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white background becomes pinkish

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Russel Xander
white background becomes pinkish
on Sep 9, 2011 at 10:44:11 am

I'm working with a clip where a model was shot in front of white background. I had to use Color Corrector inside FCP to fix the skin color and make the background a clean white. I moved the clip so that the model is on the right side of the screen, and therefore I had to put a white solid/still image under the models clip on the timeline to eliminate the missing white on the left side.

On my monitor the added white background is the same as the white background in my video, but when I compress the rendered output to mp4 and upload it to youtube the extra white on the left becomes pinkish and so it differs from the models background white.

My sequence uses ProRes HQ codec by the way.

I've tried all the various settings affecting rendering white in preference of sequence (Always render as RGB/Render in 8-bit, 10-bit, etc.)

I've also tried to use a white image created in Photoshop instead of FCP solid,
but nothing helps. I'm sure I'm not the only one having this bug of FCP.

Thanks for the tips.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: white background becomes pinkish
on Sep 9, 2011 at 4:42:12 pm

I'd use a duplicate of the color-corrected clip: put it on the bottom track, slide the top clip in the desired direction, then mask & feather the top clip as necessary to make a seamless-looking background on the side. You say you don't get as far over to one side as you'd like? Repeat the process.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Russel Xander
Re: white background becomes pinkish
on Sep 9, 2011 at 4:58:44 pm

I've tried that earlier and it seems to solve the problem, however it takes much more time to render.

I can't accept the fact that a white solid (or a simple white PNG made with Photoshop) as an underlaying background is treated/rendered differently and gets slightly colored regardless that it's values are the same as the white of the clip next to it (255/255/255 RGB).

It's really a basic thing and FCP seems unable to handle it correctly or there's a trick I'm not aware of :-)


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Dave LaRonde
Re: white background becomes pinkish
on Sep 9, 2011 at 5:10:26 pm

If you got it to work, what's the problem?

And I doubt VERY MUCH that your white solid precisely matched the original, non-effected, white background of your shot. You could have created a colored solid or a slug as a background, determining the proper color by using an eyedropper, and then pasted in a copy of the color correction effect from the video footage.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Russel Xander
Re: white background becomes pinkish
on Sep 9, 2011 at 5:46:18 pm

both whites are the same even by the eyedropper. the problem is that it should work with 2 tracks only. white solid on the bottom and the cropped clip on track 2.

now, in some parts of the video the clip is rotated, zoomed constantly, and I would end up with 4 extra tracks ( to add the missing white on each side), and that slows down everything - 6 tracks altogether.
And I would have to keyframe/track the movement of each of those 4 tracks to follow the content of the clip.

If I use color key to mask my model then a very light (hardly visible, but I do see it) aura appears around my model and in this case the white of the solid on track 1 is perfect but the aura around my model gets a slightly blueish color after being uploaded to youtube.

As I mentioned before, this color shift is not visible in FCP, nor in the output render, or in the mp4 made by compressor, but It does appear after youtube upload. So it's definitely a rendering problem of FCP.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: white background becomes pinkish
on Sep 9, 2011 at 5:59:36 pm

Wait a minute:
  • You don't see the color shift in FCP.
  • You don't see the color shift in the (presumed) self-contained file exported from FCP.
  • You don't see the color shift in the mp4 made by Compressor.
  • But you do see the color shift on YouTube.
If you checked it at the three points along the way to YouTube and it looked fine, how does this all of a sudden get attributed to FCP?

Frankly, the effects work shouldn't have been done in FCP in the first place. FCP's strong suit does NOT lie in effects and compositing work. It's an editing app, for cryin' out loud.

At the very least, you should have done it in Motion. After Effects would have been better, and probably easier.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Russel Xander
Re: white background becomes pinkish
on Sep 9, 2011 at 6:08:30 pm

It gets attributed to FCP so that the visual BUG that appears on youtube version of the video clearly shows that there are 2 track overlapping. And the overlap/coloration is exactly there as in FCP (but visually not visible).


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Steve Eisen
Re: white background becomes pinkish
on Sep 9, 2011 at 6:43:48 pm

Like Dave said, use a compositing program to achieve what you want. Don't blame FCP. It can only do so much.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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Russel Xander
Re: white background becomes pinkish
on Sep 10, 2011 at 9:05:43 am

Your are both right, still I think it's such a simple thing it should be possible to be done in FCP,
instead of wasting unnecessary time in a compositing app.

After experiencing with different sequence codecs this morning, I found out that what's causing the coloration is a BUG that happens with certain sequence codecs> any Apple ProRres XXX, same thing with Intermediate codec, but does't happen if I use the Animation codec.

Rendering the output with Animation codec + creating an mp4 with compressor +uploading to Youtube gives the expected result.

Anyway it was a good lesson not to use FCP for any kind of compositing if the background is a clear white. Thank you for convincing me about that.


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Russel Xander
Re: white background becomes pinkish
on Sep 10, 2011 at 12:36:01 pm

Just for a reference in case I forget by the time:

seems like it's not only the Animation codec set as sequence codec that can help resolve this issue,
but it's possible with ProRes as sequence codec as well.

Here are the necessary settings to be set that are affecting processing of white:

- Sequence Settings/Render all YUV material with high-precision YUV
- and here also set Process Maximum White as 'Super White'
- Motion Filtering quality 'Best'
- User Preferences/Editing... Imported Still/RGB Video Gamme/Gamma Level: 'Source'

and the most important part:
- do not use a FCP generated solid, create a 255/255/255 white picture and save it as PNG with Photoshop!!!


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