Displaying Excess Luma and Chroma Levels in the Viewer and Canvas

The Final Cut Pro range-checking options (in the Range Check submenu of the View menu) allow you to turn on zebra striping in the Viewer and Canvas to immediately warn you of areas of your clip’s image that may stray outside the broadcast-legal range. Zebra stripes appear as animated diagonal “marching lines” that are superimposed over illegal areas in your picture or areas that are very near the broadcast-legal limits. Additional icons are displayed to warn you about luma or chroma levels that fall outside the legal range for broadcast.

Figure. Canvas window showing a warning icon, red stripes that indicate luma above 100 percent, and green stripes that indicate luma from 90 to 100 percent.

Turning on Range Checking

Turning on one of the range-checking options gives you immediate feedback if your clips have luma or chroma values that are too high for broadcast. These values may be caused by the way the footage was shot or by filter adjustments that you are making.

To turn on range checking
  • Choose View > Range Check, then choose an option from the submenu.

    The Viewer and Canvas now display zebra stripes whenever illegal levels appear in your clips.

Options in the Range Check Submenu

You can choose these options from the Range Check submenu of the View menu:

  • Excess Luma: If you choose this option, red zebra stripes appear in all areas of the frame with luma above 100 percent, and green zebra stripes appear in areas of the frame with luma from 90 to 100 percent. A yellow exclamation point icon indicates luma that’s too “hot.” A green checkmark indicates that all luma in the picture is legal. An in-range icon (a green checkmark with an arrow pointed upward) indicates when luma from 90 to 100 percent is present, with no luma over 100 percent.
  • Excess Chroma: When this option is turned on, red zebra stripes appear in areas of the frame with illegal chroma values. A yellow exclamation point icon indicates chroma that’s too “hot.” A green checkmark indicates that all chroma in the picture is legal.
  • Both: With this option turned on, red zebra stripes indicate both areas of the frame with luma above 100 percent and areas of the frame with illegal chroma values. If zebra stripes appear, a yellow exclamation point icon also appears, indicating that there are levels that are too hot.

    Tip: The Excess Chroma and Both options are especially useful when using one of the color correction filters. They warn you if you’re raising the chroma of a clip to levels that are unacceptable for broadcast.