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FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?

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kyler boudreau
FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?
on Feb 4, 2011 at 9:47:10 am

Hey forum...I've been using FCP a ton, and being an Avid guy in the past, that is saying something.

Getting ready to do another indie feature, and the thought of using FCP crossed by mind, but I have a huge dilemma:

Currently when I send a full sequence to Color and then back to FCP, but I cannot edit that returned sequence from color once it is back in FCP. All of the clips get chopped at the edit marks, and to get around this I have to go back to the pre-color sequence, edit, send to color, send it back to FCP, splice it in....freaking pain.

Is this the only way to do it? I'm used to doing color correction right in the Avid timeline. And then you can edit it as well. I can't do an indie feature in FCP if this is the case.

It can't be this broken...

_______________________
kyler boudreau
http://www.theatereleven.com
ph.310.425.2231


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?
on Feb 4, 2011 at 10:44:48 am

You are doing things wrong.

#1 - Color correction is the LAST step in the editing process. Well, second to last. Output follows. If you have more editing to do, don't color correct. Wait until you have picture lock.

#2 - You don't understand how Color works. When you SEND TO Color, you are sending the full clips, but when you render out from Color, what you get back are brand new clips. The COLOR RENDERS, are QT files that now link to the sequence you send back from Color. If you don't include HANDLES on those renders, then there is no way to edit anything. I typically render with 1 second handles just so I can make minor adjustments, and so my transitions still work.

If you want to color correct in the timeline, but want better control than the 3-way Color Corrector, take a look at COLORISTA by Magic Bullet. Or save color correction until the very end.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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kyler boudreau
Re: FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?
on Feb 4, 2011 at 11:33:26 am

Thanks - I was wondering if you could put handles similar to exporting OMFs for sound guys.

I'd like to argue however that I'm in fact not doing things wrong. Indie film means you have to prep for test screenings, that directors change their minds and that picture lock really doesn't happen until you see the DVD at Blockbuster.

Oh wait...then the director's cut comes out. =)

Whether it is wrong or right, I simply cannot use this process. But FCP is half the price of Avid, so I guess I have to lose something for that trade off.

Thanks for the tips on the other color tools.

_______________________
kyler boudreau
http://www.theatereleven.com
ph.310.425.2231


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?
on Feb 4, 2011 at 11:36:47 am

Then color correct for test screenings. Save all the grades, for every shot or angle. And then just add them again when you re-color correct. This is how things are done with outside color correction applications. If you took a color correction to a colorist running a DaVinci, they'd grade, then save the grades, and redo the master when done. Color is similar...it is an outside app.

There are alternatives that you can use in FCP...the 3-way color corrector, Colorista...as I mentioned.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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kyler boudreau
Re: FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?
on Feb 4, 2011 at 11:38:18 am

yeah, you're right Shane. I get all of that....but it's like telling a ProTools guy there was an app out there that meant he never had to conform his sound edits to new picture. everything was automatic....that's what I had in Avid MC and it spoiled me.

_______________________
kyler boudreau
http://www.theatereleven.com
ph.310.425.2231


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?
on Feb 4, 2011 at 11:44:13 am

You can reconform in Color too.

But you are missing the point. You are comparing apples and oranges. Color correcting INSIDE the NLE...Avid...and color correcting in an outside application...COLOR. The workflows are very different. If you are used to color correcting in the application you edit with, the color correct in FCP. Then you can re-edit all the color corrected footage all you want.

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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kyler boudreau
Re: FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?
on Feb 4, 2011 at 12:07:08 pm

True, but I don't like FCP's color correcting. It would be different if Avid's color sucked and Apple's color was something they didn't have. But you have Apple Color inside Avid - neatly combined with one application.

Saving stuff to conform later - I just don't have time for that. Now if clients are paying me high hourly rates than sure...why not!

I think the general opinion though is Avid's color correction is pretty high end. And I'm sure Color is too, but not FCP color.

_______________________
kyler boudreau
http://www.theatereleven.com
ph.310.425.2231


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Shane Ross
Re: FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?
on Feb 4, 2011 at 12:12:32 pm

Avid SYMPHONY maybe...but I find Media Composer on the same level as FCP...just can't push things as far as you can with Color. Color is higher end than Avid MC, by a lot. 8 Secondaries, vignetting, Color Effects, color wheels and curves

Shane

GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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kyler boudreau
Re: FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?
on Feb 4, 2011 at 12:18:32 pm

If Color is higher then this all makes more sense. But Avid has the color wheels and the curves.

I need to look into this more I guess. Maybe Color is a ton better. Thanks Shane!

_______________________
kyler boudreau
http://www.theatereleven.com
ph.310.425.2231


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Wayne Marx
Re: FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?
on Feb 4, 2011 at 1:37:28 pm

Hi,

I'll second everything Shane is saying... and will add that if you haven't yet seen Colorista II in action, you should take a look at this:
http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/social/colorista-ii-tutorials/

In the right hands, CII is a VERY powerful in-FCP tool.

