Tag Archives: Help

An introduction to using ColorMunki Display

Installation

Your box contains the ColorMunki software on disc and the first step is to load that onto your machine, by following the simple on-screen prompts or video tutorials if you need them.

If you use a Windows operating system, the Hardware Wizard will automatically launch and install the drivers for the device.

Now launch the ColorMunki software.


Software Preferences

Before you begin the process of calibrating your monitor display or projector, you can set and personalise your software preferences, to ensure that you deliver the results for your project and viewing needs.

The ‘preferences’ tab is located in ‘menus’ at the top of the on-screen interface panel and offers the following settable options, which we recommend as follows:

  • Tone Response Curve: Set to the default 2.2
  • ICC Profiler Version: If you use older design software, you should set to version 2, newer edition user should select version 4
  • Achieve Display Luminance Value using video LUTs: Check this tick box if you use a monitor that can be too bright even at minimum brightness, these include iMac displays
  • Enable ADC: Check this option as it allows the software to take control of your monitor and make the relevant adjustments in the key areas
  • Technology Type: Simply select the type of backlight that your monitor uses. If you are not sure, CCFL is a good start point

Check ‘OK’ when you are happy with all your preference settings


The Process

One of the advantages of ColorMunki Display is that you can calibrate both monitor displays and projectors.

For the purposes of this overview, we will walk through how to calibrate a monitor display.

  • Select ‘Profile My Display’ from the menu of options on the right-hand side of the on-screen interface.
  • Select the ‘Advanced’ option that is presented, as this allows you to work with optimum control
  • Next set the ‘White Point’ – D65 will suit almost all users
  • Set the ‘White Luminance’ to automatically match ambient lighting or to a value that suits your personal environment. A darkened room is ideal and for optimum results you can also ask the software to monitor the effects of ambient lighting for you.


Taking advantage of Advanced Options

  • Ambient Smart Control, measures the effects of ambient light and then automatically adjusts your display’s contrast, saturation and tone for optimum results
  • Flare Correct – compensates for any light or glare that falls directly onto your screen, it is a good feature to use in conjunction with adding a monitor hood in creating the most accurate working conditions.


Let’s Calibrate

  • Rotate the integral Diffuser Arm away from the lens of the ColorMunki Display and then simply place against the screen of your monitor as centrally as possible
  • Adjust the counter weight on the cable so that it hangs over the top of the monitor case and holds the device squarely in place on the screen
  • Click ‘Next’ on the on-screen interface to start the measurement process
  • If your monitor is ADC compatible, any adjustments will be automatic. If not, you will be asked to make some minor settings adjustments – all of this is intuitive, clear and prompted on-screen
  • Next, it is best to measure any glare that is falling onto your screen as this will affect the final profiles. Simply, position the device as requested on-screen by your software and click ‘Measure

You are now essentially done!


Save Your New Profile

Name your profile as you wish and click ‘Save’ – you can also ask the software to diarise a re-calibration date, and we would suggest that you do this for a reminder every calendar month to sustain your colour accuracy and consistency.

Before & After

A Before & After comparison allows you to view the effects of the calibration process that you have just undertaken.

A range of default images can be accessed to prove the effects of the profiling  or you can load your own comparison images by accessing the ’Image’ drop-down menu.


Finally…

The final step is to enable ‘Ambinet Light Monitoring’ – but only do this if you elected to use the ambient light features when you created the profile.

The benefit of enabling this feature is that automatic adjustments will be made based on how ambient light changes throughout the day within your working environment.

You can also ask the software to flag any recommended adjustments so that you can apply manually if you prefer.

An introduction to using i1Display Pro

Installation

The next-generation i1 Profiler software included with the i1Display Pro should be loaded as your first step – do this before you plug the device into your machine via the USB port.

If you use a Windows operating system, when you do plug the device in, the new Hardware Wizard will automatically launch and install the new drivers.

Once this happened, launch the software.

The software is incredibly intuitive, and the on-screen interface panel offers both text and video instructions, as well as ongoing prompts toward what you need to do next, if anything.

It is worth adding that the i1Profiler software is the same as that which is bundled with the X-Rite I1 Photo Pro & Publish Pro systems, so will offer you options for printer profiling on the interface – ignore this option if you do not own the latter devices.

Setting Calibration Targets

With the software installed, the on-screen interface will now ‘pop up’ and ask you a series of questions in terms of setting your calibration and further preferences.

