Final Cut Pro 2.0 and Cleaner
A quick solution to luminance issues
By Stephen Schleicher

have recently become addicted to Final Cut Pro as my editing software of choice. I can't believe how simple yet powerful this $1,000 package is. From my recent post projects, I have discovered that this NLE does everything I need it to do and more. In some of the other NLE systems I have worked with, I was constantly sending stuff out to After Effects for graphic treatments. Not so in FCP, as I can have a practically unlimited amount of video layers to mix and layer graphics quickly and easily.

Last week we received a Matrox RTMac card to help streamline our edit sessions and to provide some real-time processes to our system. We also upgraded to the latest version of Final Cut Pro that takes advantage of the RTMac's power. Everything was working fine until I added a graphic layer on top of my video. All of a sudden, I was experiencing a luminance shift every time I did a dissolve or added a second layer of graphics. This resulted in some hair pulling and gnashing of teeth as I started cursing all computers and NLEs as a bane to everyone doing post work.

A fast look at the Apple, Matrox, and WWUG forums proved that I was not the only one experiencing this problem. I have found a solution and believe this may be a fix for the 95 percent of you who are fighting this very same problem.

The problem is actually not with the RTMac or Final Cut Pro 2.0, but another very common program that video professionals may have installed on their system. Media 100's Cleaner (4 or 5) appears to be the culprit. Or, more specifically, some of the Codecs that were installed when Cleaner was put on our system. It appears that some of the codecs force Final Cut Pro sequences to render in and lock in RGB mode, thus causing the shifts in color.

The solution? Turn off the RadDVCodec and The RadDVDecoder in your Extensions Manager. Upon restarting the system, I no longer experienced this luminance shift during transitions or layering of graphics. If you are still having problems, the RadDVCodec extension may not be the only one forcing FCP to render in RGB; you may need to turn off several other Codecs to solve the problem. You should also make a mental note to turn these extensions back on before going into Cleaner for any compression work (or saving a separate extension set for use with Cleaner).

This quick solution worked for our editing system, and it may also be the answer for the thousands of others who are suffering through the same nightmare.


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