When you’re finishing an edit it’s important to make sure that your luminance levels are “legal.” This ensures that your brightest whites won’t be “hot” and cause problems in a broadcast scenario (and that really applies to any video that might be shown on a consumer TV even if it’s not being broadcast per se).
Most of you will be familiar with the luminance range check overlay icon and its associated zebra stripes that can be turned on in the Viewer or Canvas (View>Range Check>Excess Luma) and I assume you are using it in your color correction workflow. For me, that workflow involves using the scopes and working through the timeline hand-correcting color balance and luma levels (and also a quick check of chroma levels which don’t often pose a problem). Once I’ve done the big stuff, I also often apply a broadcast safe clamp (Effects>Video Filters>Color Correction>Broadcast Safe) to be sure there are not hot spots I missed.
Well, toggling the Luma Range Check on and off is easy when you use the CTRL Z shortcut and I think this one’s well worth burning into your long term memory (more on that in a moment):
Anytime you deal with overlays in the Viewer or Canvas (as opposed to “clip overlays“), things can get a bit confusing or crowded and for that reason, I highly recommend you review my post on managing overlays in the Viewer and Canvas as a companion to learning the CTRL Z shortcut. In that article, I recommend leaving “title safe” on and memorizing the CTRL OPT W (toggle Viewer & Canvas overlays) and OPT Z (toggle timecode overlay) commands to tame overlays. Once you have those down pat, it’s now easy to add in CTRL Z for toggling luma, right? And while we’re tying these up into neat, easy-to-remember groups, it’s worth noting that the command for toggling clip overlays is CMD OPT W, so there’s a certain elegance in the fact that Viewer and Canvas overlays toggle with CTRL OPT W.
Although this command is classed as an “intermediate” level shortcut, anyone who has mastered all of the various overlay commands discussed above is truly an FCP Ninja.