  • Technology Type – From the drop-down list, select the backlight type relevant to your display. If you are unsure which is relevant, CCFL is a good starting point – you can also select ‘Projector’ from this list if you wish to profile that device
  • White Point Can be set at a choice of relevant values. D65 will suit most users
  • Luminance – Select the relevant value from the options list, establish a custom value based on your requirements or measure ambient light in your environment for optimum accuracy
  • Contrast Ratio – Your default setting should be ‘Native’ – you can add your own values, which is effective when matching one screen to another
  • Flare Correct – This allows you to compensate for any glare or light falling onto your monitor display and neutralises it during the profiling process
  • Ambient Light Smart Control – Measures ambient lighting in your working environment and then automatically adjusts your monitor’s contrast, tone and saturation

Now click on ‘Profile Settings’ to move to the next stage of the process.

Profile Settings

Again, the on-screen interface will now ask you to select settings for the following aspects:

  • ICC Profiler Version – If you are using older design software you should select the ‘Version 2’ option – for newer software, check ‘Version 4
  • Profile Type – Select ‘Table Based’ as your first choice, which is more accurate than ‘Matrix’ – Note: your ‘older’ software does not support ‘Table Based


Setting Colour Patch Range

The i1 Profiler software utilises 119 colour patches to generate an accurate profile – you can also import additional colours if you wish.

You would do this for colour specific project work.

Additional colours can be loaded via the included PANTONE Color Manager Software, or via a loaded image – this opportunity is accessible via the clear icon above the patch sets that will be displayed on the user interface.

Let’s Calibrate

To begin this process, the interface will prompt you to set some final values:

  • Automatic Display Control (ADC) – Check this, as it will allow the software to take full control of your monitor and make relevant adjustments
  • Brightness & Contrast – If your monitor is not compatible with the standards that the ADC uses, then you will need to make any adjustments manually – this is simple, clear and you will be prompted to do so if need be

Ensure that the diffuser arm is over the i1 Display Pro’s lens and position the device roughly where you might position a paper print if you were comparing it to an image on the screen.

Now click as prompted to start the ‘measuring process’.

  • During this process you will be prompted to make any relevant flare and ambient light measurements (if you have selected these options at set-up)

And that is essentially it – the profile will now be automatically created


Naming & Saving Your ICC Profile

Your ICC Profile has been automatically created.

Give it an appropriate name and save it.

The software allows you to diarise the next calibration test and we would recommend that you set this for each calendar month to maintain consistent accuracy and for ongoing peace of mind.


Gamut, Look Up Table and Before & After

Your created profile will be displayed as a graph of the gamut on your on-screen interface.

You can fine-tune this if you wish and click on the line of the graph to inspect the changes made in your monitor’s graphics card during the profiling process.

You can also select the ‘image icon’ and see the direct effects of your calibration with a ‘before & after’ image.


Quality Assurance

You can further click on the ‘arrow’ next to the ‘Display QA’ button, to access further tests to clarify the accuracy of your profile.

The Patch Set type can be set to ‘standard’ to load one of the default sets and the software will then evaluate how accurate your monitor is against those patch references.

The patches from the ColorChecker, IT8 Charts and FOGRA Media Wedge are also accessible for optimum referencing.

You can also load Spot Color testing charts via the PANTONE Color Manager Software or by uploading your own images and extracting colour test values from them.

Select the ‘Start Measurement’ option to begin the automatic evaluation of your monitor


Quality Assurance Report

When measurement is complete, a summary of results will be displayed on-screen.

Generally, you should be aiming to achieve Delta E of less than 2 and a maximum of less than 4.

This is of course only a rough guide, and you will want to achieve values specific to you project needs.

These reports can all be saved and will contribute to the ‘trending data’ which evolves over time.


Trending

A ‘trending graph’ can be displayed by selecting it on the interface and provides a very useful guide to how your monitor alters over time.

The i1Profiler software also offers a module for checking monitor uniformity, which is a useful additional assessment tool.

Colour management; a few Q&A’s

Part 2 of our Learning Centre influenced blog posts follows on from last weeks ‘an overview of colour management’.

So, you now hopefully know what colour management is – roughly – but I imagine these have raised a few questions…

We talked about profiling in our previous post, but “how does your system compensate for the differences between profiles?”

