are opened in QT or in FCP!!
Anyone have any insight into this issue? All your help is appreciated!!
This sounds like a colour space conversion issue plus possibly a gamma playblack issue. But I can't tell you the exact nature of where it's happening.
Are you staying RGB all the way or are you going from YUV originated to RGB? In your sequence settings render tab what is it set to in terms of dealing with colourspace types?
Also - playback - which OS are you using? Going to Snow Leopard, Apple decided to go from 1.8 Mac standard to 2.2 PC Gamma standard (I think!) and there's (again I think) an "FCP mode" in Quicktime which can be on or off that does/does not do gamma correction when playing back within QuickTime.
So - one or both of the above might be causing the issues you're seeing?