i1 Display Pro: A step-by-step guide

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1. Installation

As with all USB devices it’s important to install the software BEFORE plugging the i1 Display Pro into your computer. On Windows systems when you do plug it in, the New Hardware Wizard will launch and it’s important that you let this install the drivers for the device before doing anything else. Once the driver is installed you can launch the i1 Profiler software. The software has both video instructions and help text available throughout so please watch and consult these sources as well as reading this article. The i1 Profiler software is the same as bundled with the i1 Photo Pro 2 and i1 Publish Pro 2 systems and so will display options for printer profiling but if you’ve only purchased the i1 Display Pro you can’t use these functions.

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If you have got an i1 Pro device as well as the i1 Display Pro you need to make sure the Default display device is set to i1 Display. Click on Advanced, this will allow you the most control. Then click on Display/Profiling to begin. This article will cover profiling a computer monitor, not a projector, although the workflow is very similar.

2. Default Display Settings

This page sets the calibration targets and other options.

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If you have more than one monitor you will see them both displayed. Click on the one you want to profile and the application window will move to that monitor.

Technology Type: The i1 Display Pro can compensate for different LCD backlight technologies such as CCFL, Wide Gamut CCFL, White LED, RGB LED, and Projectors. If you know what type of backlight your display uses then select it accordingly. Newer monitors are probably going to be White LED, older ones CCFL or Wide Gamut CCFL if they encompass a large percentage of Adobe RGB. Recent laptops are usually White LED. Some monitors that cover 99% of Adobe RGB or more could be RGB LED. If you are not happy with the result then try the other technology types.

The White Point can be set to D75, D65, D55, D50 or Native. D65 will suit most users. Those using controlled lighting view-booths could also try using D55 or D50, it will make the screen look warmer and closer to the viewing light. If you calibrate your screen to one of the D standards and you get a slight colour cast or colour banding then try Native. You can also choose a white point based on a colour temperature, x,y co-ordinates or a measured value from view-booth or other viewing light, your ambient lighting or even a piece of paper in a view-booth.

Luminance can be set some predetermined presets, a custom value, or Native to leave luminance as set on the screen, or again you can measure viewing or ambient light. 120 cd/m2 is a good starting point. Lower values may get a better match to print.

Contrast Ratio should usually be left at Native. It is function of the ratio of the darkest black to lightest white, however you can enter a value and this may help when matching one screen to another.

Flare Correct compensates for light falling directly on the display. The best thing is not to have any light falling directly on your monitor, or to use a hood! Leave this unchecked.

Ambient Light Smart Control measures the ambient lighting and then adjusts contrast, tone response and saturation of the display based on the ambient light. If you are going to use this feature to try and get a better screen to print match then make sure you are measuring the most typical ambient lighting around you monitor. For example, if you always do your retouching in the evening then don’t profile your display using this feature in the middle of the day. Compensating for ambient light is never as good as controlling the ambient light. Leave this unchecked.

Click on the Next arrow to continue.

3. Profile Settings

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ICC Profiler VersionVersion 4 of the ICC specification is the more recent but Version 2 is generally more compatible with a  wider range of software. Also it can be unwise to mix version 2 and version 4 profiles, so given that most working space profiles are version 2 most users will want to change the setting to Version 2.

Tone Response Curve: This should be set to 2.2 (default).

Profile Type: Table based profiles are generally more accurate than matrix ones, but some older software will not support table based profiles.

Chromatic Adaption can be left at the default.

4. Default Patch Set

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i1 Profiler uses 119 colour values or patches to create a profile, but you can add in more. Colours can be loaded from the Pantone Color Manager software or you can load an image and colours will be added to the patch set from that image.

You can access these features by clicking on icons above the colour patches. Adding more patches won’t usually increase profile accuracy and will increase measurement time.

5. Measurement

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Automatic Display Control (ADC): Automatic Display Control allows the i1 Profiler software to take control of your monitor and adjust it to the desired luminance, contrast and white point targets whilst measuring. However, very few monitors are supported and most of those that are actually come with their own calibration software – for example EIZO ColorEdge displays with ColorNavigator. So for most users it is best to uncheck this option. The one exception being MacBook or iMac users profiling the internal screens where the ADC function may well set the brightness for you.

Adjust brightness and contrast manually: If your monitor and graphic card combination is not compatible with the DDC standard that ADC uses then check this box to adjust the screen manually. We recommend that you check this option.

During the measurement process you’ll get prompted to carry out flare and ambient light measurements if you have chosen those options. Get your ambient lighting as typical as you can. When making the ambient measurement make sure the ambient light diffuser arm is over the i1 Display Pro’s lens and carefully position the device where you would place a print if you were comparing it to an image on screen. Don’t place it under a desk lamp, in shadow or too close to the glow of the monitor.

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Click Start Measurement when you are ready. You will be asked what controls your monitor has. Now is a good time to familiarise yourself with the controls on the monitor, and also to see if there is a way to move the OSD menus from the centre of the monitor. You will then be asked to rotate the cover from the front of the i1 Display Pro and position it on your monitor. Follow the onscreen instructions.

