10 Replies Latest reply on Jan 10, 2011 8:37 AM by flanan

    Workflow Options-how to fix Space profiles so they change?

    flanan Level 1

      I have ACR 6.3 and I seem to be having color issues. When I open a picture in camera raw and go to the Workflow Options link, I can successfully change all of the setting choices except for Space (color profiles). Why is this happening and how to I fix it? It defintely used to work.

       

      I have Windows 7, and have an NEC PA271W display with Spectraview calibration.

       

      Thanks for any help you can provide,

       

      Nancy

       

      Edit: I have now noticed that in Photoshop CS5>Edit>Working Spaces, I cannot see any changes reflected by changing the "RGB:" choices. Selecting different color profiles with the Preview box checked does nothing. This also used to work.

        • 1. Re: Workflow Options-how to fix Space profiles so they change?
          Noel Carboni Level 7

          Can you please be more specific about exactly what you see vs. what you expect to see?  In other words, what do you mean by "I can successfully change all of the setting choices except for Space (color profiles)"?

           

          When you're changing the Space: setting are you saying it's just not taking the choice you're making, and reverting back to what it was set to before?

           

          Also, please screen capture what you have set in your Color Settings and post them here.

           

          I'm concerned that perhaps you have some misconceptions about what the settings are supposed to do.  Keep in mind that when everything is set properly, you're not really supposed to be able to see a difference on your screen in the image regardless of what choices you make with the settings you've mentioned.

           

          -Noel

          • 2. Re: Workflow Options-how to fix Space profiles so they change?
            flanan Level 1

            Hi Noel, thanks for the reply.

             

            Ok, I'll try to better describe since I don't know how to screen-capture and/or don't think I can due to not having email on the computer on which this is occurring. I'm hoping that I am having misconceptions - that would be the better situation!  If you think I CAN perform a screen-capture and get it over to the PC that has email, I will do it if you tell me how or send me to some directions. I'll get the information to you the longhand way for right now.

             

            In answer to "When you're changing the Space: setting are you saying it's just not  taking the choice you're making, and reverting back to what it was set  to before?"

                 No, I'm saying that I can change the setting, it stays selected and does not revert, but I don't see any difference on my monitor to reflect the change. I do/did expect to see the photo in the camera raw box have a color change. I expect that choosing Colormatch RGB versus sRGB IEC61966-2.1 will look different in color in the photo. If it doesn't change the colors in the photo, how can I use camera raw editing to accurately reflect changes in the color space in which I've chosen to work? Stated another way, if I can't see the color differences when changing the Space selection, how can I know what effect that Space change has on my editing?

             

            Also, maybe I can show you my misconceptions () by asking why does the Workflow Option link even have a Space: choice if you can't see on your monitor the changes that result when selecting the different color spaces?

             

            For the Color Settings, (I forgot to include "Color Settings" in my path name to Working Spaces, but you understood) I can describe:

             

            Settings: North Americal Gen'l Purp 2

             

            Working Spaces

            RGB: sRGB IEC61966-2.1

            CMYK: US Web Coated (SWOP) v2

            Gray: Dot Gain 20%

            Spot: Dot Gain 20%

             

            Color Mgmt Policies

            RGB: Preserve Embedded Profiles

            CMYK: Preserve Embedded Profiles

            Gray: Preserve Embedded Profiles

            No boxes checked for Profile Mismatches: or Missing Profiles:

             

            Conversion Options

            Engine: Adobe (ACE)

            Intent: Relative Colorimetric

            All boxes are checked for each Use Black Point Compensation, User Dither, Compensate for Scene-referred Profiles

             

            Advanced Controls

            No boxes checked for either Desaturate Monitor Colors By:   or Blend RGB Colors Using Gamma:

             

            Preview Box is Checked for the entire Color Settings dialog box

             

            Please, let the clearing up of misconceptions begin!

             

            Thank you for any explanations you can offer, Nancy

            • 3. Re: Workflow Options-how to fix Space profiles so they change?
              Noel Carboni Level 7

              Hi Nancy,

               

              From what you have described, you are seeing what you should be seeing.

               

              Photoshop is a color-managed application, meaning it interprets document and display profiles in an attempt to show you what an image is really supposed to look like.

               

              The Space setting in the Camera Raw converter allows you to select the color profile (AKA color space) to be used to describe the pixel RGB values it is to put into the converted image.  The reason you don't see a difference on the screen is that, behind the scenes, the Photoshop software does its best to interpret the RGB values using that very same color profile when displaying the image on your monitor.

               

              In short, the RGB values are set differently depending on the color space, which in turn causes them to be interpreted differently when the image is displayed.   What you see on your monitor should always be a faithful representation of how the image is intended to look, no matter which profile you choose.

