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Thread: color control

  1. #1
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    color control

    This is probably a basic question but it is vexxing me at the moment. I am trying to create color matched exports from LR4, starting with images that look accurate.

    On my calibrated monitor I get a very good match to what I see on the ground. This is in LR4 using the default preset (which changes to custom after PS5 editing). The TIF files are from an IQ camera, processed from C1 (white balance etc) and the space is Profoto RGB.

    So my standard flow is to start with what looks like accurate TIF files in LR4. I expect to see the same thing in exported TIFs, and slightly degraded images in jpg. However, I find that the colors change materially in the exported files. For example, reds saturate in TIF and skies go more magenta in jpg. Can anyone give me a link with information to help adjust my work flow?

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    Re: color control

    I don't know if this is what you're seeing.

    If you have a Profoto RGB tiff file with PS layers, and want to export it as a jpeg, then you will see a color changes.
    Try to flatten the tiff and then change the color-space to sRGB before you save as a jpeg.

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    Re: color control

    One of the problems with using a wide-gamut profile like ProPhoto is that you get all kinds of gamut compression issues when you try to export back to something more 'real'. LR uses ProPhoto internally I recall. In the preferences under external editing, you might find PS CS5 is set to AdobeRGB. This is a confusing dialog and you have many other settings for other editors using the combo box below the PS one. You need to configure and save each one individually.

    As far as I know you have no control whether LR uses Perceptual or relative colourimetric conversion processes. Which, if you care about colour are pretty significant reason to just not bother with LR at all. If you print large format, I can give a whole bunch of other reasons to dump it.

    The only way you really have any form of control is if you never leave LR in the first place. So go through the whole workflow, to print from within LR. This would mean, C One -> TIF. Edit the TIF in PS or wherever else, then finally put it into LR. If you want to re-open the TIF in PS (for printing or further editing) you need to edit the original file in the popup (sorry I cannot test it now to tell you the precise term).

    - Paul

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: color control

    Quote Originally Posted by wentbackward View Post
    One of the problems with using a wide-gamut profile like ProPhoto is that you get all kinds of gamut compression issues when you try to export back to something more 'real'. LR uses ProPhoto internally I recall. In the preferences under external editing, you might find PS CS5 is set to AdobeRGB. This is a confusing dialog and you have many other settings for other editors using the combo box below the PS one. You need to configure and save each one individually.

    As far as I know you have no control whether LR uses Perceptual or relative colourimetric conversion processes. Which, if you care about colour are pretty significant reason to just not bother with LR at all. If you print large format, I can give a whole bunch of other reasons to dump it.

    The only way you really have any form of control is if you never leave LR in the first place. So go through the whole workflow, to print from within LR. This would mean, C One -> TIF. Edit the TIF in PS or wherever else, then finally put it into LR. If you want to re-open the TIF in PS (for printing or further editing) you need to edit the original file in the popup (sorry I cannot test it now to tell you the precise term).

    - Paul
    Not sure where you are getting all of this, and why you think AdobeRGB is more "real", but this isn't very sound advice. Just because ProPhotoRGB contains "man made" colors doesn't make this a "non real" working space. ProPhoto (originally ROMMrgb) was specifically created to make sure it could contain any natural occuring color. Because it expands that far it does encompass other colors, but that doesn't affect the actual color data of your files or make it "unreal".

    The size of a color space has little to do with anything other than whether it can contain all of the colors of the file. The working space is simply a container, and the key is making sure the container is actually large enough to contain the data without having to compress or clip it to begin with (which is what happens if you go from a camera to AdobeRGB). In the workflow all colors are viewed via an appropriate transform through a profile regardless of output device (monitor when editing, printer, etc) , the intent of which is to make various output devices look similar. As such the key is not having to do any transform into a permanent space until the file is purposed. The correct workflow is to always stay in 16bit/ProPhotoRGB for all files unless the file is specifically created with an end purpose in mind (such as sRGB for web). At that point correct processes to convert to the output space included whether to use relative or perecptual intent can be made, including tools such as soft proofing to determine which method delivers the best results. Whether you compress all the data to preserve color relationships into the output space (perceptual), or clip the out of gamut colors into the output space (relative) really needs to be a decision based on visual feedback. But in the workflow if you move from ProPhotoRGB to AdobeRGB as your working space, you will clip the colors, you can't get them back, and you don't accomplish anything positive.

    There is no reason to knock LR, because it manages colors very well. It is important that when moving from LR to PS you stay in full 16bit/ProPhotoRGB space so the colors are not modified at all.

    As far as the original poster, whatever the problem sounds like a workflow issue somewhere. An exported TIFF file from lightroom in ProPhotoRGB/16bit should (and does) appear identical if opened in PS. If it doesn't something in your export or PS color management polices is not set up right. Maybe I'm misunderstanding your question/issue.
    wayne
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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: color control

    You say the colors change in the exported file. In what program are you viewing these exported files? Are you saying if you export from LR, then open the exported file in photoshop you will have the red/magenta problem? Or are you viewing them in an non-color supported program like Explorer?

