Latest post Sat, Aug 1 2009 12:02 PM by janusz. 12 replies.
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  • Thu, Jul 30 2009 6:51 PM

    • joakier
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    Disappointing image - why?

    I'm editing with Media Composer 3.1.1 on a set up without a NTSC monitor, and I am very depressed by the look of the footage.  Everything seems gray, colorless, and soft.  I've worked with this material previously on AVX pro, and I've even seen it in the Quicktime codec, so I know it is not the quality of the footage.   Why has Avid gone with this low-quality picture on Media composer software?  How can one protest to Avid?  It makes persuading producers to use Avid MC rather than Final Cut all the harder if their gorgeous footage looks dreadful in the edit suite.

    Does anyone else agree with me that this is a problem?

     

    Thanks.

  • Thu, Jul 30 2009 7:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Disappointing image - why?

    Have you tried connecting to an NTSC monitor to see what it looks like there?

    Are you viewing Draft Quality?

    What type of footage is this?  HD? SD? are you monitoring in the correct project type?

    joakier:
    It makes persuading producers to use Avid MC rather than Final Cut all the harder if their gorgeous footage looks dreadful in the edit suite.

    Any producer worth his salt should know that the edit system is not going to affect the footage like that.  If it's shot well and no effects are applied, then it will look the same as it was shot regardless of what edit system it is being played through.  

    MacPro dual 2.66GHz 6GB RAM nVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT Storage: 2TB G-Speed eS with controller card 3x1TB Hitachi SATA-II internals, various external FW/USB... [view my complete system specs]

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  • Thu, Jul 30 2009 7:50 PM In reply to

    • joakier
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    Re: Disappointing image - why?

    I don't have a NTSC monitor, and I know that the way it looks now doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with the footage (which by the way, is SD).  All the same, it is depressing to work with material looking like this for months on end, and it will lead all concerned to under-estimate the power of the material.

    But it sounds like you have not come across the same problem with Media Composer?  

    I have had this project around for a long time, so I know what it looks like on different hardware, and different software, and what I'm saying is, that on MC, the most recent environment, it looks terrible.

     

     

  • Thu, Jul 30 2009 7:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Disappointing image - why?

    Right... and what I was saying is there is a viewing setting that you may have set to Draft.  

    MacPro dual 2.66GHz 6GB RAM nVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT Storage: 2TB G-Speed eS with controller card 3x1TB Hitachi SATA-II internals, various external FW/USB... [view my complete system specs]

    Kenton VanNatten | Avid Editor (for hire)

    "I am not obsessed... I'm detail-oriented"

  • Thu, Jul 30 2009 9:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Disappointing image - why?

    Kenton is likely right.  Often systems will launch in Draft or "Half/Rez" mode.  Look for the yellow/green or green button with a 10 on the lower left portion of your timeline.  It should be set to all green.

    MC / Symphony 6.5, Nitris DX, 12-Core/2.4ghz MacPro, 64 GB RAM, 12 TB ESATA G-RAID [view my complete system specs]

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  • Thu, Jul 30 2009 10:26 PM In reply to

    • gumbaedit
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    Re: Disappointing image - why?

    What's your compression?  Are your computer monitors calibrated.  Are the monitors vga or dvi.  What's the resolution of your screen.  Any one of these could be the issue.  I'm going to guess on the side of operator error.  All of my material in the past has looked as good or as bad as I've told Avid MC to make it look.  

    6 core Late 2013 MacPro 3.0 gHz, 16 gigs RAM, MC 7.0.4 on OSX 10.9.2, Blackmagic Decklink HD Extreme 3D+, 8TB OWC Rack Pro eSata enclosure, Sonnet E4P... [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, Jul 31 2009 2:48 AM In reply to

    • joakier
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    Re: Disappointing image - why?

    I certainly hope it is my error!  I have nudged the calibration, and it does look a bit better - more saturated. The video quality is set on best, and the flat panel monitors are DVI.  Not the best monitors ever....but I was using them with the FCP project, and they were acceptable.

    It is interesting that no one has rushed in to say they have the same complaint.  Thanks for your comments.

     

     

     

     

  • Fri, Jul 31 2009 3:42 PM In reply to

    Re: Disappointing image - why?

    It would be unnerving to cut on a system that doesn't seem to show the beauty of your material.  I suggest respectfully that reviewing the output of your MC system on a broadcast video monitor would assuage your angst on this.  Properly set up with color bars, a broadcast-quality monitor (w a blue-gun only switch!) will show you (and your nervous clients) exactly what you are making.  I also noticed a reduction in image quality on my computer screen when switching from my Meridien MC system to my present outfit.  Even 10-bit computer screen monitoring seems to only approximate what's really happening on the actual MC system 'Video Out' (which is very pretty btw) There are also interlacing elements that would not be apparent on your DVI screen. (just make sure your video circuit is terminated!!)

    If you're sitting there editing for months, you've got a gig that validates such an suggestion.  Good luck!

