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Input/Output/Workflow Scanning, printing, color management, and discussing best practices for control and repeatability

Color Calibration

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  #1  
Old 01-08-2008, 10:22 PM
RWies21 RWies21 is offline
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Color Calibration

Hello, hello!

This is my first post so bare with me...i'm a color management newbie and i'm working with PH6. I'm very frustrated (albeit a little lazy) in figuring out why colors look a lot more saturated (very red) outside of photoshop i.e. in windows picture and fax viewer then they do in photoshop. Any suggestions on how to manually sync the two progs up would be great as well as any (cheap) ideas for calibrating my monitor.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2008, 03:01 PM
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AdamZx3 AdamZx3 is offline
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Re: Color Calibration

I don't know how windows handles color managment in it's app's , but the picture viewer may throw out the profile. Another theory is that the photo's may have an adobe RGB profile and photoshop is converting it to srgb.

I would trust photoshop to be the correct version.

For a monitor calibrator I would recomend the Pantone eye-one display LT, I have used it and the software is easy to use and has plenty of options. There is also a cheaper Huey Pro, and a basic Huey that

Pantone/ GretagMcbeth Eye-One Display LT

Pantone Huey Pro

Pantone Huey

There's also another low cost one, colorvision Spyder, but I belive the heuy pro outperforms it so you may want to look at reviews for the those other one. Note, the calibration won't fox the problem of color differences in between apps, but it will give you correct color in photoshop (provided you monitor can physically reproduce it, it will be close to your print)

Last edited by AdamZx3; 01-09-2008 at 03:14 PM.
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2008, 06:11 AM
nikkib nikkib is offline
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Re: Color Calibration

Hi RWies21

Just wondering how you went with your problem. I have the same problem and I'm pulling my hair out over it - ie more saturated and red in windows viewer etc than photoshop. Did the calibrator fix your problem? If so, which did you buy?

Thanks
Nikki
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  #4  
Old 03-12-2008, 10:51 AM
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Dave.Cox Dave.Cox is offline
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Re: Color Calibration

To get the window fax viewer, and other programs to display the same as photoshop, goto Settings > Control Panel > Display. This will open the display properties dialoge. Select the Settings Tab, and click on Advanced. In this tab, click on the Color Management Tab. Make sure the color profile that you have set here, is the same one that you are using in photoshop.

As far as calibrating your monitor, you really should invest in a hardware calibrator.
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  #5  
Old 03-15-2008, 08:30 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: Color Calibration

Color calibration can be a complex subject. Many current articles have boiled it down to some common steps everyone should follow. However, they often overlook the more common hardware settings that cause the issues you are referring to.

A difference between what you see in a Window application and Photoshop will be caused by (a) the way you have adjusted your hardware, (b) the profile assigned to that hardware, and (c) the Color Settings or workspace you have chosen within Photoshop.

Part A: Identify or be familiar with what hardware you have.
Determine your display type: A CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor will operate quite differently than the flat panel LCD displays gaining popularity today.
Determine what adjustments come with your display: Many older CRT's or Flat Panels do not have the capability to adjust parameters available in newer models. Open the controls on your display (using the front panel buttons) and see what is there. (Adjusting these without the aid of a calibration tool is a common problem and is referred to later.)
Determine your video adapter card hardware: Many video cards come with quite elaborate adjustment capabilities for color correction. (Adjusting these settings can cause more conflict with the standard color management process. You must standardize on how you will adjust your display and never mix it up between front panel buttons and video hardware.)

Part B: Identify the profile assigned to your display device.
Determine your current profile: Click on Control Panel... Display... Settings... Advanced... Color Management. The "default monitor profile" will tell you how Windows is managing the color space for your display. If you have never changed it, it should be set to the default of "sRGB Color Space Profile". If you have changed it, it should be set to the factory provided color profile provided on the CD packaged with your display. (This is one of the more common problems, we will refer to in a minute.)

