Choose a monitor profile as a working space in PS?

Engaged ,
Mar 30, 2021 Mar 30, 2021

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Hoping someone can provide a knowledgeable perspective on an issue regarding display calibration.  PS provides a choice of working space (Edit>Color Settings>RGB Working Space).  Usually, I select Adobe RGB rather than my monitor profile.  I create the profile using Dell/XRite software on a U2713H (has a LUT).  My understanding is that the profile/calibration process enables the monitor to reproduce a MacBeth chart as closely as possible.  Once that is done, I can choose any working space in PS, and the monitor will display that working space as accurately as possible.  I had always been advised NOT to choose the monitor profile as the working space in PS.  However, I was reading an article which states, with respect to PS working space options: “You'll see a line with "Monitor RGB - xyz." The file listed instead of xyz is the monitor profile Photoshop displays all images in. This is important to check, as some profiling software packages can write invalid profiles. If this occurs, Photoshop ignores the profile and displays in a default space that is guaranteed not to match your monitor.” (https://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/monitor_calibration.htm) This seems to suggest that the working space should be the monitor profile.  Can anyone weigh-in on this?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 30, 2021 Mar 30, 2021

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Dry Creek Photo, who made that website, for many years provided a valuable service in publishing profiles for certain printing services. However…you should know that specific page you linked to is at least twenty years out of date and not a good resource today.

 

The most glaring problem with that page is that it talks in terms of the Adobe Gamma display calibration workflow. Adobe Gamma used to be one of the few affordable ways to adjust a display for Photoshop, but as soon as Photoshop 5.5 and Photoshop 6 came out (21 years ago) with proper support for industry standard ICC color management, the Adobe Gamma workflow became one of the worst ways to do it and Adobe discontinued Adobe Gamma. By moving to standard ICC color management two decades ago, Photoshop ensured that the way it handles color would be consistent and interchangeable with other applications and devices.

 

Today, the best practice is that the display profile you set in the Display settings for your OS should be the profile that most closely represents the actual performance of the display, and on affordable displays that will be a profile generated by a profiling device like an XRite. After you run the XRite software, it should automatically set that up for you without you having to do anything more.

 

In Photoshop today, the Working Space should just about never be set to Monitor Color. It should be set to be appropriate for your workflow. sRGB is a safe choice; Adobe RGB or ProPhoto RGB can be better choices for pros who know what they’re doing. The working space is really just a default for when a document doesn’t already carry its own profile. Which means the Photoshop working space is almost irrelevant if you always open images from cameras, because the document profile is already embedded by the camera or raw processor.

 

If you’re not sure what to choose as your Working Space in Photoshop in the Color Settings dialog box, in the Settings menu choose the General Purpose preset appropriate for your region (such as North American General Purpose 2). That preset will change all of the options in that dialog box to reasonable settings for you, and you can move on.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 30, 2021 Mar 30, 2021

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The article you linked is not suggesting you change the document space to the monitor profile. That would actually defeat colour management. All it is suggesting is that you can use that menu to check which monitor profile is being used by Photoshop. It will be the same as that set in your operating system and should be your X-Rite produced profile. So by all means use that method to check the monitor profile but do not change the document profile to the monitor profile.

 

Dave

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Engaged ,
Mar 30, 2021 Mar 30, 2021

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Thanks for the clarification.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 06, 2021 Apr 06, 2021

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Doc_Pit

Dave is right, you must never select the monitor / display profile as the working space. 

He writes [about the article]:

" All it is suggesting is that you can use that menu to check which monitor profile is being used by Photoshop."

That's right.

SO, by all means go to the Color Settings dialog to check the right display profile is being used, but never select it. 

It would be SO much nicer [and safer] if Adobe would show the currently used display/monitor profile on a separate line in the Color Settings dialog [with no option to change, of course, as it's supplied by the OS]. 

 

I hope this helps
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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Engaged ,
Apr 07, 2021 Apr 07, 2021

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Just want to thank you for the replies.  I was confused by the article because if  Windows Control Panel> Color Management is showing the correct profile, then the OS is using that profile for any app.  But I get that checking the PS settings is probably a good idea anyway.  Thanks.  One other thing: When I do a calibration with XRite, I get two sets of readings: Target and Achieved.  Is there an objective, numerical way to evaluate the delta between the two?  I have never seen any article or documentation as to what constitutes "excellent," vs. "fair" or "poor" correspondence between Target and Achieved.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 07, 2021 Apr 07, 2021

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quote

I was confused by the article because if  Windows Control Panel> Color Management is showing the correct profile, then the OS is using that profile for any app.


By @Doc_Pit

 

No, that's where you misunderstand. The profile is used by the application. The operating system isn't using anything, it just makes the profile available.

 

The monitor profile is loaded by Photoshop at application startup. As you work, the RGB numbers are continuously remapped from the document profile into the monitor profile. It's a standard profile conversion. These recalculated and corrected numbers are then sent to the display.

 

So this is why you need both the document profile and the monitor profile, and why you can't use the latter in place of the former.

 

An application without color management support doesn't do any of this. It just passes the numbers straight through. It doesn't know what a profile is.

 

If both profiles are the same, this conversion doesn't happen. That's a null transform. Nothing changes, the numbers stay exactly the same. That's the definition of no color management. It doesn't even matter what the profile is, it could be any profile under the sun. As long as they're the same, nothing happens.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 07, 2021 Apr 07, 2021

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If you are using the Xrite i1 Profiler software , after making your monitor profile choose "Advanced Options", then "Display - Quality" and you can do a display validation which will measure a range of patches and give you a numeric value for each patch as well as displaying the difference on screen

The video below shows how:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNi4xV24dKY

 

Dave

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 07, 2021 Apr 07, 2021

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@Doc_Pit wrote:

One other thing: When I do a calibration with XRite, I get two sets of readings: Target and Achieved.  Is there an objective, numerical way to evaluate the delta between the two?  I have never seen any article or documentation as to what constitutes "excellent," vs. "fair" or "poor" correspondence between Target and Achieved.


 

For White Point, perfect D65 should show an Achieved CCT of 6500K, and D50 should be 5000K. For the rest of the numbers, the Achieved should match the Target, although it’s normal for any Target value to be off by a tiny amount unless the display is expensive. However, I’m not sure if the info shown in the i1 Studio software is useful. For example, I’m guessing Black Luminance should not be 0 because most LCD displays have a little backlight bleed so they can’t be pure black. For example, on my NEC PA272W, i1 Studio said it’s 0.000 cd/m2 which I doubt, but the NEC SpectraView software reports 0.17 cd/m2 which I find more believable.

 

One standard and widely used objective measurement is called Delta E, which means: How close is the Achieved value to the Target value? Generally, a value below 1 is excellent. Unfortunately, consumer level software doesn’t often provide that number; the i1 Studio software definitely doesn’t. More info about Delta E:

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/delta-e-glossary-definition-color-monitors,6199.html

https://color.viewsonic.com/explore/content/DeltaE≦2Color-Accuracy_2.html

 

So unfortunately, the Target vs Achieved report in the i1 Studio software doesn’t seem to provide enough practical information to be useful.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 07, 2021 Apr 07, 2021

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i1 Profiler that comes with the i1Display Pro definitely does allow the Delta E measurement under display quality - as posted above. I just tried it on an old PC and monitor and confirmed it works (my current PC uses Eizo's colour navigator software).

 

Dave

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 07, 2021 Apr 07, 2021

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Thanks!…I might download i1 Profiler and see if it works with the devices I have.

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