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Old March 6th, 2009, 06:30 PM   #1
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Differences in one mov file between MAC and PC

Hi everyone!
I'm a newbie in the mac world, so here is my first question:
I've made a video using mov format in FCP 6.0.5 (sony ex-1) with magic bullet looks. But when I see this file on my PC - there was a different correction - it's not so colorful like on my mac. Does anyboby can explain me why?

Thanks!
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Old March 6th, 2009, 07:18 PM   #2
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Lots of things could cause this:

glossy / matte screen types
different color profiles on monitors, or the quality of monitors in the first place
you could have quicktime on the mac displaying FCP color compatibility (option in quicktime)

My take on it? - Different monitors make things look very different.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 06:21 AM   #3
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Thanks, Nate!
No, it's not a problem with different monitors...
I guess it's a mac problem with gamma (found in the internet, that it has different gamma - 1,8 and 2,2...)
Maybe someone knows how to configure mac gamma for pc viewing?
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Old March 7th, 2009, 09:48 AM   #4
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It's very easy; go to your System Preferences and in the Monitors tab calibrate your monitor for PC gamma. Be very careful when customizing your gamma settings; if you're creating an encode for a DVD or authoring and you want to preview how it might look on a TV set "PC" gamma will make things very inaccurate.
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Old March 8th, 2009, 12:43 AM   #5
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Hi,
Welcome to Hell, like it much? Okay, so its not THAT bad, but I had been suffering forever with this damn gamma bug. (Quicktime DOES shift the gamma when you export out of FCP, most notable with anything encoded in H.264 > just about everything) The way that I have been "dealing" with it is by using the gamma correction filter in Compressor, just adjust the gamma correction to 1.3 and that has helped me a LOT. This is NOT perfect, (or elegant) as artificially adjusting the gamma is not really solving any problem, but it does make things look almost exactly like the image you see in the FCP canvas. If anyone thinks they have a better solution, I AM ALL EARS!

Keep on keepin' on buddy!

-Steve
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Old March 8th, 2009, 03:21 AM   #6
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Hi Steve.

I've tested several codecs (exporting as a QuickTime movie in a particular codec, then importing the new movie back into the FCP Viewer and comparing it side by side to the original in the Canvas) and I've concluded that only H.264 washes out the gamma. The others codecs (such as AIC, ProRes, ProResHQ, Uncompressed, plus a few others) are extremely faithful. A Gamma Correction of 1.1 or more is definitely needed with an H.264 movie export in Compressor until you get a match, and I'm surprised that this fact hasn't been made into a sticky for this forum as I consider this to be one of the biggest "gotchas" when it comes to final delivery.

When it comes to playing a QuickTime movie back on a PC however, regardless of whether it's H.264, DV, Uncompressed or whatever, it never looks right to me. Even when you adjust for the 1.8-2.2 aspect. I've had one IT guy tell me that he thinks there's something in the Windows OS which throws off the QuickTime player from displaying the movie totally faithfully. I don't know if that's true or not, but these days I never expect a QuickTime to play back totally faithfully on a Windows PC.
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Old March 8th, 2009, 03:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by David Knaggs View Post
Hi Steve.

I've tested several codecs (exporting as a QuickTime movie in a particular codec, then importing the new movie back into the FCP Viewer and comparing it side by side to the original in the Canvas) and I've concluded that only H.264 washes out the gamma. The others codecs (such as AIC, ProRes, ProResHQ, Uncompressed, plus a few others) are extremely faithful. A Gamma Correction of 1.1 or more is definitely needed with an H.264 movie export in Compressor until you get a match, and I'm surprised that this fact hasn't been made into a sticky for this forum as I consider this to be one of the biggest "gotchas" when it comes to final delivery.

When it comes to playing a QuickTime movie back on a PC however, regardless of whether it's H.264, DV, Uncompressed or whatever, it never looks right to me. Even when you adjust for the 1.8-2.2 aspect. I've had one IT guy tell me that he thinks there's something in the Windows OS which throws off the QuickTime player from displaying the movie totally faithfully. I don't know if that's true or not, but these days I never expect a QuickTime to play back totally faithfully on a Windows PC.
Thanks for that insight David, I really appreciate it! I'm wondering if Snow Leopard will have any positive effect on this situation. If I'm not mistaken, Snow Leopard will do away with the 1.8 gamma and make MAC a standard 2.2 gamma; doing away with any discrepancies between MAC / PC gamma (at least on paper.) I've heard that the QT program itself has a process by which it checks for a "tag" in the h.264 file and then determines whether or not to display a certain gamma, which is why I'm hopeful for the fix in Snow Leopard. Either way, it's good to know we have a fairly agreed upon solution for now. Thanks David!

