SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    427
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    not too bright not too dark

    How do you guys go about picking the level at which to set the contrast, brightness, color saturation, etc. for images? I have sat in front of a lot of different computers, and stuff I look at online looks pretty different from one monitor to the next. Do you do some kind of color calibration for your monitor and then just set it to what looks "right"? Also, is it a bad idea do make those kind of color settings on an LCD screen because they look different than a CRT? Thanks!
    But what care I for praise? - Bob Dylan

  2. #2
    Photoshop Ninja jonnya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Birmingham UK
    Posts
    733
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yea, pretty much every configuration is different, even ones that are the same!! Some is down to personal perception of course, and you can invest loads of cash in montor calibrators etcetc. It depends just how critical this is for you.

    I personally use the calibration wizard that comes with Photoshop, which seems in combination with using the correct colour settings for web and print from within the print dialogue box seems to work very well. One of the first things you do in it is turn the contrast up to max, so I guess thats a good start!

    Basically, for web work, unless you know your monitor colour is waaay out, you will be pretty much fine. It's always best to errr on the side of caution with contrast though. Important to remember for mac users/designers, their default gamma setting is different to windows users, so their displays are a little lighter-I'd estimate about 15% ish, Unix/others I can't comment on. Photoshop also comes to save the day with simulating the mac/win montitor set-ups with a click of the mouse...very usefull!!

    Regarding actual colour correction work within something like Photoshop, i use levels and curves for contrast and brightness. Even for rudementry users, the levels dialogue might look a little complicated, but it's actually pretty simple to use when you understand whats going on! Have a play with it if you use Photoshop, or I imagine most other reasonable image applications have a similar function. It's basically a graph of the saturation (the height), maped against the level between black (left), and white (right). Be gentle, and play with them. Generally you don't want any space between where the graph starts and the arrows. This will make a great deal of difference to your images. If you have lost detail 'tweek' the centre slider. You can also perform this on individual channels if you have colour issues in darker or lighter areas. EVERY image that goes through my computer goes through levels! Curves are basically a more accurate way of defining levels.

    I also use the info palette a-lot when colour correcting for print work. Be aware of 'danger areas' like having tints less than 5-10% or 90-95... these will usually come out 0% or 100%, important somethimes to maintain contrast for comercial print. You can also put colour sample spots on images to display multiple colour reference points in Photoshop. This is good when tweeking levels.

    Print work is a difficult area, I personally know my system is fine becuase I have printed work out on calibrated lazer printers. This could actually be a good way to check calibration, pay a couple of reliable printers to output some work, and compare to your own print-outs/monitor set-up...and then re-calibrate.

    A final general rule is that most imges, unless they are stylised, don't look 'right' without a reasonable white and black point... levels to the rescue!! If you can use levels, always give contrast a tweek... see your image look better in seconds!!

    LCD monitors/screens are a big no-no for important colour accurate work. Although they save a load of deskspace, are much lighter, and look alot sexier, and I love my little laptop, they display a narrower colour gamut that traditional monitors, and definitely have more of a 'brighter vibrance'. They are very nice for any other kind of work though Great shame to see that Apple has dropped conventional monitors to match G4 desktops for LCD's, don't look so good with a beige monitor next to them!

    Anyways, hope this helps. I know it's been a bit Photoshop specific, but it's thechoice of champions
    Jonnya Freelance Creative
    UK Freelance designer and web developer
    Website | Portfolio | Photoshop Tips

  3. #3
    Photoshop Ninja jonnya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Birmingham UK
    Posts
    733
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Oh, one final Photoshop specific point... I always chnage the colour settings between 'Web Graphics Defaults' and 'Europe Pre Press'. Of course, the print one is specific to Eurpope, and operates around the 'Euroscale Press' colour model, but this works very well. I have had trouble keeping colour accuare when rasterising eps files designed in CMYK when the colour settings are on web graphics.
    Jonnya Freelance Creative
    UK Freelance designer and web developer
    Website | Portfolio | Photoshop Tips

  4. #4
    SitePoint Evangelist
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    427
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Jonnya-

    THANKS!!! That's some really great info! I only do stuff for the web by the way. So is levels all you need to take an image from untouched to as-good-as-it-gets for the web? Will levels take care of color issues, brightness issues, and contrast issues? And why not use curves if it is more accurate? Is it more difficult? Thanks!
    But what care I for praise? - Bob Dylan

  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    427
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Also, I just checked out your website. That is the single best Flash site I've ever seen. NICE!
    But what care I for praise? - Bob Dylan

  6. #6
    Photoshop Ninja jonnya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Birmingham UK
    Posts
    733
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the praise about the website, I am already playing with ideas for version 2...very much appreciated!!

