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Contd.
 

Step 3

The next step is to adjust the contrast and brightness levels of your monitor.

 

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My recommendation is that the brightness should be adjusted so that the inner square is only just visible (as an aid I suggest that you squint when you make this adjustment). If the on screen image looks a shade dark after this stage donít be too concerned, it will be corrected during the gamma adjustment stage. In fact, I have found that unless the screen is dim (at this stage), then the likelihood of over dark prints is increased significantly, so be warned!

Step 4

Once the brightness and contrast have been adjusted we move on to the monitor phosphor selection.

 

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We can either accept whatever is offered up in the window, not a good idea, you should select  Trinitron or P22-EBU, both of which are based upon standard monitors. Although, it is fairly widely accepted that Trinitron is probably the better starting point. The amount of adjustment required in the steps that follow will vary, depending upon how far your monitors' actual behavior deviates from this initial profile.

You can also choose "Custom" and insert our own values; normally you would need to have obtained the values from the manufacturer, not and easy task, and pointless. Don't forget that using the manufacturers ACTUAL ICM profile in Photoshop 5.5  is fraught with dangers.

 

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Custom Phosphor data (sample only!)

 

Step 5

Next we adjust the gamma slider (I suggest that you stick with the single gamma option initially, just to get the hang of things). When adjusting this slider I recommend that you sit back about 3 feet from the monitor and squint your eyes. When the inner square matches the outer patterned frame, stop. Choose your desired gamma (usually 2.2 for Windows) and then fine tune the gamma slider. If all has gone well your screen should now be reasonably bright, but not to bright.

A common misconception is that the gamma must be set to 2.2. Please note that there is no absolute requirement that the gamma be set to this value. If the user prefers to select a gamma value of 1.8 then that is perfectly reasonable choice, it is also the case that many actually prefer to calibrate their monitors to a gamma of 1.8 when CMYK prints are the final output medium. Mac users will generally find 1.8 is the more appropriate choice for their systems since it is apparently the native gamma of Mac monitor. I use both Mac and PC and find that I personally prefer Gamma 2.2 is the most appropriate.

 

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Once you become confident in using the single gamma option you can try the 3 channel option and balance each colour channel independently, this actually the best way. The procedure for balancing the inner and outer squares is the same as described above, although many people find it difficult at first to get the "green" square right.

 

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Step 6

If you are in any doubt about the accuracy of the  "Hardware White Point" you selected on the monitor control panel at the beginning then it might be better to use the "Measure" option (ensure that the room lights are off for this adjustment).

 

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Adobe Gamma Monitor Colour Temperature Adjustment

The idea of the colour temp screen is to get the centre square as near neutral grey as possible. Keeping a Kodak grey card to hand can be helpful, but not essential.

For the "Adjusted White Point" it is normally accepted practice to choose "6500K"if using a PC or Mac. As was the case with gamma, it is not essential that we follow conventional wisdom when it comes to setting the White Point of your monitor. I have found a more appropriate choice to be  "Same as Hardware", since this doesn't actually require the video card to make any colour table adjustments (see Real Word Photoshop 5).

 

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Preferred choice for Adjusted White Point

 

Step 7

The final step of the monitor calibration process is to "Save" your new monitor profile. Remember this is now the profile that defines your "Monitor Space" and is used by all your software applications, including most scanner software, whether be it be "Standalone" or a "Twain plug-in".

 

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