Creating Camera Profiles for Capture One Pro with Lumariver – Updated (Podcast 718)

Creating Camera Profiles for Capture One Pro with Lumariver – Updated (Podcast 718)


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OK, so it’s been a couple of years, and coincidentally exactly 100 episodes, since I reviewed and created a tutorial to help you to create camera profiles for use in Capture One Pro using the Lumariver Profile Designer software, and with my new EOS R5 sitting around without a custom profile, I figured I’d make one, and I was pleased to see that a few changes made to the Lumariver software have made the profiles easier to create than ever before!

There are a number of ways to create these profiles, and I haven’t tried all of them, but the main thing to note here is that I followed Lumariver Manual instructions for Making Capture One ICC Profiles, and did NOT use the simpler workflow for reproduction. I went through the full steps, and in step 14 I used Alternative A to get the Capture One curve for my profile. The instructions from Lumariver are clear enough, but in my humble opinion could be a little clearer and better illustrated, so here goes with my version.

Preparing Your Photograph

First, you’ll need an X-Rite ColorChecker target. There are other targets that you can use, but I recommend X-Rite’s as they are what I use. You can use the ColorChecker Passport, but for my profile, I used the Digital ColorChecker SG that you can see in this photo, that I used to create my profile. Excuse the grubby outside air-conditioning unit that I placed the target on. I didn’t want to spend much time on this, so I didn’t cover it up or anything. I exposed the chart in Manual mode and ensured that I pulled back slightly from the setting that started the white patches blinking with exposure alerts, so the base image is as bright as it can be without starting to overexpose, just as I shoot all of my images.

Digital ColorChecker SG with Generic EOS R5 Camera Profile
Digital ColorChecker SG with Generic EOS R5 Camera Profile

For the sake of this process, note that I used the White Balance picker tool in Capture One Pro and selected one of the neutral gray cells on the target, and that set the custom white balance of the image to 5757 Kelvin and a Tint of -2.8. You can use this profile for a wide range of white balances, but to create it, we need to set that custom white balance in this way, and remember the kelvin value for later.

The next part of the process will make your image look crap for a while, but this is necessary, so let’s work through it. As you can see in the screenshot, under the Base Characteristics panel in Capture One Pro, you need to select No Color Correction from the Effects section of the ICC Profile pulldown. If you don’t see this option, click on the Show All option first. It’s also important here to select the Linear Response option from the Curve pulldown, below the ICC Profile pulldown. This is the part that will make your image look flat and much less colorful, so if it still looks OK, go back and check these last few steps.

No Color Profile from ICC Profile Pulldown
No Color Profile from ICC Profile Pulldown
Export Variants
Export Variants

Then right-click the image that you just changed, and select Export, then Variants, from the shortcut menu that appears (right). You’ll then see a dialog box to select the settings, which need to be the TIFF format, 16 bit, and under ICC Profile select Embed camera profile. For the filename, to make the following steps easier, either change the name to Linear or append the word Linear to the filename as I have (below).

Exporting TIFF 16bit with Embedded Camera Profile
Exporting TIFF 16bit with Embedded Camera Profile
Create General-Purpose ICC Profile
Create General-Purpose ICC Profile

After exporting your Linear copy of the image, go back to the Curve pulldown from the Base Characteristics panel, and this time select Auto, unless you usually select one of the other options, such as Film Standard. I just selected Auto, and then exported a second copy of the image repeating the previous step, but this time appended the words Auto_Curve to the filename so that I can easily identify it as we proceed.

Next, assuming you have already installed and licensed your copy of Lumariver Profile Designer, open it and select General-purpose ICC Profile, as you see in the next screenshot (right).

After that, click on the Load Image button under the Target dialog that should already be selected when you start Lumariver. In the below screenshot it says Drop Image because I have already loaded the image when I captured this. You will just need to hit the Load Image button and select the Linear TIFF that we exported first of the two. Also, select the Illuminant which is closest to the White Balance that you made a mental note of earlier. My image was 5757 Kelvin, so I chose D55. Next, select your target from the pulldown that says X-Rite ColorChecker SG in my screenshot. Again, I’ve already selected this. After that, select Show Target Grid, and align the corners of the grid that will appear with the plus symbols in each corner of your ColorChecker, as you can see in my screenshot.

Lumariver Target Options
Lumariver Target Options

Now select the Tone Curve option in the bottom right of the Lumariver dialog, and select Load Base Curve, and load the second of the two images that you exported earlier, marked with Auto_Curve in my example. Then, under the Curve Mode pulldown, select Add to Base Curve, and then select Curve: Custom and press the Load Custom Curve button and a dialog will open. Leave that dialog open and go back to Capture One Pro, and go back to the Base Characteristics panel, and locate an image that still has your default camera profile selected, not the one that you used for this export because we changed that.

