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Color Management Exercise

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Bart WinckersColor Management Exercise
by on Apr 3, 2011 at 2:30:44 pm

Hello,

i am working with AE for years but still can't figure out color management. For example:

I export prores footage out of FCP and import in AE, there it is assigned a HDTV (rec 709) profile.

I want to export this file with alpha (applied a mask) to QT animation w alpha.

If I do this without color management on, the rendered file is much brighter when imported back into FCP. Allthough imported back into AE it looks the same as the prores file.

I get the same result if I use the HDTV (rec 709) profile for my color management.

I get much better results if I use the Adobe RGB profile, but it still not 100% accurate.

How do I 100% accurate results? What settings do i have to use?

Greetings,
Bart Winckers


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Joey ForemanRe: Color Management Exercise
by on Apr 3, 2011 at 4:27:42 pm

2 things you can check. In your Quicktime 7 preferences, make sure Enable Final Cut Studio Color Compatibility is checked.
In FCP User Preferences, Editing Tab, set the Imported Stills/RGB Video Gamma Level to 2.22.
And if you're using FC Studio 3, there's really no good reason to continue rendering to the Animation codec. ProRes 4444 has greater bit depth, a lower data rate, and is supported by FCP's Unlimited RT playback.

Joey Foreman
Editor/Compositor/VFX Artist


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Walter SoykaRe: Color Management Exercise
by on Apr 4, 2011 at 4:57:14 am

AE uses color management, but FCP does not. FCP has no idea how to interpret the color from a movie with a codec like Animation and it defaults to unmanaged color with a gamma of 1.8.

FCP assumes that ProRes 422 and ProRes 4444 media at HD resolutions are Rec. 709, so if you render to ProRes instead of Animation as Joey has suggested, you should have consistent color.

The "Enable Final Cut Studio Compatibility" preference tells QuickTime Player to display color in the same totally inaccurate way that the FCP canvas does (ignoring ColorSync and adjusting the gamma). It doesn't actually affect the media, how FCP interprets it, or how color management-aware applications interpret it.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Joey ForemanRe: Color Management Exercise
by on Apr 4, 2011 at 9:41:56 am

Good to know about the QT Preference, Walter. I was a bit murky on that one myself. Thanks.

Joey Foreman
Editor/Compositor/VFX Artist


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Bart WinckersRe: Color Management Exercise
by on Apr 4, 2011 at 12:53:47 pm

Thanks for the advice, especially about the prores 4444, got so used to using the animation codec for alphas, that I hadn't considered the new prores codecs yet. Hard to catch up sometimes :).


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Walter SoykaRe: Color Management Exercise
by on Apr 4, 2011 at 11:33:08 pm

I think it's the preference item itself -- and how the FCP canvas works -- that's murky!

The latest version of QuickTime Player does clarify a bit about what that checkbox does (previous releases left this totally undocumented):
Enable Final Cut Studio color compatibility: When enabled, video is not displayed using ColorSync. Source colors are read with 2.2 gamma and are displayed in a color space with 1.8 gamma.


Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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