17 Replies Latest reply on Sep 14, 2012 12:28 AM by station_two

    Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question

    btollefson

      If you open an untagged jpeg in Camera Raw what color space is it displaying in before "Open Image" is checked? If it's using Color Prefs default rgb working space why isn't there a warning if Color Prefs are checked to "ask"? It's going to convert to whatever's in Workflow Options, but from what rgb space?

        • 1. Re: Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question
          ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          From experiments just now with an Untagged (but really ProPhotoRGB) JPG, it appears that ACR either uses sRGB (as browsers are supposed to do) or the monitor profile (my monitor profile is close to sRGB so I’m not sure), and so the way to fix things if you know the actual colorspace of the untagged file is to use ProPhotoRGB as your profile out of ACR and then if you get a warning as you open the image from ACR in PS about things not matching do a Convert to PS’s working space, then do an Assign of the real color-profile in PS and the colors will pop into place.

           

          Apparently ACR doesn’t care about the color preferences set in PS for what it does and perhaps follows what browsers do for untagged JPGs.

          • 2. Re: Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question
            btollefson Level 1

            sRGB would be my best guess too, but shouldn't there be a warning & the user be allowed to choose?

            • 3. Re: Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question
              areohbee Level 5

              It is common for software not to tag sRGB files, since that's the default - why waste space? So it's common that there be no warning... sRGB is implied.

               

              PS - I would agree that there should be some way to at least give a name for a profile, even if all the profile particulars are not embedded, so there would be a clue whether things are wonky or not...

               

              But I don't know if the file-format specification(s) allows for such, or not.

               

              Cheers,

              Rob

              • 4. Re: Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question
                Level 5

                btollefson wrote:

                 

                If you open an untagged jpeg in Camera Raw what color space is it displaying in before "Open Image" is checked? ...

                The working color space of Adobe Camera Raw is a ProPhoto RGB equivalent.  The displayed preview in the ACR dialog box is whatever you have defined as output in the Workflow Options as shown right below the preview window in ACR (the settings are underlined to look like a link and that opens the workflow options with its various pop-up menus).

                 

                ACR_5_workflow_optns.png

                 

                In order to show you that preview, ACR converts it from its working ProPhoto RGB (equivalent) color space to whatever you have set in said workflow options (sRGB in the case of the illustration above).

                 

                Given an image with a sufficient color gamut, you can even see the difference when you switch the setting in the workflow options from, say, ProPhoto RGB or even Adobe RGB to sRBG.  The difference is obvious, and of course it makes sense to show you what the output will be like with your particular setting in the workflow options.  Anything else would be useless nonsense, something that's not even conceivable to the members of the ACR team. 

                • 5. Re: Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question
                  Level 5

                  Tangentially, one should never work with untagged files, ever!

                   

                  If some moron hands you an untagged file, then you are forced to try assigning one profile after another until you find the one that makes the image look best.  Only then should fo feed it to ACR. 

                   

                  Then you go slap the moron upside the head and admonish said individual never again to hand you an untagged file.

                  • 6. Re: Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question
                    Noel Carboni Level 7

                    In all seriousness, does it matter?  I don't think Camera Raw tries too hard to provide an "exactliy what the input file looks like" view...

                     

                    If you push the eleventy seven sliders around enough to where the image looks good to you (a rough equivalent to what station_two suggests) is there a reason to look back?

                     

                    -Noel

                    • 7. Re: Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question
                      Level 5

                      Noel Carboni wrote:

                       

                      ... don't think Camera Raw tries too hard to provide an "exactliy what the input file looks like" view...

                       

                      Absolutely correct! 

                       

                      Quite the opposite is true: ACR is only concerned with showing you what the output will look like, as per my previous post.

                       

                      Photoshop and Bridge are there to show you the input file.

                       

                      Hehehe...  I just laughed out loud at the thought of what would happen if ACR showed you the input raw file before demosaic'ing/conversion. 


                      • 8. Re: Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question
                        btollefson Level 1

                        After more testing, it seems ACR does indeed default to sRGB with an untagged jpeg. Changing "Workflow Options" has no effect on the initial display when opening in ACR only the resulting profile after opening in Photoshop. While Photoshop & Bridge would show the tag or lack of, Bridge doesn't allow you to tag if untagged so you'd have to change Camera Raw Preferences to "Disable JPEG Support" to open directly in Photoshop and Assign an appropriate profile to the untagged file, save the file, then change the Camera Raw Preferences back to "Automatically open all supported JPEGs" before opening in ACR again. Not an efficient workflow.

