Topic Title: Need some Help in displaying 1.1 Billion colors
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Created On: 03/29/2014 01:57 AM
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 03/29/2014 01:57 AM
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dondean
Peon

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I'm trying to display 1.1 billion colors on my system.

I have a Dell UltraSharp U2413 monitor.
When used with a full 10-bit workflow and compatible 10-bit graphics card, it is supposed to display 1.1 billion total colors.

I have an HP Pavilion HPE h8-1234 Desktop PC that came with a AMD Radeon 7450 graphics card. The card has two connections on it:

1. HDMI 1.4a with max resolution 1920x1200 with Deep Color and xvYCC wide gamut support and also a

2. Dual-link DVI with HDCP max resolution 2560x1600

I have a High Speed HDMI Cable( to support Deep Color) connected to the monitor and the graphics card and have set the monitor input as HDMI.

I have Windows 7 Professional, using the 64-bit system, with 24 Gig of RAM

I disabled the Windows 7 Aero Desktop by selecting a Basic Windows Desktop.

To test things, I opened PSP X6 and created two test files.

A 16-bit RGB color image at 900px wide and 400px high .

Then used the 'Gradient' tool to fill it with a gray scale gradient going from RGB 64/64/64 to RGB 96/96/96 (left to right).

I saved the image as a 16-bit TIFF file.

I repeated this and created an 8-bit TIFF file.

I then reopened both images in PSP X6 to compare them.

They both displayed about 33 distince vertical bands of gray across the image. I was expecting the 16-bit TIFF image to display as a smooth gradient rather than as bands.

Is there an error in my thinking or is there something else I need to do?
Any suggestion?
Thanks.

 

 

 03/29/2014 01:30 PM
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Thanny
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You're just creating gradient of 33 colors, which will look identical in any pixel format that has at least 33 colors to display.  You'd get an identical picture in an indexed 256-color image.

If you want a smooth gradient from an RGB8 value of (64/64/64) to an  RGB8 value of (96/96/96), you need to convert those start and end points to RGB16.  So you want a gradient from RGB16(16384/16384/16384) to RGB16(24576/24576/24576), which has 8193 steps.  On a 30bpp display, there'd still be 129 distinct bands, if one looked hard enough.  Unless you use dithering, which would hide the banding even with a 256-color image.

Of course, you don't have a 30bpp display, because you're using a consumer graphics card, which does not support sending 30 bits per pixel to the display.  If you want to take advantage of a 30bpp monitor, you need a workstation graphics card.  That means an AMD FirePro or nVidia Quadro.

 

 03/29/2014 03:23 PM
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dondean
Peon

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Thanks Thanny, I appreciate your help.

I'll look into the AMD FirePro or nVidia Quadro card.

I'm curious. If the AMD Radeon 7450 card says it supports "DEEP color", then what does that mean if it won't support 30 bit color.

 03/29/2014 04:05 PM
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black_zion
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The 7450 does support deep color output. Assuming you have 10/10/10 pixel format selected in VECC, what professional graphics design program is telling you you do not have 10/10/10 (30 bit) color output?

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 03/29/2014 09:53 PM
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dondean
Peon

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Thanks black_zion

That's what I thought, that DEEP color is 30-bit color and that my graphics card supports it.

I used PaintShop Pro X6 to create the gradient images, but it shouldn't matter whether it's PSP or Photoshop or any other good graphics program.
When you create a gradient image using a good graphics program, it is not going to create "bands" of color, it is going to create a gradient wash. 

The displaying of the bands happens because  the monitor, or graphics card, or something in the display chain, can't display more than X number of colors, so you end up seeing the bands on the monitor because of the color display limitations.

When I compared the gradient image that was created as a 16-bit TIFF, I expected it to have a much smoother gradient than the 8-bit TIFF gradient.  Since they both looked the same, then that makes me suspect that my display chain is not displaying DEEP color. 

Any suggestions on what else I should check?
I'm not a hardware expert, so don't know what VECC is?

Thanks.
Don

 03/29/2014 11:18 PM
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Thanny
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Your understanding of a gradient on a raster image is incorrect.  Unless you enable dithering, which mixes colors at the boundaries, a gradient will be a set of steps between two colors.  If you have a 900-pixel image and create a gradient from RGB8(64/64/64) to RGB8(96/96/96), you are creating 33 bands of color about 27 pixels wide each.

If you created a gradient from RGB16(16384/16384/16384) to RGB16(24576/24576/24576), then you'd have more steps in the gradient than pixels, so you'd have 900 bands of different color in the image.  On a 30-bit display, only 128 different colors could actually be displayed.  That translates into bands of about 7 pixels in width, with more subtle differences between them.  It would very likely look smooth.

So you need to pick your gradient endpoint colors in RGB16 format, not RGB8.  I don't use Photoshop, so I can't be more specific than that.

As for the 7450 supporting 30-bit color, I didn't know.  I don't see any pixel format options in CCC for my 7970's, despite having a 30-bit capable monitor.  Apparently it's only supported via HDMI, which is fairly stupid.

 

 03/30/2014 05:48 AM
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dondean
Peon

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OK, I see, you are right Thanny.
I had the wrong idea. Thanks for the explaination.

I used PaintShop Pro X6 to create the gradient test images and the slection criteria in PSP only showed RGB values from 0 to 255, so possibly PSP is the limiting factor that is keeping me from creating and properly rendering DEEP color images.

If my monitor can display DEEP color, as well as my graphics card, then is my PSP program the only onther thing that has to be able to display it in order form me to see it on my monitor, or is there something else in "my system display chain" that might keep me from displaying DEEP color, like possibly WINDOWS 7?

 03/30/2014 10:05 AM
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Thanny
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From what I've read, the only thing in Windows 7 that would stand in the way is Aero, which you've already disabled.

A lot of image software will do image processing with more than 8 bits per pixel, but still only displays data at 8bpp.  You need something that actually outputs at 10bpp.  A lot of professional CAD software does, as does Photoshop, but I don't know of any low-cost or free software that does.

It might be out there, but you'll have to hunt.  It's also worth pointing out that inside some kind of graphics processing program is the only time you're going to actually see 10bpp images.

 

 03/30/2014 10:39 AM
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black_zion
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I believe GIMP can do up to 48 bit, and it's free.

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 03/30/2014 10:03 PM
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dondean
Peon

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Thanks for all you input Thanny.

Your insights and information have been very helpful.

 03/30/2014 10:07 PM
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dondean
Peon

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Thnaks black_zion, I appreciate your help.

That's good to know. I'll download and try GIMP and see if there is a difference in the way it displays my tests.  This will tell me either that I don't have a good 16-bit test image, or that PaintShop Pro can't display 10-bit color, or maybe both.

 03/30/2014 11:11 PM
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Thanny
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GIMP 2.10 (which is not released) is due to support more than 8 bits per pixel in the image itself, but I don't think that means it will output 30-bit color.  Can't hurt to try, but I don't see any option in GIMP 2.8 that looks even close.

 

 03/30/2014 11:21 PM
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dondean
Peon

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Thanks Thanny.

I'll keep an eye on GIMP and get 2.10 when it's released.

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