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January 12, 2013
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Color differences between screens, anyone else have this problem?

:iconthetriforcebearer:
thetriforcebearer Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Student Digital Artist
So I use two computer screens for my work and I notice that the screens depict two different colors. No matter how much I tamper with the two screens settings it never seems to work. The second problem is... WHICH ONE HAS THE CORRECT COLORS??

Here is a link to what I am talking about [link]

I just wanted to know peoples thoughts on the subject and if you guys knew any way to solve it.
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Devious Comments

:icontherebornace:
TheRebornAce Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
ugh, i have the same problem. its annoying and the only advice i can give you is by using whatever device was most recent. for example, my laptop is a Dell 2200 (1999-2000) while my main desktop computer is a Dell 8300 (i think; some model made in 2012). so i refer to the main desktop for color and use my laptop just to complete the drawing...
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:iconmrbonecracker:
MrBonecracker Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amoled screens are the worst.
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:iconthetriforcebearer:
thetriforcebearer Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Goodness I wasn't expecting so much feedback. While I may not be the most technically savvy person on the planet I understand what most of you are saying at least with tampering screen settings and gamuts.

I have to thank you all for such an overwhelming amount of responses
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:iconcling17:
cling17 Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Student Digital Artist
It is a heartbreaking reality that everyone's computer monitors are somewhat different.
You can tweak your monitors for something more accurate, but if you're distributing your art digitally, everyone's monitors will still be different.

The only way to have an undeniably fixed colour scheme is to print your work. It's noteworthy to mention though that printers, being CMYK, have some difficulty reproducing some colours on a monitor. Your monitor calibration might also be way off from the printer, so you might need to do some tweaking to get the intended look.
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:iconhabla-babla:
habla-babla Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Ugh Ive had the same problem. I didnt realize how crazy bright my screen was until i started getting stuff printed off lol. I think it helps to get a colored printing you made and compare it to the screen. Or maybe use an ipad screen as a reference? Never tried any of those calibration devices but if it becomes a big problem Id consider it.
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:iconurus-28:
Urus-28 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The problems comes from screen internal calibration, you can have the same kind of problem with two identical screens.
The only efficient way to correct the problem is to invest in a calibration probe like an Eye one Display or similar device.
And even with that kind of device you can still need further adjustments because you will have difference in the luminous flux of your screen.
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:iconmondu:
mondu Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013
I've encountered the problem.

My old monitor was pretty dark. As a result, what colors I thought were very subtle, weren't.

In contrast, my new monitor is very bright.

There are various software to calibrate monitors. However, it isn't a perfect fix. Even if you manage to fix your monitor, you won't be able to fix EVERYONE's monitor -- they will still look different to another viewer. So, don't worry about it.
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:iconnarutokunobessed:
narutokunobessed Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Student General Artist
Ive got alwasy this problem with computer and its pretty much the same as everyone else, says.

The best thing you can do is calibrate your monitor using tests (which is cheap but not the best result).
Or using a tool that will do it automatically (costs money to do it but a better result).

But even with that calibration, you still will not have the same colors on the screen.

In a lesson with digital art, its why in concept art also, they print the picture out. Thats shows how much you need to calibrate your monitor. So yea, I feel the best thing is to calibrate to your printer or close to it, since in the end, it might be printed.

Or also you can just get a mac monitor. The colors are more correct, don't have a gradient on the screen when view in different directions, etc.
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:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You have 2 different monitors. There's no way they're ever going to have exactly the same colors.
The best thing you can do is using a calibration tool on both of the 2 screens... but even then colors probably won't be exactly the same
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:iconlumographia:
lumographia Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013
The problem here seems to be colour gamut. Laptop panels in general are produced with lower gamuts than desktop panels to keep costs down. It doesn't seem that there are two different hues on each of your screens, but that the one on the left (a laptop I think) is less saturated than the one on the right. Using a colorimeter to calibrate your screens would not make them more uniform as the one on the left is simply incapable of displaying as many colours with the same saturation as the one on the right.

Basically, there are two gamuts that graphics professionals need to worry about: sRGB and Adobe RGB. Adobe RGB is basically for professional photographers and sRGB is for everyone else. Unless you're doing extremely colour critical photographic work, don't even worry about Adobe RGB (which is almost exactly the same as sRGB except that it has a large green colour space - the blues and red are pretty much identical). What you're looking for is a display that can show 100% (or close to it) of sRGB. You're not going to get that in most Windows laptops or in less expensive ($100-$200) desktop monitors. You don't need to spend a fortune, though, either.

