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Best way to color grade / correct on a laptop: FCP and Macbook

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Ben Knight
Best way to color grade / correct on a laptop: FCP and Macbook
on Dec 14, 2011 at 1:42:28 am

Hi Cow friends,
Just finishing the post on a short film. I used advice from Creative Cow several times during production, thanks.
Now it's time to color correct. Do I know how to do it? No. But my wife is a photographer (and DOP of the film), so as long as I can monitor it properly, she'll be able to do a pretty good job.
What solutions would people recommend? From my research the Matrox MX02 Mini is the cheapest way to be able to monitor properly with my Macbook (2008 Aluminium). My laptop doesn't have firewire, and has a MiniDisplay port.
Are there issues I should be aware of?
Sounds like it works better on a Mac than a PC.
And then, hire a monitor to connect to it, i guess, rather than use an LCD tv?
Any help is appreciated.
:-)
Ben


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Shane Ross
Re: Best way to color grade / correct on a laptop: FCP and Macbook
on Dec 14, 2011 at 1:54:26 am

[Ben Knight] "From my research the Matrox MX02 Mini is the cheapest way to be able to monitor properly with my Macbook (2008 Aluminium). My laptop doesn't have firewire, and has a MiniDisplay port."

That doesn't connect to either of those. It connects via Express34. Which, since you have a MacBook and not MacBook Pro...you don't have. And since you lack firewire, you cannot even use the AJA IOHD...which is the most expensive option at $3500.

[Ben Knight] "Are there issues I should be aware of?"

Basically, there is no way to connect an I/O device to your computer and output a video signal to anything for color grading. A MacBook is a consumer device...not meant for pro video.

Sorry.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Rafael Amador
Re: Best way to color grade / correct on a laptop: FCP and Macbook
on Dec 14, 2011 at 2:02:08 am

Hi Ben,
What's matters is the external monitor you use.
Up to the Matrox website you could get external pro monitoring using the Mini Display Port with an HDMI adaptor and the MX02 Mini when using FCS.
That would be a great solution, although I'm not sure if you can run Apple Color on your MB.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Best way to color grade / correct on a laptop: FCP and Macbook
on Dec 14, 2011 at 2:06:41 am

[Rafael Amador] "Up to the Matrox website you could get external pro monitoring using the Mini Display Port with an HDMI adaptor and the MX02 Mini when using FCS."

How? The MXO2 connects to the computer via Express34. It doesn't take a signal from a computer via HDMI. It will input a signal to a computer via HDMI...but I don't think you can loop HDMI into the box, then out of the box without it connected to the computer via Express34.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Ben Knight
Re: Best way to color grade / correct on a laptop: FCP and Macbook
on Dec 14, 2011 at 2:14:53 am

Thanks for your replies, guys. The guy at the store I just called also seemed to think I would need Express card to run the Matrox.
I understand one option is to hire a MBP 17" with the express card.
What about simply connecting a pro monitor to my laptop using a generic miniDisplay to HDMI adapter... the kind you can buy for $50 from the apple store, etc. Is that do-able?


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Shane Ross
Re: Best way to color grade / correct on a laptop: FCP and Macbook
on Dec 14, 2011 at 2:16:31 am

[Ben Knight] "What about simply connecting a pro monitor to my laptop using a generic miniDisplay to HDMI adapter... the kind you can buy for $50 from the apple store, etc. Is that do-able?"

That will send a computer signal to an HDTV. Very different from a true VIDEO signal. It won't look the same as going Computer>Pro IO Device>HDTV. It will work...just far from ideal.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Rafael Amador
Re: Best way to color grade / correct on a laptop: FCP and Macbook
on Dec 14, 2011 at 2:33:56 am

Hi Shane,
We were posting at the same time, although I'm slower on writing.

