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Questions regarding display hardware presets and using them

Community Beginner ,
Nov 09, 2019 Nov 09, 2019

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Hi community,

 

I read a lot about color management in this forum and I think I learnt a lot and got the basics now. But I still have some questions which some of the professionals here are hopefully able to answer.

 

My environment: I'm using a HP DreamColor Z31x (100% sRGB, BT.709 and Adobe RGB, 99% DCI-P3, 80% BT.2020) which has a built in colorimeter (but can also be calibrated using e.g. i1Display Pro). There are a lot of presets in this display, e.g. sRGB, Adobe RGB, DCI P3 and a "native" one. Unfortunately all those presets are calibrated to 250 cd/m2, so I recalibrated some presets to 120 cd/m2 which is a lot better for my environment. So I now have sRGB, Adobe RGB and a "native" preset all calibrated to 120 cd/m2.

 

I learnt that for proper color management to work I also have to assign a profile to the display in Windows preferences (matching the chosen preset). So I created an ICC profile for each of the presets, the internal (hardware) calibration of the display is also able to do that after the calibration process (it writes the ICC profiles to a USB stick then). And I only use color managed software.

 

So I can now switch between calibrated sRGB, Adobe RGB and "native" presets and assign the correct profile in the Windows preferences then. So far so good. And now my questions (I only mention the preset in the questions, what I mean with this is I always use display preset + correct profile in Windows):

 

My workflow is: Edit a picture in Lightroom (which uses ProPhoto RGB in the develop module I learnt), then export in ProPhoto RGB 16bit to further edit in Photoshop. When I have a "final" picture I either convert to sRGB or AdobeRGB (depending on what the image is for). Which is the best preset I can use for that? Adobe RGB or the "native" one? Is there any advantage in using the "native" profile when working in ProPhoto RGB? I guess yes, because when I use the native preset I can see differences when looking at the same image saved with different profiles, e.g. the rose at the end of the page from this site: https://webkit.org/blog-files/color-gamut/ . When opening the sRGB version of the rose in Photoshop it looks "flat", the Adobe RGB version looks more saturated and the ProPhoto one looks most saturated.

 

Another question regarding the "native" preset: When opening an image with an Adobe RGB profile embedded (e.g. in Photoshop), will it look the same, regardeless if I use the Adobe RGB or the "native" preset on the display? I guess yes, because I think when using the "native" preset it's only a conversion from Adobe RGB to the "native" profile and this will result in an image looking (virtual) identical to the one which I see when using the Adobe RGB preset.

 

Thanks a lot for your time,
best regards,
Marc

 

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Nov 10, 2019 Nov 10, 2019

The document profile and the monitor profile are completely divorced, that's the whole point of color management in the first place. They do not need to match; they do not need to relate to each other at all. A profile is a description of a color space. Each profile describes its own associated color space, and one is then remapped / converted into the other.

 

There is no particular need to use ProPhoto just because it happens to be the default in Lightroom. You can use any document profile you

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Community Expert ,
Nov 10, 2019 Nov 10, 2019

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The document profile and the monitor profile are completely divorced, that's the whole point of color management in the first place. They do not need to match; they do not need to relate to each other at all. A profile is a description of a color space. Each profile describes its own associated color space, and one is then remapped / converted into the other.

 

There is no particular need to use ProPhoto just because it happens to be the default in Lightroom. You can use any document profile you want. Color settings in Lightroom and Photoshop do not need to match. Any incoming profile is preserved in Photoshop and overrides the working space.

 

You can build a monitor profile on any monitor preset, but there is little point in limiting the monitor's capabilities for no reason. The only reason for using the sRGB preset is to use non-color managed software. The Adobe RGB / DCI-P3 presets are basically pointless. Just use native.

 

The monitor profile has one basic requirement: it needs to be an accurate description of the monitor's actual and current response. That's it, that's its whole purpose. If any aspect of the monitor's behavior is changed, the profile is no longer valid and needs to be redone.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 11, 2019 Nov 11, 2019

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Hi D_Fosse,

 

thanks a lot for your answers, that makes it clear 100% now and confirms what I thought.

 

I understood that profiles don't need to match, nowhere, if using color managed software. I'm just using ProPhoto also in PS because it's the "default" color space in Lightroom (and then I don't lose information when continuing in PS).

 

I will use "native" preset from the display now, the only drawback are the saturated colors Windows shows me on the desktop and non-color managed programs (and I know why as this has been discussed here a lot). But that's OK for me.

 

It's clear that I have to create a new ICC profile for the display if changing any aspect of it (e.g. luminance) but I don't plan to change things often here.

 

Thanks again,

best regards,

Marc

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Community Expert ,
Nov 11, 2019 Nov 11, 2019

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Yes, what I'm basically getting at is that it's a lot simpler than most people think 😉

 

The only precaution you need to take, is to use color managed applications wherever possible. If you absolutely have to use software that isn't, either ignore what you see and live with the oversaturation - or have an sRGB target/profile that you can switch to when needed.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 12, 2019 Nov 12, 2019

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Yes, I agree that this is an unorthodox way to do it, to put it mildly. I've no idea what hp is trying to accomplish here. Why can't they make simple software that does all this, and then installs the profile automatically?

