- View Offline
- Understanding color spaces
- Understanding the color workflow for photography vs. design and web
- Setting up a digital camera for the best image results
- Choosing a monitor
- Calibrating a display using ColorMunki or i1Pro 2
- Choosing color settings in Photoshop
- Understanding color workflow in raw processing applications
- Creating a custom printer profile
- Soft-proofing images for printing on your own printer and for sending to a lab
Skill Level Beginner
So it's time to calibrate and profile the monitors. Just a little word about calibration versus profiling, they're part of the same process. What calibration does is, it sets the monitor to a default. The software's going to pick a color temperature and a brightness. The profiling is the color correction part. Now, I've got two monitors here on the set. We've got an iMac 27 inch monitor. And it's also driving a NEC 24 inch monitor. The softwares can handle both of these. It's really no problem at all. Now I've got a handful of devices here that I'm going to use for my profiling duties.
I'm going to start with the low end of the spectrum, this is the ColorMunki Display. And this is what we're going to see in action first. There are about $160. Now in addition, I've also got the i1Display Pro, kind of looks the same, similar hardware. Really the difference is it uses a different software, which we're going to see with another device. The third device, the ColorMunki Photo. This will do monitors as well. We're going to save it for later when we actually profile our printer. And lastly, the top of the line, this an i1Pro 2.
This is top of the line spectrophotometer. These are about $1,500. Now, one of the beauties of this I1 Display 2, which I haven't talked about before, is that this can also use the same software that the $1,500 monitor calibration system uses. Now monitor calibration and profiling is pretty much the same process for all of these devices. So, let's take a look. We're going to start with the ColorMunki Display. Now when you bring up the software, you have two options, Profile My Display and Profile My Projector.
Well, we're not dealing with projectors today. We're just going to use Profile My Display. So, I just click on here. And when you have multiple monitors hooked up to your computer, it will see them and it asks you which one do you want to profile. We are going to go ahead and profile the iMac, because kind of out of the box they have a tendency to be set a little bright. So I click on Next, and there are two modes. There's an Easy mode and an Advanced mode. We're going to really make it easy, we'll work on Advanced profiling with the higher end system, so let's go ahead and do Easy. Now the first thing it asks you to do is to measure the ambient light.
How bright is it around your display? Very simple to do. You just put the device kind of near your monitor, not in a direct light, not in shadow, and click on Measure. It's measuring the ambient light, it comes back with a lux reading, not that's anything you're going to do anything with, but it knows from that reading how bright to set your monitor. Next thing it does is it asks you, go ahead and put the device on your display. Now to do that you have to flip over this diffusing panel, through the back, and then you can see here's the lens that's going to do the measuring.
You hang this on your display. There's a counter weight built into the chord that allows it to just hang there. Now one thing when you're doing this, is it's a good idea to have your monitor on for at least 30 minutes so that it's had a chance to warm up and stabilize. Also, you want to make sure the ColorMunki is flush with the display. You may have to change the angle of your monitor a little bit, in this case it's fine, you just put the device in the middle of that circle, and click on Next. Now the software is going to do its thing. It's completely taking over.
The device is first going to adjust the brightness and contrast of the display and then after that it's going to start sending colors patches up. Now, what it does is it measures what color shows up. It knows what color is being set to the monitor. Let's see, for example, when it gets to 100% red. The device reads what actually shows up. For arguments sake, let's say it read, it reads 2% blue in that 100% red. That gets recorded. And that's really what a profile is. It's a set of corrections, so that when you ask for a certain color, that's what actually shows up.
When it's all done and the profile's created, the next time your software asks the display, please give me 100% red, the profile tells it, remember let's take out that 2% blue and that's what you really get on the screen. Now this takes about five minutes, we'll let it do its thing and we'll come back as soon as it's done. So the ColorMunki Display software is done. It's asking for a profile name. As a default, we'll come up with computers name and the color temperature that was used, in our case, D65 or D6500.
I personally like to add the date in here so that I can, just by looking at my system, know when the last calibration was done. Now you don't necessarily have to do this because one of the next things it's going to ask you is, when would you like calibrate again? And would you like a reminder? If I click on Week, it says One, Two, Three, or Four weeks for a reminder. I don't do this because I calibrate frequently. So every week I will re-calibrate my monitor.
That's a question that comes up all the time, how frequently do you need to do this? Well, the higher end the monitor, the less frequently you have to do it. This NEC over here, I could probably get away with once or twice, oh every other month really. On an iMac, I'm probably going to do it once a week or so, at least every two weeks. If you have a lower end monitor, maybe more frequently or right before you have a big printing job or a big editing job to do. So I click on Next on the software and it gives me the opportunity to see various different images both before and after the profiles been added.
So if I click on After and Before, you can see there's a brightness change and a color change when I go to After. Now, if you've calibrated for the first time, you might notice that your monitor seems dimmer and probably a little bit more yellow. That's to be expected. What the monitor is now showing you is the accurate color in your images. The overly bright, overly blue look might look great for video and the web, but it's not good for photography because it's adding both brightness and blue to your images.
You need to see it correctly on the screen, so that you can make an intelligent edit. Lastly, I click Next. It gives me the option also to enable something called Ambient Monitoring. What the device will do is it will continuously measure the amount of light in your workspace. So let's say, if you're in a room that's got a window or you're working day to night and the brightness around your monitor is changing a lot, the software will automatically change the brightness of your monitor to match that ambient level, should you need to. Simply click on Next.
Take the ColorMunki Display, flip the defusing panel over the lens and then just place it in your work area. Click on Finish and the system is done. Your profile's been put in place, it's been activated, it's ready to use. You don't have to do anything. And with the ColorMunki Display plugged in, it's going to continually monitor the ambient light and make corrections if it needs to.
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