    As you are mostly doing web stuff, you shouldn't get into much trouble. Try looking at some sites on different computers, and compare to yours. You should find that there isn't that much variance (apart from the before mentioned Mac issue). If there is, you know you need to tweek!

    Regarding the levels, you can screw up an image also, so be gentle!! By playing with them you wil see how they effect an image, and they really do make a hell of a difference. I would quite strongly stay away from any kind of auto settings (like 'auto levels'), and tweek yourself. They will effect the full tonal range of the image, and with careful tweeking can bring back what appears to be a 'lost' image, bringing detail back that you thought was lost even. Just to emphasise, unless the image is very bad, all you will need is a little hue and saturation adjustment (maybe), and a look and tweek of the levels


    Curves are a little more tricky to explain and use, but work on the same principle. You don't get a histogram of the levels to see, so no 'reference' to what is actually going on in the image. Curves adjustment is purely down to you judging how your adjustments are effecting the image. As it seems you are not that familiar with this kind of work, by all means have a play with curves, but I think you will get on better with levels. Curves allow a finer tuning as you adjust what is says on the can-'curves' across the 0-100% brightness range, alowing for complex tweeks at certain ranges...so they do give you more control.

    Glad this helped, and have fun!! I have been using Photoshop for about 7 years, and have done a hell of alot of colour correction work. I just finished a big project for an ad agency touching up/colour correcting/making clipping paths on nearly 100 shoe shots for a massive job, and they picked me to do it to keep the colours and levels consistent... point proven! To be honest with you I use a bit of both, but always start with levels!!
    Jonnya Freelance Creative
    UK Freelance designer and web developer
    Website | Portfolio | Photoshop Tips

  7. #7
    SitePoint Evangelist
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    427
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Great! Levels it is! You mention tweaking the hue and saturation in addition to the levels. Are those separate settings or are they integrated into the levels setting somehow? Maybe you're just talking about the straighup "hue" and "saturation" adjustments outside of levels. Thanks!
    But what care I for praise? - Bob Dylan

  8. #8
    Photoshop Ninja jonnya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Birmingham UK
    Posts
    733
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You got it in one, I was indeed talking about the hue and saturation settings-seperate to the levels... handy shortcuts are:

    CTRL+L - Levels

    CTRL+U - Hue & Saturation

    Like I said, have a play with them, I'm sure you will work them out, and indeed get the very best from your images, pleasure to help
    Jonnya Freelance Creative
    UK Freelance designer and web developer
    Website | Portfolio | Photoshop Tips

  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    427
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So what would be another name for what the levels alters? Contrast and brightness?
    But what care I for praise? - Bob Dylan

  10. #10
    Photoshop Ninja jonnya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Birmingham UK
    Posts
    733
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Basically, yes I suppose, but with an ability to refine the light/mid/dark points across each colour channel within an image...or across all the colour channels universally if you don't select a specific channel using the drop down list at the top of the levels palette. The main difference is that you can tweek the midpoint, and see a visual representation (histogram) of the colour information within the image.
    Jonnya Freelance Creative
    UK Freelance designer and web developer
    Website | Portfolio | Photoshop Tips

  11. #11
    SitePoint Evangelist
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    427
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So if you tweak levels, there is no reason to ALSO tweak the brightness and contrast settings right?
    But what care I for praise? - Bob Dylan

  12. #12
    Photoshop Ninja jonnya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Birmingham UK
    Posts
    733
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I wouldn't have thought so, unless an image is WAY out. I havn't touched brightness and contrast for years (literally!!), but I am fortunate enough to generally work with good quality images anyway, that usually only require a little tweeking
    Jonnya Freelance Creative
    UK Freelance designer and web developer
    Website | Portfolio | Photoshop Tips


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •