To those of you who know us, it will come as no surprise, that my regular partner in crime, Chris Roberts and I have been busily immersed in learning all that we can about Final Cut Pro X. We’ve committed ourselves to the task of better understanding the nature of this curious new beast. Indeed Chris recently posted a list of shortcuts he’s found to be invaluable on the journey so far. Each new discovery or quirk results in a flurry of emails that see our inboxes overflow. Though we ask each other all manner of questions about a particular feature or workflow sometimes we’re just looking for a sanity check. Which brings us to the way the new Broadcast Safe effect works.
In legacy versions of Final Cut Pro you could apply a Broadcast Safe filter to any individual clip or Nested Sequence. It was always important to apply the filter last to prevent any subsequent changes overriding the limiting effect of Broadcast Safe. In Final Cut Pro X you can also apply the new Broadcast Safe effect to a clip or a Compound Clip. However any corrections you make to an individual clip appear to be applied after Broadcast Safe in the effects pipeline. As before any adjustments you make afterwards will overrule the effect and if you’re not careful you could push the clip outside the regulatory requirements.
- Select a clip in the Timeline.
- Choose Window > Show Color Board [⌘6].
- Click Exposure to select the Exposure pane [^⌘E].
- Choose Window > Show Video Scopes [⌘7]
- Select the Waveform scope from the settings pop-up menu.
- Drag the Highlights slider up to increase the brightness of the clip outside the broadcast safe range (past 100 IRE on the Waveform scale).
Applying Broadcast Safe to Individual Clips
- Choose Window > Media Browser > Effects to open the Effects Browser [⌘5] (or click on the Effects button in the toolbar).
- Select Basics category and double-click the Broadcast Safe effect to apply it to the selected clip.
- Choose Window > Hide Color Board [⌘6] to return to the Video inspector.
- Confirm that the Broadcast Safe Fix Method parameter is set to Reduce Luminance.
- Click to select the Broadcast Safe effect in the Video inspector and choose Mark > Delete [←] to remove the effect.
In this context the Broadcast Safe effect will not bring the highlights down within legal limits. To properly benefit from the application of the Broadcast Safe effect you need to collect your footage together in a Compound Clip.
Applying Broadcast Safe to Compound Clips
- Click in the Timeline and choose Edit > Select All [⌘A].
- Choose File > New Compound Clip [⌥G] (or right-click one of the selected clips and choose New Compound Clip from the menu).
- Double-click the Broadcast Safe effect to apply it to the selected Compound Clip.
- Skim through the clip to see that the problem clip has been adjusted and the luminance is now safely within legal limits.
In many ways the steps of applying Broadcast Safe to a Compound Clip mirror a technique we would commonly use with nested sequences in legacy versions of Final Cut Pro. The key is to understand that in both situations the order in which effects are processed defines the final outcome. With FCP X corrections you make to individual clips are addressed after all of the effects. By applying an effect to a Compound Clip you ensure it appears after any effects on individual clips in the render pipeline. In the case of Broadcast Safe this is the best way to achieve predictable results.