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joshua sandler
FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Mar 1, 2012 at 8:26:41 am

So i got a new IMac about 4 months ago which i have been running FCP on for about as long. I am running Lion. So far it has been smooth sailing with no bugs or glitches. All of a sudden tonight i opened up an older project and i noticed that when i loaded video into the viewer it looked extremely dark and redish. the skin tones are like an intense orange. like the color of a pumpkin. I dropped some video in the timeline and the image looked exactly the same in the viewer. This project happened to be an older DV NTSC project. I opened a few other projects, including proRES 422 projects and the situation was exactly the same. I tried making outputs and they look normal and when i open the captured video with quicktime it looks normal also. I have read a lot of threads where they talk about similar problems, but none seem to offer direct solutions, and also a lot of them talk about subtle color shifts in FCP. this is not a subtle color shift, all video looks incredibly dark and contrasty in FCP now and this happened suddenly this evening. I tried trashing the fcp preferences and it had no effect. the only thing abnormal that i did was for the first time since I installed FCP 7 i captured some DV NTSC footage via firewire from my DVX-100b into an old project. I doubt that would have set off some bug but i might as well mention it as the timing is curious. Anyway any input would be greatly appreciated as I can't imagine editing or color correcting under these conditions.

thanks

joshua sandler


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Bryan Rowland
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Mar 1, 2012 at 7:36:18 pm

Exact same thing happened to me yesterday - mid project. Attached is what the same file looks like in FCP & in quicktime. This goes way beyond the 'Enable Final Cut Studio color compatibility' issue in quicktime. I have reset my Pram- Deleted my FCP pref files. No luck. i exported an xml to Premiere & the files look great. I then opened the same project file on a different mac and everything looks fine - no CRAZY gamma color shift. A can't seem to find a resolution! I tried switching System Settings/Playback control/Gamma Correction from Accurate to Approximate (in FCP) but it still does not look right - Why would this happen mid project!?


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joshua sandler
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Mar 1, 2012 at 7:49:32 pm

Yup we're having the exact same problem. I could upload a comparison image but trust me its the same issue, and it affects all my FCP projects. I have no lead on a solution yet. I have done everything you have to no avail. I have been trying to identify what could have set off this problem but nothing comes to mind. I use a colormnki monitor calibrator about once a week and was wondering if that might be linked to some sort of corruption but i really don't think so. This is incredibly frustrating as i was just sitting down to start cutting a new green screen project. Let me know if you find a solution and I will do the same.


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Bryan Rowland
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Mar 1, 2012 at 8:12:39 pm

Ya - this seems isolated to FCP. I am going to try to reinstall FCP & see what happens.


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Juan Garcia
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Apr 10, 2015 at 6:16:15 pm

I use an Imac and a MacBookPro I bought the color Munki display and installed it in both computers now Final cut pro 7 and adobe Photoshop CC don't give me true colors. I can say I detected the problem does anyone have the solution?

JC GG


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Eric Browne
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Mar 10, 2012 at 12:04:14 am

Did you gentlemen find a solution the this dark redish video showing up in the viewer and canvas for FCP? I am experiencing the same symptoms on a new iMac. The video appears to be fine outside of FCP in quicktime, in Compressor and even DVD Studio Pro. I re-installed FCP Studio3 as well to no avail. Let me know if you have found any way to solve this. Many thanks.


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Bryan Rowland
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Mar 10, 2012 at 5:16:50 pm

No fix a of yet. I have not tried the reinstall like you did. disheartening that it didn't work for you. I have been cutting more and more in Premiere and have not missed much from FCP so far.


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Matt Lyon
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Mar 11, 2012 at 2:30:09 pm

Hi guys,

I've posted about this issue in other threads, but basically FCP 1 thru 7 darkens the gamma of the viewer windows because it assumes a system gamma of 1.8, and is trying to achieve a net gamma close to 2.2 (which would be roughly equal to a broadcast monitor). This is mentioned briefly in the manual:

http://documentation.apple.com/en/finalcutpro/usermanual/index.html#chapter...

In Leopard OS, most people didn't notice, since the default system gamma was 1.8. But in every OS since Snow Leopard, the system gamma is now 2.2 by default, so the viewer windows end up being way too dark (since the gamma multiplier is still being applied).

