Color profiles in between Corel 12 and Photoshop

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  1. #1
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    Color profiles in between Corel 12 and Photoshop

    Hi guys,

    I recently bought a new PC and monitor and started using Corel 12 to do my digital paintings.


    I notice a problem with corel when reading embedded profiles or maybe just the color management in general, and I hope someone can give me some pointers to fix things. Some information about my settings and PC is probably needed to pinpoint the problem, so here it is.

    I use Windows 7, Corel painter 12 (updated with service pack1), and Photoshop CS5. Dell 2412m monitor, which has been calibrated with an ione x-rite Pro. My settings in photoshop are sRGB working space. same with corel painter 12, i use srgb working space (not the one with/without BPC),just plain sRGB. I never use CMYK. I have "use embedded profile" options selected. And always ask if missing/mismatch profile.



    The file attached here is the SAME psd file with an embedded color profile of sRGB. When I open it in photoshop it reads correctly, however when I try to work on it in Corel Painter, it looks much darker. Even though it is still supposingly using the embedded color profile (sRGB). I checked that it didnt try to change my color profile because I opened this file, saved as a new file in Corel painter. And opened that new file in photoshop. The colors in that new file read just like it did in photoshop before the "save as" in corel painter. Which leads me to believe that Corel Painter is displaying the color profile incorrectly. I never had this problem on my laptop, where my monitor didnt use a color profile. On my laptop, both software reads the sRGB identically.



    This just boggles my mind, and I can't seem to find a fix for this through the searching on this forum and google. I hope someone can help as I can't work with Painter until it reads my colors properly!



    Thanks in advance

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  2. #2
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    The last time we went through this, it turned out that CS5 was the culprit and not Painter12
    http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=231899

    Last edited by Arshes Nei; April 14th, 2012 at 12:39 PM.
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  4. #3
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    Hi Arshes,

    Thank you for the reply. That's strange that CS5 would be considered wrong? My painter version is 12.0.1.727 (i think that's the version number? I got it from the "about" tab).

    Thanks for the link as well. Though I am reading it and it seems they are talking about comparison between 2 monitors? I can't seem to understand all of it, I have just learned the basics of calibration and color profiling.

    Though what I output in photoshop via save for web sRGB... and put it on the web. It reads the same as what I see in photoshop, in both safari and firefox, which I know are color managed browsers on windows. When I view the image in Chrome, which is not color managed on windows. it reads the same as it does on painter. Doesn't that mean that painter is the one displaying the image incorrectly? Everything else seems to agree with photoshop, the only thing that agrees with painter is Chrome which is not color managed...

    Thanks again for the help, i hope you can shed more light on the matter.

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  5. #4
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    PS. here is my color settings
    I tried both BPC and no BPC, or regular sRGB it didnt make a difference. And according to the other thread that you kindly pointed out, it shouldnt matter anyways? Since that is used for CMYK conversion?



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    Hopefully hecartha will come by and see this thread.

    To be honest the one the left looks washed out on my IPS monitor, like it's got 10% tracing paper from Painter on.

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  8. #6
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    Hi Arshes,

    Thanks again for the reply.
    Ya hecartha seems to be extremely knowledgeable and willing to explain on the other thread. I hope he spots this thread and can help me out.

    Yup the one on the left that I say is "correct" is washed out because that's usually the way I work, it just makes it easier for me to see the changes in the darker greys that way, I usually bump the contrast slightly at the end. The painting isn't done yet btw.

    For now, because I have to continue working, to keep the same colors. The image in photoshop, I convert from sRGB to my calibrated monitor profile before bringing it into Corel painter. In corel painter, i tell the program to use the embedded monitor profile and I work on it from there. For some reason when I do that, the colors don't shift between the 2 programs. After I finish painting on Painter, I open the file again in photoshop and reconvert it back to sRGB.

    That's the only way I got the colors to match in both programs while working, though I know there will be tiny tiny shifts in pixel color during converts, but it's almost impossible to notice for now so that's what I have been doing these 2 days.

    I still hope to fully understand what's causing this to happen so i can improve my workflow.

