A Strange Problem Indeed

So, on Saturday, I left my computer for 20 minutes; I was working on a project, when I came back, the Gamma seemed to have gone completely wrong.  Everything was too dark.

I work on an Mid 2010 8 Core Mac Pro with 14 gb of RAM two displays, one an LG M2780D, the other a cheap DGIM, both in 1080p LED though.

Now it’s probably safe to say, I’m a pessimist, especially when it comes to equipment and computers.  So, I thought, well I’ll have a look at how it looks on Color, to see if the problem may be just to do with Final Cut Pro, but in Color it was even worse, all I could see was a bizarre display of random pixels (mainly Red).

Being quite Savvy, I thought I can fix this.  I tried all the regular things, shutting down and starting up again, resetting the PRAM, NVRAM and SMC.  But it wasn’t working.  Right well, what would the next step be?  Well, before I reload anything, I may as well try without the new 8gb RAM upgrade I just added.  So I took that out…it didn’t work.  I tried unplugging the displays.  I tried new settings.  I tried deleting the plists for Final Cut, thinking it was an XML error coincidentally with a Gamma fault..that didn’t work.  I tried repairing disk permissions on the Disk Utility – nope.

I tried ignoring the computer.  I tried screaming at it.  I tried deleting and Re-Installing all of Final Cut Studio.  That didn’t work.  I tried re-installing Mac OSx from 10.6.4 … nope.  You can see where this is going.  So, when I started working this morning, editing some SD footage for a client (don’t ask).  I usually edit in Prores 422 HQ – some people moan about the file-size, but I like it.  However I decided to edit in Prores 422 LT, the SD footage was killing me, took ages to do anything.  When I started editing, I noticed that the display kept changing the brightness of the footage every time I pressed play.  Except it wasn’t doing it on my other projects still.  I’m not really sure why or how it happened, but FCP “quit unexpectedly”  and I decided to change the display settings, on my 2nd screen to ones I’d calibrated myself, when I loaded it up again, suddenly all was alright.  So I played around a bit and discovered that FCS really doesn’t like the HD-709A settings, but did like my settings.  So I quit and changed them on both screens, setting the native gamma to 1.8 on both and adjusting each accordingly.  Now it works.  I have no real idea what was wrong, needless to say the people at Apple were “interested”.

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