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DNG Profile Editor Question??

Jul 31, 2011 7:04 AM

I have built custom camera profiles (single purpose and dual illumination) for my Canon digital cameras using DNG Profile Editor. They work well are definitely much better than the canned profiles I was using.Colors snap into place faster and easier, with fewer adjustments. (Nice program!)

 

I have a question about using these custom profiles in LR and ACR. What in LR or ACR most closely represents an "unmodified" file? I'm talking about the slider positions. DNG PE must assume something when it builds it profiles. I think LR defaults are 0 Exposure/Recovery/Fill, 5 Blacks, 50 Brightness and 25 Contrast (or something fairly close to that). Does DNG Profile Editor build it's profiles so the image looks about right with those settings?

 

The reason I ask is that those settings seem to "pump up the color, contrast and saturation" and look a bit unnatural to me. Setting all the above slider positions to 0 seems to come closer visually what a Color Checker looks like face to face. Yes, it is a bit flat, but nore natural.

 

Can anyone shed light on this for me. I'm looking to set my LR and ACR defaults so they match the CC as closely as possible in terms of saturation and contrast.

 

Thanks,

 

Lou

 
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    Aug 1, 2011 6:47 AM   in reply to Lou Dina

    I think you got it - DPE adjustments are offsets to the base profile settings and have nothing to do with Lightroom/ACR defaults.

     
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    Aug 1, 2011 12:33 PM   in reply to Lou Dina

    The base tone curve of the profile is respected when Brightness is 50, Contrast is 25 and Point Curve is set to Medium Contrast.

     

    Do you mean that the custom profile renders the images over-saturated?

     

    Marco

     
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    Aug 1, 2011 3:10 PM   in reply to Lou Dina

    I'm no longer certain I understand what's happening for you.

     

    If I use DPE to create a profile Y based on profile X, then if set all the adjustments for Y to zero in DPE, it will look exactly the same as X when applied to a photo in Lightroom/ACR, regardless of settings in Lightroom/ACR.

     

    i.e. the idea of DPE is to say:

     

    "I want profile Y to be the same as profile X, except with the colors nudged a bit so that they match the 24 color chart but make a smooth transition in between". And, maybe the tone a bit more or less..., and so forth.

     

    So, when I use DPE, I'm not thinking about anything except in what ways I want it same as base profile (0'd settings in DPE), and in what ways I want it different than base profile (settings adjusted...).

     

    For example, if I base a profile on Adobe Standard, but increase contrast & saturation a smidge in DPE, then when I apply it in Lightroom/ACR, it'll look like Adobe Standard, except with a little more contrast & saturation...

     

    Note: This works fine for all Nikon D300 profiles (Adobe's standards + camera emulations). The only Canon G12 profile it works for is 'Adobe Standard' - the rest (all Canon G12 camera emulation profiles) are totally wonky in DPE and unusable as base profiles for some reason. Maybe you are seeing bizarre things because of some funky base profile, or bugs in DPE. More info about that here: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/lightroom_camera _raw_canon_g12_camera_emulation_profiles_have_problems

     

    Rob

     
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    Aug 1, 2011 4:14 PM   in reply to Lou Dina

    I *think* DPE *always* starts with a base profile  - perhaps that's the root of the confusion.

     

    If that's not the case, then we're *both* confused and could use some clarification.

     

    In any case, check the base profile when you are doing what you are doing, since (unless I'm out to lunch) that may be the key.

     

    Rob

     
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    Aug 1, 2011 5:35 PM   in reply to Lou Dina

    Creating a profile from scratch, especially one with hue-twists built in, is much more complicated and has quite a bit of art along with the science of the DNG Profile Editor computations available to the end user, so starting with an existing profile makes sense for simplicity's sake.  I, for one, like to try complicated things, so would like to know what the actual Adobe process is for creating a profile, but I don't work for the RAW Engine group so am unlikely to ever know.

