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Thread: Best Color Workflow in 3ds max + Photoshop in Dell U2711 Monitor?

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    Default Best Color Workflow in 3ds max + Photoshop in Dell U2711 Monitor?

    I have finally bought an IPS monitor, Dell u2711. I came from using the 17" FHD lcd screen on my laptop Dell Precision M6600.

    Before this I have never really put any serious effort into making sure my monitor color is accurate. With the latest purchase, I figure it is time to get into a more "professional" workflow in getting the best accurate color from my monitor.

    But where do I start?

    I know the U2711 comes Pre-calibrated in factory (sRGB & Adobe RGB). So the first thing I do after I plug in the monitor (through Display Port) is to set the Preset to "Adobe RGB". Next, I went to Start> color management> assign Adobe RGB (1998) as default profile. Is that how it should work? And it should have a fairly accurate color by now? I do not own any calibration hardware, so I will follow the adobe RGB profile for the meantime, which I believe should be as accurate as it can be. Correct me if im wrong.

    So what I am doing now is just "profiling" instead of "calibrating"?

    If I assume the above is the correct method, next I will need to set my software (3ds max and photoshop cs4) to work in Adobe RGB color space?

    I went into photoshop's Color Setting. Change the working space from sRGB to Adobe RGB and press OK. Done? Now whenever I open an image without color profile to it, photoshop will as me if I will like to assign the Adobe RGB color to the file, and I should.

    I use to work everything in sRGB color space because I do not know the proper way in using other color profiling and has no calibration tool, and using sRGB ensure that my client may see the closest thing to what I see from my side. I usually save and send the file in JPEG. So I do not know if I have adobe rgb profile embedded in the image. When my client opens the file from his computer (assuming using Windows photo viewer) will he see weird color... or accurate color base on my adobe RGB profile?

    I am in a dilemma here, as I am still post processing my 3d with my laptop screen, because the color difference between my laptop and new monitor is too much. And for 1-2 years i have been producing images from laptop and that is what my clients see (and usually have no complain about the color)

    My real question is..In my case, should I apply the Adobe RGB workflow. or should stick with the sRGB standard workflow? What is the consequences to move completely to Adobe RGB? BTW, in 3ds max, how is the monitor profiling going to affect what we see in 3ds max rendering? There seems to be no option to assign color profile to Max.

    Please advice me! Thanks a million!

  2. #2
    Founder Jeff Mottle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Color Workflow in 3ds max + Photoshop in Dell U2711 Monitor?

    But where do I start?
    Color management is not something I can explain to you in a single post as there are entire books written on the subject. If you want to get up to speed quickly, I'd recommend purchasing the Advanced to Expert book here: http://www.thecgschool.com/cgbooks/ I wrote the first 50 page chapter which tells you how to get up to speed quickly with color management. You can also try reading through some of the posts on the Color Management forum here as well. You should not use color management unless you understand what you are doing or you will be kicking yourself when everything blows up on you.

    I know the U2711 comes Pre-calibrated in factory (sRGB & Adobe RGB). So the first thing I do after I plug in the monitor (through Display Port) is to set the Preset to "Adobe RGB". Next, I went to Start> color management> assign Adobe RGB (1998) as default profile. Is that how it should work? And it should have a fairly accurate color by now? I do not own any calibration hardware, so I will follow the adobe RGB profile for the meantime, which I believe should be as accurate as it can be. Correct me if im wrong.
    The sRGB and AdobeRGB presets on displays only limit the gamut of colors that the display outputs so you can sort of get color management out of the box. However, no display, even ones costing $2K+ can be used out of the box without box profiling and calibration. Honestly the only time I would use one of the internal presets is if I were only going to work in sRGB as it will get rid of the wide gamut problem that many users experience between the frame buffer and Photoshop. Otherwise, leave the preset at the display default and calibrate and profile it with its native capabilities.

    Regarding Photoshop you don't just arbitrarily assign AdobeRGB to your image. Many will use this as their default working space, but you generally don't convert your image to another workspace unless you have a reason to do so. I would highly suggest doing a bit more reading before using anything other than the default Photoshop color management settings. Color management used incorrectly is much worse than not using it at all.

    So what I am doing now is just "profiling" instead of "calibrating"?
    Profiling is the process performed with a piece of color management hardware like a spectrophotometer or colorimeter to measure the characteristics of a device in a known state. You should look at purchasing a ColorMunki or i1 Pro from Xrite. Avoid the Spyder stuff, it's crap IMHO.
    Calibrating is the process performed (also with the aid of hardware) to bring that hardware into a known state. For example you would generally target 6500K color temperature and Gamma 2.2.
    If you purchase one of the devices above it will walk you though all of the above. As you're new to color management I would suggest the ColorMunki as it's meant to be used by people who don't want to learn the intricacies and terminology inherent in color management.


    If I assume the above is the correct method, next I will need to set my software (3ds max and photoshop cs4) to work in Adobe RGB color space?
    Other than Lightwave, no 3d applications are color managed. So you can't set a working space or assign profiles in the frame buffer. I mention a trick for CG imagery in a few threads here and in the book for how you deal with this though.