“The straight answer to this is that it doesn’t! A monitor does not work to a colourspace rather it attempts to reproduce colour as closely as possible. This is exactly why monitor profiling is so essential. A monitor profile optimises your monitor to only produce colours it is capable of using the known data saved in the profile, thereby not creating colour distortions. Put simply without a monitor calibration device you cannot truly trust your monitor. If you do start  looking at rendering intents I would suggest further reading, however for most photographic work the perceptual rendering intent is suitable.”

I’ve profiled my monitor fine, but there’s this new sRGB and Adobe RGB thing, “what’s the difference between them and when should they be used?”

“The main difference between sRGB and Adobe RGB is quite simply the size – Adobe RGB is a significantly larger colour gamut.

“Advantages of using AdbobeRGB in photography are:

  • Blue/Cyan and yellow colours of increased saturation can be achieved in a photograph when printing from the AdobeRGB colourspace. The increased cyan/blue will be visually more noticeable than the yellow.
  • The flexibility of using other types of output device with the potential of future devices able to achieve more saturated ranges of colour.

“Advantages of using sRGB in photography are:

  • Many computer monitors will only display colours to a colour saturation as defined by sRGB. Therefore this is appropriate as it avoids colours that cannot be accurately displayed on a monitor.
  • Many cameras are configured to work as a default in sRGB. Avoiding conversions between colourspaces reduces the potential for errors.

“There is no single, correct working space to operate in and it depends on the type of photography you are undertaking but for minimum fuss and maximum control, use sRGB, however if you want to capture as much as possible and make amends to colour from the top down then using AdobeRGB may be just fine.”

The above was an extract taken from our colour management Q&A document which you can download for free here. You’ll also see an extra 2 questions on the pdf, which will be particularly useful if you’re a bit confused with CMYK/RGB printing, or are struggling to grey balance an image in Photoshop post-shooting.

As ever, if you have any questions or problems, comment below and we’ll do our best to answer them!

Adam Borriello
Social media & marketing

Choosing a monitor to suit a budget…

We often get asked advice about choosing a suitable monitor for a particular budget, so, without further ado; ‘What are the key factors when choosing a monitor to suit a budget?’

Something for the professional:

The most popular professional monitor size is 24″, of which Eizo and NEC share the market with their CG243  and SpectraView Reference 241W respectively.

Professional monitors such as these have top grade panels and are supplied – as standard – with a monitor hood and direct hardware calibration software (the addition of a monitor calibrator is required).

The NEC Reference models benefit from a Dead Pixel and Sub Pixel return policy, whereas standard ISO specification allow for a number of dead sub pixels in such a product (just no complete dead pixels).

Although the Eizo CG monitors do not cover dead ‘sub-pixels’, they do include a monitor swap-out for warranty repairs that cannot be resolved during an on-site repair visit.

On the other hand, while slighty more expensive, the NEC SV Reference 241W has newer technology and slightly higher specification than the Eizo.

Decisions become slightly harder when dropping down to the next grade of monitors as you are effectively sacrificing quality and/or features in order to meet a budget. So, it is helpful to understand how each limitation will affect ones specific requirements.

At an inc . vat street-price point of £700-£900 (a saving of 25-45% from the cost of a 24” Professional model), key current choices are as follows…

The Choices:

24″ NEC MultiSync PA241W

24″ Eizo SX2462W

23″ NEC SpectraView 231W

22″ Eizo CG223W


The 24″ Choice:

Firstly the 24” models. The 24″ NEC PA241W and the Eizo SX2462 models are comparable to each other.

The street price of the PA241W is nominally lower than the Eizo SX2462, but the PA241W is a newer product with a slightly higher specification – providing 14 bit LUTs against 12 bit and a maximum contrast ratio of 1000:1 against 850:1.

Both models have IPS panels (similar to the professional equivalents), with the NEC benefiting from P-IPS against the slightly older S-IPS panel technology in the Eizo.

However, a lower price means you do lose some features compared to the professional models:

  1. A monitor hood is not included (but can be added with an equivalent quality PChOOD.
  2. Monitor Uniformity – a far lower specification of uniformity across the panels.
  3. Lack of direct hardware calibration – a higher level of monitor calibration (and less user interaction) is provided through the direct calibration software supplied with the SpectraView and CG monitors.
  4. Features specific to NEC or Eizo professional models (as highlighted above), are not included.

Overall these are a lower grade of monitor. An alternative option could be to drop the size rather than quality.

22″ – 23″ Choices

This introduces the NEC SpectraView 231 and the Eizo CG223.

