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.
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.