Mac users see anything different than the rest of us?



  • This is a question about your color balance and screen output on your mac vs what we PC users see.

    I've been catching some hell from my client that uses a new-ish IMac about skin tone not being peachy/rosy/healthy looking and having a purple cast to it. He pretty much hates the output I send him done with Superfly even though it looks 100% better to my eyes. Been dealing with this since I upgraded in June. He also bitches about grain in the image even though There will be very minimal grain in most images.



  • Here is a test shot that I sent him and I still got back negative remarks about white point and skin tone. I made the test card so I could see what was going on with the light in the image. The middle gray box on the left is 128,128,128 and renders out close to that in this image.0_1485819764048_Light test 4.jpg


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    I have a PC & a Mac with 3 monitors; the PC has a new-ish Acer & a smaller Samsung as secondary, the Mac has an old Sony. The Sony was calibrated with an X-Rite ages ago; the Acer has a fairly up to date profile from the same device, the Samsung has never been calibrated. Images look different on all 3 - the 2 calibrated ones are closest, but the Acer being much newer has far better contrast - images on the Sony look distinctly soft in comparison. The Samsung is poor - contrast too high & colour noticeably different to the Acer (but I just use it for palettes, so don't care). They also look different under different ambient light conditions - i.e. day/night. Ideally I should calibrate each monitor each time the ambient light changes, & at least once every couple of weeks (I don't as I'm lazy). In a pro environment, the ambient viewing light would be strictly controlled & calibration would probably be a daily routine.

    So I'm saying, don't judge colour on screen by eye as that's purely subjective; calibrate. Then if a third party says the colours 'look wrong' it's simple - either they have a problem with their colour management, or they want a particular artistic look & need to be more specific with the brief.

    Grain - if practical, maybe render at twice the size you need then resize before sending? Combined with careful post-process it may help (used to do this all the time in Firefly - then again, I always added grain in FF renders to break up the CG look).



  • @ghostship said in Mac users see anything different than the rest of us?:
    ..The middle gray box on the left is 128,128,128 and renders out close to that in this image.!

    I'm getting 122-125 or so for that white-light rendered value box. (According to my crappy old PSCS2 picker.)

    I definitely need a Color Monkey, though. :/ (Want is so bad, just haven't made the leap.) I'm tired of simply "wrong" calibration profiles. And, I have a crappy AOC monitor, too, not meant for really accurate graphics work. All in all, I have crap. :D I need better display hardware, for sure. "Back in the day", before LED, I had really nice Viewsonic CRTs I'd calibrate with the graphics shops I worked with. (Still have some in the attic... They'll have to pry them from my cold, dead, fingers... )

    Get some uncompressed color test images, pass 'em back and forth, and get each other calibrated, mindful of the possible differences between PC and Macs. Agree on a shared color profile, as well. Depending on his OS/hardware, he may not have to adjust gamma. But, you'll both have to work together to get sync'd up.

    Image looks fine to me. Keep in mind, I hate most of the product renders produced by most of the human texture artists out there. That's why I only buy such texture from no more than 3 vendors, ever. In every case where I've deviated from these vendors, the product I purchased turned out to be less than desirable for my particular rendering tastes. Not that they sucked, just that they were far removed in aesthetic color performance from what I normally like to see.

    Your client may have the same issue. If so, check your library to see if you have a human skin texture that they prefer. (Once you've both got everything set up so you're not dealing with technical profile issues.)



  • @ghostship

    Really depends what monitor he/she is using, if he/she is using Retina then these monitors have different color profile P3 which is somewhere between the SRGB and Adobe RGB

    I'm using mostly on my monitors SRGB, RGB mix profile, but I use too OSX as well(dual boot on my PC) and there I use Adobe RGB

    But mostly I use my custom ICC profile for my monitors and regarding the grain this again is personal thing,on some renders I do intentionally leave low samples 40-50 samples and for really perfect renders I need to render sometimes up to 80-120 samples and still there is grain if you are really looking for grain

    I would recommend put images to Photoshop and play with contrast and curves and then you will see if there is grain/noise

    I sometimes don't understand this, like PA or vendors on DS where if you are looking at their renders you can clearly see noise/grain in images..