Color may be a better, dedicated grading tool in some cases, but if you want to stay in FCP this is probably the way to go.

Wayne


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David Roth Weiss
Re: FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?
on Feb 4, 2011 at 4:20:22 pm

[kyler boudreau] "I need to look into this more I guess. Maybe Color is a ton better."

Hey Kyler,

Definitely look more closely at Color... It absolutely eclipses the timeline-based CC in both FCP and Avid.

As Shane mentioned, it has a much more powerful tool set. But, more importantly, Color's color processing is vastly more sophisticated and powerful. Even the simplest of Color's controls have much smoother and more subtle gradations than what you've been using. You get a much wider range of control with more subtle control across the entire range than you will ever get with the very linear and "clunkier" controls of the less sophisticated tools.

What I find most useful and powerful is Color's ability to store, compare, and copy versions of grades. It's well designed, very fast, and it allows you view and make choices before your eyes can adjust. It's all very fluid and natural, and much less mechanical than most of the simple tools, and it's far superior for saving and showing variations of your work to your clients.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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kyler boudreau
Re: FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?
on Feb 4, 2011 at 4:53:18 pm

That's good to know - yeah, FCP's native color is lame. I've enjoyed using Color and it is easy to get great results. Just wish it could do it within the app.

BTW - was up all night working on a 90 XDCAM sequence that I put Neat Video on. When I rendered in the native codec the grain removal was blotchy. When I moved the sequence to Pro Rez it looked perfect, but then I had a lot of problems exporting the quicktime out - kept getting "General Error" messages.

Weird, but just thought you'd like to know that there is a noticeable difference with that plugin when not rendering in Pro Rez.

_______________________
kyler boudreau
http://www.theatereleven.com
ph.310.425.2231


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Stu Siegal
Re: FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?
on Feb 4, 2011 at 8:55:59 pm

Color is worth the effort. It sat unused on my drive for a long time, but after a good training DVD (there are many), I realized just how powerful and easy to use it is.

It's not for every project though. It's a tool for workflows which have a definite end point, features, music vids, docs, unlike corp. projects that get revised to death and then revised again a month or three later.

http://www.verite-media.com


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Carsten Orlt
Re: FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?
on Feb 4, 2011 at 9:30:23 pm

I have read the entire threat and agree with Shane that Color is far more advanced than anything inside FCP.

Kyler have you evert looked at the reconform function of Color? This is exactly what you are looking for.

Make your edit - send to Color and CC. Send back.
If you need to make changes make it in the sequence that you send to Color NOT the one you get back. Then send the changed sequence to Color again. Close it and open your cc'd seq. Then choose 'Reconform' from the file menu, navigate to the new seq you send after changes and after you select it Color will go through and update your seq to represent the changes. Only thing you do than is to adjust the changed areas and send it again to FCP. Voila.
There's a couple of things you should be aware doing the above. Color will update the original project file after the reconform. So you can't go back unless you open an archive version. So if you exchange a whole shot you might loose your initial grade. But you can always save grades so you can re apply them. When Color asked you to choose the seq/XML to reconform too you'll see that the file FCP created is in fact a folder and the XML is inside having a number code. Bit confusing the first time but no big deal.

Hope that helps
Carsten


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Patrice Freymond
Re: FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?
on Feb 5, 2011 at 10:18:50 am

Hi,

very interesting thread. Underlines a confusion that I think is a recurrent one, at least in these parts: There is Color Correction, and there is Grading. In french we have Correction Colorimetrique and Etalonnage respectively.

I am primarily an editor and do lots of Color Correction. That's what I'll do before a screening, at whatever stage of the edit. Because I am not a colorist nor had the time to study Color, I hand out the Grading to our guy with the Baselight system.

For CC most of the time the 3 way built in will do, or Colorista for more desperate or sophisticated cases. But that's for CC. And when I work with MC or even a Symphony I still work this way.

A long time ago I did some Telecine work (Cintels and FDL 90), and we did not have a Pandora, DaVinci or such. This is why I am still nt a colorist. But You got me thinking about Color. I should mke the time to study it.

Thank you for an informative thread.

Patrice


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Mike Halper
Re: FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?
on Feb 7, 2011 at 9:44:20 am

You're using too many steps to reconform a Color project. Do it this way:

1. Save the Color project and close Color. Make a copy of your Color project as a backup. I always do this when reconforming in case something screwy happens (which can happen).
2. Make edit changes in the original FCP sequence you sent to Color and export FCP sequence to XML.
3. Open Color project and select Reconform in the menu.
4. Point to the XML you exported. Done.

_______________________________________________

Mike



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kyler boudreau
Re: FCP and Color - Is this limitation real?
on Feb 7, 2011 at 5:10:57 pm

Mike! Okay man - now we're talking. I had no idea I could re-conform via XML.

Sweetness.

This might actually help me do our feature in FCP. Can't wait to try this out - thanks for the info.

_______________________
kyler boudreau
http://www.theatereleven.com
ph.310.425.2231


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