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Applying an ICC profile when Developing a RAW image


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Using X-rite's ColorChecker, an ICC profile can be generated for a set of raw images shot under the same lighting conditions. In Affinity Photo's Develop persona, I cannot find anywhere to apply an ICC profile. Have I missed something? Or is it necessary to first "develop" the raw image then apply an ICC profile in another persona? And if the latter, presumably it is better to use the Assistant Manager to set the output format as 32-bit rather than 16-bit?

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Thanks. Other programs (Lightroom, Capture One) allow you to apply an ICC profile to a raw image, which (in theory at least) leads to a better result. Having to develop/export a raw image, and only then apply colour correction, will reduce the quality...

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Not too well informed on ICC Profiles, but I always thought that a RAW did not have an embedded color profile, it just contained information on the color profile set in the camera at time of capture.

Perhaps wiser heads could advise on this.

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24 minutes ago, Gshooter said:

I always thought that a RAW did not have an embedded color profile, it just contained information on the color profile set in the camera at time of capture.

RAW images do not have a color profile. If the camera lets you specify a profile, that would apply to any JPG or other non-RAW format the camera can create. So you're right about that.

However, just as you can profile a monitor, or a printer, and get better color accuracy from images, you can profile a camera. If Photo could apply such a profile during RAW development, you could then account for your camera's unique color idiosyncracies while the image is still in RAW format. That could give you better color results specifically for your camera. But Photo does not support that.

-- Walt

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The workflow is to take at the start a photo that includes an X-rite ColorChecker. Based on that image, a separate program then produces an ICC profile that can be used in Lightroom or Capture One to process other raw images from the same shoot. From Walt's reply, it looks like this is not possible in Affinity Photo, thus answering my question. Thank you both for your kind help.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello - sorry to be sort of late to this conversation, but I am too am trying to figure out the best way to apply ICC profiles. I am calibration a completely new system, camera through laptop running Affinity Photo - Publisher - printing to an HP Envy 7100 series. I have created profiles for the camera and the printer. The question is when and where to apply them. Profiles can be assigned prior to Development under profiles (both camera and printer profiles are in the list. Output profile is specified by the software. Which to select, camera or printer?) The after development, a profile can be assigned under "Document". The profile selected prior to development will appear here, but can be changed. Then when printing, an output profile can be assigned, printer for sure, one suspects. I have some results that are very, very good; but others (different lens and shooting conditions) are rendered too dark and too blue. What should be the standard procedure? Camera profiles for different conditions and lenses can be created, but where they are applied changes results. Any suggestions? 

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  • 8 months later...

Any thoughts on this please?  In the raw developer, there is a drop down list for one to assign a profile such as sRGB etc.  I was looking at a superb tutorial and in it Ivan mentions assigning a Technicolor profile at this stage.  It's something to explore and if you can help locate it etc I'd be much obliged

 

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11 minutes ago, Tr48 said:

I was looking at a superb tutorial and in it Ivan mentions assigning a Technicolor profile at this stage.

When in that presentation does he mention it?

-- Walt

   Desktop: new:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090  (old: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970 )
   Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
    Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1282 Beta
 iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 15.4.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

  Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.280) and 1.10.2 (.266) Beta / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.21) and 1.10.3 (.19) Beta 

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There is some crosstalk in the discussion here about profiles.  Firstly, the profile referred to during raw conversion is a profile that is meant to translate raw camera color into a specific color rendition - this profile is typically made by shooting a color reference target and then running that DNG file through software to output a DCP (Lightroom, ACR or similar software) or ICC (Capture One, etc.) file for use during raw conversion.  AP does not permit the user to specify such a profile for raw conversion at this time - it uses the internal LibRaw profile to generate the raw file as far as I know (Mac users can also switch to the Apple raw engine).

