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Color management/shift workflow issue through Final Cut Suite apps

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Ray Argall
Color management/shift workflow issue through Final Cut Suite apps
on Mar 17, 2014 at 2:45:41 am

I’ve been having some difficulties with workflow through the Final Cut suite apps - specifically maintaining consistent colour management, which becomes apparent in Motion 4 when working with ProRes 4444 files. Problem is most obvious when ready to render out of Motion and choosing Best quality. There is a noticeable shift in contrast or gamma, and a shift in color (slight shift to red/magenta cast). It’s also possible the issue is being caused earlier in the workflow?

The original files are 2K dpx from Arri scanner (of 16mm A&B roll negs), I generated ProRes proxy files in Color (1.5), re-assembled the A&B rolls in FCP, exported xml, and re-conformed to the original dpx in Color, where I’ve graded the images and rendered as ProRes 4444. (Grading is done via BM Decklink HD Extreme 2 card using YUV component output to JVC CRT broadcast monitor)

I’ve sent back to FCP, then sent to Motion - to slightly re-frame the 2K; stabilise original edits (16mm A&B rolls can jump around quite a bit even in the ArriScanner!). It is here I notice the shift in contrast or gamma and colour.

I’ve done tests on other codecs, and there isn’t a shift when exporting ProRes 422(HQ) or uncompressed 10 bit from dpx in Color. I want to maintain the best possible color range hence using 4444 to master, and uncompressed is a large amount of disk space.

Is this problem being caused by shifting between FCS apps that process color differently (RGB vs YUV)? Or am I missing a setting somewhere? I also looked at a workaround sending the exported files from Motion back to Color for another grade to re-balance the colors - it’s not ideal, plus I noticed the black levels had risen in the newer files exported from Motion.

Any advice greatly appreciated!!

Ray

Piccolo Films
Sydney Australia


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