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Old November 23rd, 2009, 11:07 AM   #1
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Gamma shift. That old chestnut

Like many I am sick of the gamma shift problem with FCP and Compressor. Snow Leopard doesn't appear to have cured the problem. Can any FCP7 users comment on their experiences? Is there any workable work around for FCP6 other than rendering out huge Animation codec based files first before going into Compressor. Does FCP7 solve the gamma shift issue?
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 11:15 AM   #2
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I used to have this issue when I would get files from FCP users. I am on a PC. Having them use Avid's DNxHD codec solved the problem cross-platform. Maybe it will solve this issue for you as well. It's free, so couldn't hurt to try it. Download it from Avid's webpage.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 11:42 AM   #3
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Great idea but unfortunately that won't work. This problem is at the core of how FCP deals with displaying color.

Here's everything you need to know - the short version: There's no fix and it's a long-time bug that Apple hasn't yet addressed.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/non-line...n-exports.html
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 08:35 PM   #4
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but how about for broadcast?

A music video I shot recently has just been picked up for broadcast. In the past I've worked through all the gamma shift issues between FCP and QT player, so I get that...but now that I need to submit for broadcast, I'm not sure what I should do. Adjust the gamma so it looks good on my monitor.....or leave it alone cuz FCP really does know what it's doing relative to broadcast (which makes sense to me). In the past it's always seemed like things I've burned to DVD look fine on my TV set.

Anybody?
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Old November 24th, 2009, 03:42 AM   #5
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The Avid DNxHD codec is no good for FCP. What happens is that FCP applies an additional gamma shift to it as it does for the Canvas window. So if I view an Avid DNxHD timeline through the MXO, the view on the MXO ends up with two 2.2 gamma applications, so it looks just as dark as the canvas window!
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Old November 24th, 2009, 08:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Barry Goyette View Post
A music video I shot recently has just been picked up for broadcast. In the past I've worked through all the gamma shift issues between FCP and QT player, so I get that...but now that I need to submit for broadcast, I'm not sure what I should do. Adjust the gamma so it looks good on my monitor.....or leave it alone cuz FCP really does know what it's doing relative to broadcast (which makes sense to me). In the past it's always seemed like things I've burned to DVD look fine on my TV set.

Anybody?
If indeed you're going out to broadcast then you need a "broadcast monitor" or another balanced NTSC 601/701 monitor. There's a wealth of data here on the forum about choosing and setting up external monitors for broadcast color balancing.

You also have a very good reference and walk-through about these setups right in your built-in users manual in FCP.
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Old November 24th, 2009, 12:21 PM   #7
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Thanks robert...I've been stuck on the web for far too long. As a mostly still photographer, It's been a long time since I had a broadcast monitor hooked up to my system...I just figured we'd moved past that by now....guess not. thanks for reminding me how it's done. I'll go dust off the old Sony.

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Old November 24th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #8
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I read a while back that QT files encoded as H264 automatically adjusted for the computer gamma (mac or PC). I think it was an article on Ken Stone's site. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I will see if I can dig it up? I guess this still doesn't address the different look between the quick time player and the Final Cut viewer.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 02:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Barry Goyette View Post
Thanks robert...I've been stuck on the web for far too long. As a mostly still photographer, It's been a long time since I had a broadcast monitor hooked up to my system...I just figured we'd moved past that by now....guess not. thanks for reminding me how it's done. I'll go dust off the old Sony.

Barry
If you're final output was to web only then viewing it on your computer LCD would be perfect. But in fact any TV set whether it's SD or HD has a completely different gamma space and much more limited dynamic range than a computer screen, so for broadcast you really have to see things on a broadcast monitor to know exactly what you're getting.

That's also why all pro NLE's have a built-in "broadcast safe" color filter to help you compress color/gamma and keep things closer to a proper IRE value.

Maybe at some point the NTSC and PAL signals will support a broader color spectrum but that's probably another 15-20 years out when fiber and satellite has less compression in the signals for network push.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 05:58 PM   #10
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Hey Robert,

So I got thinking about this, and I have follow-up question. So, say I get my broadcast monitor up and running this weekend, and I adjust my final cut pro project just so...and then I go to export the video thru compressor...aren't I really still in the same boat...won't the exported clip have a different gamma than what I'm viewing in FCP (or is it the other way around...the clip is the same gamma, but FCP views it differently than QT...PC's whatever...in which case I just trust what I see on the sony monitor, export away...and it will look fine on some cable channel in Buffalo that I'll never see here in californiyay?)

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Old November 25th, 2009, 06:27 PM   #11
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Assuming your monitor is properly setup and you make your adjustments based on that montior then that's what the final product will look like when broadcast.

The color disparity issue is specific to viewing on your Mac monitor, not the final broadcast result.
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