QPcalibration Operation Instructions

Profiling a camera while spending a minimum of time and effort is easy when using the
QPcard 202 or 203 color reference card and the QPcalibration application.

To create - and use - a custom camera profile only takes a few seconds, when you have learned how to use the program and apply the profile. It certainly takes less time than reading the four steps in the instructions below...

General usage instructions Main functions in the program Checklist if the program fails


 

General usage instructions

QPcalibration application1) What we need is a good reference image, taken in the same light as the images you wish to correct. This shot of the reference card does not have to be absolutely technically perfect, but you should take normal care in your framing, focusing and make sure that the image is sharp and well exposed. Even though we can correct a lot of imperfections almost perfectly - so they don't affect the quality of the profile - the quality of reference shot is what ultimately limits the color profile quality!
-Take at least one reference image, to be sure. Good input data gives good color correction!

 QPcalibration application2) Open the reference image in QPcalibration. Normally you don't have to use any of the special options in the program, though there are some functions to play with if you want to later, but for now the default settings are good. The program will tell you that the reference image worked, what card it identified and what camera was used, to make sure that you file the camera profile correctly later. Take a second to check that the automatic patch identification worked, you can verify this by seeing that all patches have their center marks (the small red dots!) placed right.

QPcalibration savedialog3) Save the profile! This operation is really simple - just press the "Calculate" button, and a file save window will open. This window will ask you to write in a profile name. You will want to keep your profile names short and concise, and also preferrably easy to remember later. A good standard that works for most people is to use "type of light" and then either date or location. One example could be "StudioFlash" adding either a location like "company-name" or the type of flash "AlienB400" or a date.
-Just make sure that you pick a name that you will remember later!

4) Now, in Photoshop or Lightroom - import the set of images on which you want to apply the profile you made, and chose the profile you just made in the Photoshop or Lightroom "Camera calibration" pane. The profile will be applied, and the changes it makes will be visible instantly.
-Note: If lightroom was open while you made the profile with QPcalibration, you will need to restart Lightroom to make it find the new profile. Photoshop ACR finds new profiles without a restart.

Vimeo logoHere's a short video demo of the application

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Main Functions in QPcalibration Application


QPcalibration GUI

instruction_options

Open file: Opens a file dialog to let you choose the raw file you wish to process.
Contrast curve: Determines how much contrast the profile applies. "Normal" gives a standard amount of contrast. "Low" is appropriate for high-contast scenes.
Gamut matching: Refers to destination color space. QPcalibration applies a certain amount of "soft-clipping" to the profile. If your intention is to develop your photos to Adobe RGB, "Medium" setting is preferred. In order to get a colorimetrically linear response for full manual control, "Large" is your choice (and ProPhoto RGB in ACR). For photos intended to be published on the web or printed on poor paper, choose "Small" (and sRGB in ACR)
Profile Type: Selects dcp (Adobe) or icc profile output.

calculateCalculate: Will generate and save a profile with your chosen settings. Hint: Give the profile a name you will easily recognize. But don't worry, your chosen name can be altered later (under Modification and Rename).

qpcalinsp_smallInspect: Opens a view of the colors that your camera recorded, the reference values and the result after profiling. This is presented in an xyY projection. Values and projection can be saved for later reference. Date time and camera model is automatically included. You can add a comment, like in what situation the card was photographed.
renameRename: Allows you to open a previously generated profile and give it a new name. You need only to type the new profile name, file ending and camera name will be added automatically.
qpcaladj_smallAdjust: This is one of the more powerful tools in QPcalibration. Adjust allows you to make manual adjustments to the currently open profile. Adjustments are executed in selected color segments (1/12 of the color circle). Increase or decrease saturation. Lighten or darken the chosen color. You can also make slight adjustments of hue (color tone). Your chosen adjustments can be saved and opened for further use or adjustments.
    Typical workflow for "Adjust": Generate a standard profile for your camera and light. Use ACR and open a photo taken with the same camera and in the same or similar light. Apply the profile. You might now realize that a certain color is over saturated and that another color would gain from a slight change in hue. Go back to QPcalibration and open the calibration photo. Open Adjust and decrease saturation in the first chosen color. Now adjust hue in the second chosen color. Click OK, calculate a new profile and give it suitable name. Go back to ACR and change to the second adjusted profile. Now you can toggle between the two profiles and watch the changes. If more adjustments are needed, simply go back to QPcalibration and make your desired changes.

 

Please note that all functions in this version of QPcalibration are free to use except "Inspect" and "Adjust". "Inspect" and "Adjust" can be used for free for five days after you installed QPcalibration. After five days you can visit our web shop and purchase keys to un-lock the functions. We will soon add icc support and support for Xrite CC24 and Passport reference cards.

Hint: Always bring your QPcard 203 and take one or a few raw pictures of it in representative light. The gray side of the card is perfect for white balance in the raw converter. And in case you should need to make a new profile you have a picture of the color card as well.

 

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Checkpoints if the image fails to open in the application:

1: error message 'this is not a recognized raw file'
a) Is the camera supported? New cameras can take a few months to get support.
b) If the camera isn't supported in QPcalibration yet, you can always convert the raw file you intended to use fas a reference to DNG with Adobe's free DNG-converter.

 instr-photo-203

2: error message 'not enough sample points found'
a) Is the image of the card sharp and not to noisy?
b) Is the card straight, and well clear of image borders?
c) Is the card large enough in the image? The optimal size is between 1:2 and 1:5 of the image width. The importance of sharpness increases as the card gets smaller in the image.

3: error message 'application QPmeasure crashed...'
Something has gone wrong with the automated card recognition algorithms. We're working on generating more detailed descriptions of the exact reason to why the image didn't work, to help you understand the error.

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