Bridge: User preference for Thumbnail Color handling/accuracy

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  • Updated 1 year ago
  • (Edited)
The Task at Hand.
I color grade other photographers images as part of my job. When I am grading I have found it much simpler and quicker to make the image a "team player" if I can see the rest of the "team" in my field of view. So I edit color and tone "in-context".
To do this I color grade in photoshop with the application fame hidden so I can see Adobe Bridge as my background. I get Bridge to display thumbnails of the rest of the "team" of images I am trying to match.

The Issue
However I cant always trust the appearance of the rest of the "team" as bridge is showing them to me. The Bridge color can in some instances be quite different in both hue and tone from how Photoshop opens them.
My current work around is to use Apples "Preview" application. Apple Preview renders PSD files with thumbnail color that matches Photoshop. But I'd prefer to use Bridge if I could.

The Cause
Bridge currently builds sRGB thumbnails of Photoshop files. This can cause Bridges 'views' of a file to not match Photoshops.
Colors in my clients files that are outside the sRGB colorspace are clipped in Bridges thumbnails. Hue and brightness of some colors in Bridge can look quite different to when opened in Photoshop, particularly with Blues.

A Feature Request
I would like to suggest a Bridge user preference such as...

"Store Bridge Thumbnail Colors as [ sRGB (default) ] or [ ProPhotoRGB ]"


NOTE: This could solve the problems of users outlined here...
"Color Management Discrepancies Between Bridge, ACR & Photoshop"
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Peter Miles

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Posted 4 years ago

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Ron Haake

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Somewhat shocking that Adobe has not found it important enough to provide reasonably accurate color for thumbnails that are designed to offer a useful overview of multiple files. The fact that Preview does it correctly is an embarrassment.

Yes, please, this is a very basic request for a much needed feature.
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Peter Miles

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As a matter of interest, I measured the on-screen color difference between Bridge and Photoshop i'm getting. In one image the difference is around 9.6 Delta E 2000. Measurement made with "Classic color meter" software Ricci Adams. Delta E calculator

Update: Hmmm...
The image I'm working with just now is showing an on onscreen color difference between Bridge and Photoshop of 25.5 Delta E (2000). Thats really big!

And Yes, the blue concerned is within the gamut of both my printer and monitor (Eizo CG241EW). My printer should be able to hit the blue within around 3 Delta E (2000) of the on-screen photoshop blue.
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Tim Lookingbill

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It wasn't mentioned in the other threads related to this issue so I'll point out here that the differences you see in Bridge previews must also take into account other process edits applied to tiffs, jpegs and Raws applied as xmp sidecar instructions in ACR that affect hue/saturation.

For instance color and luminance noise & Chromatic Aberration and sharpening edits which can severely affect overall color appearance will not be reflected in both Bridge Main and Thumbnail previews.

Edits done at 100% view in ACR will show a severe reduction in saturation applying those edits which requires an increase to the saturation slider which most folks have to do. Since Bridge previews don't show this hit to saturation all that gets shown is the increased saturation from the slider edit. In CS3 Bridge/ACR 4.6 it's a huge difference but not so much in CS5 Bridge/ACR 6 and higher which have improved non-100% zoomed preview appearance, but Bridge's previews are still the same.

I agree that it would be nice to have accurate previews in Bridge (even applying High Quality previews in Bridge Prefs doesn't help) but keep in mind your ACR edits are written as instructions and not as already cooked pixels which is easier and faster to process on thousands of cached image previews. We're talking here a huge processing job of creating constantly updating jpeg previews for each image Bridge has to generate that's sourced from written xmp instructions. Something's got to give if you want fast loading previews reflecting instructions over cooked pixels.

I'm still not sure how Bridge generates previews through sRGB space since I can't emulate an Assign/Convert/Re-Assign sRGB testing routine on Raws in Photoshop. My previews never look as if sRGB is being assigned to my images through my sRGB gamut display. And I'm not sure if wide gamut monitor's display profile is being factored into Bridge's preview caching processes and whether they are being compounded by what I described above concerning xmp edit driven previews.

Do you see how complicated it's getting?
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Peter Miles

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Hi Tim. Thanks for the reply.
Regarding how Adobe Bridge builds thumbnails.

Bridge previews are cached as jpegs with a relative colorimetric color conversion into the sRGB color space.
see Mac directory ~user/library/Caches/Adobe/Bridge CC/Cache/256/ an image from one of the folders. You will find the jpeg's are tagged sRGB

Bridge CC is doing the color conversion for the cached thumbnail correctly.
So in my experience Bridge previews are color accurate, when displaying colors contained within the sRGB color space. It's only the colors outside the sRGB colorspace that bridge is displaying incorrectly.
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Konstantin V.

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Oh, man! I'm using Adobe Bridge 2017 and this is still there! So 90s!