14 Replies Latest reply on Nov 17, 2014 11:57 AM by D Fosse

    How does photoshop handle dual displays, each with a different profile?

    Capinlarry

      I am looking to buy dual displays for photo editing and would like to have each calibrated and profiled differently - 1 for web output and the other for print output. I will be using Mac OS and I understand that ICC compliant applications (i.e. Photoshop and Lightroom) use the default system profile to display colors regardless of operating system. I am curious if photoshop is able to handle 2 different display profiles stored on the system to match each display? I am worried that only 1 profile can be set to default and that it will use that profile for both displays.

        • 1. Re: How does photoshop handle dual displays, each with a different profile?
          Level 5

          Yes, it does use a different profile for each monitor.

           

          But your thinking is dead wrong.  You do not calibrate and profile a monitor "for print" or "for web".

           

          You calibrate and profile a monitor to display the best, most accurate and natural colors it can manage.

           

          The output is judged through soft proofing (the "Proof Setup" and "Proof Colors" menu items in Photoshop's View menu) a subject on which you need to do a lot of reading.  Start with the Help files in Photoshop.

          • 2. Re: How does photoshop handle dual displays, each with a different profile?
            D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            station_two wrote:

             

            You do not calibrate and profile a monitor "for print" or "for web".

             

            Actually I would both agree and disagree there. Agree because as long as you use a color managed browser there are no inherently different considerations between the two, even if you use wide gamut monitors. They should all display correctly, whatever the source material.

             

            However: you would set your calibration targets so that you get a good match to printed output, that's half the battle. You do need to set a white point that gives you a close visual match to paper white; and you do need to set a black point that corresponds to the contrast range of the paper and printing process. With these targets set, the rest falls into place by itself and relates to the white point color. But these print targets will probably be very low contrast and may not be suitable for web preparation.

             

            Here I have four different targets, for four different scenarios, that I switch between regularly. Black point is different in all of them. I also have one sRGB emulation for the rare instances where I have to work with non-color managed software:

            cal_targets.png

            This is from Eizo Colornavigator, but any good calibration software, like x-rite i1 Profiler, ColorEyes Display Pro or the Spyder Pro/Elite editions, should be able to handle all this independently for each display without problems. And Photoshop uses independent profiles as station_two said.

            • 3. Re: How does photoshop handle dual displays, each with a different profile?
              Level 5

              twenty_one,

               

              Your [web] files would probably look like crap on my monitors, just like the overly bright, over-contrasty, overly saturated images that appeal to the average consumer. 

               

              Additionally, you have absolutely no control over what any image looks like on the 96% of web surfers who have uncalibrated monitors.

               

              I admire your zeal and efforts to go through such lengths to cater to the web. 

              • 4. Re: How does photoshop handle dual displays, each with a different profile?
                D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                station_two wrote:

                 

                Your [web] files would probably look like crap on my monitors

                As it happens, I just set up a website two days ago, so you can judge for yourself... (Warning: lots of night shots, deliberately dark and gloomy).

                 

                http://www.dagfosse.com/

                 

                you have absolutely no control over what any image looks like on the 96% of web surfers who have uncalibrated monitors.

                I know, but I don't worry about that. It's their problem, not mine.

                • 5. Re: How does photoshop handle dual displays, each with a different profile?
                  Level 5

                  Awesome, Dag.  Heading over to your site now.  Thanks.

                  • 6. Re: How does photoshop handle dual displays, each with a different profile?
                    D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    One thing I never got around to checking, is whether the site builder I used is one of those that strip the embedded profile. My browser is Firefox mode 1, which assigns sRGB to everything regardless, and Safari does the same thing now with the latest releases. So both of those will display correctly in either case. But this is again one of those things I don't worry too much about anymore. Those who care will use the right browser.

                     

                    Without an embedded profile, shadows will tend to block up on these already dark images, due to the inherent characteristics of LCD displays.

                     

                    I have another site planned where I will use Adobe Muse, which will preserve all embedded profiles (although the app itself is, strangely, not color managed).

                    • 7. Re: How does photoshop handle dual displays, each with a different profile?
                      Jon-M-Spear Level 4

                      Very nice site indeed, Dag.  Not only is the content engaging, but the format is exactly what I'm wanting myself.