If you're not opposed to Macs, every MacBook Pro since 2009 has a display that shows about 99% of sRGB for very accurate colours. Notice I said MacBook Pro and not MacBook Air or the now discontinued white MacBook. Those displays are like Windows laptop displays and only show about 60-70% sRGB to save costs. You could buy a 13" MacBook Pro for a very accurate display and great portability (4.5lbs including the small power brick which you don't need to carry anyway because the battery lasts all day), and then plug that into a desktop monitor when at home for more screen real-estate. The 13" base model is not that expensive. And don't listen to people who tell you that it doesn't have a dedicated graphics card and that you need one for Photoshop work. Photoshop is much more CPU dependent than GPU, so unless you're working with 3D applications a dedicated graphics card is unnecessary. If you definitely need a dedicated graphics card for gaming you could get the 15" MacBook Pro, which is only 1lb heavier and considerably more powerful. There's also the new Retina MacBook Pros which have much better screens (not because they're high resolution but because they're IPS panels) but most people would agree that they're a bit over-priced right now, and future updates will be less expensive. If you're more into Windows as most people are, Samsung makes the best (in my opinion) regular laptop displays (regular meaning no oLED, no IPS) and their laptops are very well made and quite capable of running Photoshop and any other graphics software you may use.

As for the argument that it doesn't matter whether your screen can display accurate colours because people are going to be looking at your art on a variety of screens, most of which are also incapable of displaying accurate colours, that doesn't actually hold up. Technology is improving, and in a few years most people are going to be using very accurate screens because they'll be much less expensive to produce. So, unless you don't expect your art to last for more than a few years, you should probably use the most accurate display you can get right now so that in the future people will see the colours that you actually want them to see. Hope that helps.
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:iconnatsumoka:
natsumoka Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Just curious cause you mentioned Macs, do iDevices have decent displays too? I noticed my iPad 3's colors are a little bit different from my desktop (and much better than my laptop).
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:iconlumographia:
lumographia Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013
Not necessarily. My iPod Touch 4g is quite washed out. The colours just aren't very saturated. Reds look slightly orange, for instance. My iPod Touch 5g, which uses the same screen as the iPhone 5 (iPhones usually get better quality parts), has excellent saturation. My iPad 3 has good colour saturation, but not as good as my 13" MacBook Pro. However, a number of photographers who reviewed the iPad 3 said it's display is good enough for photographic work, so perhaps it's colours are actually quite accurate and my MacBook Pro is over-saturated. You're an artist, so you should be prepared to spend a bit more in getting a good quality screen than someone who's just going to use their computer for word-processing and gaming. So, rather than working on an inferior laptop, and then checking the colours against a good quality display and correcting them, you should probably save yourself the time and effort and get them right on a good quality display to begin with. Macs are good, higher quality Windows laptops can also be good, though you have to be a bit more careful there. Use the best you can afford.
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:iconnatsumoka:
natsumoka Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I see. Thank you very much.
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:icondebra-marie:
Debra-Marie Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
YES. And its even worse when you get it printed. I had so many school art projects I got frustrated with.
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:iconnigzblackman:
Nigzblackman Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Professional General Artist
Ugh Yeah I had this problem, I just recently bought a new monitor because if it
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:iconxternal7:
xTernal7 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
>Taking picture of monitor with your camera

That's a very good way to screw colors up. Anyway, neither has the correct colors, but go with external monitor. Laptop displays tend to be of bad quality (and have bad contrast ratios). Also, install drivers for your graphic card and play with settings there (pay attention to gamma and saturation. Turn up saturation on laptop display, and reduce gamma to something less than 1. If laptop prefers blue to other colors, reduce blue gamma. Et cetera.)
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:iconthetriforcebearer:
thetriforcebearer Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Eh it was the best way to show the problem

And yes I've tampered with the gamma to the best of my ability
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:iconpemamendez:
PemaMendez Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
yes I do have this same issue, but for me it's not that annoying, since it's like looking my work in a total different way whenever I alternate screens, that way I can tune the colors and spot little mistakes :D

I don't know hot to fix it though :/ might be because my videocard only has 1 normal video port and the other one is DVI, exactly like this ->[link], maybe that's what causes the difference between screens
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:iconthetriforcebearer:
thetriforcebearer Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Student Digital Artist
For me thats not the case because i'm using a gold plated hdmi cable which I think is the best connection you can get
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:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
"i'm using a gold plated hdmi cable which I think is the best connection you can get"

is it a Monster cable?
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:iconthetriforcebearer:
thetriforcebearer Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Yes ^^
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:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
well, you were ripped off. a $2 HDMI cable works as well as any other.

sorry bro.
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:iconthetriforcebearer:
thetriforcebearer Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Student Digital Artist
eh it wasn't originally mine, so no harm on my part :P And just a heads up I'm female
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:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
"And just a heads up I'm female"

okay?
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:iconthetriforcebearer:
thetriforcebearer Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Student Digital Artist
"sorry bro."
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:iconpemamendez:
PemaMendez Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
yes, that's the best xD are you using it for both screens?
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:iconthetriforcebearer:
thetriforcebearer Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Student Digital Artist
just the tv screen :P
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:iconpemamendez:
PemaMendez Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
then I RAW guess that might be the cause of the difference between the two screens :D
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:iconpuppy-dangerous:
puppy-dangerous Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
I have this issue with Photoshop on the studio computer. The color for the whole program is off, everything, background and all. More irritating it 'sees' the right color, if I use the eyedropper and then open that file on my computer at home it's the right color. So it's just something wrong with the display.

