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Author Topic: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps  (Read 861 times)

Bengten

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Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« on: December 07, 2017, 05:56:32 AM »

When I view a picture on a Windows monitor that is calibrated, which steps are involved?
* Simple monitor (like my built in on laptop):
- If I have the monitor ICC profile set in Windows, I have understood that the os only tells applications the character of the monitor; ie, it is up to the application in use, to do necessary correction to the picture passed to the monitor.
- But when reading discussions, I get the impression that the graphic card adjusts the picture presented on screen according to the profile (LUT).
- Question: Does an application/ os use the graphic card to adjust RGB values (by some LUT), or does the application do it by itself? Or is it mixed
* Advanced monitor:
My external AdobeRGB capable EIZO monitor displays my pictures from PhotoShop, LightRoom, Affinity Photo and similar, well. That is expected as the monitor hardware does appropriate adjustments.
- Meaning the graphic card just passes the picture through ?
So, basically; when can one really trust what is displayed? And what are the steps involved when displaying colors on the monitor?
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Ethan Hansen

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2017, 08:21:48 PM »

There are a number of possible adjustments that can occur. You don't want the majority of them.

Start with your graphics card. If it is Nvidia or AMD, open the appropriate control app and make sure there are no additional gamma adjustments, video image enhancements, etc. enabled. Intel graphics have similar settings but it can be a PITA to dive into them.

On the operating front, open the Color Management app in Control Panel. Assuming you have Admin privileges, do not tick the "Use my settings for this device" box. Instead, go to the Advanced tab, and click the "Change System Defaults" button at the bottom. Now you're set to enable Windows color management.

  • Select your custom profile for the display, set it as default, and remove all other profiles listed
    • Go to the Advanced tab.
    • Set the device profile according to your needs. If you are on a wide gamut monitor and are only image editing choose your normal working space. Otherwise leave this at sRGB so web stuff, etc. will look reasonable.
    • Set the viewing conditions profile to WCS for ICC viewing
    • In the ICC rendering intent and WCS gamut mapping section, fill out according to your typical usage.
    • Now the important part. Check the "Use Windows display calibration" box and click the Reload current calibrations button.


    Whether you should disable the profile loader included with your calibration and profiling software depends on your monitor and its capabilities. If the monitor allows storing profile info using DDC (ADC in X-Rite speak) the loader software may be necessary. Eizo monitors, for example, have a nasty habit of dumping the DDC info when turned off. Other vendors can be better behaved. If after a system shutdown the colors are wonky, you need the LUT loader. Other monitors are more friendly and, if your monitor does not support DDC, you can simply let Windows handle all the lut loading and management.

    A caveat to the above is software that switches color modes in Windows without restoring settings. If your screen suddenly appears off, reloading the calibrations in the Color Management Control Panel app fixes matters without a reboot.

    Whether apps make use of your color profile is, as you mention, completely up to the app. Native Windows photo apps now do. For Windows web browsers, Chrome has no color profile support, Edge is fully color managed, and Firefox partially so. MS Office apps remain color clueless.

sankos

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2017, 05:38:19 AM »


  • Select your custom profile for the display, set it as default, and remove all other profiles listed
    • Go to the Advanced tab.
    • Set the device profile according to your needs. If you are on a wide gamut monitor and are only image editing choose your normal working space. Otherwise leave this at sRGB so web stuff, etc. will look reasonable.
Colour-managed programs use their own settings for their working space and I don't think they consult this setting, or am I wrong?


  • Set the viewing conditions profile to WCS for ICC viewing

I understand that this setting relates to the White Point calibration of your monitor: if you profile for D65, choose the sRGB; if for the D50, choose the ICC. That's at least what the names of those specific profiles suggest when you go to the All Profiles tab (D65.camp and D50.camp respectively). Also, this setting applies to applications that understand WCS, e.g. Windows Photo Viewer, FastPictureViewer or DxO Optics Pro. Most colour-managed applications (e.g. Lr, Ps, Pse, Affinity Photo, etc.) don't read the WCS tag.


