iPhone DolbyVision HDR Workflow in Final Cut Pro

This video was created for the FxFactory YouTube Channel.

Video Transcript:

In this video, I’d like to show you how to properly edit and deliver iPhone 12 Pro Max Dolby Vision HDR footage in Final Cut Pro X.

I’ve got some footage shot with my new iPhone 12 Pro Max.

What’s the difference between Standard Dynamic Range - SDR - footage and HDR?

Standard Dynamic Range is captured in Rec 709 and has 100 nits of brightness.

HDR is captured in Rec 2020 with a wider color gamut and up to 10K nits of brightness, though this is more like 1000 nits in the real world with current playback equipment.

DolbyVision HDR Footage

Currently as the iPhone 12 Pro Max is released, if you’re a FCP user, you will only be able to edit DolbyVision HDR footage on the iPhone, but a promised late 2020 release of FCP will allow it.

Adobe’s Premiere Pro and Davinci Resolve currently have existing workflows for Dolby Vision HDR

You can use FCP to edit HLG HDR or Hybrid Log Gamma HDR.

Adding HDR Clip to SDR Project

In FCP, start by setting up a wide gamut HDR library.

Choose New Library, click Modify, and set it to wide gamut HDR.

You now have an HDR project. Import your video clips.

Create a new project with automatic settings and drop your shots on that timeline.

You can verify that everything is working by checking that your project is set to Rec 2020 HLG.

My MacBook Pro can't display HDR footage properly, neither can my older Flanders Scientific Grading monitor, (show picture) I'd need an HDR monitor for that connected via an I/O device.

The clips look blown out in the browser and timeline but in the viewer, it looks fine. This is because in the View menu for the viewer, "Show HDR as Tone Mapped" is checked.

A side note -- If you're mixing SDR and HDR footage on the same timeline, you'll need to deal with the HDR.

Add the HDR Tools effect from the Color category in the effects browser to the HDR clips to Tone Map the HDR footage and display it properly on this timeline. You might need to do some further grading so the clips don't look blown out.

Jumping back to our HDR program --once it's edited, we can share it on YouTube, which supports HDR or SDR playback depending on the viewing hardware.

Current consumer hardware includes AppleTV 4K connected to supported TVs, and of course, the iPhone you shot your footage on.

Export a master file as ProRes 422. Note the Color Space on the export dialogue is Wide Gamut HDR, Rec 2020 HLG.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max with Dolby Vision HDR puts a lot of power into the hands of consumers and professionals alike.

The current workflow in FCP is great, but looking forward to seeing how the native workflow will be for HDR in the next release of FCP.


Final Cut Pro and HDR Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to have an HDR monitor and camera to edit HDR content in Final Cut Pro?

No, you do not need an HDR monitor or camera to edit HDR content in FCP. The only requirement is that your computer has a recent version of FCP installed. This powerful editing software is equipped with a range of built-in tools and features that make it easy to work with HDR media, including support for importing and editing Dolby Vision content. Whether you are new to HDR editing or an experienced professional, FCP makes it simple and seamless to create stunning HDR videos.

What are some of the key advantages of working with HDR content in Final Cut Pro?

One of the key advantages of working with HDR content in FCP is that it gives you access to a wide range of creative tools and effects. With this software, you can easily add color grading, transitions, titles, and other effects to your media to create truly cinematic videos. Additionally, FCP makes it easy to work with HDR media from a variety of sources, including professional cinema cameras and consumer-grade DSLRs. Whether you are shooting in 4K or 8K resolution, FCP enables you to create videos that truly stand out.

How does Final Cut Pro support Dolby Vision content?

DolbyVision is a high-quality HDR format that is widely used in professional video content, and FCP fully supports this standard. With FCP, you can import Dolby Vision media, edit it seamlessly within the software, and then export your final video in any resolution, format, or frame rate that you desire. Additionally, this powerful editing software includes advanced color-grading tools that allow you to create vivid, accurate colorimetry for your HDR videos.

Where is the HDR tools effect in FCP

The HDR tools effect is located in the Effects browser, under the Video category. Once you have imported your Dolby Vision media into Final Cut Pro and applied any other desired effects or color grading to your video, simply select the HDR tools effect and drag it onto your clip in the timeline. From there, you can customize a range of settings, including brightness, contrast, and color balance, to create the perfect look for your HDR video.

How do you use HDR in Final Cut Pro?

There are several different ways to use HDR in FCP, depending on your editing goals and the type of media that you are working with. Some basic steps to get started include importing your Dolby Vision or other HDR media into the software, applying any desired color grading or special effects, and then exporting your finished video in any resolution, format, or frame rate that you desire.

How do you change SDR to HDR in FCP?

There is no direct way to convert SDR media to HDR in FCP, as this would require altering the underlying source video or image data.

However, you can use a variety of built-in tools and effects within FCP to create stunning HDR videos from your existing content. Some options for achieving this include applying color grading and special effects to your media, adjusting the brightness and contrast of individual clips, or applying a range of professional-grade color presets.

