What the heck have we been up to?
The new Maxwell DashBoard
CHROMiX announced and showed previews of the new Maxwell DashBoard at the PIA 2011 Color Management Conference in December. The best word to describe this is WAY COOL !! Essentially DashBoard is a convenient and visual 'central console' to watch your Maxwell assets. And, the DashBoard is user customizable so you can choose to see only see those services that you want, from micro to macro elements. Anyone who is currently using Maxwell will want this tool.... Not to mention, that this is one sexy dashboard. And guess what? DashBoard is free to all Maxwell users.
CHROMiX will be provide a free public webinar in the next month showing the DashBoard. If you are interested in receiving an invite to this event, please RSVP email , or if you want to discuss a private showing, call us at (866) CHROMiX Extension 7.
Digital PressWatch is a new Maxwell-focused service for digital presses
CHROMiX announced and demonstrated Digital PressWatch at both GraphExpo 2011 and PIA 2011 Color Management Conference in December. Digital PressWatch was designed within the capable Maxwell 'Cloud' service to allow digital printers the kind of QA controls inherent with traditional web and sheet-fed printing. Digital PressWatch provides tools for viewing, monitoring and reporting the performance of each and every digital press.... from a web browser. Essential tasks like verification, pass/fail reporting and trending relative to a print standard are core to its functionality.
Furthermore.... Digital PressWatch also has some unique aspects:
Full sheet analysis
Meta data gathering
Auto target scanning
Auto target routing
Real-time feedback & clear reports
Longer term trending & analysis
And.... very exciting to many users, Digital PressWatch has a visual detection 'heat map' whereby a press operator can immediately see if a press has problems and (in most cases) what the problem is! This heat map can be viewed on a monitor or printed. Many of our existing customers print this map and affix it to the side of the press, so that other operators and floor managers can also instantly see the state of the press.
Supporting its value, in a 2008 study, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) did a comprehensive study of digital presses, and discovered that the top 3 problems customers complained about were press 'uniformity'. Digital PressWatch solves the problem of detecting these issues early in the process. Digital PressWatch is the only early detection system of its kind.
Below is a link to the Digital PressWatch overview and demonstration webinar held on October 26th. Steve Upton hosts this three-part YouTube video. Click here for the 'playlist'
Digital PressWatch is priced at $999 for a single digital press per year, or $2499 for 3 presses per year. Pricing for other press quantities available. Great i1iSis+Digital PressWatch bundles are also available.
(See Ad below). Call CHROMiX Sales at (866) CHROMiX, (866) 247-6649 or go here
Here are some of the recent posts to our blog: Colorants (and raves)
Shows and Events
Color-relevant gatherings to plan for
March 13 - 14th, 2012 - TechConference - 'Disruptive Workflow Startegies', Embassy Suites O'Hare, Rosemont, IL, an IDEAllince Educational seminar
March 19th - 20th, 2012 - Info*Flex 2012, Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, San Antonio, TX
March 22nd - 24th, 2012 - ISA International Sign Expo, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL
April 17th - 18th and June 14th - 15th, 2012 - G7 Digital Operator Training Program, Pittsburg, PA, sponsored by Printing Industries of America
May 3rd - 16th, 2012 - DRUPA 2012, Duesseldorf Messe, Duesseldorf Germany
June 11th - 13th, 2012 - G7 Expert/Professional Training, Pittsburg, PA, sponsored by Printing Industries of America. Call Joe Marin at 800-910-4283, ext. 731 or email
June 12th - 14th, 2012 - OnDemand Expo & Conference, Javits Center, New York, NY
October 7th - 10th, 2012 - GRAPH Expo 2012, McCormick Place South, Chicago, IL
October 18th - 20th, 2012 - SGIA Expo 21012, Las Vegas, NV
Events Calendar: For all current and future events, bookmark this calendar.
Color Industry News
What's going on in the world of color
Adobe has a public beta of LightRoom v4 available.