So on any system I run FCP on, I switch the display gamma (in system preferences>Displays) to 1.8. I also keep a 2.2 gamma setting, when I need to work in other programs that expect 2.2 gamma.

hth,

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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joshua sandler
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Mar 12, 2012 at 6:42:13 pm

Hey Matt thanks for trying to help. there have been a lot of posts about this subtle gamma problem, but this newer problem that these guys and myself are referring to is not subtle but actually a very drastic gamma shift that happened suddenly, that is to say for the first few months i was running FCP on my mac everything was fine and than one day out of nowhere, i am suspecting as a result of some bug connected to a software update, the video in my viewer and canvas appeared incredibly dark and with heavy gamma, so that skin tones almost look like bright orange. More and more people are popping up in forums with this problem but on one seems to have a real solution as of yet. Some people have suggested changing the gamma correction in the playback control from Accurate to Approximate, which makes it better while the video is playing but once the cursor stops moving the video goes back to being very dark. I dont really consider this a real fix to the problem but more of just a bandaid. I was going to reinstall but now that people have said it does not fix the problem i don't see the point. I have spoken with apple and they have no awareness of or solution to the problem. I am at a loss for words. I mean I have been using FCP for years and for over a month now my FCP7 has been unusable and apple can't help me fix it. Pretty incredible.


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Matt Lyon
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Mar 12, 2012 at 7:39:58 pm

hmm, that does sound like a different issue then I'm describing. There's a lot of moving parts when it comes to display gamma so it makes sense that a software update could have changed something.

But did you try my solution? I'm curious if it made any difference at all.

FCP will do the gamma correction in hardware or in software, depending on the graphics card you have installed. So maybe an update to a display driver might have "broken something."

I'm not using Lion, and haven't seen this issue, but I know that in Snow Leopard, you can open the "software update" control panel and open the "installed software" tab and look back at your update history. You can reference the dates and hopefully figure out which installer might have caused the problem. I think you are right that an FCP re-install won't fix this issue, but if you can revert the OS to before the patch was installed, that might do the trick. I'm not sure if you'll be able to "un-install" whatever patch caused the problem, or if you'll have to re-install the OS from scratch.
But I don't have direct experience with this bug, so consider my advice to be speculation :)

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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joshua sandler
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Mar 12, 2012 at 7:51:01 pm

Matt that is very insightful Yes i did try your tip and it only slightly adjusted the already totally messed up/dark gamma in FCP. I am in Lion and you cant really access the gamma adjustment as you could in snow leopard. I have to go into "calibrate profile" in order to mess around with the gamma and by doing so it automatically wants to re-lcalibrate your color, and since i am using a colormunki to calibrate my monitor I don't need apple screwing around with colormunki's calibrations which i assume are much more accurate. Anyway think your right, I am going to call apple again and see if they have any new information about the problem and see if reinstalling the operating system helps out. Besides that all i can really do is wait until someone identifies a solution. Every day i troll the internet to see if anyone has come up with a solution. UG. Thanks for your input. j


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joshua sandler
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Mar 12, 2012 at 9:23:00 pm

Ok i figured it out. First of all, the problem was mostly Colormunki related. this post explains it:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3135195?start=60&tstart=0

when creating a monitor profile using the colormunki software you need to go into the preferences and set the ICC Profile Version from version 4 back to version 2. This gets a little techy for me but version 4 is what is causing this glitch and going back to version 2 and creating a new profile fixes the problem of the extremely dark viewer and canvas in FCP. I also set my gamma setting from 2.2 (default) to 1.8.

I think Colormunki was the culprit. But i must say I am still a little confused about this 1.8/2.2 Gamma issue. As I am running Lion, should my display always be set at 1.8? Should it be set at 2.2? or should it be set at 1.8 when i am running FCP and than to 2.2 when i am running other programs such as photoshop? If you dont want to repeat an answer that has been explained a gagillion times than maybe just point out a good thread that explains. thanks for all your help. and to repeat, if you are a FCP user who also calibrates their monitor with a Colormunki, the colormunki is the Culprit!. Switch the ICC profile version to 2 and that should solve the problem.


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Bryan Rowland
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Mar 13, 2012 at 3:18:52 pm

Thank you so much! This fixed the problem for me. Bad Munki.


