Monitor Calibration - ColorMunki Display

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Colour Calibration |

This tutorial is specifically for users of the ColorMunki Display. We are following the exact same steps whether you're using macOS or Windows. If you use a Spyder5Pro or another version of that, this tutorial won't be the same, but you'll be able to follow along and pace yourself through it. If you have any questions, just post them in the comments below.

Before We Get Started

If you're using a Mac, go into System Preferences, head to Display and make sure Adjust Brightness Automatically is turned off. You will also want to make sure that Night Shift is also turned off. This feature adjusts the colour temperature of your display throughout the day and is a wonderful feature, however for colour critical work, it's bad. In the Color tab make sure the display profile is set to Color LCD or the default for your display if using an external monitor.

Also in System Preferences head to the Accessibility and under Display make sure Reduce Transparency is ticked and the Contrast slider is set to Normal. The transparency has a minor affect on colour so having it turned off will make a difference.

The First Step

Go to the X-rite website, click Software Downloads and install the ColourMunki Display software version for your operating system. Once that's installed, open the program.

Open the preferences. In the menu bar, ColorMunki Display > Preferences. Have a look at the screenshot and make sure your settings match. If you have the latest operating system (Windows 10 or macOS High Sierra) and the latest version of Photoshop or Lightroom, you can use ICC Profile Version 4. Otherwise stick to Version 2.

Plug in your colorimeter and where it says Technology Type, select from the dropdown menu White LED. If your computer uses USB-3 the colour calibration device may not be recognisable by your computer. If this is the case, you'll need to get yourself a USB-2 USB hub and use that instead. I have a MacBook Pro that uses USB-3 and I have to use a hub. I also have an iMac that uses USB-2 and I have no issues with it. For more details on this issue, click here.

The Second Step

Once you have completed that, you can click Ok. You'll be taken to the main screen where you'll choose Profile my Display.

Choose the Advanced (Photo) option, set your White Point to Native and choose a brightness level of around 90 to 100. This is the brightness of your screen. You'll want a brightness of between these two numbers. It may seem darker to what you're used to but after a while you won't even notice. I have my Macbook brightness set to 120 cd/m2 (Candela per square meter). This equals to 7 dots below full brightness on the Mac's keyboard brightness control.

Monitor Calibration - ColorMunki Display |

The Third Step

Once you hit next you'll be taken to an Advanced Options screen. By GOD! keep those two check boxes disabled! These allow the brightness of your screen to automatically adjust based on the lighting atmosphere around you. This is detrimental to colour accuracy.

Now place the colorimeter over your screen until it fits within the yellow boundaries. You can move the window around but try and keep it as centered as possible. The colorimeter needs to be perfectly flat against the screen, so you may need to tilt it back a bit.

Monitor Calibration - ColorMunki Display |

The Fourth Step

Your monitor will now begin to flash different colours and intensities. This may take a couple of minutes.

After the ColorMunki measures the contrast of your screen, you'll be asked to manually adjust the brightness of your screen to get as close to your target brightness as possible. It doesn't need to be spot on, as the calibration process will automatically adjust the brightness further to get it perfect. This changes your brightness beyond the control of your keyboard buttons. You must not change the brightness once you've calibrated. Simply hit Next and for the next couple of minutes the calibrator will do its magic.

ColorMunki Display |

The Last Step

Once it has completed its colourfulness, you can save the profile and give it a name. I've chosen to name it the monitor/computer I'm using 'Macbook', what white point I used 'Native' and what the brightness level was set to '120'. The name would then be "Macbook_Native_120". Now hit save and you're done.

You'll now want to follow this tutorial with a fresh RAW file, then send the image off to print. Once you receive the print you can then compare the print to the image on screen and hopefully your images match to an acceptable state... They won't be perfect. You could also compare it to some older prints in the mean time. When comparing your on-screen image to the print, make sure you're viewing the image in Photoshop and NOT one of the default picture viewer programs as they aren't colour managed and do not render colour accurately.

Monitor Calibration - ColorMunki Display |

To compare. Sit a decent distance away from your monitor and compare your print in regular room light. Don't sit your print next to the monitor. The print will be darker than on screen, this is because the image on screen is omitting light and the print is reflecting light. As long as the colour is similar and you're happy with it, your calibration is successful. If the image is too dark or too light, you may want to recalibrate and re edit your image.


I hope this article has been an interesting and informing read. If you have any questions or comments to make, comment below. Also, if you’d like to receive an email every time I publish a new post, you can subscribe to my mailing list below.

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