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Thread: Photoshop is driving me nuts! (Proof, Convert and other quircks..)

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    Default Photoshop is driving me nuts! (Proof, Convert and other quircks..)

    Hi all,

    First off my apologies for posting about an issue which has been discussed over and over. Some years ago I read this very interesting thread here on CgArchitect with all those great explanations by Jeff. I had it. It worked. I thought "this is it", never more crazy color management issues from now on!

    Then new machine, new installation, what seemed crystal clear started to fade over the time, I guess especially because something that one sets up once in a while kind of gets lost in one's memory.

    And here I am. Reading forums, blogs and feeling more confused than ever.

    So, here's the situation.
    I calibrated my monitor (an ASUS PB Series PB238Q 23-Inch Screen LED-lit) with Color Munki, which worked great.
    After a fresh installation of PS I felt already confused about the Proof Colors. I thought: "Well, my main delivery is for the Internet, I'll just set up the Proof Setup to Internet Standard (sRGB), I'll turn on Proof Colors and I'm done!". No sir!
    So, let's try just the basics, matching what I see locally here on my machine. Not even that is working (and I guess I'm messing this up). I changed the proof setup to Monitor, now the image looks darker in PS.
    So, let's just turn everything off, no proof colors at all, let's just do a Save for Web. Another step into the abyss! If Convert to sRGB is off, the img I export looks darker compared to any setup I'm using (Internet sRGB, Monitor or even just leaving Proof Colors off). Whereas when I turn on Convert to sRGB from Save for Web, then what I export looks the same as the img in PS as long as Proof Colors is off. And it looks the same both in FF and locally on my machine (using whatever viewer/apps, except for the built-in MS picture viewer).

    See my confusion?

    I'm aware that there's no perfect solution to color management, each screen/platform/app reacts to color management in different ways. But at least I should be able to control what I'm doing on my same machine.

    Sorry for the long post

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    Default Re: Photoshop is driving me nuts! (Proof, Convert and other quircks..)

    Can you explain a bit more about your desired workflow. It sounds to me like the issue is you trying to compare images in a color managed app like Photoshop vs a non-color managed app like a browser or within windows. It will never match in that case due to the larger color gamut of a wide gamut display. Some questions:

    1) What is your desired workflow
    2) Send a screen capture of your color management settings in PS

    Cheers,
    Jeff

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    Default Re: Photoshop is driving me nuts! (Proof, Convert and other quircks..)

    so here what i do:

    in windows 7:

    1. calibrated and profiled with colormunki and argyllCMS. you will be fine using the colormunki software so don't worry, just telling you what i did.

    2. in windows 7, i went into color management and made sure my profile was listed for the dell monitor, and "use my setttings for this device" was checked.

    then i clicked on the advanced tab, left the defaults (device profile: system default (srgb ie c6xxx), viewing conditions: system default (wcs profile for srgb viewing conditions), perceptual, photography, proofing and line art, proofing - simulate paper/media color, charts and graph...)

    then i clicked on the bottom button "change system defaults", switched to the advanced tab, left everything except put a check-box in "use windows display calibration". i hit close, close again, and returned to my desktop.

    in photoshop:


    i went into color settings, left North America General Purpose 2 which i believe is the default (i'm going off googled screen shots)

    RGB: changed to ProPhoto (but, you could use aRGB or sRGB here - more on that below)
    CMYK: left alone, as well as Gray: and Spot:

    Color Management Policies
    RGB: preserve embedded profiles, CMYK: preserve embedded, Gray: preserve embedded

    For Profile Mismatch and Missing Profiles: I checked each check-box "ask when opening", "ask when pasting" "ask when opening" all of them checked.

    Finally, in photoshop, i NEVER use "save for web" and i NEVER look at the proof when working in photoshop view the "view menu" proof setup or proof colors. wait, i do if i'm looking at what the image will look like when printing it. it's called soft proofing and really should only be used for printing. edit: and really you should have a printer profile to softproof with and stick with the same rendering intent and black point compensation depending on how the printer's profile was made. generally speaking, the best option even if you are printing to an office-type laser printer or non-photo plotter is to just don't worry about and when you print go to srgb in your image as most printers are setup to handle srgb images internally without any need to set which program (photoshop or printer drivers) handle color management.

    so, when i'm just working with renders and not photographs i've taken with the intent of printing, i just never use it.

    ok - so how does this all work for then?

    1. in 3ds max (which is not color managed, but "approximately is sRGB") i will render an image hit save in the rendered frame window and save it as a jpg or whatever.

