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FPV CodecPack and preview pane in Explorer

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:48 am
by Carlos

A friend of mine has FPV Professional and FPV Codec Pack on his Win 7 x64 system (me too, in fact he bought them after my recommendation).

I don't have any problem, but he now does. Recently, he bought an Eizo Coloredge CG275W. This monitor has an incorporated calibrator which generates its own color profile and installs it on the system (copies it to the folder c:\system32\spool\drivers\color and configures Windows 7 color management accordingly so that this profile is the default for the system).

At first, LR and PS were showing the images okey, but Fast Picture Viewer was not displaying pictures correctly (color was off), then we realize we had to check "Custom monitor profile" and point FPV to the right profile. We did so, and problem solved: PS, LR and FPV all showed the same image, same colors. The right colors.

But he still has another problem which I don't know if FPV Codec Pack might have something to do or not: the right-side preview pane in Windows 7's file explorer. This preview pane shows the wrong colors for the images (too saturated). It's strange because Windows seems to understand the ICC profile, or so it seems (e.g. the same image in sRGB and Prophoto is shown the same on the preview pane), but it is as if it's not being converted to the monitor profile, since the colors are not right.

I believe that FPV CodecPack generates thumbnails for image files, and possibly previews too (or at least it manages them in some way) so I was wondering if this problem might have something to do with it, maybe we need to configure codepack the same way we did with FPV. Or maybe it is a problem with Windows. It's strange because even Windows' picture viewer displays the image correctly, but the preview pane or even the desktop (when setting an image as background) aren't correctly rendered in terms of color. It is as if it was ignoring the monitor color profile.

So, long story short: there's something we might need to change on FPV o FPV codec pack, or is it a Windows limitation that cannot be solved? Or is it? Any orientation on this will be very welcome, thank you!

Re: FPV CodecPack and preview pane in Explorer

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:49 am
by Axel
Codecs don't do anything regarding color management. They just expose the file's content - including any color profile or color space information - in some standard way. They have no idea about where the pixels are going or what the application using the codecs will do with the other information exposed.

Color-management is an application-level duty, if the Explorer preview pane is not using the configured monitor profile (which I've not verified) then you should perhaps raise this issue to Microsoft?

Re: FPV CodecPack and preview pane in Explorer

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:00 am
by Carlos
Just in case: I'm sorry if the question bothered you - I was not "blaming" your software, just asking since I have no deep knowledge of the innerworkings of color management on Windows, and wanted to make sure I was not missing anything as far as FPV/FPV codec pack is concerned.

Other people have already asked Microsoft this question (and many similar ones) and their answer is that color management is system wide so there should be no difference among programs or any special steps to be done. This makes sense, it should be like that, but as far as my experience shows, such affirmation doesn't hold up against reality, although I am in no position to tell if it's Microsoft's fault or specific application's.

Thanks for your quick answer and have a nice day.

Re: FPV CodecPack and preview pane in Explorer

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:45 am
by Axel
Not bothered at all but again, codecs have nothing to do with color management. Windows certainly is not uniformly color-profile-aware, just try a slide show for example, and every application must perform explicit steps to become color-aware: ask long-time wide-gamut users for their list of color-aware software and it will be pretty short. However I've not verified your claim about the Explorer preview pane, I just reiterate that whathever the problem is it's an Explorer issue. Codecs operate an an entirely different level and have absolutely no idea about the destination device, or if there is even a destination device at all, and never perform any color transformation of any kind.