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Strange colour representation (and different from Lightroom)


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Hello, I noticed when editing images with skin tones (TIFF format) that the colours in Affinity Photo sometimes look very strange (grey-greenish). The same file in Adobe Lightroom looks completely normal (as does the photo print).
Now I have opened a test file in both programs in parallel and indeed the colours (measurable in the screenshot) are different (see attachment).
How can I ensure that Affinity Photo displays the colours correctly? (I don't mean soft-proofing, that is another topic in itself...)
I have calibrated the monitor and the colour profile is applied system-wide.
Thank you very much for any helpful hints!

comparison.thumb.png.b25f040f2e634a6f48fa1606da541273.png

testbild_01.jpg

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The first thing I would check is whether Lightroom uses sRGB to display that image. If it uses AdobeRGB or anything else, it might be the reason for that slight difference because Photo uses sRGB for this image. 

In the screenshot from Photo you can see (just below the toolbar) that sRGB is applied.

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Hmm, I can't find an option to change the display in Lightroom. But the instructions actually indicate that Lightroom uses ProPhoto RGB for the display:

Quote

 

How Lightroom Classic manages color

Lightroom Classic primarily uses the Adobe RGB color space to display colors. The Adobe RGB gamut includes most of the colors that digital cameras can capture as well as some printable colors (cyans and blues, in particular) that can’t be defined using the smaller, web-friendly sRGB color space.

Lightroom Classic uses Adobe RGB:

-for previews in the Library, Map, Book, Slideshow, Print, and Web modules
-when printing in Draft mode
-in exported PDF slideshows and uploaded web galleries
-when you send a book to Blurb.com (If you export books as PDF or JPEG from the Book module, however, you can choose sRGB or a different color profile.)
-for photos uploaded to Facebook and other photo-sharing sites using the Publish Services panel

In the Develop module, by default Lightroom Classic CC displays previews using the ProPhoto RGB color space. ProPhoto RGB contains all of the colors that digital cameras can capture, making it an excellent choice for editing images. In the Develop module, you can also use the Soft Proofing panel to preview how color looks under various color-managed printing conditions.

 

If I understand it correctly, I only specify default profiles for images with the settings in Affinity Photo?: 

image.png.680a09d09203f2024feacc1df88a8096.png

 

The image has an embedded sRGB profile, so in theory it should be displayed the same way? And also the imported TIFFs with the very strange colors have embedded profiles (ProPhoto RGB in that case).

 

testbild_01.jpg

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7 hours ago, DWright said:

Is it possible for you to post the original colour reference image as I have only been able to get a sRGB jpg version from the Internet and I am not seeing any difference between the apps using this file.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no public version of the file in a format other than sRGB jpg. Here is the source page:

https://www.piv-imaging.com/photoindustrie-verband/digital-quality-tool-10010954

It is the second to last link on the page, the last link is for printing calibration.

 

It is quite possible that I have made the wrong settings somewhere, but unfortunately I am not aware of where this could be.
The differences are visible with almost all my pictures (and measurable in screenshots via dropper). Both with files with sRGB profile and with e.g. Adobe ProPhoto profile.

image.png.be293258b10681e70eb1a4ec79658151.png

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You can apply the AdobeRGB Profile and watch how the colour changes by doing these steps:

1. Open the image and select the menu "Document" > "Apply ICC Profile"     (DE: ICC-Profil Zuweisen)

2. Select the profile you need – in this case AdobeRGB and click "Apply"  (Zuweisen)

The moment you click, you will see how the colour changes. It should get more saturated.

However, this will not show the correct colours how they are intended because Photo will now read an sRGB Image with the AdobeRGB profile. 

The correct way would be to "convert" (umwandeln) the profile from sRGB to AdobeRGB. This option is also in the "Document" menu. But you will not notice any colour change because Photo will try to keep the look as close to the original as possible. It will read the sRGB image and convert it (in the sense of translating it) to AdobeRGB. Since AdobeRGB is larger than sRGB it is to be expected so see no relevant changes in the colours here. (Which means that the sRGB colours are all present in AdobeRGB.)

Bildschirmfoto 2021-11-18 um 22.04.21.jpg

Bildschirmfoto 2021-11-18 um 22.04.39.jpg

RGB.jpg

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19 minutes ago, user_0815 said:

You can apply the AdobeRGB Profile and watch how the colour changes by doing these steps:

1. Open the image and select the menu "Document" > "Apply ICC Profile"     (DE: ICC-Profil Zuweisen)

2. Select the profile you need – in this case AdobeRGB and click "Apply"  (Zuweisen)

The moment you click, you will see how the colour changes. It should get more saturated.

Thank you for trying to help me solve the problem.

Yes, I can reproduce that on my end as well. It's also what you would expect if you use the wrong or inappropriate profile, isn't it?

Perhaps I have expressed my problem with Affinity Photo incorrectly.

