Improved colour management software at Copyrightimage

I’m currently building some test print profiles using the new i1 Publish software from x-rite in Germany. This is intended to replace i1Match that I have used up till now with my i1 Photospectrometer.

The advantages are starting to show after a very dodgy start when the program crashed on Windows 7 when building profiles and trouble reading dense strips from my Epson 3800 printer. I’m happy to report I have been working via a contact at x-rite to beta test changes to the software and they have been very helpful in sorting things out.

Its still early days and I’m not trusting the software with mission critical work just yet but I have been building some very usable and improved profiles for the papers I use. These early profiles show an improvement in gamut (wider range of saturated colours) and greater smoothness of gradients, much less cloggyness in the shadows also – closer to a high end RIP than you would expect a print driver to achive. Im particularly looking forward to building profiles to suit the lighting that the prints will be displayed in, something that was not possible with i1match.

The plot above shows my old Permajet 240 Matt profile in solid colour with the new i1 Publish profile overlaid in grid view, the projected gamut lines at the bottom show the larger colour space of the new profile.

I’m hoping the investment benefit all my clients who need the occasional print profile building or use my printing services for exhibition quality prints.

Stephen

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Colorchecker passport part 3


I couldnt quite understand why building profiles with the colorchecker passport was leading to reds (especially) being a little oversaturated.
I got out my (more expensive) Gretagmackbeth SG chart and suddenly all was clear.
The colours on my SG chart are much richer, specifically the colours in the center which should share common values with the passport.
Now my SG chart is a few years old and should if anything have faded, the colour should not be richer!
I can only conclude that the nice matt finish on the passport that makes it easier to light and photograph has the side effect of not being as rich in colour as it should due to light scatter.
However the profile calcualtions must be based on the colour values from the reference chart, becasue the passport colours are weaker the profile is pushing the colours up too far.

I can still work with the passport but I will need to tweak the resulting profile with the Adobe DNG profile editor, less than ideal though maybe a better path if lighting the SG chart is problematic.

Oh well..

(Photograph shows SG chart and passport under the same lighting, the white rectangle shows the colours that are common to the charts and used to build profiles)

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X-rite colorchecker passport update


Im still experimenting with this camera profiling kit and have done some work on the strong reds.

My initial analysis was that some saturation was increased using the profile I built and in the case of reds was causing some clipping. All files were coverted to 16 bit and the Adobe 1998 colour space.

When I tried the conversion into the larger pro photo colour space I got a big surprise, it looks like the profile has found a lot of colour detail outside the Adobe 1998 colour space (see the diagram above, the dots represent colour in the file and the solid object is the Adobe 1998 colour space).

In the Pro Photo Colour space there is no clipping, just extended colour…

When I use the standard Adobe camera profile and convert to Pro Photo the colour just about creeps out of the Adobe 1998 colour space so it looks like the custom profile really is getting some extra range out of the camera.

In order to get the advantage of this extended range it looks like I may need to convert and retouch in the Pro Photo colour space, I can always convert to Aobe 1998 with perceptual rendering if clients request.

This could be very useful for me helping clients who do copy work, will need to experiment some more…

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X-rite colorchecker passport


Very excited today to get my hands on one of the new products from x-rite called the colorchecker passport.

This allows you to build custom colour profiles for cameras. Its simple to use – just shoot a frame with the checker in and then use this to build a custom profile that can then be used in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom.
Initial test look good, blues are more accurate (see the blue pot above), as are other colours like the teracotta pots, though reds look a little high. (Click on the image above to see a larger version).

I have given up on camera profiles in the past as the chart I used (a previous x-rite product called the SG) had a sheen on the colour tiles that made lighting/positioning the chart very difficult. The matt surface of the new product makes placement and readings much easier.

The charts are encased in a hard plastic shell that acts as its own stand and looks to be very well made, a bit of a bargin for about £80 inc VAT.

More testing to be done but Im happy with the initial results and look forward to using it on a commercial shoot next month.

You can read more here:
http://shop.colourconfidence.com/product.php?xProd=2686″

(Ellie the cat muscled in on the shot without prompting)
Stephen

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Managing multiple monitor profiles in Windows XP and Vista

If you have a Gretag Macbeth product registered with the company then you can obtain a useful utilitiy:

DisplayProfile freeware for Windows

DisplayProfile allows you to store multiple monitor profiles for your PC and have a way to easily switch between them. By moving the window to any connected monitor you can dynamically update the profile for that monitor. You can download the software here: http://gretagmacbeth.com/getfile?send=1&id=8712 (requires login)

This is a useful utility to have whilst we wait for Gretag Macbeth to release a calibration loader that works fully with Vista, possibly in the next release of i1Match. I will inform you here just as soon as I know….

Stephen

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New Gretag Macbeth Software

Version 3.6 of i1 match has been released.
This shows improvements in checking profile quality etc as well as supporting monitor calibration under 64 bit windows.

You will need to log in to get the update:

http://www.gretagmacbeth.com/mygmb.htm?

There are a few new variables in this software so give me time to work out the implications for different client requirements before installing it. Unless your need is immediate (windows 64 bit) then hold off a little while.

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X-Rite buys Gretagmacbeth

Having used instuments from both companies Im confdent that X-Rites impending takeover of Gretagmacbeth will not cause any problems.
A company statement says that they will continue supporting existing products for a minimum of 7 years so nobody should lose out.
Having said all that it would be nicer for their customers if they didnt merge but rather competed against each other to provide the best products.
All a bit too cosy in my opinion.

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Colour management services

 

Over the next few weeks I will be building some sets of camera profiles for the Canon 1ds. The purpose of this is to judge the usability and usefulness of camera profiles in studio conditions using controlled lighting. I hope to report back on the results here in the near future so keep checking back.

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