    2. i'll open that image in photoshop, because i checked the boxes for profile mismatch and missing profiles, photoshop will pop-up and say "hey, the image you are opening has no embedded profile what do you want to do" i select "assign profile, choose my colormunki profile" and check the box that says "and then convert to ProPhoto (or aRGB or sRGB, whatever i selected above in photoshop's color settings. even though 3ds max "approximates srgb" i give it my own monitor profile so that it will look exactly like what i see in the non-color managed 3ds max rendered frame window and i know any adjustments i make inside max to colors will look the same in photoshop if i have to re-render something.

    NOTE**: if you use ProPhoto or aRGB, it's extremely important to covert the photoshop image back into sRGB when you are going to send out to clients or over the web, heck even printing to a color laser or whatever, or if other people in the office will view the image. most people aren't profiled or calibrated but sRGB is the least damaging when you have no control over someone elses viewing of the image.

    EDIT: so yes, sRGB is probably the best bet for passing your images along for others to view or if they print.

    but recently a designer bitched at me because my "warm grey tile floor" looked "blue" when they displayed it on their uncalibrated/profiled big screen tv. nice. even though i've been explaining color management for 2 years to her. that's when i say "show them samples". my solution is to go to that big screen tv and calibrated/profile it the next chance i get.

    and forget about printing! every printer is going to print it differently. in our office we have a new printer that i've been able to calibrate and profile and the printer has a fiery rip which works well enough at 600dpi mode but in 1200dpi mode for smoother gradients and edges, it's WAY off, like someone increased saturation in photoshop by 50% or more. and the leasing company won't address that.

    for really important print jobs, most printing houses know how to handle profiles and images and have high-quality dye or pigment printers so they can handle sRGB images sent to them no problems. and you don't need to worry about CMYK either. just send them an sRGB image or aRGB image (prophoto they may freak out about).
    Last edited by SgWRX; September 13th, 2015 at 10:20 AM.

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    Default Re: Photoshop is driving me nuts! (Proof, Convert and other quircks..)

    Thank you so much to both of you for helping!

    Jeff,

    here's a screen shot:



    The workflow I'm after is something that will let me to work with computer generated images and photography and keep as much consistency as possible across digital platforms (browsers, computers, tablets), which I know won't be 100% accurate.
    The confusion began with the Proof Colors and Save for Web.
    I overlooked the color management in the other apps, trying to get the same results across all the apps.
    That being said, I assume PS and AE should match, as long as I work in the same color space, which in this case it is sRGB. And they don't:

    AE, CM off:


    AE, CM on:


    PS, default settings (as screen shot above):


    Now, from my PS settings I would assume I'm working in sRGB. If that's the case, why AE sRGB and PS sRGB don't match? If it's not the case, I don't know what I'm doing wrong in PS as it seems is not working in sRGB space.


    Btw, I saved the images skipping the Save for Web option for now, going with a PNG save instead and then converting to JPG. From what I can tell, converting from PNG to JPG, I don't see any particular change or loss for what concerns the color space.



    SgWRX,

    thank you, that's quite a description!
    I'll have to read it again, but one thing caught my attention right away, and it's in your Windows Color Management Settings. In fact, I didn't have the "use windows display calibration" checked on the second advanced option. I turned it on, but honestly I can't tell the difference. Should I noticed it?

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    Default Re: Photoshop is driving me nuts! (Proof, Convert and other quircks..)

    Quote Originally Posted by SgWRX View Post

    1. in 3ds max (which is not color managed, but "approximately is sRGB") i will render an image hit save in the rendered frame window and save it as a jpg or whatever.
    Any non-color managed app, including 3ds Max, will use the display's color space. Unless you're using an old CRT or an LCD that has an sRGB mode, you're more likely going to be working in a space closer to AdobeRGB or larger. The exception is V-Ray, whose frame buffer can load an ICC profile.

    Quote Originally Posted by SgWRX View Post
    ... the image you are opening has no embedded profile what do you want to do" i select "assign profile, choose my colormunki profile" and check the box that says "and then convert to ProPhoto (or aRGB or sRGB, whatever i selected above in photoshop's color settings. even though 3ds max "approximates srgb"
    This workflow is one I wrote about in the chapter I wrote about color management years ago and reinforces the fact 3ds Max is not in most cases approximating sRGB. The reason applying the display's profile and then converting to your working space works is because 3ds Max is using your display's colorspace.


    Quote Originally Posted by SgWRX View Post
    most people aren't profiled or calibrated but sRGB is the least damaging when you have no control over someone elses viewing of the image.
    True. One thing that can help remove one of the variables is sending your tagged images inside of a PDF. Acrobat is a color managed application, so sending images inside a PDF ensures you can get a bit more consistency in the workflow. There is nothing you can do if their display is totally out of spec, but helps a bit.


