How to turn off all colour management?

New Here ,
Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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I need to have Photoshop show me an image without any colour management at all.

However, no matter what settings I try the image in Photoshop always looks different to the same image opened in a program that is not ICC complient.

This is causing me serious problems.

What do I need to do to turn off all ICC management?

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LEGEND , Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

By the way, note that Photoshop must be shut down and restarted after a monitor profile change is made, or what you'll see in a View - Proof Colors display will no longer be accurate.  Photoshop apparently doesn't reload the monitor profile at the time that choice is made.

-Noel

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Contributor ,
Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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Well, it would probably help if you could explain a little more in detail what you are doing and why you want to turn CM off.  It would also help if you would verify what version of PS you are using.

One of the challenges you are going to face is that it really isn't possible to turn off color management completely in recent versions of Photoshop.  There are always SOME assumptions being made.  Here are some comments from Andrew Rodney on the issue:

http://www.gballard.net/psd/psdcm4678cs.html

Now if what you are trying to do is produce images that will look OK for the largest audience (that means including people who are using non-color-managed applications and browsers), here is what I would recommend:

- Use sRGB as your RGB working space in Photoshop.

- Put "Convert to Working RGB" in the RGB Color Management Policy.

-  When you save the image, you can save with or without an embedded profile.  It's your choice.  Most common applications and browsers will assume sRGB or something reasonably close if there is no embedded profile.  I normally save WITH embedded profiles since it makes the colospace clear to everyone, including myself, and it also helps Safari users a little.

Now the other component is your monitor profile, the thing that adjusts the viewing on YOUR monitor so that it produces results close to a standard.  I don't know if in your case you are using a custom monitor profile (produced from a calibrator/profiler like Huey, Spyder, Eye One, etc.) or perhaps a display profile from the manufacturer (Dell2408WFP, for example) or maybe a standard colorspace profile like sRGB.  It might be helpful if you would tell us which and also mention what operating system (Windows 7, Apple Snow Leopard, etc.).

Anyway, Photoshop will be using that monitor profile automatically (its use is different from the RGB working space in Color Settings).  If it is standard colorspace like sRGB or a manufacturer's display profile, it is likely that Photoshop will match the image in a non-color-managed application or come relatively close.  If you are using a custom monitor profile, then you may see significant differences.  If you don't like those differences you can:

- Stop using your custom monitor profile and try a manufacturer's o sRGB profile for your monitor profile (changed in your operating system, not PS).

- Use View>Proof Setup>Monitor RGB (or Internet Standard, I always forget which) to view a temporary version that is without the monitor profile.

- Start using color-managed applications like Firefox or Safari.

Note that using a custom monitor profile is NOT a bad thing.  What it allows you to do is make corrections for deviations from the standard that your monitor may need.  When creating an image in the common sRGB colorspace, for example, using a custom monitor profile whill help you produce an image as correctly as possible to that sRGB standard.

Also if it wasn't clear already, there is no such thing as "no colorspace".  The closest thing to a "no colorspace"/"no profile"/"no complications" standard today is sRGB.  There is a point beyond which you can't worry about how everyone else is going to see your images.  You have no control over how they adjust their monitors, what applications they use, and whether or not they know the first thing about color management.  All you can do is produce your images as close as possible to an industry standard (my recommendation is sRGB for normal web use) and meet them half way.

Hope that helps.

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New Here ,
Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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Hi Dennis,

As it happens I do a lot of high-end colour management for DI workflows.

Check out www.lightillusion.com

The problem is that I have a display that is fully calibrated to a very

accurate level using a 3D LUT in external hardware.

I have no display profile active obviously as I'm using external

calibration.

What I need is to use Photoshop with NO additional colour management.

I am using the latest CS5.

Using any colour management at all will be inaccurate for what I require.

I can generate ICC profiles that are accurate to the 3D LUT I am using via

SpaceMan ICC - so use the ICC rather than the 3D LUT in the external

hardware, but I don't always want to do that.

I have to say the colour management in Photoshop really is proving to be a

major pain!

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Contributor ,
Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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Sorry that I gave you Color Management 101.  It's always difficult to know how advanced someone is when they post a CM question here.  In your case, you are probably more advanced than I.

