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04-15-2018, 11:44 AM   #1
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Colour management - browser issue, X-rite vs DisplayCAL profiles

For some time now, I've been using an X-rite ColorMunki Display colorimeter and X-rite's official software to profile the displays on my Windows 10 system, and I've been fairly happy with it.

My browser of choice for the last five years or so has been Chrome, and I've updated regularly (currently at version 65). I also have Firefox (version 59), but have rarely used it... until now (read on ).

When posting photos on forums, I've noticed some colour differences between what I see in Lightroom and Chrome. Not huge differences, but noticeable.

Yesterday, I decided to move away from X-rite's software and replace it with the quite-highly-regarded open source DisplayCAL tool, which I already use in my Linux Mint installation with good success.

The profiling worked flawlessly, and Windows Desktop and Lightroom both showed the temperature and colours I'd broadly expected. But when I loaded Chrome, the colours for websites and photos were way off base... faded / posterised / just plain weird.I checked "chrome://flags" and confirmed that "Force color profile" was set to "Default", thereby (allegedly) using the active colour profile for the current display (unfortunately, it's not possible to force the colour profile to a specific path and file). I then changed that flag to "sRGB", restarted Chrome, and everything looked pretty much OK again - though on close inspection, the accuracy of colours compared to Lightroom still wasn't quite right... reasonably close, but no cigar.

Next I loaded Firefox, went to "about:config" and set "gfx.color_management.display_profile" to the path and file of my new DisplayCAL profile, and restarted. Lo and behold, photo colours were rendered exactly as I saw them in Lightroom.

So, in summary:

(1) Chrome has never (so far as I can tell) rendered colours 100% accurately for me - not when compared to Lightroom, and it seems it's the browser at fault.

(2) Chrome is happy with X-rite-produced profiles, but doesn't like DisplayCAL XYZLUT + matrix profiles (why is that?).

(3) Firefox seems to like both X-rite and DisplayCAL profiles, and is far more accurate in reproducing the colours I see in Lightroom.

In the interests of a reliable colour-managed workflow from capture, through developing / editing and finally online viewing, I'll be sticking to Firefox for now. But I can't help wondering if I'm missing something, or doing something incorrectly

Has anyone else run into difficulties with colour-management in Chrome? And how about the profile differences... why is it, I wonder, that Chrome doesn't like DisplayCAL profiles?


Last edited by BigMackCam; 04-15-2018 at 11:51 AM.
04-15-2018, 12:27 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I'm still on Windows 7, haven't made the jump to 10 on my primary machine. I use the Spyder 5 for monitor calibration. I stopped using Chrome a few years ago, it never rendered accurately and I wasn't willing to invest time into figuring out why. Looking at the lengths you've gone to to make Chrome work, I don't think you're missing anything. I think it's the limitation of Chrome. IE 11 had been my other browser of choice because it rendered pretty accurately, but it was slow in loading. These days I'm using Firefox (Version 59), which I've been very happy with. Speed is good. Colors render correctly. Doesn't leave footprints all over my cache. I think you're making the right choice.
04-15-2018, 12:35 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Always used firefox.

Here is a link to the settings. How to configure Firefox color management
04-15-2018, 12:42 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by david94903 Quote
I'm still on Windows 7, haven't made the jump to 10 on my primary machine. I use the Spyder 5 for monitor calibration. I stopped using Chrome a few years ago, it never rendered accurately and I wasn't willing to invest time into figuring out why. Looking at the lengths you've gone to to make Chrome work, I don't think you're missing anything. I think it's the limitation of Chrome. IE 11 had been my other browser of choice because it rendered pretty accurately, but it was slow in loading. These days I'm using Firefox (Version 59), which I've been very happy with. Speed is good. Colors render correctly. Doesn't leave footprints all over my cache. I think you're making the right choice.
Thanks for replying, that's good to know! Honestly, Firefox seems to have improved immensely since I last used it, and I'm not currently missing anything I liked about Chrome. I occasionally help a friend of mine with some Javascript development, and Chrome's very useful for that, although I see that Firefox also appears to have developer functions now. I'll have to look into those and see if I can dispense with Chrome altogether

04-15-2018, 12:43 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
Always used firefox.