Part C: Identify the default color space you are using in Photoshop.
Check Photoshop Color Settings: Without openning an image, click on Edit... Color Settings.... and look at the Working Spaces at the top. If you have never changed them, they may vary depending on the version of Photoshop. At CS2 they began to default to the more commonly used settings today, which is based upon the North America Prepress 2 profile. This will set your RGB color space to Adobe RGB (1988). Adobe RGB (1988) is fine and is the most commonly used setting so that artists can share images and know the next viewer will see it in the same color space. However, if you design graphics mostly for the Web, then you might consider using the North America General Purpose 2 profile. This one sets the RGB color space to sRGB IEC61966-2.1 (which is the same as the sRGB profile you saw under your display properties).

You probably just figured it out for the most part. Once your display is set for sRGB and Photoshop is set for Adobe RGB, you will often notice some differences. Theoretically, there should be very little, as the color gamut for both are very similar, only Adobe's is a bit broader. However, these differences are enhanced by the user by tweaking the display front panel buttons and the video card adjustments.... all of which gets you in trouble and throws out your color managed workspace.

If you have not calibrated your workspace, simply put your display and video card back to their factory defaults. Then set the Windows Display profile equal to the Adobe color workspace profile. This should get it close. At this point, try adjusting any differences by only changing the Windows Display color profile to the factory ICC profile provided. If you don't have one, then purchasing the calibration hardware will allow you to create one.

If you decide to leave Adobe Photoshop set to Adobe RGB (1998) and want to see what the image would look like in a Windows application, then simply click on View... Proof Setup... pick Monitor RGB. Then with the image open, click on View... Proof Colors (Ctrl-Y). You can toggle this mode often to check what the image would look like in a Windows application.

I know this was long, but I hope it helps. Good luck !
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  #6  
Old 03-17-2008, 05:16 AM
nikkib nikkib is offline
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Re: Color Calibration

Thanks Tommy for your long reply, I appreciate it.

Just to give you some info, I have a CRT LG Studioworks 710s. It is around 4 years old, so I understand that this is probably not ideal.

I use sRGB in Photoshop as most my photos are used for the web. For this reason I can't understand why my photos come out so much more saturated (and red) on the web than Photoshop, when for other people they match.

When I soft proof with 'Monitor RGB' it still does not show me what I see on the web. This is the concern, as I think for this to happen there must be something set up wrong. I have read lots of other forum threads with similar problems, and they seem to have the problem fixed when they select Monitor RGB, whereas mine doesn't.

If I go into display, settings, colour management the only setting there and selected is the adobe gamma setting I have saved. That is, if I have redone adobe gamma and saved it as today's date, that is selected. Should this be the setting in there, or should it be just the Adobe sRGB standard profile, or the monitor profile that comes with it (have no idea where that would be). I did read on another forum that someone fixed the problem by removing the setting entirely from this section, however this has not worked for me.

Before reading your reply I hadn't even thought of checking what my monitor buttons had been set to. I'd adjusted brightness and contrast with gamma, but hadn't thought I'd touched the other monitor settings. But I've just realised that my monitor has 4 colour settings and my monitor was set to 9300.

9300 - R 82, G 81, B 81
6500 - R 82, G 72, B 59
K - 9300
RGB - R 82, G 81, B 81

When I'm in adobe gamma, I set the hardware white point 6500, adjusted white point 'same as hardware'. Therefore wonder if I should have this selected on monitor buttons. If I change from 9300 to 6500 it makes a huge change to my screen colour. I have no idea what the phosphors should be, so have set it to Triniton as most sites recommend this if you're not sure.

I am quite happy to purchase a new monitor, and to purchase a monitor calibrator like the eye-one, however at the moment I'm not confident that will fix my problem. I have a few concerns - perhaps my video card colour setting is also open as well, or some other colour setting is throwing it off. Is there anyway to check this and if need be to disable it? My other thought is maybe I have at some stage overwritten the sRGB standard colour profile and stuffed it up? Or perhaps my monitor has all the wrong things selected from the buttons on the front. Or perhaps I have the colour settings saved incorrectly somehow.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
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  #7  
Old 03-19-2008, 07:58 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: Color Calibration

I think the key is that the images look different from non-color managed applications to color-managed applications (Photoshop).

