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When working with Final Cut Pro, have you ever seen these funny looking green stripes "zebra stripes" in your Viewer or Canvas?  This happens when you press the keyboard shortcut (ctrl z).  Press (ctrl z) again to remove the 'zebra stripes'.

The Zebra Stripes look somewhat like animated diagonal marching lines that are superimposed over areas of an image that are over or close to the legal broadcast limit.  They are enabled when you use the Final Cut Pro range-checking options.

NTSC Broadcast Luminance levels are measure in something called IRE (Institute of Radio Engineers).  Anything over 100 IRE is outside the legal limits of broadcasting an NTSC signal.

You'll see a green checkmark indicating whether or not you are within the legal range of luminance values.  Sometimes you'll see an exclamation point with a yellow triangle. When 'range check' is on Final Cut Pro will display one of three indicators.

green_zebra_stripes_fcp_viewer.gif


A green checkmark means everything is good to go, which means there are no luminance values that exceed 90 IRE. 

A green checkmark with an up-arrow means there are some areas that exceed 90 IRE, but you are still within legal range.

A yellow checkmark means there are luminance values that exceed 100 IRE.

You can see these IRE values by looking at the waveform within the Video Scope.  The video scope is under the tools menu within the Final Cut Pro menu bar.

IRE_indicators.gif

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) mandates that broadcasters adhere to broadcast safe levels. 

You can use the range check feature to ensure that you're video levels are within the legal broadcast specifications for broadcast.

There are a variety of simple ways to correct an image that exceeds 100 IRE.  One method is to use the brightness and contrast filter found under the image control category within the effects palette.

brightness_contrast_filter.gif

Drop the filter onto your clip and adjust it's parameters within the Filter tab. Adjust the brightness slider until the luminance levels fall within broadcast save limits.

brightness_slider.gif

You'll know you are good to go when the green lines dissapear, and/or the yellow checkmark turns into a green checkmark.
zebrastripes.gif





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Setting the Anchor Point in Final Cut Pro was the previous entry in this blog.

Automatic Compression Markers in Final Cut Pro is the next entry in this blog.

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