Nevertheless, I do have some questions/clarifications:

- I understand you are doing hardware calibration on your high-end monitor but I don't see how the operating system (which is it by the way?) has "no display profile active".  Surely, the OS is using something, even if it is sRGB or the manufacturers baseline profile?

- As I sort of alluded to in my first post, I see two parts of the color management issue that you may be trying to control here:

a. PS's colorspace conversion (incoming colorspace to PS working space to output space).

b. The impact that the monitor profile may have on your viewing.

Are you trying to control/turn off "a", "b", or something else?

Again, I think a little more explanation of what you are trying to do and why would be helpful, particularly since this seems to be an advanced topic.

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New Here ,
Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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Hi Dennis,

I'm using Win7 OS.

I have disabled all display profiles, so there is no OS colour management.

This can be checked with CalibrationTester.exe if required.

Basically, the RGB data values of the image need to be sent, unadulterated,

to the display.

Just as happens with high-end DI colour grading systems.

This means no colour space conversions within Photoshop or the OS.

I really don't get why it's so damn difficult to do!

:o(

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Contributor ,
Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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OK, well it sounds then like your issue is not with PS at all but with Windows 7.  Photoshop depends on the operating system for its monitor profile (or lack of one).

I assume by what you explained that if you go to the Win7 Color Management Control Panel, the devices tab for you monitor shows NO profile in the box titled "Profiles associated with this device"?

If that is the case, then the next step is to figure out what Win7 is doing when you haven't specified a device profile.  I suspect it is defaulting to sRGB as somewhat indicated by the Advanced tab of the Color Management Control Panel.

You might try unchecking "Use Windows display calibration" on the Advanced tab and see if that gives you what you want.  You could also try changing

the Device profile in the "Windows Color System Defaults" section of the Advanced tab but I don't see a way to choose no profile at all.

Microsoft often doesn't document very well the color management features in its products and it also sometimes does non-industry standard things regarding color management.  Nevertheless, a Google search on "Windows 7 color management" may turn up something for you.

I do think that that is where you need to concentrate though.  It doesn't sound like a PS issue to me.

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Contributor ,
Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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Also,  if a color management guru doesn't chime in here, you might want to post your question over in the Luminous Landscape color management forum.  Several heavy-hitters participate there including Andrew Rodney and Jeff Schewe.  Someone should be able to help.  Here is the link:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?board=45.0

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New Here ,
Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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Not sure that makes sense.

If I open an image in any other graphics program within Windows7 it displays

correctly.

Open it in Photoshop it displays incorrectly.

I think the problem is definitely with Photoshop...

Steve

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Contributor ,
Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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Does the image look different between PS and Windows Photo Viewer in Win 7?

Do you have soft-proofing (View>Proof Colors) in PS turned off?

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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You can set it to ignore the monitor icc profile by opening Photoshop


and do View - Proof Setup  and click on 'monitor RGB', then close
Photoshop without opening a file.  This will become your default.  You
can tell it to ignore profile mismatches etc with Edit - Color Settings
and unchecking the boxes in the 'color management settings' section and
in the RGB etc dropdowns select 'off'.  This is for cs.

In the long run most people find it's better to simply calibrate and
characterize their monitors and use color management, especially if
sending files out to be printed elsewhere, but if you're just
outputting to a single printer and you get accurate prints and a close

match between screen and print then I can see why you might want to
turn it off ...

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Valorous Hero ,
Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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On theory and that's been all my experience, you should not see any difference in Photoshop and any non color managed program  if you choose View > Proof Setup > Monitor RGB and make sure that View > Proof Colors is checked. This turns off the Photoshop color management in the preview of your images and displays the images as any other program that is not color managed.

Are you sure that this is not the case with you?

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Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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If I open an image in any other graphics program within Windows7 it displays

correctly.

Open it in Photoshop it displays incorrectly.

So, other programs that ignore the display profile look OK.

And Photoshop that uses the display profile looks wrong.

That is the very definition of "your display profile doesn't match your display".

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LEGEND ,
Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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The quickest way is to choose View - Proof Setup in Photoshop and just select Monitor RGB.  When View - Proof Colors is selected, you will see unaltered data, as Photoshop is being told that the image should be viewed as though its profile is the same as the monitor's profile.

