11 Replies Latest reply on Feb 7, 2011 9:24 AM by Chris Cox

    A different take on the "Save For Web" color shift issue...

    tubaart Level 1

      Ok, everyone who has fussed much with photoshop and "Save For Web" knows about the color shift issue. If you want your colors to look right after you "save for web", you have to work in the sRGB colorspace, and have Proof Colors checked (soft proofing on) and the proof color setup set to Monitor RGB, otherwise what you get looks terrible when displayed in a browser.

      But of course if you are editing for print, this is exactly what you DON'T want to do. Well, I work in both. In fact, often the same images, and I want them to appear as close as reasonably possible in both print and web formats, and without a lot of fussing on my part. And I'm pickiest about the print mode, since I have the most control there, so that's the way I want to edit by default.

      Nothing new here.

      Now comes the interesting part (in my mind, anyway). Obviously there is a known remapping -- because PhotoShop DOES it when you select Proof Colors. So the inverse mapping must also be known (with some gamut issues, but I'm not concerned with those, because, after all, I'm VIEWING it on a monitor anyway!). What I want is a plug-in that automatically applies that inverse mapping so that, when I do a Save For Web, I end up with the colors I've been viewing all the time when setting the shot up in print mode. Then, too, I don't have to worry about what mode I'm in when I'm editing -- it just fixes it when doing a save-for-web.

      Again, I want to edit in my normal print mode (typically ProPhoto colorspace, and with soft-proofing off or set to the printer/medium combination I expect to use), then do a single operation (might be a multi-step action) to "screw up" my colors so that when I then do a "Save-For-Web", the resulting image, when viewed on the average color-stupid browser, looks like the image I've been seeing in Photoshop.

      Anyone know of such a beast?   I would gladly pay for a plug-in that really works and fixes the problem.

      And if you have other solutions, I'm interested, but the absolute requirement is that it I do one single edit pass for my colors for both print and web use, and I get what I see on the screen in PS on both the prints and on the web display (i.e., working in sRGB/Monitor RGB mode all the time won't cut it). And PREFERABLY, let me do all my editing work in the ProPhoto (or at least AdobeRGB) colorspace so I have a gamut closer to what the printer can do.

      Anyone got a decent solution for this?

        • 1. Re: A different take on the "Save For Web" color shift issue...
          c.pfaffenbichler Level 8

          Again, I want to edit in my normal print mode (typically ProPhoto colorspace, and with soft-proofing off or set to the printer/medium combination I expect to use), then do a single operation (might be a multi-step action) to "screw up" my colors so that when I then do a "Save-For-Web", the resulting image, when viewed on the average color-stupid browser, looks like the image I've been seeing in Photoshop.

          I think You should read up on Color Management, because I suspect You don’t have a firm grasp on it yet.

          • 2. Re: A different take on the "Save For Web" color shift issue...
            tubaart Level 1

            Well, perhaps I'm missing something.  I have read, extensively, on color management.  I am working in a fully calibrated environment (I keep my camera and monitor calibrated and always use the correct ICC profiles for my printer/medium combinations).  I convert the images to ProPhoto on loading to take advantage of the larger editing gamut, and use the soft-proofing capabilities of PS to keep track of the output (for print).  There is only subtle differences from this and the non-proofing (Proof Colors unchecked) views in PS (as one would expect), and the prints come out as identical to the image on PS as is possible given the inherent gamut differences.

             

            The problem is that there is an extreme color shift when you set up proofing to "Monitor Color", and this shift is exactly what you get when using either save for web or just saving the image as a .jpg.  And yes, I am first downconverting the imaget to sRGB (which produces little or no change in the colors).  The image in sRGB space looks fine as long as I don't view it in Monitor Color mode or try to save it as a jpeg.  In either of those cases, the colors are garish - unevenly over saturated, with a tendency towards red.

             

            So... what am I missing?  If you could just steer me in the right direction, I'd be happy to do the research.

             

            Obviously Adobe knows what the color table mapping is between it's normal display and the "monitor color" soft-proof -- it's doing that conversion.  This is a discrete color table, not a mathematical function, so creating the reverse mapping (aside from a few gamut issues at the edges and possibly some interpolation) is a trivial exercise.  I see no reason that Adobe couldn't provide a filter that would provide this "reverse monitor color" mapping to the color table so that, when you do a Save For Web the colors you get at least resemble the colors you intend.  Even better -- do this as a matter of course so that SFW produces images that look like what's intended on at least the monitor where they are produced.

             

            Please enlighten me (more specifically than just "read up on Color Management") if I am missing something here.  Thanks!

            • 3. Re: A different take on the "Save For Web" color shift issue...
              c.pfaffenbichler Level 8

              proofing to "Monitor Color"

              On saving a jpg with Save for Web and Devices it is permissible to embed the srgb-profile and if one decides against it for size-considerations many or most browsers supposedly assume srgb anyway.

              So converting it to srgb is sufficient, Your monitor profile need not enter into it (apart from being used by Photoshop itself).

               

              The shift You seem to see (in Photoshop I assume) may result from You saving files without embedding the profile and having set the monitor profile as Your rgb-Working Space (which would not have been a good idea).

               

              Maybe these threads may help some:

              http://forums.adobe.com/message/1963211#1963211

              http://forums.adobe.com/message/2211972#2211972

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: A different take on the "Save For Web" color shift issue...
                tubaart Level 1

                I can, but usually don't, embed the profile.  Almost all browsers ignore it anyway, so it just adds size to the file with no benefit.  This is why when proofing for web browser display you have to use "Monitor RGB", not the "Windows RGB" or "Macintosh RGB" which include the color management that the browsers don't do.  If I embed the profile, then the image will display correctly using some tools (those that are profile-aware), but not most browsers (IE, Firefox, etc.).  Since saving the image as a jpeg is almost always for browser display, this doesn't really solve the problem.

