This tutorial should only be used if Method 1 hasn’t given you a satisfactory result.

Part 1: Monitor preparation

Warm up

As before, make sure your screen has been turned on for at least half an hour before commencing.

Remember the brightness setting

Take note of the brightness setting on your monitor that your previous attempt/s at calibration gave you.

Reset to factory defaults

Since you were fiddling with presets and other settings, do another monitor reset before proceeding with this method.

(Maybe this isn’t necessary. Maybe I’m being over-cautious. I just think it’s safer. Of course, when you’re doing subsequent monthly calibrations, most screens shouldn’t require you to reset every time.)

Move the OSD

If your factory reset moved the on-screen display into the middle of your screen, move it over to one side again.

Lower the brightness again

Drop the screen’s brightness setting to roughly the same level as before. You’ll need to tweak it again later, but for now, the ballpark is fine.

Part 2: Targets

On the main page of the software, press “Profiling”:

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The next screen you’ll see is the “Display Settings” page.

Display and technology type

This should still be set correctly from last time, but double-check it:

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White Point

Unless your lab specifically advise otherwise, choose D65 for the white temperature target:

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Geeks will chew your ear about the difference between “D65” and “6500K”; but for those of us in the real world, we can safely assume that they mean the same thing in most cases. So if your lab recommends calibrating to “6500K”, use D65. If they recommend 5000K, use D50. And so on.

Luminance

As you know, I recommend choosing 100 as a starting point for this. But if you found a more suitable target while you were following Method 1, choose it instead.

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Other options

As before, leave the remaining three options as shown here – Native, unchecked, unchecked:

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Press “Next” to continue:

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Default Profile Settings

As before, leave the default settings, except for the ICC Profile Version, which is safer on “Version 2”:

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Default Patch Set

Choose your preferred number of patches here:

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Default Measurement

Same as before – ADC off, manual on:

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Start Measurement

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Continue until you get to this screen:

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As before, turn off the Contrast checkbox, and leave the other two on:

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Part 3: Lights out

At this point, if you haven’t already, turn off the lights or pull the blinds, or whatever.

Part 4: Calibration

Let’s go. Press “Next”:

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The white point adjustment step

The screen will flash a few times as the i1 takes some initial readings. Then it will pause and wait for you to adjust your screen’s red, green and blue settings, with helpful big orange arrows to guide you:

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Sadly I can’t give you much specific guidance for this part, because every screen is different. You’ll need to find the “User” or “Custom” controls in the OSD.

On one of my screens, it’s three sliders (red, green and blue) which are set to 50 by default:

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On a lot of screens, those sliders default to 100, and are hidden in another submenu. But you won’t have any trouble finding them.

So, go ahead and adjust your screen’s settings as guided by the arrows.

Every screen has its idiosyncracies, which you’ll need to figure out for yourself. Here are a few tips:

  • Usually start by adjusting the color which is the furthest from its target.
  • If your screen’s sliders are at their maximum settings by default, obviously the only way is down. So if one of the arrows is pointing upwards, don’t scratch your head in despair. Just move the other two colors downwards, and eventually the other one will come upwards to meet them.
  • Take the time to “massage” the sliders. If, for example, two of the yellow bars are telling you to come downwards, don’t just concentrate on one while the other one goes even higher. Move one a little, then the other a little, and so on, until both have reached their goal.
  • Sometimes you’ll have one yellow bar at its goal, then while you’re moving another one, the first one will go out of line again. Don’t worry, just keep massaging. You’ll get them all there eventually.
  • Green is the boss. It provides the most control over the other two colors. So, if green is on one side of the goal line (eg high) while red and blue are on the other side of the goal line (eg low), you might happily find that adjusting the green also adjusts the other two quite nicely.
  • On some screens, Blue is a feeble passenger. If you try to adjust your blue, and those lines don’t move at all, leave it on its default setting and concentrate on the other two. I don’t know the reason for this, but it’s very common, especially on cheaper screens.
  • In most cases, one of your screen’s sliders should remain at its default setting. If you have to adjust all three, you’ve done something wrong. Put them all back to the default settings, and try again. (In fact, on good screens, two of them might remain at default, and only one require adjustment.)
  • Important: When chasing the targets, it shouldn’t be necessary to move the sliders further than about ten percent of each other. If you have to move them wildly to get a result, I strongly recommend buying a new screen. For example, R100/G97/B91 would be acceptable; but R100/G86/B63 would be a serious cause for concern.

