ColorNews Issue #12

Profiling Overhead Displays


C H R O M i X C O L O R N E W S

Issue #12
April 26th, 2004


Welcome to ColorNews, a periodic update on things related to Color Management. We are striving for a regular consistent newsletter of high value to our customers. Please let us know what your interests are so we can address these concerns in our coming issues.

This month we would like to draw particular attention to three items:

** The transition of ProfileCity into CHROMiX is complete. All web requests are directed to a special section on our site and we continue to offer customers the same great profiling packages using the same ICS technologies that ProfileCity customers are accustomed to. Some changes to the service include: all services post-paid - no need to buy a profile to download the kit, CHROMiX industry-leading 100% price guarantee extended to new ProfileCity profiles, expanded profile naming - no longer cryptic numbers, all ProfileCity profiles have longer meaningful names. Please contact us if you have any questions or comments.

** BEAMER WEEK! Buy an Eye-One Photo or Eye-One Publish during the week of April 26 - 30 Only, and get a FREE BEAMER Upgrade and Storage Case. And yes, you can combine the FREE Eye-One Display deal (below) as well. See details below.

** It's still here!!!! The very popular FREE Eye-One Display promotion continues through June 30, 2004. See details below.

** 'Calibration & Profiling of Overhead Display Systems', an article written by CHROMiX President Steve Upton that you'll want to read.


Table of Contents


1. CHROMiX News
2. Color & Product News
3. Tech Notes
4. Industry News
5. Shows and Events
6. ColorFAQs - this month's FAQ is 'Calibration & Profiling of Overhead Display Systems'
7. CHROMiX USED items for sale
8. ColorNews Administration (feedback, subscriptions, etc.)




Since our last ColorNews issue (December 2003) many things have happened at CHROMiX that are worth mentioning:

Our ColorThink software has been awarded the "Best Graphic Design Software" winner from Real Software. Software packages built using their development tools were eligible for the award and were judged on excellence in design, functionality and most complete adoption of advanced technologies. We are honored to awarded this recognition and happy that ColorThink is receiving this recognition.

CHROMiX has formally joined the Color Management Group, a consortium of the top Color Management experts in North America. The Color Management Group has associates from coast to coast USA. We are excited to be a part of a larger circle of minds and talent!

CHROMiX's integration of ICS's ProfileCity custom profiling operations has gone much better and faster than expected. CHROMiX ColorValet profiling service is now the largest profiling service in the world!! However, you won't catch us standing on our laurels. We are still extremely obsessed with making the best custom profiles in the world for each and every customer. We look forward to an opportunity to prove this to you! Here's the original news release:
If you're an organization, association, manufacturer or large end user, give us a call to discuss how we can customize a profiling program to meet your company's and your customers' needs.
Call Rick Hatmaker at (866) CHROMiX or (866) 247-6649

The very popular FREE Eye-One Display promotion from CHROMiX continues and gets better!!
GretagMacbeth has announced a ONE-WEEK only promotion that includes an Eye-One Beamer FREE with any Eye-One Photo or Publish.
So, if you are in the market for an Eye-One Photo or Publish, this is the week to order it as you will get an Eye-One Display, Eye-One Beamer module and carry case ALL for FREE. For more information on the special, please see the ad below and for more information on the Beamer, please see this month's article below.

If you're a CHROMiX Partner and have not received your commission check, or if you feel that the check is incorrect, please let us know. We want your feedback so we can evolve this into a world class program for you.
If you're not already in the Partner Program, get on board now to enhance your revenues with this opportunity. Simply go to link to find out how to 'get with the program', or check out Steve Upton's article focusing on the Partner Program in ColorNews issue #9 at link

** Steve Upton will be speaking at the following events:

July 15, 2004, 2PM - 3:15PM. Steve will be speaking at MACWORLD Boston, MA.


Color & Product News


GretagMacbeth has set the release of ProfileMaker version 5 profiling and color management software to May 15,2004. We at CHROMiX have been beta testing ProfileMaker for GretagMacbeth and are excited about the new features including custom target generation, enhanced multi-color profile and a significant upgrade to the camera profiling module. Expect the release information posted in the next issue of ColorNews.

