Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Making Custom Color Profiles For Your Camera

Today, I'm changing it up a bit. I'll show you how to make a custom color profile step by step for your camera using X-rite® ColorChecker Passport.

First, you need to take a capture of the Passport color chart with your camera in the RAW format. I'll be using a Canon 5D Mark II and opening file in Adobe Camera Raw. As in the example below...
Using the crop tool in Camera Raw, put a crop around the color chart. Click on the button in the bottom left corner of the dialog box (Save Image).
In order for profile to work, the file must be saved in the DNG format (which stands for Digital Negative). I'm saving mine as 5D MII Strobe because I used strobe lighting to capture this image. You can make different profiles for different lighting situations (such as tungsten, HMI lights and outdoor daylight).

Open the ColorChecker Passport program. Drag the DNG file you just made into the dialog box. Wait a minute or two while it automatically positions the color chart. Sometimes the position may have to be adjusted manually.
Once the color chart is positioned, click the "Create Profile" button in bottom right corner.

This is the color profile for your camera. I would recommend naming the profile with camera used and type of lighting. Leave destination alone and tell it to save. Then you're done!

Open an image in Adobe Camera Raw that you captured with your camera. Make adjustments to your liking. I'm going to use my color chart image so can see the color change (especially in the blues). Click on the icon in the dialog box that looks like a camera. You will see the "Camera Calibration" adjustment dialog.

Go to the camera profile name drop down menu and pick your camera. I picked the Canon EOS 5D Mark II Strobe because that is the specific color profile I made for my camera.
Once you made the camera profile, your colors should be dead on the money. Here's the end result...

If you have any questions, feel free to email me.