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2K to HD gamma shift?

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Anna Heuss
2K to HD gamma shift?
on Nov 7, 2013 at 1:18:23 pm

Hi, I'm sorry if this has been posted before but I couldn't really find an answer to my question.

I have a short film shot on Alexa in 2K Apple ProRes. Final grading was done in Da Vinci on a PC, we had all sorts of troubles getting the footage back to ProRes without loss, but in the end the Quicktime player did it just fine. I now have an AppleProRes 422 HQ 2K Master that looks exactly how it is supposed to look.

OK. So I drag this file into an FCP timeline (2K settings), still looks fine. But as soon as I change my timeline to 1920x1080 there appears to be a gamma shift - everything becomes darker. And not just a little, it really becomes significantly darker. Even if I told my timeline settings NOT to perform a gamma shift.

I just want to understand - is this an FCP problem, a bug? Is it a known problem that requires a different workflow from the beginning?

As we couldnt find a solution we just corrected the HD timeline a little to make it look like our source clip. But after exporting this, the final product appears to be much brighter than what we had in FCP. I just dont understand - FCP appears to be doing gamma shifts completely at random.

Explanations, inputs and solutions would be most welcome!


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Shane Ross
Re: 2K to HD gamma shift?
on Nov 7, 2013 at 2:22:23 pm

The FCP interface, the Canvas and Viewer, aren't designed to be color accurate. Often they shift the colors by lowering the quality so that FCP can play back without dropping frames. The ONLY way to judge your quality is on an external Broadcast Monitor or HDTV with a video IO AJA, Decklink or Matrox.

What you did was change the colors to make it match your inaccurate interface, and exported it. Don't adjust anything...export it and it should be fine.

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