Getting Started with CalMAN’s Colormatch Workflow

June 15, 2016

If you do video color correction, watch 'Getting Started with CalMAN ColorMatch' to learn how to test if your reference display is accurate.


Part 6 of the “Do you need to calibrate your reference monitor?” Series

Spectracal’s CalMAN calibration software has several different ‘levels’ of features that you can purchase, which enables different feature sets in the software. From the free ColorMatch to CalMAN Ultimate, you can use it simply to profile your display (CalMAN ColorMatch) or use it to generate 3D LUTs and calibrate up to 4k UHD displays and projectors (CalMAN Studio and CalMAN Ultimate).

As you upgrade from the free ColorMatch to their various paid versions, what you’re actually doing is using the same software, CalMAN, and licensing various ‘Workflows’.

In this Insight, we’re exploring the free ColorMatch Workflow.

You’ll be getting started with CalMAN ColorMatch. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to watch the Introductory Overview to this series, which also includes links to download the free ColorMatch software.

This Insight starts after you’ve installed the CalMAN software and have gotten an email from SpectraCal with your ColorMatch license (which you can request here).

You’ll be getting started with CalMAN ColorChecker.

You’ll learn the basics of how to select your colorimeter, get CalMAN to ‘talk’ with DaVinci Resolve, set your target color space and gamma and then run your first Profile. We’ll then read the graph that CalMAN produces to determine if we need to recalibrate our display.

This Insight assumes you’ve watched the series on Lightspace DPS

I started this Profiling 101 series talking about Lightspace since that software forces us to understand every aspect of what we’re doing. If you haven’t already, I suggest you start watching the Lightspace series from the beginning… where I also go in-depth into how to set up DaVinci Resolve as a patch generator (and the basic notion of how display profiling works).

Coming Up Next: Optimizing CalMAN for the i1 Display Pro OEM and CalMAN C6

At the end of this video Insight, I tease that we’re going to explore the ‘Virtual LUT’ function in CalMAN and Lightspace… I’m going to hold off on that Insight until I’ve talked specifically about using CalMAN with the i1 Display Pro OEM and SpectraCal’s own branded version of that colorimeter, the SpectraCAL C6.

Once you know how to optimize CalMAN for that colorimeter, then we’ll move on to understanding how to create (and the limitations of) Virtual LUTs.




12 thoughts on “Getting Started with CalMAN’s Colormatch Workflow”

  1. Patrick thank you for doing series on this subject!
    Since you stared i wanted to ask this (maybe silly) question but kept forgetting.
    You perhaps explained before and i missed it, so here it is:
    Why would you do profiling at all?
    What i mean is why not to calibrate right away, systematically, every month or other fixed interval of time?
    I did and do that with my eizo screens..
    Never (yet) calibrated my FSI myself, but hopefully with your series will get to it soon.
    My issue is i own i1 display already but its a retail version and from 2011-12 (i think), so i might need to get a newer one since they drift overtime, right?
    Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome!

      RE: Why not calibrate, always? – Because why give up a few hours in a day to a full characterization and calibration if a 10 minute profile tells you ‘all is well’? Also – not everyone has the resources to do full calibrations… so for them, Profiling is a low cost method for letting them know when to bring in the professional. Profiling is about confidence and letting you know when you can’t trust what your display is showing you.

      RE: Old colorimeters – Colorimeters start drifting immediately. After a year, you can’t trust any of the raw values and need to do as I suggested earlier in this series: A) Get up-to-date offsets or B) Profile immediately after a professional does a calibration and use that as your baseline to measure monitor drift going forward.

      Make sense?

      1. Makes sense, thanks for detailed breakdown!
        I have another question related to you A)
        Im sure getting offsets for my colorimeter is as relevant when calibrating or profiling my eizo and dreamclolor screens, isn’t it? if so, I’m unsure its its available at all or provided by Eizo or HP.. I know i can send it to FSI office and get offsets for my FSI panel, but when it comes to my other screens-not too sure what to do..
        Any ideas?

        edit: I’m talking about calibrating for sRGB, Adobe RGB and REC709(HP only), for my photoshop and print work.

        1. You’ll need to talk with Eizo if you’re using one of their bulit-in colorimeters and how you can program in offsets to keep them accurate.

          Robbie and I are traveling together next week and we’ll talk about the next series in this subject matter. I’m thinking after this Profiling 101 series I follow up pretty quickly with a ‘generating offsets’ series. We have an i1Pro spectro that we can demo with and also get our hands on the CR250 spectro. Either of those are what you’d purchase to generate the offsets for your colorimeter – DIY style.

          That help?

          1. Sounds like a great plan with follow up insights on calibration and creating offsets with i1specro, I can lend one, so it’s a perfect DIY solution!
            I’m planing on using one probe for all screens since my Eizo doesn’t have built in calibration unit.
            Thanks again, looking forward to more 🙂

          2. You can definitely think of this Profiling 101 series as the foundation for a bigger series on calibration. You can’t learn calibration without knowing this topic. And one reason we haven’t tackled this subject is because it’s so big.

            The Profiling 101 series is Mixing Light eating the calibration elephant, slowly.

          3. The Eizo in-built probe is not at all accurate. We really do not recommend using it at all.
            And to answer the specific question, no, Eizo and HP do not provide ‘offset’ values in the same way FSI do.
            You will have to generate your own with a quality Spectro probe.

    1. It depends entirely on your display technology. On plasma or on HDR displays, you absolutely will need to run with much smaller patch sizes to keep from triggering auto brightness limiters. On my display that I’m using in this series, not a problem.

      An easy way to test if that’s a problem with your display is to measure your display’s brightness with a 100% patch size then switch to a 15% patch size and see if the brightness values (at full white) change with the patch size. If they do, run with the smaller patch size.

  2. Hi Patrick,

    Thanks for this insights.

    I’m a bit confused as it says part 6? I did not find any other episode of this series but part 1?

    Am I missing somoething here?

    1. Hi – Sorry for the late reply. I’ve been in China all week and I missed your question…

      If you look at the top of this page, above the headline you’ll see a listing of links in the section named ‘series’. Those are all the Insights in this series.

      Some of the topics in Profiling 101 I split into two or more parts. Did I answer your question?

Leave a Reply

Hundreds of Free Tutorials

Get full access to our entire library of 900+ color tutorials for an entire week!

Start Your Free Trial