                         

                        If you're working in a production envirnonment where multiple people have touched the file before it comes to your work group it's certainly important to try to understand/guess the visual intent of the initial creator. Also, in a production envirnment, you can't just refuse to accept an untagged file. While it's logical to assume sRGB as a default for an untagged jpeg it's not as easy an assumption for an untagged tiff which exhibits the same behavior as a jpeg. We might first assume sRGB for a jpeg (more likely an amateur file) but Adobe RGB (1998) or ProPhoto RGB for tiff (more likely a professional file format).

                         

                        So, back to a form of my original question, why isn't there a warning & option to Assign an appropriate profile in ACR other than just defaulting to sRGB with an untagged file? In other words, why not just mimic Photoshop's behavior.

                        • 9. Re: Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question
                          Level 5

                          I guess the answer to that last question is quite simply: Because ACR was originally designed to deal with RAW files.  The JPEG, TIFF and PSD capabilities were added later, kind of as a coutesy.

                           

                          The plug-in is still called Adobe Camera Raw.

                           

                          You may want to submit a feature request for later versions of ACR.

                           

                          Again, it's a non-issue for me as I do not deal with untagged files of any kind and generally refuse to deal with morons that do work with untagged files.  No offense meant.

                           

                          If your production environment is such that you do not have the luxury of rejecting untagged files, you can't convince me that you go trying different profiles until you find one "that looks right".  That is just not credible.

                           

                          You probably just settle on sRGB, like the rest of the world that agrees to work with other people's untagged files.

                          • 10. Re: Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question
                            Level 5

                            btollefson wrote:

                             

                            …Changing "Workflow Options" has no effect on the initial display when opening in ACR…

                             

                             

                            Oh, that is patently false.  If your ad-hoc "tests" did not show it to you, it is precisely because you were dealing with a lowest common denominator type of situation, in which all the colors in the image were easily contained withing the sRGB color space anyway.

                             

                            Re-do your test with high-quality, tagged, full gamut ProPhoto RGB images, and you will see the changes in the ACR preview window when you change the output in your workflow optionsunless your monitor and your color management are cr@p to begin with

                             

                            To suggest otherwise would be to imply that the creator of ACR and Photoshop and his ACR team members are dimwitted nincompoops, which is sheer nonsense.

                             

                            Message was edited by: station_two

                            • 11. Re: Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question
                              areohbee Level 5

                              I think it's as simple as this:

                               

                              If it's untagged then:

                               

                              * it's sRGB, or

                              * it's broken ( equivalent to having a *wrong* tag ).

                              ( or it's a photo intended for consumption at endpoint *only* by users/software that *knows* what the correct tag should be ).

                               

                              i.e. untagged is only bad if the proper tag is not sRGB (or the consumer does not have a pre-arranged agreement with the provider...).

                               

                              Summary: Although there is value in including an sRGB tag instead of no tag (so its clear that the tag was not inadvertently dropped, and in case end-point consumer does not follow standard interpretation of untagged files...), the above is still true, and it's common practice to omit the tag in some situations where filesize is a concern.

                               

                              Put another way, under "normal" conditions:

                              If there's no tag, then there's always the question:

                              * is it sRGB or broken?

                              And if there is a tag, then there's always the possibility that it was tagged incorrectly.

                               

                              By way of example:

                              Adobe's Lightroom preview recovery script does not tag recovered AdobeRGB files. They are thus "broken", by the definition in this post (same is true of previewextractor.exe, and exiftool, and dcraw, when extracting previews from raw files).

                              PreviewExporter on the other hand, assigns sRGB tag, or AdobeRGB tag, as appropriate, to previews recovered in Lightroom, so it's clear that the tag has been attended to... (although a bug could lead to an incorrect tag...). Ditto for raw preview extraction in NxToo.

