FxAndy - Reference Guide

Reference guide for FxAndy - Film Simulation for Final Cut.

Source Material Compatibility

FxAndy FCP can process both 8-bit RGB and 32-bit floating point RGB. RT previews are done in an optimized 8-bit pathway for speed. Final renders are full precision floating point for best quality. Even in final mode, however, FxAndy is quite fast!

FxAndy FCP directly and correctly supports linear, 1.8 and 2.2 gamma source material. Other gammas are not specifically supported by FCP as far as I am aware.

Native YUV processing is not supported at this time.

A Note About Units

Most slider controls in FxAndy are set using Stops*100. This means that a change in brightness or contrast of one stop (a doubling of light level) is represented by a change of 100.

The dMAX final contrast slider is set using log10 units, where 5 represents 1:100,000, 4 1:10,000, and so on through 1 representing 1:10 and 0 representing 1:1.

Parameter Reference

Please refer to the parameter panel, shown at right.

Shooting Stock (no keyframes)

Chooses a film stock to simulate. The demo version contains two films:

  • Color Positive - Ektachrome 65T (9.3) - Kodak
  • Color Positive - Velvia 100T (8.8) - Fujifilm

The number in parenthesis is the technical input dynamic range of the stock, measured from just under peak dMAX to just over unexposed. Technical dynamic range is not usable dynamic range, which varies according to the curves and sensitivity of the stock. In general, assume usable dynamic range of a stock to be 2-3 stops less..

Note that company and product names shown may be trademarks or registered trademarks and are used here solely for reference purposes. The use of these names must not be taken as an endorsement or a representation of accuracy. FxAndy is a simulator only.

Print Stock (no keyframes)

Choose a printing stock, if available for chosen shooting stock. Printing is a second exposure using the density data from the first exposure. In other words, when printing, two simulations are run back-to-back.

Dynamic Range slider (keyframable)

Specifies the contrast of the source material in stops from deep black to white. Should be realistically set for your capture device. In general, the following chart applies:

Motion JPEG, AVCHD, H.264 or other consumer compressor:

  • Point & Shoot, low bitrate, night, indoors - 500-600 (five stops)
  • Point & Shoot, high bitrate, daylight outdoors - 600-700 (six stops)
  • HDV, high bitrate, 600-800 (six to eight stops)
  • DSLR, high bitrate, low ISO - 700-800 (seven stops)

ProRes, R3D, TIFF or other professional datacine format:

  • Digital Cinema Camera - 800-1000 (eight to ten stops)
  • Film scanner - 900-1200 (nine to twelve stops)

Do not overestimate the capabilities of your capture device. Doing so will cause unpleasant banding and speckles in the shadows.

When in doubt, underestimate or perform real world tests to determine the capabilities of your device and compression scheme. The best simulation begins with the most carefully captured and considered data.

Camera Exposure slider (keyframable)

Controls the brightness of the scene sent through the simulated film, in stops. Increase to make the final image brighter. Decrease to darken it.

Printing Exposure slider (keyframable)

Only appears when a printing stock is chosen. Controls the brightness of the scene sent through the simulated printing stock, in stops. Increase to make the final image brighter. Decrease to darken it.

Final Exposure slider (keyframable)

Controls the illumination of the final transparency or paper. Increase to make the image brighter, decrease to darken it.

Combine camera underexposure with push/pull overexposure for alternate contrast effects.

Colour Filter selector (keyframable)

Adds a colour filter in front of the virtual camera lens. The filtration happens in linear space, so some colours can seem oversaturated compared to those chosen from the colour pickers.

When Color Process is turned off, the colour filter applies before the spectral condenser and thus may be used to create various levels of spectral sensitivity. In other words, a red filter will cause blue objects to appear dark, while a blue filter will cause blue objects to be light and red objects to be dark.

Film Latitude Adjustment (keyframable)

Adds or removes exposure latitude (contrast) across the primary (film) response curve.

Print Latitude Adjustment (keyframable)

Only appears when a print stock is used. Adds or removes exposure latitude (contrast) across the secondary (print) response curve.

Final DMAX (keyframable)

Sets the contrast level of black vs. white in the final output. Should be left at 5 except when you specifically want to expressly simulate the not-really-black levels of traditional media.

Since typical projection & presentation methods introduce their own not-really-black issues, this is typically not necessary to get a good simulation. However, it can produce very authentic looking results if you are specifically going for an antique film look.

Colour Process (no keyframes)

When Colour Process is enabled, all three colour channels are treated separately according to the specific rules of the simulated film and/or paper. Note that if either film or paper is a monochromatic (B&W) emulsion, its spectral response will be honoured but each colour channel will be processed individually through the monochrome path causing a full colour output. In this way, you can use the response characteristics of a B&W film for creating colour output.

If you don't want full colour output, turn off Colour Process. When off, incoming colour channel data is condensed according to the spectral response of the film/paper, modulated by the colour filter, and then summed to a single monochromatic value. Note that, even if Colour Process is off, if you are using colour sensitive film/paper, you may get colour tinted output as the response curve of that film/paper might not be identical across the spectrum.

If you want totally desaturated B&W output, you'll need to use a desaturation filter after FxAndy.

Exposure Assistant (no keyframes)

When enabled, the image is modified to show you both over-exposure and under-exposure in the processing chain. Do not inadvertently leave this option enabled when you perform final renders!

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