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Gamma all over the place - Color to FCP

Posted by Logan6 
Gamma all over the place - Color to FCP
November 22, 2010 02:12PM
Hi.

I'm having a problem understanding the gamma shifts between Color and FCP. Put it simply, after grading in Color and I send back to FCP, everything looks really really dark in FCP. I found somewhere some guy said to change my gamma settings on primary in to .81818181 and the primary out to 1.222222. This seems to help but it is still fairly far off. And even it this is the correct way to fix the problem I need to set these for every clip? Is there not a global setting somewhere that keeps everything in line? Help me understand the ways and the best settings for all hardware and software. 99% of my projects I deliver as h264 movies online.


Info about my system and me: 10.6.4 - Color 1.5, FCP 7.0, MacBook Pro i5. 23" monitor with the gamma set to 2.0.

Like I said 99% of what I do ends up as an h264 movie delivered on the web. I understand there are "washed out" effects when exporting h264 movies. This is not my concern at this point.

Thank you.
Re: Gamma all over the place - Color to FCP
November 22, 2010 07:51PM
It may be something up with FCP. After a few test:

- I sent a one small sequence to FCP and it looks good. Grades look pretty darn close.
- I'll adjust a secondary or two and send the same sequence to FCP and no grades come over at all, in fact my earlier sequences brought in from color have now reverted and have no grades applied. They are lost.
- I quit FCP. Sent the same grade from Color to FCP and now all of the sequences are super dark and over saturated.

On a second note - Color tells me that my test clips do not need to be rendered again. But then when I send to FCP, Color says I have unrendered clips but send anyway. I'll go back to my que and ADD ALL CLIPS, render them, and then send to FCP and again it says "you have unrendered clips send anyway?". So I'll send and then it looks like crap in FCP.

Whats going on? Thanks.
Re: Gamma all over the place - Color to FCP
November 23, 2010 10:41AM
Final Cut Pro approximates the gamma of a broadcast monitor when it plays back but Color doesn't, so you're unlikely to get both of them to match. Don't use FCP to judge what your footage looks like.

My software:
Pro Maintenance Tools - Tools to keep Final Cut Studio, Final Cut Pro X, Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro running smoothly and fix problems when they arise
Pro Media Tools - Edit QuickTime chapters and metadata, detect gamma shifts, edit markers, watch renders and more
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Re: Gamma all over the place - Color to FCP
November 26, 2010 10:59PM
I guess since 8-bit YUV is the default render in FCP I need to reset that to render in RGB and that will reset my gamma in order that "Send to Color" sends a rendered file taking on the attributes and user render settings of that file which I intend to export to web and PC monitor (which is RGB?)

Thanks.
Re: Gamma all over the place - Color to FCP
December 27, 2010 04:39AM
There is no gamma shift between FCP and Color. What I'm guessing is you do not have a proper external monitor connected to your system. Even for delivering to the internet, you need a proper external monitor to properly see what your colors will look like when they go back to FCP.

The Preview display in Color is not designed for color enhancement, its real purpose is to simply show you the masking when you're working with vignettes and other shapes.

So what you're seeing is the difference in the way Color displays the image and the way the FCP Canvas displays the image. What you see in an external monitor, such as we see using the AJA Kona boards and Flanders Scientific monitors, is identical whether we are looking at the image in Color or FCP. This then translates beautifully to the H.264, Flash and high quality Quicktime files we deliver to various websites and broadcasters.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
biscardicreative.com
Re: Gamma all over the place - Color to FCP
December 27, 2010 01:07PM
>I need to reset that to render in RGB and that will reset my gamma in order that "Send to Color"

Nonono. What Walter said. Get a calibrated broadcast monitoring system. FCP is designed mainly for video, which works in YUV, also, Color will access the source video, and not the rendered files. If you have filters, you may want to bake them in before sending it to Color. Next to that, the difference in the background UI in Color will affect the perceived color.

The gamma is a completely different issue. Traditionally, Macs were built to display at a gamma setting of 1.8, which is good for a typical bright desktop environment. Video, on the other hand, is under compensated, and is designed for dark viewing conditions. FCP bypasses color sync, and I suspect Color as well, but ultimately computer monitors are not designed as an accurate, neutral gauge for critical color correction.



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