Author Topic: Working with calibrated monitors- which color space?  (Read 2849 times)

2022-11-16, 17:07:13

JGallagher

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Hello,

I've recently bought a monitor calibration tool which gives me an *.icc file. Should I be using this profile for all my programs that allow it? Photoshop, Substance, etc.? Does anyone have some insight on this? Color space is a deep well that I'm just scratching the surface of.

Thank you!

2022-11-16, 19:04:47
Reply #1

Juraj

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Short answer: Yes.

But you won't be able to use it in 3dsMax/Corona because neither has color management (yet). There is a hack though available to nVidia users: https://github.com/ledoge/novideo_srgb
It allows to "force" ICC profile onto non-managed applications as well. It might cause some conflicts or issues but it's what it is.

As for software color-calibration (one that generates ICC profile), remember that you calibrated for existing monitor settings at time of calibration. If you change your monitor settings (in monitor OSD menu), your ICC profile will become incorrect.

The best course of action for software color management is to choose Monitor's widest gamut option, usually it's default/stock one, then pick brightness and contrast (ideally between 125-200 NITs, which usually corresponds to 50perc. brightness +/- on average monitor) and then do the calibration. Pick Color space target (sRGB for general web use, AdobeRGB or DCI-P3 for print or HDR or general wide-gamut workflow), corresponding gamma (2.2 for sRGB and AdobeRGB) and White Balance Point (6500K for sRGB and AdobeRGB).

Then load your ICC profile into Windows Color management, and preferrably also the NOVIDEO tool I linked above if you want to see correct colors in 3dsMax.

DON'T embed (or apply) this ICC profile to your images. This ICC profile only applies to your monitor. Save your images with generic color profile depending (sRGB or AdobeRGB, etc..).
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2022-11-16, 19:40:28
Reply #2

JGallagher

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Very informative. Thank you very much!

2023-03-15, 09:38:16
Reply #3

Redeemer

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I'm curious about this because I have a monitor that supports calibration and has 100% aRGB coverage.

Usually my workflow is this:

corona render exports as linear 32 bit exr > Edit images in photoshop (8 bit) under the calibrated ICC profile > Convert to sRGB when communicating with client (assuming he or she doesnt have a ARGB supported monitor) In the end I keep the layered PSD as aRGB and the flattened exports as sRGB. If the client wants a layered psd I will convert that to sRGB before sending it out.

Not sure if this workflow is correct because more often than I want I end up discussing with my clients about colors. (I dont do a lot of Archviz, more FMCG where of course brandcolors are very important)

TNX!

2023-03-15, 11:29:46
Reply #4

Juraj

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What you do sounds correct and how should be done, at least in terms of color profile. But you should do most of your post-production in 16bit PS mode (it's non-linear as well) to get the most out of avoiding banding and other type artifacts. In the end you can still convert down to 8bit, loss-less compressed Tiff(or whatever your client prefers).

Don't send aRGB unless the client requests it due to print (aRGB is closest to CMYK coverage), ideally their own in-house, that's the only AdobeRGB use nowadays. Even majority of wide-gamut display users are simply on high-end laptops& (Apple) desktops which may cover 100perc. DCI-P3 but rarely more than 90 aRGB so they would still end up seeing it wrong.

sRGB as client's output will still be the most popular and logical choice for at least another 4-5 years.
« Last Edit: 2023-03-15, 11:33:42 by Juraj »
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2023-03-15, 14:19:34
Reply #5

Redeemer

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Thanks for your answer!

Wouldn't it be better though to edit in sRGB, mostly because when converting the image to sRGB it is a lot different from the aRGB version. Despite the smaller color range in sRGB it is at least edited in a way that it is the same for me en my client.

Sorry if I may sound confusing, I am a bit confused about this :)

2023-03-15, 16:56:02
Reply #6

Juraj

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Yeah you can do that as well, in fact it isn't big difference. But the "correct" way to keep all calculations in wider gamut and still see the correct output, is to use the "Proofing" function. You set your Proofing color to be sRGB, your working color space to be any wide gamut color space and you will always see the colors that you will get when you convert down to smaller output gamut that working one (aRGB --) sRGB).

There is a logical theory to do all color calculations in widest color gamut (like LAB) to avoid innacuracies and artifacts, but practical tests have shown the result is rarely affected at all. It's bit like audiophilia :- ). So using LAB colors is really more of a fetish at this point :- ). At least for general design/photography work.
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