Using Color for Color Correction

The basic stages in the Color workflow are described below.

  1. Stage 1: Preparing Your Sequence for Working in Color

    There are a couple of steps you can take to prepare your edited sequence to work in Color more efficiently. To be safe, make a copy of your sequence before making any of these changes.

    • To simplify navigation and correction in Color, move all clips that are superimposed for editing purposes to track V1. This does not apply to clips that are superimposed to create a composited effect; those clips should be left alone.

    • To ensure optimal performance when working in Color, it’s also a good idea to break long sequences (such as those for feature-length projects) into approximately 22-minute reels (the length is arbitrary, but 22 minutes is the standard length of a film reel). Each reel should begin and end at a good cut point.

  2. Stage 2: Preparing Your Media for Working in Color

    Once you’ve prepared your sequence, you should also prepare your project’s media.

    • If you’re handing your project off to someone at another facility, you may want to take the opportunity to process your sequence using the Media Manager to trim your media to only what’s necessary for the finished sequence.

    • For the best results, you should also recapture all offline-quality media at its native online resolution.

    • Lastly, if you want to use Color to correct clips such as generators, still images, or imported Motion projects, you should export them as self-contained QuickTime files and use these to replace the original clips in your sequence. If you don’t need to work on them in Color, you can leave these clips alone. These effects clips will simply be ignored when you send the sequence to Color, and they will reappear when you send the project back to Final Cut Pro.

  3. Stage 3: Sending Your Sequence to Color

    If Color is installed on the same computer as Final Cut Pro, you can select the sequence and choose File > Send To > Color. The project data is automatically transferred to Color using XML and is converted to a Color project.

    If Color is on a remote computer, you can select your sequence and choose File > Export > XML. Copy the XML file and all of the necessary media files to a hard disk and bring it to the Color system, then import the XML file into Color.

  4. Stage 4: Color Correcting in Color

    Use the tools in Color to color correct each clip in your sequence.

  5. Stage 5: Sending Your Color Project Back to Final Cut Pro

    After you finish working in Color, you’ll render every clip in your Color project to create a new set of color-corrected media files. When you send the Color project back to Final Cut Pro, the resulting sequence refers to the new color-corrected media files.

    Note: You can also use an EDL to transfer clip information between Final Cut Pro and Color; however, your functionality will be much more limited. This workflow is recommended only for projects being reconformed and finished at 2K resolution in Color.

    For detailed instructions on all of the above steps, see the Color User Manual, available in Color Help.