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Use False Colour to Get Perfect White Balances with Pro Color Monitor

Pro Color Monitor is a new standalone app that allows an editor to use false colour in a video or photo editing application. The false colour shows which way the color correction controls should be adjusted to remove casts for a perfect white balance.

It has been a busy week here on FCP.co, it might not look it, but we have been hard at work updating all the software needed to run the site. 

So when a spare hour came up, we thought we would take a look at Pro Color Monitor, an app from Morten Carlsen that helps the user get a good white balance in video and photo editing apps.

Doesn't Final Cut Pro X have a built-in white balance colour picker? Yes it does and of course we welcome the feature back to FCP, but it can give some unpredictable results.

The $36 app Pro Color Monitor takes a different and more accurate approach. 

The app sits on top of the video or photo editor. The user then selects a box area of the screen by selecting the top left and bottom right of the area. 

This area is then replicated in 'false colour' in the Pro Color Monitor app. It's not a screen grab, it remains 'live' for the time it is open.

False colour shows the way to push the colour correction controls to get rid of a cast. If you see blue, push the controls towards blue until it goes white.

pro color monitor fcpx 1

As with any piece of software, seeing it in action is a lot easier than trying to imagine working it from words. Here is the second of Morten's tutorials as it gets straight into the colour correction process.

At first we were a bit sceptical about the app, but the more we watched the video above, we saw how this could fit into a colour correction workflow and speed the process up.

The app doesn't run inside FCPX, the window that gets drawn allows you to select any area of any mac based colour correction or image editing application. So not only will this work in FCPX, the same app will also run 'over' Motion, Photoshop, AE and Lighroom for example.

If you are using Final Cut Pro X, make sure you call up the inspector before drawing the box as everything will shift over to the right!

Who do we see using the app? It would certainly be handy for event videographers who shoot in difficult lighting conditions. Having the extensive adjustments in the color correction section in the Inspector should give a better result than just using the color picker to sample what you think is white.

Where we can see great potential is turning this app into a plugin for FCPX. It could be placed on an adjustment layer above footage and toggled on and off with the V key or in the Timeline Index. This would avoid having to define the area each time you wanted to show the false colour.

In the first video from Morten you can see how to use different methods to define the area.

 

**Update 18th March 2020 - Now support for Sierra and High Sierra**

 

An interesting colour correction add-on app, if you have had a chance to try it out, please let us know in the comments below.

 


Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.

 

BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.

FCP.co

Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!

 

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