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Automatic Duck Luminance Shift on HD footage

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Jason Tessmer
Automatic Duck Luminance Shift on HD footage
on Nov 2, 2009 at 7:09:12 pm

FCP 7, Macpro 3Ghz Quad Core, 10.5.8
Kona 3
Xsan 2
AE CS4, MacPro 2.8Ghz Quad Core, 10.5.8

The workflow is as follows:
DVCHDpro footage import into FCP
Edit in FCP
Export XML via Automatic Duck
Import XML into AE
Render Quicktime in AE
Import Quicktime into FCP

Here is the issue, I have some DVCHDPro 1440x1080p 30fps footage that I'm cutting in the FCP box. I'm exporting out a XML file using Automatic Duck Pro 4.03 for the AE box to import. The file imports fine but a luminance shift is happening where the blacks are getting crushed a bit. Why? We have gone in and tried playing with the Color Management and different compressor in AE but nothing. The luminance is changing in the Automatic Duck XML file. When I export out a quicktime right from FCP the QT's luminance is fine. We know it's the XML file because when importing the QT into AE it looks fine. When bringing in the raw footage into AE, it looks fine. Just when using the XML file do we get a luminance shift.

Are we missing something in a setting? Anyone else had this issue? Any help would be great.

Jason Tessmer
'the grunt'
New World Post Productions
Saint Louis, MO

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Mark Trethewey
Re: Automatic Duck Luminance Shift on HD footage
on Nov 3, 2009 at 9:27:52 am

It sounds similar to the 601 to RGB colour space shift that happens out of avid systems - it did my head in a few years ago. This is where the super whites and super blacks are cliped, and the range between is stretched - which creates a crushed and oversaturated look, or inversly an undersaturated and milky look.

Basically RGB = 0to255 range, and 601 is 15to235 range, so everything above and below is clipped.
The way around this, if not in the export options, is to put a level effect in an adjustment layer, or on the footage layer, in after effects. Within the level effect, you would change the input amount to 15 and 235....i don't have it infront of me, so it may be the output amount instead - its one of them anyway.

Have a play, and see if this works.

Mark Trethewey

Senior Designer
DMI Productions

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Jason Tessmer
Re: Automatic Duck Luminance Shift on HD footage
on Nov 6, 2009 at 8:35:03 pm

Had another issue pop up today. Went trying to export out the XML from FCP using Auto Duck, nothing comes out. No error, no file, nothing. So, thinking that it could be a newer version of Free XML Exporter from Automatic Duck, I looked it up. I did have v1.11 but now they have v1.12. I downloaded and installed the upgrade and sure as the sun, it worked. I was able to export using Automatic Duck a XML file for AE to use. BUT WAIT! Now when trying to import the file into AE CS4 (using pro import 4.03) we get an error. It will not take the file.

I have a ticket into Automatic Duck about the problem but I'm thinking I'll have a better chance here with a fix.


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