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Strange Changes From One Display vs. Another

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Rob Knoll
Strange Changes From One Display vs. Another
on Aug 7, 2014 at 3:35:30 am

I've run across a strange issue with some of the images I've recently done in Photoshop that is wreaking havoc on a project.

I'm setting up a gaming front-end that will run in an arcade cabinet that is mounted on a wall. It utilizes a 60' Vizo LED Smart TV as it's display. I have this display connected to my NVIDA GeForce 9600 GT video card via HDMI/DVI converter cable (IE: my computer display and wall mounted TV are mirrored).

In order to make it work, I have to Photoshop the covers for the games. Some of them require touch up work in Photoshop. However, I noticed that when I view the images either in Photoshop or in the front-end program for the games; everything looks great. Yet when I view the exact same thing on my secondary monitor (IE: my wall mounted 60' inch TV) the contrast is completely different. All the little imperfections I painted over are now clearly visible. You can see the paint work I did on the second screen as little bloches; but not on the primary at my computer desk.

I feel the best way to explain what I'm seeing on the two different screens is a visual aid. Please see the attachment for the screenshot/mock up I did to illustrate what's happening:

I have circled the trouble areas in red. I have no idea why its happening is quite troubling thinking that I'm hiding imperfections that can easily be brought back to the forefront with a simple slide of the levels bar.

Can anyone help me determine how/why this is happening so I can trouble shoot it and make sure these imperfections are smoothed out permanently no matter what display I'm using?

Greatly appreciated!

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Bill Stephan
Re: Strange Changes From One Display vs. Another
on Aug 7, 2014 at 5:12:15 pm


Is your 60" TV calibrated? Is the computer monitor calibrated? For any image to look the same on multiple monitors, they must have brightness, contrast, chroma level, chroma phase and color temperature set correctly at the very least. A full calibration using a hardware color meter will give the best results.

You can calibrate the 60" TV using a monitor calibration DVD or Blue-ray disc. Similar capability is included on most Disney movie discs.

Calibrate the computer monitor by displaying a SMPTE color bar pattern, which would be included with video editing software; or you can download one from the Internet.

Bill Stephan
Senior Editor/DVD Author
USA Studios
New York City

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Drew Smith
Re: Strange Changes From One Display vs. Another
on Aug 8, 2014 at 6:31:44 am

What technique did you use to fix the imperfections? from the screen shot it looks like you maybe sampled black or picked a black from the color menu and painted in over imperfections, but the scan or whatever you're using has more information in the dark ranges than just black.

I'd say you need to address the PC monitor as the primary problem- it's not showing you everything there is to see and giving you an inaccurate picture of what you're doing. Most likely, the contrast is too high on the PC screen and making it look like you're filling in blacks when in reality you're painting black in an area full of dark grays and purples.

I'd suggest using a Spyder calibration tool on it.

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Herbert van der wegen
Re: Strange Changes From One Display vs. Another
on Aug 12, 2014 at 7:20:41 am

The others are correct: I increased the gamma to a very high one for the top image, and the splotches appear in that one as well.

Your screen is not displaying the contrast differences very well. The original's black is not a pure black at all, but a noisy dark grey mess (probably because this was scanned in or a photo was taken of the original printed cover).

The quick solution: add a temporary high gamma adjustment layer, and fill the dark areas with true black.

While you are at it, I would remove the noise too, and make the colours more vibrant (since the cmyk print lost all of that).

System: Win7 64bit - i7 920@3.6Ghz, p6t Deluxe v1, 48gb (6x8gb RipjawsX), ATI 7970 3gb, EVGA 590 3GB, Revodrive X2 240gb, e-mu 1820. Screens: 2 x Samsung s27a850ds 2560x1440, HP 1920x1200 in portrait mode

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Mike Neders
Re: Strange Changes From One Display vs. Another
on Aug 26, 2014 at 5:31:18 pm

Hi, sorry to jump in but my question is I am using Photoshop a great deal and going blind while doing it (just kidding but seriously had change my glasses to a stronger type). I need a big monitor but the very large ones are very expensive.

Can I use the larger HDTV monitors so everything is a lot larger to work with? I realize would have to be the 1080 P or even greater if possible, but should or could I go to a TV so it is very large on a screen to better accommodate my vision?

Thanks very much for any response.

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