    Thanks again for the reply Arshes, hecartha if you are reading this, please impart some wisdom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Koncept View Post
    I never had this problem on my laptop, where my monitor didnt use a color profile. On my laptop, both software reads the sRGB identically.
    Yes, that's because for your system, no color profile = sRGB which means monitor profile=sRGB -> working space= sRGB = no conversion needed
    Quote Originally Posted by Koncept View Post
    Though what I output in photoshop via save for web sRGB... and put it on the web. It reads the same as what I see in photoshop, in both safari and firefox, which I know are color managed browsers on windows. When I view the image in Chrome, which is not color managed on windows. it reads the same as it does on painter. Doesn't that mean that painter is the one displaying the image incorrectly? Everything else seems to agree with photoshop, the only thing that agrees with painter is Chrome which is not color managed...
    I suppose you are right when you say there is a problem with Painter. Now I assume you have embedded the sRGB color profile when saving for web.
    Quote Originally Posted by Koncept View Post
    For now, because I have to continue working, to keep the same colors. The image in photoshop, I convert from sRGB to my calibrated monitor profile before bringing it into Corel painter. In corel painter, i tell the program to use the embedded monitor profile and I work on it from there. For some reason when I do that, the colors don't shift between the 2 programs. After I finish painting on Painter, I open the file again in photoshop and reconvert it back to sRGB.
    Be aware that color space conversion isn't a lossless process. Everytime you are converting your image, all the colors from source color space that are outside of the target color space are replaced. i.e. I am taking the case of a random image
    -in this image, two pixels are using two different red before conversion
    -the first pixel is using a red just inside the target color space but the other red is using a red outside the target color space.
    -after the conversion, the second red will use definitely the same rgb value as the first red.
    That's the reason why you need to avoid color space conversion as much as possible (= 1 time)

    Until your issue is fixed, you should skip one step in your workflow. That's you current workflow:
    Photoshop/sRGB >> Painter/monitor profile >> Photoshop/sRGB

    You should work directly using your monitor colors in Photoshop so you could skip the first useless conversion:
    Photoshop & Painter/Monitor profile >> sRGB

    Now about your issue we need your monitor profile to test on our system if we are able to recreate your issue on ours. (by "we" I mean conceptart forum users)
    -If we get the same result, that will mean Painter does not like something in your color profile. So you will need to find which setting to modify from your i1 pro software to help Painter read the profile correctly.
    -if we are unable to get the same result, that will mean something is wrong with your Painter installation.

    You posted what I assume is a screenshot you have "edited" (adding just the sRGB profile) in Photoshop.
    Now I have a doubt because if Painter is not using color management, that means from you screenshot, the real colors are displayed at the right since you added sRGB profile to this image. I'm just surprise you were not confused by what could seem inconsistent.

    So, when you are viewing in Firefox the first image you posted, where are the right colors?
    -if you maintain on this specific image, the right colors are at the left that will mean something doesn't make sense
    -if the right colors are at the right, that's just confirming the issue with Painter

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  11. #8
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    Hi hecartha,

    Thanks so much for replying, thank god the thread caught your eye.

    Yes the jpegs are embedded with profiles.

    Thanks for the explanation about the color conversion, that's an excellent suggestion for my work flow. I will work in monitor colors for now as painter and photoshop display both the same, and than convert it at the end to sRGB. My work is mostly for web viewing.

    Attached is the profile i set up for my dell2412m: http://www.sendspace.com/file/94ilnb

    Im not sure if it matters, but my color settings are. Custom Color: R94 G88 B84, Brightness 44 Contrast 75.

    I'm a bit unclear on the last part of your reply as I don't understand color management completely.
    "You posted what I assume is a screenshot you have "edited" (adding just the sRGB profile) in Photoshop.
    Now I have a doubt because if Painter is not using color management, that means from you screenshot, the real colors are displayed at the right since you added sRGB profile to this image. I'm just surprise you were not confused by what could seem inconsistent.