    If the problem appears in PS then as Wayne says I think there are some wrong settings somewhere. After the tiff opens go to edit-color settings to see if your space is still Prophoto.

    When I go from LR to Photoshop there are no color differences that I can tell.

    Dave

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    Re: color control

    Thanks for the very instructive replies. I was not clear enough in the original post.

    I have no problem going back and forth between LR and CS5. Colors are fine as long as I do not try to blend "original" and "with LR edits" images in CS5.

    My problem is moving those profotoRGB images into TIF and jpg files that can be viewed on other people's systems. Typically they are using sRGB so I want to tune for that. Of course, colors will be different in whatever display environment they have but let's ignore that becuase I can't know what it will be.

    I am wondering if there is a function that will let me match exported colors more to my liking than the standard export in LR. For example, if I am shooting a bright red sunlit car (I was), I could create an export profile that preserves as much as possible of what I see as the true red in sRGB and just reuse that for similar objects. I can do that by tweaking in sRGB space, I suppose, but that is laborious. On reflection, it's beginning to sound like I am trying to get too much out of sRGB and I should just leave well enough alone. At least the export function does something fairly predictable each time, while custom exports could just end up making things complicated.

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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: color control

    Well you probably already know what I'm going to write, but just to be sure...

    You should probably put everything in sRGB since you are unsure of the viewing program/environment.

    If exporting from LR, make sure sRGB is selected.

    If exporting from PS, and the image came in as Prophoto, use "convert to profile" not "assign profile", and convert to sRGB before exporting. The jpeg workflow will ask and/or force this (I can't remember which), but the tiff will not for obvious reasons.

    I do notice when converting to sRGB colors (especially reds) get more saturated. Not sure why, but probably because all the out of sRGB-gamut colors are getting mapped to the border of the sRGB space.

    What you might try is exporting in Prophoto then open in PS and convert to sRGB there; then you will have a choice of relative colorimetric or perceptual. You may notice one conversion is better than another. I don't think you have that choice when exporting from LR (unless there is a preference setting I don't know about...)

    Dave

    PS: In most images the difference between relative and perceptual is subtle; something you would notice but probably no one else. If you are seeing really obvious color shifts then something is wrong...
    Last edited by dchew; 17th August 2012 at 07:57. Reason: added PS

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    Re: color control

    Tiff files( prophoto 16bit Tifs for printers) , jpeg srgb files for non color corrected people which just about 99 percent of the planet. For viewing only and web. I tell my clients this always . Dont touch the tiffs unless your a graphic designer or printer.

    Put another way you touch my Tiffs I'll cut your freaking fingers off. LOL
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: color control

    Btw, if the sRGB conversion is problematic then you might want to consider producing an output version of the file specificially for sRGB and using softproofing whilst the orignal is still in ProphotoRGB with the sRGB ICC profile to make the colors fit your anticipated output needs. (Well, at least when they leave you ... no saying what they'll look like on the recipient's monitor/device).

    Guy, why the anti-TIFF? Surely if you generate an uncompressed TIFF in 8bit with sRGB profile applied then surely it's no more or less compatible than a regular jpg? You also have more lossless compression options too. I understand the 'idiot end user' concern I suppose ...
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 17th August 2012 at 14:18.
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    Re: color control

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Btw, if the sRGB conversion is problematic then you might want to consider producing an output version of the file specificially for sRGB and using softproofing whilst still the orignal is still in ProphotoRGB with the sRGB ICC profile to make the colors fit your anticipated output needs. (Well, at least when they leave you ... no saying what they'll look like on the recipient's monitor/device).

    Guy, why the anti-TIFF? Surely if you generate an uncompressed TIFF in 8bit with sRGB profile applied then surely it's no more or less compatible than a regular jpg? You also have more lossless compression options too. I understand the 'idiot end user' concern I suppose ...
    Softproofing the conversion to jpeg can definitely be helpful. Using Photoshops save for web function is also helpful as it basically is softproofing the sRGB output.

    I didn't see Guys comments as anti-TIFF, just that the purpose of the TIFF files is pretty specific, and not for the normal viewer. I'm not sure a 8bit sRGB TIFF file offers any purpose, might as well just jpeg it.
    wayne
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    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: color control

    Yeah soft proofing the sRGB conversion is a great idea Graham!

    Dave

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: color control

    Yes more the idiot proof to clients play with the jpeg , that is for you. If I gave them two different tiffs they just would not get it. JPegs will usually wind up as PowerPoint , email , Facebook and web stuff. This also depends on clients knowledge of the process some totally get it some do not. Bottom line I'm protecting me.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: color control

    You didn't mention if you're PC or Mac. PC's have some unique color management issues since the application of the default monitor profile is left up to the individual applications. On my Dell system the LR Develop module and PS look identical, but many other applications won't match. That includes the Windows photo viewer and other LR modules. LR 3 even had a bug where sometimes the Develop module would grab the wrong monitor profile.

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