  • In the ICC rendering intent and WCS gamut mapping section, fill out according to your typical usage.


If the monitor profile is of the matrix type, then the gamut settings don't do much, do they? It'll be relative colorimetric no matter what you set here, right?
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« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 05:47:10 AM by sankos »
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2017, 02:32:12 PM »

As a Mac loyalist my question, and a troubling question at that, is how did Ethan and sankos figure out the rat's nest of settings, preferences and options they outlined here for Windows ICC display profile integration?

I hope it wasn't through trial and error.

And thanks to this thread that I wasn't even going to even click on, I now will never complain about Apple's implementation of color management.

What customer is Windows catering to with all this complexity?
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TonyW

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2017, 02:56:33 PM »

.... Most colour-managed applications (e.g. Lr, Ps, Pse, Affinity Photo, etc.) don't read the WCS tag.
...
I believe this is correct and Photoshop and most colour managed apps will ignore the WCS settings completely, relying on you having an accurate monitor profile available and being flagged to use in the Color Management dialogue

Quote
....What customer is Windows catering to with all this complexity?
Only MS can advise you on that  ;D
Windows is not really that difficult just set the OS to use your monitor profile in the colour management section and you can pretty much ignore WCS section
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 03:00:39 PM by TonyW »
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2017, 02:58:34 PM »

Quote
Only MS can advise you on that  ;D
Windows is not really that difficult just set the OS to use your monitor profile in the colour management section and you can pretty much ignore WCS section

Tony, does that mean the long list of instructions Ethan provided is unnecessary for the OP?
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TonyW

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2017, 03:33:51 PM »

Tony, does that mean the long list of instructions Ethan provided is unnecessary for the OP?
Tim, I would not want to comment about the Advanced tab in any depth as I have never come across any evidence to support for 'normal' colour management -getting my monitor profile to be recognised and used by the OS and communicated to applications. 

My impression it is there specifically for MS Windows Color System Schemas and licences and therefore unique to MS and not a part of 'normal' colour management.  I am prepared for my impression to be wrong and open to any proper expert opinion of what it actually does.

From my view as a die hard Windows user I have never bothered with WCS as I did not find any evidence to suggest it should be used with the applications I use by choice.

I believe the important settings are all in the first dialogue tab in Colour Management.

The Devices tab showing that you are going to use my settings (your profiles for this monitor).  In this case my default is shown for my Eizo monitor.  Other profiles for the monitor created for general purpose (fun!) are also listed but I will only switch to these using the Eizo Color Navigator software.

Without the correct profile being being highlighted as default and most importantly the Use settings for this device ticked your monitor profile is not being communicated to colour savvy applications.

The Advanced tab allows you to select any ICC profile that you have on your system to become the Windows defaults. Therefore I assume that it attempts to mimic that device quality ??
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 03:43:11 PM by TonyW »
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2017, 04:56:52 PM »

Well at least with the OP's wide gamut Eizo if the display profile isn't being referenced by image viewing apps, including third party browsers and editors as well as any OS viewers, any sRGB tagged image's colors will look obviously way off as opposed to sRGB-ish gamut display profiles not loading or being referenced where sRGB is assumed and maybe where a slight change in memory colors in particular with skin tones shift toward red or green will barely be noticed.

That Windows Advanced tab looks way too confusing to be useful and appears to make the OS be the color manager for all OS only apps and disregard third party implementation. I'm trying to figure out if I didn't have Photoshop or other third party color managed image editors/viewers, how would I use all those Windows based options.
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Ethan Hansen

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2017, 05:44:02 PM »

That Windows Advanced tab looks way too confusing to be useful and appears to make the OS be the color manager for all OS only apps and disregard third party implementation. I'm trying to figure out if I didn't have Photoshop or other third party color managed image editors/viewers, how would I use all those Windows based options.

