This week, Apple released an important piece of the HDR workflow puzzle with FCP X 10.4. When this latest release is combined with the HDR technology inside Atomos recorders it finally makes shooting and editing in HDR as simple as good ol Rec.709. The two companies have a history of close cooperation with Apple ProRes, and these new HDR advances are an evolution of that.
From today on, working in the HLG format of HDR (developed by the BBC and NHK) is incredibly simple in FCP X 10.4. Using a compatible Atomos recorder such as the Ninja Inferno or Sumo19, you can record and burn in the HLG and REC.2020 colour gamut metadata directly into the video clip at the point of acquisition, from cameras such as the Panasonic GH5 and Sony FS5. This metadata is then automatically recognised by FCP X 10.4 when the clip is imported. HDR project settings can also be automatically generated when an Atomos HLG clip is dropped in. The metadata stays all the way through the pipeline right to export using Compressor, and on to video sharing platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. The whole process from capture to export and delivery can now be done simply in HLG.
If you prefer to shoot Log and output in either the HDR10 or HLG standard, then the process is also simplified, although not quite as automated. You can bring Log footage into FCP X 10.4 and then manually assign a gamma based on the camera type.
Using an Atomos recorder still has massive benefits as they capture at up to 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 Apple ProRes HQ quality, perfect for ensuring there is enough colour information to guarantee a good HDR result. Being ProRes this quality is maintained throughout the workflow in FCP X 10.4.
All Atomos HDR monitors and monitor / recorders can also be used as a cost-effective way to preview and edit HDR content when connected via an appropriate I/O device to your Mac. The larger Sumo19 and Sumo19M production monitors are the obvious choice for this. Several models can also take the video output from FCP X 10.4, transform it, and attach the correct metadata to allow it to display on a consumer HDR TV in either HDR10 or HLG.
These latest enhancements to FCP X put Apple right at the forefront of the HDR revolution. With Atomos and Apple you can now work in HDR like never before.
For more info check out the HDR section of the Apple FCP X 10.4 release info https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208229
For more on Atomos HDR monitor / recorders visit www.atomos.com