ColorNews Issue #25

Editing Profiles for Fun and Profit

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

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

Issue # 25
Dec. 12th, 2006


Table of Contents


1. Shows and Events
2. CHROMiX News
3. Color Industry News
4. Editing Profiles for Fun and Profit
    - an article by CHROMiX's Tech Guru Patrick Herold
5. CHROMiX Open Box items for sale
6. ColorNews Administration (feedback, subscriptions, etc.)




January 7th - 13th, 2007, MacWorld Conference and Expo, San Francisco, CA. A SPECIAL TRIBUTE will be given by industry leaders to honor Bruce Fraser, co-author of Real World Color Management, and the Real World series. Bruce is regarded as the very best our industry has to offer and has made many significant contributions to this industry.
Click here

January 14th - 16th, 2007, Imaging USA, San Antonio, TX.
Click here

Feb. 28th - March 4th, 2007, Graphics of the Americas 2007 and Xplor Conference 2007 combine once again for one of the worlds largest events of its kind. The event is held at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Florida. Xplor's vertical markets include banking/financial, insurance, service bureau, direct marketing, government, manufacturing, medical, manufacturing, utilities, and other Fortune 1000 companies. Graphics of the Americas attendees include thousands of commercial printers and graphics-oriented, creative professionals. Together, the target audience is expected to be over 22,000 CEO's, E-Doc, IT managers and executives and creative professionals from around the world. Click here

March 8th - 11th, 2007, PMA 07 International Photography Trade Show & Convention, Las Vegas. This event is undoubtedly the largest show for the photography market. Click here

September 9th - 12th, 2007, GraphEXPO and Converting Expo 2007 USA, Chicago. Regarded as the USA's most comprehensive prepress, printing, converting, and digital equipment trade show and conference, it is estimated that over 40,000 industry professionals will attend this event. Click here




CHROMiX had several exciting announcements at the recent PIA/GATF
Color Management Conference:

Introducing CHROMiX Maxwell

Attendees of this year's Color Management Conference in Phoenix were treated to a special announcement and sneak preview of Maxwell. Maxwell is a revolutionary new color management system based on a central web-enabled color repository. Imagine a system you can easily upload and download color measurements to for free*. On top of the color repository, Maxwell offers device trending, color profiling, profile sharing and measurement services. Built on a solid foundation of clustered web and database servers Maxwell imports and exports popular file formats and has a fantastic graphing engine for color analysis and device trending. No more dongles, no more color conversion problems, no more color coordination problems.

Maxwell will be available in the first quarter of 2007 by subscription and other plans. We will have referral, reseller, bundling and OEM opportunities available.

To attend a Webex presentation of Maxwell send an email to us here: maxwellintro(at)

Maxwell to Create Windows Vista WCS Profiles

An industry first, CHROMiX Maxwell will create color profiles for Microsoft's new Vista operating system. Vista's WCS breaks new ground in color management but its profiles are a proprietary new format. Maxwell will create Vista WCS profiles for easy download and installation.

ColorWiki is the first open-source, open-forum wiki devoted exclusively to color management information. With ColorWiki, you can find information about color management topics and tools, and contribute your own knowledge to help develop this open, cooperative community. We also have a unique setup in that some articles are 'reserved'. These articles retain their copyright and are not editable by general wiki users. While this may seem restrictive, it allows us to publish articles of many different types such as manuals, technical articles, papers, etc. So if you have an article you would like published, please let us know. It's also a great place to publish Product User Manuals and, in fact we have published the ColorThink and ColorThink Pro User Manuals here. We hope you find it useful!