    So, when you are viewing in Firefox the first image you posted, where are the right colors?
    -if you maintain on this specific image, the right colors are at the left that will mean something doesn't make sense
    -if the right colors are at the right, that's just confirming the issue with Painter
    "

    I dont understand what you mean by right colors... I mean the image is done using the sRGB color profile embedded, so that would be what I want others to see. And i made that choice to use sRGB as workspace because I know that's what most web users will see when browser my site. So shouldn't that be the right colors? or at least ideal colors?

    I did some further testing. If i use my monitor profile as working space in both corel painter and photoshop, they are identical obviously. Now i open a file with sRGB embedded with 5 different programs, please see attached.



    The image contains the same exact file opened with 4 programs. Photoshop, Safari/Firefox (they displayed the same, so i just used 1), chrome, and painter.

    The following is my guess on what is happening, I could be totaly wrong.

    Chrome is slightly off when reading the sRGB image because it is not color managed. Safari and photoshop is color managed and it reads the sRGB properly. Now with painter, you can see in the comparison bar at the very bottom... that it is WAY off. Chrome is 1 step darker than the sRGB display on photoshop/safari, but painter seem to be 2 steps darker.
    If painter is not color managed, it should just read the same as chrome (right?) But it doesnt read the same as chrome, so it is saying that it is color managed, but it is not reading like the other color managed programs (photoshop/safari), so in conclusion, it is color managed improperly? Or that it is reading the profile wrong somehow?

    PS. Could it be the color engine problem? I see that PS uses Adobe, and Corel uses Windows CMS...

    Last edited by Koncept; April 16th, 2012 at 05:37 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koncept View Post
    Im not sure if it matters, but my color settings are. Custom Color: R94 G88 B84, Brightness 44 Contrast 75.
    It doesn't matter as your problem is a software issue but I prefer you post too much information than not enough :p
    Quote Originally Posted by Koncept View Post
    I dont understand what you mean by right colors... I mean the image is done using the sRGB color profile embedded, so that would be what I want others to see. And i made that choice to use sRGB as workspace because I know that's what most web users will see when browser my site. So shouldn't that be the right colors? or at least ideal colors?
    You used sRGB color space for your image which means the color managed program you use needs to modify what your monitor is displaying to match sRGB colors as your monitor is not displaying natively the real sRGB colors. So when you have made your screenshots, you have captured the altered RGB values. This alteration/compensation depends on your screen color profile. Only the chrome screenshot shows your image free of any adjustment.

    sRGB colors are precise colors. The pure sRGB red is not a random red, its hue, its saturation and how bright it is is defined precisely.
    When you are not using color management, your program will just translate colors in a direct way, i.e.
    the pure sRGB red which is R:255 G:0 B:0 will use the exact same monitor value.

    Seriously, you should have a look at this post or this one as they show with real examples the relationship between monitor profile and compensation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Koncept View Post
    Speaking of which, refering to hecartha testing the profile to recreate the problem. i am unsure how people could test it? Unless they got the same system and monitor?
    The color management is a software technology so it doesn't depend on any hardware. Of course, I need your monitor if I want to display the right colors when using your color profile but I don't need your monitor if I just want to observe the compensation your software will use to display the right colors.

    A color profile is mostly a file that describes a color space. That could be a device independent color space like sRGB, Adobe RGB, ProPhoto...or a color profile which describes a device color space like your monitor profile.
    A gamma table is also used into monitor profile, it allows to adjust on the fly the monitor gamma to match a precise and stable value.
    The gamma adjustment is the only reason why your monitor colors change after applying your monitor profile. It is impossible to capture gamma adjustment when taking a screenshot as the adjustment is made just between your graphic card and your monitor. A device independent color profile never embeds any gamma adjustment.

    For your knowledge, you can try to replace your monitor profile by Adobe RGB and see how Photoshop will display your sRGB image.

    The following image shows the difference between sRGB color space and your monitor colors (I obtained the data from your monitor profile)
    The graph at the right shows the lightness axis you can see on animated GIF. There is two bars per color/RGB value, sRGB at the left and your monitor colors at the right.

    and the way to read it. The chroma is mostly the saturation. My explanations are maybe unclear as I am repeating what I already covered before that's wy I left the previous links.