This place has test images and instructions for adjusting the colors-[link]
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:iconenih:
Enih Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist
Yes, i have made a portrait of a redheaded girl with a greenish background. On some computers its bright colours, and on some they are really dull. I mean the green ranges from army green to bright apple green. Its so annoying.
But the brightest screen wasnt really a screeen but my friends android phone.
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:iconochanotsuki:
ochanotsuki Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ugh, this happened to me the first few months I was doing digital art. I noticed that on other people's work I couldn't see the skin tones (everything looked really washed out) and I was severely over compensating in my own work to get reds to show it. I work on a laptop, and as mentioned before, they're pretty awful with color.

I got so tired of it that I went out and bought an HDMI cable to get my display up on my brand new HD TV. Let me tell you, that $10 cable completely changed what I was doing with my art. I could actually SEE the colors I was using. If I hadn't changed my display I wouldn't have been able to advance in my digital paintings hardly at all. After all, not seeing what you're doing can be really damaging to your final product. Though all products will have different tones and such, if you're short on money and have a TV with a HDMI plug in, I'd suggest getting a cord to switch displays. It certainly helped me out :)
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:iconthetriforcebearer:
thetriforcebearer Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Yes thats the setup I have right now actually! The laptops connected via HDMI :P
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:iconochanotsuki:
ochanotsuki Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I would say go with the TV colors as the closest to 'true' color then :) though they may be off, it's probably better than the laptop
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:iconscyoni:
Scyoni Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's a bit tricky though - I have that setup, and regardless of the setting on my TV monitor every other screen I look at is darker than it. My works end up looking crazy blackish OTL
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:iconochanotsuki:
ochanotsuki Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I actually have a similair problem XD On my laptop, I can see details in the darker areas of a painting that I can't on my tv. I just increased the brightness/contrast a little on my tv and that took care of it.
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:iconscyoni:
Scyoni Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I sort of set up a profile that looks like what comes out of my printer. It's not perfect, but it comes closer to what everything else displays and it's easy to fix when it accidentally gets reset. xD
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:iconalantherobot:
AlanTheRobot Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013
All monitors differ in the percentage of colors they can display. Laptops usually do very bad at about 50% or less, and monitors usually do slightly better at around 60-70%. You'll often notice in stores most laptops are almost unable to display real red. Just get a piece of red paper and get the screens to display red and you'll see what I mean.

The color issue got so on my nerves over the years that the last time I updated my laptop I decided to get a custom one with 95% color gamut. The difference is incredible. Reds are reds (comparing pictures on screen to the real life object). I didn't bother to get it calibrated because it costs too much extra, but I did it by eye and it looks perfect. You can try calibrating your screens all you like though but they will never display colors correctly. The more accurate one will be the one that can display red better.

You'd need a good calibrated monitor that has a high color gamut if you really want to see accurate colors. You can do all your work wherever you want than at the end make a few color adjustments on the color accurate monitor. I don't think it's something you should worry too much about though. I would only advise someone to get a color accurate monitor if they're just overflowing with money or they're professional digital artists. It's on the same level as getting a cintiq or something when you're just starting out.
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:iconthetriforcebearer:
thetriforcebearer Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Student Digital Artist
" Just get a piece of red paper and get the screens to display red and you'll see what I mean."
Yes I know about this all too well.

"It's on the same level as getting a cintiq or something when you're just starting out."
Ah heh... Funny you mention that XD
Even though my skills are obviously far from perfect My willingness do do crazy things is starting to be rather well known. Continuing with that how did you order a custom tv/computer screen like that? I have ordered custom cables and speakers but never a screen.
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:iconalantherobot:
AlanTheRobot Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013
I meant that I got a custom (gaming) laptop. Different companies sell the same few shells available. Inside the shell each company will give you the option of putting whatever they have available in terms of components that goes with your model. Most companies offer the same things but some specialize in crazy case/shell designs, carbon fiber covers, certain HDD configurations, certain services and warrantires, and there's some price differences. Regular companies appear to give you options, but once you have your laptop if you were to look inside none of the important components are easily accessible and replaceable. If custom you can have 2 HDDs inside, take out the CPU and GPU and upgrade them.

