What the heck have we been up to?
Obviously this is a very different look for us. Back in ColorNews Issue #3 (June 28, 2001) we asked about delivering ColorNews in plaintext format or HTML. At that time (and for good reason) we received a resounding reply in support of plaintext. Fast-forward to today, almost 9 years later, and we're in a different world. Most mail readers handle HTML-formatted email well (many are web-based). It's time we upgraded our format to take advantage of better formatting and make ColorNews more readable. We will continue to make it as light-weight as possible - there are NO images used in our formatting. As always, we welcome your feedback - either way - so please let us know what you think.
Our new blog, Colorants (and raves), will be filled with short technical snippits, industry news, cool technologies, and CHROMiX announcements. You know, the usual blog fodder. Only now it's concentrated on Color Management technologies and produced by the company who brought you remote ICC profiling, 3D color gamut graphing, G7 calibration software and the producer of the most widely read color newsletter, ColorNews. But why now?..... Check it out at blog.chromix.com and feel free to add this to your RSS feeds.
We've created some training videos for Maxwell. This first set of videos focuses on the Pass/Fail features, and gives a great overview as well: Maxwell Pass / Fail. If you've been meaning to get a good feeling for how Maxwell works for proof verification then grab a cup of coffee, settle back and check it out. This video covers: setting up Tracks in Maxwell, configuring ColorShuttle to upload measurements, configuring ColorShuttle for pass/fail, modifying the label's logo, metrics and tolerances and in depth reporting of measurements in Maxwell.
We're pleased about the completion of Curve2. Both Mac and Win final versions are now shipping. This is an awesome product even by our own standards. Again, thanks to our invaluable beta testers. We've now begun testing v2.1 which will be a free upgrade to all Curve2 users.
Check out the new technical forum devoted especially to Curve2 and IDEALink Curve: This will be the main place to get support, answers and discuss any issues for Curve or Curve2. The forum is free to all users.
CHROMiX is now making training videos for Curve2!
The first 2 are free, here are the links:
20 min Curve2 Overview
47 min Curve2 comprehensive
Virtual Press Run (VPR)
Virtual Press Run is an add-on module to Curve2. VPR is NOW in beta testing! Expect public shipping with weeks.
G7-calibrating a press requires multiple, dedicated press runs right? Not any more.
VPR technology has been under development for more than two years so we're excited to finally reveal this powerful new tool. The environmental and financial impact will benefit small and large printers alike and we expect the ROI to be realized on the very first job.
Without VPR, obtaining a press profile from a G7-calibrated press requires at least two press runs; one with null plate curves to calculate the G7 calibration curves, and a second to print the profiling target through the resulting plate curves to profile the press.
VPR typically eliminates the need for the second press run. The G7 curves calculated from the first run are applied mathematically to the profiling target measurements of the first run, producing measurements that appear as if they were produced on a second "virtual" run. The savings can be huge. The first press run can be used to print on a number of different paper types. If VPR eliminates the second runs for each paper, one press run might be all that's needed to G7-calibrate a group of papers.
2010 FOGRA Colour Management Symposium
Steve Upton, President of CHROMiX was a guest speaker at the February 25th - 26th, 2010, FOGRA Colour Management Symposium in Munich, Germany. Steve also may do a special overview of notable attractions at the FOGRA 2010 in our new blog.
Maxwell Success Stories
Maxwell has rolled out across the country and the world. As of newsletter "press time" Maxwell contains over 14 million measurements and is growing every day. Stay tuned for some success stories regarding Maxwell implementation. If you have a success story you'd like told, please contact Rick Hatmaker and we'll get it told!
Shows and Events
Color-relevant gatherings to plan for
March 16th, 2010, The Pacific Northwest Color Management Users Group - Seattle Chapter, presents 'Inkjet Printing From Photoshop And Beyond'. The event will be from 6:00 to 9:00 PM (doors open at 5:30). Event located at Adobe campus U conference rooms Fremont. Includes pizza and socializing. The discussion will be about the Photoshop print dialog and then various printer dialogs (Epson, Canon, HP) and the recommended settings for each to get the best color possible! Soon to be posted. RSVP requested.