    I wouldn't touch TN based monitor, if you are really rendering as pro or are you selling yours works then I would advice get IPS based monitor or something around these lines, always check what monitor supports and read reviews and if you can find good old Dell U2412 monitor then I would get this monitor, have used this previously and loved this monitor

    Right now have IPS based AOC monitors which are pretty good and their adjustments are pretty good, although they support SRGB as max and good Adobe RGB monitor cost just too much, but these monitors which I've will be selling and will get Korean IPS based monitors with Adobe RGB

    Would check posted picture but I'm on phone right now

    Hope this helps

    Thanks, Jura



  • @jura11 said in Mac users see anything different than the rest of us?:
    ..

    Right now have IPS based AOC monitors which are pretty good and their adjustments are pretty good, although they support SRGB as max and good Adobe RGB monitor cost just too much, but these monitors which I've will be selling and will get Korean IPS based monitors with Adobe RGB

    I'm using IPS AOC monitors, at the moment. Though, I've been a bit disappointed with the calibration functions, to be honest. And, the ICC profile that it ships with is... It just doesn't "look right." :) I've set PS up with a custom profile, in an effort to overcome that, but I still think I just need to get a really good production-quality monitor and a hardware-based calibration package, just so I can be sane again. (ColorMonkey, most likely.)



  • @morkonan said in Mac users see anything different than the rest of us?:

    @jura11 said in Mac users see anything different than the rest of us?:
    ..

    Right now have IPS based AOC monitors which are pretty good and their adjustments are pretty good, although they support SRGB as max and good Adobe RGB monitor cost just too much, but these monitors which I've will be selling and will get Korean IPS based monitors with Adobe RGB

    I'm using IPS AOC monitors, at the moment. Though, I've been a bit disappointed with the calibration functions, to be honest. And, the ICC profile that it ships with is... It just doesn't "look right." :) I've set PS up with a custom profile, in an effort to overcome that, but I still think I just need to get a really good production-quality monitor and a hardware-based calibration package, just so I can be sane again. (ColorMonkey, most likely.)

    Yes agree calibration function on these monitors are not the best there,but depends what monitor are you have,my have pretty much OK function,supports 100% SRGB and due this I went with this monitor,have great contrast and brightness is on middle side

    This one I will be getting as next

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Crossover-PERFECT-27AHIPS-Adobe-RGB-27-Monitor-WQHD-2560X1440-DP-HDMI-DVI-/152097090097?hash=item2369b16a31:g:7XMAAOSwd2xXPp0c

    Regarding the HW based calibration,I usually borrow Spyder5 from our work and do few calibrations,but usually I would recommend have look on TFTCentral for ICC profiles

    http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/icc_profiles.htm

    Hope this helps

    Thanks,Jura



  • Digital color meter on iMac Retina gives 123-123-123



  • I'm using a Samsung SyncMaster E2420 for a monitor. I did find a monitor calibration site on the net. http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/?
    The work I do with Poser is a bit more than beer money so I'm trying to keep costs down. I might get a new monitor when I build a new computer in the near future.



  • @jura11 said in Mac users see anything different than the rest of us?:

    I wouldn't touch TN based monitor, if you are really rendering as pro or are you selling yours works then I would advice get IPS based monitor or something around these lines, always check what monitor supports and read reviews and if you can find good old Dell U2412 monitor then I would get this monitor, have used this previously and loved this monitor

    That's the monitor that I'm using. It came almost perfectly calibrated out of the box. I love this thing.

    Anyway, @ghostship I don't see any purple hue at all on the figure, I even took the image into CS5 and checked for purple hue's and not a one. Your client is is being a scrub and they need to calibrate their monitor because it's just making more needless work for you and they're getting angry for something that's their fault.