Here is a link to the settings. How to configure Firefox color management
Thanks... and yes, that's how I have Firefox set up
04-15-2018, 03:39 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
For some time now, I've been using an X-rite ColorMunki Display colorimeter and X-rite's official software to profile the displays on my Windows 10 system, and I've been fairly happy with it.

My browser of choice for the last five years or so has been Chrome, and I've updated regularly (currently at version 65). I also have Firefox (version 59), but have rarely used it... until now (read on ).

When posting photos on forums, I've noticed some colour differences between what I see in Lightroom and Chrome. Not huge differences, but noticeable.

Yesterday, I decided to move away from X-rite's software and replace it with the quite-highly-regarded open source DisplayCAL tool, which I already use in my Linux Mint installation with good success.

The profiling worked flawlessly, and Windows Desktop and Lightroom both showed the temperature and colours I'd broadly expected. But when I loaded Chrome, the colours for websites and photos were way off base... faded / posterised / just plain weird.I checked "chrome://flags" and confirmed that "Force color profile" was set to "Default", thereby (allegedly) using the active colour profile for the current display (unfortunately, it's not possible to force the colour profile to a specific path and file). I then changed that flag to "sRGB", restarted Chrome, and everything looked pretty much OK again - though on close inspection, the accuracy of colours compared to Lightroom still wasn't quite right... reasonably close, but no cigar.

Next I loaded Firefox, went to "about:config" and set "gfx.color_management.display_profile" to the path and file of my new DisplayCAL profile, and restarted. Lo and behold, photo colours were rendered exactly as I saw them in Lightroom.

So, in summary:

(1) Chrome has never (so far as I can tell) rendered colours 100% accurately for me - not when compared to Lightroom, and it seems it's the browser at fault.

(2) Chrome is happy with X-rite-produced profiles, but doesn't like DisplayCAL XYZLUT + matrix profiles (why is that?).

(3) Firefox seems to like both X-rite and DisplayCAL profiles, and is far more accurate in reproducing the colours I see in Lightroom.

In the interests of a reliable colour-managed workflow from capture, through developing / editing and finally online viewing, I'll be sticking to Firefox for now. But I can't help wondering if I'm missing something, or doing something incorrectly

Has anyone else run into difficulties with colour-management in Chrome? And how about the profile differences... why is it, I wonder, that Chrome doesn't like DisplayCAL profiles?
Okay, I assume that this article was written by you Vlad: It?s time to give Firefox a fresh chance - The Verge due to your Soviet themed icons and a recent switch from Chrome to Firefox. I've had plenty of practice jumping to conclusions so I'm going to do the same again here.

Ta for the post, I'd not thought about a browser's impact on colour but then maybe it's been as a result of sticking with Firefox for as long as I have it's not been an issue.

FYI, I bought my ColorMunki Photo over 5 years ago and it recently died. It would fail to lock into the calibration point on the dial. X-Rite have a brief on their website about it being a hardware issue that they will replace the colorimeter under warranty (2 years) so this didn't help in my case. A shame as it's a really good tool for both the screen and a printer but I won't be buying a second one. Good luck with yours comrade.

Tas
04-15-2018, 04:02 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tas Quote
Okay, I assume that this article was written by you Vlad: It?s time to give Firefox a fresh chance - The Verge due to your Soviet themed icons and a recent switch from Chrome to Firefox. I've had plenty of practice jumping to conclusions so I'm going to do the same again here.
LOL Nyet, that wasn't me.

Maybe I should tone down the avatars... but I'll say no more on that. I don't want to have to ban myself!!!

