Chrome and muted colors, profile problems

Started Apr 20, 2013 | Discussions
Arn
Arn
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Chrome and muted colors, profile problems
Apr 20, 2013

Google chrome seems to have serious trouble showing colors the right way (Win 7), even though I convert the profile properly to sRGB. The colors (reds) will appear less saturated in Chrome, muted. The colors are shown correctly in every other program and Internet explorer. I can find no setting or fix to correct this Chrome problem. What's up with this? Frustrating...

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Jim Cockfield
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Or, maybe it's the only one displaying correctly. ;-)
In reply to Arn, Apr 20, 2013

Arn wrote:

Google chrome seems to have serious trouble showing colors the right way (Win 7), even though I convert the profile properly to sRGB. The colors (reds) will appear less saturated in Chrome, muted. The colors are shown correctly in every other program and Internet explorer. I can find no setting or fix to correct this Chrome problem. What's up with this? Frustrating...

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What display (brand/model) are you using now?

What version of Chrome are you using (look at help>about chrome), and what other apps have you used to display the same image (internet explorer version, image editing apps you've tried, etc.)?

Chrome 22 and later should support color management OK.

Internet Explorer is a bit different.  IE 9 "sort of" supports color management, as it tries to use the embedded profiles and convert the images to work properly with an standard gamut display.

The latest versions of Firefox also support color management to some extent (with version 2 ICC profiles being desired for best results with your display).

Safari is also pretty good with color management (but, that's not the case with most browsers).

If you've got a Wide Gamut display, the colors are probably going to be over saturated with newer versions of IE, as it only supports "half" of the color management equation, and doesn't "play well" with wide gamut displays from reports I've seen.  So, I wouldn't just how an image looks to others via how it appears in IE, especially if you have a wide gamut display.

Many other image viewers used in Windows don't support color management at all.  Heck, even the Windows desktop will ignore embedded profiles,etc.   So, you may see horrible color using many apps.

Windows is not exactly the "poster child" for color management, as many Windows apps are not color managed, and that even includes the Windows desktop itself.

I'd give more information on your setup, including the exact brand/model of display you're using; along with the exact browsers and image viewers you've tried (with specific version numbers) for better informed responses.

I'd also include a link to a sample image you're seeing a problem with.  That way, we can see the type of profile you embedded, etc.

IOW, it wouldn't surprise me that Chrome is the only app you're using that's displaying the image properly, depending on your setup (display type, browser versions, etc.) and if you adjust the image so that you see it correctly in a non-color managed app; it may look dull and muted for everyone else viewing it; especially if you have a wide gamut display and are trying to view the image in viewers that are not fully color managed.

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Arn
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Re: Or, maybe it's the only one displaying correctly. ;-)
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Apr 20, 2013

Jim Cockfield wrote:

Arn wrote:

Google chrome seems to have serious trouble showing colors the right way (Win 7), even though I convert the profile properly to sRGB. The colors (reds) will appear less saturated in Chrome, muted. The colors are shown correctly in every other program and Internet explorer. I can find no setting or fix to correct this Chrome problem. What's up with this? Frustrating...

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What display (brand/model) are you using now?

HP ZR30w

What version of Chrome are you using (look at help>about chrome), and what other apps have you used to display the same image (internet explorer version, image editing apps you've tried, etc.)?

Chrome 22 and later should support color management OK.

I use the latest version, even updated to the beta version to see if it makes a difference.

Internet Explorer is a bit different.  IE 9 "sort of" supports color management, as it tries to use the embedded profiles and convert the images to work properly with an standard gamut display.

The latest versions of Firefox also support color management to some extent (with version 2 ICC profiles being desired for best results with your display).

Safari is also pretty good with color management (but, that's not the case with most browsers).

I'm not interested in other browsers, Chrome's syncing features are too handy.

If you've got a Wide Gamut display, the colors are probably going to be over saturated with newer versions of IE, as it only supports "half" of the color management equation, and doesn't "play well" with wide gamut displays from reports I've seen.  So, I wouldn't just how an image looks to others via how it appears in IE, especially if you have a wide gamut display.

Many other image viewers used in Windows don't support color management at all.  Heck, even the Windows desktop will ignore embedded profiles,etc.   So, you may see horrible color using many apps.

Windows is not exactly the "poster child" for color management, as many Windows apps are not color managed, and that even includes the Windows desktop itself.

I'd give more information on your setup, including the exact brand/model of display you're using; along with the exact browsers and image viewers you've tried (with specific version numbers) for better informed responses.

I'd also include a link to a sample image you're seeing a problem with.  That way, we can see the type of profile you embedded, etc.

IOW, it wouldn't surprise me that Chrome is the only app you're using that's displaying the image properly, depending on your setup (display type, browser versions, etc.) and if you adjust the image so that you see it correctly in a non-color managed app; it may look dull and muted for everyone else viewing it; especially if you have a wide gamut display and are trying to view the image in viewers that are not fully color managed.