                       

                      Can I ask what you authored it in.  I'm looking at squarespace at the moment, but can't decide if it's right.

                      • 8. Re: How does photoshop handle dual displays, each with a different profile?
                        Level 5

                        I don't think your website is on the same level as your excellent photography skills, Dag, but I'm hopelessly ignorant when it comes to building websites or dealing with the web at all.

                        • 9. Re: How does photoshop handle dual displays, each with a different profile?
                          Conrad C Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          capinlarry wrote:

                           

                          I am looking to buy dual displays for photo editing and would like to have each calibrated and profiled differently - 1 for web output and the other for print output. I will be using Mac OS and I understand that ICC compliant applications (i.e. Photoshop and Lightroom) use the default system profile to display colors regardless of operating system. I am curious if photoshop is able to handle 2 different display profiles stored on the system to match each display? I am worried that only 1 profile can be set to default and that it will use that profile for both displays.

                          You said you're on a Mac and that makes things simpler. OS X can assign a different profile to every connected display, and any ICC compliant applications will follow along. (In Windows your concern is real, because how multiple monitors use profiles depends on the video card; some video cards can assign only one profile to all displays.)

                           

                          While you could get two monitors and calibrate each for a different medium, with the Proof Setup feature Photoshop you can do it all on one monitor. Just open multiple windows for the same document (Window > Arrange > New Window) then arrange or tile them, then assign a different Proof Setup to each window (View > Proof Setup).

                           

                          In the example below there are three views of the same image on a single monitor, tiled horizontally. The image is in ProPhoto RGB, but you are seeing how it looks natively on the monitor calibrated for maximum gamut, using an sRGB profile for the Web, and using a profile for a specific ink and matte paper combination on the Epson 3880 printer. Using Photoshop soft-proofing can be more flexible than locking down each whole monitor to a very specific output.

                          Photoshop-Proof-Setup-x-3.jpg

                          • 10. Re: How does photoshop handle dual displays, each with a different profile?
                            Capinlarry Level 1

                            I believe you all have answered my question regarding photoshop handling of display profiles, thanks a lot for the feedback. I do have one more question: I have read that when editing for web output you should view your images with a display brightness setting of 90 cd/m2 to attempt to closely match the brightness of the average monitor and you would want to use a brighter setting when editing for print output. Would it still be feasible to have one display set to 90 cm/m2 and the other to a brighter setting. I am thinking this would be a solution to keep from having to switch display settings.

                            • 11. Re: How does photoshop handle dual displays, each with a different profile?
                              Conrad C Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              It's the opposite. Print should usually be in the range of 90-120 cd/m2 depending on the anticipated print viewing conditions, while people look at web pages on displays that are often turned up to max brightness. Because paper can't possibly match the brightness of a display, having display brightness turned up too high is a common cause of dark prints.

                               

                              And yes, when you use software that calibrates and profiles your displays, one of the first options it should give you is what target luminance you want for that specific display, and you should be able to set it differently for each display.

                              • 12. Re: How does photoshop handle dual displays, each with a different profile?
                                Capinlarry Level 1

                                Got it, thanks for the clarification!

                                • 13. Re: How does photoshop handle dual displays, each with a different profile?
                                  D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  Conrad Chavez wrote:

                                   

                                  (In Windows your concern is real, because how multiple monitors use profiles depends on the video card; some video cards can assign only one profile to all displays.)

                                  A video card that doesn't support dual displays - and independent calibration/profiling - is very hard to find these days, if at all possible. They all do and have done for a long time. There is no limitation in the OS.

                                   

                                  However, some calibrators don't have multi-display support. The Spyder Express edition is one. This limitation is done by giving every profile the same internal name, so that every new instance overwrites all previous; regardless of what display it was made with. The internal name is not user modifiable.

                                  • 14. Re: How does photoshop handle dual displays, each with a different profile?
                                    D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    station_two wrote:

                                     

                                    I don't think your website is on the same level as your excellent photography skills, Dag

                                    Thanks, and I can actually agree with the first. It's not optimal; it just sort of works for now. I simply bought a packaged deal with domain, hosting and templates all in one go. I had to modify the template until it screamed for mercy...

                                     

                                    I'll do it properly once I learn how. Adobe Muse looks very promising, and easy to use for people without coding skills.