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Old August 21st, 2009, 10:16 AM   #1
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Compressor washing out video?

After I finish the edit in FCS, I export the clip as a Reference file and drop it into Compressor. I have created a Vimeo/Exposure room template that adjusts the size and data rate of the video, but that is all. When the video finishes rendering, it looks washed out compared to what I'm looking at in FCS. Any ideas? The bit rate is set to 5000 in Compressor and the resolution is 720p.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 11:08 AM   #2
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Quicktime Gamma shift. Do a search, wait for Quictime X for it to be fixed like everyone else on the planet.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 11:45 AM   #3
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To expand on Craig's post ... if you do a search on DVINFO you will find many posts on this issue over several years. Apple responded in Leopard and FCS2 (you have to have both) with a setting in QuickTime preferences to maintain the FCP gamma. If you are like me and don't have both, you can open the video in QuickTime and hit command-K. That gives you playback control of brightness/contrast. If you are rendering to another format with Compressor or Squereze or whatever, adjust the gamma filter to suit.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 01:33 PM   #4
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Chad,

If you look at the enclosed pic you'll see the Quicktime checkbox, "enable FCS color..." option. This will allow QT to match what you see in the viewer, canvas, Color, Motion or DVDSP4 previews.

However I'd suggest *not* turning this on. This is because Mac's use a native 1.8 Gamma rather than 2.2. So in fact what you're seeing without the checkbox on is how the rest of the world will see your video including Windows users. So in point of fact this is a more accurate viewing since your end-users won't be watching your video on a system that includes FCS.

However, if you're going to create a DVD and want to see how it will appear on an sRGB or NTSC-609 screen then turn it on.

This gamma mismatch is changing in Snow Leopard, the new default screen gamma will match Windows to 2.2; I'm assuming that there will be an update to FCS ver2 and 3 that will talk to this new gamma setting in Quicktime "X".

The trick to getting real-world color on output from FCP/Compressor is to make several test encodes - only a few seconds long - and then watching the final output in QT. Once you find the color settings that you want then save that droplet (or color settings in FCP) and encode your final movie.

Once Snow Leopard is issued this problem *should* disappear.

Another option is to use Episode Pro, which makes color-native encodes and doesn't suffer from the FCS-to-QT mismatch.
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Old August 21st, 2009, 04:44 PM   #5
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Thanks for all of the input. I'm going to make a few encodes and bump the Gamma up a point or two. Hopefully Quicktime X will make things easier.
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Old August 24th, 2009, 09:55 PM   #6
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Ok, here is the new problem we seem to have. When we are editing on the FCS timeline, all of the effects look great. When we render the video to H.264 or Mpeg 2, it has a washed out look. Does this also have to do with the gamma problem in Quicktime? The effects we are using mostly some tweaked MB Looks.
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Old August 24th, 2009, 10:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Dyle View Post
Ok, here is the new problem we seem to have. When we are editing on the FCS timeline, all of the effects look great. When we render the video to H.264 or Mpeg 2, it has a washed out look. Does this also have to do with the gamma problem in Quicktime? The effects we are using mostly some tweaked MB Looks.
Yes it does. Refer to the suggestions about color-matching monitors in the other thread you just posted.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 06:57 PM   #8
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The New FCP (7) has a menu option to disable Gamma Shift in Prores. SEQ >Settings> there is an advanced render settings tab for Pro Res
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Old September 1st, 2009, 01:07 PM   #9
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How is this gamma-related? Gamma is brightness; he's talking about saturation.

I see the same thing. If I export to ProRes or Animation, and view the exported file in QT Player, it looks fine. But when I bring it into Compressor and encode it to h.264, the colors get desaturated. My best guess is that the codec brings down the saturation as part of its compression algorithm. My solution has been to create a wrapper sequence that's nothing more than the main sequence, but with the saturation bumped up in the Color Corrector 3-Way filter, 1/4 or 1/3 of the way. Then it looks nice when compressed to h.264.

If anyone has a better way, let me know.
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