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CalMAN RGB How-To: Getting Started

Do It Like Tom's: Calibrating Your Monitor With CalMAN RGB

When you purchase any of SpectraCal’s CalMAN packages, you're able to download the software immediately. Even without a meter, you can run simulated calibrations to see how things work. Like Spyder, it’s wizard-based, so all you have to do is follow the well-written instructions on each screen.

After installing CalMAN RGB and PC Client, enter the license information that was emailed to you. From there, you're able to test-drive the software while you wait for your meter to arrive. Once that happens, plug it into a free USB port before opening the application.

Here’s the first window you’ll see.

There are two modes, Standard and Advanced. Standard is super-simple and super-quick. It only performs a grayscale calibration, which in most cases is sufficient for periodic touch-ups or less critical applications. If you click Introduction, you get a very detailed tutorial that ushers you through every page and control window in CalMAN. Along the way, you can access pop-up help topics that explain some of the finer points of imaging science. We recommend that you check out this tutorial before doing the actual calibration, even if you’re experienced. CalMAN is very powerful, but you have to know how to access those features if you want to make full use of them.

We’ll take you through that procedure now, before we go more in-depth with the Advanced Calibration.

The common elements on every screen are the control tabs at the top-right and the back/next buttons at the bottom-right. All of the workflows in CalMAN operate like this. For monitor calibration, Spectracal has workflow pages with complete instructions that walk you through, step by step.

Before you can move on, the software must recognize a pattern source (the PC Client that you installed along with CalMAN). If it’s not found automatically, you’ll be prompted to search for it. Usually, that means firing up the PC Client, which then lives in your system tray. You’ll also be asked to connect a meter if you haven’t already. It’s best to do this before opening the app.

If you’re using an i1Pro, set it on its calibration tile and click Initialize Meter. Tri-stim meters like the C3 or C6 don’t require initialization. This is just a dark reading to establish a measurement baseline. Once you’ve done this, hang the meter over the black window in the center of the screen, and click Next at the bottom-right.

Believe it or not, the image above is the next and last screen you’ll see. CalMAN performs a 17-point grayscale calibration using full-field patterns. Again, we used a Dell UP3214Q for our exhibition, so the before and after state doesn’t look all that different in the screenshot. The calibration only affects the LUT. No changes to the monitor’s controls are made by CalMAN, nor are you prompted to make any. You’ll have to set brightness and contrast yourself. If you’re satisfied, click Exit in the lower-right and you’re done. Once you go through the procedure, you have to load PC Client every time your system starts up, which it does by default. That way, the LUTs are always available.

On the next page we’ll checkout the Advanced Calibration.

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