The main benefit of using the advanced tab is that it makes many Windows programs actually be color managed. This includes browsers, Microsoft's own photo viewers, etc. If you do not set default monitor profiles correctly, the profile in use outside of Adobe and other apps where you specifically select a monitor profile will be whatever the monitor manufacturer sent to Microsoft as part of their WHQL drivers. Usually this is a profile at maximum luminance, 9300K white point, etc. Probably not what you want.

Loading the calibration settings from the control panel app is useful unless your monitor uses a bespoke calibration system such as NEC SpectraView. If not, it's the simplest way of ensuring all your display profiles are correctly loaded.

The WCS settings do get weird. I reached out to a MS contact that we worked with years ago as part of the WCS development process. Unfortunately the amount of on-the-record clarification I received was slim. WCS was initially intended to provide color management to all Windows applications including games and videos. That idea died on the vine, but some MS apps still pay some attention to the rendering options. Which ones, nobody appears to know. I don't make prints whose color I care about from a MS app, so it doesn't make much difference here.

TonyW

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2017, 05:52:01 PM »

One thing I did forget is if you are not using a hardware calibrated system you will probably need to go to the Advanced tab and and Change system defaults then select Advanced tab and click on Use Windows display calibration which will enable the gamma correction portion of the ICC profile.
 
The reason I forgot was due to the fact for many years I have been using hardware calibration systems first with NEC Spectraview and latterly with Eizo Color Navigator.  If you have this Use Windows display calibration turned on the Color Navigator software throws up a warning (it is no longer controlling your monitor LUT's)

I doubt that you really want this WCS related information but it is here FWIW (A power point presentation from Microsoft in 2005).  I have not ploughed through it, skimming the info. suggest that this is mainly developer needed stuff.
https://download.microsoft.com/download/f/0/5/f05a42ce-575b-4c60-82d6-208d3754b2d6/WindowsColorSystem_API.ppt
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 05:58:04 PM by TonyW »
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TonyW

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2017, 05:55:43 PM »

....

The WCS settings do get weird. I reached out to a MS contact that we worked with years ago as part of the WCS development process. Unfortunately the amount of on-the-record clarification I received was slim. WCS was initially intended to provide color management to all Windows applications including games and videos. That idea died on the vine, but some MS apps still pay some attention to the rendering options. Which ones, nobody appears to know. I don't make prints whose color I care about from a MS app, so it doesn't make much difference here.
Thanks for that info.  I am pleased that it was not just me who could not find any info. on WCS.  Like you I do not care about exact colour rendering from any MS apps
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2017, 09:53:18 PM »

Thanks for that info.  I am pleased that it was not just me who could not find any info. on WCS.  Like you I do not care about exact colour rendering from any MS apps

Seeing I'm not using a Windows GUI I was just curious if the non-color managed apps and their graphic design interface are overly saturated and hard on the eyes using a wide gamut display with internal hardware calibration.

The off the shelf demo Windows systems hooked to uncalibrated wide gamut displays at Best Buy look pleasantly cartoonish in their vibrant graphics.
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Doug Gray

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2017, 11:38:09 PM »

Seeing I'm not using a Windows GUI I was just curious if the non-color managed apps and their graphic design interface are overly saturated and hard on the eyes using a wide gamut display with internal hardware calibration.

The off the shelf demo Windows systems hooked to uncalibrated wide gamut displays at Best Buy look pleasantly cartoonish in their vibrant graphics.

Yes, they do. I switch Colornavigator to an sRGB when not doing color work in Win 10.
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sankos

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2017, 04:10:15 AM »

As a Mac loyalist my question, and a troubling question at that, is how did Ethan and sankos figure out the rat's nest of settings, preferences and options they outlined here for Windows ICC display profile integration?

I hope it wasn't through trial and error.

