Previous 1 2 Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Oct 14, 2013 6:44 PM by grunberd
Chris Corrado Level 1 (75 points)



Above is an example of what happens when I do a direct export in Final Cut Pro, using the Export -> QuickTime Movie function.  As you can see, the image is significantly brighter and the colors are a little more washed out (this image isn't particularly colorful, but trust me, it washes them out).  I always thought the Export -> QuickTime Movie meant the image would not be compressed--that it was a straight export using the sequence settings. 


The image you see above was shot natively in ProRes 422 (HQ) using an Arriflex Alexa.  It has never been transcoded.  The bottom image is what it looks like using Export -> QuickTime Movie.  Totally unacceptable for a piece of professional software, if you ask me. 


I can't express how infuriating this is, to have everything looking perfect in FCP and then exporting only to have it look like garbage.  I've been able to play with gamma correction a bit and have gotten it PRETTY close to the original look, but this seems like a horrible workaround.   


Anyone else know why this is happening?  Is there a fix for this? 


I'm working with FCP 6.0.6 and QuickTime 10.1.

  • Meg The Dog Level 6 (10,890 points)

    You should be using QuickTime Pro (QuickTime Player 7) with the preferences set to:


    QuickTime Player 7ScreenSnapz001.png



  • Nick Holmes Level 7 (29,990 points)

    First of all, don't use QuickTime Player 10. You should use QuickTime Player 7.

    If you installed it, it can be found in you Applications/Utilities folder.

    If you didn't, it's on your Mac OS X 10.6 DVD in the Optional Installs folder.


    In QTP 7, go to Preferences and set it up for FCP. I have highlighted the important settings in the screen grab below...


    Screen Shot 2013-02-24 at 1.20.39 AM.png

  • Nick Holmes Level 7 (29,990 points)

    Drat. Beaten.

  • Meg The Dog Level 6 (10,890 points)

    Nick Holmes wrote:


    Drat. Beaten.

    But not down. Your rectangles are much more explanatory than the arrows.



  • Nick Holmes Level 7 (29,990 points)

    My screen shot also has a soft drop shadow, so there's that too.

  • Meg The Dog Level 6 (10,890 points)

    I thought the intrinsic elegant design sense, as well as the inherent beauty of the presentation was so obvious it needed no comment.




  • Chris Corrado Level 1 (75 points)

    Thanks guys, appreciate the help so far.


    I opened QuickTime 7.6.6, which was indeed in my Applications/Utilities folder.  I made the preference changes you both suggested.  However, when I open the exported clip in QT7, it still has that same brighter, washed-out look. 


    Is it a matter of FCP using QuickTime X to export?  Do I need to erase QTX from my computer completely?

  • Meg The Dog Level 6 (10,890 points)

    If you open a source clip directly in QT7, (from the finder, not within FCP) does it match the look of the exported file?


    If so FCP may not be displaying the gamma correctly.


    In FCP go to the menu Final Cut Pro > System Settings and when the System Settings open click on the Playback Control Tab and set the Gamma Correction to Approximate.

    Final Cut ProScreenSnapz001.png

    The click OK.


    Now does it all match - in QT7, source clip opened in the finder = fairly close on the FCP canvas = exported from QT movie?



  • Meg The Dog Level 6 (10,890 points)

    This may post twice, if so sorry . . .


    Ah it did post twice, so this is removed by author.


    Message was edited by: Meg The Dog

  • Chris Corrado Level 1 (75 points)

    Yes, when I open the exported video from within QuickTime 7, it retains that washed out/brighter look.


    Now, about the "approximate" Gamma Correction ...


    When I switch to that setting, my image gets brighter and washed out WITHIN Final Cut.  The instant I select "approximate" and click OK, boom--image changes.  And yet, when I export, the exported clip is still even *brighter* than the clip that was already made brighter through approximate gamma correction. 


    Appreciate your guys' help, but MAN this is frustrating!

  • Meg The Dog Level 6 (10,890 points)

    Okay, let's try one more time -


    Open a source clip from your disk drive directly in the finder in QT7 (with the preferences set correctly).

    Leave the QT player open and now switch to FCP.


    Take that same shot, from the drive, and import it into FCP, and place it on the timeline without filtration or any other changes.


    Compare the Canvas, with the QTplayer we have left open with the same clip opened from the finder.

    Are they close?


    Does changing the System Settings Playback Control Gamma Correction to Approximate get it any closer (it may never be a perfect match, but should be close)?




  • Chris Corrado Level 1 (75 points)

    Sure thing, Meg. 


    Here's a source clip with "approximate" gamma correction:




    "Approximate" gamma correction makes the image look flatter within Final Cut Pro than it actually is.


    Now, the very same clip and frame, but with gamma set to "Accurate" :




    Now, things are switched.  The exported image looks flatter than the source clip within FCP. 


    Here's another tidbit of info--the frame from my first post was professionally color graded and exported as a self-contained movie--so there were no filters, FCP or otherwise, being applied there.  But the difference is just night-and-day to me. 

  • Chris Corrado Level 1 (75 points)

    For now, here's my workaround:


    1) edit my entire project, effects and all. 

    2) nest the final cut into a new sequence, and apply a 1.4 Gamma Correction filter on the entire thing.


    Export to QuickTime. 


    This seems to get me incredibly close to what I'm seeing in FCP.  It's not a perfect fix, but it'll keep me happy until Apple figures out how to do straigtht exports without screwing with the image.

  • Gary Scotland Level 6 (12,823 points)

    Final Cut is designed to be used with Generic RGB, if its not the gamma and colour values will not be correct.


    Check your settings in:  Apple > System Preferences > Displays > Colour; Generic RGB

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