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Color Corrector Quality

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Craig Johnson
Color Corrector Quality
on Oct 21, 2011 at 12:27:30 am

Quick question. Sony HDR-FX1 on a fixed tripod shooting a nature shot for about 30 minutes. The tripod was locked so no panning. In my attempt to get a bit more sunlight, my clip got a bit washed out but not too bad. I dropped a color corrector filter on it in FCP7 and made a few quick adjustments that made it really pop. Looks great. When I burn the project to DVD and play it back, the results are grainy and it makes it look out of focus. Does this filter cause this to happen or do I need to look for a different cause? Even though this is a 1080 camera, I was just burning a 30 minute SD disc. I use PRORES 422 for pretty much everything with typically very good results.


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Color Corrector Quality
on Oct 22, 2011 at 11:02:12 am

Its hard to say but there are a few things going on here.

HDV uses lossy compression and 4:2:0 color. ProRes is much higher quality so up-converting to it shouldn't cause any problems, but it doesn't add anything that wasn't already there.

HDV can look very good on screen if the exposure is spot on but level changes/color correction can show up noise (grain) and the limitations in color resolution very quickly. This might not show up particularly obviously on a computer screen but is quite apparent on a full size video monitor.

DVDs are SD, so they will never look as sharp as your HD footage. The method/settings you use when converting from HD to SD can make a lot of difference to the look of a DVD.

I suspect you have a combination of those last two going on. I'd suggest using Color for your grading as it's more versatile and IMO the quality of the rendered files from Color is better than what you get using FCP's filters. Also, use Compressor for your down convert to SD before burning to DVD and enable the frame controls and select the better settings for the conversion. (If I were you I'd export a 30 second clip from FCP and have an experiment with the Compressor settings to find the best compromise for your material).


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Craig Johnson
Re: Color Corrector Quality
on Oct 22, 2011 at 1:36:43 pm

I appreciate your info. Much to consider. I typically burn nothing but blu ray so picture quality is strong. I did notice another mistake I made. I typically have capture settings set at dv ntsc 48k anamorphic and I switched from my MBP on this project to my iMac and didn't see the capture settings had been changed to HDV-prores 422. I'm not sure if that would have a negative effect or not since I don't use it much. I thought about what you said and blew away all filters, ran through compressor and re-burned. Still looks like crap. I don't think it's the filters. Any ideas?


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