                               

                              Rob

                              • 12. Re: Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question
                                btollefson Level 1

                                My monitor certainly can't see all of ProPhoto's gamut but it can see 98.1% of the AdobeRGB gamut. But you're right, I can see the Workflow Options change if I open a larger gamut raw file in ACR.. It still seems to me ACR's color management behavior should be consistant with the rest of the CS suite or at least Photoshop's & give the user a choice as to how to handle an untagged file. As some of the other posts suggest, their are a number of reasons why a file might not be tagged, maybe not just moronic behavior.

                                • 13. Re: Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question
                                  Noel Carboni Level 7

                                  By the way, it's worth mentioning:

                                   

                                  I don't think a plug-in (e.g., Camera Raw) even CAN get information about the Photoshop preferences the user has chosen. 

                                   

                                  In the context of this issue, Camera Raw doesn't have the ability to ask Photoshop whether the user would like to be prompted on how to handle the missing profile issue, so I suspect the implementers have just ignored the problem.

                                   

                                  It's a shortcoming Adobe really ought to fix in the their plug-in SDK.

                                   

                                  -Noel

                                  • 14. Re: Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question
                                    Level 5

                                    btollefson wrote:

                                     

                                    …It still seems to me ACR's color management behavior should be consistant with the rest of the CS suite or at least Photoshop's & give the user a choice as to how to handle an untagged file…

                                     

                                    For the reasons I have already stated, I think that's bunk!

                                     

                                    Noel has always pointed out that plug-ins "even CAN get information about the Photoshop preferences the user has chosen."

                                     

                                    The biggest fallacy in your post is your hilarious reference to "the CS suite". 

                                     

                                    Inconsistency between or among applications in the artificial "suites" should come as no surprise.

                                     

                                    The "suite" concept is a total fabrication of Adobe marketing and bean-counting types.  The engineering teams are totally independent of each other, they are not only in different buildings but in different cities and states of the American Union, even in different countries.

                                     

                                    The fact that they have little if any communication among them is highlighted by requests occasionally made in these forums by top Adobe engineers to let the other teams know when there are problems in one application that impact our workflow in another one.

                                    • 15. Re: Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question
                                      Level 5

                                      Noel Carboni wrote:

                                       

                                      …so I suspect the implementers have just ignored the problem…

                                       

                                      Well, I don't remotely see this as a problem.  It's a non-issue.

                                       

                                      Not only do I still think that any user with an IQ above room temperature, in degrees Celsius, will put a remedy to an untagged file before working on it, but:

                                       

                                      In order to have any effect at all, the requested—and in my view utterly needless—prompt would require the user to know in which color space the image was created, and if that is the case, there is no conceivable justification to feed Camera Raw an untagged, non-sRGB image file other than the aforementioned room temperature plunging to igloo levels. 

                                      • 16. Re: Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question
                                        Noel Carboni Level 7

                                        I'm calling it a problem in a more general sense.  The user has defined, through the color settings, certain things he wants done when Photoshop encounters either profile mismatches or missing profiles.

                                         

                                        That another component of the product - be it a 3rd party plug-in, or especially  a plug-in supplied as an integrated component with Photoshop - doesn't (can't) use those preferences to make decisions is the root problem I'm describing here.

                                         

                                        In my own particular case, a user might choose to run one of my plug-ins on a single color channel.  How should that channel be presented on-screen in grayscale?  Answer:  The same way Photoshop presents it on the screen when the channel is selected.  How's that done (i.e., with what profile)?  By using the user's configured preference for grayscale (i.e., the Gray: entry from the Color Settings dialog).  Trouble is, I cannot  read that setting, so I must assume  the color space to use to show it, which in my case was to choose the out-of-box Photoshop default (because it will be right most often).  Result:  There's a possibility that the user's view of the channel in Photoshop will differ significantly from the view in the plug-in, and that's potentially confusing.

                                         

                                        Conjecturing (without exhaustive testing) that the sRGB assumption for untagged input data noted above indicates that the Camera Raw folks have taken pretty much the same tack with the situation described in this thread, I can only conclude that they  can't read Photoshop's preference settings either. 

                                         

                                        That's nothing less than a problem of the sort where the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.

                                         

                                        -Noel

                                        • 17. Re: Untagged jpeg in Camera Raw Question
                                          Level 5

                                          Sorry, Noel, my bad!  I totally misread/misconstrued your post #13.