However, it is not difficult to get Photoshop to send unaltered values from an sRGB document to your display without using Proof viewing.  My system is set up this way as I have my video card tables and monitors set up to accurately show sRGB.

Here's how:

1.  Start the Windows 7 control panel Color Management function, Devices tab, and uncheck [ ] Use my settings for this device.

2.  In the Advanced tab, ensure that Windows Color System Defaults is System default (sRGB IEC61966-2.1).

Voila, Photoshop considers the monitor as having the sRGB profile, and you'll see the exact same color values from an sRGB image as from a non-color-managed application.

Photoshop will also display colors from documents with other profiles correctly, as they are transformed to sRGB for display.

FYI, I have the ATI Catalyst display manager load my video card color settings at startup.

Hope this helps.

-Noel

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LEGEND ,
Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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By the way, note that Photoshop must be shut down and restarted after a monitor profile change is made, or what you'll see in a View - Proof Colors display will no longer be accurate.  Photoshop apparently doesn't reload the monitor profile at the time that choice is made.

-Noel

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Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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I have disabled all display profiles, so there is no OS colour management.

That's part of your mistake.

It really sounds like you're using 1980s techniques to "calibrate" your display, and trying to get more accurate and standards compliant applications to match that "calibration".

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New Here ,
Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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LOL

I don't want to appear rude, but I really think some of you need to

understand display profiling and calibration for high-end DI operations

better :o)

Read some of the DI workflow documentation on the Light Illusion website and

you may understand better.

Right now I want NO other colour management other than the VERY ACCURATE 3D

LUT used for total colour profiling within a highly accurate DI operation.

When I make a matched ICC input profile I want that to work in isolation,

again with a very accurately profiled and calibrated display done with

external 3D LUTs - but that's another story.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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Color management discussions often turn rude.  Goes with the territory, and you've got to have a thick skin.

Somewhat arrogant statements notwithstanding, that you've said the following shows that you don't understand color management as relates to Windows:

I have disabled all display profiles, so there is no OS colour management.

The Windows 7 operating system does not do color management, save for providing a slot to set a default profile for a given monitor, a specific folder in which to store and find profiles, and an occasional application (like Windows Picture Viewer) that actually uses it.

I've already told you how to accomplish what you want, but you've got it in your head that it just can't be right.  Match the document profile to the monitor profile and Photoshop delivers color values unmolested.

With your "high end" setup, exactly what monitor profile is being identified by the OS as tied to your monitor?

What document profile are you working in?

-Noel

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Valorous Hero ,
Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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Light Illusion wrote:

LOL

I don't want to appear rude, but I really think some of you need to

understand display profiling and calibration for high-end DI operation

better :o)...

🙂 Well, you may know a lot, but the fact is that you can't control Photoshop as you wish and the only way is to understand how its color management works . Photoshop and all other color managed programs need to know how you see colors on your monitor and the only way to do that is by using an accurate color profile of your monitor.  When you don't have that all programs including non color managed ones assume a display that may not be necessarily yours.

If you like how images look on non color managed programs and you want to make Photoshop display the images in the same way, you were already told by many how to do that. Check for details in my previous reply. If that doesn't work for you, you have problems with your system and software configuration because this works for everyone else with normal configuration. You haven't confirm it yet, but if that's the case you are the first one that I know to have Photoshop and no color managed programs different display when color management preview in Photoshop is turned off. So you have to find out what's different between your setup and the rest of the users who don't have that problem.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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It occurred to me that if you're creating your own monitor profile, you may just be creating an improper / invalid one that Photoshop just can't interpret.

Looking forward to specific answers to the questions I posed above.

-Noel

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Oct 10, 2010 Oct 10, 2010

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An ICC profile is a 3D LUT, tied to standards (CIE and ISO).

And ICC profiles are referred to absolute (CIELAB) color, not just random values.

You're trying to take a working Ferrari and put a go-kart engine inside. That should be a clue that you're doing something wrong.

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New Here ,
Oct 11, 2010 Oct 11, 2010

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Such comment really show there is a real lack of understanding of the

realties of accurate colour management.

What I have found, through following some of the more sensible answers, is

that Photoshop doesn't act on all menu changes until the software is closed

and re-started. What a pain!

