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Archive 2013 · Color Checker Calibration- horrible skin tones
  
 
joesmosax
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Color Checker Calibration- horrible skin tones


Every few months I get out my color checker card and some custom profile tests in my studio. I create a profile to a specific lighting situation. I always get really bizarre results though! Yes my monitor is calibrated. To create the profiles I use Color Checker Passort and the DNG Profile Editor, both give slightly different but equally bad results.

The Adobe Standard profile still gives me better results than the custom profile. The custom profile seems to start just way off base and only looks right after adjusting white balance (again) and messing with hues of specific colors. Doing all this work seems to defeat the purpose of making a custom profile in the first place.

Am I overlooking something? I really wanted this solution to improve things for me- but I just haven't had any luck. Perhaps it is quite accurate- but accurate skin tones are not pleasing? I shoot with a canon 5d3 and actually the color with the Adobe Standard profile is great- but I was hoping a custom profile would take things to the next level.

If a color checker is not the answer I'm looking for I would be interested to know perhaps a better method.

Help!

Joe



Mar 16, 2013 at 04:54 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Color Checker Calibration- horrible skin tones


There are three main possibilites:

Your workflow may have an error in it somewhere.

You may have color-vision abnormalities.

It's probably the former. Are you profiling to a print, or just to your monitor? How are you calibrating your printer and/or monitor?

Or, your profiles may be accurate, but -- as you say -- accurate skin tones may not be pleasing to you.



Mar 16, 2013 at 06:39 PM
joesmosax
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Color Checker Calibration- horrible skin tones


BrianO,

Ok I think I've found the error in my workflow, which was not setting a white balance again AFTER applying the profile with the WB tool in lightroom. Here's what I'm getting as an example:

Adobe Standard:
Temp: 6000
Tint: +24

After Custom Profile:

Temp: 5650
Tint: +44

Is this big WB change pretty normal? Now what I'm seeing is that with the correct WB- the results are pretty similar. I still prefer Adobe to the Passport profile(oversaturated reds), but may prefer the DNG editor process the most- though it is very close to the adobe profile.

Let me know if I'm way off base- but seems like a dumb error on my part...

Joe



Mar 16, 2013 at 08:34 PM
kenyee
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Color Checker Calibration- horrible skin tones


could you post before/after pics?

FWIW, I thought the colorchecker passport gave colors that were too saturated when I tried it against a whibal.



Mar 17, 2013 at 02:02 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Color Checker Calibration- horrible skin tones


joesmosax wrote:
...Ok I think I've found the error in my workflow, which was not setting a white balance again AFTER applying the profile with the WB tool in lightroom.


I use the Datacolor SpyderChekr rather than the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport, so I can't comment on how -- or how well -- the latter works, but I'm glad you found a workable solution.



Mar 17, 2013 at 02:10 AM
mjgphotoz
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Color Checker Calibration- horrible skin tones


I create my profiles with ColorChecker a little differently. I set my studio lighting for a camera using a light meter to insure exposure and then take a closeup of the WB card and create a custom white balance. I use the histogram and the visual image on the back of the camera or tethered to a calibrated computer to view and adjust exposure for the specific camera while using the ColorChecker and inanimate neutral colored objects as test subjects. I THEN shoot the ColorChecker with the determined exposure and and the custom WB and let it create a profile in LR. The profile is used as a preset for import and skin tones as well as all colors are very accurate. You will have to vary exposure to adjust for different skin tones, but the results should be accurate and if you use it as a preset on import you should not have to change WB unless you want to for artistic reasons as long as you are using the same camera and lighting in studio. You will have to click on WB or create a custom WB at the time of shooting if you are shooting under other lighting conditions which is why it is so handy to just pop a ColorChecker into the first frame on location/under different lighting.

mjgphotoz



Mar 17, 2013 at 01:39 PM
 

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BrianO
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Color Checker Calibration- horrible skin tones


mjgphotoz wrote:
...pop a ColorChecker into the first frame on location/under different lighting.


Excellent advice. This is a critical step any time you want to have accurate color rendition, and not just aesthetically pleasing color.



Mar 17, 2013 at 09:20 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Color Checker Calibration- horrible skin tones


Just for kicks, why not try running your files through CaptureOne and Raw Developer to see if the problem persists. I've been shooting digital for a dozen years now, never had a color problem, and never once used a Color Checker. Don't even own one. Maybe there's a problem with Adobe's internal profile for you particular camera. What is it by the way? The few times when I do use ACR or LR to process, the files are never that far off but just take longer to get where I want them than when I use the two aforementioned solutions.


Mar 17, 2013 at 10:59 PM
Steve Wylie
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Color Checker Calibration- horrible skin tones


mjgphotoz wrote:
I create my profiles with ColorChecker a little differently. I set my studio lighting for a camera using a light meter to insure exposure and then take a closeup of the WB card and create a custom white balance. I use the histogram and the visual image on the back of the camera or tethered to a calibrated computer to view and adjust exposure for the specific camera while using the ColorChecker and inanimate neutral colored objects as test subjects. I THEN shoot the ColorChecker with the determined exposure and and the custom WB and let it create a profile
...Show more


That's how you do it.



Mar 18, 2013 at 04:32 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Color Checker Calibration- horrible skin tones


Sometimes "Accurate" to the computer and "Pleasing" to the eye are two different things.


Mar 18, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Color Checker Calibration- horrible skin tones


Peter Figen wrote:
Just for kicks, why not try running your files through CaptureOne and Raw Developer to see if the problem persists. I've been shooting digital for a dozen years now, never had a color problem, and never once used a Color Checker. Don't even own one. Maybe there's a problem with Adobe's internal profile for you particular camera. What is it by the way? The few times when I do use ACR or LR to process, the files are never that far off but just take longer to get where I want them than when I use the two aforementioned
...Show more


Peter-

what do you like about Raw Developer, I downloaded the demo and its looks pretty extensive especially at that price....I used Capture One many years ago and I liked it but back then it had quite a steep learning curve. But then the computer croaked that it was on and I never updated it...I wonder if I have nay upgrades left



Mar 18, 2013 at 08:03 PM





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