    Quote Originally Posted by SgWRX View Post
    and forget about printing! every printer is going to print it differently.
    Actually you can get prints to look very accurate. On my high end photographic Epson I can get an almost identical match to by display. There are a few things you have to realize though. First, like any output device you need to both calibrate/linearize and profile the printer. When you print you will then use the profile for the printer/ink/paper combination. A printer profile is a profile of all three of those things. If any changes you need a new profile. While the higher end color management packages allow you to generate your own printer profiles by printing and measuring color patches using a spectrophotometer, if you are using an Epson and some other higher end printers, the manufacturer will have profiles you can download from their site for the paper/printer/ink combos. Unlike display profiles, manufacturer print profiles from companies like Epson are actually pretty good.

    The one other VERY important aspect of printing is your lighting. Unless you design your color management workflow otherwise, profiles are built on the assumption that everything is being viewed under 6500K lighting (approx. natural daylight). If you view your images under fluorescent lighting, you're going to get something completely different. For really color accurate work, you would have a lightbox on your desk with an adjustable bulb to control color temperature and brightness. That way you can also use it for matching physical samples and printed output. If you view your prints near an outside window, you should get a pretty decent match provide the rest of your workflow is set up correctly.

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    Default Re: Photoshop is driving me nuts! (Proof, Convert and other quircks..)

    well that's the deal in the first screen shot - AE has color settings like photoshop does. in fact you can save out your settings from one program, then load it in the other program.

    from what you have above, AE isn't matching photoshop.

    for windows, it's supposed to load the monitor profile when windows starts. during the splash screen start up you can see it change. what i talked about above ensures that windows loads that profile every time when the system starts up. there used to be (maybe still do) issues where windows wouldn't load it, or it would load it for one user and not another.

    if you calibrate your monitor - set the white point, brightness and color, sometimes the difference between loading the profile and not having the profile loaded is fairly small.

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    Default Re: Photoshop is driving me nuts! (Proof, Convert and other quircks..)

    Quote Originally Posted by dsp_418 View Post
    Thank you so much to both of you for helping!


    The workflow I'm after is something that will let me to work with computer generated images and photography and keep as much consistency as possible across digital platforms (browsers, computers, tablets), which I know won't be 100% accurate.
    The confusion began with the Proof Colors and Save for Web.
    I overlooked the color management in the other apps, trying to get the same results across all the apps.
    That being said, I assume PS and AE should match, as long as I work in the same color space, which in this case it is sRGB. And they don't:


    Now, from my PS settings I would assume I'm working in sRGB. If that's the case, why AE sRGB and PS sRGB don't match? If it's not the case, I don't know what I'm doing wrong in PS as it seems is not working in sRGB space.


    Btw, I saved the images skipping the Save for Web option for now, going with a PNG save instead and then converting to JPG. From what I can tell, converting from PNG to JPG, I don't see any particular change or loss for what concerns the color space.


    OK a few things. Proofing is used when you want to simulate how an image will change when it's converted to another colorspace. The most used workflow is when printing. So let's say you are going to print to an Epson Stylus Pro. It has a color space close to Adobe RGB. So assuming your working space and your display are both larger colorspaces than the printer, proofing is going to likely shift or desaturate colors from what you see on your display. Depends on the colors in your image though. So with your image in a proof mode, you could see that perhaps your blue sky had shifted to a slight purple color. You could then adjust the colors selectively and then save the image with your working space. When you print you should get the colors printing closer to how you expect. You can also use this if your working space is larger and you are saving the files as sRGB. If your working space is AdobeRGB or ProPhoto for example, anytime you convert to sRGB when you save, you will almost certainly see a shit and desaturation in color. That's because the sRGB colorspace is a much smaller colorspace then the working space.

    As for why you are seeing a shift in colors between AE and PS. What colorspace is AE set to? I notice you posted actual photographs, so I wonder which camera you used and what colorspace the photo was saved with if it was in a non RAW format. If you opened a RAW image, you by default will rasterize that image into your working space. There could be an issue with your working space and the profile the image was taken in. For example if I shoot JPG I usually assign AdobeRGB my camera. If you open that image into PS with your current settings, you're going to be working in AdobeRGB as it preserves the embedded profile.

    Tell me a bit more about your photographic workflow so I can better guess where the issue might be. What camera, what type of image (RAW/JPG) etc.

