The Project Settings Tab

The options in the Project Settings (Prjct Settings) tab are saved individually on a per-project basis. They let you store additional information about that project, adjust how the project is displayed, and specify how the shots in that project will be rendered.

Figure. Prjct Settings tab.

For more information, see:

Informational and Render Directory Settings

These settings provide information about Color and your project and let you set up the directory into which media generated by that project is written.

Figure. Information and render directory settings.
  • Project Name: The name of the project. This defaults to the name of the project file on disk, but you can change it to anything you like. Changing the project name does not change the name of the project file.
  • Render Dir: The render directory is the default directory path where media files rendered for this project are stored. (For more information about rendering Color projects, see The Render Queue.) It’s always best to choose the appropriate location for the render directory before you add items to the Render Queue, to make sure your shots are rendered in the correct location. If the specified render directory becomes unavailable the next time you open a project, you will be prompted to choose a new one.
  • Project Render Dir button: Clicking this button lets you select a new project render directory using the Choose Project Render Directory dialog.
  • Colorist: This field lets you store the name of the colorist currently working on the project. This information is useful for identifying who is working on what in multi-suite post-production facilities, or when moving a project file from one facility to another.
  • Client: This field lets you store the name of the client of the project.

Resolution and Codec Settings

These settings let you set up the display and render properties of your project. They affect how your program is rendered both for display purposes, and when rendering the final output.

Figure. Resolution and codec settings.
  • Display LUT: A display LUT (look up table) is a file containing color adjustment information that's typically used to modify the monitored image that's displayed on the preview and broadcast displays. LUTs can be generated to calibrate your display using hardware probes, and they also let you match your display to other characterized imaging mediums, including digital projection systems and film printing workflows. If you've loaded a display LUT as part of a color management workflow, this field lets you see which LUT file is being used. For more information on LUT management, see Monitoring Your Project.
  • Frame Rate: This field displays the frame rate that the project is set to. Your project's frame rate is set when the project is created, and it can be changed by a pop-up menu so long as no shots appear in the Timeline. Once one or more shots have been added to the Timeline, the project's frame rate cannot be changed.
  • Render File Type pop-up menu: This parameter is automatically set based on the type of media your project uses. If you send a project from Final Cut Pro, this parameter is set to QuickTime, and is unalterable. If you create a Color project from scratch, this pop-up menu lets you choose the format with which to render your final media. When working on 2K and 4K film projects using image sequences, you'll probably choose Cineon or DPX, while video projects will most likely be rendered as QuickTime files.
  • Deinterlace Renders: Turning this option on deinterlaces all shots being viewed on the preview and broadcast displays and also deinterlaces media that's rendered out of Color.

    Note: Deinterlacing in Color is done very simply, by averaging both fields together to create a single frame. The resulting image may appear softened. There is also a deinterlacing parameter available for each shot in the Shot Settings tab next to the Timeline, which lets you selectively deinterlace individual shots without deinterlacing the entire program. For more information, see The Settings 2 Tab.

  • Deinterlace Previews: Turning this option on deinterlaces all shots being viewed on the preview and broadcast displays but media rendered out of Color remains interlaced.

Broadcast Safe Settings

When color correcting any program destined for broadcast, it's important to obtain the specific quality control (QC) guidelines from the broadcaster. There are varying standards for the maximum and minimum allowed IRE, chroma, and composite amplitude, and some broadcasters are more conservative than others.

The Broadcast Safe settings let you set up Color to limit the minimum and maximum luma, chroma, and composite values of shots in your program. These settings are all completely customizable to accommodate any QC standard and prevent QC violations.

Figure. Broadcast safe settings.
  • Broadcast Safe button: Turning on Broadcast Safe enables broadcast legalization for the entire project, affecting both how it's displayed on your secondary display and broadcast monitor and how it's rendered for final output. This button turns the following settings on and off:
    • Ceiling IRE: Specifies the maximum luma that's allowable, in analog IRE units. Signals with luma above this limit will be limited to match this maximum value.
    • Floor IRE: Specifies the minimum luma that's allowable, in analog IRE units. Signals with luma below this limit will be limited to match this minimum value.
    • Amplitude: This is not a limiting function. Instead, it lets you apply an adjustment to the amplitude of the chroma. The default value of 0 results in no change.
    • Phase: Lets you adjust the phase of the chroma. If Amplitude is set to 0, no change is made.
    • Offset: Lets you adjust the offset of a chroma adjustment. If Amplitude is set to 0, no change is made.
    • Chroma Limit: Sets the maximum allowable saturation. The chroma of signals with saturation above this limit will be limited to match this maximum value.
    • Composite Limit: Sets the maximum allowable combination of luma and chroma. Signals exceeding this limit will be limited to match this maximum value.

Ways of Using Broadcast Safe

The Broadcast Safe parameters can be set to match the required QC guidelines for your program. When enabled, they guarantee that your program will not exceed these standards while you monitor your program and when you render the finally corrected media. There are three ways you can limit broadcast levels in your program.

Turn Broadcast Safe On, and Leave It Turned On While You Make Your Adjustments

The safest way to work (and the default behavior of new projects) is to simply turn Broadcast Safe on at the beginning of your work, and leave it on throughout your entire color correction pass. With practice, you can tell if a highlight or shadow is being crushed too much by looking at the image on the monitor and watching for clumping exhibited at the top and bottom of the graphs in the Waveform scope. If the image is being clipped more than you prefer, you can make a correction to adjust the signal.

Turn Broadcast Safe Off While Making an Adjustment, Then Turn It Back On to Render Output

If you leave Broadcast Safe on, illegal portions of the signal are always limited, and it can be difficult to see exactly how much data is being clipped. When you're color correcting media that was consistently recorded with super-white levels and high chroma, you may find that it's sometimes a good idea to turn the Broadcast Safe settings off while you do an initial color correction pass, so you can more easily see which parts of the signal are out of bounds and make more careful judgments about how you want to legalize it.

Turn Enable Clipping On for Individual Shots in Your Program

The Enable Clipping button in the Basic tab of the Primary Out room lets you set ceiling values for the red, green, and blue channels for individual shots in your program (RGB clipping). This lets you prevent illegal broadcast values in shots to which you're applying extreme primary, secondary, or Color FX corrections, without turning on Broadcast Safe for the entire program. If Enable Clipping and Broadcast Safe are both on, the lowest standard is applied. For more information, see Ceiling Controls.


This field lets you specify a duration of extra media to be added to the head and tail of each media file that's rendered out of Color. When a project is sent back to Final Cut Pro, handles allow editors to make small adjustments without running out of corrected media. The default value is 00:00:00:00.

Figure. Handles field.

Note: Although Color doesn’t allow you to preview transition effects as you work, shots that are joined by transitions are automatically rendered with handles in order to provide the necessary overlap for the transitions to work. This is true whether or not you’ve set handles greater than zero.