Creative Communities of the World Forums

The peer to peer support community for media production professionals.

Activity Forums Apple Final Cut Pro X The existential angst of white on black

  • The existential angst of white on black

    Posted by Simon Morice on September 22, 2023 at 3:03 pm

    I have a really big bugbear with a lot of contemporary software, but I’ll vent here about FCP. White text on a black background is harder to see than black text on a white background. That’s why astronomers look at negative photos when star counting or whatever.

    The reason for a dark UI is clear to understand – colour timing and forth needs a dim environment. But, if you try editing in daylight it’s very difficult. Sitting in the cockpit of my boat, under a tree, or on a sand dune makes editing nigh on impossible during the day. OS developers give us the opportunity to use day or night themes, why can’t we be creative in daylight?

    It’s the same with every application and device I use on laptop, pad, or phone. Take the kit out into daylight and suddenly you’re squinting. No wonder editor complexions are pale and wan.

    If you suffer from nyctophiliac stuck-in-the-cellar editing then please join me in firing a broadside at the developers.

    Ben Balser replied 9 months, 3 weeks ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Mads Nybo jørgensen

    September 22, 2023 at 10:30 pm

    Hey Simon,

    I agree with all of that about good design and easy to read.

    But suspect that the computing power for making your screen bright enough, on a laptop, would eat all your battery.

    Having said that, there are editing software that allows you to select one or the other setting for NLE screen. And, you can always bring a black-out blanket to put over your head and laptop screen when editing in the park – although, you’ll still appear bleached 😃


  • Simon Morice

    September 23, 2023 at 11:23 am

    Thanks for your thoughts, Mads. I had a look at the specs of my laptop – an M2 Macbook Pro. I was interested to discover that you are right about power usage. The difference in energy consumption between black-on-white and white-on-black is between 10% and 20% – according to Bard. But I’d like the choice since I can bring or generate sufficient energy with me to the great outdoors.

    There are more than 800 Sailing Channels on YouTube and most upload weekly. A conservative average length of video is perhaps ten minutes. This means around 134 hours of content are uploaded each week from just one outdoor-oriented niche. There are many more. A lot of creators are potentially impacted by white-on-black legibility. I suggest that for users of Lumafusion on an iPad then there really should be a black-on-white UI option for at least the story editing part of the workflow.

    Since the 90s, various technologies have arguably liberated cutting room equipment from the 18% grey walls and dim lighting of city basements all the way down to our pockets – for many projects.

    I appreciate that this is not the case for the sausage factory productions of broadcast and streamers, but they are slowly and inevitably becoming a minority – really, they are.

    Anyway, sitting here in the cockpit of my sailing home on a sunny September day I am having no trouble writing but will have to go below as I learn the sinful art and sullen craft of using Premiere.

  • Ben Balser

    September 23, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    I used to edit on my boat under a tree on Blind River, never had issues with FCP GUI colors.

We use anonymous cookies to give you the best experience we can.
Our Privacy policy | GDPR Policy