In AP's Develop persona there is a dropdown list at the bottom of the Basic palette called "Profiles."  This dropdown list permits the user to select the ICC profile for the color space into which the raw file will be converted as an RGB image leaving the Develop persona.  This is similar to the selection of the color space in the Lightroom/ACR output dialog or any other raw converter's output controls.  This does not affect the look of the raw conversion, it specifies the color space into which the raw file is converted and it tags the output file with that color space so a color-aware application can display the RGB numbers in the file correctly, according to that color space.  If you do not specify a profile here, AP will convert the raw file into AP's working color space, as specified in the Preferences.

If you have custom log or cine camera profiles that are supposed to be used at raw conversion time, you will not be able to use them in AP because AP's raw conversion interface does not support custom/user-specified camera profiles. 

Once the file has been converted into an RGB file and opened in the Photo persona, it exists in the specified color space (from the selection of the Profile in the Develop persona) or in the default working color space (if no Profile was specified in the Develop persona).  Here you can CONVERT to a different color space via an ICC profile, or ASSIGN a new ICC profile to the existing image data.  When you CONVERT, the RGB numbers in the current color space get changed to preserve the original appearance of the image in the new color space; when you ASSIGN, the original RGB numbers are preserved and the colors change according to their new interpretation in the new, assigned color space.

 

In terms of printing, usually one edits in a working color space that contains a large enough gamut to comfortably work with the gamut of the output device.  At print time, the print driver will do the conversion into the printer's ICC profile color space according to your instructions - the printer interface also permits the user to select the rendering intent of the conversion so that the printer driver knows how to handle out of gamut colors.  You do not need to assign a printer profile to the image in AP.  You can, however, use the printer ICC profile to soft-proof the image in AP prior to printing.  This is performed with the Soft Proof adjustment layer, a non-destructive operation that lets you visualize the printed output through AP's simulating its appearance for the selected profile (usually a printer+paper combination).  Of course, soft-proofing is a simulation of a reflective medium (ink on paper) on a transmissive device (your display), but once you print enough, you can usually anticipate how the print will appear on paper compared to the soft proof.

To recap:  convert your raw image into a color space that is large enough for your editing workflow (let's say ProPhoto RGB).  Do your edits.  CONVERT the image, if necessary, into the output color space (let's say sRGB for web display) or print the image and let the print driver do the conversion using the printer+paper ICC profile that you specify.  

One workaround for color rendition following raw conversion is to use a LUT that you create that takes the default raw conversion output from AP (using AP's camera profile) and alters it like a custom profile would.  You need software that will permit you to make such a LUT from a color target, for example (3D LUT Creator) - then you can convert your raw image into your working color space with AP's default rendering and apply the custom LUT to get the color rendition you really want after the default raw conversion.

Another workaround, especially for using LUTs etc. that require a log input file, is to convert your raw file into a 32bit linear file from the Develop persona.  Then you can use OCIO transforms to take the linear output (a raw file is just linear data) and transform it into the correct log format for your cine looks.

Have fun!

Kirk

 

 

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The video presenter talks about shooting with a flat profile (presumably in his Canon camera) - this will only affect the JPEG from the camera.  He also talks about converting the original raw file using a Technicolor profile, but this could have been as a result of a raw conversion in other software because AP will not perform this kind of conversion in the Develop persona - note that the color profile of the color rendition (at ~4:42 in the video) is in sRGB.  Likely the raw conversion has been done outside of AP and brought into AP as a color sRGB image.

The Cinestyle .pf2 file, for example, is for Canon cameras and is an in-camera flat profile (Canon calls these profiles "picture styles") that alters your JPEG files (and video output) at time of shooting (in camera).  It does not affect the raw file and is not used during raw conversion in software on your computer.

 

kirk

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Thanks Guys for taking so much time to share your knowledge.  It was kind of you to be so expansive.

I'll not pursue technicolour any more - it's what happens when one is impressed by a presenter!   Just for interest I will say that I myself am still trying to settle on a distinctive style and workflow-without-reinventing-the-wheel!  My colour post production tends to rely on LUTs and more recently Gradient maps; and of course using the widest colour space possible until reducing to sRGB for projection at club.  I must be getting quite a list of Macros!! ;)

Topic closed.

Trevor

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