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FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR

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Michael Hancock
FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR
on Jan 2, 2018 at 8:49:43 pm

I'm running a fresh install of High Sierra and FCPX 10.4 . Our graphic renders come to us as DNxHD (they're on PCs). Footage is rendered out of After Effects CC2018, as DNxHD_HQ_8bit or DNxHD_HQX_10bit.

In FCPX 10.4, there is a levels shift in every DNxHD render except DNxHD_444_RGB. All the rest of the renders have lifted blacks and lowered whites.

Below is a comparison between a ProRes render and a DNxHD HQX 10-bit render from After Effects, or a ramp going from pure black (0,0,0) to pure white (255,255,255). The only difference between the files is the codec, but the DNxHD is being interpreted wrong, and I can't figure out how to reinterpret it in FCPX so it's read correctly.



In addition, DNxHR Quicktime files don't work at all in FCPX. They just show up solid green, like the codec is missing.

Anyone else seeing this, or can anyone else replicate it?

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Michael Hancock
Editor


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Steve Connor
Re: FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR
on Jan 2, 2018 at 9:25:31 pm

Have you done the Pro Video Formats update?

"Traditional NLEs have timelines. FCPX has storylines" W.Soyka


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Michael Hancock
Re: FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR
on Jan 2, 2018 at 9:26:35 pm

Yep. I just checked the App Store again and there's nothing to update. The ProApps update was installed Dec 19, 2017.

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Michael Hancock
Editor


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Michael Hancock
Re: FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR
on Jan 2, 2018 at 9:30:46 pm

Update as I continue to test this:

The levels are read correctly in Premiere Pro and Resolve. FCPX is the only program reading them wrong.

As another test I dropped the DNxHD files into Media Encoder 2018 and recompressed them as ProRes files (matching the source files on all other parameters). They now import into FCPX with the right levels!

It looks like there is something in the DNxHD metadata that FCPX is reading and interpreting wrong? Anyone know how to change the levels flags in a Quicktime file without having to recompress it?

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Michael Hancock
Editor


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR
on Jan 3, 2018 at 5:48:30 pm

Avid has some very weird left over legacies.

What you are seeing is the difference between 0-255 full RGB and 16-235 "limited" RGB. Obviously, FCPX isn't remapping the files correctly. As fas as I know, all Avid material encodes 16-235 internally to Avid, but you can override the settings on import.

Quicktime probably doesn't work because QT is nearly dead in High Sierra, but MXF should work.

I did some test encodings of DNx media out of Ae CC2018 to the codecs you mention and an MXF wrapper.

FCPX interprets these values correctly. I am not on High Sierra, though. Can you send over that test ramp with the Avid render?

Here's what I am seeing:





And here's the test renders:


12041_dnxtest.zip


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Michael Hancock
Re: FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR
on Jan 3, 2018 at 6:29:08 pm

Thanks Jeremy for testing this and for uploading your files.

I downloaded your files and am still seeing the shift on my MacPro (High Sierra and FCPX 10.4). I also tested them on an iMac running Sierra and FCPX 10.4 and I still see the shift, which is really strange, since you're on Sierra and aren't seeing it.

Here are the files I made in AE2018 for testing. I have both Quicktime files and MXF.

12042_dnxhdramptestfiles.zip

The RGB Ramp should be 0-255, and Legal should be 16-235. On my system, the RGB looks like it gets changed to 16-235, and the Legal gets the same shift, making it really washed out. Do you see the same on your system?

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR
on Jan 3, 2018 at 7:21:22 pm

[Michael Hancock] "The RGB Ramp should be 0-255, and Legal should be 16-235. On my system, the RGB looks like it gets changed to 16-235, and the Legal gets the same shift, making it really washed out. Do you see the same on your system?
"


No, both full and legal are what is expected, 0-255 and 16-235 respectively.

What is different is that both the legal files appear to decode 8 bit, while the RGB files have an obvious difference in 8 vs 10.

