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This Forum is for: Apple Final Cut Pro

FROM: mikejaz
SUBJECT: brightening or lightening up a dark video.. HE
welcome to the wonderful world of "fixing it in post".

Even if you don't have FCP 3, you can do a good job with the proc amp, brightness/contrast and color correction filters available on FCP2 (and probably 1.25, if that's what ya got - I don't know fer sure, because I never worked with v1.xx, I started with 2...).

Start with the brightness/contrast, to work on your overall levels; add brightness to get everybody out of the darkness, then add contrast to put some blacks back in the picture. Slide the gamma back n forth until your getting reasonably satisfied with the levels in your picture.

the proc amp controls work like...well, the proc amp controls on a TBC...or perhaps like the controls on a TV can use them to perform additional tweaks to the white and black levels of your picture, as well as to desaturate the color of your video, and make it more red or green (like the tint control does on yer TV).

finally, the color correction on FCP2, while not nearly as sophisticated as in FCP3, will certainly help you take that tungsten-redness out of your pictures.

work on a small test section of video (just a few seconds, if possible) until you like what you get. When usng multiple filters like this, you'll have to render once you adjust them to your liking. When you're happy, as Rob sad above, drag the settings for each filter you use into your favorites folder, give them a name so you can remember them.

However, I would NOT recommend viewing the results on you computer monitor. computer monitors and video monitors look very different, and if you're outputting to tape for distribution, I'd suggest checking your work ONLY on a TV or video monitor. It is very possible to lighten up bright areas of your picture (for instance, wall sconces or chandeliers) so much that, even thought they look fine on your computer monitor, they will tear, vibrate and cause audio buzzes on your TV. Remember this paradigm; if you're gonna watch it in NTSC, then monitor it through NTSC. Remember, Frank Zappa used to proof his mixes through a Sears combo stereo, so he knew what his average teenage listener was gonna hear.

Good luck...

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