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Inconsistent color display on external monitors, Photoshop v 22.1.1 and Bridge v 11.0.1, Mac

Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2021 Feb 04, 2021

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I'm having serious color management issues in Photoshop v 22.1.1 on a MacBook Pro. Specifically, when working on a color image on an external monitor, the colors of the image will suddenly and unexpectedly shift. Also, colors will be inconsistent within the app. For example, the image I'm working on will appear one way, yet in a sub-window – like the Navigator – the color will appear differently. By far and away the easiest way to replicate the problem is to simply open a color image on an external monitor and then just resize Photoshop's window within the screen. Suddenly the colors will jump. Adobe Bridge 11.0.1 also exhibits inconsistent color handling, showing one set of colors in thumbnails and another in the Preview pane.

 

I have tested this problem and replicated it on two laptops - both older 15" MacBook Pros (one Retina 2012, one Retina 2013) with Nvidia GPUs, both with 16GB RAM. I have replicated the problem on both Mojave and Catalina. I have replicated the problem across two different high end color critical external monitors, one an NEC PA272W, the other a brand new Dell UP3017 (both connected via miniDP). I have replicated the problem both with and without color management (it occurs even after doing a factory reset on the monitors and deleting all monitor icc files). I replicated the problem using an external SSD that I loaded a fresh install of Catalina on and on which I only otherwise installed the latest versions of Photoshop and Bridge (I booted off this external SSD via Thunderbolt 1).

 

Any help would be *massively* appreciated. I'm basically stopped cold in my work because of this.

 

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Bug, Mac, Problem or error

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 07, 2021 Feb 07, 2021

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Yes, done. Thanks!

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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According to Adobe tech support, the problem is with my GPU. I thought my system met the minimum requirements for Photoshop 22.0 and onwards (indeed it works fine with 22.0.1, just not beyond that), as it has 2GB of GPU memory split between the Nvidia graphics card and an integrated Intel card, but it sounds like it needs to be a 2GB minimum on just one card. Minimum requirements are posted here:

 

https://helpx.adobe.com/in/photoshop/system-requirements.html

 

So it looks like I'm stuck with version 22.0.1 and earlier until I can get a hardware upgrade.

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Explorer ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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I have a 4Gig grsphic card and the same issue

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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Andrea, yeah I think its something more than the graphics memory. Your experience would suggest that’s the case too.

But you're OK for now using the main (i.e. most important) display profile on both screens are you?

Despite the fact that of course doing so messes up the MacBook screens colour


neil barstow, colourmanagement net :: adobe forum volunteer
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management

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Explorer ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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This morning I had a failure, but that was the first one di far. As for know, at least I can work.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 14, 2021 Feb 14, 2021

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It's had to know how insufficient graphics memory could cause a displayed image to flick between monitor display profiles in dual display situations on Mac.

I'm pretty sure that's what it's doing when appearance flashes between 2 looks, since setting both displays to use the same profile fixes the issue.

OK, d-hob, your video memory may be short on what's recommended, but I find it difficult to believe that it's the root of the issue, especially since Andrea had the same issue with plenty of memory available. 


neil barstow, colourmanagement net :: adobe forum volunteer
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 14, 2021 Feb 14, 2021

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Hi @NB, colourmanagement net,

You're completely right. It's not a graphics card issue. I rolled everything back to Photoshop 2020 and Bridge 2020, both of which always worked fine in the past, and they're both still broken with regards to color management. Bridge 2020 shows the proper colors in the Preview pane but not in the thumbnails. Photoshop 2020 shows the proper colors with the image being worked on, but much to my horror I discovered that it's totally broken when printing. When designating the specific output profile to use, it just completely ignores it and prints what looks like sRGB. I hadn't realized that the printing was broken as well. This is beyond messed up.

 

I created a new account on my MacBook Pro and loaded Bridge 2020 and Photoshop 2020 on there, so as to avoid any issues of corrupt preference files, and they're both broken there as well, though oddly in a different way. In that new user account, Bridge 2020 now shows colors properly in the thumbnails but wildly off in the Preview pane (where the colors are hyper-saturated), and Photoshop 2020 is back to switching between different color profiles at random. 

 

What started all this is a bit of a mystery, though it seemed to break when I updated Photoshop 2021 beyond 22.0.1 something like a month ago. Before that I never had any of these problems. Also, it's definitely an Adobe problem, as Affinity Photo 1.9.0 works perfectly (off topic, I don't see the printing problems you referred to in Affinity Photo – the software, not the printer, manages the color – but I don't want to stray too far off the issue at hand here). 

 

I think it's legitimate for Adobe to dismiss my problems for the 2021 versions of Photoshop and Bridge based on my hardware limitations (since who knows what might be happening there), but not for the 2020 versions, as those have always worked until now. I'll be back on with their tech support in the next day or two and report back. I feel like if I'm going to suffer through this, they should too so that it can be logged as a legitimate problem. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 15, 2021 Feb 15, 2021

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Hi d-hob, How frustrating, 

I've certainly not seen the printing issue you mention, that’s with Photoshop Manages Color I guess?Testing with a Mac based client this week, the printer profile worked fine. 

 

Actually, though, on the "print" screen on my own Mac the image preview is way off. I'm sure I have video memory hardware limitations on my late 2012 MacMini.  


neil barstow, colourmanagement net :: adobe forum volunteer
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management
[please only use the blue reply button at the top of the page, this maintains the original thread title and chronological order of posts]

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 25, 2021 Feb 25, 2021

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LATEST

I wonder if this is predominantly an issue on M1 chip macs and dual displays?

It seems that Apple have 'changed' the display sensing/ display description on those Macs to show displays as "unknown", internally rather than by name.  

I was speaking to the developer of basICColor display 6 software about this today and he came across the issue, for which he has had to develop a workaround. Of course it's been reported to Apple but as their "issue with LUT type ICC profiles" has been around since OSX 10.12 and much reported, maybe a fix will not happen anytime soon.  

If anyone would like to test display 6 on their mac which is showing this issue it would be great to have feedback: https://www.colourmanagement.net/products/basiccolor/basiccolor-display-software/

 

I hope this helps
neil barstow, colourmanagement net :: adobe forum volunteer
google me "neil barstow colourmanagement" for lots of free articles on colour management

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