Well, the images in IE look just like they do in Lightroom and Photoshop with the photos converted to sRGB profile. ACDsee also shows the colors correctly.

This is one of the pics that looks totally different in Chrome:

http://500px.com/photo/31569747

I can give more links later.

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Jim Cockfield
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identical on my PC with multiple browsers including Chrome
In reply to Arn, Apr 20, 2013

Arn wrote:

Well, the images in IE look just like they do in Lightroom and Photoshop with the photos converted to sRGB profile. ACDsee also shows the colors correctly.

This is one of the pics that looks totally different in Chrome:

http://500px.com/photo/31569747

I can give more links later.

I just checked that image in Firefox and Chrome under Linux (set to use a calibrated monitor profile), and they looked identical.

I then booted into Windows 7, and loaded the same image in IE, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, and the color looked identical with all of them.

So, I suspect that something to do with your Wide Gamut monitor is causing an issue; or you may have a settings problem somewhere with Chrome that is unique to your install.

With my PC, I see no difference between the colors viewing that image under two different Operating Systems, using multiple browsers (including Chrome in both Windows and Linux).

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Arn
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Re: identical on my PC with multiple browsers including Chrome
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Apr 20, 2013

Jim Cockfield wrote:

Arn wrote:

Well, the images in IE look just like they do in Lightroom and Photoshop with the photos converted to sRGB profile. ACDsee also shows the colors correctly.

This is one of the pics that looks totally different in Chrome:

http://500px.com/photo/31569747

I can give more links later.

I just checked that image in Firefox and Chrome under Linux (set to use a calibrated monitor profile), and they looked identical.

I then booted into Windows 7, and loaded the same image in IE, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, and the color looked identical with all of them.

So, I suspect that something to do with your Wide Gamut monitor is causing an issue; or you may have a settings problem somewhere with Chrome that is unique to your install.

With my PC, I see no difference between the colors viewing that image under two different Operating Systems, using multiple browsers (including Chrome in both Windows and Linux).

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Thanks,  I'll have to look into it. Going to take some deep digging, I suspect...

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Jim Cockfield
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Purple or Yellow? v2 or v4 .icc profile?
In reply to Arn, Apr 21, 2013

Is the color of the car in the first image on this page purple?

http://petapixel.com/2012/06/25/is-your-browser-color-managed/

If so (it's purple), color management is not working in your browser.

It should be "school bus yellow" if Chrome is working properly.

With my install of Chrome (version 26.x) in 64 Bit Win 7, it's yellow, with no special switches needed.

Ditto for other browsers like Firefox (shows up yellow, unless I specifically disable color management, which causes it to display in purple instead).

Now... some of the older versions of Chrome did require some special command line options (or switches if you prefer).     But, the newer Chrome versions no longer require anything special for color management to work (at least not on my machine).

However, I think it may be limited to ICC version 2 profiles.   Some Firefox versions also have that issue (V4 profiles are not supported, although they may have fixed that by now).

So, if your calibration software has the ability to create v2 profiles, try that if you are using a v4 profile.

Now... there is a "trick" that I've used before to convert a profile so that it works OK with more apps.

Basically,  go into Windows 7 Color Management (press the Start button and type Color Management into the search box and you'll see a link to it), make sure the profile you want to use is set as the Default (your existing calibrated profile)

Then use the "Calibrate Display Profile" utility, stepping through the screens without making any changes (so the new profile it generates should work approximately the same as the default calibrated profile it used as a starting point)

Then, tell it to use the new Profile.  It should save it to C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\color\ using a profile name of CalibratedDisplayProfile-0.icc by default.

But, apparently, that process removes a lot of the original data.  So, I wouldn't discard your known good profile without testing that approach.  In my experience, the new profile is *very* close to the original you started out with using that "trick" (my eyes can't tell the difference).  But, YMMV.

That's just something to consider as a possible issue in your case (that the monitor profile version you're using doesn't work correctly with Chrome).

So, if your calibration software has a way to generate a version 2 .icc profile (versus a newer version 4 .icc profile), try that first and see if Chrome works properly with it.  If not, you may want to experiment with the approach I've used before to generate a new profile with the Windows Calibrate Utility using the your calibrated profile as a starting point.

In any event, in my case, I'm seeing correct colors with Chrome (the colors in your your image look the same way in Chrome, IE, Firefox and Safari in 64 Bit Win 7).  But, I'm using a Version 2 .icc profile, and my display is *not* wide gamut.

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Clueless Wanderer
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Re: Purple or Yellow? v2 or v4 .icc profile?
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Apr 21, 2013

To my knowledge, Firefox is the only one that reads the embedded profile of an image.