     
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    Aug 1, 2011 6:56 PM   in reply to Lou Dina

    To add to what ssprengel was saying: The creation of base profiles is done strictly by Adobe behind closed doors. It takes into consideration individual sensor response characterstics on a camera-model by camera-model basis. So, x-rite doesn't do it, nor do you or I. We simply start with what Adobe has done, then taylor to taste...

     

    I *think* that's how it works (I'm admittedly a *little* out on a limb, yet again...)

     

    -R

     
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    Aug 1, 2011 8:35 PM   in reply to Lou Dina

    No settings nor profile selection in Lr/ACR influence profile building - in DPE, you are making a new profile to be accessible in the camera calibration section of Lr/ACR.

     

    So, a linear tone curve in DPE just means you are not altering the base profile tone curve.

     

    To see the base profile in DPE, look on the Color Tables tab.

     
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    Aug 1, 2011 9:57 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    So far as my knowledge of this stretches:

     

    1. A profile created from a GM24 chart isn't based on any profile - it's entirely from scratch
    2. The intended use of that profile is that the starting point will be LR set up to its defaults - brightness 50, etc. This is the same as for Adobe's "canned profiles"
    3. However, the thing to be aware of is that LR/ACR (and all raw converters) default setting is to have a slight tone curve. This matches to the peculiatities of human vision. If you remove this curve (set the various sliders to zero), you get a technically accurate rendition, but one that most people would not like.

     

    If you really want to know more than any sane person would about how LR handles tone curves, etc, I wrote about this back in 2008: http://chromasoft.blogspot.com/2008/01/lightroom-aperture-and-capture- one-mini_24.html

     

    Sandy

     
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    Aug 2, 2011 3:53 AM   in reply to Lou Dina

    I think the DNG Profile Editor uses the Profile shown in the Color Tables tab as the base profile for profiles generated under the Chart tab.  Run a test - look at what is there and generate a new profile under the Chart tab.   Then go to the Color Tables tab and select a different profile and then generate a new profile under the Chart tab.  Compare the two to see if they are identical or different.  If they are identical then profiles shown in the Color Tables tab don't affect the profile generated in the Chart tab.  Select profiles that have a lot of difference for the test - one low saturation and the other high saturation for example.

     

    When you convert your RAW file to a DNG file it probably includes a profile.  If you generated the DNG file from Camera RAW or Lightroom, I think it will have the default profile, which is Adobe Standard unless you have changed the default.  I don't know what profile it uses if you generate the DNG file using the DNG converter.

     
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    Aug 2, 2011 6:16 AM   in reply to Lou Dina

    I checked the above out on profiles I generated for my D700 and the DNG Profile Editor uses the profile listed in the Color Tables tab when you open the DNG image as the base profile for the profile you are generating.  If you want to use a different profile for the base profile you can select it here before you use any of the tabs for profile modification.  The base profile determines the tone, saturation, and brightness characteristics of the new profile.

     

    When you use the Chart tab, it automatically selects each of the colors in the Color Checker chart and determines the correction needed to render the correct color and saturation, but the final profile will have the other charaacteristics of the base profile used, saturation is high in the base profile it will be high in the profile generated.

     

    You can modify the tone and saturation of the new profile using the Tone and Color Matrices tabs.  The linear curve in the Tone tab means the new profile will have the same tone curve as the base profile, not that it will have a linear tone curve. If you modify the linear tone curve in this tab, it will increase or decrease the tone curve from the base profile that is used in the new profile. If you want to modify saturation you can do this by using the Color Matrices tab and change the Red, Green, and Blue Primary saturations sliders by equal amounts.  This will increase or decrease the saturation from the base profile.

     
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    Aug 2, 2011 2:20 PM   in reply to Lou Dina

    Lou,

     

    What I think I know:

     

    - A recipe specifies a base profile and a list of adjustments.

    - A profile "compiles" the recipe into something usable by Lightroom/ACR.

     

    What I know I don't know:

     

    - Where the 'ColorChecker' profile comes from.

     

    What I speculate:

     

    - ColorChecker profile is just a trick - its really the ACR 4.X profile created by Adobe.

