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  • FCP, Snow Leopard and Gamma

  • Jeremy Garchow

    November 3, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    A colleague is having these problems, but it’s FCP7 and Leopard.

    I would recalibrate your display.


  • Erik Lindahl

    November 3, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    But everything is fine aside from FCP 6 acting out… I’ll try it out but it sounds far-fetched.

    Erik Lindahl
    Freecloud Communication

  • Jeremy Garchow

    November 3, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    I’ve been doing some playing around, and I have trashed QT prefs, set my monitor to the ColorSync profile that is set up by the OS, and turned OFF FCP color compatibility. Definitely not right, but definitely not as wrong. I noticed that if you toggle the FCP color compatibility, there’s an intermediate between on and off that would be the proper gamma, but for some reason, it doesn’t stick. Looks like you found a little bugaboo.


  • Erik Lindahl

    November 3, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Bugaboo-hoo… 🙂

    I’ll be putting FCS3 on the system at home soon for “out of office” testing so we’ll see if the issue is transferred there. Note that this machine had Leopard and FCS2 installed where Snow Leopard was upgraded on top of this.

    Erik Lindahl
    Freecloud Communication

  • Erik Lindahl

    November 4, 2009 at 1:22 am

    Just got FCS3 installed here and the gamma issue seems gone.

    I guess it’s either a FCP 6 / Snow Leopard issue or something with my setup or how I upgraded. Problem however seems solved in FCP 7. The canvas and QuickTime Player, given how in-accurate these might be, are very similar in their gamma value.

    I’m a more confident Apple-camper. Let’s see what the 7.01 update does to my life… 🙂

    Erik Lindahl
    Freecloud Communication

  • Scott Sheriff

    November 4, 2009 at 9:18 am

    [walter biscardi] “Any external monitor is better than the Viewer Canvas in FCP. We’ve been saying for years on this forum to never trust the Viewer / Canvas. Heck I don’t ever trust the After Effects composition screen either, I only go by the external video output via the AJA Kona boards.”

    Yes, but only if it’s properly set up. I have seen plenty of big dollar external, broadcast monitors that were calibrated wrong, or that had drifted without the operator noticing.
    Scopes are less prone to operator ‘influences’, and are unaffected by ‘eye fatigue’, and don’t drift. And if your show gets rejected by QC, it because of what they saw on the scope.
    I would trust the internal FCP scopes and Canvas, more than an uncalibrated external monitor, given those two choices.
    Just my unwanted 2 cents worth.

  • Adam Beasley

    November 11, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Hi Erik,

    I am having the exact same problem, did you happen to find a fix by any chance? Really dark in FCP 6 but fine in QT, so not an overall issue.

    A monitor isn’t an option where I’m working as they already stretched the budget to buy the 8 core!. Everything was fine with Leopard.

    What a pain in the ass! Buy a new mac, things get worse!

    Any help much appreciated.


  • Erik Lindahl

    November 11, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    My problem solved it self after I installed Final Cut Studio 3 with Final Cut Pro 7. Probably not what you wanted to hear but that’s sadly the solution I found. This sorted a bunch of gamma-related issues I had (working with non-stanard video files such as ProRes files with a 1280×800 resolution). My best tip is to get Final Cut Studio 3, the upgrade price is in the scheme of things minor.

    With the error the gamma issue was so big I’m not sure just going for a ref-monitor would be “the fix”. Sure it would be a possible temporary solution but I’d be irritated by the miss-match every day for sure.

    I know MacOSX 10.6.2 has some FCS-specific fixes so perhaps that helps you? The other thing I would try i setting the monitor gamma to 1.8 and see if that helps (i.e. if it’s a double gamma correction bug in FCP6 that doesn’t take you monitor profile into context).

    Erik Lindahl
    Freecloud Post Production Services

  • Andrew Johnstone

    November 23, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    I’m very glad that I found this thread as I have been secretly going nuts.

    After 10 years away from being behind the camera (pretend to produce and direct instead) on my last project I was all but budgetless and had to shoot/direct/produce etc. all by myself. It was actually great fun and I I was feeling pretty good about what I shot. Back in the studio, I fired up FCP and all my enthusiasm and thoughts like “I’ve still got the old magic” crumble to dust as I looked at a bunch of images which seemed a stop or so dark. Never mind, “I’ll fix it all in post”..(!!).

    Anyway as part of the project I had to dig out some material shot last year by my usual cameraman. All that stuff seemed dark too. A one off I thought and then I checked the files in QT. Completely different story. The images seemed fine, perfect exposures etc. I have now just checked the images I was worried about from my recent shoot in QT and bingo, perfect.

    It’s a mixed blessing of course. A) the images are fine by B) am going to have to fork our for FCP3 now? I was rather hoping I could avoid doing this for the moment, but it appears not.


  • Robyn Lapuz

    May 9, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Had the same issue after updating Mac OS. Found a quick fix:

    Final Cut Pro – System Settings
    Playback Control – Change Gamma Correction from Accurate to Approximate

    My videos when very dark and contrasty, but after switching this they look very close to the original footage.

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