How can I simulate the colors on one display on another?

Hi there!

The idea is to measure the color characteristic of the display of an in-car infotainment system, generate a profile from that and use this profile in Photoshop to make the picture on the PC (or Mac) display look like the same picture shown on the display of the infotainment system?!

Does this sound reasonable and doable? How would I generate a profile from simply measuring colors of a particular display, given I could show images (e.g. PNGs) on this display coming directly from the connected device (i.e. the multimedia system). Which tools would I need?
How many color patches (full-screen PNGs with just one color) would I need (and which ones :wink: to get a halfway reliable profile?

Any insight would be much appreciated. Thanks a lot in advance.


If you are a developer or have access to coding resources, may I suggest you look into the open source color management tool little cms. Using cms to control color conversion for the display device would be more conventional as far as how color manangement is meant to be implemented… Something to consider.

If necessary it is possible to create a profile that captures the behavior of a separate display as you are doing. Since the calibration program would not be run on the same screen as the one you are profiling, you’ll need something else to run it - like a laptop. Then you will need a way to display the colored PNGs on the in-car display, and time them accurately. Often times that’s the tricky part.

This is similar to how we created a profile of the first iPhone.

MeasureTool is a free download from the X-Rite site which is part of the ProfileMaker suite of tools. For calibrating displays they offer a 99-patch series of colors for LCD’s and a 42-patch target intended for CRT’s. That gives you an idea of the range of how many colors that would be expected, although your infotainment display is probably closer to an LCD and thus might require the larger number of colors in order to capture the spiky behavior of these displays. You can also create your own color lists for MeasureTool to use. Other software allows this too, I think ColorEyes Pro. … wareID=931