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Kona settings affecting FCP canvas + Quicktime output

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Alex Elkins
Kona settings affecting FCP canvas + Quicktime output
on Apr 28, 2011 at 1:02:44 pm

HI All,

I'm experiencing something I've not seen before and wondered if this was normal. I'm pretty sure it's not.

I'm working with 1920x1080 ProRes 422 files. Timeline settings match. Field dominance set to None. I have 95% 1080/25p video with a small number of 1080/50i shots in there too.

Monitoring via AJA Kona 3 to 10bit HDSDI grade 1 monitor.

So, all my files are ProRes (10bit), reference monitor is 10bit, timeline is 10bit... however, when I choose 10bit Kona output in video output settings, all of my interlaced shots get messed up but only in the FCP Canvas! - see screenshot below:




Now, if I switch my Kona settings to 8bit, my FCP Canvas suddenly looks right again:



Changing these Kona settings has the same effect on QuickTime file outputs as well.
The display on the 10bit monitor looks correct, regardless of the 8bit or 10bit settings.

So three questions really:
1. Should the Kona settings have any effect on the Canvas and QuickTime outputs?
2. If not, can anyone think why this might be happening?
3. If it should be happening, why am I not seeing the problem on my grade 1 monitor?!

I've never had this problem before as until recently I've always monitored in 8bit as I was using an 8bit monitor.


For what it's worth, when I export a full quality QuickTime whilst monitoring in 10bit, a DVD burned from that QuickTime file (converted to M2V using standard Compressor settings) displays the same issues when played back on a consumer TV. When exporting whilst monitoring in 8bit, the issue is gone, so I fear this goes much deeper than simply a 'judge it from your reference monitor' answer, which I normally would!

Just to clarify, this is only happening to the interlaced shots I have in the timeline, and the reference monitor looks correct regardless of 8bit or 10bit Kona output.


Hopefully someone can help shed some light. I will be calling AJA later once their offices open (I'm in the UK so we're a few hours ahead).


Many thanks,

Alex Elkins
Twitter: @postbluetv
http://www.PostBlue.tv
Shot on RED @ 100fps, Post on FCP/Color: Capoeira Film


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Bret Williams
Re: Kona settings affecting FCP canvas + Quicktime output
on Apr 28, 2011 at 3:42:50 pm

Have you tried using a 1080i timeline? That would be the correct timeline to mix 1080p and 1080i. But I don't know about AJA. I use matrox.


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Alex Elkins
Re: Kona settings affecting FCP canvas + Quicktime output
on Apr 28, 2011 at 4:16:59 pm

Hi Bret,

Nice one, 1080i timeline monitoring 10bit worked. However I still don't understand why the Kona monitoring settings would have any effect on the canvas or QuickTimes. I'll speak to AJA now and post back if there's anything to report.

Thanks,
Alex

Alex Elkins
Twitter: @postbluetv
http://www.PostBlue.tv
Shot on RED @ 100fps, Post on FCP/Color: Capoeira Film


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Alex Elkins
Re: Kona settings affecting FCP canvas + Quicktime output
on Apr 28, 2011 at 4:36:17 pm

Right, I should have done this straight away - trashing FCP prefs fixed everything. FCP troubleshooting rule 1 and it didn't even occur to me. Doh!

Still, it's a very odd thing to have happened.

Alex Elkins
Twitter: @postbluetv
http://www.PostBlue.tv
Shot on RED @ 100fps, Post on FCP/Color: Capoeira Film


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Alex Elkins
Re: Kona settings affecting FCP canvas + Quicktime output
on Apr 28, 2011 at 5:20:40 pm

UPDATE:

Trashing preferences wasn't the cure. The issue is only apparent if my FCP canvas is set to a non-standard zoom, i.e. not at 12, 25, 50 or 100%. My layout happens to have the canvas set at 41% ('zoom to fit').
I can partially understand why this might cause issues displaying on the FCP canvas but for a QuickTime file output?? Seems bizarre...
A shot in the dark is that this could be a graphics card issue. I'm using an NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT, which is relatively old now (the system I'm using is 2-3 years old).

So there now seem to be 2 contributing factors:
1. Bit depth output from the Kona 3
2. Canvas zoom percentage

I'm posting this in case someone will find this information helpful in the future. Seems like I've found a workaround for my particular setup.

Alex Elkins
Twitter: @postbluetv
http://www.PostBlue.tv
Shot on RED @ 100fps, Post on FCP/Color: Capoeira Film


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Kona settings affecting FCP canvas + Quicktime output
on Apr 28, 2011 at 7:27:49 pm

I don't see how that image looks messed up. It's interlaced. That's what it supposed to look like, right? The 8bit image is some sort of faux de-interlace.

ALso, you should leave your Kona in whatever bit depth your timeline is in, regardless of what your broadcast monitor can display. If working in 10bit with an 8bit capable monitor (plasma, for instance) you should still have a 10bit output to the monitor as you will ensure that you are sending the right signal to the Kona. The monitor will dither the signal if need be.

Jeremy


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