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FCP and QuicktimeX contrast

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Brian Petersen
FCP and QuicktimeX contrast
on Aug 16, 2011 at 7:39:35 pm

Hello all,

I know this topic has been covered before, but the answers never seemed to address what I'm trying to get to here. Every response was always a "get a proper broadcast external monitor".

I am putting together videos for the web (will never be seen on a broadcast monitor) and I'm concerned with the massive contrast difference I get from the FCP viewer and canvas compared to the final output in Quicktime.

I KNOW that FCP and quicktime use different methods of showing video on the screen. But take a look at this screen shot...



The image on the left is in quicktimeX. The image on the right is the same movie file in FCP canvas. There is obviously a MASSIVE difference between these two.

The way the video looks in QuicktimeX is the generally how the video file looks when uploaded and then viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and other website across multiple browsers and platforms, with slightly variances here and there. It never looks like the image on the right (FCP canvas).

To all the people that want to write back saying "Get a broadcast external monitor" are you saying that if I plugged in a broadcast external monitor that the monitor image would look similar to the image on the left (the one in quicktime)? And so any color changes would match up correctly when put on the web (generally speaking)?

I'm not looking for the FCP canvas to be pixel perfect, but the amount of difference in this screen shot is wildly unacceptable. I often shoot, edit on laptop only, then post to web. I can't have an external monitor around. As is, if I want to do anything with color I have to tweak, output to qt to see what it looks like, tweak again, output to qt to see if it looks good, and then go from there.

FCP is obviously doing something the video. I'm running Lion and was running SL and had the same issue. I'm running FCP 7.0. Since I'm in 2.2 gamma across the board, is FCP still adjusting my video for display thinking that I'm in 1.8? Because that would probably do this.


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Brian Petersen
Re: FCP and QuicktimeX contrast
on Aug 16, 2011 at 7:54:54 pm

apologies to the moderators. I reposted this as a reply in another thread. I didn't know this actually went through because I was a new member.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: FCP and QuicktimeX contrast
on Aug 16, 2011 at 8:35:20 pm

[Brian Petersen] "To all the people that want to write back saying "Get a broadcast external monitor" are you saying that if I plugged in a broadcast external monitor that the monitor image would look similar to the image on the left (the one in quicktime)? And so any color changes would match up correctly when put on the web (generally speaking)?"

A broadcast monitor isn't necessarily the answer either Brian. What you need is a calibrated monitor of any sort. Until you have a calibrated monitor you have no "known" reference or "baseline" by which to judge video, and you'll have no idea what the issues are that you're confronting.

For example, how do you know which of your two examples above accurately reflects the video being shown? Or, do either of the examples accurately reflect the video they're displaying?

You have no idea and neither do we. If you displayed color bars on both and show us that, that would be a lot better place to start, then we'd have a reference and we could tell you something that might be of value, but at this point all we know is that both are different, and no one could possibly tell you why, because neither has known values that can offer a frame of reference.


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

Don't miss my new tutorial: Prepare for a seamless transition to FCP X and OS X Lion
http://library.creativecow.net/weiss_roth_david/FCP-10-MAC-Lion/1

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Brian Petersen
Re: FCP and QuicktimeX contrast
on Aug 16, 2011 at 8:45:58 pm

As I mentioned in the post, the QuicktimeX version, the one the left, is image that best reflects what is seen once put up on the YouTube, Vimeo, and other sites and then viewed on a number of different computers and browsers.

The one on the left (the one viewed in quicktimeX) is the base to look at. That file, when uploaded and then viewed on various computers looks like it does when viewed in Quicktime X.

It's the FCP image that is the odd-man-out so to say.


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Matt Lyon
Re: FCP and QuicktimeX contrast
on Aug 16, 2011 at 8:46:10 pm

[Brian Petersen] " is FCP still adjusting my video for display thinking that I'm in 1.8?"

Yes it is. FCP 7, like the versions before it, assumes a display gamma of 1.8, so it applies a multiplier to the gamma in the canvas window.

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Brian Petersen
Re: FCP and QuicktimeX contrast
on Aug 16, 2011 at 8:54:31 pm

Thank you...

And I guess there is no way to the gamma multiplier off?

You would think with Snow Leopard changing the gamma to 2.2 that FCP would allow users to use that gamma in FCP. I like operating in a 2.2 world with SL and now Lion.

So when I go into FCP, I should change my display profile to 1.8 while in FCP. Then when out of FCP go back to 2.2?

Kind of annoying, but if there is no other way.


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Rafael Amador
Re: FCP and QuicktimeX contrast
on Aug 16, 2011 at 9:47:18 pm

[Brian Petersen] "You would think with Snow Leopard changing the gamma to 2.2 that FCP would allow users to use that gamma in FCP. I like operating in a 2.2 world with SL and now Lion.

So when I go into FCP, I should change my display profile to 1.8 while in FCP. Then when out of FCP go back to 2.2?"

Yeap.
IMO (although some people didn't agree), there is a double gamma applied in the Canvas when you are in SL (2.2).
I think that QT (without the "FC Color Compatibility") should give the default system 2.2 gamma; so PC/TV like.
IN QTX, no idea.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Brian Petersen
Re: FCP and QuicktimeX contrast
on Aug 16, 2011 at 9:56:53 pm

okay.

It's an annoying topic, because I've sifted through threads on the apple discussion boards and people say that FCP 7 does NOT apply the gamma multiplier. But I have to assume they are wrong and go with what you are saying.


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Matt Lyon
Re: FCP and QuicktimeX contrast
on Aug 16, 2011 at 10:26:35 pm

I'm going to go out on a limb and say they are wrong. You've seen the proof with your own eyes. Set your display profile to 1.8 when using FCP and 2.2 when outside the program. That is what I do when working in a studio without a proper video monitor.
I think people get caught up in the fact that SL changed the default system gamma but this has no bearing on FCP. FCP 7 itself doesn't know or care what your display gamma is set to in the system preferences.

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Brian Petersen
Re: FCP and QuicktimeX contrast
on Aug 16, 2011 at 11:33:52 pm

I agree with you. That seems to be the case. I adjusted my gamma and I can get it to match up fairly well now. Everything else about the program (timeline, buttons, etc) is pretty washed out now, but that doesn't matter much.

I assume FCX is 2.2 based, but I'm not too excited to switch over to that.


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Rafael Amador
Re: FCP and QuicktimeX contrast
on Aug 17, 2011 at 1:20:58 am

[Matt Lyon] " You've seen the proof with your own eyes. Set your display profile to 1.8 when using FCP and 2.2 when outside the program. That is what I do when working in a studio without a proper video monitor.
I think people get caught up in the fact that SL changed the default system gamma but this has no bearing on FCP. FCP 7 itself doesn't know or care what your display gamma is set to in the system preferences."

I see the same.
I think FCP apply a coefficient to convert the original 1.8 Mac gamma to 2.2 (1.8 x 0.8 = 2.2).
Nothing has been changed in FCP to avoid keep applying the same math on SL.


If you apply FC's Gamma filter set to "0,8", the Canvas should show the system gamma (1.8 or 2.2); no FCs gamma.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Matt Lyon
Re: FCP and QuicktimeX contrast
on Aug 17, 2011 at 3:45:53 am

This behavior is actually documented by Apple:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2912

(I think it's in the FCP manual somewhere too)

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Rafael Amador
Re: FCP and QuicktimeX contrast
on Aug 17, 2011 at 3:57:52 pm

[Matt Lyon] "This behavior is actually documented by Apple:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2912"

Yeap.
That's pre-Snow Leopard stuff.
Supposedly updated few months ago.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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