March 25th, 2010, PNWCMUG, Portland, OR presents: Expert Matt Beals will be presenting 'Color Management for PDF/X' on March 25th at The Oregonian Conference Center on Columbia in downtown Portland. Topics covered include: PDF/X-1a:2001/3, PDF/X-3:2003 and PDF/X-4, Preflighting PDF's - Adobe Acrobat, Callas, Enfocus, Preflighting images - Humans and Elpical Claro, Automatic image processing - Elpical Claro, Automation, tying it all together - Enfocus Switch. Soon to be posted
April 8th - 10th, 2010, ISA International Sign Expo, 2010, Orlando, FL.
May 18th - 25th, 2010, IPEX 2010 Exhibition, NEC Exhibition Center, Birmingham, UK. A Print, Publishing and Media extravaganza.
September 21st - 26th, 2010. Photokina, Cologne, Germany
October 3rd - 6th, 2010, GRAPH EXPO 2010, Chicago, IL, McCormick Place South.
October 13th - 15th, 2010, SGIA 2010, Las Vegas, NV, Las Vegas Convention Center. Early registration available.
Color Industry News
What's going on in the world of color
EIZO has introduced two new ColorEdge models CG223W and CG303W. The CG223W is similar in most specifications to the existing CG222W with the major exception that the CG223W has the new DisplayPort video ports. DisplayPort allows many benefits over traditional DVI including more devices, longer length and much more bandwidth. DisplayPort allows up to over 1.07 Billion colors to be displayed potentially. The CG303 is an IPS version of the CG301W which is a PVA-type panel. The IPS benefit is generally wider and more consistent view angle perspective. No prices available yet, and ship date unknown. CG223W info and CG303W info
EIZO has also released 'Screen Tuner' and new free Mac utility software that adjusts Brightness, Gain (Rd, Green, Blue), Gamma, and Color Gamut space on a few FlexScan and ColorEdge model LCDs. So far the models covered are: SX2461W, SX2761W, SX2462W, SX2262W, CG241W, CG301W, CG222W, CG232W, CG242W, CG243W, and CG223W, but may include other models later. Color Space options are: Native, Adobe RGB, sRGB/REC709, EBU, SMPTE-C, and DCI. The software has compatible versions for Mac OS X 10.4.11, 10.5 and 10.6. No Windows version of Screen Tuner is planned yet, but there is a somewhat comparable tool already existing for Windows from Eizo called Screen Manager Pro. Available free at Eizo.com under Software Downloads for each specific model.
IDEAlliance and IPA to merge April 1st, 2010, following final approval of both boards. This combination looks to be imminent... Merger details from IPA here. Other related links: sdgmag.com and whattheythink.com
Integrated Color Corp released ColorEyes Display Pro version 1.5.2 r32.2 for Mac which fixes many problems, including with Snow Leopard. Version 1.5.2 r32 is the latest Win version.
NEC is introducing a new 24" IPS panel model, the MultiSync PA241W. It touts 99.3% coverage of AdobeRGB color space, internal programmable 14-bit 3D lookup tables (LUTs) for calibration, and much more. A notable feature is that it supports 10-bit DisplayPort, a new and emerging video connection and protocol supported by the major video players. And, although it will require NEC's SpectraView calibration software and device to perform optimally, this monitor could prove to be quite popular for many budgets.
NEC will also soon be releasing 'MultiProfiler', a free utility that will give you complete control over many of the features in the MultiSync PA Series including the ability to load ICC profiles and easily configure the color space, configure the Picture in Picture, enable Color Vision Emulation and manage DisplaySync Pro settings, all in addition to the basic display configuration (e.g. brightness, etc.).
X-Rite Announced New Linux and Mac SDK for Hubble Non-contact, Laser-Guided Colorimeter and a nice review (PDF) of the Hubble.
Forum Topics and other bits
The Making of an Eizo FlexScan monitor.
We found this article interesting and probably representing much of what occurs with a ColorEdge model as well.
Product Line Characteristics
Tour of the Product Line
... if you've ever wondered what goes into the making of a fine monitor.
- an article by Steve Upton
It seemed like a good time to return to our "Color Myths" series. G7 is a great calibration method for presses and other printing systems and is right up the alley of us color management types. Nonetheless, I hear different things about G7 that are unclear or simply untrue. So, please bear with me as I clear up a few misunderstandings about the G7 method:
G7 is only used in the US
Not true, G7 is in use on every continent where printing is done. In addition to the great reception it's had in North America we're seeing rapid adoption in Asia and other parts of the world.
G7 is expensive to implement
Not true. Training is a good idea and software can save a lot of work but, strictly speaking, G7 can be implemented in a printing facility for next to no capital expenditure and the primary cost would be the press run(s) that are required to sample your press.