  • @johndoe641 said in Mac users see anything different than the rest of us?:

    @jura11 said in Mac users see anything different than the rest of us?:

    I wouldn't touch TN based monitor, if you are really rendering as pro or are you selling yours works then I would advice get IPS based monitor or something around these lines, always check what monitor supports and read reviews and if you can find good old Dell U2412 monitor then I would get this monitor, have used this previously and loved this monitor

    That's the monitor that I'm using. It came almost perfectly calibrated out of the box. I love this thing.

    Anyway, @ghostship I don't see any purple hue at all on the figure, I even took the image into CS5 and checked for purple hue's and not a one. Your client is is being a scrub and they need to calibrate their monitor because it's just making more needless work for you and they're getting angry for something that's their fault.

    Hi there

    This monitor I have owned too and agree its almost perfectly calibrated,but I would recommend to check above link TFTCentral and check their ICC profiles,these profiles worked for me very well

    Hope this helps

    Thanks,Jura



  • @jura11 said in Mac users see anything different than the rest of us?:

    This monitor I have owned too and agree its almost perfectly calibrated,but I would recommend to check above link TFTCentral and check their ICC profiles,these profiles worked for me very well

    Thanks for your recommendation/link! But, I can only find "user submitted" ICC profiles for my specific monitor release version. (The product number is represented, but not the version number.)

    In your experience, are "user submitted" profiles accurate and suitable?



  • @morkonan said in Mac users see anything different than the rest of us?:

    @jura11 said in Mac users see anything different than the rest of us?:

    This monitor I have owned too and agree its almost perfectly calibrated,but I would recommend to check above link TFTCentral and check their ICC profiles,these profiles worked for me very well

    Thanks for your recommendation/link! But, I can only find "user submitted" ICC profiles for my specific monitor release version. (The product number is represented, but not the version number.)

    In your experience, are "user submitted" profiles accurate and suitable?

    Hi there

    I've used too user submitted profiles like on U2412 or like on U2410 which I think has been bit better in color reproduction although he lacked contrast of U2412,just check there other settings like RGB and what contrast they have set,some people like less contrast I liked higher contrast and set R/G/B as per their settings

    Hope this helps

    Thanks,Jura





  • I'm heavily involved in color management stuff so let me pass on some advice on monitor calibration / profiling.

    Unless you've spent a pile of money on a 'professional' or 'wide gamut' monitor, it's safe to assume that your monitor's color space is sRGB - that holds true for Mac or PC, any flat panel monitor made over the last 20 years.

    If you're doing color-critical work, you need to calibrate and profile. You need to calibrate to:
    Gamma 2.2
    Color temperature 6500
    Luminance 120 - 160
    If given the option, I'd recommend using the monitor's native black point

    You will need a measurement instrument - a colorimeter or spectrophotmeter - and the ability to navigate the monitor's OSD to hit these values. If you don't have an instrument, don't even try.

    Some monitor calibration / profiling programs are able to take hold of the OSD controls and calibrate everything automatically (X-Rite's i1 Display certainly can).

    Note that calibration and profiling are two different things, though they are frequently achieved during a single session. Calibration changes the physical performance of the monitor to get it as close as possible to the values required. Profiling measures key color values once calibration has been completed and builds an ICC / ICM profile which should then become your system profile: this is used (a) by the operating system and (b) ICC-savvy applications (all the main Adobe stuff and many others) to make sure images are displayed as accurately as possible.

    Note that Poser and the vast majority of 3D programs are not ICC-savvy, they assume that color images are in sRGB and that grayscale images have a gamma of 2.2.

    Years ago I created a Poser version of the 'Macbeth' 24-patch color checker, getting as close as I could to the correct sRGB values. Apparently I don't have enough privileges to upload it here...



  • @MrPunch I think it might be 10 up-votes to get upload access. I just up-voted 1.