There are many new features and capabilities, but to us, and the world of color management, none are more relevant that the 'SOFT-PROOFING' capability
Here is a good article and review of LightRoom v4 from Amadou Diallo on DP Review.
There is a fully functioning beta version download of v4 from Adobe Labs
basICColor Display v5 is finally shipping
UPGRADES and NEW versions available. Version 5 has the pro-level controls that version 4 had plus many new additional features and controls. basICColor 5 also has improved the graphics and visuals and has a more intuitive interface. New compatibilities include the new X-Rite i1DisplayPro, Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and more. Questions... let us know. CHROMIX is your basICColor USA supplier and support provider
ColorBurst Overdrive 2
ColorBurst has announced a new 64 bit - Mac RIP called Overdrive 2. Besides being fast, there are some great features: Overdrive 2 uses the exact same formula as PhotoShop for Black Point Comp. It's great for Photo printing and it uses the Advanced B&W modes of the Driver. Overdrive 2 uses the printer's internal calibration for accurate gray balance (only available through the driver). It also uses generic and custom RGB ICC profiles. And much more.
Also, until March 31st, 2012, get an additional 15% to 20% off the already discounted CHROMiX price. For more
GMG ColorProof 5.3
GMG has introduced ColorProof version 5.3. With v5.3, GMG is also introducing new features and packages including WebClient, Remote and Production. Upgrades are available for existing customers and past versions. For pricing contact CHROMiX Sales. For a features overview, check out these YouTube videos:
Spyder4 is able to calibrate iPhone-iPad-LCDs wide gamut displays. Includes: 7-channel sensor and new filter design. New features for control and fine-tuning. On the surface, this looks like a great device.
We're curious about your Spyder4 experiences. Please post to our blog so others can learn
i1Display Pro drives EIZO CG series directly
The new X-Rite i1Display Pro now embeds the Eizo Color Navigator SDK in i1Profiler software. That means that you can hardware-calibrate a ColorEdge Eizo without Color Navigator software. This may be a convenience for those with mixed monitors in the environment.
X-Rite is taking off the gloves with some great deals for end users. The first deal includes free i1Profiler profiling software with any iSis purchase. That's a $999 value. Either the Standard size or XL size i1 iSis spectrophotometer qualify. Free i1Profiler deal
The second deal is cash back (from X-Rite) for purchase of i1Profiler software (new or upgrades). For New i1Profiler you get $300, Upgrade A you get $150, for Upgrade B you get $270. And... this cash back is in addition to savings you enjoy from CHROMiX's aggressively discounted prices. Offer expires March 31st, 2012. Cash Back deal
ColorEyes and Lion Compatibility
The folks from Integrated Color have posted a note about OS X 10.7 Lion compatibility, Apple displays and ColorEyes Display Pro calibration software. Apparently there is a significant incompatibility with the Apple Brightness Monitor Driver, OS X 10.7 Lion and ColorEyes Display Pro software. More.
Forum Topics and other bits
Popular topics from ColorForums.com and other things we've found along the way.
According to Steve Upton: "Well worth the read. A well reasoned argument and a rant at the same time!". thoughts on interaction design
I LUV UV
- an article by Pat Herold, CHROMiX Technical Support
As Tom Lianza of X-Rite says, "the whole UV issue is like a wound that won't stop itching." A couple of new standards have come on the scene which can change our viewing environment and give us more options when saving measurements. We wrote an article on optical brighteners in issue 36 of the CHROMiX ColorNews. We hope that this new article will provide a kind of Calomine lotion as we forage through these new UV developments.
If you recall, when we last looked at Optical Brightening Agents (OBA's), we saw that they can be present in many of the papers (and some of the inks) we use for printing. These OBA's are also known as Fluorescent Whitening Agents (FWA's). I don't know which term I like better. I might decide to use them interchangeably in this article just to confuse you, so you'd better read carefully.
