View Full Version : What color profile to use?

05-31-2010, 07:34 AM
Hello, I have always used standar color profile. Most of the time no color profile was choosen in the color management of Windows, sRGB used in Photoshop. But my lcd screen comes with an own color profile, and I have always asked myself if I should use it in Windows and compositing softwares or use sRGB. What do you think?

06-01-2010, 05:04 AM
I would use some type of densitometer calibration device for your monitor, like an X-Rite, Spyder, etc... They cost in the US$50-200 range.

06-01-2010, 06:04 AM
Sorry, but I'm not actually interested in buying a calibrating device as I'm not a cg pro.

06-04-2010, 11:25 AM
If your monitor comes with a color profile, then it would be much better to use it than any default (or, none at all).

You have to work with an objective standard if you're doing film, print, or video work because your eyes are so gosh-darned adaptable. You can walk into the most awful cheap convenience-store, filled with ugly green fluorescent light, look at a white sheet of paper and see "white." You never really know what you're looking at ... or what the people who look at your work will be looking at ... unless you use some objective profile.

06-04-2010, 11:55 AM
The thing is if I use monitors own profile, I will work based on that, but the rest of the world that normally use sRGB won't see the same that I see. So it's better to use own profile and save images and videos in that or in sRGB, or use sRGB from the begining?

06-04-2010, 05:38 PM
You obviously can't control what happens on the end-user's playback equipment.

What you want, though, is for your work-product to have predictable color values, as free as possible from any visual bias that may have been (unintentionally...) induced by your personal equipment at design-time.

Obviously, as you put your piece together, you're going to be looking at your screen, and you're going to choose "colors that look right to you." That means: "that look right to you ... on your present screen, in its present (uncalibrated) state." And that means that there's some amount of bias, or skew, in the color values that you picked. The (R,G,B) data in your files won't accurately represent the colors you intended: they'll be "off," by the amount (whatever it is... who knows?) of error in your uncalibrated screen.

(If your monitor went "ka-blooie" ...ooh, hate it when that happens!... and you had to go out to the computer store right now and buy a new one ... then you, too would immediately see the problem for yourself: suddenly, all your hard work would "look wrong." Why? Because your new monitor will not display the colors, that you oh-so carefully selected, in precisely the same way as your old monitor did.)

A color-profile, supplied by your monitor manufacturer, is intended to compensate for the biases inherent in that monitor. So, now, the (R,G,B) values that you decide-upon will come much closer to representing your intentions, in linear color space, at all luminosity levels. When viewed on other calibrated equipment, there may be slight differences, but they will be of a nature that is much easier to deal with.

While some amount of color-correction is always necessary in bringing different images together, it's much easier if the corrections that need to be made to any one of them are "fairly close to linear." That requires the use of calibrated equipment during the entire design process.

06-22-2010, 01:40 AM
Every monitor - even the same models from the same brand - will have a different look or color cast - if only slightly different. Some may be imperceptible, and some are VERY drastically different.

This is what Beaker was getting at.

By using a color calibrator - hardware based is preferable - it gives your monitor a color profile in conjunction with your graphics card (which is telling your monitor what to see and how to see it) a basis for "correct colors". Not only in color cast, but gamma, etc. While each monitor may be tweaked differently with different brands of calibrators, they will be MUCH closer when done this way, and you can guarantee that anyone with anything CLOSE to a calibrated monitor will see your colors and densities close to the same.

You don't have to be a pro - it just makes sense if you want to show your work to others, or even have it printed out (in which case you will NEVER know why your monitor doesn't match the prints coming out - when it's calibrated, you will only need slight tweaks for printing).

I hope this makes sense. Good luck-


06-22-2010, 03:58 AM
woops, forgot to get back to this one.

You can ballpark a gamma 2.2 under the mac by doing the advanced calibration in the display settings and eyeballing the low, mid, highs by slightly blurring your eyes and matching the apple to the background color. I have no idea if there is an equivalent thing for windows.

06-22-2010, 11:28 AM
There is - but it doesn't even come close to hardware calibration. Adobe has a test calibration setup that you also eyeball - but if it's already starting out too dark then your colors will be off. If they're already the wrong shade, then your colors will be off.

They're all based on what your graphics card is currently sending to your monitor anyway, so it's an eyeball approximation of already "off" colors.

A hardware calibration system will figure out and adjust what is being projected by measuring all MacBeth color chart info - or equivalent - ex.: projecting THIS EXACT shade of red, taking the color measure of what it is reading that your monitor is projecting, and has your graphics card adjust for the difference so NOW your monitor will project the correct color measurement - not only shade, but density.

06-22-2010, 03:49 PM
Right, you obviously didn't read the previous posts and just parroted back what I already said.

06-22-2010, 05:10 PM

Yes, there is a Windows equivalent.

Thought I answered that and yes, reiterated what you said but with a fuller explanation. And the first post of yours was merely making him aware that there are hardware calibrations systems, and a low price range.

06-22-2010, 08:40 PM
Thought I answered that and yes, reiterated what you said but with a fuller explanation. And the first post of yours was merely making him aware that there are hardware calibrations systems, and a low price range.

I was just going to say that. The more complete explanation helps us neophytes to comprehend what and why. Thanks!

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