My print service specifies that you should do the soft proofing with Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop under certain conditions (D50 etc.) with the profile provided and send a file with an sRGB profile. The final result matches the display on the calibrated monitor very well.

Now Affinity Photo (at least for me) displays the colours noticeably differently than Adobe Lightroom. I can't tell if the fault lies with Adobe, Serif or my settings, but as it is at the moment, I'm afraid I can't really use Affinity Photo for tasks where good colour reproduction is needed.

Maybe this is actually a bug in the Adobe products? But if so, this bug seems to have become an industry standard. And if Serif wants to play along, maybe it needs an "Emulate Adobe colour rendering bug" switch?

I still don't have any idea how to make the colour rendering of Affinity Photo match that of Adobe Lightroom for the same file...

 

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1 hour ago, Rincewind said:

Now Affinity Photo (at least for me) displays the colours noticeably differently than Adobe Lightroom. I can't tell if the fault lies with Adobe, Serif or my settings, but as it is at the moment, I'm afraid I can't really use Affinity Photo for tasks where good colour reproduction is needed.

Maybe this is actually a bug in the Adobe products? But if so, this bug seems to have become an industry standard. And if Serif wants to play along, maybe it needs an "Emulate Adobe colour rendering bug" switch?

I pretty much doubt that the LR color management engine has bugs here, instead I think you have to (re)check your initial Affinity Photo settings!

If I open that display test image (on an pretty old and outdated iMac with aged display) it looks like this on screen ...

photo-test.jpg.ca4001e95b024fdfe80700db2ea22947.jpg

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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8 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

I pretty much doubt that the LR color management engine has bugs here, instead I think you have to (re)check your initial Affinity Photo settings!

If I open that display test image (on an pretty old and outdated iMac with aged display) it looks like this on screen ...

I would say it's not easy to capture the influence of aging of a display in a screenshot at all 

But I agree, honestly I don't think Adobe will have such a fundamental flaw in color management either.

Do you maybe have a hint for me where I can find relevant settings in Affinity Photo? I haven't found anything yet, but I wouldn't know what to look for exactly.

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1 hour ago, Rincewind said:

My print service specifies that you should do the soft proofing with Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop under certain conditions (D50 etc.) with the profile provided and send a file with an sRGB profile. The final result matches the display on the calibrated monitor very well.

So if I interpret the above correctly, you use your/an own calibrated display profile for your Win system, so for LR etc.?

If yes, I somehow doubt then that your custom calibrated display profile is also named exactly "sRGB IEC61966-2.1", which is the default used screen profile assigned in the Affinity Preferences setup (I don't mean document profiles here, I mean the on your system used display/screen profile you created via calibration)!

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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47 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

So if I interpret the above correctly, you use your/an own calibrated display profile for your Win system, so for LR etc.?

Yes, correct.

47 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

If yes, I somehow doubt then that your custom calibrated display profile is also named exactly "sRGB IEC61966-2.1", which is the default used screen profile assigned in the Affinity Preferences setup (I don't mean document profiles here, I mean the on your system used display/screen profile you created via calibration)!

No, the profile is not selected there, because according to the documentation this is the selection for the default colour profile of new documents. Or am I misinterpreting this? Also the display profile should probably not be assigned to documents anyway.

In the Affinity Photo manual it says (first bulletpoint):image.png.810f0d465de9849c965af495309a321c.png

 

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26 minutes ago, Rincewind said:

Also the display profile should probably not be assigned to documents anyway.

Yes usually the operating system maps this automatically together with the screen display profile. - Though you can try out if it makes a better or worser visual color difference for a AP document here then and afterwards switch back to the sRGB defaults.

Does LR has some additional applied settings, in contrast to Affinity and in terms of color management settings? - Or did you applied the calibration profile there somewhere explicitely for it's settings?

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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7 hours ago, v_kyr said:

Yes usually the operating system maps this automatically together with the screen display profile. - Though you can try out if it makes a better or worser visual color difference for a AP document here then and afterwards switch back to the sRGB defaults.

Well, assigning the display profile to the file changes the colours (as user_0815 has already shown). Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to fit the colours any better, besides the fact that it should remain an sRGB file.

 

7 hours ago, v_kyr said:

Does LR has some additional applied settings, in contrast to Affinity and in terms of color management settings? - Or did you applied the calibration profile there somewhere explicitely for it's settings?

No settings that I am aware of. Adobe products use the profiles set in the system, which is also clearly visible when you de-/activate them. Affinity Photo actually the same? Like most graphics tools.

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12 hours ago, Rincewind said:

Do you maybe have a hint for me where I can find relevant settings in Affinity Photo? I haven't found anything yet, but I wouldn't know what to look for exactly.

Hm, colour management is a never ending story. AFAIC there are three places in Photo to alter ICC profile settings:

(1) In the app settings -> Colour. Here you can set the default profile you want to work in. If an image has no profile, Photo will use this one. If an image has a different profile, you have the option that Photo automatically convert it into your chosen profile.

