Part 1: Legalizing Video Levels in SpeedGrade CC
Most post production non-linear editing and color correction apps have some sort of functionality for adding a discreet ‘legalize’ filter (with DaVinci Resolve being the notable exception). These filters are designed to keeping the luma and chroma components of our images from violating the Quality Control (QC) specifications of over-the-air broadcasters. Over the past 20 years, cable operator and networks of all sorts have also adopted these over-the-air QC specifications.
If a video program exceeds the QC specifications—even for a single frame—the program will be rejected and ‘bounced back’ to the postproduction facility for repair.
Clearly, having your video program rejected by a QC Department is NOT desirable. For many post pros, adding a legalizing filter is their last (and too often, first) line of defense when delivering content for broadcast.
I’ve had several emails over the past few weeks concerning SpeedGrade’s fxLegalize filter. The questions have all been variations of:
- “Where do I apply this filter?”
- “How do I create a new layer to apply the filter to if I’m working in Direct Link mode?”
- “How to do I keep a network from rejecting my video for QC reasons?”
Where to Apply the fxLegalize Filters
Whether you’re working in SpeedGrade CC, Premiere Pro CC, Final Cut 7 or any other app that has a filter for legalizing video – you always want to apply it as the last filter in the filter or effect stack.
In this Insight, I’ll show you how to do that for SpeedGrade CC when running in Direct Link mode.
I’ll also analyze how the filter works and share why it’s not a useful filter to apply without the benefit of an external waveform monitor.
How to Legalize Video for Broadcast
The broader question of how to Legalize your video to prevent it from being rejected by a network… now THAT is the money question and the broader focus of this multi-part Insight. I lay the groundwork here in Part 1 for why I personally never rely on Broadcast Safe or Legalizer filters. Ever. In Part 2, we’ll pick up where I left off and show you how I personally do the Legalization pass for a network deliverable.
Questions and Comments
Do you have a software or hardware solution for Broadcast video legalization? I’d love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below. Do you have a question about something I say in this Insight? Ask away!