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TOPIC: working color managed workflow between FCPX, Photoshop and After Effects

working color managed workflow between FCPX, Photoshop and After Effects 31 Jan 2018 17:29 #93806

  • ronfya
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Hello guys,

How do you maintain a working color managed workflow when using FCPX, Photoshop and After Effects ? I don’t know in which software the answer to my problem lies so I am asking here as well.

I had a shot where I needed to remove crowd control barriers. So I exported a still from FCPX, went into Photoshop where it opens automatically tagged with a Rec. ITU-R BT.709-5 color profile.

I create my clean plate and import that into AE (which recognizes the Rec. ITU-R BT.709-5 color profile). I also import the moving shot to correct which was exported from FCPX as ProRes 422 and automatically tagged with HDTV (Rec.709) Y’CbCr profile, which AE recognizes as well.

In AE, I fix my shot using tracking and camera mapping. So far so good … until I notice that the clean plate does not completely match the moving shot in regard to color and tone. The clean plate is less contrasty, lighter and less saturated. (Washed out like with the “infamous quicktime gamma bug”).

AE’s working color space is set to Rec.709 gamma 2.4

I tried to match the clean plate to the footage using the “Interpret footage” command and reassigning a profile. I also tried the utility effect > color profile converter with several combination of the following profiles without any success.

HDTV (rec.709)
HDTV (rec.709) 16-235
Rec.709 gamma 2.4
Rec. ITU-R BT.709-5
HD-709-A
sRGB IEC61966-2.1
and also my custom X-Rite profile used on my MacBook’s display

One more thing to note is that the profile of the ProRes 422 exported form FCPX is named HD 1-1-1 in the Finder’s info panel and HDTV (Rec.709) Y’CbCr in AE. Not sure if this could be a clue.

Here is a link to the movie exported from FCPX and the clean plate extracted from the last frame.
drive.google.com/open?id=1CAHRQCNm4_vFFOi1OlAx6XHs19bC3ilT

Next time, to avoid this kind of problems, I won’t forget to export my still from the same software where I composite them. But still, if someone has an explanation and a fix for such cases, that would be great.

Thanks! Cheers.

R.
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working color managed workflow between FCPX, Photoshop and After Effects 31 Jan 2018 22:31 #93816

  • Axel
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Funny.
With the naked eye - apart from the missing barriers - I don't see a big difference. So I took the MacOS Utility "Digital Color Meter" (that's what it's called in german at least). And took a few samples: identical values. How is that?
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working color managed workflow between FCPX, Photoshop and After Effects 01 Feb 2018 00:37 #93817

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Thanks for checking Axel !
So it seems that I did a good job cleaning the plate at least :D

Back to the issue. In which application did you open the files to check ? My issue is only when opening and overlaying them in AE. When overlaying in FCPX they match ... which is not surprising since they were exported from FCPX (yet, not quite, but I think it's another problem. See footnote.)

I just also thought of opening the video file in PS to check. And just as in AE, they don't match either. The still is clearly lighter on the foreground floor and on the buildings when you switch from on to the other.

Check the RGB values in the info panel on the attached pics.






Thanks for your help !!
Footnote: actually when overlaying the still and the video in FCPX they only match at 90%. But very differently than the issue I am describing above. The very deepest blacks seem to be clipped up on the still, the rest of the image is matching perfectly. Whereas in the issue above, the whole range of tones is affected and therefore much more troublesome when compositing. Anyway, one issue at a time :P
Last Edit: 01 Feb 2018 00:39 by ronfya.
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working color managed workflow between FCPX, Photoshop and After Effects 01 Feb 2018 00:43 #93820

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I repost the pics which seem to not load


Last Edit: 01 Feb 2018 00:55 by ronfya.
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working color managed workflow between FCPX, Photoshop and After Effects 01 Feb 2018 01:26 #93822

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Oh and I also measured with the Digital Color Meter like you did (thanks cause I didn't think of that) and it confirms what I said about Photoshop and AE. But also what you said about FCPX (which is where I supposed you checked). And it confirms also that in FCPX the whole image matches EXCEPT the deepest blacks which are washed out on the still.

I lean toward the impression that FCPX does not export stills correctly in some regard.
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working color managed workflow between FCPX, Photoshop and After Effects 01 Feb 2018 12:52 #93832

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Now I know what you mean.
But I can't help you, because I don't know how to solve the problem myself. I do have AAE (mainly for tracking and cleaning up) and PS CC, and I've also found those differences. I said to myself, you're so dumb not to know about color spaces and how to correctly uphold the pipeline! If there's a clear mismatch, I just color-correct the re-import again. To be honest, I pay for PS only, because with Affinity the changes were too gross. My standards regarding colors and grading must be pretty low, because instead of reading and trying to get to the bottom of this, I just shrug and accept the mystery ...
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working color managed workflow between FCPX, Photoshop and After Effects 01 Feb 2018 14:14 #93834

  • KLLvideo
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Sorry I don't have an answer, but I have run into similar problems. After several headaches I finally just gave up exporting stills from NLEs. I have found best results with creating the still in Photoshop using 'Video Frames to Layers' it hasn't let me down yet.
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working color managed workflow between FCPX, Photoshop and After Effects 01 Feb 2018 18:38 #93836

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Axel wrote:
Now I know what you mean.
But I can't help you, because I don't know how to solve the problem myself. I do have AAE (mainly for tracking and cleaning up) and PS CC, and I've also found those differences. I said to myself, you're so dumb not to know about color spaces and how to correctly uphold the pipeline! If there's a clear mismatch, I just color-correct the re-import again. To be honest, I pay for PS only, because with Affinity the changes were too gross. My standards regarding colors and grading must be pretty low, because instead of reading and trying to get to the bottom of this, I just shrug and accept the mystery ...

:lol: :P
You made me smile with that one ! I share that feeling too in some way. Each time I am saying to myself "ok now I am comfortable with color management", a new issue of some mysterious kind like this one happens and shreds my positive thinking about that subject into pieces. Hopefully, I am not the only one in the fog here ... I am pretty sure one of the software developers screwed it up somewhere at some point. :evil:
It's just unfortunate we don't understand what is going on exactly.

So next time, I will make sure not to forget like I said and like KKLvideo said as well : no export of stills from NLEs anymore. Only from the apps where the compositing will take place.

So we can let the mystery live. Just like we let Nessie live in the Loch Ness.
:)

Thanks anyway guys
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