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    Default Re: Photoshop is driving me nuts! (Proof, Convert and other quircks..)

    jeff thanks. lol, i found an older thread where you said exactly the same thing about assigning the monitor profile! ha! that's where i learned it i think

    anyway yeah for printing, you can get pretty accurate matches. but you have no control when someone else prints it unless it's a printing house. at my work, i have profiled a color laser, but not our HP color plotter. our laser prints pretty close to my screen but.... as soon as i fire up my epson 3880, well it blows the others away i custom profiled my printer/paper. but even with mfg paper profiles i used the last 10 years, they still blew away the plotters and lasers

    oh, and hey, i just recently bit the bullet and got a couple of solux mr16 bulbs 4700k and 3500k and a desktop lamp they work in. i'm blown away by how much closer match to my screen it is under the 4700k light.

    i didn't know that about adobe PDF. so anytime i right clicked an image and said "convert to pdf" it would allow for the embedded profile? or do i have to do something. oh, and we just ditched acrobat for bluebeam so i'll have to see if it's color managed.

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    Default Re: Photoshop is driving me nuts! (Proof, Convert and other quircks..)

    Quote Originally Posted by SgWRX View Post
    i have profiled a color laser, but not our HP color plotter. our laser prints pretty close to my screen but.... as soon as i fire up my epson 3880, well it blows the others away i custom profiled my printer/paper. but even with mfg paper profiles i used the last 10 years, they still blew away the plotters and lasers
    Not sure the characteristics of your plotter, but you can only print that the ink and paper can simulate. If the plotter is not a high end photographic plotter (and even if it is) it may simply not be capable of reproducing some colors. So for example as much as you want a vibrant blue saturated sky, if if can't reproduce that gamut, no amount of color management will change that. If you happen to have the ICC profile for the plotter and the Epson, if you sent them to me, I can plot them in a 3D gamut viewer I have. We'll then be able to tell how they compare and what they are capable of.

    Quote Originally Posted by SgWRX View Post
    oh, and hey, i just recently bit the bullet and got a couple of solux mr16 bulbs 4700k and 3500k and a desktop lamp they work in. i'm blown away by how much closer match to my screen it is under the 4700k light.
    Yea baby! Somebody has been doing some reading Solux bulbs rock. Cheap man's lightbox.

    Quote Originally Posted by SgWRX View Post
    i didn't know that about adobe PDF. so anytime i right clicked an image and said "convert to pdf" it would allow for the embedded profile? or do i have to do something. oh, and we just ditched acrobat for bluebeam so i'll have to see if it's color managed.
    I'm not positive if it embed the profile when converting to PDF. I've never tried it. I'd take an image that has been saved with a known profile and then import it into a blank PDF document.

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    Default Re: Photoshop is driving me nuts! (Proof, Convert and other quircks..)

    Solux - you read about stuff but when you experience for yourself it's different! glad i got them, but i got the 50watt which is WAY to bright for 14-16" above my desk! 35watts on order.

    well, that's why i've never profiled our plotter. it's an older HP 4 color does a fairly good job if you send it an srgb image. i definitely don't print to it. i'm usually out of the loop when it comes to printing. though, when i plopped my 3880 on my desk co-workers started to wonder. now i only guaruntee accurate colors when something is displayed on my screen and printed on my printer with X paper

    MARCO ---

    Marco's screen shot shows AE color settings are not sync'd with PS. Marco if you synch them up or set the manually the same you should be good to go.

    but yes, if you get into printing - listen to Jeff. you should have a printer profile (usually from the paper manufacturer) for your specific model of printer and ink that you uses (usually it's printer manufacturer's ink). then, you can load that profile in Photoshop's "proofing" and see what your image will look like when you print it and make adjustments accordingly while still looking at it in that proof profile. it may not look good when you turn off that print proofing so usually keep your adjustments on layers so you can turn them off when you just want to send someone an sRGB image.

    example of printer/paper/ink profile...

    so i have an epson 3880 and bought paper from canson called "baryta photographique". canson, made a "generic" profile for that paper on an epson 3880 with the ink that came from epson - not my printer, but one they bought at their factory. so when i take a photo in photoshop (no matter what color profile my photo has), i'll apply that "generic" profile via the proof profile in photoshop and observe the changes compared to NOT using proof profile (aka soft proofing). now, doing this, gives me a preview of what to expect when i print from photoshop on that specific paper with it's profile. technically, you can use soft proofing to see color differences between aRGB and sRGB, but you might not need to make any adjustments so normally you wouldn't do anything.

    i might see that dark shadows all become the same dark black and have no definition. so then i add an adjustment to the photo increasing the brightness of the shadows so that i can see some detail - think of ambient occlusion of a sphere on a dark grey floor.... the AO might be a very dark shadow at the base of the sphere, but the shadow the sphere casts from the light might end up being the dark shadow, thus the AO and sphere's shadow blend together all too dark. so if i adjust the shadows with a curve, then i can separate the AO shadow (the darkest shadow) from the sphere's shadow (a little bit lighter).

    also Marco, look at some websites like Luminous Landscape or google Andrew Rodney to learn more about color management.

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