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joshua sandler
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Mar 13, 2012 at 4:52:34 pm

I never thought I would be the one to figure this out. Colormunki should pay me for all the hours of internet research i've done trying to crack the case. I was not at all optimistic i would find a solution anytime soon. I'll have to drink a few beers tonight in celebration... I now have my CM preferences set to ICC Version 2 and Gamma set to 1.8 and everything in FCP looks good.


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Matt Lyon
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Mar 13, 2012 at 9:03:04 pm

Great sleuthing Joshua, and thanks for posting a follow up. I'm sure many people will find this thread helpful.

[joshua sandler] "But i must say I am still a little confused about this 1.8/2.2 Gamma issue. As I am running Lion, should my display always be set at 1.8? Should it be set at 2.2?"

I don't mind posting about this again :) It's probably faster for me then searching for my old posts. I guess the answer is "it depends." I've profiled my displays with a Spyder, and have made setting for 1.8 6500k (for FCP video), 2.2 6500k (for sRGB standard) and 1.8 5000k, for working with the photo lab I sometimes use (as per their spec).

So I guess it depends on what else you are doing on your machine? And how much of your time is it worth it to sweat about?

Honestly I find it more often then not a PITA to keep switching profiles all the time, so I generally stay w/ my FCP preset all the time.

Of course, my preferred way to work is always with a video break-out-box and a calibrated broadcast monitor; in that case I would leave my computer monitors at 2.2, and judge everything video related on the broadcast monitor.

hth,

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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joshua sandler
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Mar 14, 2012 at 4:47:17 am

Thanks for sticking with us Matt! Most of the important work I do on my computer is in FCP or AE so i am just going to create profiles w/ Colormunki at 1.8 and keep em there. The next time i create a profile I will take a look and see if the default is 6500K and if its not i will give it a try. Thanks for taking the time to answer the question again though. I really appreciate it. I am planning on buying a broadcast monitor soon when i hopefully have the cash.

Also, i wrote an email to colormunki explaining this issue and expressing that i think they should try to get the word out to their customers, many of whom i assume might be FCP users.


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Jason Jones
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Mar 31, 2012 at 2:23:19 pm

And for those of you who are following this thread because of suddenly, inexplicably dark FCP7 AND X images in the Viewer and Canvas, it's not just Colormunki, but also at least one other calibration system, X-Rite's iDisplay Pro. I've just run across this thread, and so haven't actually applied what I hope it a solution, but I've been having the same experience, and only after reading the above realized that the sudden extreme darkness occured following a re-calibration of my monitors using X-Rite. I've switched to Premiere Pro recently, and so didn't catch the problem with FCP7 until I had to return to an earlier project and voila: unbelievably dark images, even though the scopes look fine and the xmp-ed version into PP looks fine there. It's clearly a FCP/X-Rite problem.


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Christopher Adams
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Apr 8, 2012 at 11:42:06 am

Actually. i think what you guys are doing is trying to trick the system and might cause a ton of other issues with other programs.. If your calibrating for a 1.8 gamma curve then the other programs other then FCP will then be incorrect. Far as I know calibrate your monitors as 2.2 period. Lion is now correct for the system wide gamma of 2.2. all programs *modern* will adhere to this. FCP is legacy and this more the likely will not be fixed. Not sure what is up if your getting this in fcpx though. I know the QT players and New 64bit VLC are correct as well as Adobe premiere. This is isolated to FCP at this point. *ie it lies* Do not trust the preview pane. Just go by your scopes *you are looking at those right?* They won't lie to you about where your white and black points are. If you are crushing stuff they will show you that with a bunched up trace at the bottom. I suspect you should ignore FCP preview window and just move on and judge it in something more modern that doesn't have this bug. I always look at my stuff on a THX calibrated external reference monitor with HD-SDi. and YES FCP is way way too dark compared to this or to davinci resolve. setting your systems to 1.8 i would think is a mistake. it will only make other things then tcp look wrong. If your a one program guy then maybe it is fine. Otherwise i would say don't do it.
CJ Adams
colorist
simplexity digital post


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Matt Lyon
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Apr 9, 2012 at 2:12:06 am

Christopher, your points are all well taken, but I think everyone has different needs and it is important to get this information out there so everyone can decide the right course of action for their situation. I don't see a problem setting your monitors to 1.8, as long as you understand the ramifications it has on other programs. And, as I mentioned in a previous post, it is possible to have multiple profiles calibrated for different situations.

