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Website images correct for PC and Mac - a solution?

5:02 pm on May 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Websites don't look the same on a PC (gamma 2.2) and a Mac (gamma 1.8). This mostly is no big thing, but if photos are important to you it can be a nuisance. If you are a photosite offering prints, however, it mostly means a Mac user of the service will get prints that look darker then the pictures on site. So it means an unsatisfied customer.

Does anybody know of solutions? A server, recognizing the platform of the site visitor, and then feeding him with the correct gamma, or the right of two images (one with gamma 1.8, one with 2.2) or the right page? Mostly photosites generate their sites from databases and they use a lot of CSS.

Any hint is welcome. Thanks,


3:58 pm on May 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You can sniff a platform using a script - combine that with another script generates an image for Macs that has the brightness dimmed by 7%(ish).

This is theoretical mind, if you head to the one of the scripting forums they mght be able to help you to get it to work - I know of people doing similar things in PHP.

It's a big call though, as the Gamma settings are influenced by not only the Mac itself but also by the monitor settings. So you could end up dimming an image for a MAC user who has their monitor calibrated for low light emission anyway.

It's impossible to make image brightness, colour, contrast etc... uniform across all users - all you can do is try to hit the largest end of the ratio and know that the other % of users with brighter screens will be used to it.

A small paragraph in your product detail/download page to note this might be another way of combating user dissatisfaction cos they'll know the print is darker before they receive it.

12:26 pm on June 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Just spotted that fireworks has a mac gamma view tool in the view menu.

I would have thought image ready would have the same.

1:00 pm on June 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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paul, limbo's point about other factors should be well-taken... unless your site is some kind of haven for Mac users, the chances are that most of the people who aren't seeing images the way you want them to be seen are using a PC anyway, so the gamma thing is only one of many issues, the great majority of which you have absolutely no control over:

-manual brightness/color/contrast adjustment on the part of the user
-color calibration
-gamma value
-color (256, 32bit, etc)
-room brightness
-type of lighting in the room
-dust on the monitor
-color blindness on the part of the user
-overall vision on the part of the user

As an example, I work in an I.T. Department and I can tell you that 90% of the Dell monitors we receive have a severe blue-bias out of the box. The web sites I design look drastically different on nearly every monitor on my company's network as opposed to my own PC. Se la vie.

There are definitely more variables, but you get the point. You just have to make your own PC as much of a standard as possible (or as close as possible to what you think the majority of your users are seeing), and if you really want to be a good guy, you could have alternative links on the page for "low contrast version" or whatever.

It's possible you could create some kind of web tool where users can vary the gamma or brightness of the image right on your page... but with the amount of skill and time that goes into making something like that, you'd better be a very profitable site.

2:21 pm on June 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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ImageReady may not have a way to view the gamma, but open the file in Photoshop use the "Save for Web" feature (which incidently says "Powered By ImageReady" on the top) you will see a button that pops up a window that allows you to choose:

Uncompensated color
Standard Windows Color
Standard Macintosh Color
Use Document Color Profile

You will be able to approximate what your image will look like with different gammas here.

9:29 pm on June 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I guess limbo's suggesting will work out

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