The makers ColorBlind are looking to re-invigorate the entire product line. Quik Pix, Inc. (QPI), a division of Dalrada Financial Corporation (DRDF), has apparently hired additional applications engineers, software programmers and customer support personnel.
For those who are aware of ColorBlind but haven't been following the long history, it was sold to ITEC in 1999 but the original creators (and braintrust) behind it eventually left the company. It has been through a few marketing redressings and some updates but has seemed to entirely lose its lead in the market. ITEC recently changed their name to Dalrada Financial Corp and now markets ColorBlind products through Quik Pix, a company in which it holds a controlling interest. Dalrada, despite the name change, continues to lose money. However, engineering does seem to be happening on the ColorBlind line of products. Prove it! and all other legacy products are being re-worked or updated for re-release. The new Prove-it! is due in May. Other products will release at future times. We'll keep an eye on their progress and keep you posted with product and company viability.

Pantone and ColorVision released ColorPlus, a $119 package targeted at home users that includes a sensor and a wizard-guided software that steps the user through simple monitor calibration. This new calibration package is only available for Windows and does not allow the user to set gamma, white point or offer any PreCal function. While we recommend the 6500K white point and 2.2 gamma it uses as defaults, the omission of the PreCal ability - where you can tune your monitor to get it close to the desired white point - is a significant omission. We are in the process of evaluating this package.ColorVision is focusing it on the home-user market and we suggest that it is not appropriate for professional or photo enthusiast use.

There's a very entertaining article by Eamon Hickey that focuses on the Digital Workflow implemented by Sports Illustrated for Super Bowl XXXVIII at the Rob Galbraith Digital Photography website. Although the color management portion is one small paragraph on page 3, this is a very good and realistic read for Photographers of all walks.


Tech Notes


CHROMiX ColorNews articles are a useful resource for technical information. In every issue is an article that usually covers a technical topic of merit to users. ColorNews articles are archived and available for your FREE access at link

Overheard on the ColorSync mailing list:

If you are having trouble with an Epson 2200/2100 printer under Mac OS X it may be due to the Gimp-Print driver which is the default driver under OS X v10.3. Some users are funding success in trouble-shooting the problem by removing the Gimp_print driver and installing the drivers that come on the CD included with the printer.

Several Mac OS X users have asked us how to understand the impact of the GIMP print driver in their system. One of the best places for this information is the Gimp-Print website. You will find the ESP Ghostscript version 7.05.6, the Gimp-Print un-installer and many technical and support links and pages available: link


Many people have asked us what reference material we recommend. As a desk side technical reference, 'Real World Color Management' from Bruce Fraser and Chris Murphy is the 'go to' standard in the industry (about $39).
We also strongly suggest 'Understanding Color Management' by Abhay Sharma (ISBN # 1-4018-1447-6) as one of the best tutorial references for learning color management (basic to intermediate).
There are many more excellent resources available. If you have a favorite, let us know and we can suggest it as well.




May 6 - 19, 2004 DRUPA, Duesseldorf, Germany, is the largest Print show in the world. DRUPA is undeniably considered the mecca for anything print related.
For more information: link

May 10, 2004, The Professional Workflow Digital Workshops with Will Crockett have been a great value for all attendees. The best value is that these events have been FREE. The last stop and end of the tour is in Chicago on May 10, 2004.
For more: link

May 27, Portland, OR. Pacific Northwest Color Management Users Group, is excited and proud to present Barry Haynes, author of numerous articles and the highly acclaimed Photoshop Artistry series. Barry will show techniques including effective work environment organization, Color correction, masking, use of color spaces, and some new insights on monitor and printer calibration! This lecture event is 5/27/04 at 6:00PM at The Oregonian. For more information and event registration go to: link

June 17 - 19, 2004 Guttenberg Festival. Long Beach Convention Center, CA. Now in its 32nd year, this annual Southern California event is the hot spot for graphic design, digital prepress, printing, publishing converting and digital equipment professionals. Over 200 exhibitors will be on-hand to display products on over 60,000 net sq feet.

July 12 - 15, MacWorld, Boston, MA. Everything for the Mac devoted. East Coast style. Steve Upton will be speaking.

July 15 - 17, InDesign 2004, Boston, MA. Get personal with the world's premier experts, authors, trainers, and third party developers for 3 days of unparalleled Adobe InDesign training, tips, techniques and networking. link

October 10 - 13, 2004 GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO at McCormick Place
South, Chicago, IL. This is the largest, most comprehensive prepress, printing, converting and digital equipment trade show and conference in the Americas.