    Your monitor profile shows your monitor is displaying colors close enough of sRGB colors. The native pure blue is a little bit too bright, the pure red lacks a bit of saturation and it is not enough yellowish and the green is a bit too saturated and too yellowish...but the color management will fix the little difference.
    Quote Originally Posted by Koncept View Post
    so in conclusion, it is color managed improperly? Or that it is reading the profile wrong somehow?

    PS. Could it be the color engine problem? I see that PS uses Adobe, and Corel uses Windows CMS...
    The problem seems to come from the way Painter is using color management. I have seen in the past there is like color compression when using color management under Painter but I never saw such bad rendering.
    I tried your monitor profile with my hue/value gradient image and here is the result:
    Photoshop


    Painter

    the result on Painter is just horrible. There is something in your profile that Painter doesn't like.

    I don't know the origin of this issue in Painter and I observed in the past that the program 'ACDSee Pro' used exactly the same rendering. But if you try Windows Photo Viewer you will get the same result as Photoshop so I don't know why Painter/ACDSee are producing different results...maybe they are using outdated API.
    For your information, here is what I get with my profile with Photoshop/Windows Photo Viewer and Painter/ACDSee Pro. I wasn't satisfied but it is at least acceptable.

    Now the only way to fix your issue is trying to create another color profile with your i1. Use my test image with sRGB profile to check if Painter still produces ugly artifacts. Try to change some ColorEyes Display settings if it doesn't work. I suppose it is the program which comes with your calibrator. I read that the latest version allows to change the amount of measure for the calibration process, so try to reduce them and see if it changes something...or maybe increase them. You can try also another program for the calibration but I will wait before for your results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hecartha View Post
    Try to change some ColorEyes Display settings if it doesn't work. I suppose it is the program which comes with your calibrator. I read that the latest version allows to change the amount of measure for the calibration process, so try to reduce them and see if it changes something...or maybe increase them.
    Oops, it was not ColorEyes but the new i1 Display Profiler

    I tried to install the trial version of ColorEyes and I found what is your problem.
    Before calibrating your monitor, replace the default profile format 'LUT based, 16 bit'...


    ...by 'matrix based'


    Painter should work better

    The guided tour informs of the difference between the two formats
    There are two options for the complexity of your profile. Matrix, and 16 bit LUT. 16 bit LUT profiles are the most complex and the most accurate. Monitors that are old or inexpensive may respond better to lower complexity profiles. You can use profile verification (more later) to determine which choice works best for you.
    Painter on Windows doesn't seem to like the higher complexity of the profile

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  16. #11
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    Are you using Windows7 btw? What is the color management profile in the system?

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...ement-settings

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    I am using windows 7. The color management uses a color profile i created using a calibration hardware and software. The profile i attached in the link in the above post.

    Speaking of which, refering to hecartha testing the profile to recreate the problem. i am unsure how people could test it? Unless they got the same system and monitor?

    Thanks again anyone reading and replying, im completely stuck and tried all the tests and solutions my brain could wrap around but still cant fix it. I really appreicate the help!

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    I had read that you could actually use Adobe's color engine in Painter, but unfortunately it's only for 32bit. Seems people want it for 64 bit but no support yet.

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  21. #14
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    That explains why it doesn't work anymore, I thought before your post that Corel had broken the compatibility.

    Now the Adobe Color Management Module (CMM) doesn't work well on Windows with Painter 11


    It seems to invert the compensation it should use to match the target color space

    I get the same result using Painter 11+Windows CMS or Photoshop+ACE. But I get something different using Adobe CMM.

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    Hi hecartha and Arshes,

    Thanks so much for the help and the detailed reviews + links! I learned alot just from reading the posts.

    I am glad that we sorted out the problem is due to painter. So at least I know which program to trust when I output. I guess for now I will work in the monitor profile on both PS and painter, and before I output the pic I will convert it into sRGB in Photoshop for accurate image for others to see.