These models also benefit from a price point slightly lower than the PA241W and SX2462 models, but are 1 or 2″ smaller. So what do you gain from the smaller sized SpectraView and CG specification, in comparison to the 24″ SpectraView and CG models? And equally, are they the same spec as the larger equivalents?

  • NEC SV231W – This is a SpectraView (not a SpectraView ‘Reference’ model).  It has a smaller colour Gamut than the reference models and although a monitor hood is not included, a PChOOD can be added for £60. It also does not benefit from the Zero sub-pixel policy.
  • Eizo CG223 – This is a CG model, but unlike the CG243 which benefits from having an IPS panel, this model has a VA panel, as does lower cost 24″ CG241.

The choice between this pair of monitors is very much down to priorities, for example; the balance of the NEC SV 231W with an IPS panel against the VA panel, but larger colour gamut of the Eizo CG223. It’s also baring in mind that you get a 1″ larger and higher resolution with the SV231W.

The Decision process – a buyers guide:

Step 1 – Can you justify the budget for a 24” Eizo CG or NEC SpectraView? Even if you don’t necessarily need the 24” size, you will not get comparable quality from the smaller models. If not move down to step 2.

Step 2 – Decide on your preference of benefits between the Eizo SX2462 and the NEC PA241W. Similarly repeat the exercise for the lower cost 22” and 23” models.

Step 3 – Decide between your preferred 24” model and 22/23” model. Although the 22/23” model is smaller and lower cost that the 24” options, they may have benefits in quality/specification that are appropriate to your needs.

Still out of your price range?

Step 4 – if they are all out of your price range, consider the NEC P221 or the Eizo S2243. Both monitors will benefit from the addition of a hood. The higher cost of the Eizo is justified through its higher resolution (equivalent to a 24” display within a 22” screen), resulting in a sharper image, but smaller menu display.

Lot’s on information to consider. If you’re still un-decided, or need more advice, give us a call or get in touch and we’ll help you work out which monitor is best for you.

Simon Prais
Technical Director

Jargon [jahr-guh n, -gon] – noun

1)    Specialised language concerned with a particular subject, culture, or profession

2)    Language characterised by pretentious vocabulary or meaning

3)    Gibberish

Any or all indeed of those sound familiar in photography, design, print and colour management??

Having worked in the technology sector for most of my working life I have become accustomed to the jargon heavy influence of this business. In truth I expect whatever industry you are in the Three Letter Acronym (TLA) syndrome is pretty strong; but when you dive into the world of colour management it not just that there is the usual industry jargon and TLA’s, but to be honest even the real words seem a bit made up to me.

I remember walking into Color Confidence just over 5 years ago and being confronted by talk of ‘Spectros’, RIPs, RAW and metamarism. To be honest for some time I was wondering whether it was bit of an elaborate joke at my expense.

I find the use of Jargon interesting. The first and most amusing is the use of Jargon to prove how clever you are. Have you ever had a conversation with someone when every second word is a mystery to you and you end up feeling either entirely dumbfounded or just inadequate? I’m not sure it’s deliberate in a lot of cases; I just think we all get wrapped up in our own world sometimes and the application of these words and phrases just seems normal.

This often extends into the TLA monotony of people speaking in shortened words so much that they sounds like a text message being read out.

I for one completely understand the use of Jargon and why we look for shortened words and phrase – I mean who really wants to go round talking about Raster Image Processors all the time, when a RIP will do.

But, at the same time I think we all need to understand that if you’re new to this or just haven’t been in the loop for a while, you shouldn’t be shut out just because you don’t know what a word or phrase means.

I think the business we are in needs more good people and more people to understand it, and I think being simple in our use of language – or taking the time to explain when we are necessitated to use a horror word – can only help us all.

At Color Confidence we know that we have been guilty of this jargon sin in the past and will be in the future!

With this in mind we thought we’d do something about it…

Firstly:

Let’s hear from you… – what words are used all the time in this sector that you don’t understand? Maybe it’s in photography and people are always going on about CCD’s or stops or RAW. Maybe it’s in the design world, or maybe it’s something everyday that would be good for us all to know about!

Secondly:

Color Confidence is about to launch our very own Jargon Buster. It’s not live yet, but keep you eye out next week, when we kick things off with a selection of phrases and terms which we think could do with explaining. We will then update this on a regular basis with either a single new word every so often (maybe you have asked for one to be done), or a particular set of words relating to a subject.

So keep your eye out for the new Jargon buster and let us know which jargon you would like to see busted – we’ll give it our best shot!

Javan Bramhall
Marketing manager