I lurve Chrome for everything, but if I need colour accuracy, I switch to firefox..

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Jim Cockfield
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Better Tests
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Apr 21, 2013

Here's a good test to see if your browsers support v2 and/or v4 profiles:

http://cameratico.com/tools/web-browser-color-management-test/

As mentioned in my last post, that's one thing you may want to check on (make sure you're using a v2 profile for better compatibility with more browsers, if your calibration software can be set to generate a v2 versus v4 profile).  If not, then you may want to try the "trick" I mentioned and see how a new profile based on the original one behaves using the Windows Utility I mentioned.

It looks like the latest 26.x releases of Chrome are only working with v2 profiles (no v4 profile support yet).    With my Firefox installs, both v2 and v4 are currently working (but, that was not the case with some of the earlier Firefox releases, as some of them only worked with v2 profiles).

BTW, a lot of the info on the web is a bit dated now as far as how one browser compares to another in the color management area.

For example, you used to need to add a switch/command line option to the end of the target program path with Chrome, as shown on this page to get color management working:

http://klyment.com/serendipity/archives/386-2010.05.17-Activating-Colour-Management-in-Google-Chrome.html

But, with the latest Chrome 26.x versions, that's no longer needed in my installs on both Linux and Windows (works without that command line option in both Operating Systems now).

For example,  when I view the test page (first link above), I can tell that my install of Chrome is supporting v2 profiles, but does not support v4 profiles.  This page:

http://cameratico.com/tools/web-browser-color-management-test/

Note that the first bar is half blue and half gray.  So, when I click on the box under it, it shows me that v2 profiles are supported.   If I would have seen a solid gray bar instead, I would have checked the right hand box under it (which would have told me that my browser does not support v2 profiles).

In the next section, I see a solid gray bar.   So, when I click the right hand box under it, it tells me that v4 profiles are *not* supported.   Note that with newer versions of Firefox, v4 profiles *are* supported (but, with Chrome in Windows, only v2 profiles are supported at this point).    Here's that section (with the boxes I've checked under what I see outlined in red).

Then, when I scroll down further and look at the next section, I see seamless bars for red, green and blue in all sections with Chrome now.   I see the same thing with Firefox.  Here's that section.

But, I use a standard gamut display that's very close to sRGB (even without any calibration or use of a profile).   I haven't seen anyone comment on the latest Chrome 26.x yet about how it handles untagged images and elements.  But, I have seen comments about previous versions that they were not doing anything with them (resulting in oversaturated colors on wide gamut displays).     With a tagged image (as in your problem image example), that shouldn't be a problem though if I understand the way it's working.   But, I don't have a wide gamut display to test with to see if Chrome is doing anything with untagged images and elements.

BTW, here's another very good test page:

http://www.gballard.net/psd/go_live_page_profile/embeddedJPEGprofiles.html

If you roll your mouse over the top left image on that page and it looks identical the way it looks without a mouse over, then your browser is color managed.

Without a mouse over the image is tagged as Adobe RGB, and with a mouse over you're seeing an image tagged as sRGB.   With my Firefox and Chrome installs, the images are identical, with or without a mouse over.   But, if I use a non color managed browser (for example, Aurora), the Adobe RGB tagged image looks very dull and flat in comparison. So, seeing how your different browsers react to a mouse over should give you an idea of how they work:

http://www.gballard.net/psd/go_live_page_profile/embeddedJPEGprofiles.html

BTW, here's a good add-on for Firefox for setting your basic color management preferences:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/color-management/

I keep mine set as follows (and I point my install to a specific profile, versus using the System defaults).  You can go to Tools>Add-ons and you'll see a Preferences button after that add-on is installed (and a restart of Firefox is required after any changes).

Basic Section:

Advanced Section:

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Arn
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Re: Purple or Yellow? v2 or v4 .icc profile?
In reply to Jim Cockfield, Apr 21, 2013

Jim Cockfield wrote:

Is the color of the car in the first image on this page purple?

http://petapixel.com/2012/06/25/is-your-browser-color-managed/

If so (it's purple), color management is not working in your browser.

It should be "school bus yellow" if Chrome is working properly.

It shows yellow in Chrome and IE.

With my install of Chrome (version 26.x) in 64 Bit Win 7, it's yellow, with no special switches needed.

Ditto for other browsers like Firefox (shows up yellow, unless I specifically disable color management, which causes it to display in purple instead).

Now... some of the older versions of Chrome did require some special command line options (or switches if you prefer).     But, the newer Chrome versions no longer require anything special for color management to work (at least not on my machine).

However, I think it may be limited to ICC version 2 profiles.   Some Firefox versions also have that issue (V4 profiles are not supported, although they may have fixed that by now).

So, if your calibration software has the ability to create v2 profiles, try that if you are using a v4 profile.

Now... there is a "trick" that I've used before to convert a profile so that it works OK with more apps.

