HDV Color Correction Export Issues

Posted by shawnh 
HDV Color Correction Export Issues
April 24, 2006 11:43AM
I have been monitoring this forum for awhile and one of my friends has found it of great use. This is my first post...so hope i found some good answers.

I am using FCP to edit my underwater hdv footage. Frequently i need to apply color correction (3way) to adjust the blues and increase the reds. I then export to a QT file and from there use compressor to target my desired medium (SD DVD, desktop, web, etc). I have run into a serious issues with the loss of color saturation, a shift in hue, and a change in gamma in my exported QT file (less color and more blown out image). I have my computer monitor set to emulate the gamma of NTSC (1.2).

My work flow: shoot in 1440x1080 60i hdv, capture via firewire using FCP log and capture in native HDV editing mode (not apple intermediary format). Edit and apply filters (color correction, motion, gamma). Export to QT file (720P format using encoders such as HDV720p30, DVCPROHD720p60, Apple Intermdiary Format).

I then compare the exported QT file to the Monitor View in FCP (in RT render mode) on the same monitor at the same time (so no ext monitor issues. The exported file is noticiably less saturated, of slightly different hue and different color. As all these aspects are essential to good video production, i desperately need a fix.

Any recomendations on why my Monitor View does not match my exported QT file, and how to fix it would be really appreciated.

Re: HDV Color Correction Export Issues
April 24, 2006 01:59PM
well the Monitor view in FCP is not full res and not a good indicative measure of color balance, pixels, etc. That's why you need an external broadcast monitor to accurately judge. I can;t tell if you have one or not in your post. Another option is to go all the way to DVD and see if it looks all right as thats your target medium.

Im not sure you need to export a quicktime file first to go to compressor. You can export to compressor right from the timeline. Something in your QT export settings might be changing your gamma. Also, HDV is highly compressed so your colors might be getting tweaked by changing codecs.

It all comes down to don;t trust your computer monitor. It's never going to be completely accurate.
Re: HDV Color Correction Export Issues
April 24, 2006 08:20PM
still, the canvas shouldn't look that different to an exported QT.
or the original QTs.

shawnh, have you opened one of your original; rushes files in QT?
have you imported the graded version back into FCP?
i'd do that just to see if it IS FCP where the monitoring problem lies.

scott said:
"You can export to compressor right from the timeline."

not a good idea.
maybe this has worked for you, scott,
but it does cause a fair bit of grief for others.


Re: HDV Color Correction Export Issues
April 24, 2006 10:18PM
Well, doing some more digging, it sounds like the Monitor View in final cut tries to emulate your tv gamma and hue. So, it apparently "shifts" these variables to compensate for your tv's difference from you monitor...this sounds like a scary estimation to me. So, the exported file I guess 'should' appear less saturated and of different hue on my computer screen than the Monitor view in final cut. In theory, when I play this QT on a broadcast monitor, it should appear the same as the Monitor view in FCP.
I do most of my editing while on the road on my MacBookPro. At home I can connect to my HDTV to test colors. My initial tests indicate the above explaination is actaully pretty close. So, I am left trusting Apple to get it right while I am on the road. I guess this is better than my guess given Apple has more time and money to figure this out than me. I suppose when I get home I do final tweaks connected to the broadcast monitor.
Regarding exporting straight to compressor...that's been a no go. I have had many problems with this including 60 hour render times for 15 min segments of hdv! Routing via QT export cuts this down 10 fold. Apple has a serious issue here and I hope they fix it.
Thanks guys in the input has been helpful.
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