The info a give on the Matrox comes from here:

http://www.matrox.com/video/en/products/mxo2_mini/

Up to what I see and they say would be possible using the Mini Display.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Best way to color grade / correct on a laptop: FCP and Macbook
on Dec 14, 2011 at 3:06:53 am

I see no mention of the Mini Display Port on that page. Where does it say that? And what does it say.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Ben Knight
Re: Best way to color grade / correct on a laptop: FCP and Macbook
on Dec 14, 2011 at 3:17:06 am

Hey guys, I found this reference to using the DVI port, or Minidisplay port with an adapter,
on the MXO page:
http://www.matrox.com/video/en/products/mac/mxo/video_output/#close

So I presume they mean... mindisplay to dvi adapter?
I wonder if it works with the MXO2 adapter.
Thoughts or comments on the above?


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Ben Knight
Re: Best way to color grade / correct on a laptop: FCP and Macbook
on Dec 14, 2011 at 3:30:50 am

I just got off the phone from the local (Australian) Matrox distributor.
Trying to summarise:
MXO (NOT mx02) takes DVI in, but that product is discontinued.

To get an SDI signal out from my computer to a proper monitor (which is what I'm gathering is appropriate for color correction), I would need:
• MXO2 LE (as opposed to the mini, which only has HDMI out, not SDI)
AND
• an expresscard slot OR a thunderbolt port. apparently it works with thunderbolt

That pretty much sounds like that's the size of it.
:-)
No luck with my current computer. :-(
It's getting old anywaze...


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Rafael Amador
Re: Best way to color grade / correct on a laptop: FCP and Macbook
on Dec 14, 2011 at 4:22:10 am

[Shane Ross] "I see no mention of the Mini Display Port on that page. Where does it say that? And what does it say."
As I said in the post, a Mini Display to HDMI adaptor (which exist in the market) would be needed.

[Ben Knight] "• MXO2 LE (as opposed to the mini, which only has HDMI out, not SDI)"
DVI with Mini Display is basically the same with sound added.
The MXO2 Mini has HDMI In, so you should be able to plug it to your Mac.


[Ben Knight] "I just got off the phone from the local (Australian) Matrox distributor."
Distributors knows about distribution and they will be happy to sell you something more expensive.
Talk directly with MATROX.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Best way to color grade / correct on a laptop: FCP and Macbook
on Dec 14, 2011 at 6:50:50 am

Raf...I have the MXO2 and MXO2 Mini. You cannot do what you are claiming to do.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Rafael Amador
Re: Best way to color grade / correct on a laptop: FCP and Macbook
on Dec 14, 2011 at 7:04:52 am

[Shane Ross] "Raf...I have the MXO2 and MXO2 Mini. You cannot do what you are claiming to do"
Yeap.
I understand than feeding a Broadcast quality HDMI signal to the card you can get Broadcast monitoring. The problem is on the Mini Display/HDMI signal out of the Mac.
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Shane Ross
Re: Best way to color grade / correct on a laptop: FCP and Macbook
on Dec 14, 2011 at 8:27:07 am

When you feed HDMI to the card...it is sending the signal to the COMPUTER connection...the Express34 connector. It doesn't loop HDMI in to HDMI out...that's not how it works. This is like a KONA card...BMD. It connects to the computer...you feed HDMI into the card...card connected to the computer via PCIe or Express34...FCP, Avid, Adobe...sees the signal. They send an HD signal OUT of the computer connection to the HDMI out. It doesn't go HDMI IN to HDMI OUT.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Rafael Amador
Re: Best way to color grade / correct on a laptop: FCP and Macbook
on Dec 14, 2011 at 1:02:35 pm

[Shane Ross] "When you feed HDMI to the card...it is sending the signal to the COMPUTER connection...the Express34 connector. It doesn't loop HDMI in to HDMI out...that's not how it works. This is like a KONA card...BMD. It connects to the computer...you feed HDMI into the card...card connected to the computer via PCIe or Express34...FCP, Avid, Adobe...sees the signal. They send an HD signal OUT of the computer connection to the HDMI out. It doesn't go HDMI IN to HDMI OUT."
Got it it.
Is not the FC or Color signal, but the Finder.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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