Color Discrepancy between rendered image inside of blender, and saved image outside

Hi all :slight_smile:

I am looking for a little help. When I render a scene inside of blender (currently using 2.69) the image looks fine on the render screen inside of blender. If I then save that image out (I have tried saving using several different format options) and open it with Photoshop, or any image viewing software the image looks desaturated and the colors aren’t as warm. For lack of a better way of describing the issue, the saved image looks “dingy and depressing”. Stranger still, if I take a screen shot, or use windows Snipping Tool to grab the screen, that image exhibits the same issue! This issue occurs in both the blender renderer and cycles.

If I bring the saved rendered images back into blender, they look right again. So somehow blender is making things look different vs any other software I have!

I really appreciate any help or any ideas that you can send my way!

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Have you changed the Color Management settings from the default settings ?

I really appreciate any help or any ideas that you can send my way!
Words are all well and good but SHOW US what you have plus your blend file (include any textures)

Hi and thanks for taking the time to reply, and sorry for not posting examples. I created a simple blend file to showcase the issue I’m having. I made sure that the screengrab also shows my color management options, I have tried changing them, but they never produce desirable results. This render was done with the defaults.

Thanks again!


CubesExample.blend (1.61 MB)

Huh. Thats weird.
It took me some time to notice the discrepancy, it’s subtle. I have a migraine right now though, could be throwing me off.

Have you tried outputting the render in an HDR format like OpenEXR? I can’t think of any reason that would help, but might be worth a try.

I registered on the forum yesterday, and have been looking for an excuse to post.

Yeah, sometimes it’s subtle especially if you look individually per color, but overall it gives one picture kind of a dingy look. I have tried exporting in OpenEXR format and many others too, but no joy :frowning: I guess in the meantime I will have to post process the best I can in photoshop.

Anyway, thanks for replying and welcome to the forum (I’m new too, registered to ask about this!)

I registered an account to report this exact same problem. Renders in blender are displaying colour differently than when they are saved. The colour shift is noticeable. When I render the scene, the colours appear as I want them to. The moment the image is saved (regardless of format or save options) and opened anywhere else, the colour is wrong. Every other piece of software displays the “incorrect” colour. But if I open the saved image in Blender, it displays the image the same as the original render with the correct colours.

I’ve tried all sort of colour management option combinations and nothing seems to fix the problem. I’m fairly certain that it’s a Blender issue. Out of curiosity I’ve opened other images in Blender and found that they are oversaturated and there is a colour shift occurring that doesn’t happen when I open the same image elsewhere. Is there some setting somewhere that might be causing Blender to incorrectly display images/colours? I’ve been trying to correct this for days now and it’s driving me crazy. I’d really appreciate any help!

I agree there is a color issue. Had it myself.

Post it as a bug at

This might be related to how your os is set up. Are you sure you do not use any color profiles or monitor color correction?
Here is difference in images: middle - your posted image; backplane is how it looks here- black, no differences.

Generally, I found that a rather good workaround is to place a viewer node in the compositor and then save the output of that node. It gets the final image color pretty close in that respect.

I can’t get it to display correctly with or without colour profiles loaded. I did a complete monitor calibration and profile, and created a 3D LUT and that didn’t help. In fact, when Blender uses the LUT it looks even worse - way too dark and wrong colours. Even imported images display incorrectly. Blender seems to be the only program that does this. I wish I knew what the problem was!

I’ll try your work around Ace Dragon. Hopefully that will help! Thanks :slight_smile:

Sooo… interesting enough when I import a rendered image into Photoshop, I get a message saying there is no colour profile assigned. If I assign the AdobeRGB profile to the image, then convert it to sRGB, the colour are almost 100% correct. Does Blender use a wider gamut than sRGB? And if so, why are there no options to export as sRGB?

Blender doesn’t assign a colour profile to saved renders.

If you have Colour Management on and are using a calibrated and profiled monitor, as well as a 3DLUT, turn off the Save As Render option when saving renders.

As Organic said, by default there is not color profile embedded into the image.

This is incorrect.

The profile that should be assigned is sRGB. It should also be noted that there are a few sRGB ICCs available out there, and many are different, with some plain wrong.

This can result in moderate to minor discrepancies.

No it does not.

If you become familiar with OCIO and some color knowledge, it is quite easy to shift to a wider gamut.

All of color management is based on assumptions.

In this case, if you use the default settings and import only images and textures with sRGB primaries that were correctly encoded as such, you will be generating sRGB / 709 primaries based images.

Blender does not use ICC based color management, and currently will not attach ICC profiles to images. A number of tools exist to do this, including ImageMagick.

If you heed Organic’s advice and exert caution as to what sRGB ICC profile you are using in a tool such as Photoshop, you can streamline your pipeline to get 1:1 results from Blender.

It should be noted that if you are using a profiled display, Blender will not display 1:1 until you hook a correct profile into the color output pipeline. As such, if Photoshop or like software uses a profile and your Blender pipeline does not, there will be a discrepancy between the two.

With respect,

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I know it’s not correct! :slight_smile: But what I said is precisely what happens. I spent days testing many, many different variables and the result seems to always be the same - if I import the image into photoshop or any other software with an sRGB working space, the colours remain way off. Not a little bit, but massively different. Assigning the sRGB profile does not help - the colours remain incorrect. If I tell the image editing software that the image has Adobe RGB colour profile, and then convert it to sRGB, then the colours are converted accurately and the images presents as it does in Blender.

I had already done what Organic suggested and it did not make any difference at all. As I said earlier, I have tried with and without colour profiles hooked into Blender, and with and without profiled displays and the result is always:

  1. The rendered file displays the wrong colour unless Adobe RGB is applied and then converted to sRGB; and
  2. That images opened in blender always display the wrong colour.

I’m aware of the differences between sRGB ICC profiles.

For now, assigning AdobeRGB and converting to sRGB will have to do. Nothing else seems to work.

I would encourage you to post a blend.

AdobeRGB is so well off from sRGB that there is quite a large gap in the pipeline somewhere.

If you would like, PM me and we can try to sort it out via email. Optionally, if you publicly post the blend with output samples, I am certain the issue can be resolved.

Blender only applies intensity maps via transfer curves, so there is technically no actual color aspect.

With respect,

That’s weird, the colors look ok to me. I just rendered out a single image and saved it as PNG. It came into Photoshop with sRGB as it’s color profile.


this is just to let you know that I rendered out your scene and loaded it back in Gimp and there is not any difference between Blender and Gimp.

I guess the problem is the ICC profile. Photoshop is ICC aware, while Blender is not. Try removing ICC from the monitor profile and clearing the LUT, then load the image as sRGB in Photoshop, it should look the same as in Blender.

Very old topic, but I’d still like to add my two cents here. I have exactly the same issue with Blender 2.79, with one significant difference: When I save the image as TIFF and then load it into Paint.NET, it shows exactly the same colors as in Blender! But when I open it in Photoshop, it looks far brighter and less saturated. So it’s not just Blender.

Opening a saved image in GIMP (latest version) shows the colors being correct for me as well. Viewing it in the Windows 10 image viewer also shows correct colors, so it must be something Photoshop is doing that does not happen in other image editors.

An image would help here.

Does your example have alpha encoded pixels by chance?