The next ColorThink Pro WebEx Training session will be Wednesday, December 13th. This is your last chance to take advantage of this fabulous $299 deal. The WebEx class, which consists of one two-hour session and one one-hour session, is taught by Steve Upton, designer and developer of ColorThink. The first two hours cover fundamental and intermediate use, and touch on some advanced concepts. The second session, held at a later date agreed upon by class attendees, focuses on advanced concepts and questions. The class is presented in this manner to allow plenty of hands-on time with the program before the final hour of training. Interested? All you need is a current browser, and ColorThink Pro. Pricing: $625, which includes an upgrade from ColorThink to ColorThink Pro and the Webex training; $725 if you are starting from scratch (no upgrade) for the training and the whole ColorThink Pro program; or $450 for the Webex class only ($299 SPECIAL Price until 12/31). For more information or to
register, call sales at 866-CHROMiX x1, or email sales(at)

* some limitations apply


Color, Product & Industry News


Integrated-Color showed the newest version of their ColorEyes monitor calibration software at the PIA/GATF Conference last week: ColorEyes Pro v1.0. The user interface has been completely redesigned and functions mostly from one main screen. It's much easier to navigate than previous versions, and you'll find the 'Easy' and 'Advanced' modes on the same main screen. 'Native Gamma' has been added as an option, and includes their L* technology. New 'Black Point Target' options have been added to accommodate a wider variety of monitors. CHROMiX tested ColorEyes Pro and found it works very well and is one of the best products on the market right now. Only the Mac version is available at this time, with the PC version expected soon. Upgrades and policies for upgrading information will be forthcoming soon as

X-rite expects to ship the Eye-One iSis by year-end. The iSis is an automated chart reader and possible successor to the DTP-70. The instrument automatically adjusts for misalignments during chart feeding, can feed a chart without pressing any buttons and, once chart feeding begins, the measurement procedure starts automatically. With two sizes available, the larger version, the A3+, allows for more than 2,500 patches to be printed on one A3 page, with no cutting necessary for A3 papers. The A3+ version also allows long charts to be measured without cutting (optimal for large format printing). Because the iSis has LED technology for illumination, no lamp
replacements are required. A UV Cut feature will be available.

GTI has introduced a new family of Professional Desktop Viewers, the e-series. These new models feature improved light evenness, larger viewing area, improved visual appearance, a new larger 23" x 25" size, and all models can be folded easily for transport or storage. In addition to the PDV introduction, GTI has developed a series of
large format viewing for press room soft proofing.

ColorBurst announced a new version called X-Proof PLUS. Expected to ship around mid-January 2007 for an additional $300 above the standard pricing, X-Proof PLUS touts the following additional new features: Job Titles, Print Certification Target, Standard and Customizable Color Bars, Custom Spot Color Library, and Spot Color Functionality. ColorBurst also announced added features for X-Photo and X-Proof, including added support for most common spectrophotometer devices, L*A*B based linearization (Chroma, the former method will still be available as a feature), new ink limiting features, GRACoL/SWOP certification, and an updated PostScript


This Month's Feature Article

Editing Profiles for Fun and Profit

by Pat Herold, CHROMiX's Tech Guru


The first thing we usually ask when a client announces that they would like to edit a profile is: "Now, why would you want to go and
do a thing like that?"

The rule of thumb around CHROMiX is that if there's something wrong with a profile that requires an edit, then there was probably something wrong with the creation of the profile. Profiling software is quite advanced these days, and you generally don't find it making bad profiles when it is given good measurement data. So we will gently guide the user back to making sure the basics were covered when the profile was created. It is worthwhile to reprint the target and remeasure. Once in a while, an edit is necessary to adjust a profile that is not performing accurately, but it is the
exception to the rule.

Now that I've got that warning out of the way, let's do an abrupt about-face and get excited about editing!

Steve Upton's article on Profile Editing from the ColorNews issue No. 3 presents a good overview of what features to look for, and is a great place to start learning about editing. The balance of this article will explore some practical ways that output profile editing
can help you do more with already good profiles.

Three of our more popular editors are...