Ultimately, the key is to experiment with different settings and editing techniques until you find the perfect combination that produces the results you are looking for.

Can you change an HDR video to normal?

While it is possible to export your HDR video in a standard dynamic range (SDR) format, there is no direct way to change an existing HDR video into a normal format within FCP.

However, depending on the source media that you are working with, there may be some other tools and effects available within the software that can help you achieve the desired results.

One option would be to use color correction tools to adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation levels of your video. Another option would be to apply HDR-specific effects such as bloom or vignette, which can help to recreate some of the visual characteristics of normal videos. Ultimately, the key is to experiment with different options and settings until you find the ones that work best for you.

Regardless of what approach you take, it is important to always keep your ultimate editing goals in mind when working with HDR content. With the right tools and techniques, you can create amazing videos that truly stand out using Final Cut Pro and Dolby Vision media.

Does FCP support HDR?

Yes, FCP does support HDR, or high dynamic range, video content. This standard has become increasingly popular for creating high-quality, visually rich video content, and Final Cut Pro fully supports this standard. With Final Cut Pro, you can import Dolby Vision media, edit it seamlessly within the software, and then export your final videos in the desired resolution, format, and frame rate. There are also a range of tools and effects available within Final Cut Pro that can be used to customize your HDR videos, including color grading, special effects, brightness adjustments, and more.

How do I turn on HDR in Final Cut Pro?

There is no direct way to "turn on" HDR in Final Cut Pro, as this functionality is determined by the underlying source video or image data.

See the steps above to create a project in HDR, import a wide gamut HDR clip or clips and you've got an HDR project.

How do you fix HDR washed out in FCPX?

If your HDR clips look blown out in the browser and timeline, in the View menu for the viewer, check "Show HDR as Tone Mapped" and it will format the HDR properly.

Or you can double click HDR Tools effect from the Color heading in the effects browser to add it to the HDR clips and Tone Map the HDR clips to display them properly on the timeline. You might need to do some further grading so the clips don't look unnatural.

What is A Wide Gamut HDR Clip in FCPX?

Wide gamut HDR, or wide color gamut HDR, is a type of high dynamic range (HDR) content that uses a larger color space than standard HDR formats. This allows for more accurate and richly colored video content, which can help to create striking visuals and immersive viewing experiences. At the same time, it is important to note that wide-color gamut content can be more demanding in terms of processing power and editing tools, so it is important to use a video editor like FCP that supports this standard.

What are HLG Clips?

HLG clips, or hybrid log gamma clips, are a type of HDR content that make use of both standard dynamic range (SDR) and high dynamic range (HDR) formats. This allows for more flexibility when editing and exporting your videos, as HLG clips can be viewed in their full HDR glory on compatible devices, while being viewed in standard dynamic range on other devices. This makes HLG clips a popular choice for creators who want to reach the widest possible audience with their content.

How do I convert HDR clips to SDR?

There is no direct way to convert HDR video to SDR, as this process typically involves using advanced editing tools and color grading effects. However, some video converters can be used to convert the colorspace of your HDR video, making it compatible with standard display devices. To do this, you would need to import your HDR content into a video converter and then adjust the settings to change the color profile of the video. This will allow you to export your final videos in an SDR format that can be viewed on any device, regardless of its display capabilities.

Where is the HDR tool in FCPX?

The HDR tool can be found in the Color heading of the effects browser in FCP. To access it, simply open the effects browser and look for the HDR Tools effect under the Color category. From there, you can drag and drop this effect onto your desired clips to apply it, or use the controls within this effect to customize your HDR videos as desired.

Is Rec 709 the same as HDR?

No, Rec 709 is not the same as HDR. Rec 709 is a standard dynamic range (SDR) color profile that is commonly used for video content and display devices. By contrast, high dynamic range (HDR) content uses a wider color space and higher bit depth to produce brighter colors and more nuanced details, resulting in more realistic and immersive visuals.

How do you edit HDR on iPhone FCP?

To edit HDR content on your iPhone in FCP, you will first need to create a project that is HDR and import the desired clips into it. Once your clips are imported, you can use basic editing tools like cut, copy, and paste to rearrange your media as needed. You may also want to apply color grading effects or other advanced editing tools to adjust the look of your HDR video content.

Finally, you can export your final video in an appropriate format for playback on a range of devices. For example, if you want to view your videos in standard dynamic range (SDR), you may need to convert the colorspace or use a video converter to achieve this goal.

Alternatively, if you want to display your videos in their full HDR glory, you may need to upload them directly to a compatible device or platform that supports this format.

How do I make an HDR project in FCPX?

To create a project that is HDR in FCP, simply go to the "File" menu and select the option to create a new project. Next, select the "HDR 1080p 24fps" preset from the dropdown menu, which will create an appropriate project with all of the relevant settings pre-configured for you.

Once your HDR project is created, you can start importing your HDR video clips and begin editing them as needed.