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Final Cut Pro X
The latest version of FCP from Apple.


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Old November 15th, 2012, 02:18 PM   #1
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darker DVDs

HI.

Wondering if this happens to others and how you go about it.

I shoot with canon DSLRs, 5d, t3i, t2i.

Import to FCPX, export as self contain master and then use compressor to make the final DVD.

Inside FCPX and even as I export for use on Vimeo the video has the brightness i desire...but when i import to compressor to make mpeg-2 for DVD the image is wayyyyy too much darker then on my timeline.

is driving me crazy..cause i already balanced every single clip and now i have to re do it just for making DVDs..for web is fine.

any ideas?
do you go thru the same?

please help.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 02:20 PM   #2
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Re: darker DVDs

Is your computer monitor adjusted for TV color or computer color?
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Old November 15th, 2012, 03:29 PM   #3
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Re: darker DVDs

Thanks William for quick answer.

I have an iMac..factory setting..upgraded to Mountain Lion. 10.8.2

should i be using some set up on my display that i don't know? where and how?

please help.
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Old November 15th, 2012, 05:03 PM   #4
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Re: darker DVDs

Are you sure it's the DVD and not the settings of the TV you are using? How's it look when you play the DVD on your computer? How's it look when you play the MPEG2 file in QuickTime?

What you appear to be dealing with is the gamma settings for various displays. For me, I get consistency between my display and DVD. For Vimeo, I have to apply a .9 gamma filter.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 07:12 AM   #5
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Re: darker DVDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Osmany Tellez View Post

I have an iMac..factory setting..upgraded to Mountain Lion. 10.8.2
That suggests you haven't done any colour profiling of your display. Without exception, every single one of our Macs has been too bright and when colour profiled they were dulled down.

Now, I can agree with all those people who like the bright displays, but if that's not what is going to be seen on a TV then you are colour correcting to the wrong gamma settings

Before you even begin to colour correct footage or exporting for DVDs and/or Blu-ray then you need to colour profile your monitor using one of the many gadgets available on the market today. They aren't inexpensive, and they certainly aren't perfect (the results depend on the screen) but they will at least get you in the general ball park.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 07:55 AM   #6
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Re: darker DVDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Osmany Tellez View Post
Inside FCPX and even as I export for use on Vimeo the video has the brightness i desire...but when i import to compressor to make mpeg-2 for DVD the image is wayyyyy too much darker then on my timeline.
Now you know why you need a production monitor (as opposed to a computer monitor) to color correct for DVD / Blu-ray / broadcast.

If you want WYSIWYG, you have to have a monitor that can show you the delivery workspace. For DVD, that workspace is Rec.709. You could use just a simple HDTV for this. Much better if you have it calibrated. Much better still if you use an actual production monitor.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 10:03 AM   #7
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Re: darker DVDs

For live, accurate color correction, not only is a very expensive production monitor needed, but you also need hardware to output TV gamma color from your computer. These are not very expensive these days, BlackMagic Designs makes a Thunderbolt box for less than $170. A standard consumer HDMI TV is not accurate for color but you will get a better idea of luminance gamma. I use a Spyder4Elite to tune my computer monitors to as close to Rec.709 as they can get. The color is mostly accurate for broadcast and projection.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 10:07 AM   #8
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Re: darker DVDs

Every time I convert using Compressor I've noticed a large gamma shift from the original file to what is shown in the Compressor preview window. I've never understood why it looks so dark. But in my experience it does not seem to affect the final compressed file whether it's H264 or mpeg2 for DVD use.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 10:20 PM   #9
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Re: darker DVDs

First off, I want to thank Osmany for posting starting this thread as it has helped me considerably to know what I SHOULD be doing. Frankly, I'm a long way from doing it correctly. But one step at a time.

Step 1: And thank you Les Wilson, reply #4:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
What you appear to be dealing with is the gamma settings for various displays. For me, I get consistency between my display and DVD. For Vimeo, I have to apply a .9 gamma filter.
I have also been afflicted by the same "dark" Vimeo videos. After reading about how you apply the gamma filter (opacity?), I just finished a video edit that's in the process of being uploaded and for the first time I edited the opacity to 90% (hope this is the same thing) and I'm looking forward to how the brightness looks.

For what it's worth, my monitor is a 23" samsung TV that I'm using as a monitor (the small "S" is on purpose for a cheap outfit that stole Apple's ideas. I'll never buy another samsung product). I've never adjusted it for anything except for what looks good as a (non video editing) monitor. After reading the subsequent replies it appears that I've got some work to do on my system.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 02:23 AM   #10
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Re: darker DVDs

Opacity and gamma are completely different things.

Opacity controls how transparent an image is, so in setting your Opacity to 90% you are making your image 10% transparent!

Change your gamma using your 3 way colour corrector or dedicated gamma filter.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 02:12 PM   #11
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Re: darker DVDs

Dave - thanks for the clarification and edification.

This morning I did another Vimeo upload with the Opacity at 80% to see if that improved anything and it was worse. Then I read your post and now I can see where the transparency fits in because the background color is black.

Did some Internet searches for "gamma" and there are several hits with regard to filters. Haven't been able to find anything yet about how to adjust it in FCPX. After re-reading your post it seems that maybe there is no way to adjust gamma in X because you mentioned "dedicated gamma filter." If so, this is a bummer.

