Before you begin on your journey of recreating reality with VRay, keep in mind this little piece of advice.
Your display monitor is your window into the virtual world of CGI. And the cleaner and truer this window is, the better your artistry will be.
What I mean to say is that your monitor is one of the most important tools in your arsenal as a CG artist. If you also work with print media, then even more so. It is responsible for displaying the virtual world to your human eyes as accurately as possible. Granted most displays today perform fairly well in displaying colors, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
As a basic rule, you should only work on IPS type monitors for the best color reproduction. Older display tech like TN are only suited for gaming or as cheap displays. But even with an IPS there will always be differences in performance between brands and various price points. The cheaper the monitor, the worse the performance is generally going to be.
This tutorial will be your guide to getting your display to reach its full potential and perform way above its price category. We will take a look at how you can calibrate your display and achieve brilliant results.
Calibrating the monitor every month helps in keeping the colors accurate as the display electronics deteriorate from ageing and heating. Calibration also helps in removing color tint and correcting gamma to 2.2. All of this is possible using professional hardware and software calibration products.
Calibrating Your Display
So let’s get started. There are two ways you can about this. Either by buying a professional display calibration hardware package or using free software calibration. Naturally, the free option is not going to be nearly as good as the professional one. This is because the free method requires you to use your eyes to judge the colors. Still it’s better than not calibrating at all.
But if you want the best result possible, get an X-Rite calibration package like the i1 Display Pro. Alternatively, a Datacolor Spyder is also a good option. These solutions use a hardware unit paired with their own software. The device measures the color accuracy and luminosity of the display and feeds the data back to the software. After going through a simple on-screen process, it generates an ICC profile that makes the adjustments to your OS.
Here is a breakdown of the calibration process.
- The hardware device connects via the USB port. Plug it in and install the device driver from the accompanying CD.
- The installation process will also include the calibration program like the Eye Match 3. Launch it and place the device firmly in the middle over the monitor screen.
- The program allows you to either follow the easy or the advanced process. Select advanced if your monitor control panel gives you RGB brightness and contrast settings.
- Displays are calibrated to a 6500K temperature for neutral whites, standard gamma of 2.2 and a recommended brightness of 120 cd/m2.
- Proceed and follow the on-screen instructions. The software will automatically locate the position of the device on the screen. Later, it will ask you to adjust the contrast and brightness of the display from the monitor’s in-built menu. You’ll get a simple guide in the form of a dial on the screen to get the correct setting when the bar moves to the centre.
- Next the software will ask us to correct the Red, Green and Blue channel intensities from the monitor menu the same way.
- Such major deviations in the color are always corrected from the monitor menu first. While the subtle variations are adjusted via an automatic ICC color profile.
- The software will now automatically display various colors and intensities, measure them and apply the ICC profile to the OS. This profile will get loaded everytime you start your PC.
The final window will show you the before/after effects of the calibration. It’ll also display the new sRGB color space coverage of your monitor. It’s best to regularly calibrate your monitor once a month.
It’ll surely help you create and view even better artwork. Stay tuned for more tutorials. So be sure to subscribe and comment. See you later.