Washed out color in ML - MBA 13 mid-2011

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by vom, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. vom macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #1
    As the title states...

    I have an LG screen. I ran through many posts here on the forum. I see others having this issue. I have tried multiple color profiles. I understand this is a matter of perception and personal preference.

    What's killing me is that something changed in ML to affect this. I pulled my default color profile out of time machine, added -orig to it and tried it. It looks the same. So I don't think the color profile itself changed, something lower level (color management itself ? drivers ?). I did this in the hope of 'getting it back to how it looked 24 hours ago' :(

    My dock icons are all a bit on the bright side and washed out. The most 'popular' MacRumors.icc file floating around definitely makes the colors deeper and richer (closer to original) - but at the cost of being darker. I spend half of my time in Terminal - and the MacRumors.icc gave me a headache (brightness decreased).

    Anyone else seeing this ? Again - since I used my default .icc from time machine backup with no change - something is different in ML.

    Thanks for any input or advice.
     
  2. Puonti macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    #2
    This shouldn't happen by default, but Mountain Lion has an Accessibility setting called Enhance Contrast. What you're describing might happen if that for whatever reason has been turned up from the Normal setting. I just don't see how that might've happened without you knowing it.

    System Preferences -> Accessibility -> Display -> Enhance Contrast
     
  3. vom thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 20, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for the tip, unfortunately that wasn't it though (it's set all the way down to Normal).

    I've never played with Display -> Color before today. This would be a bit more understandable if I had mucked around with custom profiles etc and ML borked that. But no - never touched these settings since I bought this machine.
     
  4. Seamaster macrumors 65816

    Seamaster

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    #4
    I noticed straight away that installing ML on my 2012 reset my (LG) panel calibration back to default.

    I just re-downloaded the Macrumors profile I prefer, moved it into the usual folder and it was there to reselect in display prefs.
     
  5. iccir macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    Cupertino, CA
    #5
    What applications are you seeing this in? (your screenshot on the Apple forums didn't come through)

    ML assumes that images and contexts without an embedded color profile are in the sRGB color space, whereas 10.7 used the profile of the main display. This causes a color conversion to be applied.

    I wrote a small app to restore the previous behavior: https://github.com/iccir/ColorFaker

    (Note: since it replaces the default sRGB and Generic RGB profiles, there will be side effects in applications that do automatic conversion to the sRGB space (for example, when you sync photos from iTunes to your iPhone, it converts the photo to sRGB))
     
  6. vom thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 20, 2011
    #6
    Can you attach your profile or reply with a link to the thread ? The big thread on this issue has about 5 or different profiles in it. Thanks.

    ----------

    The first place I noticed it was the dock. The first boot into ML and I knew something was off. The Google Chrome icon is a great test because of the colors used. I never use Launchpad - but pulling it up and the icons look a bit richer and deeper than the Dock icons.

    You obviously know a lot about color calibration and what's happening under the hood. I read your article in the readme for ColorFaker, I can't say I full understand all of it. The gist as I take it is that colors are processed and set at different points in the OS (disk/screen/etc). A change in behavior would explain why my never before calibrated or changed display profile from Lion now looks different in ML. Like I said I pulled the original .icc from a Time Machine backup and it still looks the same. So I guess I'll have to keep plugging away to calibrate back to what I remember it looking like in Lion.
     
  7. iccir macrumors newbie

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    Jul 27, 2011
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    Cupertino, CA
    #7
    Color management is tricky, I'm not sure I fully understand all of it either ;)

    I have been scanning other forums and twitter, there are some reports of the wrong color profiles being selected when laptops with multiple graphics cards switch from integrated to discrete. I don't think that this is your situation.

    This sounds more like the main display to sRGB behavior change that I described in my article. Unless the format has been modified, icon files (.icns) do not embed color profile information inside of them: hence, the "Image without profile" examples from my article apply:

    In 10.7, the Google Chrome icon may have been interpreted in your main display's color space, so a color of pure red [1.0, 0, 0] in the icon would send pure red to the display, no color conversion applied. In 10.8, the icon is being interpreted in the sRGB color space. The resulting color conversion ends up desaturating the icon (for other colors, you may see a change in hue or increased saturation). (Note: this behavior is application specific, I'm not sure what exactly the Dock is doing. Most apps in 10.8 now assume sRGB, except for Safari and Chrome, which seem to still use the main profile's display. Quicklook seems to use a different profile entirely, at least on my machine.)

    Did switching ColorFaker to On and then rebooting make it look like it did 24 hours ago? I'm not sure if want to recommend that all end users apply the ColorFaker hack (it's intended more as a developer/designer quick-fix), but if it works for you, awesome ;)

    ----------

    Oops, I forgot to mention: since different apps are interpreting images without profiles differently, calibrating your display "back to what it looked like in Lion" is only going to make the colors look like Lion in some applications (Finder, Preview, Mail, Messages, Cocoa apps). If you up the saturation for the Dock icons, most images in Safari will probably result in being oversaturated.
     
  8. vom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #8
    I tried ColorFaker - as soon as I slide it to ON - it rubber band snaps back to OFF. I rebooted anyway and didn't notice a difference. No files in /Library/ColorSync/Profiles seem to have been updated (timestamps). Nothing in ~/Library/ColorSync/ either.
     
  9. iccir macrumors newbie

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    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    Cupertino, CA
    #9
    I'll look into why ColorFaker isn't working when I get home - it looks like a possible sandbox issue.

