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In Painter 11 Essential Training, John Derry, one of the original Painter authors, demonstrates basic and advanced creative techniques that can get beginners up and running. He also shows old hands the new features that can get a creative vision out of the head and onto the canvas. John demonstrates how to establish an easy workflow in Painter by using a Wacom tablet, and he explains how to create, edit, and publish projects. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download the Painter/Photoshop Consistent Color Management PDF and the Brush Troubleshooting Checklist PDF from the Exercise Files tab.
In this video we are going to take a look at Color Management in Painter, and you really can't talk about Color Management in Painter without talking about Color Management in Photoshop, particularly if you are in an environment where you are using both of those. Now, the wrap on Painter's Color Management has been that it's hard or impossible to get the colors to match in both applications. That's partially due to a lack of user knowledge about Color Management, but the other thing was different prior to Painter 11 was that Photoshop uses its own Adobe Color Engine, which is often refer to as the ACE engine, and Painter was using Kodak's Color Management Engine, which just right there.
It's two different approaches to color and even though profiles and everything are supposed to be the same, it's just there were differences. Thankfully Coral has replaced the older Kodak engine and made it now possible to use third-party Color Management engines directly in Painter. So, I'm going to first open up Painter's dialog for Color Management, and I'm using Option+Command+K here. You can also directly through the Canvas menu down at the bottom. So what have here is Painter's Settings at the moment, and let's just take a look at what's happening here.
This is Painter and this is Photoshop, down here, I have got the same file open in both applications, and if you look and compare these, Painter right now is somewhat washed out, the colors aren't as intent, I mean for example, look at that brown in the corner of the Macbeth chart, and look down here and you can see it much more saturated and there is just more dynamic range, just over all this is a bit weak and washed out. So, the first thing you have to understand about Color Management is that it really starts with a profiled monitor.
While that can be done in the software by kind of eyeballing certain values and levels, it's not going to be anywhere near as accurate as an actual color and light measurement device. So you often see these little spiders or pucks that you can hang off of your monitor and they work in concert with software that comes with them that reads through a series of values and densities, and you are constricted to put your monitor at certain settings, and then with all that information and knowing what the targets are that it's measuring with this device, it can create a very accurate profile of your monitor.
But if you don't have a monitor device like that, then at least do the software oriented calibration of your monitor, because an uncalibrated monitor is like looking through rose tinted glasses or yellow tinted glasses or some tint that you are not seeing in reality. You need first and foremost a profiled monitor to have a successful Color Management workflow. That's the first thing that has to literally be done. As I said, either get a hardware device, they have come down in price, now you can actually buy them for a less than a $100, and it's a good investment.
If short of that, use the Software method. So we are in Painter and I have opened up its Color Management settings, I'm now going to go to Photoshop and I'm going to open its Color Management settings, and so we are going to be able to here in a moment to compare them side by side. We'll jump back to Painter and let's see what I need to do here is temporarily move this out of the way. So I need to quit this. Let's move this over. You can see it takes a little bit of heavy lifting to get this to happen. There we go. So now we can see these side by side.
What you basically want to do is match Painter's Color Management settings to Photoshop's, and there are going to be basically two categories of people listening to this. People who understand Color Management and have their Photoshop Color Management settings set the way they want them, and then there are going to be people out there who have no idea what to do. I am going to speak to the crowd that doesn't know what to do, and if you know what to do, you don't have to use my settings. The basic thing though is, however you have got some key decisions made in your Color Management policies, they must be neared over in Painter.
Now if you are just working and have no idea what to do, I recommend Adobe RGB as your working space. So we have got that set up in Photoshop, but over in Painter right now it's SRGB. So I'm going to click on this and I'm going to select Adobe RGB. So I want to make sure that in the working spaces of Photoshop that RGB profile and in the Color Management settings in Painter, the default RGB profile is the same in both. So whatever you use make sure they are the same.
I am going to ignore CMYK and Gray and all this other stuff, we really only concerned about RGB Color, because that's all the Painter can deal with. The idea here is to set both of these up the same for viewing RGB images, so that when you take a file back and forth that carries the right profile, you will always see consistent results back and forth. What I wanted to do here is for RGB in the Color Management policies, I want to preserve embedded profiles. Over in Painter, Color Profile policies, I want to say Use Embedded Profile.
Again I'm not going to worry about the settings for CMYK, I'm only concerned with RGB. For Profile Mismatches, I like to know it that's happening and if there is no profile, so I like these both on. If we go over to Photoshop here, for Profile Mismatches and Profile Missing, I would like those both on. So once again I'm just mirroring, what's in both. Then finally, the third really important element here is what Color Engine are you using. Well Adobe, obviously, is going to typically use their own Engine, and here in the Mac you can also by default can see Apple's Color Management, but I want to switch to Adobe's.
Now you may or may not have the Adobe ACE engine in your system, and what you need to do is go to the Download section of adobe.com and download their external Adobe ACE Engine and install it in your system before to show up in here. It won't show up by default, you have to load it and add it your system. And they have it for both Macintosh and Windows. So it's definitely doable to get the Adobe ACE engine set up to be your Color Engine in Painter.
Then finally, if you have no idea about Intents, I recommend Relative Colorimetric, and so I would do the same over here. Once again, if you know Color Management you have it set up a certain way, you don't need to follow my directions, but just make sure that you are using the same settings for the default profile and the Color Engine. Those are really the important thing, as well as the finally the rendering intent. Those three things are critical. So I'm going to go ahead and say OK here, and we have just copied from there, so we don't need to change anything.
I'm going to bring these over and one thing that's not on right now is Painter's Color Management. If we look right here at little monitor icon, it's black. The Color Management is off. I'm going to turn it on now, and now we get an exact correlation between these, because they are basically using the exact same engine and Color Management policies and rendering intents, so that there is no disparity between these whatsoever. So if you have got everything set up, and in my case I typically use the Adobe RGB profile that I tag all my images with, and as long as you have got the two settings, as I have just showed you, set up, you will be able to move back and forth between Painter and Photoshop and not have any color surprises, because you were working in Colors that weren't accurate or any other conditions.
Then the last thing I'll tell you that in your Exercise folder, if we go over here and open this up, there is a PDF that I'm including that basically states everything I have just told you here. So if you missed some of it in the video itself, you can use this PDF file to go through and apply the same settings to both Photoshop and Painter. You can download the PDF file for free off of the course page or find it as part of the Exercise Files. So hopefully, through this video, you've learned a little bit about the importance of Color Management.
If you are not doing it, I hope you are at least intending to do it, and if you've already got it, well, then you already ahead of the game, you just need to make sure you are setting up your Color Management policies in both applications the same. Doing that, you will have clear sailing and identical colors in both applications.
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