At the end of all that, hopefully you’ll end up with three green ticks:

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Press “Next” to continue.

The brightness adjustment step

Now it comes to the brightness step. You already know how this works, so adjust as necessary to hit the target:

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NOTE: It’s rare, but if you can’t achieve a low enough luminance, you’ll need to press “Previous” to return to the White Point adjustment, and lower each of the Red, Green and Blue sliders by about twenty percent, then tweak them to hit the target again, THEN continue to this Brightness step again, and see if you can get low enough. If not, go back, drop them another twenty percent, and so on.

Press “Next” to continue.

The color readings

For a few minutes, the device will read a range of colors. Don’t forget to wriggle your mouse every minute or so, just to be safe:

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Once the i1 has taken all its measurements it will return to the Instructions Page, at which point you can remove the device from the screen and turn its cover back into place, then press “Next” …

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… and “Next” again:

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Part 5: Save the profile

Name it

Name the profile by its targets if you wish …

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… and set the reminder:

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Create and save profile

Hit the button to save the profile:

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Part 6: Lights up

Turn your lights back on, or open the blinds, or whatever.

Part 7: Evaluate the profile

Now you can see your results:

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In the above screenshot, you can see that my achieved white point and luminance values were slightly below their targets, but easily acceptable.

Then you can check your 2D graph:

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The LG screen I calibrated for this demonstration is a cheapie, so the lines are a bit wayward. I hope yours will be a bit straighter and closer.

Special note

If you’re having some trouble with your calibration, and you plan to post a question in the forum to seek my help, I encourage you to take screen captures of the two results screens I’ve just shown you above, because I might ask to see them.

Part 8: The comparison

Now that the calibration is finished, it’s time to check the results, by comparing some prints. If you get an acceptable match, then your work is done. If not, read on.

Part 9: Troubleshooting

Brightness

If you find that your screen is brighter than your prints, then run the calibration process again, with a lower White Luminance target. For example, if you calibrated to 100 the first time, and you think it’s a little too bright, calibrate to 90 next time. Of course, if the difference is strong, then you’d choose 80 instead.

Conversely, if your screen is darker than your prints, then recalibrate to a higher luminance target.

Note: If you find that you need a target lower than 80, or higher than 120, I urge you to make a frank assessment of the light in which you work, and decide if it’s truly suitable for imaging.

color

If you are unhappy with the color of your calibrated screen, you can try a couple of things.

But first, ask yourself if your calibration was as good as it could be. Was the device sitting perfectly flat against the screen? Was there too much light glaring on the screen? Was there any risk that the screen might have dimmed during calibration? If there’s any doubt in your mind about those questions, try a plain (careful!) recalibration with the same targets.

At this point, please let me reiterate – have some tolerance. Calibration isn’t some kind of magic. It can never make ink on paper exactly match light coming from a screen. “Acceptably close” is what we’re aiming for.

Different white temperature targets

Start the calibration again, and when you get to this part …

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… choose a different target. If your screen is too warm, try D75. If your screen is too cool, try D55.

If you want even more precise control, choose “Daylight Temperature” then adjust the slider to your exact desired setting.

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Keep trying different settings, and see which works best. This could take a while.

New screen

I’ve already mentioned this a couple of times, but I’m going to mention it again. If you’ve gone all the way through both calibration methods, and you can’t get a good result, it really might be time to cough up for a better screen. You’ll find some info here.

Contact X-Rite

They’re the experts, after all. Give them a call and see if they have any wisdom.

Part 10: Regular recalibration

After one month has passed, you’ll get the reminder to recalibrate.

When you launch the software, it will check for updates, and notify you if there’s a newer version of the software available.

Then, go ahead and run the calibration process as normal, from Step 2. I assure you that subsequent recalibrations will be faster and easier than the first time.