    In the meantime, you can try doing this manually:

    (Assuming your old LG display profile is on your Desktop and called MyProfile.icc):

    In Terminal:
    cd /System/Library/ColorSync/Profiles
    sudo cp "sRGB Profile.icc" "sRGB Profile.backup"
    sudo cp ~/Desktop/MyProfile.icc "sRGB Profile.icc"

    To undo this:
    cd /System/Library/ColorSync/Profiles
    sudo cp "sRGB Profile.backup" "sRGB Profile.icc"

    Make sure that the old profile is chosen for the display in System Preferences, then restart.
     
  10. ninja9 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    #10
    I think I might be having the same issue as the OP on my Late 2012 MBA on the native display. After installing 10.8, something just looked "off".

    The chrome icon in my dock, specifically, looks awful compared to Lion. The colours are very dull.

    I've never calibrated my monitor before or fiddled with the colour settings... so something has definitely changed beween 10.7 and 10.8.
     
  11. vom thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #11
    I *think* this worked :)

    I basically did the above, backed up the sRGB and copied my default profile to the sRGB.

    So, is this at least in part what ColorFaker would have done ? Does this behavior jive with your explanation of the RGB changes from 10.7->10.8 ?

    I would also assume that unless Apple does something to fix this - the sRGB file could get overwritten with an update and I may have to redo this.

    Thanks so much for the info. Shame I have to do this but having my dock icons back to the normal color intensity has calmed down my OCD a bit :)
     
  12. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

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    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #12
    Definitely noticed this as well. It's incredibly irritating when they make small and difficult to reverse changes like this. Could someone upload the old default 10.7 color profile?
     
  13. Seamaster macrumors 65816

    Seamaster

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    Feb 24, 2003
  14. iccir macrumors newbie

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    Jul 27, 2011
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    Cupertino, CA
    #14
    This is exactly what ColorFaker does (although I also overwrite the Generic RGB profile as well due to an issue in Adobe Fireworks). Thanks for the heads-up about ColorFaker not working on your machine. I fixed the issue and uploaded a new version (1.0.1). Note: If you ever decide to use ColorFaker in the future (in the event you want to switch between the two modes), make sure you undo the sRGB hack I gave you first. ColorFaker stores it's backup copies elsewhere.

    This change is on purpose, as covered in the WWDC 2012 session 523 (which you can watch for free if you sign up for a dev. account). In the grand scheme of things, it actually makes more sense to default to a standard profile rather than use the monitor's for untagged images. However, the road to get there is a bit tricky ;) I wouldn't have made my hack except that Adobe Fireworks (which I use for all my app and web graphics) has no color management, resulting in weird issues in Mountain Lion when importing untagged images.

    It's unlikely that a software update would include a new sRGB profile; but in the event the system decides to restore the file during the update process, you would need to redo it.
     
  15. steve-p macrumors 68000

    steve-p

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    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Newbury, UK
    #15
    I may not be understanding this fully but are you saying that even if you have calibrated your display with a colorimeter, there are occasions when that profile is ignored?
     
  16. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #16
  17. vom thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 20, 2011
    #17
    Just undid the manual hack, got your new ColorFaker 1.0.1 and it works :)

    Thanks so much for responding so quickly to this and for making this tool.
     
  18. Sowelu macrumors regular

    Sowelu

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    Aug 15, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    #18
    The download link on your site seems to be pointing to the previous version and is returning a 'page not found' error. Can you revise the link? I am eager to try this tool as Apple's muted washed out motif is driving me up a wall! Thank you!
     
  19. vom thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 20, 2011
    #19
    Hmm, dunno if you are talking about the github link - but it's working fine:

    https://github.com/downloads/iccir/ColorFaker/ColorFaker_1.0.1.zip
     
  20. Sowelu macrumors regular

    Sowelu

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    Aug 15, 2008
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    New York City
    #20
  21. iccir macrumors newbie

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    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    Cupertino, CA
    #21
    Not exactly - proper color management requires that both the source (in this thread, the icons in the Dock) and the destination (the MBA's screen) have calibrated color profiles attached to them. It looks like the icons have no color profile at all.

    Imagine that I show you a picture of a red box, and say that it's 100% red. This could mean many things:
    1) It's the reddist red that my eye can see
    2) It's the reddist red that your eye can see
    3) It's the reddist red that the camera I took the picture with can see
    4) It's the reddist red that the printer could produce
    5) It's the reddist red that appears in some famous photograph, preserved in glass in a museum

    An embedded color profile attached to the image specifies one of these options. Without that profile, the computer has to guess.

    In 10.7 and earlier, OS X used #4 (make that 100% red the reddist red that the display could produce). This means that images lacking embedded color profiles would display differently on different displays.

    In 10.8, it uses #5, where "famous photograph" is "the sRGB color space". This has the disadvantage of causing more color conversions, but means that the un-profiled images should display the same on all displays.

    Images *with* color profiles shouldn't be affected by this change.

    I wrote an article on this and how it affects OS X color meters / the color picker: http://iccir.com/articles/osx-color-conversions/

    You can grab the test image from that and play around with it in various programs if you are interested :)
     
  22. steve-p macrumors 68000

    steve-p

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    Newbury, UK
    #22
    Thanks very much for taking the time to explain it. I hadn't considered that there were two profiles involved in accurate colour matching. My main reason for calibrating screens was for accuracy with years of RAW Canon and Nikon pictures in Aperture, and export of some to JPEG. So far, I have not noticed any differences with those. I will read your articles later though.
     
  23. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

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    California
    #23

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