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Old August 13th, 2010, 10:02 PM   #1
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Why are my clips darker in FCP than XDCAM Transfer?

Attached is a screen shot showing the FCP viewer in the upper right and XDCAM Transfer in the lower right. Clip browser is on the left.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I followed the instructions in XDCAM Transfer and brought them in using FIle->Import. Any ideas why the clips are darker in FCP?
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Why are my clips darker in FCP than XDCAM Transfer?-screen-shot-2010-08-13-10.56.54-pm.png  
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2010, 10:28 PM   #2
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Unless you're using FCP 7 where I think its been fixed, FCP lowers the gamma of your canvas because it was assuming that your Mac was using a flatter gamma of 1.8 instead of the 2.2 standard for video and I think PC's also.
If you open it in quicktime it will also be lighter and more accurate i think.

kind of a drag since lost of people set up their mac screens to a more contrasty & saturated 2.2 gamma anyway, so this only makes it darker . That's why its dangerous to color correct in FCP unless you iron that stuff out first.
I( think i got that right.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 11:23 PM   #3
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Leopard defaults to gamma of 1.8
Snow Leopard defaults to gamma 2.2
Quicktime 7.x has a General Preference "Enable Final Cut Studio color compatibility" that when enabled Source colors are read with 2.2 gamma and are displayed in a color space with 1.8 gamma.
Quicktime X, which is exclusive to Snow Leopard, doesn't have such preference.

Basically Snow Leopard straightened things out but Leopard (and earlier) is a bit of a mess.

Leonard has the right idea but it's the OS that's at issue.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 07:54 AM   #4
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I'm on Snow Leopard, FCP 6 and an Apple Monitor HD display. I can't tell what gamma settings are in the display's profile but when I calibrated my displays, have one display using 1.8 and the other 2.2 so I can see what my video will look like on Windows.

The screen shot came from the 1.8 display and that's what I was puzzled by. I don't the the QT preference is at play here since that controls how the QT player renders video not how FCP renders it.

Are you saying the problem is that I'm on FCP 6 on Snow Leopard and if I upgrade to FCP 7 the issue will be fixed?
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Old August 14th, 2010, 09:12 AM   #5
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The big thing to keep in mind is don't color correct using a computer monitor.

In an ideal world you would use a pro evaluation monitor. But even a consumer plasma TV or LCD TV, would be far better. You also really need to calibrate your monitor (I don't mean your Mac, but your evaluation monitor), this is very easy using color bars on a pro monitor that will have a blue only mode. You should be using a AJA Matrox or Black Magic or similar interface to this monitor. There is a lot to it and you also really need scopes to get thing really right.

When I am making a Bluray or SD DVD for a kiosk or similar then I actually use the monitor that will be used in the kiosk as my final cc monitor.

Of course if all you are delivering to is the internet then just make it look good on a computer screen. Just don't forget that Macs and PC's look really different, and compromise so it looks good on both or just your known target.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 09:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Just don't forget that Macs and PC's look really different, and compromise so it looks good on both or just your known target.
Macs with Snow Leopard are using the same gamma as PCs 2.2. So the above generalization no longer holds true. That's part of the problem that I believe Les is experiencing.

He's using Snow Leopard. He does need to check the gamma of his monitor just in case something has kicked it to 1.8 gamma.

Once he verifies the monitor is 2.2 he needs to examine the change in the gamma between CliipBrowser and FCP6. It's possible that FCP7 changes this behavior.

BTW ApplePro Res also has an advanced setting that forces 1.8 to 2.2 (it can be disabled). ProRes itself is 2.2 native. Perhaps something in the re-wrap from BPAV/MP4 to .mov is causing a push to a "darker" gamma cure.

Many of us certainly do have web as one of many final destination so one must have both a calibrated computer monitor and calibrated broadcast monitor.

It may even be possible that ClipBrowser itself was changed when it was updated for SnowLeopard. Sony may not have detailed that.

What is clear is that ClipBrowser gamma and FCP6 gamma in SnowLeopard aren't matching.

Les, are you using ClipBrowser 2.6? If not update.

BTW this is why, when someone reports and issue, they should include ALL version of all software involved.
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Old August 14th, 2010, 04:26 PM   #7
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I am using Clip Browser 2.6 and XDCAM Transfer 2.12. I calibrate by computer monitors using a Spyder2Pro but the calibration prompts for the gamma. As I mentioned before, I do one at 1.8 gamma and the other at 2.2 but I couldn't find anything in Color Preferences that confirms the display's gamma setting. My screen shot was from the 1.8 monitor so I thought it would be "right" ... the 2.2 monitor (as expected) just makes everything darker.

I appreciate the help in understanding the "color chain" as it were from camera to re-wrap to OS to FCP. I think I need to recalibrate my computer monitor and upgrade to FCP 7 to clean up the chain.

This is all testing for moving to XDCAM before starting a large web delivered project in 2011... plenty of time to work it out....Thanks.
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