                 

                For what it's worth, I've been playing with it, and I can do a near correction, at least on some images I've checked so far, by creating a top-level HSL adjustment layer, and setting the Saturation to -26 and the Hue to +8.  If I convert my image to sRGB, apply this adjustment layer and then save for web (or save as a jpeg or view with Monitor RGB soft proofing).

                 

                For comparison purposes, so you can see what I'm talking about, I'm including two small jpg images (these are just an interior shot at a local retirement home, but they are instructive because of the mixed lighting (natural/incandescent).  The first image is what I get if I just do a SFW without applying the HSL layer.  The second is what I get after applying it. Not perfect, but much closer to the original, and good enough for the wide variation in (mostly non-calibrated) monitors it'll get displayed on.

                _MG_8948.jpg

                Copy-of-_MG_8948.jpg

                • 5. Re: A different take on the "Save For Web" color shift issue...
                  c.pfaffenbichler Level 8

                  I may be misunderstanding You, but anyway:

                   

                  • What significance for all other monitors the image will be viewed on does Your monitor profile have, You suppose?

                  • You could convert the image to Your monitor profile, but that would of course be nonsensical, the monitor profile being specifically for Your monitor and only temporary at that.

                  • You seem to be asking for a Color Management-solution for a non-Color Management-situation (the standard for which is: srgb).

                  • 6. Re: A different take on the "Save For Web" color shift issue...
                    tubaart Level 1

                    Sorry, I think I'm being unclear.  This has nothing to do with individual monitor profiles.  In Proof Setup, "Monitor RGB" amounts to turning off ALL color management, and simply letting the monitor do what it will.  It is what the vast majority of web browsers do (even if the operating system provides color management, the browsers don't take advantage of it), so that is what you need to consider for images that will be viewed on a web browser.  If you convert your image to sRGB,  select Monitor RGB in Proof Set up, and turn on Proof Colors, you will see the image as it would appear on a web browser (after you save it as a jpg or use "Save For Web/Devices" to save it as a jpg).   Since almost everyone is running different uncalibrated monitors, there will be lots of variation in how it will look to them, so precise control of the color is unimportant.

                     

                    That said, I would expect the color on a calibrated monitor (such as the one I use when editing) to be reasonably close to the colors I am seeing while editing in PS.  To the extent a monitor deviates from "calibrated", those colors will vary, but a good monitor should show good colors.   Unfortunately, this is NOT the case, as my previous post shows.  The colors produced by the steps above are oversaturated and significantly shifted in hue.  There is, to my mind, anyway, no reason for this.  Adobe clearly knows what the mapping is between the colors as it displays them in PS and the un-controlled "Monitor RGB" -- that is, it is the color map they are using during normal editing display.  If they were to reverse-apply that map prior to saving it as a jpg, then the image would appear on a browser on that same (presumably calibrated) monitor very similar to what you set up when editing.  Anyone else viewing the image on a web browser with a calibrated monitor would also see good colors.  To the extent other viewers' monitors are out of calibration, their colors will suck, but there's nothing you can do about that.

                     

                    I guess in some sense I AM "asking for a Color-Mamangement-solution for a "non-Color-Management-situation", but specifically I'm asking for PS Color Management to do the best it can for non-Color-Managed situations that we all face every day.

                     

                    Does that make more sense?

                    • 7. Re: A different take on the "Save For Web" color shift issue...
                      c.pfaffenbichler Level 8

                      I have to admit that, as I’m working for print mostly, I am unfamiliar with the behaviour of the various browsers.

                       

                      In Proof Setup, "Monitor RGB" amounts to turning off ALL color management, and simply letting the monitor do what it will.

                      You’re correct, but the display is representative only of Your monitor, which is probably high-end and has a wide gamut consequently – on cheaper/older monitors the over-saturation will probably be considerably less pronounced (or absent), because they have a smaller gamut.

                       

                      That said, I would expect the color on a calibrated monitor (such as the one I use when editing) to be reasonably close to the colors I am seeing while editing in PS. 

                      But You are circumventing the calibration.

                      Quite frankly You are beginning to confuse me, but by displaying the image with the monitor profile You are in effect making the system display a direct translation of the image’s rgb-values into monitor-rgb-values.

                      • 8. Re: A different take on the "Save For Web" color shift issue...
                        Diablo Venom Level 1

                        SFW is a good example of over engineering to the point of mass confusion which is brought upon by the circus of features that are not clearly defined by Adobe.  And guess what.  It will continue until it becomes unusable which is quickly reaching a plateau.

                        • 9. Re: A different take on the "Save For Web" color shift issue...
                          rhys612

                          Hi Tubaart

                           

                          You were being very clear by the way, and I'm wanting to acheive the exact same thing.

                          This colour shift is driving me crazy, it's seems soo basic, you would have thought adobe would have a tool to help us out.

                           

                          What steps are you currently doing to try and resolve this issue? At the moment I'm having to make manual colour adjustments for each image to try and compensate for when I want to save for web.

                           

                          Hope you don't go bold pulling your hair out over this one, as it seems no one actually understands what we are asking, let alone has a REAL solution.

                           

                          Best Regards

                          • 10. Re: A different take on the "Save For Web" color shift issue...
                            c.pfaffenbichler Level 8

                            rhys612, how firm is your grip on color management issues?

                            What reading have you done so far as regards the matter?

                            • 11. Re: A different take on the "Save For Web" color shift issue...
                              Level 7

                              This really isn't a feature request.

                               

                              If you want to know how to convert your images for the web correctly (and what to expect when your images appear on other people's displays), that would be best asked in the normal forums.