Locate Generic Capture One Pro Camera Profile
Locate Generic Capture One Pro Camera Profile

In my case, the Canon EOS R5 Generic profile was selected. Mouse over the profile that is applied to your images, and you should see a popup with the path to the Generic Capture One Pro profile that your camera has been using. Go to that folder, and locate the profile, then drag the file to the dialog that we left open in Lumariver earlier. This will move the dialog to your profiles folder and select the file that you just dragged, ready for you to import. Also, at this point, note the name of the profile file, or better still, select it and copy the filename to your computer’s clipboard for use in a few moments.

Once you have your Generic profile loaded, you are ready to hit the Render button. As you can see in the below screenshot, once Rendered, you should see a beautiful full-colored version of your original photograph, and this indicates that the process was successful. In previous versions, following the Manual as we just did never gave me a useable profile, and I had to select some other options to get that, but now it works right out of the box, which is great!

The Rendered Profile
The Rendered Profile

Go to the ICC Export tab, and type or paste the filename that I asked you to copy to your clipboard a few moments ago. You just need the first part of the filename, up to the hyphen, which is CanonEOSR5 in my example, and then you want to add something descriptive after that. If you don’t use the same start of the filename as your camera’s generic profile, the new profile will not be listed with your Generic profile under the Base Characteristics ICC Profile pulldown. Any other filename will cause your profile to be listed under the Other section, and that makes it more difficult to locate later.

Export ICC Profile
Export ICC Profile

Check your profile, and see if it is at least marginally better than the Capture One Pro Generic camera profile. The one that I just created is, so I am going to use it by default for my EOS R5 from now on. To make that happen, right-click the ellipses in the top right corner of the Base Characteristics panel, and select Save as Defaults for Canon EOS R5 or whatever your camera is called.

Save as Defaults for Camera
Save as Defaults for Camera

If you do that, from now on, all images that you import into Capture One Pro from the same camera will get this new camera profile assigned. If you prefer to just assign the profile yourself, skip the last step, and just select the profile from the pulldown manually when you want to apply it. To apply the new profile to images that were imported before you created this new profile, you just need to select them, and then select the new profile. If you made the new profile the default, you can also just select Apply Defaults.

Note too that the first part of the profile filename, used to identify it and group the profile correctly, is not included in the pulldown, because it is displayed under the camera’s profiles. This is why you still want to give it a meaningful name after the hyphen. Also, if you want to see your original target photo in full splendor, you’ll need to change the Linear Response curve back to Auto or whatever you use, as well as assigning the new camera profile.

Before / After

So that you can see the difference, here is a Before / After slider. Drag the vertical bar back and forth to reveal the Lumariver camera profile. It’s pretty obvious which it is but I have also labeled them, just in case.

If you are interested in grabbing a copy of Lumariver Profile Designer to create your own profiles, you’ll find it at http://www.lumariver.com and note that to create profiles for Capture One Pro as we’ve done in this tutorial, you will need at least the Pro Edition, and the Repro Edition also works for this. The Basic Edition does not work. That will only create DNG based camera profiles, but that should mean that it will be enough if you use Adobe Camera Raw based camera profiles. Also, if you need a ColorChecker target, you can get both the ColorChecker Passport and the Digital ColorChecker SG from our friends at B&H Photo or Amazon and if you use our affiliate links it helps to keep the lights on the content coming, as well as being very much appreciated.

Affiliate Links

ColorChecker Passport on B&H Photo https://mbp.ac/ccp, and on Amazon.com https://amzn.to/2RwrCOq.
Digital ColorChecker SG on B&H Photo https://mbp.ac/ccsg and on Amazon.com https://amzn.to/3c5ApjK.


Show Notes

http://www.lumariver.com

Music by Martin Bailey


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Creating Capture One Pro Camera Profiles with Lumariver (Podcast 618)

Creating Capture One Pro Camera Profiles with Lumariver (Podcast 618)

Note that in September 2020 I updated this tutorial as a new post here. The process has become much easier and less error-prone following some updates, so please follow the later tutorial.

Following on from the previous episode, this week we look at creating camera profiles for Capture One Pro using a product called Lumariver Profile Designer. This is a video again, so the audio player is basically redundant, but I’ll include it anyway.

I’ll leave my notes below, for those that prefer to read, but this really is an episode that requires you to watch the video to not only understand how to create these camera profiles but also to be able to see the benefits when applying the profiles to images in Capture One Pro. Here’s the video.

My Procedure Notes

Here are the notes I made as I prepared for this episode.

