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Thread: Software to produce Colour Space Diagrams

  1. #1
    herbert's Avatar
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    Software to produce Colour Space Diagrams

    I would like to find a tool for visualising different colour spaces and their gamut. Does anyone know of any (free) software to draw 2D and 3D visualisations of colour spaces.

    My interest in this was recently stimulated when I found that ProPhoto RGB has a much wider set of red colours than Adobe RGB. This is very obvious when looking at a diagram and also when looking at my photos of vivid red flowers in the two colour spaces.

    Thanks,

    Alex

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    Re: Software to produce Colour Space Diagrams

    Colorsync utility on the Mac shows this.

    Software to produce Colour Space Diagrams

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    Re: Software to produce Colour Space Diagrams

    I thought I would try and qualify what I meant about my red flower. Hopefully this screen capture will show the change I get when viewing the flower in Adobe RGB (left) and ProPhoto (right).

    Software to produce Colour Space Diagrams

    I would like to find a piece of software that will show where the colours in your image are located in the colour space. I have seen this type of diagram in photo books. The sort which show dots for each pixel within a 3D volume of the entire colour space. You can then switch colour space and see the out of gamut pixels and how they will be mapped to the new colour space.

    Thanks,

    Alex
    Last edited by herbert; 10th October 2011 at 06:53 AM. Reason: Labelled images L&R

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    Re: Software to produce Colour Space Diagrams

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisa62401 View Post
    Colorsync utility on the Mac shows this.
    Hi Chris, thanks for the info. Unfortunately I have a PC. I should have stated that at the outset as it will affect the recommendations for software.

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    Re: Software to produce Colour Space Diagrams

    Alex,

    You initially talk about Prophoto RGB but your later post shows a shot with Adobe sRGB. sRGB is going to have a smaller colour gamut than Adobe RGB, so I would expect to see different results from sRGB anyway. Can you post an Adobe RGB example if that is what you mean?
    Sorry, I too am a Mac user re the software!

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    Re: Software to produce Colour Space Diagrams

    Hi Ian,

    My mistake. The left photo is in Adobe RGB. Thanks for pointing that out.

    I noticed this red shift when working in Lightroom. When working on my image in the Develop module it looked the way I wanted it. I then switched to the Library view and the image changed to a less vivid colour. I bit of reading led to me to find out that although a (slightly modified) ProPhoto RGB is the working space for Lightroom the Library view uses Adobe RGB rendered JPEG previews for speed. Why they didn't use ProPhoto preview JPEGs I do not know.

    I produced the image above by exporting my photo using the two different colour spaces. I then opened both of them using Safari (which has full colour management), placed them side by side and took a screen capture. This accurately shows the colour shift between the two, if not the actual colours given the screen capture must be bound to the monitor gamut.

    As an aside I use Safari as it is the only fully colour managed browser even on a PC. IE is partially colour managed where it converts images if they are deemed to be in a non sRGB profile. This is no good if you have a wide gamut monitor and not a standard sRGB display since even sRGB images must be converted (Windows seems to assume the entire world is in sRGB including the entire desktop environment). Firefox is colour managed but the default is to convert images only if they have a profile. Even when switching the settings to always convert images there is a case where it doesn't work on my wide gamut monitor (although I cannot remember the case because I did my tests a while ago). Google Chrome has no colour management, presumably because it would make it slower and they do not like that that sort of thing.

    It seems like colour management can really make you see red.

    Regards,

    Alex

  7. #7
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    Re: Software to produce Colour Space Diagrams

    As an update I found a few bits of software that draw gamut projections. Unfortunately they cost a lot of money.

    Chromix ColorThink $149 ($399 for Pro)
    Imatest Gamutvision $99
    PerfX Pro $?

    The last one used to be free (an old 2006 forum post confirmed that). However the website has no download links and no prices. It seems that you have to contact the company by e-mail. It is all a bit rudimentary.

    I did find this free tool:

    ColorSpace

    However you get what you pay for and I am finding the tool a bit obtuse.

    Hope this was of interest.

    Alex

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    Re: Software to produce Colour Space Diagrams

    Microsoft Color Control Panel ( Windows XP only) includes 3D Gamut Viewer
    D:\Distrib1\Win_XP_toys\Download details Microsoft Color Control Panel Applet for Windows XP.htm


    PerfX Gamut Viewer is free : http://www.photography-forums.com/pe...ee-t78603.html
    I downloaded it last time, but I cannot find link to download now.
    I can send it to you by email ( tell me your email by PM ).

