Maintain, optimize and troubleshoot your NLE
Professional cloud workflow platform
Simplified media management
< Blog Home

How to run Color below its minimum requirements

Color has some pretty stringent requirements. This tip will tell you how to run Color when you do not meet the minimum system requirements. Why would you want to do this? Well, maybe you have a slow machine and just want to grade a couple of simple shots or perhaps you would like to learn how to use the software before buying a new machine. Whatever the reason, here's how to do it.

Note that Apple doesn't set minimum requirements for the sake of it, and you may experience strange behavior from this tip. I wouldn't advise this for production use.

When you launch Color, it will tell you specifically what is wrong with your configuration. In this case, it is less than 128 MB of VRAM (graphics card memory).

1. Go to Applications, ctrl-click on Color and select Show Package Contents.

2. Browse to Contents/Resources.

3. Double-click minsys.plist to open it up in Property List Editor. Alternatively, you can open it in TextEdit. You might want to save a backup of this file before you change anything.

4. You will see several self-explanatory options here such as minimum QuickTime version and minimum system memory. Go to AELMinimumVRAM and change it from 128 to something lower. As I am running it on a system with 64 MB of VRAM, I will change it to 64. Just set it to something lower-than or equal-to what you currently have.

5. Save the file and open Color.

If your screen resolution is set too low, the Color interface will be tiny and unfortunately this is a side-effect of hacking the system requirements. Obviously they are there for a reason.

This tip applies to all programs in Final Cut Studio, not just Color.

Update: Our System Toolkit utility now automates this task. Just select the application name and tick Low Minimum Requirements.

Posted by Jon Chappell on Apr 10 2008 to Color Grading, Apple, Final Cut Studio