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Seems like this is a problem for quite a few users, judging by the search results I got on the topic.

I'm having a problem where the colors of any image I export don't match the colors I see in my document. I've tried exporting to different formats, and they all give me the same result. Here's a screen capture of what I mean (image viewer on the left, Affinity Photo on the right)...AffPhotoColorProblem.thumb.png.9dbaa7e7fd501e3f1d1e60beb171fa6e.png 

So, as you can see, there is a drastic difference. I've already checked my color space and ICC profile settings (RGB and sRGB respectively) and also made sure that my ICC color profile in Windows matches what Affinity Photo is using. It hasn't made any difference at all. Curiously, when I open the exported image in Photo, it appears correctly.

Please forgive me if I'm missing something obvious, since color management is something I'm still getting a grasp on.
Any help is sincerely appreciated. Thanks in advance!

 

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Do you use any special (non-standard) ICC profile? The best is to use sRGB, ie leave the default OS profiles for monitor and for Affinity processing.

https://affinityspotlight.com/article/display-colour-management-in-the-affinity-apps/


Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.7.3.481.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 1903, Build 18362.418.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.

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hi,
sRGB isnt the "best". quiet the opposite. however, a lot of software defaults to sRGB when displaying things and completely ignores color management. 

checklist:

1. is my affinity document in the correct color profile?
2. does the format i export my image into support that color profile/color space?
3. does the software i view my exported image with support color managemen?

dumbing your workflow down to sRGB can help you find the error.

if you upload both files that would probably help us figure it out :)

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On 11/6/2019 at 9:41 AM, leechi said:

sRGB isnt the "best"

Definitely yes (sRGB is best) for users without detailed knowledge.

On 11/6/2019 at 3:19 AM, Toonman said:

since color management is something I'm still getting a grasp on.

 


Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.7.3.481.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 1903, Build 18362.418.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.

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You'd typically get something like this (oversaturated colors) when exporting without a color profile and then watching on a (wide-gamut) display, but to be able to help, more information should be provided (source file or small sample of it just containing something in the red used in the image, and PNG settings used when exporting).

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Thanks a lot to everyone who have posted here with suggestions. I've gone through each post and taken a look at a few things. I've found some interesting stuff along the way.

First, thanks a lot Psenda for the color management article. That helped quite a bit. It turns out I might be already using the suggested workflow.

I'm working on a Dell U2711. I'm using Dell's ICC profile for display (on Windows 10). Affinitiy is set to use sRGB for its default color profile, and my document is using sRGB too. I've tried exporting the image to PNG, JPG, and EXR using the defaul settings, all delivering the same result.

An interesting thing I ran into was that changing my display ICC profile to sRGB instead of Dell's profile, changed the colors displayed in Affinity to the ones shown in the exported image (which made my image in Affinity appear incredibly bright and saturated). So, both images matched, although the colors are not the ones I intended. Switching back the ICC profile to Dell's (restarting the computer after each change) had the document display again using the "original" colors, and the export ignore them and display the saturated bright red.

I'm attaching a small sample of both the Affinity document and the exported PNG in case it helps determine what the issue is. Is it my ICC display profile? Should I set it to sRGB and then color correct my document to have the colors be what I had before?

Thanks a lot!

ColorProblem.afphoto

ColorProblem.png

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3 hours ago, Toonman said:

Is it my ICC display profile?

Definitely yes - this is the case in all cases where it has been repeatedly discussed here (yellowish white). Therefore, I recommend you to work directly in sRGB, which is the default for OS.

3 hours ago, Toonman said:

First, thanks a lot Psenda for the color management article.

Look this document (and topic):

 


Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.7.3.481.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 1903, Build 18362.418.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.

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When you work with a wide-gamut display (your display can show full Adobe RGB color space and some plus), it is important to have a hardware calibrated device color profile. The factory default is not necessarily working well as it depends on your monitor contrast and brightness settings being at correct values to give the assumed luminance for which the profile is defined,  

But let us assume that the your Dell device profile works well (and it most probably works better than anything else that you can use as the monitor profile), and you use that profile with your system color management so that whatever profiles you use in different apps and receive embedded in documents, gets mapped via this device color profile. 

When you create your documents in Affinity apps, you could well use your device color profile as the RGB color profile of your document, to have the full gamut of the monitor, but then you should always use file formats that support color profiles and embed them in the files you produce so that colors get mapped to profiles that users who receive the files and watch them on different kinds of devices get the colors mapped correctly,

If the file does not have an embedded profile, or if the viewing app does not support color profiles you can get varied color outputs from different sources.

What typically happens then?