    You can use online 3-D RGB Gamut Viewer
    http://www.openphotographicsociety.o...lour&Itemid=54


    You can see helpful tutorial http://www.curvemeister.com/tutorial...eter/index.htm
    ( you need to use photoshop at this point)

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    Re: Software to produce Colour Space Diagrams

    Guys,

    One important thing is often overlooked - and that's the capability of the monitor. Usually, they're close to sRGB devices (although they're getting better) - and if you have an sRGB gamut to display your image then it doesn't matter if you've captured an entended gamut by using Adobe RGB or Prophoto ... the bottom line is that if the monitor is physically incapable of displaying it, no software - tricks - wand waving - magic potions - chants - rain dances etc (you get the idea!) are going to change that. It's a bit like how swapping the speedo in my car from one that reads 200km/hr for one that reads 300 km/hr isn't going to make my car go any faster.

    If you have a monitor that supports Adobe RGB fully then that's a little better (although in most cases people won't notice any difference). The usual benefit of Adobe RGB comes at print time because printers (being CMYK devices) usually have gamuts that exceed sRGB - so you can print some colours that you've captured ... YOU JUST CAN'T DISPLAY THOSE COLOURS ON MOST MONITORS WHILE YOU'RE EDITING THE SHOT (so in essence, you've often working blind).

    Saving images to the web in Adobe RGB will - in the vast majority of cases - only result in people seeing your images incorrectly (because most people aren't using colour-managed browsers) - BUT - (and it's a bit BUT) - even those using colour managed browsers STILL aren't any better off because - again - the monitor is usually incapable of displaying any additional colours from the Adobe RGB gamut -- so in essence, all that's happening on a colour-managed browser is that the Adobe RGB image is being converted back to close to sRGB for the purposes of display.

    So really no good reasons to publish photos to the web in anything other than sRGB (until the majority of the world starts using Adobe RGB gamut monitors).

  10. #10
    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Software to produce Colour Space Diagrams

    @Colin,

    Thanks for the Adobe RGB -> sRGB pointers.

    I work in ProPhoto RGB on a wide gamut monitor (Lightroom and Photoshop). I then publish to the web as sRGB. Sometimes I am disappointed at how my images turn out. In this case I have to preview the sRBG image in PhotoShop and adjust it a bit before publishing.

    I can do the same for printing using my print profiles but it is not so directly applicable (monitor-to-monitor vs monitor-to-paper).

    I thought a gamut rendering application may help in that it could show the image with the different gamuts and see what parts are effected. However Photoshop allows my to see the effect on the image so that is good enough. Drawing the gamuts is just for the technical fun of it.

    Regards,

    Alex

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    Re: Software to produce Colour Space Diagrams

    Hi Alex,

    Sounds like you've got it all under control. Are you sure your profiling software doesn't give you the ability to produce a gamut map (I use the Spyder III Elite Studio system, and that has it).

    Personally, I don't get too excited by gamuts (or more specifically, the lack of) - it's portraiture that needs the most accuracy, but that falls well within sRGB - and even my landscape doesn't push things much (I tend not to have an abundance of strong colours on the edge of the gamut, and even if I did, they would almost certainly get clipped in a way that nobody would know!).

    To be honest, the biggest issue I have is the extremely high black point when profiling canvas (LAB 25 unsprayed, and about 17 sprayed) - tends to knock the profiling software for a six unless I dial in a truckload of compensation.

    I used to use Prophoto, but these days I pretty much "just settle" for Adobe RGB (between the monitor and printer I don't think there's much outside of that). Personally, I don't think it's a big deal - SO LONG AS PEOPLE KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING. It only become a problem when people open up in Prophoto - make strong adjustments (looking at the screen), and then wonder why they get massive issues when printing (because it was 100 miles out of gamut on their screens, and is probably also out of gamut (but in different places!) on their printer - and they're wondering why "it doesn't print like it looks on the screen"!.

  12. #12
    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Software to produce Colour Space Diagrams

    Hi Colin,

    Thanks for the pointers on gamut ranges. When I get round to some serious portrait work I will probably get a color checker passport and do it right. At the moment I am just adjusting to what looks good to my eye (which may not be good to someone else's). My main issue is with flowers which can really push colours into the extreme gamut range. However I think I am getting better at making them look good. I'll keep practicing.

    Regards,

    Alex

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    Re: Software to produce Colour Space Diagrams

    Hi Alex,

    For portraiture, the passport makes things a lot easier and (even more importantly), a LOT more consistent. I've learned from experience that doing skintones by eye is usually a source of error and inconsistency for me

    Yep - it's usually flowers that push the gamut!

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