    Thanks for figuring out my problem with my color profile! I will try what you said about making a new profile using matrix based and see the results.

    To clarify, would using this matrix based profile make my colors less accurate? According to that quote, the matrix based profile is basically a lesser version of the current one i use, LUT 16bit. Since i am ALWAYS going to be outputting in photoshop, I can live with the 1 extra step in my workflow of working in monitor profile during painting, and converting at the end in photoshop to sRGB. I rather do the one extra step than use a less accurate version of a color profile (matrix based). Since I always work in sRGB, the color range isn't that large, so the conversion at the end would hardly be noticeable, and im only doing it once per image.

    Regarding the color engine, I read a few posts that it didn't make a difference. And are we implying here that it is not supported for the 64bit windows? And that this isn't the issue that's causing my problem?

    I can't thank both of you enough for sorting this out for me! It was really stressing me out!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Koncept View Post
    To clarify, would using this matrix based profile make my colors less accurate? According to that quote, the matrix based profile is basically a lesser version of the current one i use, LUT 16bit. Since i am ALWAYS going to be outputting in photoshop, I can live with the 1 extra step in my workflow of working in monitor profile during painting, and converting at the end in photoshop to sRGB. I rather do the one extra step than use a less accurate version of a color profile (matrix based). Since I always work in sRGB, the color range isn't that large, so the conversion at the end would hardly be noticeable, and im only doing it once per image.
    Here your options:

    1- You can work in your monitor color space and you can convert later your image in sRGB color space.
    Concretely, that means your image will use after the conversion a color space which is the intersection between your monitor color space and sRGB

    i.e. the resulting image will never use pure sRGB red as it is outside of your monitor gamut.
    Of course, you could add such color once your image is in sRGB.

    2- You can create a matrix based profile that will work in Painter and Photoshop.
    The profile is less accurate using matrix but the differences are unnoticeable...really. It is more a psychological difference than anything else.
    For your information, here the size of a profile created by some calibration software:
    -ColorEyes Display Pro using 16 bit LUT -> ~250KB
    -ColorEyes Display Pro using matrix -> ~7 KB
    -Spyder3Elite -> ~10 KB
    -LaCie BlueEye Pro (default settings using matrix) -> 16 KB
    The enhanced precision is probably useful if you are working on 16 bit photo using the super wide ProPhoto color space + 10 bit monitor panel.
    But you are working on 8 bit image using tiny sRGB color space + 6 bit eIPS panel using advanced frame rate control to emulate 8 bit color depth. I mean, you definitely don't need the extra precision.

    You can also take 5 minutes trying to see the difference:
    -create two profiles, one using matrix and the other using 16 bit LUT. I mean, do not use the one you already have since it has been made weeks before.
    -now, use the 16 bit LUT profile and start Photoshop. Try to display an sRGB image and take a capture of your screen.
    -Close Photoshop and replace your monitor profile by the matrix based one. Start Photoshop and load the same previous sRGB image. Take a capture of your screen.
    -Compare the two captures outside color managed environment and see what you are "missing" -> nothing
    Quote Originally Posted by Koncept View Post
    Regarding the color engine, I read a few posts that it didn't make a difference. And are we implying here that it is not supported for the 64bit windows? And that this isn't the issue that's causing my problem?
    The color engine doesn't make a difference in Photoshop but as I said in my previous post, it makes a difference in Painter.
    Now as Arshes said, the Adobe CMM doesn't work with Painter 64 bit...and I don't know about Painter 12, but it doesn't work well with Painter 11, so...

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  26. #17
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    Hi hecartha and Arshes Nei,

    After some debate and working in both painter and photoshop. I have decide to use my current profile and convert at the end of my workflow to sRGB output.

    Mainly because getting my hands on the calibration device is kind of a hassle and since it's not that big of a deal for now (just 1 conversion). I will use my current workflow until I need to recalibrate... probably in 1 month or so. When I do recal, I will test out your suggestion of comparing the 2.

    Just wanted to write back and thank you once again for all the help! I was literally stuck staring at my screen for days until you came along

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