QuoteOriginally posted by Tas Quote
Ta for the post, I'd not thought about a browser's impact on colour but then maybe it's been as a result of sticking with Firefox for as long as I have it's not been an issue.
I just made an assumption - somewhat rashly and, as it turns out, foolishly - that all browsers would use, or be able to use, any ICC profile that Windows or other operating systems considered suitable, and apply it accurately

QuoteOriginally posted by Tas Quote
FYI, I bought my ColorMunki Photo over 5 years ago and it recently died. It would fail to lock into the calibration point on the dial. X-Rite have a brief on their website about it being a hardware issue that they will replace the colorimeter under warranty (2 years) so this didn't help in my case. A shame as it's a really good tool for both the screen and a printer but I won't be buying a second one. Good luck with yours comrade.
I've had my ColorMunki Display for about three years now. The unit itself is fine... Aspects of the X-rite software have been temperamental with Windows 10 on this laptop of mine, though. I've never fully got to the bottom of it. But, the profiles it produced were just fine within the limitations of the software. I understand that DisplayCAL produces more accurate profiles, and I'd hope that's the case given the number of calibration steps and elapsed time, which is much longer.

Are you buying another colorimeter of any type, or just sticking with your last-created profile? One thing I've learned from DisplayCAL is that some colorimeters have internal device-based correction that can mess with profiling when using anything other than the manufacturer's software, but the ColorMunki Display is fine in this regard...

Last edited by BigMackCam; 04-15-2018 at 04:08 PM.
04-15-2018, 04:11 PM   #8
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Just for the grins, here's Chrome's reaction (on the left) to my new DisplayCAL profile, versus Firefox (on the right)...

Attached Images
 
04-15-2018, 04:38 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
LOL Nyet, that wasn't me. Maybe I should tone down the avatars... but I'll say no more on that. I don't want to have to ban myself!!!
Sure mate that's what you say...now...but whatever you do don't lose the avatar images, they're original and a step back in time.

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I just made an assumption - somewhat rashly and, as it turns out, foolishly - that all browsers would use, or be able to use, any ICC profile that Windows or other operating systems considered suitable, and apply it accurately
Yes, well I used to post to the interwebs using a colour space other than sRGB and wondered why my images looked cr*p compared to those of everyone else. Insert a big DOH! for that one.

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I've had my ColorMunki Display for about three years now. The unit itself is fine... Aspects of the X-rite software have been temperamental with Windows 10 on this laptop of mine, though. I've never fully got to the bottom of it. But, the profiles it produced were just fine within the limitations of the software. I understand that DisplayCAL produces more accurate profiles, and I'd hope that's the case given the number of calibration steps and elapsed time, which is much longer. Are you buying another colorimeter of any type, or just sticking with your last profile?
My unit was fine until last year when as I rotated it to the calibration stop it would continue past and go to one of the two other options for printing and whatever the other one does. It was annoying at first but I could get it into the correct position within one or two moves so all was good. But then it got harder to get it into the calibration point with me rotating it back and forth repeatedly to get it set until eventually it gave up the calibration point entirely. I then did the research found out about the fault and warranty replacement so looked up the Oz calibration service for X-Rite and gave them a call. Lo and behold they don't seem to lower themselves to working on such commoner items as the one I spent over $500 on, no doubt a pittance compared to the pro tools they work with but not insubstantial for us commoners. You may read into that I was not pleased and that would be correct. The next step was to go to the X-Rite webpage and find out what they identified for local support and it just so happens the importer is the same company as the one for Pentax so I actually know the POC here in Brisbane. I contacted them for more bad news of course as they don't have any repair options either. That's all a bit long-winded but in summary mine took over 5 years to develop the fault, it came on slowly and ended up being terminal as you can't set it to calibrate and there's no repair option in the land of dingoes. If it happens to you maybe you'll have more support options.

I'm on Win 7 Pro and found both versions of the software worked fine on my system. I initially used an older version of the X-Rite cal software and it worked for, then a big update came around 18 months or two years ago and it worked just as well as the older version but had a lot more control over the colour range. Can't say I considered an option as all seemed to work well.