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Depending on the options you’ve chosen to this point and on your display type the first thing you will be asked to adjust is the monitor white point. Find the RGB Gain controls on your monitor and starting with the red make the adjustment in the direction indicated by the arrows. Make small changes and then allow time for the i1 Display Pro to take a new measurement. The aim is to get a green tick. Once you’ve done the red move onto the green and so on. If the software indicates a colour needs to go up but it’s already at 100% on your monitor then lowering the other two colours will have the same effect. Once you made the adjustments it should look like the screenshot below but perfectionists may want to carry on making small adjustments until the Target and Current Kelvin values are as close as they can get.

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Next you’ll be asked to do the same kind of procedure for the brightness. Most monitors default to very high brightness levels so don’t be surprised if you have to make quite a big adjustment.

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Once you have set the target brightness and clicked next the software will start measuring the colour patches. This should take about two minutes. After checking that the monitor has reached the calibration targets (and making adjustments in the graphics card look up table if it hasn’t) i1 Profiler will begin to measure the colour output of the monitor so it can build an ICC profile. Once measurement has finished it will ask you to take the the i1 Display Pro off the screen and replace the cover.

6. ICC Profile

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Give the profile an appropriate descriptive name, including perhaps the options you used and the date. Depending on your operating system you may get the option of saving the profile at the user or system level. You can choose to get the software to remind you to recalibrate after a certain amount of time. We’d recommend setting the reminder to 4 weeks.

If you have measured your ambient light then you can enable Ambient Light Monitoring and set the software to either notify you or automatically adjust the profile based on lighting changes. You can set the frequency of ambient light checks as well. Click Create and save profile.

7. Gamut, LUT and Before and After Comparison

Once the profile has been created you will see a graph of the gamut of the monitor. This can be rotated and zoomed in or out of, and you can even compare it to another profile. If you click on the line graph symbol above the gamut you will see the corrections made in the graphics card Look Up Table. If you have adjusted the monitor in the RGB and Brightness stages then you should see the RGB lines nearly on top of each other and at 45 degrees. Lines with kinks or curves or big differences in RGB point to problems with the monitor adjustment.

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Clicking the image symbol allows a visual before and after comparison that shows the effect of your calibration. If you have adjusted the monitor hardware well then you won’t see much change because the before/after can’t undo these hardware changes. A range of default images can be used or you can load your own custom image from the menu.

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Most users can click on Home or Quit the software at this point. The profile will be set as the default for that monitor and saved into the right location. You shouldn’t need to make any settings changes in your image editing software, most will pick up the new profile when they are next opened.

However, advanced users may want to click on the arrow next to Display QA to access further tests to judge the accuracy of your profile.

8. Display QA Reference

Patch Set Type can be set to Standard to load one of the default patch sets. i1 Profiler will then evaluate how accurate your monitor is against those reference values. The patches from the ColourChecker, IT8 charts, and FOGRA media wedge are all included in the selection of industry standard targets. Alternatively under Patch Set Type you can select Spot to load colours from Pantone Color Manager or Image to load colours from an image.

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9. Display QA Measurement

Click Start Measurement to start evaluating the accuracy of your monitor.

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10. QA Report

After measuring you can see a summary of the results. By default the tolerances are very high so you’d almost always get a pass. Delta E is measurement of colour difference. The higher the numbers the more different the colours. It’s difficult to say exactly what tolerances you should be aiming for as every situation is different. Generally you should get an average delta E of less than 2 and a max of less than 4 on most good screens. Smaller gamut monitors like the MacBook Pro I used will give higher values on out of gamut colours. Using the Flare Correct and Ambient Smart Control features will give much higher delta Es, while they may increase the visual match to a print they will also reduce the colorimetric accuracy of a monitor profile.

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Reports can be saved or added to the Trending data

11. Trending

The trending graph shows the average delta E figure achieved after each QA report where you’ve clicked to add the data to the trend. It can be a useful guide to how a monitor alters over time, but you have to be careful to use the same profiling options and settings otherwise the comparisons won’t mean very much.

12. Display Uniformity

Calibrating and profiling your display with the i1 Display Pro will have no direct effect on the uniformity of colour and luminance of your monitor but the i1 Profiler software does have a module for checking the uniformity, and this could be useful for evaluating a screen you’ve just bought or judging how well one has aged.

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All screens have some uniformity variation so don’t expect each of the nine points measured to match exactly.


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  1. Ivan's Gravatar Ivan
    September 29, 2014    

    Hello, I purchased this probe, but somehow I do not understand it well. Trying to calibrate my laptop using Dadan iprofileru. Problem is that when you set the temperature of the D65 white point, a profile clearly shows a shift to warm colors and gray scale has a clear brownish tint. After a follow-up in 5 ColorChecker Calman, the profile shows that everything is ok, bug minimálna.But I clearly see the offset. Much better for the eyes goes white point to 7800 Here is Greyscale ok, but again check the Calman says delta 2000 until 10 is a probe error? or where it then. Thank you for any advice. Ivan
    machine translation

    • admin's Gravatar admin
      September 29, 2014    

      Make sure you actually adjust the monitor manually to D65 as you measure. Don’t use the automatic ADC function. If that doesn’t work select Native Whitepoint as the target.

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  1. i1 Display Pro – update | Native Digital on June 29, 2011 at 11:20 am


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