In my case I'm afraid it was trial and error, and lots of digging around (esp. that colorwiki page I linked to in my previous post was pretty helpful). If you have access to a Windows machine, have a look at the attached photo with the swapped RGB channels. An application which respects the WCS tag will show you the red swatch correctly, an application which reads only the ICC profile (most colour-managed applications) will show you green instead of red. When an application doesn't care for either the ICC or the WCS, it'll show the red swatch as blue.

One more thing -- in the DisplayCal documentation they say that "the precision of Windows' built-in calibration loading is inferior compared to the DisplayCAL profile loader and may introduce inaccuracies and artifacts." This might also be true of other calibration loaders, I suppose.
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sankos

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2017, 04:21:59 AM »

Seeing I'm not using a Windows GUI I was just curious if the non-color managed apps and their graphic design interface are overly saturated and hard on the eyes using a wide gamut display with internal hardware calibration.

Right. File Explorer, Desktop Wallpaper and Icons, the Photos app, Paint, Edge, Internet Explorer are all colour-blind (they don't respect the monitor profile, no matter what you set in the WCS section of Advanced settings.

You can manipulate the Desktop Wallpaper image to show normally saturated colours (by first converting your image profile to your monitor profile, and then assigning it with the sRGB profile -- it'll be desaturated in a cololour-managed application but OK as your Windows desktop wallpaper).
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2017, 02:23:09 PM »

sankos, thanks for the very troubling rundown of Window's ICC/WCS implementation and third party apps that don't honor anything regarding color management and their workarounds.

 That is the Xrite CCchart loaded in one of the non-CM third party apps, correct? That is a photo of it or is that a screen grab?

I'm debating on whether to provide a link to this thread when asked in future online topics centering around "Windows or Mac as a photography workstation?". It's been a while since I read anything about Windows making CM much easier starting with simple display LUT loader implementation with non DDC aware displays nearly ten years ago. I'm saddened to see it hasn't gotten easier.

There's no way I'm going to be able to remember and pass on all the details listed here for someone needing help troubleshooting Windows CM/display and third party imaging app integration especially if it's specific to one brand of hardware and/or software over another.
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Simon Garrett

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2017, 05:48:58 PM »

When I view a picture on a Windows monitor that is calibrated, which steps are involved?
* Simple monitor (like my built in on laptop):
- If I have the monitor ICC profile set in Windows, I have understood that the os only tells applications the character of the monitor; ie, it is up to the application in use, to do necessary correction to the picture passed to the monitor.
- But when reading discussions, I get the impression that the graphic card adjusts the picture presented on screen according to the profile (LUT).
- Question: Does an application/ os use the graphic card to adjust RGB values (by some LUT), or does the application do it by itself? Or is it mixed
* Advanced monitor:
My external AdobeRGB capable EIZO monitor displays my pictures from PhotoShop, LightRoom, Affinity Photo and similar, well. That is expected as the monitor hardware does appropriate adjustments.
- Meaning the graphic card just passes the picture through ?
So, basically; when can one really trust what is displayed? And what are the steps involved when displaying colors on the monitor?

Going back to the OT's questions, when you calibrate/profile a monitor (probably using Color Navigator if it's an Eizo monitor), two quite distinct processes happen: calibration and then (surprise, surprise) profiling.

Calibration means adjusting the monitor to a specific state.  With most monitors, you can adjust only white point (e.g. colour temperature) and tone response curve (e.g. gamma).  These result in settings for the LUT in the video card and alter the characteristics of the monitor, which means it changes the characteristics for all programs.  For monitors with in-built hardware 3D LUTs, the colour space can also be calibrated, but only to colour spaces that are narrower than the monitor's native colour space (i.e. within its native gamut).  In practice this is relevant only for wide-gamut monitors.  I mean: who would want a monitor colour space even narrower than a normal (roughly sRGB) colour space?

Except for monitors with hardware LUTs (like NEC, Eizo, Benq and some Dells) the colour space is what it is, and can't be altered by calibration. 