When I can get some coins to rub together I will look at this option: Datacolor Spyder5CAPTURE PRO The lens calibration tool will be handy and another colour card can't hurt hence I thought this kit was a better option than just the screen calibration tool on its own. With this kit I lose the print calibration option but I know the lens cal tool will be more useful and if I get back into doing my own printing again I can look at picking up the matching print cal tool as well.

Tas
04-15-2018, 06:45 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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A useful site to bookmark, particularly:
Is your system ICC Version 4 ready?
04-16-2018, 01:30 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
A useful site to bookmark, particularly:
Is your system ICC Version 4 ready?
Thanks!

Interestingly, though, according to the test image on that page, Chrome is indeed ICC v4 ready... It's just the the colours for everything on the page are weirded out

Firefox renders the page perfectly, all colours as expected
04-17-2018, 08:18 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Interestingly, though, according to the test image on that page, Chrome is indeed ICC v4 ready.
You may still want to try generating an ICC V2 profile with displayCal instead of an ICC V4 profile. Perhaps it will make a difference to how Chrome behaves?
04-17-2018, 08:22 AM   #13
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You may still want to try generating an ICC V2 profile with displayCal instead of an ICC V4 profile. Perhaps it will make a difference to how Chrome behaves?
Good idea, thanks for the tip. I'll give that a try and see if Chrome wants to play nice

I will say, though, I'm rather enjoying Firefox. It's come a long way since I last tried it...
04-17-2018, 12:28 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Good idea, thanks for the tip. I'll give that a try and see if Chrome wants to play nice

I will say, though, I'm rather enjoying Firefox. It's come a long way since I last tried it...
I definitely agree that Firefox has come a long way. I hadn't really given it a second thought for years. Glad to see they've evolved and stepped up. It has become my browser of choice on all my devices.
04-17-2018, 08:36 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tas Quote
-snip

My unit was fine until last year when as I rotated it to the calibration stop it would continue past and go to one of the two other options for printing and whatever the other one does. It was annoying at first but I could get it into the correct position within one or two moves so all was good. But then it got harder to get it into the calibration point with me rotating it back and forth repeatedly to get it set until eventually it gave up the calibration point entirely. I then did the research found out about the fault and warranty replacement so looked up the Oz calibration service for X-Rite and gave them a call. Lo and behold they don't seem to lower themselves to working on such commoner items as the one I spent over $500 on, no doubt a pittance compared to the pro tools they work with but not insubstantial for us commoners. You may read into that I was not pleased and that would be correct. The next step was to go to the X-Rite webpage and find out what they identified for local support and it just so happens the importer is the same company as the one for Pentax so I actually know the POC here in Brisbane. I contacted them for more bad news of course as they don't have any repair options either. That's all a bit long-winded but in summary mine took over 5 years to develop the fault, it came on slowly and ended up being terminal as you can't set it to calibrate and there's no repair option in the land of dingoes. If it happens to you maybe you'll have more support options.

I'm on Win 7 Pro and found both versions of the software worked fine on my system. I initially used an older version of the X-Rite cal software and it worked for, then a big update came around 18 months or two years ago and it worked just as well as the older version but had a lot more control over the colour range. Can't say I considered an option as all seemed to work well.

-snip

Tas
I had the same issue with my ColorMunki Photo which I bought over 6 years ago. I have discovered a half hearted "fix". First, the differences, my device calibrates correctly, it messes up when I try to get it to move to the measure position "screen measure". I have found that if I press on the selector wheel towards the bottom, sort of try and push the entire thing down and back towards the USB plug, it works.

X-Rite has also updated the software supporting the ColorMunki Photo - the version (PC) for the original software is V1.2.4 but I am using i1 Studio v1.1.0 XRD Version: 3.0.17.36. This software is an update from the X-Rite support site. I had answered a few surveys from X-Rite and they said that i1 Studio is free for legacy ColorMunki Photo users and is available on the X-Rite site.
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