    I went into photoshop's Color Setting. Change the working space from sRGB to Adobe RGB and press OK. Done? Now whenever I open an image without color profile to it, photoshop will as me if I will like to assign the Adobe RGB color to the file, and I should.
    Using the AdobeRGB working space is fine in most cases. The prompt you are getting is being triggered by the color management policies section of the Color Settings in Photoshop. In most cases you would assume untagged (no profile) images to be sRGB so it's best to assign sRGB and then convert to AdobeRGB (Assuming you have a good reason to make that conversion and not just edit in the sRGB colorspace). Again, do some reading as it will help immensely. That chapter I wrote explains all of this.

    I use to work everything in sRGB color space because I do not know the proper way in using other color profiling and has no calibration tool, and using sRGB ensure that my client may see the closest thing to what I see from my side. I usually save and send the file in JPEG. So I do not know if I have adobe rgb profile embedded in the image. When my client opens the file from his computer (assuming using Windows photo viewer) will he see weird color... or accurate color base on my adobe RGB profile?
    Generally if you are sending work to clients you'd send it in sRGB (converted to)as they will not likely have a wide gamut display or an application that will read the profile. One way around this is to embed your tagged images into a PDF as this app is color managed. This does nto mean they won't see crappy color, but will at least remove one of the variables. It's more than likely your client is using a crappy display that is not calibrated. I explain this in the chapter too. My recommendation until you learn more about this is to switch your display to sRGB mode.

    I am in a dilemma here, as I am still post processing my 3d with my laptop screen, because the color difference between my laptop and new monitor is too much. And for 1-2 years i have been producing images from laptop and that is what my clients see (and usually have no complain about the color)
    Laptops generally have a color gamut even smaller or close to sRGB. THey are not good for doing anything where color is important. Your clients all use sRGB display most likely so that's why there has never been issues before. You're using a wide gamut display so you need to get color management sorted (or stick with sRGB). You will also never get the laptop and wide gamut display to match. They are not even close to being equal in their capabilities or characteristics.

    My real question is..In my case, should I apply the Adobe RGB workflow. or should stick with the sRGB standard workflow? What is the consequences to move completely to Adobe RGB? BTW, in 3ds max, how is the monitor profiling going to affect what we see in 3ds max rendering? There seems to be no option to assign color profile to Max.

    For now I would buy a ColorMunki, set your colorspace preset to sRGB and then Calibrate and Profile your display. Then just use Photoshop as you always have until you learn more about color management. During your learning I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, but you need to get a basic level of understanding first.

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    Default Re: Best Color Workflow in 3ds max + Photoshop in Dell U2711 Monitor?

    Hi Jeff,

    Thank you so much for answering my questions personally! I have always tried to study color management since a few years ago, but without the right tools...I just couldnt do it right. After reading through your explanation, I think I have to decide to stick with the sRGB workspace. It should be a safer choice... since I will be working from 3ds max and editing in Photoshop. Perhaps my need for a wide colorspace (adobeRGB) is not as crucial compare to those working in graphics-printing-advertising line.

    Look like I have no choice but to invest on a ColorMunki device, and set my colorspace preset to sRGB and calibrate + profile my display. I know many people will disagree to use sRGB colorspace on a widegamut monitor like U2711... as it will be a waste of the monitor potential. It limits the color that can display on the monitor. But I rather do that than having all my image messed up in the end, and what the clients see end of the day is more important.

    I may have a lot more questions to ask in the future. Thank you and sorry if my English is a bit ... confusing and the terminology I used is incorrect.

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    Founder Jeff Mottle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Color Workflow in 3ds max + Photoshop in Dell U2711 Monitor?

    I know many people will disagree to use sRGB colorspace on a widegamut monitor like U2711... as it will be a waste of the monitor potential. It limits the color that can display on the monitor. But I rather do that than having all my image messed up in the end, and what the clients see end of the day is more important.
    Yes, setting the display to only display sRGB is a waste of its capabilities, but using a wide gamut display without color management causes a lot of problems that you did not have to deal with before. For now it's fine, but I would do some more reading so you can take full advantage of the display.

    I may have a lot more questions to ask in the future.
    Happy to answer them for you.

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    Default Re: Best Color Workflow in 3ds max + Photoshop in Dell U2711 Monitor?

    wow very interesting. thanks for that explanation jeff.
    going to look at this colour munki now.

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    Default Re: Best Color Workflow in 3ds max + Photoshop in Dell U2711 Monitor?

    Hi Jeff,

    May i know is this product recommended?

    http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-...1057606/review

    I notice there is another more advance product by colormunki (colormunki photo). But the cost is way too high for me. Is it ok if I just get the one as above? Thanks!

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    Founder Jeff Mottle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Color Workflow in 3ds max + Photoshop in Dell U2711 Monitor?

    Yes, that is a great product. I've tested it against the higher end i1 Pro and for most purposes it's just as good.

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    Default Re: Best Color Workflow in 3ds max + Photoshop in Dell U2711 Monitor?

    Thanks for the feedback. I hope I'll be able to find one locally

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