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Old December 20th, 2005, 07:31 AM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Albany, NY 12210
Posts: 2,610
Still frames really dark

For some reason whenever I make a still frame in Final Cut the images come out really dark when they are viewed on other people's computers. It looks fine on our production monitor. It looks fine on my home computer. But when I look at the photos on my computer at work or somebody else's computer, they're really, really dark. My first thought is that the video monitor and computer monitor at my house must not be adjusted properly. But that doesn't make sense either. Other photos I view on my home computer don't look overly bright -- it would have to be an extreme difference. When I say the still images look dark on other computers (also Macs), I mean you can barely make out the image at all. The viewer screen in Final Cut looks pretty close to what the production monitor is showing, and the resulting video footage looks fine on the various televisions and computer monitors I've also played it back on. I only get this problem when making a still photo. What's up? I'm using Final Cut 2, by the way. (Don't make fun. I can't afford to upgrade all of my other software to OSX.)
Marco Leavitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 20th, 2005, 08:53 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,464
The issue has to do with the "gamma" setting of the computer monitors. Go to system preferences and choose the Displays pane, then click on Color. Go through the monitor calibration in expert mode. When you come to the Target Gamma part you will note the native Mac and native PC selections. If you set yours for native Mac it *might* be closer to other peoples' machines (depends of if they have calibrated and how...). You could also set for PC gamma - Mac images generally look darker on PC's because of this difference. Or you can tweak it so that images in the FCP viewer look close to your production monitor. This will, however, make things look lighter than they theoretically should in other applications.

So it's a bit of a problem - when you properly expose so that things look correct on your production monitor they *should* look too dark on a "normal" Mac screen! LCD screens are a lot more forgiving in my experience. Their contrast/brightness changes a lot depending on viewing angle so I get accustomed to just tilting the screen a bit if something looks too dark.

But my personal solution to the problem you describe is to simply punch up the brightness of any still frames I export using Photoshop... :-)
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply

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