               

              Thus, when your system is set up properly to allow Photoshop to do proper color management, you essentially should not see a difference* on your monitor no matter what color profile you choose.

               

              What you have done by choosing a color space from the list provided by Camera Raw is essentially to set the gamut (maximum range) of possible colors that can be represented in your image.  The appropriate choice should be guided first by your intended use for the image.

               

              For example, if you intend to do web publication, and save your JPEG images right out of the Camera Raw dialog or do very little editing on them, it may be appropriate to choose the sRGB profile and 8 bits / channel color depth.  On the other hand, if you want to retain the maximum possible fidelity in the colors your camera captured, intend to edit images further in Photoshop after conversion, and use a wide gamut printer, your better choices may be ProPhoto RGB and 16 bits/channel.  Each has advantages.

               

              Without knowing what your needs are, specifically, I recommend initially setting Camera Raw to output images in the ProPhoto RGB color space and 16 bits/channel, then when you understand color management better review these settings.

               

              --

               

              On the subject of the Photoshop Edit - Color Settings values, think of these not as settings that influence what you're seeing right now so much as communicating your preferred defaults to Photoshop, so it can do the right things for you when you open or create documents.

               

              For example, if you change the Working Spaces - RGB: setting to sRGB IEC61966-2.1, you're telling Photoshop simply that you prefer to work on documents with the sRGB IEC61966-2.1 document color profile.  New images you create in Photoshop will default to sRGB.  The settings in subsequent sections of the Color Settings dialog inform Photoshop what you'd prefer it to do in the case of opening documents with color profiles that are not the same as your preferred working space.

               

              Again, your choices here should be influenced by your needs for your images.  If, for example, you really really like to do File - Save As - JPEG for web publication or to send images to people via eMail for display on their computers, it may be that you want to set your RGB working space preference to sRGB IEC61966-2.1.  Again, if you want to preserve the widest representation of colors through from raw capture to your ultimate print, you may want to work in ProPhoto RGB.

               

              It's important to note again, that with color-management set up properly, no matter what working space you choose, Photoshop will interpret the RGB values per the document color space and display it on your monitor as close as possible to the intended appearance of the image.

               

              It is because it's virtually impossible to tell by just looking at the display what document profile is in use that Photoshop offers the Profile Mismatches and Missing Profiles checkboxes so you can have it inform you when it's dealing with a profile mismatch.  I recommend checking these boxes.

               

              It is more difficult to advise what settings to use for your working space and color management policies, so I suggest leaving them at Photoshop's defaults (RGB working space = sRGB IEC61966-2.1 and RGB Color Management Policy = Preserve Embedded Profiles).  Once you get a working understanding of color management, review these settings.

               

              --

               

              -Noel

               

               

               

              *Note:  Some of the above is a bit oversimplified to get my points across.  I haven't mentioned the monitor profile at all, on purpose - I assume you have it set up properly - and I haven't talked about proofing as this is likely to confuse matters more than help.  I strongly recommend you read up on color management.  It's quite a complex subject, and it can take literally days for the light bulbs to come on, but once you get your mind around color management you can make the best possible choices in all these settings to accomplish what YOU need.  And you'll be better off than 90% of the rest of the people in the world doing image work. 

              • 4. Re: Workflow Options-how to fix Space profiles so they change?
                Noel Carboni Level 7

                Several general / basic concepts that can sometimes help with understanding color management:

                 

                • Photoshop maintains (as Metadata) a color profile associated with a document (this is what it uses, in part, to display the document on your screen).  It can include this information in an image file (for example, in a JPEG) when you save it so that other color-managed applications will interpret the image as intended.  The little status box at the lower-left of document windows can be set to display the color profile.

                 

                • Not nearly all applications are color-managed.  Thus the profile you have embedded in an image may be ignored.  Notably Internet Explorer, up through version 8, is one such application.

                 

                • Display monitors do not generally have the same gamuts as cameras and printers, or even as other display monitors.

                 

                • People involved with color management generally believe that an ideal world would be when all monitors are profiled and running on calibrated systems, and all applications support color management (i.e., display images based on profiles).  But we are not nearly there yet.

                 

                -Noel

                • 5. Re: Workflow Options-how to fix Space profiles so they change?
                  flanan Level 1

                  Noel,

                   

                  Fabulous explanations! I appreciate your interest and time in writing them. I have been reading about color management just long enough to be confused and dangerous. I will continue to read and work my way out to the side of understanding or at least understanding more!

                   

                  I had a few lightbulbs go off while reading your reply. Then the light got dim when a few more questions cropped up. I'll lead in to them.