     

    In my experience, the results are the same choosing ColorChecker as base profile, and choosing ACR 4.4 as base profile.

     

    - Lightroom/ACR knows about profiles, but profiles don't know about Lightroom/ACR. Put another way, Lr/ACR settings have nothing to do with what  goes into a profile - what goes into a profile does affect how it will  look when applied in Lightroom/ACR.

     

    - ACR 4.X profiles are linear profiles that map your unique camera-model/sensor data into a set of colors that have no twists, meaning hue is not dependent upon brightness, which models the real world, and is why its the default when using a ColorChecker - people are generally after accuracy when they are using a color reference. If you apply a chart to a non-linear/twisted profile you will only get accurate color at the luminosities in the chart, the rest are interpolated/extrapolated and twisted...

     

    What still confuses me:

     

    - Sandy, who I consider an expert in all this, seems to be suggesting that the profile was being created from scratch when using the ColorChecker... I don't see how, and I don't know how to integrate what she has said into what I think I know/understand. Even like-named profiles which look the same for all cameras (like Adobe Standard and ACR 4.X) require a different file to implement and are kept in separate directories for each camera model, and as I understand, takes some development from Adobe, thus the dot-release required to support new camera models.

     

    Rob

     
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    Aug 3, 2011 4:41 PM   in reply to Lou Dina

    I think its as simple as this:

     

    A base profile can be thought of thusly:

     

    - data which maps sensor readings to colors.

     

    And a DPE edited profile is:

     

    - a base profile with a set of adjustments incorporated.

     

    And what the DPE effectively does when creating a profile is:

     

    - re-maps the sensor data to colors making sure to incorporate specified adjustments, and smoothing everything in between.

     

    Perhaps I've oversimplified, but certainly everything I've experienced so far can be explained by this simple understanding.

     

    And, all the color checker does (via Create Color Table, in DPE) is create a list of anchoring points - i.e. when creating profile, make sure the colors match at the specified points.

     

    The dual luminosity business just adds interpolation / extrapolation based on temperature into the mix.

     

    PS - You do have some ACR X.X profile on the base profiles list, no?

     

    R

     
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    Aug 2, 2011 2:53 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    areohbee wrote:

     

    What still confuses me:

     

    - Sandy, who I consider an expert in all this, seems to be suggesting that the profile was being created from scratch when using the ColorChecker... I don't see how, and I don't know how to integrate what she has said into what I think I know/understand.

     

     

    Pretty sure Sandy is a guy...

     

    When you create a profile from a ColorChecker DNG, the color profile information is created from scratch based on the actual colors in the CC shot. It does however have a default tone curve–which you can adjust. That tone curve (or whatever curve adjustment you've made) and the color transform is what's saved in the new DNG profile. So, a DNG profile created with a ColorChecker shot is a whole new profile not based on any exsisting profile.

     
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    Aug 2, 2011 3:13 PM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    Jeff Schewe wrote:

     

    Pretty sure Sandy is a guy...

     

    My apologies to Sandy if I got the gender wrong.

     
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    Aug 2, 2011 5:06 PM   in reply to Lou Dina

    I ran a test to see if selecting a base profile affects a profile generated using the Chart tab.

     

    I am using DNG Profile Editor version 1.0.0.45beta on a Windows 7 Professional 64 bit system.

     

    I opened DNG Profile Editor and then opened a DNG image of the X-Rite Passport.  In Color Tables tab the base profile was listed as Camera Standard (this is a Nikon D700 image).  I changed the base profile to Camera Neutral and then selected the Chart tab.  I aligned the four color dots on the Passport chart and clicked create color table and then clicked OK, which then displayed the Color Tables with Color Checker listed as the base profile.  I exported the profile as Neutral Test and then clicked Edit > Clear Color Adjustments and then selected a base profile of Camera Vivid.  I clicked the Chart tab and repeated everything I did when I had Camera Neutral selected as the base profile.  I output a profile with the name of Vivid Test.