Matching input profile to output has worked - after a re-start. A simple 'no

colour management' would be such a useful button!

However, I have now been able to get a result I am happy with, even if I

really don't get the hoops I am being forced to jump through. Calibration

doesn't have to be so damn complicated.

Let me try to explain further - it may help with understanding as it is

obvious this forum has little idea of the world of advance colour management

for DI workflows, which is understandable.

In the world of DI and high-end grading we use 3D LUTs for calibration.

A 64 point LUT is one of the most accurate ways to calibrate, and works by

mapping each and every point within the 3D Cube to the desired target value.

This is based on knowing the image data format and the final delivery

format. For film delivery we profile the whole film path too - which is a

long process in itself.

Profiling the digital display is a little easier to understand.

A 64 point LUT has 262144 separate calibration 'nodes' within the 3D cube.

For a lot of applications this is very overkill, and a 17 point cube is used

- which is 4913 'nodes', and is usually more than enough.

To profile a display with 4913 colour patches takes over 4 hours using a

very accurate probe, such as a PR-655 (some $25K in value to give you an

idea of what I am talking about), or a CS-200, K-10, or Hubble. To do 262144

is obviously some 53 times as long...

So, we are talking rather accurate profiles here.

These 3D LUTs are used to ensure the display is very accurately calibrated,

but to work we have to send unadulterated data to the display via the LUT -

make sense?

Anyway, we have a solution, but I now understand why my customers have so

many problems when working with Photoshop within what is ostensibly a DI

based operation.

I also understand why Adobe have added 3D LUT capability to AE - ICC

Profiles just really don't work in a DI world.

Thanks for the help,

Steve

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Valorous Hero ,
Oct 11, 2010 Oct 11, 2010

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New Here ,
Oct 11, 2010 Oct 11, 2010

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I'm not looking for any feedback on my company's software - that is not the

reason for the questions.

But, the software is a Colour Management Solution - so is not intended to

work with anything else. The bit of info missing is there are two software

solutions LightSpace and SpaceMan - but they are very focused on DI

applications.

LightSpace is a very advanced CMS system for 3D LUT generation.

SpaceMan is a tool for generating ICC profiles from 3D LUTs.

It's also fair to say that if you don't understand the term DI you are not

in the same market - which is not a problem, but does explain some of the

responses I have received for this forum - again, not a problem, just makes

sense. Our market is very specific - the colour grading of feature films.

And as a colourist I have graded a lot of films.

I have now managed to do as I require, so all is good. Thanks to all those

that provide help.

Just a real pain that it's so damn difficult :o(

The market I work within in very different to the one Photoshop is really

intended form but it is used at times, and I have been asked by many

customers to find a way to make it work within normal DI workflows.

I think I have that now - with some serious hoop jumping required.

Thanks again,

Steve

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Oct 11, 2010 Oct 11, 2010

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The market I work within in very different to the one Photoshop is really

intended for

No, Photoshop is intended to work in the film industry.  And Photoshop can and does work quite well in color grading, DI, VFX, and whatever other niche you want to talk about.

You're running into so many problems because you don't seem to understand the basic standards and color management concepts.

You really need to stop fighting with the standards and learn a little more -- it will reduce your headaches, and improve the quality of your work.

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Engaged ,
Oct 11, 2010 Oct 11, 2010

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From reading through (not all) of your website, it seems that you are defining the color space of what you are correcting visually, as the well calibrated monitor space, and then through lookup tables and/or ICC profiles, which you even offer to make from the lookup tables, perform color space transformations from what is basically "Monitor RGB" to "Film Recorder RGB" for output. The only real difference it appears is that you may be using more expensive measuring devices than most. In addition, you seem to be using more measuring data points, which, on the surface seems more accurate, but in practice, are often less visually pleasing than the smoothing and averaging that is done with fewer measurements, not to mention the sheer amount of time it takes to make many thousands of measurements. What I don't see discussed at all is process control. How do you compensate for the difference in film stock batches and/or the run to run differences in film processing. The biggest problem, and I've had this discussion with "film" guys, is that monitor spaces are not the ideal color correction spaces, which is why the concept of "working color spaces" taking the monitor space out of the loop but linking it with a monitor profile has been such a great idea.

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