10 Replies Latest reply: Mar 15, 2013 4:02 PM by citylimitfilms
dschaub2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I've been struggling with the color banding problem in FCP for quite some time now...

Source footage looks GREAT (smooth gradients from dark to light in the sky, for example).

Once I bring that footage into FCP - whether it is simply displayed in FCP or rendered as a QT (prores 422 - plus all other options) there is very noticable color banding in the gradient areas of the image. 

The common answer on this forum is that color cannot be judged accurately on a computer monitor.... but the source material looks FINE on my computer monitor - no banding!  But banding is very evident once I bring it into FCP.

Hoping somebody has the magic bullet -


Final Cut Pro 6, Mac OS X (10.6.8), FCP 6.0.6
  • 1. Re: Color banding in problems in FCP
    Shane Ross Level 8 Level 8 (41,895 points)

    FCP's VIEWER and CANVAS are not designed to show you a true image...not at all. They are designed to show you what you are doing. The best way to get them close is to put them to 100%...but that doesn't make a workable interface. You can use that to spot check to see how your footage really looks. 

  • 2. Re: Color banding in problems in FCP
    dschaub2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for clarifying VIEWER and CANVAS image stats.  Good to know that true color would not be expected while working in the FCP environment.  I only mentioned the FCP VIEWER and CANVAS because I also noticed the banding there as well - and thought it might help point to the problem.... but REAL issue is that I cannot produce a rendered QT file without the color banding problem in the final high-quality output with prores 422 - or any other codecs in the selection list.  Is this unusual?  Is nobody else having these banding problems?

    Thanks for getting back to me.

  • 3. Re: Color banding in problems in FCP
    Meg The Dog Level 6 Level 6 (9,680 points)

    How are you viewing the exported file, where you see the banding?

     

    MtD

  • 4. Re: Color banding in problems in FCP
    dschaub2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am looking at the exported file on my MacBook Pro.

    But to be clear, I am also looking at the source footage on that monitor as well - and it is flawless - smooth gradients with no banding.  A good example is the sky where there is a smooth grad from dark blue to light blue. The difference is really obvious when comparing the source to the exported file on the same monitor.

     

    -ds

  • 5. Re: Color banding in problems in FCP
    Meg The Dog Level 6 Level 6 (9,680 points)

    Using what to play back the file? Quicktime 7?

     

     

    MtD

  • 6. Re: Color banding in problems in FCP
    dschaub2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes - Quicktime 7

    Using QT 7 to view both source and exported file on the same monitor.

     

    -ds

  • 7. Re: Color banding in problems in FCP
    Meg The Dog Level 6 Level 6 (9,680 points)

    Do you have your QuickTime preferences set correctly?

    QuickTime Player 7ScreenSnapz001.png

     

    MtD

  • 8. Re: Color banding in problems in FCP
    dschaub2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Tried setting the switches indicated.

    Still seeing the banding.... but perhaps my expectations are unrealistic (?).

     

    If I set the video compression type to NONE (instead of Prores 422(HQ)), the results are much better - indicating the banding is a compression artifact?

     

    Maybe I could post a before/after sample somewhere?

     

    Thanks again.

     

    -ds

  • 9. Re: Color banding in problems in FCP
    dschaub2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Maybe the sky gradient example is a little abstract.... (since you don't have the examples in front of you)

    More to the point -

    If I render a simple fade-up from black - same result - really noisy banding that crawls through the as image as it ramps up from black.

    Surely I must have something wrong in the way the preferences are set in FCP - 'cause I can't imagine this being acceptable to any editor or end user.... it looks pretty awful.

     

    What am I doing wrong?

    Anybody?

     

    Thx

     

    -ds

  • 10. Re: Color banding in problems in FCP
    citylimitfilms Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Did you figure this out? I am having a similar issue.