The Lumariver manual states that exposure should be around 220 on the white patches, and I have a photo of the Digital ColorChecker SG from last year that is around 221 on the white patches, so that’s perfect! This image was exposed so that the white patches were not blinking, but 1/3 of a stop brighter would have made them blink on the camera’s LCD.

We first use the White Balance picker to set the white balance using one of the mid-gray patches and note that the image is pretty much a perfect 5000K white balance. Nice!

Then we need to go to the Base Characteristics panel, and under ICC Profile select Effects > No color correction, and also set the Curve to Linear Response. We then export the file as a 16 bit TIFF with the ICC Profile set to Embed camera profile, then export a second TIFF with the Curve set to the setting we usually use, so I’ll go with Auto.

Next select New Project from the Edit menu in Lumariver Profile Designer and select “General-purpose ICC profile”. You can use Lumariver to create DNG profiles for use in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw, but our objective is to create a camera profile for Capture One Pro, my raw processing software of choice, so we need to select ICC profile. 

We then click the Load Image button and load our linear curve TIFF file, and then select the Illuminant that is closest to the light source that we photographed the target in. My custom white balance showed me a reading around 5000K so D50 is smack on. Then select the type of target used, which in this case is the X-Rite ColorChecker SG. 

Press the Show Target Grid button and align the corners of the grid that is displayed with the registration marks on the ColorChecker target, then turn on the Grid is in place checkbox. Click on the Tone Curve label towards the bottom of the right sidebar in Lumariver, press the Load Base Curve button and select the second TIFF that we exported with the Auto Curve applied.

The next option, Curve Mode is actually key to making Camera Profiles for Capture One Pro that work without having to brighten your images up again after applying the profile. You need to set the Curve Mode to Add to Base Curve. The default setting of Replace Base Curve gives you a dark profile. On this screen let’s also load the curve from the Capture One Pro load the ICC profile from Capture One.

Under the Look section, I changed the Tone Reproduction Operator to Neutral, as opposed to Skin&Sky, as I don’t really want anything changing. I also changed the Gamut Compression to None. Gamut Compression basically compresses the colors into a smaller working color space, like sRGB or AdobeRGB, but as I keep my images in ProPhotoRGB for as long as possible, and because I know that the camera is working in a much wider color space, I don’t want to limit them falsely with the profiles I’m creating. It’s great to have these options!

Finally, under the ICC Export section, I turned on High-Resolution LUT, because I can, and we’re now ready to press the Render button. Wow! Right there I like what I see very much. We can now export the ICC profile. The default Profile folder that was selected was for me only. So that I can access this profile from other users, should I create any, I changed this to the /Library/ColorSync/Profiles folder, and called my new profile “CanonEOS5DSR-MBP Generic”. I used this naming convention so that Capture One Pro would list my profile alongside the other CanonEOS5DSR profiles.

I also created a second profile with a 3D LUT (Look Up Table) selected under the Optimization section. The manual says that this is really for Reproduction profiles, but being me, I always want to try to use the best possible options, and 3D LUT profiles apply the corrections differently according to the brightness of the color. Although the manual warns that 3D LUT profiles should only be used on images shot under the same conditions, my tests have shown that these work great as a Generic ICC profile for my Canon 5Ds R. 

Note that I needed to leave Scale to Match off when creating a 3D LUT profile, as turning this on made my images too bright, unless I used the Linear Response Curve, and then actually the images looked OK, although a little flat.

Then if it was open we need to restart Capture One Pro so that it can find the new ICC profiles, and all we need to do is select the new profile under ICC Profile in the Base Characteristics section, and WOW! Just watch those colors pop! If you want to really bring out the most from your camera, I think we’ve just found the way to do it!

I honestly didn’t think it was possible to improve the image quality of Capture One Pro, so this is a pleasant surprise. I am going to be applying this new profile from now on, and will also go on to create some other profiles for my studio lighting etc. I think a couple of profiles will probably be enough to cover most of the work I do.

Lumariver Profile Designer Cost

Although the process to create a profile is a little more complex with more steps, once you have saved a project, creating future profiles is a piece of cake, and the look of the images with these profiles is great!

All importantly, the price is very reasonable. The Pro version is said to be enough for photographers, at €100, but for a little extra control and options, the Repro version will set you back €200. 

This product now has a place in my Capture One Pro workflow. It’s not that I was unhappy with the color of my images, but I do often tweak it, and these profiles get me closer to where I want to be, and that will be a huge time saver. I just wish I’d found this software sooner!

You can download Lumariver Profile Designer here: http://www.lumariver.com

You can try Lumariver without a license, but you can’t save the project or profiles without a license. That’s still useful, as you can see your photographs after rendering them, to ensure at least that you have the process down before you buy.


Show Notes

Download Lumariver Profile Designer here: http://www.lumariver.com

Music by Martin Bailey


Audio

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