We'd all love to work with calibrated broadcast monitors all the time, but that isn't realistic. My current gig is all monitored via "digital desktop preview." So I can't just leave my computer monitors at 2.2 and have everything look dark all the time. The director and producer would not really abide by that. Eventually, the material will be handed off to another facility for grading in a proper, calibrated environment. But for the time being, things need to look "good enough" to at least not be distracting so we can focus on the story.

Of course, everyone's mileage may vary...

Matt Lyon
Editor
Toronto


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Andrew Johnstone
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on May 2, 2012 at 1:11:50 pm

I have a similar issue at the moment, running FCP 7 on Snow Leopard.

I have just shot a load of material on my new HPX250 and the imported images in FCP seem appreciably darker than on the camera's preview screen and the chroma levels do not appear to be so great... I appreciate that I should not necessarily trust the camera's monitoring, but at the same time how else do we judge exposures! I checked with a colleague in London who cuts regularly for broadcast and the only tweak he suggested was to check user preferences and that FCP was importing gamma settings from 'source'. FCP can apply different gamma settings to the image if you ask it too, but the default gamma settings at import is 'source'.

My monitors are calibrated using Eye-one and the images are bang on for photo with a gamma setting of 2.2. Setting gamma to 1.8 is an old mac trick and is now officially 'wrong' as far as I can tell. The images I am importing can all be tweaked using scopes and 3 way colour corrector, but this is the first time I have had this issue. I have previously only shot and imported from Sony systems. This is my first foray into the p2 workflow. So perhaps the issue is something to do with the P2 workflow/import?

I am used to my images always looking better in an online FCP studio where they have super fancy monitors etc, but I have never had a noticeable difference in Chroma/gamma levels right out of the camera before.

thoughts?


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Adam Pearson
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on May 16, 2012 at 10:09:55 pm

Just a quick simple check for anyone having serious image issues which have seemingly come out of nowhere...I've had this happen on one of my projects before and before you drive yourself crazy make sure that the viewer and canvas windows are set to have a BLACK BACKGROUND. Changing the background to anything other than black (White, Checkerboard 1 or Checkerboard 2) can have a huge effect on the appearance of your footage in both the Viewer and Canvas windows.

Hope this saves someone some time and hair ripping manic confusion.

Black BG:


Checkerboard BG (same effect from white):


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Madeline LaLande
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Jun 27, 2012 at 12:41:16 am

Oh my god thank you so much for figuring this out. I have spent the last hour bawling my eyes out thinking that my ColorMunki installation corrupted my entire graduate thesis. I can't thank you enough.
All fixed!


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Nate Wooldridge
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Aug 13, 2013 at 11:09:28 am

your first solution worked for me. changing the display settings was all I had to do. I had the horrible gamma darkness on my final cut 7.0 for a few months and couldn't figure it out! thanks for help!


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Pablo Villegas
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Oct 1, 2013 at 3:39:53 am

Thanks! I had the same issue today! But using an i1 Display 2... It looks terribly dark inside FCP 7... And I do remember having seen that version thing, I'm gonna change it and do some tests...

Thanks!

https://vimeo.com/pablovi/videos


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Jon Cermin
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Apr 11, 2016 at 3:18:17 pm

Matt, you ROCK!

Thanks for the easy fix. I just purchased a new very expensive monitor thinking that would be the fix, only to be disappointed. Your fix was simple and brilliant!

Thanks again!

Jon
http://www.ccpi.tv


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Grayson Markle
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Jun 21, 2012 at 8:48:32 pm

I also recently got an iMac running Lion and, sure enough, I had the same issue with FCP. I've figured out a go around though and though I don't understand why it works, it works. Go to Final Cut Pro-System Settings-Playback Control and change Gamma Correction from Accurate to Approximate then click ok. This should fix the issue. Then go back through all that change it back to Accurate and you're good as gold. Again, this is stupid and I don't know why it works and it was a frustrating process to figure out but there it is. Happy editing!

Grayson M.


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Luc Detours
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Aug 1, 2012 at 11:00:20 am

Incredible Grayson !!!

I have this gamma problem for years ! Thought it was whithout solution !
Thanks a lot !

Just changing from "accurate" to "approximate" is working perfectly ! It's absolutely stupid !

Does anyone knows if this problem is solved in FCP X ?


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Zach Fine
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Aug 18, 2012 at 11:04:10 pm

Thanks so much for this tip. I had the exact same problem in FCP7 just now, and switching the gamma correction to "Approximate" fixed the issue. Switching it back to "Accurate" just reintroduced the problem, so I'm sticking with "Approximate" for now.


