Colour management in CS2

in Mac Software edited January 2014
Does anybody, have any idea, how the f*ck colour management in CS2 works?

My display is set to 'sRGB IEC1966-2.1' in System Preferences, as is Photoshop's RGB working space, but when I open my desktop picture in Photoshop, there is a huge difference between what Photoshop is showing and my actual desktop picture.

Surely if my display and Photoshop are using the same profile, and I'm opening the same file, you would expect to see results?


  • Reply 1 of 3
    jabohnjabohn Posts: 563member
    I would suggest asking in Adobe's user forums. They are the experts.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    EDIT: This sounds a little hostile. I really didn't intend it to. Just imagine me with a southern accent.

    #1) Calibrate your darn display. You should not use ANY default display profiles. I suggest SuperCal. I have a Spyder, Monico, and Supercal profiling software and all 3 are VERY good and close. Supercal can actually go that one step further and allow you to tweak a profile to your tastes, not just a colorimeter.

    #2) If you want Adobe to match Apple's desktops, Change the color engine from AdobeRGB to Apple Colorsync. That is what Apple programs use.

    #3) Oh Holy Heaven don't use a display profile as your colorspace. This will limit the entire gamut of Apple's colorsync to the small, limited range your monitor can handle. Set this to Apple or Adobe too.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    There are two kinds of profiles, a working profile and a device profile. Then there is the computation engine that converts one profile to another.

    sRGB and Adobe RGB are working profiles. It basically specifies the set of colors that can be achieved using the given bits. sRGB is smaller and as such cannot produce some deeply saturated colors. Adobe RGB is larger and so can produce more colors. However, using the same number of bits, Adobe RGB working space will have more posterized color as the color difference between one bit value to another is larger. That is, the same number of bits is spread across a larger range of colors. Working profiles specify the colors that can be achieved, but does not specify how to do it and if it is indeed possible, which will be device specific.

    Device profiles specify how your devices work and provide a map from the working spaces to actual color based on the specific device in which you will be using it. Say your working profile specifies some shade of color, your monitor profile should then specify how the monitor's LCD/CRT configurations should change to create that same shade.

    The conversion from one space to another is handled by the color engine. The two that should exist on your system is AdobeRGB and Apple Colorsync. Only Adobe programs use the former while all others (color-aware programs) use the latter. They may lead to similar looking results, but to get absolutely the same color, you could set PS to use Apple Colorsync too. Other output devices like printers may also have their own color engine. These should exist in the print driver itself and often there is no way of controlling it. As such, it is recommended that you choose to do the conversion in PS, rather than rely on the printer driver to do it.

    Setting your display to use sRGB is wrong. sRGB is a working profile, not a device profile. As suggested, you can try SuperCal to create a monitor profile or you can purchase a hardware calibrator to do it. As you still don't have a solid grasp of color management, I suggest you keep your money for now until you do.

    Once you've set a proper monitor profile, all programs will use a color engine to convert the image's specified profile to display properly. Adobe uses its own engine in PS, but other programs will use Apple's engine. They should be very similar, but some people can pick out the differences. If that's the case, you may want to set PS to use the Apple engine, not because it is any better, but for consistency reasons.

    That's just skimming the surface. There's a lot more to know about color management. Good luck!
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