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Old January 10th, 2008, 08:49 AM   #1
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Color Space in Final Cut

Hey all,

I am having problems getting a descent universal image from within final cut. I will explain, I am editing my work and the image looks great; it has the proper luminance values, great color, etc. Then when I export the movie and watch it from within quicktime, everything changes; it's too bright, colors are flatter, etc.

I know that FCP has its own color space, but how do I change this to a what you see is what you get type of setup? I am monitoring the footage externally on a 48" HD LCD monitor, but it looks identical to what I see from within FCP. Do I need to be using a different monitor?

It's really beginning to drive me nuts. I know that I can change quicktime settings to display FCP color values, but this does not help when exporting for viewing on other computers or on DVD?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Ryan
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Old January 10th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #2
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You need a pro monitor to get consistant colors. Might be worth investing in a matrox box to at least feed your lcd with a pro video signal, else you are not seeing your video for what it is. At the very least calibrate your lcd with color bars. Read around the forum, others have posted about this subject before.

Matt
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Old January 10th, 2008, 11:08 AM   #3
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Thanks Matt! I thought that I would probably just need to invest in a pro monitor. I will definitely do some more reading.

Thanks again,
Ryan
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Old January 10th, 2008, 03:38 PM   #4
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Maybe you have run into the notorious gamma issue.
If you export to certain codecs including H264 you have to correct for the difference in gamma between a Mac and a PC.

If you export for DVD this should not be a problem though.

Do a search, there are already many threads about the gamma difference.
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Old January 10th, 2008, 09:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Mullins View Post
You need a pro monitor to get consistant colors. Might be worth investing in a matrox box to at least feed your lcd with a pro video signal, else you are not seeing your video for what it is. At the very least calibrate your lcd with color bars. Read around the forum, others have posted about this subject before.

Matt
Actually, that's not the case. When Final Cut Pro is installed you then have the option to have Quicktime use the same gamma/color space as Final Cut Pro, which by default it does not. That's why when viewing in in native Quicktime things look muted and shallow. See the enclosed menu grab, check the radio box to enable FCS color-match and QT will look exactly the same as FCP.

Additionally, if you want your LCD monitor to closely replicate the same color space that a TV's use, goto your color preferences and set the NTSC 1953 setting. That will give your monitor the correct gamma setting to replicate how a TV produces it's color. This assumes you're either using a Apple Cinema Display or one of the more recent Sony, Samsung or LG monitors which by default already have the correct balance of brightness and contrast setup. Older monitors you may need to tweak manually to get the best use of the NTSC color space.

Interestingly, while HDTV sets are drastically different than tube-style televisions (they have pixels, not scan lines) they still have their default color space set to this same NTSC 1953 standard, because it is the de-facto broadcast color standard across the nation. While the resolution and perspective ratio has changed with HD sets, the basic color space has not.
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Color Space in Final Cut-color-space.jpg   Color Space in Final Cut-qt-menu.jpg  

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Old January 10th, 2008, 09:50 PM   #6
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Robert Lane,

You are my hero of the day! I am, in fact, using an apple cinema display and my external monitor is a brand new Samsung LCD. I just did some quick tests based on your comments and was able to fix all of my problems with color/luma variations. I set my color specs to NTSC 1953 and boom, I was seeing exactly what I was having a problem with and was able to correct the issues, through color correction, for proper display on all (most) standard televisions/monitors.

I can't thank you enough!
Ryan Mueller
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Old January 10th, 2008, 11:05 PM   #7
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Glad to help; having been on the receiving end of helpful advice myself many times is exactly why I joined the forum and keep posting advice and tips. Spread it around - that's what keeps this forum working for all of us.
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