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Exporting & Color Saturation


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#1 shawnh

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 09:55 PM

So I edited some wonderful open blue water manta footage and was delighted with my final form. I then exported to Qucktime. Then converted in compressor to mpeg2. Watching on a tv *HD* i noticed the colors were far less saturated than what I saw in my FCP viewer (blue were much less rich). I thought..."damn that mpeg2". Upon review however, i discovered that my high quality QT file was the culprit. My export to QT directly was losing blue...very strange. So, I try every imaginable combination of compression, uncompressed, interlaced, progressive and still just variations of less saturated blues. When I flip back between my FCP viewer in full screen and QT player in full screen the washout is very obvious.
Help...anyone have any ideas what can get my blue back?
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#2 Drew

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 10:44 PM

Where exactly is the blue being "lost"? If it shows up on FCP after render then it's your HDTV adjustment. If it doesn't show up after render then just boost saturation.
If you are color correcting on FCP in interlace mode, have a HD monitor for accurate color correction.

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#3 Steve Douglas

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 04:57 AM

That really is the key that many who are going to HDV do not realize. Just getting the cam is only the beginning. Just as it was important to judge and correct your footage on an external NTSC monitor for standard definition footage, it is even more important to utilize an NTSC HD monitor for the same purpose when working with HDV footage. That is the next expensive step. I haven't had the resources to do that yet and am relying on my 23" HD Apple computer monitor which does a decent job. However, it is not ideal and I hope to get a proper set soon.
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#4 shawnh

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 07:11 AM

Well...neither...My situation is actually a more obvious issue. I am running both the FCP Viewer in large view (after render) and the exported QT file on the same monitor (my MacBook) at the same time. I am flipiing back and forth between the QT Pro Player and FCP (again same monitor) and the blues are far less saturated in the surrounding water in the QT exported file than the FCP viewer (both same size framing). I have my computer gamma set to simulate NTSC and actually, my MacBook and TV look very much the same. This is purely an export issue from FCP to my QT file. I have applied color correction filters to the footage (3way).So, what i am trying to understand is why am I loosing my blues from FCP to QT in a simple export using most methods. See frames below:

Attached Images

  • Manta_FCP_Viewer__sm_.jpg
  • Manta_QT720pRGB_sm_.jpg

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#5 Drew

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 11:53 AM

Have you tried using FCP to play the rendered clip? Is it the same there?

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#6 shawnh

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 12:59 PM

Great idea Drew.
So just did this and now things get even more complicated. Opening in FCP gives the shot more saturation but less than the original (Viewer)...actaully about half way between. So, 50% due to different realtime rendering and 50% due to loss of saturation. So, in helping me get closer, things are even more complicated.
1. How do I adjust the real time viewer in FCP to look more like the export, and
2. How to i get the export QT to retain more saturation to look more like the viewer?
Compromise...can't we just all get along?
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#7 Drew

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 01:05 PM

I thought so... you have your viewer set on a quality setting that is less than 100% fine. So it compresses the viewer image. That's why you must have a monitor. If not then you will have to get r/t viewer. Also remember HDV is lossy. So if you really want to keep integrity, render out to Apple intermediate codec.
Isn't this covered in the manual? Please don't make me say it.... RTFM! :lol:

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#8 shawnh

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 02:28 PM

You mean that brick of paper they sent with the software! Actually, i have been digging but perhaps not well enough. I am viewing with everything pegged at 100%. And running an external monitor has not changed it. And I tried Apple intermdiate codec and it looked the same and the manual isn't jumping out on this one:( Really appreciate the inptut though and if anyone has other ideas...i am open.
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#9 Drew

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 04:16 PM

Did you check the playback prefs?
To eliminate HDV codec as the culprit. Transcode to Apple Int Codec BEFORE adding effects etc. Then add the color correction and other efx. If it's still the same thing,then we'll go from there.
I'll always found FCP 5 to be WYSIWYG in terms of color. But I do a lot of efx on Adobe AE.
I think your problem is a settings one and not a codec problem. But we'll see. If anything try over saturating and then export.
Also now you should tell us what OS version, QT version etc.

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#10 shawnh

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Posted 22 April 2006 - 06:21 AM

Hey Drew
I have applying effects to the native HDV capture. I have not been using Apple Int Codec to date. I have heard arguments for keeiping in native and ones for using intermediary. So you are in the intermediary camp. What are your reasonns for this? Regardin OS, i am using the most version...updated a few days ago (10.6?) and also just got the most recent QT player.
Final question: I have already done a lot of editing on this piece. Any way to tanscode without losing all the editing?
shawn
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#11 shawnh

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 08:41 AM

Well, doing some more digging, it sounds like the Monitor View in final cut tries to emulate your tv gamma and hue. So, it apparently "shifts" these variables to compensate for your tv's difference from you monitor...this sounds like a scary estimation to me. So, the exported file I guess 'should' appear less saturated and of different hue on my computer screen than the Monitor view in final cut. In theory, when I play this QT on a broadcast monitor, it should appear the same as the Monitor view in FCP.
I do most of my editing while on the road on my MacBookPro. At home I can connect to my HDTV to test colors. My initial tests indicate the above explaination is actaully pretty close. So, I am left trusting Apple to get it right while I am on the road. I guess this is better than my guess given Apple has more time and money to figure this out than me. I suppose when I get home I do final tweaks connected to the broadcast monitor.
I have tried exporting straight to compressor...that's been a no go. I have had many problems with this including 60 hour render times for 15 min segments of hdv! Routing via QT export cuts this down 10 fold. Apple has a serious issue here and I hope they fix it.
Thanks guys in the input has been helpful.
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