Saturday, July 28, 2007

Monitor calibration

As I mentioned last post, I decided to bite the bullet and dive head first into the whole "monitor calibration/custom profile" deal in an effort to save time (and, I guess, money - in terms of paper and ink - eventually) and get on with my masters work.

I thought I'd share a little of what this has involved - minus the usual swearing that always accompanies installing any new device on a computer... The picture above shows the "Spyder" (only 3 legs tho') actually in the middle of the process. Before we got to this stage I had to turn off a lot of things - e.g. my firewall, Adobe gamma, my screensaver and some other things I couldn't find and had to ask my husband to locate for me.

Next, I followed the "wizard" to install the Spyder2Express software. That was reasonably simple, except there are a lot of very strict instructions about ambient light. This has to be constant for the duration of the test, not directly shining on your screen (i.e. no over lighting in the room, no desk lamp) and the usual lighting conditions you work under! The room I work in is on the western side of the building, but the house next door is reasonably close. This means that in the afternoons (when I do most of my work) the light changes quite radically over about and hour and a half until the sun is completely blocked by the neighbours house! Oh well! I pulled the blind (not my usual lighting conditions) and did the best I could. Finally, I could put the spyder in position on the screen, adjusted the counterweight (the round thing at the top) so it wouldn't fall off half way through and with one (or two) more clicks, it did its stuff!

In the picture above the spyder is "reading green samples". It worked its way through red and blue ones too (RGB) and then to my surprise also did grey and black. (see below) I guess my surprise shows how little I understand the process!

At the end, I could see a difference in the test image, but it didn't seem huge, which surprised me a bit considering the trouble I was having with printing my images. That meant that I was going to have to depend on the custom profile to make a big difference. Tune in for the next post to see whether I am to be disappointed or thrilled with the results....

Update 3rd AUG
After some discussion with Jeremy at Image Science, who sold me my Spyder, I realised I did not actually have the new monitor profile as created by the Spyder wonder I couldn't see much difference (is there any hope for me???) I am 'fessing up to this because I suspect I really am not the only one who has trouble with these things. After I went to Start>control panel>colour>profiles and installed the Spyder2Express, I actually did see more of a difference on the monitor...


  1. Blimey this looks complicated: not as complicated as calibrating it yourself but even so.......

    Hope it all works OK. If not, thump it ! That's what we used to do with our old TV when I was little. A good thump with the falt of the hand always seemed to do the trick ;-)

  2. Oh yes! Wouldn't those the good ol' days, when a hefty thump was all the technology required to get it back on track!

  3. OMG Amanda what on earth are you up to now you poor dear !!!

    ..........seriously though I know exactly the sort of thing you are on about as it's also something I ought to get to grips with so ....I sincerley hope it brings about changes in terms of results for the better and also that it has not cost you too much dosh never mind all the effort.

    As regard being 'tagged' I hope there's not a time limit on it because I fully intend to act on
    Got to go to bed now so hopefully tomorrow along with some of the other things I am supposed to be doing such as making a small Quicktime movie showing my installation in 3d as it were. It's always a bit nerve wracking when you don't quite know exactly what on earth your doing. We end as we begun endeth the lesson !!

  4. Hi Aine,
    Of course there is no time limit on being tagged! Take your time - I look forward to seeing what you "reveal".
    Good luck with your movie. Hope you post it on U-tube or somewhere online so I can have a look.