    2 systems, office and mobile: Office is MC v5.5.4 thru SDI Mojo, OS 10.5.8, QT 7.6, on Quad-Core Intel Xeon 2.8 w/8 gig RAM, 2Tb internal RAID volume,... [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, Jul 31 2009 3:47 PM In reply to

    Re: Disappointing image - why?

    duplicate post. 

    2 systems, office and mobile: Office is MC v5.5.4 thru SDI Mojo, OS 10.5.8, QT 7.6, on Quad-Core Intel Xeon 2.8 w/8 gig RAM, 2Tb internal RAID volume,... [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, Jul 31 2009 5:32 PM In reply to

    • janusz
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    Re: Disappointing image - why?

    Probably the same issue that is in these posts:

    http://community.avid.com/forums/p/67309/376951.aspx#376951

    http://community.avid.com/forums/p/32334/179122.aspx#179122

    There is now a setting to stretch the luminance in full screen preview, but not for the source/rec monitors.   

    If you want to do a quick test yourself, load some color bars into the source monitor, use the Digital Color Meter (in Applications/Utilities  -  Black is 16,16,16 and white is 235,235,235 (as it is coded) - whereas it should be (0,0,0) (255,255,255)

    All grey values are displayed as coded, so a mid grey of 128 is displayed as 128, without gamma correction.

    I recently did a comparative test with FCP (with a test card correctly imported and checked on the waveform monitor), which correctly applies gamma correction to the footage in the monitors - which is why there are often complaints that footage is grey/muddy in Avid (but not in the client monitor) but not in FCP.

    Maybe one day Avid will address this issue. 

    Janusz

    MC 6.5.3 / OS 10.7.5 Mac Pro Octo 2.8GHz 6M RAM + others elsewhere [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, Jul 31 2009 6:34 PM In reply to

    • janusz
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    Re: Disappointing image - why?

    Incidentally, just for the record, I imported the belle-nuit testcard (http://www.belle-nuit.com/download/testchartpal.tif), as I did two years ago...  (it needs some tweaking to be correctly imported into FCP - I checked that the grey ramp appears linear both in FCP and Avid to verify that the testcard was correctly imported )

    There are greyscale patches that go from Y=16 to Y=235  - 16 , 43, 71, 98, 126, 153, 181, 208, 235.

    In Avid, all the greyscale patches are displayed as encoded - raw. So we have (16,16,16), (43,43,43) etc.  for all the patches in the Digital Color Meter.

    In FCP, a correction is applied.

    16 is displayed as (0,0,0)  a true black  whereas Avid (16,16,16) a dark grey

    43 as (20,20,20)

    71 as (47,47,47)

    98 as (76,76,76)

    126 as (110,110,110)

    153 as (144,144,144)

    181 as (180,180,180)

    208 as (217,217,217)

    235 as (255,255,255) a full white, whereas Avid (235,235,235) a not really full white....

    The values displayed have a gamma correction applied R=G=B= 255* ((Y-16)/219) ^ (2.2/1.8) 

    (is not merely a stretch but the non-linear gamma correction is applied - as it should be)

     

    Macs have a native gamma of 1.8 whereas video material is 2.2. PCs use a gamma of 2,2.  This is why FCP corrects with the ratio (2.2/1.8).

    Footage is muddy in Avid on a Mac and not in FCP because the luma scaling (from 16-135 to 0-255) and gamma correction (of 2.2/1.8) is not applied.

    Things are a little better in Full Screen Preview mode (with the stretch luma option) as the scaling is applied, but not the gamma correction (dark tones are too light)

     

    Janusz

     

    MC 6.5.3 / OS 10.7.5 Mac Pro Octo 2.8GHz 6M RAM + others elsewhere [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Aug 1 2009 12:14 AM In reply to

    • siencs
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    Re: Disappointing image - why?

    janusz:

    Macs have a native gamma of 1.8 whereas video material is 2.2. PCs use a gamma of 2,2.  This is why FCP corrects with the ratio (2.2/1.8).

    Footage is muddy in Avid on a Mac and not in FCP because the luma scaling (from 16-135 to 0-255) and gamma correction (of 2.2/1.8) is not applied.

    Would using the 2.2 gamma setting in the display calibration correct this?

    MC 5.5.3.5 on HPxw8400, 6.5.4 on 20" iMac 2.16Ghz C2D, 7.0.4 on HP z400/z420, 21" iMac 3.2Ghz i5 and Macbook Pro 2.4Ghz. [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Aug 1 2009 12:02 PM In reply to

    • janusz
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    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Paris
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    Re: Disappointing image - why?

    No as that is just the correction for the display gamma.  The gamma of 1.8 is hard-coded and concerns the representation of image data in memory

    I think a fix for this bug on the Mac platform would make many users happy and long overdue...  There is even an optimised API to perform this sort of gamma-correction in the Accelerate framework... it isn't that difficult.  And there could be an option to turn it off on slower machines.  C'mon Avid.... If an editor's footage looks good, he's just that little bit happier and it'll put him in good stead for a day's editing... :)  A muddy and grey picture gives a sort of muddy feeling doesn't it...?!?

    Janusz

     

    MC 6.5.3 / OS 10.7.5 Mac Pro Octo 2.8GHz 6M RAM + others elsewhere [view my complete system specs]
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