Final Cut Pro X 10.4 simplifies working in HDR

Final Cut Pro X iMac HDR support 20171214

The release of FCPX version 10.4 adds a lot of functionality and allows for smarter workflows when mastering in HDR. 10.4 supports most popular HDR formats, including Rec. 2020 Hybrid Log Gamma and Rec. 2020 HDR10.

For a lot of us, the idea of editing and mastering in HDR is still a foreign concept. While HDR is still in its infancy, make no mistake, it is coming, and sooner rather than later you are going to get a request to deliver material in HDR. With the added support for HDR now built right into FCPX, it’s as good a time as any to learn how to do it. To take advantage of this though you will need a separate HDR capable monitor.

FCPX 10.4

With this new update Final Cut Pro gains access to an expanded range of brightness levels so that editors can output video to HDR monitors using I/O devices from AJA and Blackmagic with brightness levels up to 10,000 nits. The new color grading tools support both HDR and Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) video, and with tone mapping, users can easily change HDR to SDR output for broadcast.

FCPX 10.4

If you happen to own an Atomos monitor/recorder such as the Ninja Inferno or Sumo19 working in the HLG format of HDR (developed by the BBC and NHK) just got a lot easier. Using a compatible Atomos recorder you can record and burn in the HLG and REC.2020 colour gamut metadata directly into the video clip at the point of acquisition. This metadata is then automatically recognised by FCP X 10.4 when the clip is imported. HDR project settings can also be automatically generated when an Atomos HLG clip is dropped in. The metadata stays all the way through the pipeline right to export using Compressor, and on to video sharing platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.

FCPX 10.4

If you prefer to shoot Log and output in either the HDR10 or HLG standard, then the process is also simplified, although not quite as automated. You can bring Log footage into FCP X 10.4 and then manually assign a gamma based on the camera type.

Atomos Sumo19

You can also use Atomos HDR monitors and monitor/recorders as a cost-effective way to preview and edit HDR content when connected via an appropriate I/O device to your Mac. The larger Sumo19 and Sumo19M production monitors are a good choice for doing this. Several models can also take the video output from FCP X 10.4, transform it, and attach the correct metadata to allow it to display on a consumer HDR TV in either HDR10 or HLG.

Have you had to deliver any content in HDR? Let us know in the comments section below

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