 

However, as long as you get an actual icc profile that you can install and set as default in Windows, it should work in the standard way.

 

We've had discussions about hp dreamcolors here before, and nobody could figure out what the monitor actually did. As a result all kinds of workarounds were proposed.

 

My own advice would be less vague. I'd say get a monitor that does it right, like an Eizo or an NEC.

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Nov 12, 2019 Nov 12, 2019

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Marc

Sorry I missed this post yesterday, I was out of the office all day

You've had some good info from DFosse, but reading this thread I am not clear about whether you are actually making an ICC profile of the monitor display after you selected a preset on there (I mean an icc profile vreated by measuring using a display profiling software application and a sensor such as a colorimeter like your i1pro)? 

 

I hope this helps

if so, please "like" my reply

thanks

neil barstow, colourmanagement.net

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 12, 2019 Nov 12, 2019

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Hi Neil,

 

I used the internal colorimeter of the display to first calibrate the display. After calibration the internal colorimeter can also profile the display, i.e. create an ICC profile and write it to an attached USB drive. That's what I did. I took this ICC profile and installed it in Windows so I can use it there.

 

Thanks,

best regards,

Marc

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Community Expert ,
Nov 12, 2019 Nov 12, 2019

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God, this nesting of replies drives me absolutely crazy. You reply to a specific post, and the answer turns up several posts above and before the one you replied to, turning the whole thread into utter confusion. So I'm going to repeat it here:

 

Yes, I agree that this is an unorthodox way to do it, to put it mildly. I've no idea what hp is trying to accomplish here. Why can't they make simple software that does all this, and then installs the profile automatically?

 

However, as long as you get an actual icc profile that you can install and set as default in Windows, it should work in the standard way.

 

We've had discussions about hp dreamcolors here before, and nobody could figure out what the monitor actually did. As a result all kinds of workarounds were proposed.

 

My own advice would be less vague. I'd say get a monitor that does it right, like an Eizo or an NEC.

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Community Expert ,
Nov 12, 2019 Nov 12, 2019

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Hi Marc
you wrote:

Hi Neil,

 

I used the internal colorimeter of the display to first calibrate the display. After calibration the internal colorimeter can also profile the display, i.e. create an ICC profile and write it to an attached USB drive. That's what I did. I took this ICC profile and installed it in Windows so I can use it there.

 

Thanks,

best regards,

Marc

 

The Dreamcolor system HP have made causes a lot of confusion. I hope it should be a good quality display,

though. 

OK as long as you actually made an ICC profile of the display with it's own name [e.g. dreamcolor XX.icc] then set that icc profile as display / monitor profile in Windows, you should be OK

 

I was hoping you didn’t simply (as some Dreamcolor owners do) "calibrate" it to, say a target of Adobe RGB and then use the generic Adobe RGB as display profile. That's not going to work.

 

I hope this helps

if so, please "like" my reply

thanks

neil barstow, colourmanagement.net

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Community Expert ,
Nov 12, 2019 Nov 12, 2019

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Hi Marc

 

a little about those conversions - some food for thought!

you wrote:

"My workflow is: Edit a picture in Lightroom (which uses ProPhoto RGB in the develop module I learnt), then export in ProPhoto RGB 16bit to further edit in Photoshop. When I have a "final" picture I either convert to sRGB or AdobeRGB (depending on what the image is for)."

 

You need to beware of 'clipping' when converting between 2 working-spaces. Data can be crushed in such a conversion.

Such profiles as working-spaces [they are "display type"] do not have the internal tables needed to use perceptual renderigmn intent* [conversion mapping]

(*and don't get me started on the shortcomings of perceptual, anyway - its not the be all & end all - fix everything conversion option many think, which is why Thomas Knoll told me, he'd decided to  make "relative colorimetric with black point compensation" Photoshop’s default).

 

So the conversion you're making is always using the Relative Colorimetric rendering intent. This means that, whilst image data from the source color space which fits the destination gamut is transferred without compression, but (BIB BUT) image data which falls outside the destination gamut (of, say, sRGB) is all mapped to the 'skin' of the colourspace. So, on a specific hue angle, data with differentiation in the original may be concatenated in the destination space. [once discrete tones will become the same tone]

Have a look at Photoshop's levels pallet before and after the conversion. With high gamut images, you are likely to see more image data "washing up" against the edges of the levels pallet, this indicates that data which showed separation in the original may now be "clipped". 

 

You can detect clipped image areas using the alt key (mac) - hold that down and click on the upper sliders in the levels pallet and you'll see a "threshold" mask over the image. Try that in tyour original colour space first. As the levels slider is moved inwards more data is clipped. 

 

I hope this helps

if so, please "like" my reply

thanks

neil barstow, colourmanagement.net

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 14, 2019 Nov 14, 2019

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Hi Neil,

 

I read about the difference between perceptual and relative colorimetric and your hint about using the alt key to see the clipped image areas is very good, I didn't knew that. Thanks, that helps me a lot.

 

Best regards,

Marc

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