Original Poster

Google Drive inverting color on picture previews

Browser: Google Chrome Version 32.0.1700.77
Operating System: OS X Mavericks 10.9.1
Drive on the Web / Drive for desktop: On the Web
If I view the image in the preview or open it in google drive, the image's color is inverted, as if it were a negative. However, if I download the file and open it, the colors are perfectly normal. This issue does not appear to be due to my browser, as this also happens in Safari.
Attached is an example of the issue.
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Original Poster
Also, I tried uploading a negative of an image, and it produced an over-saturated positive.
Hi joetomelleri,

Thank you for posting and for the feedback with the preview view. Also, what image file format did you upload? 

Original Poster
Kevin, these were both tiff files. I've uploaded all tiffs, 200 or so, probably about 70% of them are negative colors in the icon listing format, and in about 20% of the icons the icon looks normal color. The remaining ten percent shows the orange house icon (or whatever it is) -- which I think is a result of the file being over 50 MB (unscannable for virus). But when I try to get a preview of the icons, they are all negative colors even if the icon itself was displaying as normal. I did upload a png file and got a normal preview from that.
Near as I can figure from loading different versions of the same file, it seems like cmyk profile combined with tiff causes the preview to go "negative." But rgb color profile with a tiff is fine. cmyk combined with jpeg makes the color saturate rather strongly but we already knew that!
Bas Braams
Bas Braams
I did my own experiment with a tiff file using an image that was previously used here [1]: a composite image that involves both color and grayscale areas. The original file is in pdf format and I have it stored in my Dropbox space and (copy of the same file) in my Google Drive space.

GDocsImagesGrayscaleColorComposite.pdf on the Dropbox cloud:

GDocsImagesGrayscaleColorComposite.pdf on the Docs+Drive cloud:

These two files display very differently: if the Dropbox version of the file is viewed then the regular browser built-in pdf viewer is used and (at least for IE9, Chrome and Firefox and I assume also Safari) it looks fine. If the Drive version of the file is viewed then the Google Drive pdf viewer handles it and (also today) the result is awful as may be seen in the screenshots that I posted under [1].

I converted this pdf file to tiff on my Ubuntu machine. I don't suppose that I used the most professional tools or the most efficient sequence of operations, but I don't think that it matters for the present test. I used pdftocairo to create a png version, then pngtopnm to create a pnm file, then ppmquant 256 to cut the number of colors down to 256, then pnmtotiff to get a tiff file. Then I placed that tiff file on my Dropbox space and on my Drive space.

GDocsImagesGrayscaleColorComposite-256colors.tif on the Dropbox cloud:

GDocsImagesGrayscaleColorComposite-256colors.tif on the Docs+Drive cloud:

Like was the case for the pdf original these two files display very differently. If the version on the Dropbox cloud is viewed (through the regular Browser viewer) then one recognizes (relative to the pdf original) that the number of colors has been much reduced (to 256 or 231, in fact), but the image is still recognizable. If the version on the Drive cloud is viewed then (today, anyway) the result is unrecognizable. All color has disappeared.

For a comparison of the two views of the original pdf version please see under [1]. Here is the comparison of the reduced, 256-color tiff image viewed two ways. On the left the view through the regular browser built-in viewer (I used Chrome in this instance) and on the right the view through the Drive viewer.

Just to be clear, the images here above are not the tiff images, they are png screenshots of the tiff image as it is viewed two ways. Certainly the Docs+Drive viewer is not handling this particular image very well at all.

[1] (2013-11-24) Bad images display in pdf files and doxs
Bas Braams
Bas Braams
Addendum to my previous post: Note how the grayscale horizontal band in the centre of the image is rendered by the Drive viewer: it isn't a monotone scale anymore, rather it is an odd-even oscillation. This is different from the problem that the Drive viewer has with pdf images; they just get reduced to 32 colors or 32 grays or (if the image is a mix of color and grayscale) 16 colors and 16 grays. Awful, but still recognizable. The tiff image is rendered unrecognizable. Maybe in the Drive viewer interpretation of tiff color codes the order of the binary digits has been inverted.
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