    This all started because the guy that sells my stuff complains all the time about image grain and skin tone. The last issue I had with him he ran a few of my images through something called "Portrait Pro" which is supposed to remove blemishes from photos of real people. It was a real butcher job and then he came back with the comment that I needed my eyes checked or some such nonsense. Most of the time he's a decent guy and easy to get along with but I think he is the type of person that is "always right." One time I sent him an image that was larger than screen size and when he showed me the cropped version he had reduced the resolution, blown it back up and then cropped it. It was a total mess (and he couldn't tell) and I had to send him a cropped version that wasn't F'ed up.



  • @MrPunch said in Mac users see anything different than the rest of us?:

    I'm heavily involved in color management stuff so let me pass on some advice on monitor calibration / profiling.

    Awesome stuff! I'm hanging on your every word! (Copy/pasted into a note file for that very reason!)

    Years ago I created a Poser version of the 'Macbeth' 24-patch color checker, getting as close as I could to the correct sRGB values. Apparently I don't have enough privileges to upload it here...

    Shouldn't be an issue, if it's just a graphic. You can host it on Imgur without an account - https://imgur.com/

    New Post -> Browse (to where the image is stored on your computer) -> Mouse-hover over the uploaded image, hover over the down-arrow to access "get share links", click on that, select copy on "share link" or even "bbcode" and Copy that to clipboard, come back here and Paste the link.

    You can "embed" the image in a post by clicking on the little portrait icon and pasting the direct link to the image as indicated.

    For software/scripts, Tinyupload is pretty good. It works in a similar fashion, no login necessary, free to use.

    I've got a Pantone book that weighs about 80 pounds if I wipe the dust off of it... (More for print, of course.) Other than being familiar with that process, I get a bit lost, at times, when it comes down to good monitor calibration. IOW - I'm never sure I've done it right. :)



  • @ghostship Thanks for getting the ball rolling.

    0_1485971031354_ColorChecker.png

    I can upload images, apparently, so here's a little thumbnail of the ColorChecker. The first two patches on the top row = skin tones; and that's obviously gray patches along the bottom. More info at Wikipedia.

    The most typical problem with purchased characters is that the (skin) texture files are off-color, typically a little too blue. This can start at primary acquisition, where fairly harsh electronic flash was used in the studio - a portrait photographer would use gold reflectors and/or gels to modify the light source but in many cases I'd guess that 'raw' flash is used. When introduced at this stage, that bluish tint can be really difficult to fix in post-processing.

    More blueness can be introduced if the shoot was on slide film and the process was (even slightly) out. A bad E6 process will veer towards blue more often than not.

    You'd think that shooting digital would solve this, but no... any 'auto' settings in the image processing pipeline are going to be skewed towards blue / purple by the preponderance of flesh tones.

    This problem can become magnified by out-of-whack monitor calibration, unwillingness to adopt a color-managed workflow, and a myriad of other factors. An uncompromising approach to your workflow will take time, knowledge and a little effort but is well worth the trouble.

    I'm surprised that image grain is an issue, but using one of those portrait enhancement things isn't the way to fix it. If you have Photoshop denoising in Lab mode is very powerful. This video (

    ) will get you started; if color noise is an issue, consider applying modest levels of gaussian blur to the 'a' and 'b' channels.



  • @morkonan
    It's a very simple Poser prop, each patch a separate square with the required RGB values assigned to produce a reasonably accurate virtual ColorChecker target for the sRGB color space. This has the advantage that I can change the RGB values to (say) AdobeRGB (.mc6 to do this is provided). If you don't know why that would be handy, don't use it.

    For some reason it looks odd in preview in later versions of Poser, but it renders OK.

    Here's the caveat: Poser doesn't let you enter color values with sufficient precision for this to be particularly accurate or useful. It's more of a 'that's about right' tool. I started building a shader that would let me put in Lab or XYZ values and convert them to RGB values but that got way too complicated. That must have been Poser 7 days though - I might have another look at that now that we have more to work with in SuperFly.

    Thanks for the tiny upload idea, heres the link: http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?file_id=00229785871824221569



  • @MrPunch

    Sweet! Much thanks! Can't wait to play around with it!