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color settings

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  #1  
Old 03-11-2010, 12:47 PM
czerwony czerwony is offline
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color settings

I'm quite new to photoshop and retouch. still need to learn a lot so please excuse me if this question sounds silly...

I have read somewhere recently that before you start working in photoshop you need to set up photoshop's color settings correctly otherwise your monitor will be fooling you. Is this true and if so what's the settings I should apply?

Thanks for any help.
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  #2  
Old 03-11-2010, 02:57 PM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Re: color settings

Nothing silly about asking a question, especially about color settings, since skin tones and colors of items are very important in retouching. The subject is HUGE, and whole books have been written on color management in digital photography. I'll bet that you don't want to read one of those books right now, but would just like to get started learning Photoshop and practicing your retouching skills. Let me give you a little info and some reference links for future reading, and hopefully some other folks will add their ideas about how to get started and what to do as you gain experience.

You say you are new to Photoshop - what version are you using? You are interested in retouching - are you going to be working with images that will be used on the web or will be printed or both?

Go to your Edit menu and click on Color Settings. I'm using CS3 and have choices for Settings and then Working Spaces (which have presets that change if I change the Setting preset above them). I'm using (I'm not knowledgeable - I just try different things I read or am told, but we all have to start somewhere) North America General Purpose 2 which results in a RGB working space preset of SRGB IEC6... and a CMYK working space preset of U. S. web coated SWOP v2. You can choose a North America prepress (if printing everything) or North America web (if everything will be on the web). The General Purpose goes a bit in between both of those settings.

If you are just getting started with Photoshop, you need to become "aware" that color management affects the results of your efforts and that colors may not look right on someone else's monitor, or on a website, or when printed on your printer or someone else's printer -- after you worked on the photo for hours. Monitors need to be calibrated to keep the colors within parameters; color profiles can be chosen to improve the agreement between your monitor and a printer. Someone here may be able to explain it easily and painlessly, but you may end up reading a lot of different people's ideas on website and books about how to do it right.

You've got time - don't rush it. Choose some settings, work on some photos, see what your results look like to you and to your relatives/friends - on their monitors, on your printer, to your eyes, etc. When you see a need to fix something or make something better, you will know what it is that you are trying to change and can ask about that. Right now, if you're trying to learn Photoshop, you have enough to do and just need to get the basics.

Some links (and the first site has links to Norman Koren and other sites with LOTS of reading material (too deep for me, but you may like it... later).

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/a...is_colour.html

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/a...to_screen.html

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...obeRGB1998.htm

http://www.creativepro.com/article/t...r-in-photoshop

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/a...anagement.html (actually part of a link above, but wanted you to see the first part first)
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  #3  
Old 03-11-2010, 03:13 PM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Re: color settings

Carol has some good advice regarding calibration of your monitor because it is important. However, equally or more important is how you deal with files you recv which have been prepared in colorspaces different from the one you are working in.
To make your life relatively safe and easy while you are getting the grasp of Color Management in PS, I recommend that you start by using the attached settings in your Edit>Color Settings menu. By checking all of the profile warning boxes, you may need to deal with a dialog box when opening a file, but that will ensure that you don't mess up an image when the file you go to work on was exported in a color space which is different from the one you are working in.
If you are looking for a good tutorial on Color Management regardless of which version of PS you are using, try the following link:
http://www.computer-darkroom.com
Regards, Murray
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File Type: jpg Color Settings Screenshot.jpg (157.5 KB, 56 views)
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:51 PM
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CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Re: color settings

czerwony - you are in luck! You're new here, so let me explain -- Murray is one of resident EXPERTS - the kind of person who can answer questions from experience and with true knowledge (compared to my "read it or heard it and have tried it but don't really understand it" ).

Enjoy learning photoshop, and maybe you'll even enjoy learning about color settings/management.
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  #5  
Old 03-21-2010, 11:30 PM
Morph1 Morph1 is offline
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Re: color settings

I only work in RGB adobe 1998 color space, and I do lots of digital printing, color matching and color callibration on daily bases...
cmyk is for offset printing or screen printing... rgb is what you see in you monitor color space , trust me you do not wanna design in a CMYK color space as it hardly ever matches your screen to printed media, and besides that you got 1 less spinner to callibrate your color... many may argue , I ran lots of tests over the past 8 years and determined that I will never use CMYK color space.... unless somone really needs the color separation for silk screening.
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:00 PM
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DJSoulglo DJSoulglo is offline
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Re: color settings

Also, one tiny other thing is that the settings most people use (also the defaults of Photoshop) are the ones used in America. You're in London, so I'd suggest:

RGB: Adobe (1998), CMYK ISO39 (GmG standard).

