Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > Supercal -- results not as expected

Supercal -- results not as expected
Thread Tools
opti
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 24, 2004, 10:21 PM
 
One of the first things I did with my new PowerBook last night was run Supercal. I thought the LCD looked pretty good as is, so I thought I would be blown away by it after I calibrated it, based on all the comments here. I spent a good amount of time (at least 20-25 minutes) going through all the steps, spending most of my time on the step where you have to match the colored squares to the thatch patterns.

The resulting color profile looked like something with overblown gamma/brightness; the default profile actually loooks much better! Text is even quite a bit easier to read on the default (post-supercal it's like the surrounding white is blowing out the text detail). How can the results be so different? Considering that supercal is dependent entirely on human judgement, is there something I could have done horribly wrong in configuring it?
     
JKT
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: London, UK
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 25, 2004, 07:56 AM
 
Originally posted by opti:
One of the first things I did with my new PowerBook last night was run Supercal. I thought the LCD looked pretty good as is, so I thought I would be blown away by it after I calibrated it, based on all the comments here. I spent a good amount of time (at least 20-25 minutes) going through all the steps, spending most of my time on the step where you have to match the colored squares to the thatch patterns.

The resulting color profile looked like something with overblown gamma/brightness; the default profile actually loooks much better! Text is even quite a bit easier to read on the default (post-supercal it's like the surrounding white is blowing out the text detail). How can the results be so different? Considering that supercal is dependent entirely on human judgement, is there something I could have done horribly wrong in configuring it?
I note from a post in the PowerBook forum that you are a very recent switcher. One thing to take into account is that Macs use a much "brighter" gamma setting than PCs (default is 1.8 on Macs to 2.4 on PCs... IIRC) and also that calibration (for personal use) is a matter of personal taste, not out an out this is right, that is wrong. With your SuperCal calibration, it could be that the gamma setting was altered even further towards a brighter setting and that contrast was reduced as a consequence. Try redoing your calibration (you can use the same profile as the one you just created and only adjust the settings that you want to change) and this time changing the gamma setting to increase/decrease the on screen contrast until it better suits your tastes.

However, if the default profile looks good to you... why bother?
     
bmhome1
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Jul 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 25, 2004, 08:46 PM
 
The ambient light setting where the monitor is calibrated with SuperCal (or any calibration application) has a HUGE influence on the outcome of the process, because your eyes naturally use the surrounding light to make the judgements onscreen.

Actually that can be used to advantage because you can create different calibration profiles for different ambient light conditions. The ideal ambient light is simple: consistent (one type of light source) and as low as practical. Obviously, that only works in a controlled environment, laptops have to work in a variety of surroundings. So any profile created for a laptop has to be a compromise.

Ideally, make several profiles at different times and different energy levels even. Its all very subjective and looking at all of them freshly the next day will reveal which ones look best. If you can make one where the colors seem universally better than the default and whites and blacks have distinct near-level differences, you've done well.

Bear in mind that even then your calibration profile will slowly be less effective as your screen ages (it happens faster than anyone would like) and making a new one to compensate for the changes will be desirable.

Also, the test photo supplied with SuperCal is pretty poor. I have five small file standard image test photos posted here that can help as reference checks on-screen (grey scales especially):

http://homepage.mac.com/brucemillerphoto
( Last edited by bmhome1; Jun 25, 2004 at 08:57 PM. )
     
opti  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 26, 2004, 03:47 AM
 
I didn't really understand what to do w/ the reference photo part, so I just skipped that.

With comparing the colors to the thatch patterns, the curves moved way up in the high end with all three colors.

Also, this was done with a pretty strong ceileing fan light on behind me -- not the ideal lighting environment, but then I'd think the results would still be calibrated properly for what I'm viewing in. I didn't take it to a dark place to see the results or anything.

Just some random notes... I don't want to dismiss this if it truly does make a difference in pretty much all cases, but it does take a while and some tedious steps to get it calibrated, so I want to be convinced that there's something I'm missing here ;-). It could be that I just didn't do it properly.
     
bmhome1
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Jul 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 26, 2004, 04:08 AM
 
Actually one of the features of SuperCal is that the points selected on the whole curve created can be further halved and refined again and halved again, so that more time spent on creating the exact compensation curve tailored to your individual screen, the more exacting the results, especially with LCD's and their inherent deficiencies displaying the far ends of the brights and darks. That's where a custom curve can really make the difference in an accurate display profile. But you may find that unless your'e color matching or need that accuracy, a less precise profile may really be more pleasing for general use. Personal preferences play into the whole issue also.
     
cszar2001
Photo Architect
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Bamberg, Germany
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 26, 2004, 07:18 AM
 
Im not entirely happy with SuperCal either.
I tried the calibration process under a lot of different lighting conditions.
Sometimes contrast improved a lot-but DVD was plain horrible every time.
"Microsoft is a cross between the Borg and the Ferengi. Unfortunately, they use Borg to do their marketing and Ferengi to do their programming." Simon Slavin

Me on Flickr.
     
opti  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 26, 2004, 09:51 PM
 
Originally posted by bmhome1:
Actually one of the features of SuperCal is that the points selected on the whole curve created can be further halved and refined again and halved again, so that more time spent on creating the exact compensation curve tailored to your individual screen, the more exacting the results, especially with LCD's and their inherent deficiencies displaying the far ends of the brights and darks. That's where a custom curve can really make the difference in an accurate display profile. But you may find that unless your'e color matching or need that accuracy, a less precise profile may really be more pleasing for general use. Personal preferences play into the whole issue also.
I did spend a lot of time on that portion of the calibration, refining the curves to around 10 points (at least) for each color. The result just looks washed out; I would think it's fine if that was my only reference point perhaps, but the included "Color LCD" profile looks better.
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:56 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,