The laptops are usually refereed to as Sagers or Clevos (they're the same thing though, but searching those will give you an idea of what I'm talking about). One of the good companies that sells them is called xoticpc. I bought mine elsewhere due to price and availability, but I've talked to xoticpc and their customer support is great. There's a few other models from different companies such as Asus and Alienware which you've probably heard of but those aren't worth it for the price.

Most models will have the option of a 95% gamut screen for 100 extra dollars I believe. Some companies offer the display in glossy, others in matte, some offer a zero dead pixels warranty, some don't. I think all of them are Full HD (1920x1080) though.

And since they're gaming laptops well the performance with photoshop is just amazing. New models with switchable graphics tend to have some driver problems (I suffered through my share but I knew how to fix them) but are okay on battery life. More expensive models don't have problems but they're insanely huge and don't last long on battery. I will stress that NONE of them approach portable. Just the power bricks are the size and weight of real bricks. They're not something you want to lug around. And they're very expensive. Think 1000+ dollars.

But regular laptops don't offer color accurate screens 99.99 percent of the time. I know Dell has one model but it was more expensive than getting a custom laptop. I know you said you know the red problem and this won't display right on your screen, but just look at this: [link] I don't think i could ever go back.
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:iconthetriforcebearer:
thetriforcebearer Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Goodness that's a long explanation XD

Only 1000$+ for so much customization ? That's impressive

Yeah the weight would be a problem for me personally because I LIVE with my laptop. Its used for artwork school and gaming its generally in my backpack with me wherever I go. It has an implemented special fan that shoots the air out in such a way it doesn't overheat in there :P.

How heavy are we talking here? Cause if it truly is the weight of a couple bricks, I would sacrifice my back for that type of customization.
Would you happen to have a link to a site where I could get one?
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:iconalantherobot:
AlanTheRobot Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013
You can also try getting a color accurate regular desktop monitor like I said. I'm not sure how expensive they are. For those just search "high gamut desktop monitors" and something should come up.

For the laptops search for Sager (it's also a company) or XoticPC (which sells other brands), should be the first search results. Mine is an older version of the NP6165 or W150ER (depending on where you look) and it weighs 6 lbs with the battery in. I think the power brick weighs 1-2 lb more. It's a 15inch so it barely fits in my messenger bag so it goes in my bigger bag and it's really heavy.
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:iconlaydeekaze:
LaydeeKaze Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have that when I do art at my fiancÚ's house. It's the fact that one will have better colour technology than the other, unless they are IDENTICAL ones.

My fiancÚ used to have two of the same and there wasn't a problem, it was only when he got a new one (gave me one of his old ones, since the one I ordered was going to his, kinda hard to explain xD)

But to be fair, it will always look different on someone elses monitor anyway.
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:iconpix3m:
Pix3M Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013   Digital Artist
I think a bit of quick-fix calibration software can get you something close enough but IMO, trying to worry about color accuracy on a screen is a lost cause. Your colors will look off to other people's monitors regardless.
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:iconfriendlyhand:
FriendlyHand Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
All computer screens are at least slightly different. Even identical models will change over time.

The color you see on the screen is affected by the type of display, make, model, ambient lighting in the room, video card, software settings, the age of your monitor and other factors.

You can compensate for the differences to some extent by calibrating your monitors with the same calibration software.
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:iconhai-etlik:
Hai-Etlik Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013
Probably neither is quite correct. Colour calibration and correction is a pain to work with. Ideally you need a special tool called a tristimulus colourimetre which can read the colours produced by the monitor exactly and report it to special calibration software.

Unless you plan to do any professional printing, that's probably overkill.
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:iconthetriforcebearer:
thetriforcebearer Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Student Digital Artist
It may be overkill but its piqued my interest. Do you mean the HEX codes?
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:iconhai-etlik:
Hai-Etlik Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013
Hexadecimal is just a particular notation for writing numbers. The numbers by themselves are just numbers, you need a set of rules for deciding what colours those numbers mean, and that's called the colour model. You also need to know how a specific device behaves so you can correct the numbers sent to the device so that the colour produced is the one that the colour model says it should be. That last bit is where calibration and correction come in.

I only know a bit about the theory, not the nitty details of how to put all this into practice though.
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:iconthetriforcebearer:
thetriforcebearer Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Still with what you know that's rather interesting to think about, You're making me want to look into it.

Obviously no one can get that picky or every digital artist would go insane. I guess It would be nice to know how most screens interpret the color model just for a rough idea to what most people see. But that should be just an intensive google search
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:iconromantiik:
Romantiik Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I had this problem on an old computer of mine when I used an old monitor attached to a laptop... but the honest answer is I had no idea which is the real colour xD
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:iconthetriforcebearer:
thetriforcebearer Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Hmmm both screens are practically brand new! So that can't be the problem...
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