                   

                  Questions Lead In:

                   

                  Ok, I've set Camera Raw to output images in the ProPhoto RGB color space and 16 bits/channel, per your recommendations. And thanks for making recommendations. I did this through the Workflow Options link, Space: dropdown list (I am noting how I did this more for myself than you). Now whenever I open photos in Camera Raw, this Space will automatically come up as the selected choice. I tested this by opening several photos from Bridge in to Camera Raw, and indeed the Workflow options link showed "ProPhoto RGB; 16 bit; 3888 by 2592 (10.1MP); 72 ppi" for all of them.

                   

                                 Note: what I didn't notice before when changing the Space: selection, was that for each different selection, the histogram changed after clicking "OK" in the dialog box. It is nice to see some indication of a change, even if it isn't in the photo.

                   

                  Anyway, by doing this I've set the gamut of possible colors that can be represented in my image to the selection with the widest gamut (I'm assuming ProPhotos RGB has the widest gamut of all the choices). This is because my intention is to both "retain the maximum possible fidelity  in the colors your camera captured" and to "edit images further in  Photoshop after conversion...".

                   

                  I've also set the Photoshop Edit - Color Settings  you recommended to Working Spaces - RGB:  sRGB  IEC61966-2.1, so that I can work on  documents with the sRGB IEC61966-2.1 document color profile. I have  been using a printing service that only offers printing in sRGB, so  working in this profile would serve me with regard to printing and also  web publication. I also checked the Profile Mismatches and Missing Profiles checkboxes as you recommended. One day I may change my printing service, etc., and may change the Working Space, but it's fine for right now.

                   

                  Actual Questions:

                   

                  1. When I open from camera raw into Photoshop (PS)  I see in the bottom left border of the PS document window, an area that shows "ProPhoto RGB (16bpc)" as the document's profile.  Is this correct? Shouldn't I see sRGB  IEC61966-2.1, since I've selected Working Spaces - RGB:  sRGB  IEC61966-2.1?

                   

                            Note: in the recent past, I've changed a few settings along the way without knowing the consequences, and it seems when you set them, they apply to the next time you are opening a file. So, while in PS I went to Edit>Assign Profile to see what it was about and because I think I may have been there before and changed settings. Here is how it was set (it was set to "Profile: ProPhoto RGB):

                   

                  Assign Profile:

                       Don't Color Manage This Document

                       Working RGB: sRGB IEC61966-2.1

                  X   Profile: ProPhoto RGB

                   

                  So I am thinking that Assign Profile may have come with the default setting of  Working RGB:  and it got changed and was instead set on the Profile: selection.

                   

                  2. Should I change the Assign Profile setting to Working RGB? It seems like this would then automatically employ my choice of working-space color profile (made in Color Settings for Working Spaces - RGB) when opening/converting from Camera Raw to PS.

                   

                  Note: I went ahead and tried this. While in PS, I set Assign Profile to Working RGB: sRGB  IEC61966-2.1, and closed out of PS. I went back to Bridge, opened a photo into Camera Raw (Workflow Options link showed the chosen ProPhoto RGB; 16-bit), and then opened it into PS. I got the Embedded Profile Mismatch box which stopped the photo from opening until I made a choice:

                   

                  Embedded Profile Mismatch

                  "The document has an embedded color profile that does not match the current RGB working space."

                  Embedded: ProPhoto RGB

                  Working: sRGB IEC61966-2.1

                  What would you like to do?

                        Use the embedded profile (instead of the working space)

                        Convert document's colors to the working space

                        Discard the embedded profile (don't color manage)

                   

                  I think this was supposed to happen, because you recommended that I click both the boxes for Profile Mismatches and Missing Profiles in Color Settings, and I had done that.   I believe my next step would be to select "Convert document's colors to the working space".

                   

                  I went ahead and did this and when the photo opened, I saw in the bottom left border of the PS document window,  "sRGB  IEC61966-2.1 (16bpc)"  is now showing as the document's profile.

                   

                  3. Don't know if this is a correct Assign Profile selection or not, but would you please recommend how it should be set and why?

                   

                  If what I did was correct, then I guess I'll get the Embedded Profile Mismatch box everytime I open a doc from Camera Raw to PS.

                   

                  Thank you very much for helping me get initially set-up for proper color management.

                   

                  I look forward to your replies - it feels like I'm making some progress, but that will depend on your answers! Nancy

                  • 6. Re: Workflow Options-how to fix Space profiles so they change?
                    Noel Carboni Level 7

                    I'm really out of time today; a longer answer will have to wait until tomorrow.

                     

                    I'll say a few brief things:

                     

                    The Assign Profile function is there so that you can correct a profile mismatch (or a missing profile), assuming you know the profile that's SHOULD be tied to an image document.  It changes the profile but not the RGB values.   You probably won't use Assign Profile much.

                     

                    The Convert Profile function is there so that you can change working spaces, and maintain the original look of the document colors.  It changes both the profile and the RGB values.  You'll use this function when you want to change profiles.