(2) In the document settings. I have described them already

(3) In the Layers panel you can add a soft-proof layer. This will give you a preview how it will look if you apply (not: convert) a different profile.

 

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I'd start by removing your custom monitor profile (I'm assuming it's Windows), set it to the sRGB profile that's in the default list. See if you still have the inconsistency like that.

You shouldn't need to mess around with profiles in the app - as long as the image is loading the correct profile (and not being automatically assigned one) then that's all that is needed.

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1 hour ago, BofG said:

I'd start by removing your custom monitor profile (I'm assuming it's Windows), set it to the sRGB profile that's in the default list. See if you still have the inconsistency like that.

Wohoo, I think you're on to something there! 👍

image.png.bb922d61a25f30fd477353bec0701cd1.png

Now the big question is, why does a Windows system-wide monitor profile change the colour reproduction in Affinity Photo differently than in Adobe Lightroom?
At first I thought that in one of the two programmes the colour had not changed, i.e. that the profile had been ignored. But that is not the case...

1 hour ago, BofG said:

You shouldn't need to mess around with profiles in the app - as long as the image is loading the correct profile (and not being automatically assigned one) then that's all that is needed.

I totally agree with that.

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26 minutes ago, Rincewind said:

why does a Windows system-wide monitor profile change the colour reproduction in Affinity Photo differently than in Adobe Lightroom?

I strongly suspect there is a bug with Affinity when a monitor profile has a certain combination of chromatic adaption table and a defined white point entry.

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47 minutes ago, BofG said:

I strongly suspect there is a bug with Affinity when a monitor profile has a certain combination of chromatic adaption table and a defined white point entry.

I also suspect that there is a bug in Affinity Photo regarding the colour display when the monitor profile is activated.


I did some more tests on this and I think the following shows the problem quite well one more time.

I have now in parallel opened the test file in Adobe Lightroom (top left), Google Chrome (top right, which has also supported colour profiles for some time), Irfanview (bottom left, with colour management activated) and Affinity Photo (bottom right, supposedly also supports colour management;-)). With the monitor profile activated, it looks like this:

image.png.36c4d93ff505e0d81cafb19cf9073d65.png

By the way, FastRawViewer shows the same result as the group of three that agrees on colour reproduction.

Now it would be nice to hear an opinion from Serif on this? I'm still hoping for a hidden setting in Photo that I messed up....

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Might be related to

On my own Windows 10 based PC, i get the (almost) same info panel values of your screenshot in lightroom. Did you measure directly in the file, or in a screenshot of the file displayed by Affinity Photo?

Do the value changes if you paste in a screenshot and measure again at the corresponding pixel?

 

image.png.9cd5fe6084f530e9183f1c58dea36a1c.png

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Did you try to deactivate OpenCL? There are some reports especially affecting the green channel solved by deactivating OpenCL.

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8 minutes ago, NotMyFault said:

Might be related to

Could be, although I first noticed the problem with files with ProPhoto RGB profile. Can be reproduced with any (?) files.

8 minutes ago, NotMyFault said:

On my own Windows 10 based PC, i get the (almost) same info panel values of your screenshot in lightroom. Did you measure directly in the file, or in a screenshot of the file displayed by Affinity Photo?

Have you calibrated the monitor and activated the generated profile in Windows? Without the monitor profile, the colours are also correct for me.

8 minutes ago, NotMyFault said:

Do the value changes if you paste in a screenshot and measure again at the corresponding pixel?

This is the only measurement method I have used. I am explicitly concerned with the representation of the colours on the display (including the device profile).

 

6 minutes ago, NotMyFault said:

Did you try to deactivate OpenCL? There are some reports especially affecting the green channel solved by deactivating OpenCL.

Yes, I have just tested it. Unfortunately, it makes no difference at all.

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2 minutes ago, Rincewind said:

Have you calibrated the monitor and activated the generated profile in Windows? Without the monitor profile, the colours are also correct for me.

of course i have, see my signature:

LG34WK950U-W, calibrated to DCI-P3 with LG Calibration Studio / Spider 5

Besides, i have a 2nd Dell 4k screen with default sRGB profile (and factory calibration, checked with Spyder and ok)

image.png.7ae935c7a1212195887c22ec7268059b.png

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I would inspect your monitor profile with one of the tools listed in the post i linked before. Assuming a V4 profile could cause the issue.

Check if your Calibration SW is capable of using V2 profiles.

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4 minutes ago, NotMyFault said:

I would inspect your monitor profile with one of the tools listed in the post i linked before. Assuming a V4 profile could cause the issue.

Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the tools, but I have attached the file here. It might also be interesting for the developers to debug the issue.

FS2333_19-09-2021.icm

 

4 minutes ago, NotMyFault said:

Check if your Calibration SW is capable of using V2 profiles.

I think the X-Rite software should also be able to create v2 profiles. Unfortunately, I won't be able to test it for a few days.

But it would still make sense to solve the problem on the Serif side in order to draw level with all other tools (or at least many, from browsers to freeware)...

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