Otherwise the settings that Murray suggested are fine.
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  #7  
Old 03-24-2010, 08:23 AM
czerwony czerwony is offline
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Re: color settings

Wow, so much information! Maybe it took me a while to write back to you guys (was on holiday) but thank you a lot! I really appreciate :-)
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  #8  
Old 04-20-2010, 04:13 PM
czerwony czerwony is offline
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Re: color settings

OK, I read a couple of books about colour management plus most of the info under the links given above and I've got probably more question now then before :-) The more I learn the more I understand how big this subject is!

Anyway I decided to set my working space to ProPhoto RGB, U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2, Gray Gamma 2.2, Dot Gain 20%. This settings probably suits my current needs the most.

Having said that what do I need to do when I've got a file from a client saved in different working space then the one I'm using? Do I convert the image to the working space I use or change my working space to the one my client prefers? If I convert the image to my working space would the client see it correctly?

How can I make sure that the file I worked on appears identically on a website and in the print? For instance if the client wants to put it on the Internet and in a magazine as well?

Also how can I assign an ICC profile to document that has no embedded ICC profile?

Thanks

Last edited by czerwony; 04-20-2010 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:53 PM
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Re: color settings

Quote:
Anyway I decided to set my working space to ProPhoto RGB, U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2, Gray Gamma 2.2, Dot Gain 20%. This settings probably suits my current needs the most.
Firstly I would not recommend using Prophoto as your working space for clients. None but the most sophisticated customers will be using it and commercial printers can't handle it. Anything you save in Prophoto and send to a client that does not have a color managed work flow will look very different to that customer than what you see on your monitor. Even if you work in Prophoto and you convert the profile to your customer's (usually sRGB or AdobeRGB), you need to be careful that you select the correct one of the 4 Intent Options when doing a conversion.
If you insist on working in Prophoto, when you open the client's file (assuming you have the Mismatched Profile warning turned on), choose the 1st option - do not convert the image to your working color space. If you working in ProPhoto and do not convert the clients image when you open it, make sure when you save it that the Embedd Profile box is checked in the " save as" dialog box.
ProPhoto has a very broad gamut and can display colors that do not exist in sRGB / Web and AdobeRGB. When you convert the image from ProPhoto to the customer's smaller gamut color space Photoshop will make a number of conversions to colors that exist in the client's color space. How close they look depends on which Intent option you choose when you convert (Relative Colorimetric, Perceptual, Absolute, etc). The bottom line is that if you want to see what the customer will actually see, then there is no point converting the image to Prophoto. Either don't convert the image when you open it or temporarily change you workspace to the customer's. The latter is the safer route because you are less likely to make any errors when outputting the file later.
You should output files with appropriate conversions. If an image will be used for web, save a copy and convert the profile to sRGB or use the Save for Web command. If a printer or magazine requires a copy for print they may want another copy that has been converted to AdobeRGB or CMYK or they may have a custom profile they would provide you to use.
Regards, Murray
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  #10  
Old 04-20-2010, 09:42 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: color settings

Czerwony,
I would agree with Murray, ProPhotoRGB simply did not gain acceptance as quickly as everyone thought. Not because it's inferior, just the opposite - other hardware and software simply isn't designed to work with that large a color gamut yet. You are likely better off sticking to AdobeRGB as your working color space. Possibly, as cameras, printers and web browsers improve in their capabilities ProPhotoRGB will become more popular.

It is still common to convert images intended for the web to sRGB. However, browsers are quickly becoming color managed, meaning they will recognize the embedded profiles and properly display images saved with profiles other than sRGB. So, maybe in another year or two we won't have to do all those conversions.

If your camera save images in ProPhotoRGB, and you want to work in that space, that's ok. Just know to reset your working space to something else prior to working on client images in order to avoid a mishap. You can even create startup scripts to do that task for you and have two shortcuts on your desktop, one for starting PS in your space, and one for starting PS in a client friendly space.
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