     

    I tested these profiles with Photoshop CS5 ACR v6.4.1 and they gave me identical results - both looked like the Neutral profile relative to tone,  saturation ,but different color.

     

    I then opened DNG Profile Editor version 1.0.0.45beta again and opened the same DNG image I used above.  In Color Tables tab the base profile was listed as Camera Standard.  I changed the base profile to Camera Vivid and followed the same steps as above to generate a profile and named it Vivid Test.

     

    I tested these profiles again with Photoshop CS5 ACR v6.4.1 and they give me different results.  Neutral Test has tone and saturation like Camera Neutral and Vivid Test has tone and saturation like Camera Vivid.

     

    This indicates to me that the base profile does determine the characteristics of the profile generated using the Chart tab, but the base profile selected when you first select the Chart tab can't be cleared without closing DNG Profile Editor and openig it again to use a different base profile for the new profile.

     

    Anyone else notice this characteristic?  

     
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    Aug 2, 2011 5:18 PM   in reply to b2martin_a

    b2martin_a wrote:

     

    ...but the base profile selected when you first select the Chart tab can't be cleared without closing DNG Profile Editor and openig it again to use a different base profile for the new profile.

     

    Anyone else notice this characteristic?  

     

    In my experience, all profiles are available straight out of the gate, including 'ColorChecker'. I'm running win7/64 - could be different on Mac.

     

    If I select a different base profile, the derived profile seems to be the same as the base profile, plus any visible adjustments.

     

    In my experience, selecting ColorChecker as base produces the same result (as judged by eye - under limited test conditions) as selecting ACR 4.X as base - dunno what's happening under the hood.

     

    -R

     
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    Aug 2, 2011 7:35 PM   in reply to Lou Dina

    DNG profiles consists of 2 base matrices which can be associated a correction via LUT or via matrix. In the base profile menu the user chooses the base matrices and then he can append the LUT correction of the tab Color Table and / or the matrix correction of the tab Color Matrices. He can choose the LUT manually or automatically via Chart tab. Resuming the new profile will contain the old matrices plus new corrections. In the case that the base profile don't contain tables at all like ACR 4.4 the LUT will be created from scrath, in the case the profile already contains a LUT like the Adobe Standard profile I think that only Eric Chan knows what happens.

     

    If you want I wrote some thoughts on how to use these corrections in this article: http://www.photoactivity.com/Pagine/Articoli/047CalibDNG/CalibDNG_en.a sp

     
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    Aug 3, 2011 1:25 AM   in reply to Rob Cole

    - Sandy, who I consider an expert in all this, seems to be suggesting that the profile was being created from scratch when using the ColorChecker...

     

    Rob

     

    My bad, I should have been more precise - color rendition in DNG camera profiles is set basically by two things: (a) the the two color matrixes, and (b) the color lookup tables. There are also a bunch of other things that have some impact, e.g., the tone curve, etc, but (a) and (b) are the main ones.

     

    As far as I know, in Adobe profiles of the same generation, the matrixes are always the same for the same camera model, for all of the Adobe "canned" profiles, and any profiles created by DPE. Which makes sense, as they are largely driven by sensor characteristics - the nature of the dyes used in the Bayer array. What changes are the color tables. For DPE created profiles, those table are built from scratch from the color checker image. So what you have is a profile that consists of the same matrix as in all other Adobe profiles, and a "from scratch" set of tables.

     

    This may not be the case for profiles built by other vendors, e.g., X-Rite.

     

    Sandy

     
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    Aug 3, 2011 2:14 AM   in reply to sandy_mc

    sandy_mc wrote:

     

    This may not be the case for profiles built by other vendors, e.g., X-Rite.

     

    Sandy

     

    X-Rite has a completely different vision from Adobe in profiles construction: the first focuses on matrices, the second focuses almost exclusively on tables.

     
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    Aug 3, 2011 6:26 AM   in reply to Lou Dina

    Lou Dina wrote:


    The reason I ask is that those settings seem to "pump up the color, contrast and saturation" and look a bit unnatural to me. Setting all the above slider positions to 0 seems to come closer visually what a Color Checker looks like face to face. Yes, it is a bit flat, but nore natural.

