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FCPX A/V Output - Show Custom Overlay (from Viewer menu) 29 Sep 2022 10:34 #122304

Is there a way to apply an overlay to the A/V output in FCPX?

Works completely fine inside FCPX, but I am hoping there is way to apply it directly to the A/V output.

Or maybe this is something I should rather send a feature request for?

Thanks!

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Last edit: by leonvisser.

FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 29 Sep 2022 16:08 #122308

  • dgwvideo
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No way that I am aware of. Apple states that the AV output is a clean signal free of any overlays, so unless someone created a hack to do this, I don't believe it is possible.
Creating history....one edit at a time !

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FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 29 Sep 2022 16:19 #122309

  • DaveM
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In addition to what Dan said, which is mentioned in the FCP User Guide:

support.apple.com/en-ca/guide/final-cut-...04/10.6.2/mac/11.5.1

you might consider adding an additional UI display to your system and move the Viewer(s) to it from within FCP. Then, you'd see the various overlays...

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Last edit: by DaveM.

FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 29 Sep 2022 16:43 #122310

Thanks all.

Yeah, I am fully aware of the limitations set out in the user manual. I was hoping there is some sort of third party plugin or a work around.

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FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 29 Sep 2022 17:20 #122311

What kind of overlay are you looking for? Fx Factory's free Adjustment layers plugin has a good "Guides" overlay that will appear in the viewer. I like it because I can adjust the horizontal and vertical guide location.

fxfactory.com/info/adjustmentlayers/

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FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 29 Sep 2022 18:03 #122312

What kind of overlay are you looking for? Fx Factory's free Adjustment layers plugin has a good "Guides" overlay that will appear in the viewer. I like it because I can adjust the horizontal and vertical guide location.

fxfactory.com/info/adjustmentlayers/

I just want to overlay a simple letterbox. Footage was shot in 16:9, but editing in 2.40:1. Problem is something like this adjustment layer plugin is great if you're working in a timeline, same as just using a simple png, but only works in a timeline.

What I need is to see the letterbox overlay in clips I am viewing from the browser.

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FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 29 Sep 2022 20:40 #122313

I don’t have an access to a real AV out at the moment, but for any kind of custom overlays you can use my X-Overlays www.spherico.com/filmtools/Utilities/FCPX/X-Overlays/index.html
Million of options with it and easy to create 😎

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FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 29 Sep 2022 20:55 #122314

  • DaveM
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MWoods, the control points and other UI indicators don't show up in the A/V Output. The "guides" do, as well as other titles and effects. Thanks for mentioning the free adjustment layers. They do some cool things.

Andreas, your custom overlays, like the built-in title safe and horizon overlays do not show up in A/V Output...

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Last edit: by DaveM.

FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 29 Sep 2022 21:07 #122316

Hmm,

That’s bad.
But you still can load them like an adjustment layer.
Maybe using a symlink to photos.

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FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 30 Sep 2022 09:27 #122317

Thanks all, but like I stated before I have no issues with the adjustment layer and/or effects options in the timeline. It is solely for when I am reviewing clips in the browser.

For e.g. in Avid or Resolve you can set project level blanking. So if all the footage was recorded 16:9 you can set it to pillarbox it to 4:3 or letterbox it to 2.40:1 or whatever else and then every single viewer including external monitors will have this applied. On top of that you can resize and move the image around without affecting the blanking. And better yet it even pulls through to export as well.

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FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 30 Sep 2022 15:46 #122318

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Thanks for providing the additional info and clarifications (which would have been nice if included in your original post).

In FCP, you can create a new project (timeline) and specify the frame size. If your footage is HD (1920 x 1080) but you want a "more cinematic" look with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, you can create a new project with a frame size of 1920 x 817. Then, clips added to the timeline (if they're 1920 x 1080) could be set to have their spatial conform to "none". Reframing can be achieved with the transform tool. On output, the video file created with be 1920 x 817 (no letterboxing). You can extrapolate this workflow to other situations.

For 16:9 aspect ratio output, you can add an adjustment layer, e.g., "Widescreen" from the aforementioned "Adjustment Layers", or you could use the Crop tool to create letterboxing or pillarboxing...

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FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 30 Sep 2022 16:13 #122319

Thanks DaveM and apologies for not making myself clear sooner.