FWA's are great in that they make our paper "whiter" - but they do cause problems since that brightening will change depending on our viewing environment and our eyes see this white differently than do the measuring instruments we use to measure color.
If you are printing on paper that has a lot of OBA's in it, the profiles you build will likely make your prints a bit warmer in the brighter parts of the picture - unless you employ some means of correction. This can be a big issue for those who require great accuracy in printed color. The other half of the issue is that lighting conditions affect how much OBA's are detected. In other words, different amounts of UV in the light source will determine how much the OBA's in the paper are excited in the visible spectrum.
How to get it (or not)
In order for fluorescing to happen, you need to have a light source that contains UltraViolet light shining onto a material that has FWA's in it - to make the material "fluoresce". There are several different situations you could find yourself in:
Your measuring instrument might be doing absolutely nothing about filtering out any UV light. This can be perfectly fine if:
- There may or may not be FWA's in the paper you print on or in the inks you use.
- In addition, there may or may not be UV light in the actual light you are using to view your prints.
- Your measurement instrument might be filtering out the UV light before it measures the color, (eg: a UV-cut i1Pro, a DTP70 with UV filter on, etc)
- or your instrument might be using an illumination lamp in its measurement process that has no UV light in it - and is effectively doing the same thing as "filtering out" the UV light. (iSis)
Back before we started using more paper with FWA's, we could get away with not caring most of the time. But a new viewing standard was recently implemented that affects how you'll be viewing prints in a viewing booth.
- Your paper / ink does not have any OBA's
- Your software is making a correction for OBA's (i1Profiler, i1Match)
- Your prints will be viewed in such a way (under non-UV light for example) that it will not affect the viewing experience, or
- You just don't care.
Paper and Proofing
In the world of large volume printing, you have your printing press which is a big beast of a machine that is rather costly to run, considering the paper, ink and other consumables. So when someone wants to know what an image will look like when it's printed on a press, they use a proofing printer - a printer capable of producing single prints at a fraction of the cost of firing up the whole press. This proofer is specially tweaked to look just like the press, so you can print your image on this "proofer" and get a "hard proof" that is supposed to match the press reasonably well. These proofers, whether they be a Kodak Approval or a high quality inkjet printer, make use of "proofing paper" to accomplish this feat.
Due to the fact that a printing press is a much different machine than a proofing printer - different inks, different printing technology - you usually can't print on the proofer with the same paper you'll use on the press. So you use proofing paper that is specialized to work on that printer and closely simulates the color and texture of the paper that will be run on the press. These high quality proofing papers are traditionally made specifically without optical brighteners. This is to increase the permanence of the image as well as taking the erratic UV issue out of the picture. (Regardless of whether the light in which you're viewing this proof has UV in it or not, the print will look the same. ) Okay, here comes the funny part: Proofing papers typically do not have OBA's in them but press stock frequently does. Hah!
Not to worry, say the pre-press guys. Our viewing booths have lamps that are specially made to not emit light from the ultraviolet spectrum. So the press paper (with FWA's) will look the same as the proofing paper in our light booths. Hah! Right back at you!
(This reminds me of the old joke about the guy selling an African Elephant charm. He said it was guaranteed to repel elephants in case of a stampede. When his customer protested, "there aren't any elephants within 30 miles of here," he replied, "See how well it works!" It is rather hard to fault his logic, but it somehow did not seem to be a fair test.)
Add ISO3664 excitement
While this worked out well for the press side of things, someone realized that these viewing booths did not match normal, in-the-world, daylight viewing conditions. Once the image got out "into the sun" the optical brighteners would be excited and you'd have a brighter, bluer image than was expected.
ISO3664 is the international color viewing standard for the graphic technology and photography industry. It was updated in 2009 to have more stringent requirements, so the light source would more accurately simulate the CIE D50 (daylight) illuminant in the UV range. The old standard was loose enough to allow for little or no UV light. Basically, because sunlight has UV light in it, this new standard requires a certain amount of UV to be included in these new lamps. This new standard does a better job of giving you viewing light that is more realistic.
