FCP7 - Problems with preserving image color and contrasts with AppleProRes422HQ output

Posted by Robert 
FCP7 - Problems with preserving image color and contrasts with AppleProRes422HQ output
February 05, 2019 11:23PM
Hello Everyone,

I am using FCP7 on my MacBook Pro (mid 2012) running on Mac OS10.8.4. In the menu I go to Export>Using Quicktime Conversion and use Apple Pro Res 422 HQ. The colors and contrasts are not the same as in my edit which is also in Apple Pro Res 422HQ. It is very frustrating as I spent hours color correcting my film and the output does not look as good as the video I see in the FCP Browser window. Now I need to make the Apple Pro Res 422HQ output in order to have a DCP made for projection in a festival.

So in the menu for Quicktime Conversion I go to the Filters->Adjustments section. There are several filters to play with - RGB, HSL, ColorSync. I adjust all 3 filters. But it seems that FCP only utilizes the last filter that I chose and ignores the other settings. I have also tried with AutoGamma On and "None". I prefer no autoGamma.

Any advice on how to maintain my original image in an Apple Pro Res 422HQ output?

Thank you very much!!
Kind regards,
Re: FCP7 - Problems with preserving image color and contrasts with AppleProRes422HQ output
February 08, 2019 02:48PM
Robert, if you want a ProRes 422HQ export that looks like what you've made don't export "Using QuickTime Conversion" -- a horrible pathway -- but instead export a "QuickTime Movie". First go into your Sequence Settings and change what it calls the "Compressor" to ProRes 422HQ. Click "Advanced..." and there make the gamma correction "None".

You omit to mention in which codec you made your edit. If it was another ProRes codec the above advice is sure to work, but if it is some wayward codec we can't be sure.

There is also a question of monitor calibration affecting different playback applications differently. Although the thing you export will look the same as the thing you edit in FCP7 when both are viewed in FCP7, some other player might make the export look different. If you use the player allied with FCP7, QuickTime Player 7, then make sure to set in its preferences "Enable Final Cut Studio color compatibility".

I am sure that the DCPs I make using "DCP-o-matic" match my edits in FCP7. For verification I've colorimetered test colors in the FCP7 canvas and then, using the same colorimeter, on the screen on which the DCP was projected. Getting there required a calibration odyssey, but the point is: it's possible.

Dennis Couzin
Berlin, Germany
I agree this exporting stuff is awkward and confusing. At least in my case, the timeline preview window looks quite different in lightness and contrast from a 'Export Quicktime Movie'. The export looks fine, but the timeline looks much darker and has much more contrast which makes editing quite difficult guesswork.

I believe that Dennis mentioned at some other point it has to do with the way FCP handles gamma.


macpro 2x3 ghz dual core intel, 10.6.8, FCS 2
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