Unfortunately your suggestion is also only limited to what is seen in the timeline and doesn't work in my situation, because my output device - BlackMagic UltraStudio - expects a broadcast standard 4:3 or 16:9 signal, so when you do a custom ratio it sends that signal out and stretches it to fit 4:3 or 16:9. I have tried it that way before, or kept it in a 16:9 timeline and applied an adjustment layer or a simple png file that contains the letterbox. That is all perfectly fine for working in the timeline and for final export.

My issue is viewing 16:9 material with the 2.40:1 blanking/crop applied on a library level to my A/V output devices.

I am working on a feature film where all the material is recorded 16:9 due to the way the cameras work, but we're finishing 2.40:1. So when I am reviewing material it needs to have that crop applied in all instances, not just in the timeline. What I explained in my last post about Avid and Resolve is exactly that - project/library level blanking - so the master project is still 16:9 ratio to maintain delivery and monitoring standards (Avid doesn't even allow for custom ratios), but both has a setting where a mask/blanking is applied to make it appear as 2.40:1 with black bars.

My FSI CM250 broadcast monitor has a built in feature to apply blanking or guide lines, so for my personal viewing purposes that is perfect. However my client monitor is a regular TV that doesn't have that kind of functionality.

Hope that makes more sense?

Thanks!

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FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 30 Sep 2022 16:24 #122320

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Cool. Thanks for explaining things.

My "client monitor" is an LG OLED TV. I have it connected to the HDMI output on my Mac Pro. The TV is shown as an additional display in macOS's Displays System Preference. Using FCP's A/V Output feature, the TV shows the blanking for both custom frame sizes and where an adjustment layer or cropping is used on a 16:9 timeline.

It's surprising that the BMD UltraStudio can't properly handle custom resolutions/aspect ratios. I would think that there would be a setting to make it work (or at least do something similar to what your FSI display does)...

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Last edit: by DaveM.

FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 30 Sep 2022 16:39 #122321

Yeah, I posted this exact question on BMD's forum hoping there will be a solution on their side, but they're probably not really interested in finding a solution as it works perfectly fine with Resolve.

And the direct HDMI is definitely a good option, but then how do I run A/V output to two different devices at the same time? Especially a pro monitor like the FSI that only has SDI. Guess you can get some sort of HDMI splitter and loop it back via an HDMI to SDI converter.

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FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 30 Sep 2022 16:50 #122322

  • DaveM
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Is the UltraStudio a Thunderbolt-connected device? If it is and has a Thunderbolt "pass-thru" daisychain port on it, you could probably use that as a source for the TV (via a converter, if needed). The idea being to somehow get a Thunderbolt/HDMI signal to the TV that hasn't been "processed" by the UltraStudio. Don't know if that would help you...

The UltraStudio is supposed to work with FCP, so I'd say it's a bug if it isn't properly working with FCP... ???

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Last edit: by DaveM.

FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 30 Sep 2022 17:08 #122323

The UltraStudio works perfectly fine with FCP. The problem is the custom overlay feature doesn't output via A/V Output.

From Apple's own website about third party output devices:

support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/final-cut-pro/vera5b0c804/mac

"The viewer contents appear on the broadcast monitor. Viewer features (such as onscreen controls and the title-safe and action-safe overlays) appear only in Final Cut Pro."

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FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 30 Sep 2022 17:20 #122324

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The UltraStudio works perfectly fine with FCP. The problem is the custom overlay feature doesn't output via A/V Output.

From Apple's own website about third party output devices:

support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/final-cut-pro/vera5b0c804/mac

"The viewer contents appear on the broadcast monitor. Viewer features (such as onscreen controls and the title-safe and action-safe overlays) appear only in Final Cut Pro."

Yup, I mentioned that specifically earlier in this thread... ;-)

We are not talking about View menu overlays. We are talking about custom frame sizes (and corresponding aspect ratios). Also, applied effects, such as "overlays" made with adjustment layers do show up in the A/V Output (with my described setup).

And, in my last post, I mentioned that this all works (besides the built-in or custom overlays chosen in FCP's View menu) with a TV or display connected directly to the computer and used with FCP's A/V Output feature.

I'm confused...

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Last edit: by DaveM.

FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 30 Sep 2022 20:14 #122325

There's a big concern in setting a 2.40:1 overlay at the event level instead of just dealing with it in the timeline. That's because you can't assume that the best framing is vertically centered. It's quite likely that because it was shot 16:9 and and you need to crop it, that you might have to subjectively tilt each shot up or down for optimal framing. However, if you do want to work with a crop, then simply create letterboxed proxies externally and attach them them to your high-res media. Then work in a custom timeline.

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FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 01 Oct 2022 06:21 #122330

Thank you all so much for the suggestions thus far.

I must deeply apologise, I reread my original post and realised I was super vague (I was very tired at the time of writing it). Sorry!

My one and only question is actually this:

Is there a way to go in the Viewer to the drop down - Viewer > Choose Custom Overlay (in my case a PNG 2.40:1 letterbox image) and let it also display on a third party A/V output device.

If set up in that way all the instances of what I view (from timeline/project or events in the browser) has the overlay applied to it in the Viewer except for going out via A/V Output via my BlackMagic UltraStudio to my FSI CM250 broadcast monitor or LG OLED TV.

Oliver, in my case there is no concern. The whole pipeline was discussed at length all the way from pre-production, camera tests, production and now post-production. The camera is a Sony Venice 2 that can only record the full frame of the sensor at 8.2K in a 17:9 DCI ratio (doesn't have in camera options like a Red to choose 2.40:1 as a shooting aspect ratio other than actually using anamorphic lenses with built-in de-squeeze). What is recorded and viewed by the director on set is recorded with these settings, but all the on-set monitors has either guides or full black bars applied to show the final intended ratio of 2.40:1. The lab then processes these super high res raw files, with the show LUT applied, down to 16:9 HD ProRes LT files (without guides or burned in letterbox) for editorial which then creates small black bars top and bottom due to the original 17:9 ratio. Those small bars are then used to display burned in source timecode, raw filename, scene, slate, take and copyright information. Editorial receives the files like this and use that information to process the files with continuity sheets and cross check camera reports to ensure all footage has been properly processed and backed up. After all that I receive a library with all the processed footage. I then apply a custom overlay via the option I mentioned above to see everything in 2.40:1 and apply the same overlay to my FSI CM250 via its built in feature, but then I am left with my LG OLED TV still seeing the full frame.

The extra image top and bottom is technically not part of the final film, but it gives us the opportunity to reframe vertically, use it for object tracking, etc. And yes, I do end up applying an overlay or crop on the timeline for edit viewings with the director/producers and my assistant also uses that for any interim exports. Once the offline edit is locked and editorial turns it over to sound, vfx or color/finishing we remove the letterbox so that they can see all the burned in info in case of possible conform issues (we also at this step burn in the master timecode). All of them then also use guides or overlays for their pipelines until the final product is rendered in UHD 16:9 with the 2.40:1 letterbox burned in. Afaik this is standard practice in the high end film industry - never apply burned in blanking/letterbox to the material at any point in the pipeline up until final export.

So in short the requirement I have is very intentional and expected in the environment I am working in which is dominated by Avid that has this feature built in at project level (and Resolve for color work, even think ProTools has a feature for this), but I very much prefer working in FCPX instead.

Side note, this morning I also tested running a HDMI cable straight from the Mac's output to the TV and the Viewer > Choose Custom Overlay feature also doesn't work. So as Apple's site stated, this isn't possible via any A/V output option. Guess I am hoping for a third party solution like a setting on the BM UltraStudio or something.

I hope that clears up my original post and sorry once again.

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FCPX A/V Output - Overlays 01 Oct 2022 14:39 #122334

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Leon, thanks for taking the time to describe your workflow. It's very educational and I find it quite helpful and informative.

It does seem that any sort of overlay applied via the View menu overlay functionality (built-in or custom) only shows up in the FCP Viewer.

One thing that may work ("should"***) is to insert one of the BMD ATEM devices between your Ultrastudio and your LG TV. You would then use the keyer or overlay functionality (e.g., using a PNG graphic like you've tried in FCP) to create a downstream key or overlay. That should do what you want. Here's a very short overview of adding a graphic to a video signal:



It is unfortunate that this can't be done from within FCP. Hope this helps...




*** I don't have the gear to test this myself, hence "should"... of course, the choice of specific ATEM device needed depends on your monitoring signal. I couldn't locate an UltraStudio manual to see if any sort of overlay/keying functionality is included (and not knowing which model of UltraStudio you are using may be a factor)...

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Last edit: by DaveM.