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Activity Forums Apple Final Cut Pro X Color Curves puzzle

  • Color Curves puzzle

    Posted by Darin Boville on February 1, 2024 at 2:37 pm

    I’ve been using Final Cut since the Dark Ages but I’m a perpetual newbie so perhaps I am missing something basic…

    If I have a clip and I add a Color Curve effect and leave the RGB settings at 100% then there is no change in the image. Of course.

    However, if I make three stacked layers of the same video and set one to all red (100, 0, 0), the next up to all green (0,100,0) and the top layer to all blue (0,0,100) the image does not look the same. In this case, there is a magenta shift.

    Opacity for each layer is set to 100 for the bottom layer, 50, and then 33.33. Color blending is “normal.” There are no other effects or adjustments. Tried Fuji Flog2 footage and standard iPhone footage–both were the same.

    What I am trying to get to is to have the three layers, after adjusting so each is its own separate color, to result in an image that matches the single-layer version. It seems to me, from a logical point of view, that the three-layer version (R + G + B) would be the same as the one-layer version (RGB)–am I missing something?


    Ben Balser replied 4 months, 2 weeks ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Darin Boville

    February 1, 2024 at 11:08 pm

    Ok, I solved the issue but I don’t know why it works.

    The solution is to uncheck “Preserve Luma” on each of the three Color Curves effects. Great!

    However, I would love a deeper understanding of what exactly is happening, if anyone knows. I know that “Preserve Luma” is trying to preserve the brightness of a clip despite changes, so I’m assuming that when you lower two of the color channels and thereby darken the image? And so Preserve Luma kicks in? And does so, for some reason, unevenly thus accenting one of the channels more than the others with a resulting color shift?


  • Ben Balser

    February 2, 2024 at 2:21 pm

    I don’t understand what effect you’re trying to get.

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