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Viewer looks darker

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Tom Adams
Viewer looks darker
on Sep 3, 2011 at 5:18:47 pm

New to FCPX. I've imported still images and h.264 from Canon 7D. Video shot with daylight balanced fluorescent light. stills in daylight. I asked FCPX to transcode. Images and video look much darker and show much more contrast than what I saw in the viewfinder, in the Bridge, or with Quicktime player before transcoding. I played around with the viewer settings and figure it must be something with the transcoding. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks.


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Tapio Haaja
Re: Viewer looks darker
on Sep 3, 2011 at 9:33:50 pm

If you look your video with Quicktime Player X it should look exactly same than in Final Cut Pro X. Anyway have you calibrated your monitor? I read somewhere that Final Cut Pro X has problems with profiles generated by some programs.

Best
Tapio Haaja

On-Air Promotion Producer
http://avseikkailuja.blogspot.com/


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Tom Adams
Re: Viewer looks darker
on Sep 4, 2011 at 2:28:16 am

I do have Quicktime 10.0. Viewing the video in Quicktime player it's definitely lighter and less contrasty than in FCPX. I do have monitor calibration for Bridge and Photoshop using Color eyes Display Pro. But wouldn't that effect QT player too? Or just FCPX? Thanks for your reply


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Tapio Haaja
Re: Viewer looks darker
on Sep 4, 2011 at 10:25:57 am

Hmm. After Final Cut Pro X I've noticed that Prores and H.264 are displayed with more contrast system wide (in Quicktime Player 10 etc.). But that's because now it uses colorsync so it should be much more accurate. I work in broadcast and can say that colors in my calibrated Cinema Display are very close to Broadcast monitor.

But I really can't say why your H.264 looks different on Quicktime Player 10 than in Final Cut Pro X. Do you have some additional codecs installed (such as Perian) which Quicktime Player might use instead of Apple's own decoder. You should try with some other system.

If you haven't faced some serious bug (or haven't calibrated your monitor to some non-standard settings - It should be 6500K, gamma 2,2) I'd say the colors you see in Final Cut Pro X are accurate representation of your H.264.

Best
Tapio Haaja

On-Air Promotion Producer
http://avseikkailuja.blogspot.com/


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Tom Adams
Re: Viewer looks darker
on Sep 4, 2011 at 4:38:11 pm

I installed FCPX without adding any other codecs. I do, however, have Color Eyes Display Pro for monitor calibration, and that could be the culprit. Here's a blog post I found with samples from two color munki generated profiles. Those images are pretty much like what I'm seeing on my 27inch iMac monitor.

I'll check my color eyes display pro settings against your suggestions for color temp and gamma. Thanks.

http://duncandavidson.com/blog/2011/06/fcpx_colormunki


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Glen Hurd
Re: Viewer looks darker
on Sep 4, 2011 at 5:55:25 pm

What OS are you running? I know that 10.6.0 broke most calibration generated profiles for colorsync, but was supposed to be fixed for 10.6.2. Considering that Apple is touting colorsync as a replacement for having access to a broadcast monitor, people are really going to have to tiptoe carefully around getting accurate profiles and calibrations in order to make it "work" (not to mention ensuring your display can actually display the full gamut of Rec601/709). And Apple doesn't seem overly concerned with profiling monitors anyway. Ever notice how they'll never mention what gamut their monitors cover? Even the latest LEDs can't cover AdobeRGB 100%. Which is fine for regular video purposes, but it'd be nice to know this stuff without having to dig for it.
If you're running Lion, it may bear other people experimenting with different calibration software to see if this issue is limited to ColorEyes software, or if it's an OS-wide problem.
If you're running SL, it would be interesting to see if you could choose one of Apple's profiles when starting up FCP X, and then switch to the ColorEyes v4 profile and see if the profile holds or switches back to the dark image you were seeing originally. Seems people were having issues with custom profiles and Color, and this was one of the work-arounds that seemed to help.


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Tom Adams
Re: Viewer looks darker
on Sep 4, 2011 at 8:36:14 pm

I'm running 10.6.8. I revised by Color Eyes profile to v2 and now my FCPX viewer looks just like the Quicktime player video. I do not, however, really understand what I did or how it will affect images I'm reviewing in Photoshop for print.


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Tom Adams
Re: Viewer looks darker
on Sep 4, 2011 at 8:38:14 pm

I'm running 10.6.8. I revised by Color Eyes profile to v2 and now my FCPX viewer looks just like the Quicktime player video. I do not, however, really understand what I did or how it will affect images I'm reviewing in Photoshop for print.

You mentioned running an Apple profile when starting FCPX. How do I do that? Thanks for your thoughts.


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Glen Hurd
Re: Viewer looks darker
on Sep 5, 2011 at 3:41:42 am

I was curious to see if FCP X would allow you to use a v.4 profile without darkening your footage, if you started up FCP X with one of their factory profiles first - available from a short list in your monitor color preferences. Since your v.2 profile is working, you could start FCP X with that instead, and then switch to the v.4 profile in your monitor color preferences after FCP X is running. I was curious about FCP X's behavior, as this might help decipher where the bug is.
As for everything else, just set your monitor color preference back to your v.4 profile. No need to stay with the older version for your print work - unless you're having issues in Photoshop as well.

If you haven't played with the colorsync application, you might want to take a look around with it. It can display a 3D gamut representation of each profile, and let you do an overlay comparison with standardized gamuts to help you assess whether your monitor is even capable of displaying the full gamut of colors required by whatever standard you are working with.
For watching Rec601/709 material, it will need to be able to display 100% of the sRGB profile.
There are real color geniuses on the cow who may jump in, but I hope this helps.


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