Basically,  go into Windows 7 Color Management (press the Start button and type Color Management into the search box and you'll see a link to it), make sure the profile you want to use is set as the Default (your existing calibrated profile)

Then use the "Calibrate Display Profile" utility, stepping through the screens without making any changes (so the new profile it generates should work approximately the same as the default calibrated profile it used as a starting point)

Then, tell it to use the new Profile.  It should save it to C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\color\ using a profile name of CalibratedDisplayProfile-0.icc by default.

But, apparently, that process removes a lot of the original data.  So, I wouldn't discard your known good profile without testing that approach.  In my experience, the new profile is *very* close to the original you started out with using that "trick" (my eyes can't tell the difference).  But, YMMV.

That's just something to consider as a possible issue in your case (that the monitor profile version you're using doesn't work correctly with Chrome).

So, if your calibration software has a way to generate a version 2 .icc profile (versus a newer version 4 .icc profile), try that first and see if Chrome works properly with it.  If not, you may want to experiment with the approach I've used before to generate a new profile with the Windows Calibrate Utility using the your calibrated profile as a starting point.

In any event, in my case, I'm seeing correct colors with Chrome (the colors in your your image look the same way in Chrome, IE, Firefox and Safari in 64 Bit Win 7).  But, I'm using a Version 2 .icc profile, and my display is *not* wide gamut.

Well, if I change Windows color management to sRGB, the colors of photos will show unmuted in Chrome and exactly the same as in Internet explorer. If I leave the profile to Monitor profile, the colors will appear muted in Chrome. Also, the gamut will be naturally wider. This makes me wonder if Chrome interprets the images as untagged sRGB files or even though I select "convert to sRGB" in Photoshop, for some reason the images are not properly converted or tagged sRGB.

When I run the http://cameratico.com/tools/web-browser-color-management-test/ in Chrome, regardless of selected color profile, the ICC v4 test shows that  "ICC v4 profiles are not supported"

But when I run it in Internet Explorer the test reports, that  "ICC v4 profiles are supported"

In "additional tests" ("Untagged image vs. sRGB tagged image") Chrome does not show the untagged image as sRGB, when I use Monitor color profile.

Ps. Thank you very much for the torrent of information that you provide in all of your messages. I read all of them thoroughly (and try to implement the information to my benefit), even though I may not have time to reply to everything right now.

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Jim Cockfield
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The image is fine
In reply to Arn, Apr 22, 2013

Arn wrote:

Well, if I change Windows color management to sRGB, the colors of photos will show unmuted in Chrome and exactly the same as in Internet explorer. If I leave the profile to Monitor profile, the colors will appear muted in Chrome. Also, the gamut will be naturally wider. This makes me wonder if Chrome interprets the images as untagged sRGB files or even though I select "convert to sRGB" in Photoshop, for some reason the images are not properly converted or tagged sRGB.

Your image is fine when I look at the sample you posted earlier in this thread.  This image:

http://500px.com/photo/31569747

The photo is tagged correctly as sRGB with a correct sRGB profile embedded.   Your image is exactly what I'd expect to see from someone that's correctly exporting images setup as sRGB with an embedded profile.  Here's the EXIF info for it (and you'll see a profile link at the bottom of the page that you can expand for more info that's specific to the embedded profile):

http://regex.info/exif.cgi?b=3&referer=http%3A%2F%2F500px.com%2Fphoto%2F31569747&imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fpcdn.500px.net%2F31569747%2F8af803a90ea48c7225abf041494d8bd67dfe8123%2F4.jpg

The embedded profile is exactly the same as other users would have embedded (same type, revision level, etc.).  So, there's nothing wrong in that area.

Are you sure you've got a calibrated monitor profile set as your default in Windows?

Is it a profile provided the the display manufacturer, or did you use a hardware device and calibration software to generate a new profile?

There are multiple ways to get to the profile being used.  But, one way is to go into Control Panel> Appearance and Personalization> Display> Screen Resolution

Then, click on Advanced settings, then select Color Management.

On the main devices page, look under your display, and make sure the box is checked for "Use My Settings".   To use a given calibrated profile, make sure it's set as the default.  Basically, you click on the .icc profile (use the Add button if it isn't already there) and use the "Set as Default" button on that page

Under the Advanced Tab, I'd leave all of the choices at System Defaults.

As mentioned in previous posts, I'd also make sure you're using a v2 profile (as some browsers like Chrome will not work properly with a v4 profile).  So, if you're using calibration software of some type to generate your monitor profile, make sure to set it so that it's generating a v2 versus v4 profile for better compatibility with more applications that are color managed.

On my system, the colors in your sample image look identical with color managed browsers like Firefox, Chrome, IE and Safari.  But, I'm using a v2 (not version 4) .icc monitor profile with a standard gamut display.

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