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Colour Management for Photoshop and the Web

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By thurinus   |   
© 2013 - 2020 thurinus
From observation, the "Save for Web" colour shift problem is a frighteningly ubiquitous one that few understand. What's worse, there are resources out there that profess to "solve" the problem with half-baked workarounds with no logical explanation other than "it doesn't shift anymore, therefore it works".

Colour Management is a very broad subject, but I tried to explain and present practical steps most artists might be interested in when working in Photoshop. It's already long enough without touching the nuances of monitor calibration, print profiles, etc...

Disclaimer: I'm no expert on colour management, but I can confidently say I've done enough research and my own experiments to make the assessments I do on this tutorial. Regardless, I welcome any corrections from those of you who are more knowledgeable in the subject.

Thanks to Gary Ballard for his comprehensive Colour Management encyclopedia: [link]
And to :icontracyjb: for the use of her Lackadaisy comic font
Image size
800x6776px 1.46 MB
anonymous's avatar
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Tenebrian's avatar
TenebrianHobbyist General Artist
This is incredibly well written. The detail is enormous but it's easily absorbed and flows really well. I'm not an avid reader or retain information readily but this I can retain quickly. You use appropriate imagery as well in a way that it easily illustrates your point without me trying to work to figure it out.
Illogical-Lynx's avatar
Illogical-LynxHobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, thanks, I've been looking for an answer to this problem for some time and everyone else has told me to set to monitor colour, which has performed about as miserably as you said that it would.

Awesome tutorial, will certainly set this up! :thanks:
Dystatic-Studio's avatar
Dystatic-StudioHobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the extremely useful reference from a digital artist like you, I am always have my head messed up with several settings based on photographers' color management. Time for correcting colors and scraped the U2410's default profile.
thurinus's avatar
thurinusHobbyist General Artist
I think photographer colour management applies to digital art as well, if done correctly. If possible, I recommend calibrating with a colourimeter before you start correcting colours on your photoshop files :)
Dystatic-Studio's avatar
Dystatic-StudioHobbyist Digital Artist
I will get myself a new monitor before having a calibration device. My current one is less desirable to keep using because of the damaged caps (which will dazzle the screen for a while when switch on), and looking for bigger resolution.
MaryDenton's avatar
MaryDentonProfessional Traditional Artist
Thanks very much for this very useful tutorial! :iconsmile--plz:
valleyviolet's avatar
This is really neat, but in future you might want to do examples with something that's not red-green. That's the most common kind of color blindness and it's going to make it hard for a lot of people to appreciate the differences. ;)
thurinus's avatar
thurinusHobbyist General Artist
That's good to know, thanks! I just took the most recent picture I experienced the most colour shift with to demonstrate the problem.
ohTHATsean's avatar
ohTHATseanHobbyist Digital Artist
I will have to look at this in detail later, as this was a major problem on Same Apartment (it's why Gar practically disappears on this comic [link] ) Thanks for the resource!
RynoZebz's avatar
Thank you!
anonymous's avatar
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