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Grayson Markle
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Aug 27, 2012 at 2:08:21 am

Hello again,
So I actually am having similar issues again and not even the changing the Gamma Correction to Approximate is working. I think however, I may have just isolated the issue a bit further. Again, not sure why this is, but here it is. The issue mostly appears when I am trying to edit with the sequence setting put on the H.264 compression (In Sequence Settings), when I change it to a different compression (I usually use Apple ProRes22 HQ), the issue takes care of itself. Well, I hope this has been helpful (if anyone finds out why this thing is happening in the first place, please let me know!). May your project get finished before the your computer is thrust through the nearest open window.

Grayson M.


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Jacob Heldt
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Sep 27, 2012 at 9:16:26 pm

hope you can use this:
https://discussions.apple.com/message/19732113#19732113


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Jacob Heldt
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Sep 27, 2012 at 9:18:01 pm

gamma problems in Final cut 7 - solution.


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Shiloh Heyman
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Oct 1, 2012 at 1:04:18 am

Final Cut Pro/System Settings/Playback Control. Change Gamma Correction from Accurate to Approximate worked for me. Thanks Grayson!!!!! BTW going back to accurate just messes it up again for me to. Funny though, "Accurate" has NEVER been accurate in any version, so leaving it at approximate is fine with me. I wish there was a NONE option that would solve all of FCP7's Gamma issues. FCP7's Color Management has been more harmful than helpful IMO. Wish I could turn it off now that OS X is 2.2 Gamma.


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alex gat
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Mar 18, 2014 at 5:11:36 pm

Hey there,

So me too I have the same problem of dark clip in Finalcut.
I have been working on a project since decembre, and now that I am coloring, I go back and forth from Color to Finalcut, and viceversa.

For some reasons yesterday, when I switched back my color project to finalcut, all the clips were dark and oversatured. Ok you now know the symptoms. But :

This has nothing to do with color calibration since on the same display I have the image of Color and the viewer of Finalcut and only the one from Finalcut is dark. So this has to have something to do with finalcut pro only.

I did not try or mess with the display preference since both my display are well calibrated with X-rite.
I did try to go in the preferences of Final cut but nothing changed.
So I don't know what to do, I am in the middle of a project so I have to admit I am a bit scared.

Alex


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Reed Brown
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on May 28, 2016 at 1:29:00 am

Wow... not that anyone is still looking at this thread (well, YOU are...), but I've been using FCP 7.0.3 on a 2013 MacPro 3.5 GHz 6-Core on OS 10.10.5 with an AMD FirePro D500 and two wide screen monitors AND, drum-role please, had the same issue with the very dark source/record images but after changing System Settings Gamma Correction to Approximate, all screens now look perfect! And shifting brightness going from pause to play as sometimes happened as stopped as well. THANKS for the easy fix!

Also running PPCC on the system and since several Adobe updates a couple years back, no longer have freezes or crashes I had back in 2013. Smooth sailing for at least two and half years. All at peace in the world of non-linear editing. Yeah!



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Durango Torres
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on May 7, 2014 at 8:08:31 am

I had this same problem. Suddenly the color in my fcp sequence became orange and darker. The original files outside of fcp look normal. Also, when I had two video channels going, and adjusted the color, the orange and darkness went away, along with the render. When I rendered again the orange and darkness came back. I took the entire sequence and copied it into another project sequence. This seemed to fix the problem. When I went back to the original sequence the color issue was fixed also. Really weird stuff, but I fixed the problem.


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Jay Zellman
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Jun 3, 2014 at 7:04:58 pm

I solved the problem!! In System Preferences, goto Displays. Under color, choose iMac. Mine was set to HD709-A. Go back to FCP and click on a couple of clips and it should look fine.

Let me know how it goes.


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Zachary Van Heel
Re: FCP 7 suddenly video in Viewer & Canvas incredibly dark/severe gamma.
on Sep 2, 2015 at 1:32:57 pm

I have been trying to figure this problem out for the past 6 months and nothing ever really helped.

I finally figured it out and had to make an account to share what i did.

In fcp7 - go into system settings - playback controls - change gamma corrections from accurate to approximate.

This at least worked for me and brought the gamma to the correct level.

I hope this helps


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