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Old Jan 23, 2006, 3:33 PM   #1
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Hi everyone!

We've all heard of double profiling when it comes to printing, but is it possible a similar situation can occurwith your monitor? I havea problem and I believe it is caused by Photoshop or Windows double profiling my monitor. It's a lot like printer double profiling in that I have a custom profile that I think is being applied twice, and ruining the display colors in Photoshop.

When you calibrate your monitor, it is essentially creating a color profile that assures your monitor matches the sRGBcolor space. sRGB is the goal, and the color profile is what gets your monitor there. The profile is then applied to your monitor (through your video card) at the OS level. Thisprocess verifies that everything viewed on your monitor is sRGB accurate even if your software (such as Internet Explorer) is not color-management friendly.

In short, at this point your monitor is an sRGB accurate output device. Everything on your screenwill be adjusted to be sRGB accurate before you see it.

So what happens when Photoshop muscles in and assumes your monitor is out-of-whack and wedgesyour custom color profile into the works unnecessarily,and against your wishes?

Imagine the process of displaying an image in Windows is like this:

ReadImage Data -> Send to Video Card -> Adjust color using Custom Profile -> Display on Screen

And now Photoshop, assuming your monitor profile is not sRGB accurate, does this:

ReadImage Data ->Convert to Working Space -> !!Adjust colorusing Custom Profile!!-> Send to Video Card -> Adjust color using Custom Profile -> Display on Screen

Oops! Now we have Photoshop doing a job that's already being done by the OS, causing our image display to be double profiled. You can tell it does this, because if you check your Working Space drop-down in Color Settings, you'll see on the list "Monitor RGB - abcxyz". Our Monitors have already been corrected, so Monitor RGB should equal sRGB, not the custom profile we created.

I have two possible solutions here:
1) Do not apply a custom color profile to my monitor at the OS level (thus leaving Photoshop to do all the conversion and forcing me to have bad color in everything that doesn't support color management)
2) Figure out how to get Photoshop to stop overcompensating and leave my already-profiled monitor out of it's color adjusting dictatorship.

There is also a 3rd unfortunate option:
3) The color management systems on my computer are so broken and messed up that I just need to reformat and clean out my system and all will be well. Judging by the volume of color management problems and print mismatch problems I see out here on the net though, chances are there's more to it than"Hey buddy, just buy a Spyder2 and calibrate your screen".

Anyway.... I've been wrestling with color management issues for a few months now, and between the printer and the monitor and all the all-knowing software out there, I'm getting a little burnt out.

Take care, and please offer any thoughts you have.

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Old Jan 23, 2006, 3:46 PM   #2
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I just did a test onSolution #2from my opening post:

If I apply my custom profile to the monitor using ProfileChooser (a Spyder2 tool), then go into my Monitor Properties and set the color management profile to sRGB, I can trickPhotoshop into believing my monitor is already sRGB accurate.

I havean sRGB image openin Photoshop (CM on), Digital Photo Professional (CM on) and ACDSee 7.0 (CM off) and it looks identical in each one. That's what I would expect. But it's an unfortunate and should be an unecessary step to get colors displayed properly.

I also tested #1:

If I reset my monitor to it's profile-free state, and leave all color settings in photoshop intact, then when Photoshop applies the custom monitor profile everything looks ok.

This is odd. More than odd... frustrating! It's possible the problem all along was with the Spyder2 software. In Windows, and Adobe Gamma, when you load a custom color profile it just associates it with the monitor without altering your onscreen colors. That way, when a program like photoshop opens, it checks to see what custom profile is associated with your monitor and adjusts all images displayed accordingly. However, the Spyder2 software (ProfileChooser), doesn't just associate the profile with the monitor it actually loads it into the video card, and the video card takes over adjusting all the colors. With this in effect, Photoshop (and any other CM software) will end up overcompensating and applying the custom profile to the imagesm.

Damn. What a frustrating discovery to make after writing such a long opening post. But, I hope someone other than me can learn from this. You do not want your on-screen colors to be altered at the OS level, because that leads to double profiling in CM-enabled software. You just want your CM software to know what profile to apply to your monitor when it comes time to view the images.
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Old Jan 23, 2006, 4:53 PM   #3
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Somebody please help. This is getting ridiculous and there's no way everyone out there has these issues or Color Management would bemythological.

After everything I type in the previous two posts, here is exactly what I have to do to get Color Management working properly in Photoshop:

Step 1: Open ProfileChooser and load my custom monitor profile into my video card.
Step 2: Open Display Properties->Settings->Advanced->Color Management and set sRGB as the default profile for my monitor
Step 3: Open Photoshop and check the color settings to see what profile is linked to Monitor RGB (if it's sRGB, I'm good, if not, close PS and repeat step 2)

That's a three step process for Photoshop. Once I get that done, prints match the screen perfectly. The main problem is that PHOTOSHOP doesn't allow you to change your monitor profile. In Digital Photo Professional and ACDSee, you can choose a Monitor Profile, saving me the trouble of going through thisthree step process.

Photoshop: As listed above (no choice of profile):O
ACDSee: I can choose a monitor profile
Digital Photo Professiona: I can choose a monitor profile or select "sRGB"
Qimage: I can disable monitor correction or choose a monitor profile

Photoshop, how I hate thee...
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