1) If you (having a wide-gamut monitor) get a pure red image (RGB 255, 0, 0) without a profile, and your app does not assign the file some default profile (like Adobe RGB, sRGB, etc.), and you choose to view the file using your device color profile, you would get screaming red on your screen, far more red than someone watching the same image on a standard display (many of which rarely even can show full sRGB color gamut), so it is clear that you would get all colors wrong, as not intended.

2) If you (having a wide-gamut monitor) choose to create your document using your device RGB profile, and fail to embed the color profile, the receiver (typically not having a wide-gamut monitor) would get a bit dull colors, as you would most often use subdued color values, to avoid overly saturated images. If the device color profile is embedded the colors would be mapped on receivers displays so that the general feel is the same as on your end.

3) If you create your documents using different RGB color spaces (mixing e.g. your device color profile, Adobe RGB and sRGB), and fail to use embedded profiles (to get colors mapped for your wide-gamut display), you'll get inconsistent colors from session to session.which can have negative effect on the quality of your work.

4) If the viewing app does not support properly embedded color profiles or cannot use system color profile (based on color managed and measure devices), it may show wildly varied outputs, and typically shows overly saturated colors on a wide-gamut monitor -- no matter what color profile is embedded in the document.

Other impiications on using a wide-gamut display:

If you create your documents using your device color profile as the document color profile, and also embed that profile in your documents, the receivers may get different results depending on what kinds of displays they have: if you have used some colors using full gamut of your display (e.g. certain PMS colors like orange), only receivers having a display with equal capability, can see the colors correctly; most users see below sRGB colors so whatever colors exist beyond sRGB will be mapped within those limits. This is not a problem, as this is basically what happens all the time when you e.g. produce anything in RGB color space and convert it to CMYK to be sent for printing. Because color profiles are used, the colors get correctly mapped from device to device.

========

The safest choice is naturally to choose sRGB as the RGB color profile and some standard print profile for coated paper as the CMYK color profile, since these are the most common outputs for web and prints. Many designers use Adobe RGB, instead, because professional cameras use that color space, and some use ultra wide gamut color space profiles to be able to display all PMS colors or working with 16-bit color modes reliably. There is no problem since either these profiles would be included in documents that are output and get delivered for different purposes (for web, to printer, etc.) along with information about the target color profile, or the colors would be converted at production time for narrower color gamuts, e.g., from Adobe RGB to sRGB when creating for web, or RGB to CMYK when producing for print.

When color management works properly and color profiles are included in documents, it is much the same what profiles are involved in the process. E.g., if you choose to create your documents in sRGB color space, and you import there three files each containing a rectangle with color value RGB 255, 0, 0, and first of the files contains your own display color profile, the second one an Adobe RGB profile and third one an sRGB color profile, all these reds would be mapped to sRGB 255, 0, 0 (the max that your current profile allows), which means that you would not see any of those screaming reds that your display can physically output. Or conversely, if you create your document using your device color profile, you'd see one screaming red, one fairly saturated Adobe RGB red, and one sRGB red .

========

So why have you experienced overly saturated colors?

I downloaded your viewer app, XnView MP,  installed it on Windows 10 Pro, created a file using the red of your document, and RGB 255, 0, 0, and viewed the files side by side using Affinity Photo and XnView MP viewer on a ultra-wide-gamut display. The results are in the attached TIFF files with my device color profile embedded so they are descriptive only if the viewer has an equivalent or at least a wide-gamut display. The reason for your problems is that XnView is not much of a viewer. It shows your AffinityPhoto created sRGB documents overly saturated, just like you mentioned, but cannot on the other hand show the full gamut of the display either, when showing an image that has a device-color profile embedded.

So my advice is: use definitely your Dell device color profile with your system color management (in lack of anything better), and preferrably purchase a basic hardware calibrator like X-Rite i1Display Studio to get measured color values and luminance. Wide-gamut displays do not usually work well with standard ICC profiles and software calibration (which is not calibration at all but just basic settings without measurements). And stop using XnView as your output checker!

There is nothing wrong in your Affinity Photo document. But the PNG file, when opened in Photoshop CS6 gives a warning about the file format used not supporting embedded color profiles, which seems to be Adobe style of telling that the image does not contain a color profile at all (I think I get similar warnings if I export to PNG from Affinity apps without embedding a profile; Affinity Photo does not give any warning of these files and silently just assigns them an sRGB profile). How did you export this file? Anyway there is no oversaturation in your PNG file.

srgbprofile.tif

devicecolorprofile.tif

 

 

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On 11/6/2019 at 4:19 AM, Toonman said:

and also made sure that my ICC color profile in Windows matches what Affinity Photo is using. It hasn't made any difference at all

Noticed this one thing in your Preferences > Color. You could set this to sRGB or AdobeRGB as the default value. I think these are "just" the defaults that you will get when you do not specify otherwise, but as you do not specify multiple color spaces (RGB and CMYK) per document in Affinity apps, as you do when you create an Adobe document, these settings can be used silently in operations not clearly defined, and it is best to use here sRGB or Adobe RGB rather than your ICC color profile, especially as it is not based on measured results.