This would eliminate common mode issues like monitor settings and basic graphic card settings (I say basic for a reason explained in a minute).

It could simply be the way you open files in Photoshop. Keep in mind that it is Ok to leave an image "as is" when openning it, especially if your image is from a good scanner or camera with a built in profile. When you "convert" to another profile while openning, the color values embedded in the image are changed, and thus lost forever. You should only convert when you have a high level of confidence in your color managment setup and know that you can handle further conversions for printing or sending to prepress shops.

It could be bad ICC profiles, since (a) they could have been overwritten; and (b) you are using a different profile for your monitor ("adobe gamma") than for Photoshop ("sRGB").

With your current setup, I would expect images to look different in a browser window than in Photoshop. Images viewed in the browser will be converted to "adobe gamma"; images viewed in Photoshop will be converted to "sRGB", unless you proof them in which they are converted to Monitor RGB (basically the same as sRGB). Since both seem to be inconsistent, I now suspect that you have corrupted the ICC profiles.

A few suggestions:
1. Obtain new ICC profiles from another PC. Rename your old ones and copy in the new ones. They are located in c:\windows\system32\spool\drivers\color\. In your display settings, set your monitor profile to sRGB. (There is no need to uninstall and reinstall them.) Test this and see how the images look. You should only look for consistency, not color correctness... because you have tweaked your monitor a lot.

2. Check your video card settings... the deeper ones. My NVidia card allows for different color calibration profiles to be used for the desktop, video app's, and just about any other app I want to define. If you plan to always calibrate your monitor using the monitor buttons, reset the card to all of its defaults. Then check some images for consistency again.

Some other suggestions:
- Always use a standard procedure for calibrating your monitor. Stick with a given ICC profile. Obtain a good calibration device. Use the monitor controls to work through the calibration procedure (not the graphics card). Save the newly generated ICC profile with a clear name, like "CRT LG710 03-16-08". That way you know the device and date is was generated for.
- Do not tweak you monitor after calibrating. If you do, then there is really no point in calibrating. If your color work is critical, you will need to calibrate montly anyway.
- Calibrating is an art. Take your time. Subtle differences can have big effects on the color you see on your monitor.
- Re-read the help section on Photoshop concerning importing images and when to convert, etc.
- Read up on color management. There are many books out there as well as web-based articles. One book I keep on hand, though almost too thorough, is Real World Color Management 2nd Edition, by Bruce Fraser, Chris Murphy & Fred Bunting. It's good, but it takes a few weeks to get through it.

Continued good luck and let me know the results.
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  #8  
Old 03-21-2008, 08:50 PM
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jagerman jagerman is offline
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Re: Color Calibration

All of you should run down the Apple store right now! Hurry, before they close.
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  #9  
Old 03-21-2008, 10:25 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: Color Calibration

Color management is not limited to Windows... Mac's need to be managed as well. However, Mac's do a better job out of the box ensuring everything is preset for working in a color managed workspace.

Once you go tweaking with monitor settings, graphic card settings, ICC profiles, or application settings (i.e. Photoshop) you can end up in the same predicament.

Everyone should become familiar with the basic concepts of color management. Those of you working with older hardware will certainly have a harder time maintaining a good color managed workspace. Sometimes it is simply time to upgrade. When you do, and if you hate dealing with these sort of things, then maybe a Mac is for you !

Good luck !
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  #10  
Old 03-21-2008, 10:39 PM
pixelzombie pixelzombie is offline
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Re: Color Calibration

very well said in a productive manner, i don't mean to add fuel to the fire but there is a reason the mac is well situated in pre-press shops...
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