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Monitor: Calibrating color with what I have

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Dan Kirklin
Monitor: Calibrating color with what I have
on Jan 6, 2015 at 5:45:32 pm


I own a Dell u2713h and X-Rite i1 display pro. I know this is not meant for proper color grading work, but it's better than a random monitor. After reading a lot on the subject and trying numerous setups and calibrations I am still unable to get the colors right. I imagine I'm doing something wrong on a very basic level. If someone here has some experience with this or knows of a place that assumes I understand what I'm doing, I would really appreciate the help.

I will write down the basics so that maybe someone could point me at the right direction:

1. My setup is: Windows 7 64bit, nVidia Geforce 660 ti

2. My monitor is currently connected by DVI, but can also be connected via HDMI. Which would be better for proper calibration? Or would it be best to buy a Displayport to HDMI adapter? There is a also a secondary monitor connected, if this matters.

3. My x-rite i1 is connected to the PC itself. Should I connect it to the monitor?

4. After going through several guides on how to properly calibrate, I still come out failing. For some reason.

5. Currently, after calibrating, very light greys are showing up with a slight red tint. Such as the kind of greys that are popular around webpage boxes. This is obviously wrong.

- So how do I get this right?

- Am I connecting my monitor with the wrong cables?

- Is i1 better when connected to the monitor itself?

- With the Geforce 660ti, will I be able to display wide-gamut? And if so, how? If not, what am I missing?

- What settings should I use when calibrating with the Profiler if I want to get the most accurate colors I can (I know this is no FS monitor)? (Assuming CAL1 should be at RGB and CAL2 should be at REC 709)

Thank you for all the help!

Appreciate anyone that will guide me through this confusing path.

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Joseph Owens
Re: Monitor: Calibrating color with what I have
on Jan 6, 2015 at 10:17:26 pm

Are you attempting to use the GUI as your reference display? No external monitor connected via some form of Decklink or other BlackMagic interface?

In this case, there are still some possibilities, but the best you will ever achieve is a simulation.
Your results will only be as good as the software that you are using to characterize your display, and that display's ability to generate intensities that correspond to 709 values.
...can work with BMD Resolve to generate essentially a display LUT that will pre-distort the colorspace so that it will be 709-like. It is not enough to simply match the RGB corners of the triangle... the whole thing has to match, as you are finding out.

Over the years, there have been many threads inquiring about "wide-gamut" displays -- the hope is that "bigger" is "better", but what a grade environment is really trying to achieve is a tight match, and some interpretations of "wide gamut" are incompatible with what should be an exact gamut overlay. Fine for photography, not so good for motion picture and broadcast production.


"I always pass on free advice -- its never of any use to me" Oscar Wilde.

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Paul Provost
Re: Monitor: Calibrating color with what I have
on Jan 7, 2015 at 5:47:15 pm

The best way to assure you are monitoring a proper video signal from your color grading software or NLE that is not being color managed by the OS is to output picture from a video I/o card like a decklink. Even just a $140 decklink mini monitor using Hdmi to your display. This will now be your "color critical display" and you would make all you picture decisions based on this. You would then have a second monitor connected to you pc gtx 660 as your gui monitor for viewing desktop.
Then you would hook your Xrite to your PC and measure and calibrate your decklink connected display using a free or trial calibration software like this:
So this means you now have two led monitors but as you can get a 24" 1920x1080 for around $100 certainly worth it to have at least an illusion that you are monitoring correctly. Better than nothing. Trying to calibrate your desktop monitor for both gui and video is rabbit hole of uncertainty unless you absolutely know what is going on with the signal path. Not better than nothing. | colorist | Los Angeles, CA

Twitter: @4kfinish

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Mark Derringer
Re: Monitor: Calibrating color with what I have
on Nov 23, 2015 at 12:17:46 pm

Sorry to resurrect this thread! If I had a decklink mini monitor, connected the display via HDMI to it, the display should come in up in the i1 Display Pro interface on the PC?

Can the Decklink work with ICC profiles?

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Bill Ravens
Re: Monitor: Calibrating color with what I have
on Nov 24, 2015 at 1:25:16 pm

As was alluded to earlier....step one is to connect your reference monitor via a color accurate interface, like the decklink. Step two is to use a calibration software designed, not for photography, but to calibrate to a REC709 color space. The one I use is Spectracal's CALMAN RGB. It will work with your I1 and give you an ICC profile. The ultimate step 3 is to invest in a monitor or LUT box that will feed a wide gamut monitor, so you can tailor the corrections better than an ICC profile can do.

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