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9 hours ago, Toonman said:

An interesting thing I ran into was that changing my display ICC profile to sRGB instead of Dell's profile, changed the colors displayed in Affinity to the ones shown in the exported image (which made my image in Affinity appear incredibly bright and saturated).

That's because when using sRGB as your device color profile in system color management, you're practiclly telling the system to map sRGB to use your display's full color capabilities to display a much smaller color gamut. That's totally wrong, and clearly indicated by the fact that you see all your colors wrong in Affinity apps. So you should set it back as it was and stop using your viewer app as a reference point!

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One point worth noting when using a wide-gamut profile as your document RGB profile is that when you export to Web, it seems that Affinity apps by default embed the document color profile in the exported image, which might not be what you want. Adobe apps e.g. typically always use sRGB as the default when creating for web -- no matter what your document RGB color profile is -- as that is the standard and which most devices are likely to even approximately be able to show, and it is a good idea to convert colors to sRGB when producing for web simply to avoid problems related to unmanaged color environment (as you cannot typically control how your files will be handled subsequently). In Affinity apps you'd need to manually change the profile to sRGB to achieve that. 

Note however that Affinity export settings remember the last used values so if you set this once, you do not need to specify the sRGB profile each time you export using the same export method. But it is good to know this limitation in Affinity apps if you choose to use wide-gamut RGB profiles as your document profile.

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Thanks a lot for all the help guys! Everything explained here is really clear. Lagarto, really appreciate everything you took the time to explain (this post should be a sticky! I'm sure a lot of people running into the same issues would find this useful).

So, in short, I should be using my monitor's ICC profile at the OS level (which I already do), I should use a hardware calibration device (gonna look into one right now), and I should use sRGB in my Affinity docs (which I already do).

I just discovered XnView does support ICC profiles, except they're not turned on by default. For those who would like to use them, you just need to go to Tools/Settings.../General/ICC. I set the System ICC profile to use my Dell ICC profile, the RGB profile to sRGB, and the CMYK profile to System profile, and now XnView displays my image properly. So I guess my exported image (which did have the embedded ICC profile option enabled) was always fine, but I got fooled by XnView not remapping the colors properly.

My primary applications for the work I do are video and web applications. I am not sure if web browsers interpret ICC profiles (my search returned ambiguous information on this), but video editors certainly do not. So, I'm thinking I have probably two options here to get the correct colors from exported images into my video editor (or a web browser)...

1. Somehow "bake" the ICC profile onto the colors of my image prior to exporting. I guess I could perform a Convert Format/ICC Profile operation on my document, set the new profile to my Dell profile, and then export the image WITHOUT embedding the ICC profile in it. That should leave me with an image where the actual colors reflect what I see in my display, right? (I am aware that it will look different on other displays... which does complicate things a bit).

2. Apply a LUT on the image inside my video editor that does the same job the ICC profile does. I do not know if there will be a LUT that actually works like the ICC profile. I guess I'll have to experiment.

If you have any ideas around how to deal with this, I'll be quite interested to hear them! I'm guessing the same workflow would apply to images generated for web content.

Thanks again!

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1 hour ago, Toonman said:

I just discovered XnView does support ICC profiles, except they're not turned on by default.

Oh, ok, it appeared to be an ok tool and it occured to me afterwards that this could be the case, sorry for the premature diss! Happy to hear that you managed to resolve the problem.

You can't go wrong with a hardware calibrator, it really is a must when using a a wide-gamut display. The Affinity created color management article was pretty good, especially as it warned against the use of overly bright and saturated 4K displays, which are considered as a kind of "luxury" environment of presenting anything worth an attention (that's exactly what they are, when used uncalibrated; LUXury).

1 hour ago, Toonman said:

I should use sRGB in my Affinity docs (which I already do).

That is probably the wisest choice if you primarily handle all RGB tasks outslde of Affinity apps and just collect the results for final output by using Affinity apps.

I'm afraid I cannot help with the concrete steps for further processing, it is often a process of trial and error!

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1 hour ago, Toonman said:

So I guess my exported image (which did have the embedded ICC profile option enabled) was always fine, but I got fooled by XnView not remapping the colors properly.

Yes, that's exactly what was the problem, so it basically affected only you ;-)  The thing is, you cannot understand the logic of color management until you see these kinds of things happen!

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Thanks again Lagarto. I just noticed Affinity can actually export LUTs. I'll look up more information on this to see if I can generate one that I can use in my NLE to get the colors to display properly.

Thanks again!

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