G7 is not in compliance with international print standards
While G7 uses a different method to tone-curve a press and TVI doesn't include gray balancing steps, a G7-calibrated press can certainly operate within published ISO tolerances.
"Near Neutral Calibration" is another name for G7.
Actually, no. Near neutral calibration is just that; the gray balancing of a system. G7 has a very specific tone curve shape that ensures that G7 calibrated systems, of varying types and technologies, look very similar in their highlight grays. This "shared appearance" method is a core benefit of G7 that other calibration methods don't share. G7 is the first device-independent definition of constant grayscale appearance.
Converting through ICC profiles (especially as a device link) is an effective replacement for G7 calibration
A custom profile for a press, used in conjunction with a reference profile like GRACoL can make a press look a lot like the reference profile's printing condition. There are significant differences though. A G7-calibrated press has tone curve irregularities removed and is easier to control AND profile. A press that has smooth tone curves and full gray balance is easier to monitor and the natural variations that occur during printing don't create unpredictable or rapidly varying prints. If your press was not curved & gray balanced then what dot gain would you look for in the mid tones? What patch would you use to determine if the press was gray balanced?
G7 is primarily useful for commercial offset printing
Not so! G7 is indeed useful for commercial printing but it really shines when used for a print process like flexo or screen where smooth, predictable tone curves and gray balance are tough to achieve by other means. G7 is making great inroads into non-offset printing technologies and several new reference printing color sets are in development that are based on G7.
G7 has undergone changes since it was introduced and is not ready for prime time
Some small modifications have been made to G7 since it's initial introduction but they are evolutionary tweaks and adjustments to the process. G7 has been and will continue to be in it's prime for users to adopt today.
G7's scaling is adaptive and so checking for G7 compliance is difficult or impossible
One of the more powerful functions of G7 is it's ability to scale to the maximum density of your printing system. This does mean that there are not necessarily "fixed" colors for a typical G7-calibrated system. A system that can perform G7 curve calculations (like Curve2) can easily determine if when measurements from a printed sheet are in conformance with G7 specifications. Speaking of G7 specifications, CHROMiX is part of the group at IDEAlliance currently working on G7 compliance testing methods and tolerances. Expect to see news on this front in the near future.
G7 and GRACoL are pretty much the same thing
Definitely not. G7 is a calibration method while GRACoL is a print specification. What's the difference? Well, G7 is the calibration upon which the GRACoL press runs were done. But G7 is also the calibration one which the SWOP #3 and SWOP #5 press runs were done. GRACoL is a specific case of G7 calibration and other printing conditions for ISO colored inks on #1 paper. For more, see the next note.
G7 Proofs are what you aim for on your proofing system
Not really, no. Any proof made to hit GRACoL #1, SWOP #3 or SWOP #5 could be argued to be a G7 proof. They will have the correct tone curves and gray balance of G7 (because G7 was used as the basis calibration of the GRACoL and SWOP runs). In reality the G7 calibration process is too broad a definition to proof to. You will want to create GRACoL or SWOP proofs on your proofer - proofs whose colors match the original patch colors of the GRACoL / SWOP colors.
The TVI method of calibration is pretty much the same as G7 when people are printing properly
IF you are printing using ISO standard inks AND your system is TVI calibrated and is able to achieve gray balance then they are similar, but not the same. The TVI method ensures that each printing channel has the correct tone curve / dot gain to match idealized tone curve shapes. G7 uses a different tone curve shape that keeps the highlight portion of the curve very stable from process to process - independent of the maximum density available. Also, G7 ENSURES gray balance explicitly rather than relying on the ink colors and dot gains achieving it implicitly. It also raises the importance of tracking gray during production. In short G7 is more likely to achieve similar, gray balanced appearance between different paper types, on different presses and even on different press types (web vs sheetfed, for instance).
G7 is finger printing your press
"Finger Printing" your press involves many different measurements and the recording of all of the important consumables, settings and variables that went into its setup and use. G7 takes a quick snapshot of the color of a current printing condition. Finger Printing is a valuable process that is much more comprehensive than printing a G7 P2P target and generating curves. G7 is not intended to replace finger printing in any way.
Thanks for reading,
Don't forget, you can discuss this article and anything else from this newsletter in ColorForums.com
There is much more information on these subjects in our ColorNews archives in previous articles and color management myths, so check out the Reserved Articles section of www.colorwiki.com for more information.
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