+48 22 460 30 30

Work with High Dynamic Range (HDR) video in Final Cut Pro X 10.4 and Compressor 4.4

Posted by: René Shoukier  /   Category: General   /   No Comments

Recently Apple announced its big update on their software Final Cut Pro X: the 10.4 Version.

The update has a lot of new features: One of them is that Final Cut Pro X 10.4 and Compressor 4.4 both support wide-color gamut HDR video, which means that when you work in HDR video, you have a larger palette of colors to work with now—and more control over those colors—than when you work in Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) video. HDR video displays a wider range of colors and brighter luminance on monitors and TVs that support HDR.

In Final Cut Pro, you can also choose between two color processing options for your library. The Standard option sets the working color space to linear RGB with Rec. 709 color primaries, the color space that previous versions of Final Cut Pro have used. Rec. 709 is the current standard for HDTV projects, including HD cable, Blu-ray discs, and most streaming video. For HDR projects, choose Wide Gamut HDR. When you choose Wide Gamut HDR, Final Cut Pro sets the working color space to linear RGB with Rec. 2020 color primaries, a color space with a greater range of colors than Rec. 709.

When you’ve finished editing your HDR video, you can share it using Final Cut Pro, or you can send it to Compressor to encode for final delivery. Several streaming content providers offer wide-color HDR video, including the iTunes Store, Netflix, and Amazon video. The Ultra HD Blu-ray disc format also supports wide-color gamut HDR video.

Working with HDR video in Final Cut Pro
To take full advantage of the color and luminance range of your media with the HDR capabilities of Final Cut Pro, capture your media with your camera set to the log or wide dynamic range option. Many cameras provide multiple options for recording in log. Final Cut Pro also includes Look Up Tables (LUTs) from a variety of camera manufacturers, which you can apply to the media once you’ve imported it into Final Cut Pro.

View HDR video in Final Cut Pro
To make it possible seeing the full range of colors and brightness while editing and color correcting HDR video in Final Cut Pro, Apple suggests using an external reference HDR monitor. To connect an HDR monitor, use the A/V Output option in Final Cut Pro, which also requires a compatible third-party video device. Atomos HDR monitors and monitor / recorders can also be used as a cost-effective way to preview and edit HDR content when connected via an appropriate I/O device to your Mac. The larger Sumo19 and Sumo19M production monitors would be a good choice for this. Several models can also take the video output from FCP X 10.4, transform it, and attach the correct metadata to allow it to display on a consumer HDR TV in either HDR10 or HLG.

Measure video levels with scopes
If you use Final Cut Pro’s color correction tools for editing and color correcting, you can also use the built-in video scopes and the range check overlay in Final Cut Pro to measure video levels and detect out-of-gamut colors. With the offered Broadcast Safe filter you can quickly reduce luma and chroma levels that exceed the specification limits for either standard or wide-gamut color spaces in SDR media.

Share HDR video in Final Cut Pro
When you’re done editing and color correcting, you can share your HDR video to a variety of destinations like YouTube or Facebook, which makes Final Cut Pro X an interesting tool for younger editors as well. You can also export your HDR video as a master file, or you can send it directly to Compressor, which you can then use to encode and deliver the video to a variety of destinations.

Author Avatar

About the Author

René Shoukier, joined AF Marcotec in 2008 and is our Managing Director with a strong passion for filmmaking and photography. He has a love for creativity and enjoys experimenting with various technicques in both print and web. Follow AF Marcotec on Twitter and get in touch with him and be sure to check out AF Marcotec on Facebook as well as Instagram, and Youtube.

No Comments