Do you have any other codecs installed and have you tried deleting any old codecs are reinstalling?






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Michael Hancock
Re: FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR
on Jan 3, 2018 at 7:50:36 pm

Thanks for testing all this. Very frustrating that I'm not getting the same results as you!

As far as I know I don't have any other codecs installed (I did a clean install to High Sierra just prior to Christmas). The Avid codecs were installed when I installed Media Composer First, which I installed to make sure I got the latest codec pack (and to test it to see just how crippled their free software is).

Is there a specific place codecs are installed to? I'll look in my Application folder for an uninstaller too.

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Michael Hancock
Editor


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR
on Jan 3, 2018 at 7:55:31 pm

Hard Drive > Library > Quicktime

This is the regular Library folder, not the hidden user library folder.

Jeremy


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Michael Hancock
Re: FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR
on Jan 3, 2018 at 9:01:47 pm

Thanks. I nuked all the Avid codecs, restarted for good measure, rendered a DNxHD .mxf from After Effects (via Media Encoder), and imported it into FCPX. It imports, but the screen is black. Likely because I removed the Avid codecs!

After Effects and the other Adobe products can read the file just fine since DNxHD is native to them now, and levels on the render match the AE project. I'm going to redownload the Avid codecs and reinstall them, then I'll reimport.

Do you know what version of the Avid codecs you have installed on your system?

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR
on Jan 3, 2018 at 9:06:40 pm

From here:

http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/en_US/download/en423319


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Michael Hancock
Re: FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR
on Jan 3, 2018 at 9:43:45 pm

I downloaded the codecs from your link version 2.3.7 - they're an old version). Still got the shift on High Sierra and Sierra.

Updated the codecs to the latest version (2.7.3) - and the shift is still there. I'm going to make a droplet that recompressed the DNxHD to ProRes and just do that for now. Thanks again.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR
on Jan 3, 2018 at 11:51:50 pm

What other codecs are in that folder besides Avid?

Sorry, none of my machines are on High Sierra for me to do a direct comparative test.

The nice thing about Adobe Media Encoder is that you can create watch folders so that every time you get a render, you can drop it in the folder and have AME have a go at it.

Jeremy


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Michael Hancock
Re: FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR
on Jan 4, 2018 at 2:14:58 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "What other codecs are in that folder besides Avid?"

These:



[Jeremy Garchow] "The nice thing about Adobe Media Encoder is that you can create watch folders so that every time you get a render, you can drop it in the folder and have AME have a go at it."

Good call. If we were running off a shared storage system I'd set this up immediately, but we're still on individual storage and just pull files over the network. I'm going to test both the watch folder in AME and create a Compressor Droplet to see which works better for us.

Again, thanks for your help.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR
on Jan 4, 2018 at 4:45:23 pm

[Michael Hancock] "Again, thanks for your help.
"


Not a problem.

Just curious, does Compressor interpret the file correctly? If so it's weird that Compressor would see the files correctly.

Also, just once, try putting the blackmagic codec on the desktop. Restart, and see if the problem persists.


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Michael Hancock
Re: FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR
on Jan 4, 2018 at 7:44:01 pm

That did it! I owe you a drink of your choice.

I moved the Blackmagic codec to the desktop and restarted the software and now everything is being read correctly. Bizarre that it's affecting the software like that. And so far having it removed doesn't seem to affect the functionality of the software.

Thanks Jeremy!

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX 10.4 - levels shift in DNxHD footage, doesn't recognize DNxHR
on Jan 4, 2018 at 8:42:04 pm

[Michael Hancock] "That did it!"

Awesome. The funny thing is, this is a really really old problem going back to FCP4.5 or something. I didn't even know it still existed.

What Blackmagic products do you have? If you update them, make sure to check for that codec and remove it as it may get reinstalled on an update.

I think it is the Blackmagic Uncompressed codec that was adapted from an Apple uncompressed codec way back in the day. Unless you need uncompressed, you won't miss it.


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