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How to Use the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport Photo in Lightroom CC

September 2, 2019


If you’ve been using one of these, the X-Rite ColorChecker
Passport and you’ve been using Lightroom Classic, then you
know that to build a profile for this, you had a
plugin that you simply ran the photo of this passport through and that created the profile for you. However, if you’re using
Lightroom CC now, as I am, there is no plugin architecture,
so you no longer have access to the plugin to make the profile. You can still do it, it’s
just a manual process, takes a few steps so, I’m
going to show you how. (upbeat techno music) The process to do this
is actually quite easy, it just requires several steps. First you have to export the
RAW file from Lightroom CC and convert that to a DNG,
and then you take the DNG and run that through the
X-Rite software which generates the profile, and then you import the profile into Lightroom CC. That’s all there is to it, really. But, let me show you exactly how. This is a shoot that I
did for a client’s product and of course, we want to make
sure that the product colors are totally accurate, so to do that, we photograph the X-Rite
ColorChecker Passport. Now the first step is going
to be to export the picture, so I’ll go to the File>Save To menu and you want to make sure this
is set to Original + Settings and you want to save this
not to the Desktop itself, but to a folder on the Desktop. If you save it to the Desktop
itself, the next step, the DNG conversion actually
wants to look at a folder and then you’ll end up looking at everything on your Desktop. So just create a folder at this stage, it makes it a little bit easier. I’ll create a new folder on the Desktop called DNG and save that. Next I’ll open the DNG Converter,
click on Select Folder, select that folder that we
created in the previous step and click Convert. You don’t actually have to
change any of the settings. The default settings for
everything here is totally fine. It’s going to create that DNG in the same location as the RAW file was. The next step is to go to the ColorChecker Camera Calibration software
and all you have to do here is just drag and drop this picture in. The software will actually
look at the picture, look for that ColorChecker Passport and draw its grid around
it, isolating all the colors and doing all the work for you. It’s really simple. You can see here that it
has located the color grid. It’s drawn this square
around it and each one of those little green squares is lined up over the color squares in the Passport. Now if for some reason
it didn’t get it right or it didn’t get it at all,
you can create one manually. You would simply click on this arrow here and then start clicking on the
four corners of the Passport. And if you needed to
readjust this for any reason, you can simply grab the
corner and move it around. Click on Create Profile and at this point, it’s gonna want to save it to
the CameraProfiles location. Now this is fine if you
were using it inside of Lightroom Classic or
even inside of Photoshop, but this is a location that is deep inside of the Application Support
folder in your Library which is where those other Adobe apps are going to be looking for it. Lightroom CC isn’t going
to be looking for it there, so I’m just going to
save it to the Desktop, which will make it easier to
import into Lightroom CC later. We’ll go ahead and save that. Profile’s been created successfully and now back over to Lightroom. Open the Editor, and at
the top under Profile, where it says, by default, “Adobe Color”, click on the Profile Gallery
and then from the three dots menu here, choose Import Profiles. There’s the profile I just
created on the Desktop, click Import and that’s
it, now it’s been imported. Next I need to apply it to this photo and the cool thing about the
way that profiles are applied in here is you’ll see it as
you roll the mouse over it, so it makes it really easy
to see the before and after. It’s going to show up under
a category called “Profiles”, and here’s the one that I just created. And you’ll see as I run the
mouse over this back and forth, the difference that the
color profile is making. Look at the purples
and blues specifically. Those are having the biggest change. Go ahead and click it
to apply it permanently and then you can back out
of the Profile window. The next step is to do
a custom white balance. Now odds are, if you
went as far as shooting a ColorChecker Passport, you
also did a custom white balance in-camera before you shot this so you know that you have perfect white balance. But if you didn’t or if you
just want to double check it, you can create a white
balance in the software using these colors on here. Now here’s the really
cool thing about this. Let’s just say that my white
balance was completely off, like I shot this at 2000
degrees Kelvin for some reason. If I then took that completely
wrong white balanced photo, ran it through the same
process we just did, it’s not going to adjust
the white balance. The color profile ignores
the white balance completely. So it doesn’t actually matter
what the white balance was when you shot it, when
you create the profile. You’re still going to
get an accurate profile and then at this stage in the game, you can go ahead and create
a perfect white balance. To do that, I would go to
my white balance selector, grab the eyedropper and then click on one of the neutral white balance squares. But before I do that,
notice the white balance that came out of camera,
5500 and +27 Tint. I go and I click on
that white balance tool and it has just barely
changed it, 5450 to +25. In fact, if I click on
a few different places within that square, you’re
going to see those numbers changing ever so slightly
no matter where I click. There’s always going to be a
tiny, tiny bit of variation, but it’s fine. Now I’m ready to copy the color profile and the white balance that
I applied to this photo to all the other photos in the shoot. To do that you’d go to the
three dots menu over here and you could choose Copy Edit Settings, which is going to copy
all of the edit settings and at this point, all
we’ve done is change the white balance and the
profile, so that’s fine… but if you want to make sure you’re only copying what you need, go to Choose Edit Settings to Copy
or hit Shift + Command + C. And then from here, you’ll see
there’s the profile selected with a bunch of other stuff
potentially selected as well. So I’ll go ahead and choose
“None”, re-enable the profile and then under Color, enable
White Balance and hit Copy. And now those settings are
copied to the clipboard and I can paste them to all
the other photos at once. To do that you have to
get out of this view, tap the G key to go into the Grid view and I’ll just hit Command +
A, select all of these images and Command + V to
paste, and you see there, it says “Paste Edit
Settings to 95 Photos”, and that is now being
applied to all the pictures. If you want to see the
difference of what one of these would look like, let’s go
ahead and open up one of these of Simeon, our little monkey here. There’s the photo with the
correct profile applied to it and if I want to see what the
original would look like… there’s the difference. And you can see it’s actually pretty dramatic. The blue in the shirt
has changed quite a bit. The “skin tone” on the
doll has changed a bit. This looks much more accurate and this is what I want to send to my client. Now one more thing I want to tell you. Since this is going to
sync across Adobe Cloud to all of your devices, you will have this custom color profile on your iPhone, your iPad or any other
computer you’re using it on. Let’s take a look. I’ll go ahead and launch Lightroom and there’s the shoot that we’re in. There’s the studio shoot selection. There’s the picture of
the ColorChecker Passport. You’ll see down on the
bottom, there’s my Profiles. And from here, I have access to all the profiles that were installed. There’s “Profiles”, and there’s
the one I just brought in; “S1 EarthMonkey”. And
that’s all there is to it! If you like what you saw today,
please hit that like button. If you like me and the videos that I do, please subscribe, and
we’ll see you next time.

7 Comments

  • Reply Daniel Sripuntanagoon May 24, 2019 at 12:23 am

    Great timing I literally just bought one

  • Reply Joseph Floyd May 24, 2019 at 4:51 pm

    I wish this worked for Premiere CC

  • Reply SRO Digital May 26, 2019 at 9:01 am

    Nice video and edit Joseph. Good setup, it feels a more personal presentation to the viewer as opposed to formal…if you don't mind me saying.

  • Reply Wayne Stead June 27, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    Mate your awesome

  • Reply Bestprato.com July 31, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    Great Video! Tks! ColorChecker Camera Calibration work also with ColorChecker Passport VIDEO?

  • Reply ucheucheuche August 9, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    Why hasn't intelligent software grown up Adobe?
    Automatically recognise the unique layout of the colorchecker, and give option where to save your new profile it made???!

  • Reply Luiz Evangelista August 27, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    Very nice. One question, do I have to this in every different shooting or is it the one time only?
    Thank you

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