     

     

    I add only that I agree with you, the custom profiles look too saturated. In this post I have tried to explain why this happens and what are the workarounds.

     

    Ciao

    Marco

     
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    Aug 3, 2011 2:05 PM   in reply to sandy_mc

    Sandy,

     

    Thank you for the info.

     

    So, if I've got this straight, DPE does use a base profile (with the camera matrices...). Its only when using 3rd party software like X-rite that a base profile may not be used.

     

    And, in DPE, since results are so far indistinguishable to me using "Color Checker" as base profile (after clicking 'Create Color Table') and "ACR 4.4" as base profile, that these two are either the same or very similar.

     

    Rob

     
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    Aug 3, 2011 2:24 PM   in reply to Rob Cole

    Rob,

     

    Yes, the matrixes at least would be similar. But if you want, post the two profiles somewhere accessable, and I'll take a look inside them with dcpTool, and tell you exactly what's different.

     

    Regards,

     

    Sandy

     
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    Aug 3, 2011 4:48 PM   in reply to sandy_mc

    Sandy,

     

    It could be that when one clicks 'Create Color Table' in DPE, a new 'ColorChecker' profile was just created (based on the photo of the chart), thus the reason it appears as a new item in the profile dropdown list - this may be what Jeff Schewe was talking about in his previous post. And, it just so happens, that in my case, its about the same as ACR 4.X...

     

    I may post the profiles for you to scrutinize in a while - thank you for the offer...

     

    Rob

     
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    Aug 4, 2011 1:30 AM   in reply to Rob Cole

    areohbee wrote:

     

    So, if I've got this straight, DPE does use a base profile (with the camera matrices...). Its only when using 3rd party software like X-rite that a base profile may not be used.

     

    And, in DPE, since results are so far indistinguishable to me using "Color Checker" as base profile (after clicking 'Create Color Table') and "ACR 4.4" as base profile, that these two are either the same or very similar.

     

    Rob

     

    As noted, the problem is not the final colorimetrical results, all profile have the same rendition, nor if they start from scratch or not, the problem is the way they come to that result: Adobe doesn't stress the matrices (they are a little far from ideal values) and use the LUT to come to final results, X-Rite stresses the matrices as far as possible and then uses a soft LUT (more work handled by the matrix less work needed by the LUT)

     

    The consequesce is that some time with DNG PE profiles are notable phenomenon of posterisation in the images: http://www.gialandra.it/en/archives/372

     

    This is the reason because in the my article about the use of DNG PE I use the script (it create a correction matrix) before create the LUT.

     

    I think that Eric sooner or later should create a button in the matrices tab to handle matrix correction.

     

    Marco

     
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    Aug 14, 2011 8:21 PM   in reply to Marco N.

    When using the Chart Wizard feature of DNG PE, the color matrices are taken from the choice of the Base Profile (ColorMatrix* and ForwardMatrix* DNG tags), and the color tables (HueSatMap1 and HueSatMap2 DNG tags) are replaced by the ones calculated by the Chart Wizard.  If the Base Profile has a look table (LookTable DNG tag), it is removed.

     

    Effectively, matrices are used to perform linear color correction, and the color tables are used to perform non-linear (usually targeted) color correction.  Ideally a simple matrix would suffice, but for complex reasons they cannot map all colors perfectly.

     
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    Aug 20, 2011 7:57 AM   in reply to Lou Dina

    It's the profile showing in the first tab "Color Tables", after loading up the dng target images.

     

    There is a way to "see" what's inside any of the DNG profile files, using dng_validate.exe out of the Adobe DNG SDK.   It's a command file, have only tried it on a pc, don't know if a similar version exists for the Mac, although they do offer a Mac SDK.

     

    One can use a command line similar to "dng_validate.exe -d 200 test.dng > test.txt" to dump the contents to a text file.  It pretty much clears up all the mysteries as to which matrices, etc.

     

    Richard Southworth

     
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