I did find a page about how to do this in FCP7 on the Apple web site though: Final Cut Pro 7 User Manual for all the good it does.

Is the three-way color corrector the one that is used to color-balance the video?

For what it's worth, about a year ago Vimeo asked users a question about how does Vime's encoding affect the colors in the video and almost every responder commented that the video is darker.

Also, elsewhere I read a Vimeo comment that they really don't like Final Cut and would prefer that posters use something else. I'm afraid it's not going to happen here.

Beginning of "Edit":

UPDATE: Spent more hours than I would have liked trying to find an easy solution to the dark Vimeo videos and the gamma problem only to get thoroughly worn out. The last URL I looked at pretty much sums up the problem and this guy put a lot more effort into trying to solve the problem than I'll ever do: https://discussions.apple.com/thread...art=0&tstart=0

Notice the other threads in the "More Like This" column, and there are LOTS of 'em.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Since FCP X now has a Share>Vimeo option in the tool bar it would be nice if they had a little sub-routine built into the path that would automatically do the color correction before it is sent to Vimeo, and for that matter, to any of the other options listed, if it's needed.

Last edited by John Nantz; November 17th, 2012 at 06:41 PM. Reason: Wrote an update.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 09:54 PM   #12
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Re: darker DVDs

FCP is not the problem with videos looking darker on vimeo. It's something to do with the way vimeo encodes in Flash Player. There is an option when you are logged into vimeo to can choose to view the video
with HTML5 player instead of Flash and the videos appear less dark.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 12:17 AM   #13
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Re: darker DVDs

Chris - Granted, FCP X is not the problem with the Vimeo dark videos, but it would still be a neat idea if it could have some kind of a subroutine that could provide some reasonable correction to counter Vimeo's inaccurate conversion.

For example, perhaps something like that in the Effects Browser. I'm running a little exercise right now to see if this option might be able to help.

Clicked on the "Show or hide Effects Browser" Effects Browser icon.
From there I selected the "Glow" effect (FCP X 10.0.6)
Dragged the "Glow" into the video clip
Selected Render All
then sent the video to Viemo. Haven't got it back yet but when I do I'll come back with an update. Hopefully it'll look lighter.

UPDATE:
Well, using the "Glow" effect worked reasonably well and the video is definitely much lighter.

Based on a sampling of one, this is a really quick and dirty way to lighten up the dark Vimeo videos. The particular video I used was pretty dark so this was definitely an improvement. It was taken indoors under fluorescent lighting so there is a bit of color cast, more than I want to deal with at the moment as I've got a lot more work to get out the door.

If you aren't a perfectionist give it a try and see how it works. I'd be interested in what others have to say and any tweaking ideas, but remember what I said about it not being the perfect solution.

Last edited by John Nantz; November 18th, 2012 at 12:48 AM. Reason: Provide Update
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Old November 18th, 2012, 02:17 PM   #14
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Re: darker DVDs

John,
Export your editted timeline from FCP using Quicktime File setting. Then use compressor to generate the file you upload. You can use a preset such as the Youtube Sharing one as a base for your own custom one.

Find the preset
Duplicate it
Click on your duplicate and use the Inspector window to customize it.
There's a tab for adding filters like Gamma and watermark
Select Gamma and set the value to .9 (see attachment #1)
Save

Drag your quicktime output file from FCP onto the compressor job window
drag your custom preset onto that job
click submit

If you insist on buggering up your original in the FCP timeline, use the Gamma filter in the Image Control bin as shown in attachments 2 and 3
Attached Thumbnails
darker DVDs-screen-shot-2012-11-18-3.09.53-pm.png   darker DVDs-screen-shot-2012-11-18-3.14.05-pm.png  

darker DVDs-screen-shot-2012-11-18-3.14.14-pm.png  
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Old November 18th, 2012, 03:01 PM   #15
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Re: darker DVDs

Hi Les - thanks for checking back into this thread and giving us some more input. I, for one, can certainly use all I can get.

Since doing the "Glow" thing with the first Vimeo test I've started on another. Finished rendering and still uploading. In the meantime, based on all the above comments, I've been trying to find out what I need to do with regard to calibrating my monitor and this is turning into another work effort. Maybe even a topic for a new thread. Anyway..... back to Vimeo brightness.

I'm already kina stuck in the first paragraph. Where does one export (Share?) the FCPX edited project to?

Compressor: I don't have it. I looked into buying it a while back but didn't because I didn't see where I could use it.

"You can use a preset such as the Youtube Sharing one as a base for your own custom one."
Reply: With the earlier version of FCPX I used to go into Vimeo and do all the settings myself. So with Compressor will one be able to customize the Vimeo Share settings? (I do like the term Export better).

And one more question: By editing a video Project and adding "Glow" is one actually changing the original video file? (I hope the answer is "no")?

After uploading (Sharing) the Project to Vimeo I deleted the Project because the plan is to use the original (hopefully un-altered) video file and combine it with some others to burn a DVD. If not possible, I still have the original files in the camera memory because they haven't been deleted yet.

Last edited by John Nantz; November 18th, 2012 at 03:07 PM. Reason: Added one more question.
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