Since the new update, lamp manufacturers have been busy reformulating lamps in order to match this standard which was implemented on January 1, 2012. As of now, all viewing booths professing to be compatible with the ISO 3664 standard will have these new UV-using lamps included, including these from GTI and Just Normlicht.
In other words...
The situation as it was:
Proofers would use proofing paper with no OBA's in it. They would print onto press paper that oftentimes had OBA's in it. Viewing these two in a press-side viewing booth would allow these two images to appear the same. This also made it easier to have proof-to-proof matching.
The situation now (as of January 1, 2012):
Proofers are still using proofing paper with no OBA's in it. The press is still printing onto paper with OBA's in it. The viewing booths have more realistic UV-including lamps. These prints are no longer matching in viewing booths. Customers are getting more realistic views of what their prints look like under normal daylight. Proofers are having a harder time getting their proofs to match the press. They are getting frustrated when their clients perceive their proofs as being "less accurate."
If you happen to be in the client role in this scenario, you might cut your printer some slack. There are some changes in the industry and it will take a while to find the best path forward. The easy solution for proofers is to use the same stock that is used on the press. But that can be harder than it sounds since there are different inks and different printing processes involved. A second option is to find proofing paper with a similar level of OBA's in it. Finally, some profiling software allows one to dial in a profile so that it visually matches what you see on the press. (See our article on X-Rite's OBC module.)
ISO measurement modes
Part of the reason why the industry has taken this step toward requiring more realistic UV in our light sources, is because we now have more instruments that can measure UV and more ways to deal with it in creating profiles.
2009 also saw the revision of the standard which deals with how to take measurements of color in the graphic arts industry (must have been a good year for standards). ISO 13655-2009 introduces four measurement conditions which you might start seeing cropping up in your newer measuring software.
M0 delineates that the measurement was made using "illuminant A" which is the traditional tungsten lamp. Most of your older instruments would have this kind of lamp (ie: i1Pro, DTP41, DTP70, Spectrolino). M0 does not define UV content. As a result, M0 can be thought of as the fall-back condition for instruments not conforming to M1 through M3 - including older UV-cut instruments that don't conform to the specific UV filtering of M2.
M1 specifies the measurement light as being D50, that is - normal daylight. This would include a specific amount of UV light, and not be polarized. As of now, there are very few instruments that conform to this measurement condition (the D50 spectral curve is difficult to produce). Two that do are the BARBIERI Spectropad and the Konica Minolta FD-7.
M2 describes any non-polarized light that has UV filtered out. This includes measurements made by XRGA-compatible instruments in UV-cut mode but NOT older instruments. The UV filter is carefully defined and most older UV-cut instruments are not compliant.
M3 is for measurements that are polarized (and are assumed to have the same UV filtering as M2). Polarizing the light as it is measured can be used to reduce the way the surface of the media bounces light back up to the sensor, and can draw more shadow detail from some difficult media substrates like canvas and matte papers. It also almost eliminates the difference between wet and dry measurements and is useful for those who need consistency between on-press and older work.
The new i1Profiler software has the ability to save its measurement files in these four different "measurement modes." You will most likely see M0 and M2 used, depending on what instrument you are measuring with of course.
These new modes show up when you save a measurement. The label for each mode is included in the name of the measurement as well as in the header information in the measurement file itself. While it's still too early to tell what impact these modes will have on the industry, the intention here is that they will do a better job of communicating the purpose for which the measurement was taken.
It's tempting to see change as a threat, and it's certainly possible that devious minds will mask subversive plots by appealing to change. But I don't think anything so sinister is happening in the color world. Ideally change happens because of a sincere desire to improve things or react better to changes that have already taken place. At CHROMiX, we are devoted to bringing you information on the noteworthy changes that are happening in the industry in a truthful and easy-to-digest manner.
Thanks for reading,
To read this article with images in ColorWiki, click here