After calibration, the software profiles the monitor.  That means measuring the colour space, white point and tone curve.  Those measurements go in a profile.  A profile just describes the characteristics of the monitor.  Confusingly, the calibration info is also usually put in the profile (even though it's not really anything to do with the profile) and goes in the vcgt field in the profile.  After calibration/profiling, the calibration/profiling software sets the default monitor in Windows to that newly-created profile. 

At boot up, a gamma loader or similar program loads the vcgt info into the LUT in the video card or monitor.  That means all programs - whether colour managed or not - "see" the changes of calibration. 

Colour managed programs (only) look up the default monitor profile (or more than one if there is more than one monitor) and use that for colour management.  That is, they converts pixel-by-pixel from the image colour space to the monitor colour space before output to the monitor. 

Colour managed programs should display the correct image colour.  Non-managed programs will get the calibration, but won't map images colours to monitor colour space, and won't generally get the right colours.  This applies even to an Eizo monitor whose colour space can be calibrated.  For example, if you calibrate the monitor to Adobe RGB as you say, if you view an sRGB image using a non colour managed viewer or browser (e.g. W10 photos app, or IE or Edge) then the colours will be over-saturated, as sRGB image data is sent to an Adobe RGB monitor without colour space conversion. 
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sankos

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2017, 04:17:58 AM »

That is the Xrite CCchart loaded in one of the non-CM third party apps, correct? That is a photo of it or is that a screen grab?

No, that file is made from my photo of the X-rite CCP: I embedded a special (Microsoft) ICC profile in it which twists the colours around for testing purposes. Open the file in the program you want to test: colour-managed programs should show you green instead of red if they read just the ICC bit. Two programs I know of show red correctly because they are aware of the WCS tag embedded in that profile. Non-colour-managed applications show blue instead of red. E.g. I'm viewing this thread on a properly set up, current version of Firefox. The small thumbnail of my CCP photo shows the R swatch as blue, but when I enlarge the photo, the R swatch is green -- this means that thumbnail view in this forum disregards embedded ICC profiles, but sees them when producing the enlarged view of the attachment.

The whole WCS thing in Windows is a bit of a red herring and only causes confusion among photographers. It's there probably for legacy reasons only -- it's one of those Microsoft projects, like the Lumia smartphone, which they are first enthusiastic about, and then let it vanish into oblivion. The truth is that there are few applications that read the WCS tag (I know of only two such applications -- Windows Photo Viewer and FastPictureViewer); and I know of no such photo applications which create/modify that tag. Industry leaders like Adobe do not make use of it, so there's little chance of it being of any real significance.

Bottom line with Windows is -- calibrate and profile your monitor, use colour-managed applications to evaluate/edit colours, make sure your monitor profile is loaded into the system (use a profile loader app). It's pretty much the same situation like in Linux (as far as I know), which means that if you have a wide-gamut monitor you'll have to live with oversaturated colours in non-colour-managed applications, unless you use a dedicated sRGB simulation mode.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 04:45:23 AM by sankos »
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GWGill

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2017, 08:49:59 PM »

Bottom line with Windows is -- calibrate and profile your monitor, use colour-managed applications to evaluate/edit colours, make sure your monitor profile is loaded into the system (use a profile loader app). It's pretty much the same situation like in Linux (as far as I know), which means that if you have a wide-gamut monitor you'll have to live with oversaturated colours in non-colour-managed applications, unless you use a dedicated sRGB simulation mode.
It is possible to do system wide color management with Linux, but I don't think it's an out-of-the-box solution.
See LibXcms and the compiz plugin.
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Calibrated Windows monitor, adjustment steps
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2017, 07:34:18 AM »



Loading the calibration settings from the control panel app is useful unless your monitor uses a bespoke calibration system such as NEC SpectraView. If not, it's the simplest way of ensuring all your display profiles are correctly loaded.


I've been a SpectraView user for years and it eliminates all the issues regarding Windows color management.  It always loads on boot up and you can create multiple profiles as necessary for a variety of uses.
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