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sRGB and Soft Proof for Monitor

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  #1  
Old 06-13-2005, 10:08 AM
MattMatic MattMatic is offline
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sRGB and Soft Proof for Monitor

Hi all!
I'm having a problem with a Spyder calibrated LCD under PS-CS. I have profiled for D5000, gamma 1.8 (although I've tried 2.2 with similar results).
I shoot RAW, process in Capture One, and bring it into Photoshop. I work in AdobeRGB (for example), convert to sRGB within PS. The image looks fine throughout this workflow.

When using Save For Web, the web preview desaturates and goes much lighter (like a gamma adjustment). This had me puzzled until I found that selecting Soft Proof and choosing "Monitor" would show the same results as the save for web window. Having proofed it, I adjust the curves and wind up the sat a bit, then save for web and I get a decent web JPG.

Now I'm completely stumped! What am I previewing when I select "Soft Proof / Monitor"?? I thought the monitor was profiled by the Spyder.

I've also tried this on a desktop machine (with profiled LCD), and there is hardly any difference between the onscreen image and a Soft Proof for Monitor (except a slight saturation loss).

Any suggestions to put me out of my misery??!

Matt
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  #2  
Old 06-13-2005, 01:34 PM
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Racc Iria Racc Iria is offline
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When designing images that are only going to be viewed on a computer monitor or on video, turn color management off before designing your image. This will allow you to work in the same color space as it will appear on screen.

This is essentially what the Monitor soft proof is doing for you. It's showing you what the image will look like as it appears on screen with no color management.

So, turn color management off before you create your image when designing stuff for the web and the color shift problem will vanish.

--Racc
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Old 06-13-2005, 04:59 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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If you leave your image in AdobeRGB before using SFW, do you get the same result? From the way you describe it, it sounds more like an assignment rather than a conversion is going on.
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Old 06-14-2005, 08:58 AM
MattMatic MattMatic is offline
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Doug - definitely converted to sRGB (not assigned). I've done this for years, but only now (with the new machine) have I got this issue.

I think Racc is correct. The Soft Proof / Monitor is showing the unprofiled output (which is what you see when using SFW).

On my desktop machines it appears the LCD is very, very nearly sRGB. However, on the Toshiba M200 it seems very different. Maybe I'll try and find some details on the LCD panel of the Tosh. One other problem is that the LCD brightness and colour balance changes with your viewing angle - of course the Spyder is aligned bang-on 'cause it's flat on the screen. Maybe that's causing me problems too (might have to go back to WiziWYG and be happy with that).

I've been testing with various JPGs and displaying in Firefox & IE. Both ignore the embedded ICC profile, so yes, AdobeRGB images are flat and lifeless (as you'd expect). It's giving me a headache, and I'm trying to work out how this affects my workflow...

Matt
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  #5  
Old 06-14-2005, 09:24 AM
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Racc Iria Racc Iria is offline
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For what it's worth, this is my workflow...

I'm using the color profile that's designed for my monitor. Then I ran the Adobe Monitor Calibration to get the gamma, etc. set correctly. From that point, since most of my work is for video and the web, I turn color management off. Since then, I've never had a problem with color shifting or color management.

Before I figured this out, I was in the same boat you are now. No matter what I designed, it never looked the same in Photoshop and its target medium. It drove me nuts.

The benefit of this system is two fold. 1. The obvious... no more color shifts going to the web, etc. 2. If, after you created your image with no color management, and you now need to color manage it (i.e. sending it out for printing, etc.), just create a new image the same size, turn on and set color management for that document, then paste or drag in layers from the unmanaged image. You now have a color managed copy of the original which can be adjusted as necessary and sent out. Also, it's a lot harder to create a non-color managed image from one that's color managed and have it look the same. It's always easier to go from unmanaged to managed then adjust to match.

Anyway, just my 2 cents.

--Racc
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  #6  
Old 06-15-2005, 10:56 AM
MattMatic MattMatic is offline
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Thanks Racc.
However, since I am working with photographic images - both from camera and to print services - I cannot afford to ditch colour management.

I've been experimenting a lot, but still haven't got a satisfactory conclusion. It may be down to the Spyder v1 not liking the LCD (or the Wacom pen layer that's over the screen), or something not right under Tablet PC edition.

I moved from PhotoCAL to OptiCAL, and have better results (including confirmation graphs etc), but still the shift when using SFW (even though it is definitely converted to sRGB).

Maybe I'll just have to learn to live with it :|
Matt
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  #7  
Old 06-15-2005, 12:17 PM
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I recently bought a hardware calibrator and couldn't get it to work to my satisfaction. It took some digging, but I eventually discovered I was dual-profiling. I thought I was seeing a calibrated monitor, but was actually seeing a very uncalibrated monitor. My videocard management software was loading its own profile, discarding my calibrated profile. I could imagine a scenario with two profiles that could cause the results you're seeing.

You might also want to doublecheck that AdobeRGB is still active as your working space in color management prefs.
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  #8  
Old 06-20-2005, 04:59 AM
MattMatic MattMatic is offline
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Doug,
This is getting a bit more specific...
If I save an image from the web, open it in PS and assign the sRGB profile then the colours are just plain wrong, different from IE/Firefox/Irfanview.

That seems to indicate that it's PS that's applying some other setting somewhere. I've wiped the colour settings profile, started again, checked that I'm running AdobeRGB (European Prepress Defaults), and still it's the same.

Did the same with the PS-CS settings. Still the same.

I removed Adobe Gamma from the startup long ago. But it looks like there's something still hanging around... not quite sure how to find what's modifying things in PS.

(Incidentally, I used OptiCAL to profile, and this has given graphs and also allows a comparison of before and after. Within Windows the dialog box grays are neutral once calibrated, blue-tinged when not. However, PS still shows this same quirk... and only on this M200 tablet PC.)

Going slowly insane
Matt
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  #9  
Old 06-20-2005, 08:09 AM
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Check your vidcard utility software. Both ATI and Nvidia load their own profiles unless you specifically tell them not to.
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  #10  
Old 06-20-2005, 10:57 AM
MattMatic MattMatic is offline
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Thanks Doug,
I've been rootling around in the display properties since the beginning. I have disabled the "Color Settings" for the NVidia (where it asks if you want to automatically load the colour settings on each boot - RGB gammas etc).
I've also checked and there doesn't appear to be any other colour management settings that are enabled or loaded.
Under the Color Management tab of the display properties there is only the OptiCAL produced profile - listed, selected and set as default.

I've enabled the Nvidia Media Center and checked there's nothing else in there.

Is there anywhere else I should look?
(BTW, I've also upgraded to the latest driver as available on the Tosh website)
Matt
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