Cheers,
-Steve
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Old March 9th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the answers!

Robert, but does tha mean that changing my display's gamma will solve the problem of viewing on PC? Gamma will be the same MAC-PC? It really drives me crazy when I see one color profile in FCP, then export and upload on vimeo... and it's totally different... :((

And one more question to everyone who knows - when can we puchase a new Snow Leopard OS? I found in the internet, that it has a new Quick Time X and a new gamma 2.2 (like on the PC).
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Old March 10th, 2009, 12:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artem Kudrov View Post
when can we puchase a new Snow Leopard OS? I found in the internet, that it has a new Quick Time X and a new gamma 2.2 (like on the PC).
Nobody knows for sure, but my money is on a Snow Leopard release soon after WWDC... just conjecture though.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 02:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Artem Kudrov View Post
does tha mean that changing my display's gamma will solve the problem of viewing on PC?
Changing your display's gamma only affects how your display's colour. It doesn't change the colour of the clip or have any impact on how someone will see it on a different system. what this adjustment does is allow you to monitor the video how the PC will presumably display colour.


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when can we puchase a new Snow Leopard OS?
No one knows just yet.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 02:54 PM   #11
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This issue throws back to the 80's and the purpose of windows PCs and Macintosh PCs. While Apple targeted Publishing and their color centric workflow, MS targeted business and their text centric workflow. Since text really is black and white, they settled on a gamma scheme that made text look better, then moved into the design and graphics world. Apple on the other hand had targeted a user base that required accurate color rendering from start to finish with as little bother as possible. This is the reason for the gamma difference and this is why you're having a headache now.

Until Windows 95 (IIRC) there was even difficulty getting accurate measurements based on the pixel density of windows (96DPI for crispy text) and Mac (72DPI based on the pica - 1/72 of an inch which was the basis of measurement in the publishing industry since Gutenberg or so).

Get a calibrated NTSC (or PAL) output monitor and trust that, the Mac will end up closer, but it's still a computer, not your final output destination for your work... if it is the final destination for your work, then you have to choose to target either a PC clientele or a Mac Clientele with your color correction. There is no middle ground there not because the companies can't agree, but because they target different industries with their hardware and software.

The shift to windows in publishing and graphics started when accountants at companies started bulk purchasing PC workstations for their organizations without understanding the necessary workflows that had been established since 1984 (and the publishing pedigree upon which it was based). The machines worked on their desks (for which they were designed), therefor should work on any other. The added expense of shoe horning them into the correct workflow and color space was often ignored giving windows pc's a FUD based sheen of cost savings, which was true up front, the back end cost of ownership was often ignored in marketing... I'm digressing.

Video was moved onto Unix/Linux PC's which were running with PC gamma because they were based around the same text based pedigree.

There is your problem and your choice that you need to make... where will you be showing your work, what is your output medium? Work toward that. Until the PC world realizes that it's got alot of hardware out there doing design work, this disparity will continue to be a problem. MS needs to change their OS to default to working a a video/graphics friendly colorspace, the first steps have been taken with the change to 72 dpi, but more progress would be better than the current workarounds that are offered.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 11:59 AM   #12
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Sorry, but this has nothing to do with the mac/pc gamma difference.
The problem it's on the Windows Quicktime version.
If you open any file with QT on windows the colors will be different from what you see on a mac, regardless of the gamma you use on the display.
If you open the same file with VLC the colors will be right.
I usually deliver QT movies to clients for approval and frequently they complain the colors are very washed out. So, I need to tell them to watch it on VLC.
It's not a big problem, but it's a PITA.
I think Apple could easily resolve this mess with a simple gamma change inside the Windows Quicktime version.


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Old April 19th, 2009, 10:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Haustein View Post
Lots of things could cause this:

you could have quicktime on the mac displaying FCP color compatibility (option in quicktime)
.
Nate, where is this QuickTime Option? I can't find it anywhere. I am on 10.5.6 Powermac G5.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 03:43 PM   #14
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In ver 7.5 anyway, it's Quicktime player >preferences > general > enable final cut studio color compatibility, a check box at the very bottom of the list.../Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team
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Old April 20th, 2009, 05:40 PM   #15
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Battle...thanks for responding...mine (attached) does not have the FCP item...looks like I need to upgrade to FCS 2. I am on FCS 1. bummer.
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