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Understanding Final Cut Pro Scopes

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 4/21/2011

Final Cut Pro is a great video editing software program. Video scopes help you make all of your clips look the same. So how do you use Final Cut Pro scopes? Learn more in this Final Cut tutorial.

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    What are Video Scopes?

    Scopes are tools in video editing that improve the chroma and luma levels of clips. These levels affect items such as saturation, hue and luma. Luma includes brightness, the intensity of black colors and opacity. Final Cut Pro also features scopes that will help you more accurately match the color from one of your clips with the rest of the clips.

    What is the importance of scopes? If you are combining more than one clip, then you are going to have variations in color. This makes for a choppy-looking video. Your audience may not be able to tell the difference between minor color variations, but they will notice major ones. Using scopes from Final Cut Pro ensures that your entire video looks the same.

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    Final Cut Pro offers four different types of scopes:

    • Histogram
    • Waveform Monitor
    • RGB Parade
    • Vectorscope

    The Histogram scope shows you your range of black and white values. Each clip has a luma percentage between 0 and 110 percent. The more black pixels that the clip has, the closer that percentage is to 0. The brighter it is, the closer the percentage is to 110 percent.

    Examine all of your clips, and pay attention to the black, whites and mid-tones. Then you can adjust the histogram for all of the clips so that they match each other.

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    Waveform The Waveform Monitor shows you the saturation of both the chroma and luma levels. The clip levels are displayed in waves from left to right. The dips indicate the darker areas of the images, and the spikes reflect the hotspots or lighter images.

    This scope allows you to compare saturation. The thickness of the waveform indicates that is more saturated. Change the saturation of the image in the Saturation control box.

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    RGB Parade/Vectorscope

    Vectorscope The RGB Parade scope separates a clip into blue, red and green areas. This allows you to see the different levels of each color. This helps you see the color saturation of each clip, and you can adjust each clip to match the clip that has the best levels.

    The Vectorscope shows you the hue of both the primary (red, blue and green) and secondary (cyan, magenta and yellow) colors. These are displayed on a circular scale. The center of this scale means that the color has zero saturation. The outer ring indicates the colors with the maximum amount of saturation.

    This quickly shows you the intensity of certain colors and their overall hue. This scope also has a flesh tone line, which shows you how well flesh tones show up.

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    How to Access Scopes

    To use the scopes, follow the below directions:

    1. Go to Tools, and then Video Scopes. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Option plus 9.

    2. The Layout pop-up menu will appear. Select the video scope that you want to use.

    3. Select the video clip and frame that you want to view.

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