October 24 28, 2004, XPLOR 2004, 25th Global Electronic Document Systems Conference & Exhibition at Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, TX. link

January 10 - 14, MacWorld San Francisco, CA. Everything for the Mac devoted. West Coast style. link

March 17-19, 2005 Graphic Arts 2005. Charlotte Convention Center, NC. This recent trade show and conference brought in thousands of industry professionals from the Southern USA. View the many highlights of the 2003 show edition and sign up to be reminded of the next show in Charlotte, NC. link

September 9-15, 2005 PRINT '05 at McCormick Place Complex, Chicago, IL Because of its mammoth size and international presence, PRINT occurs only every four years and will take the place of GRAPH EXPO and CONVERTING EXPO in 2005.




Each month, our President Steve Upton will take time to answer questions we receive on a regular basis. If you have specific questions or comments, please see below for how to make submissions.

This Month - Calibration & Profiling of Overhead Display Systems

Can it be done?

Yes in fact, it can. With the right equipment and software you can calibrate and profile your overhead display system. It makes a considerable difference as well. Neutrals look neutral, correct saturation stops your images from looking washed out or artificially punchy. The hues of important colors like logos also look correct. This is especially important if your presentation includes your client's logo and other corporate colors.

What is a Beamer?

In North America a "beamer" is what yuppies call their BMW. In Europe a "beamer" is the common nickname for an overhead projector system. In Color Management a Beamer is an overhead calibration system from GretagMacbeth. As far as we have been able to determine, it is the only overhead display calibration and profiling solution offered on the market today.

How does it work?

Well, it is similar to calibrating your monitor with a little more setup. Basically you connect your computer to the overhead display projector and set it up like normal. Make sure you have the contrast and brightness set the way you like and the image is clear and stable. Then you attach the Eye-One spectrophotometer to a small stand that allows you to aim it at your overhead system's screen. A small white dot appears on the screen allowing you to fine-tune the spectro's positioning. Then the calibration and profiling proceeds in a similar (if somewhat larger) fashion to monitor calibration.

Is it just the same as a monitor?

Pretty much, yes. Just like your monitor, the curves in your computer's graphic card are adjusted until the screen shows the desired white point and gamma. Then an additional series of colors is measured to build a profile characterizing the system. The calibration curves are embedded into the profile and it is saved and set as your system's profile. All this is just like a conventional display profile.

What does it help?

As mentioned above, it neutralizes neutrals, calibrates white point and gamma and, when an application uses the profile, helps display correct hues & saturation.

From a bigger-picture perspective, it helps you make your point. It makes your image more professional and your competitors wonder what they're missing.

Can I calibrate/profile once and use it across multiple systems?

Not typically. Just like a conventional monitor, calibration and profiling of a display system involves the display AND the graphics card in the CPU. The combination of the two is what's calibrated. The overhead display system will behave differently connected to a different CPU and so each combination needs to be calibrated separately. This is one of the first questions we typically hear. If the CPUs are very similar (like the same model PowerBook, for instance) then you may get away with it. In most cases however, it's time to re-calibrate.

What about my system display vs the overhead display?

If you have a monitor connected to your computer in addition to the overhead display then you may want each of them calibrated.

You can calibrate & profile each if:

- your monitor and the overhead display are connected to different graphics cards (for Mac or Windows) or a two-headed graphics card (Mac).
- your overhead system is connected to your PowerBook and you are NOT mirroring displays.

You can NOT calibrate & profile each if:

- your CPU is connected to the overhead display with the same cable as it is connected to a monitor.
- your overhead system is connected to your laptop and you are mirroring displays.

If you can't, calibrate the overhead and live with the other display looking a bit "off" while you present. Select your regular display profile when your presentation's over to return to normal (Windows systems will require a reboot to load the correct calibration tables).

How about DVD playback?

DVD player software is not color managed. That doesn't mean that calibration won't improve your display however. Setting a desirable white point, fixing the gamma curves of each RGB channel to 2.2 and nailing down your grays will all help raise the quality of your DVD playback.

What about Photoshop?

Photoshop and other applications that can use a display profile will go the extra step of ensuring that color hue and saturation will be as correct as display gamut will allow.

What about Presentation Software like PowerPoint and Safari?

That's a good question. If the presentation package is color aware like Safari, then you have no worries. It will color manage your images for great display quality. For PowerPoint users on Windows, GretagMacbeth includes a plug-in that allows the color management of images within your presentations.

While it may seem like this is a product-specific article I really wanted to get the word out on color managing overhead presentation systems and the Beamer is really the only product we know that will do the job. If any readers know of additional tools that will do this function, please let us know.

Thanks for reading,

Steve Upton
April, 2004


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