                     

                    Your document is generated in the ProPhoto RGB profile because you told it to, and it's still got that profile in Photoshop because you've chosen "Preserve Embedded Profile" in your Color Management Policies.

                     

                    Converting from one document profile to another involves some risk of changing colors that fall outside of the gamut of the destination profile, so it's not really as simple as just changing your policy to Convert to Working RGB and being done with it.  Indeed, it may make more sense to just set your Working Space preference to ProPhoto RGB as well, and just make sure you convert your images before you save them for web or other electronic display (assuming sRGB is the best profile to use for that).

                     

                    I have my defaults set as you do now, and I have crafted an action that converts from ProPhoto RGB to sRGB so that I lose less color information than the normal Convert To Profile from ProPhoto RGB to my preferred sRGB working space does.  But that's a pretty advanced concept.

                     

                    I know this is a gargantuan amount of information to get one's mind around, and for a while it just seems to get more and more complicated.  Keep at it.  I'll try to expand more on my explanations tomorrow.

                     

                    -Noel

                    • 7. Re: Workflow Options-how to fix Space profiles so they change?
                      flanan Level 1

                      Whew, ok Noel, I'm definitely going to keep at it but have to agree that it seems things have gotten more complicated as we've posted.

                       

                      I'll not mess around with Assign Profile right now. Instead, I'm hearing you say that I'll be using the  Convert Profile function to change the color profile in PS. I did change the Working Space preference to ProPhoto RGB, and the policy is still set to preserve embedded profiles.

                       

                      So, if I want my final output from Photoshop to be in sRGB, there has to be a conversion. You have crafted an action to do this for less loss of color info. At least that is what I think you are saying.

                       

                      My gut tells me that the following statement contains a concept I need to really understand, but probably don't:

                       

                      "The Convert Profile function is there so that you can change working  spaces, and maintain the original look of the document colors.  It  changes both the profile and the RGB values."

                       

                      I don't understand why anyone would want to maintain the original look of the document colors if they are going to the trouble of converting to a different profile. I so obviously am not understanding.

                       

                      But I'll continue to study and listen to what you say and how you say it. It's tricky to get the wording right, I think, to get such complicated point across. I think you are doing a terrific job at it. I just wish I could understand it a little faster.

                       

                      The thing that continues to confuse me the most is why I would not see any difference in the picture's colors when making all of these various profile selections. I thought for sure that profile changes and selections in Camera Raw would show up as more, less, or different colors in the photo being displayed. I see the histogram change with each different selection, but not the photo's display. If I can't see the difference between the profiles when looking at the picture, then how do I know how accurate my edits are going to be in Camera Raw?

                       

                      For each the Color Setting and Convert to Profile dialogue boxes, there are Preview check boxes. If you can't see what kind of color change the setting or conversion is going to make on the display, why is there a Preview box? The Preview box in Camera Raw definitely allows you to Preview your edit changes. By unchecking the Preview Box, you see what the photo looked like before you edited it.

                       

                      In the Convert to Provile dialogue box there is a Preview Box. If I am ultimately going to convert to sRGB from ProPhoto RGB, I'd like to know what the new conversion is going to look like before I do it. Actually, wouldn't I want to do all of my PS editing while in sRGB so I could make more accurate edits?

                       

                      Enough for now though Noel. I have to rest my mind a bit so I can come back fresh at this tomorrow.

                       

                      Thank you so very much for all your input. Again, I look forward to your expanded explanations tomorrow. Nancy

                      • 8. Re: Workflow Options-how to fix Space profiles so they change?
                        Jeff Schewe Level 5

                        flanan wrote:

                         

                        Whew, ok Noel, I'm definitely going to keep at it but have to agree that it seems things have gotten more complicated as we've posted.

                         

                        ...

                         

                        Enough for now though Noel. I have to rest my mind a bit so I can come back fresh at this tomorrow.

                         

                         

                        In the grand scheme of things, you are asking questions way beyond the scope of the Camera Raw forum...you need some basic color management 101 and this really isn't the place for that. There's a whole forum for Color Management. You can also get free tutorials about Photoshop CS5 on Adobe TV.

                        • 9. Re: Workflow Options-how to fix Space profiles so they change?
                          Noel Carboni Level 7

                          Thanks, Jeff.  I was not sure what I was going to write to try to elucidate further anyway.

                           

                          -Noel

                          • 10. Re: Workflow Options-how to fix Space profiles so they change?
                            flanan Level 1

                            Ok Jeff, I understand, and thanks for pointing me over to the color management forum of which I was unaware, and providing additional links for info.

                             

                            Noel, thank you for all the information you have provided - you definitely went above and beyond the call of duty for the Camera Raw forum!

                             

                            Nancy