1. Kodak Colorflow Custom Color Tools.

Try saying that three times quickly. Kodak is the manufacturer, "Colorflow" is the name of the family of products, and "Custom Color Tools" is the name of the actual profile editor. This product is gaining a lot of popularity among professional photographers because it operates as a Photoshop plug-in. You edit a profile by importing an image into Photoshop, altering the colors using the more common Photoshop image adjustment tools, and then you merely export your changes as a new profile. If you are familiar with Photoshop, this gives you an interface that is pretty comfortable and can do just about anything you could want. You can't do anything too esoteric, like altering a specific color in a specific place in your image, and expect that transformation to be included in the edit. But pretty much anything that can be done to alter the color in the entire image
can be made into a profile edit.

What's more, Custom Color Tools works with just about every kind of profile out there: Input, output, device link profiles, monitor profiles, abstract profiles, and more. It can be used to edit in either direction, in any rendering intent. Custom Color Tools is also one of the few applications that will CREATE (not just edit)
ABSTRACT profiles.

2. Gretag Macbeth ProfileMaker ProfileEditor

This is a good example of an editor that has all the advanced features that make an editor really useful. It has a large assortment of the usual useful adjustment tools - but I really like their "Selective Color" tool. Here you can pick precisely the color you want to affect, and then specify exactly where in the spectrum you want it to go. When you are selecting a color (say blue for instance) you can choose the precise hue, you have total control over what luminosity range that blue includes, as well as the specific chroma (saturation) of the blue. In addition, you can specify how wide a range is included in each of these areas. And then you have the same pin-point accuracy in determining where in the spectrum you
are going to move that edited color.

A nice feature added in version 5 of ProfileEditor is the ability to save multiple edits. Now, when you make several edits in the Selective Color tool, you can save all those edits all together, and
easily apply them to another profile to get the same effect.


Let's say that you want to add saturation to your profile. A global correction would likely add color to everything, including neutrals and shadows. Do you really want the dark green grass in the shadow of a tree to be a brighter green like the rest of the green in the image? Using the Selective Color tool, you can taper off the saturation so that it does not affect neutrals and shadows to the
same degree as the rest of the spectrum.

Do you print portraits frequently? The Selective Color tool can be used to edit only the areas of flesh tones that are of a dull and lifeless character, and move them gradually in the direction of more warmth or saturation. You pick these colors with a simple eye dropper tool. This technique has been commonly used to improve color in high production workflows where individual "hand-correcting" is not possible. The profile is used to "juice up" the flesh tones so people look a little more healthy. Note that this does not move all flesh tones, but only those you've picked that have a gray or near-white complexion. It will make a "gray" face look better, while
leaving the healthy ones alone.

3. Gretag Macbeth i1Match Profile Editor

Are you intrigued at the idea of profile editing, but thought it was too expensive? The i1Match version of the Gretag profile editor is a nice little editor that you can upgrade to for less than $100. It is easy to use and comes from one of the most respected names in the

Naturally, this comes with some limitations:
- It only edits output profiles.
- It is limited to lightness/contrast, saturation, gray balance color adjustment, and overall color adjustment.
- These adjustments are rather broad; they affect the whole spectrum. There is no way to narrow the effected colors down to a
specific hue, chroma & luminosity.


I once was making profiles for a series of Gretag Mileca printers back in the early days of digital printing onto photographic (silver halide) paper. The colors came out perfectly when printed through these profiles, but customers started complaining that their black and white images were "partially" colored. The original customer image was clearly black and white but, when printed, the woman's checkerboard-patterned dress came out a dark cyan while everything else in the image looked like a normal B & W image. We scratched our heads over that one. How does a printer make up its mind to just colorize certain parts of a picture? A thorough investigation showed that the printers were operating correctly, measurements were
accurate, and in every other respect these were good profiles.

We finally discovered that the company was using the same Kodak paper on these digital printers that they were using on their conventional (analog) MSP printers and minilabs. Kodak had a special, new digital photographic paper, but the company had rejected it because it was twice the price of the regular paper. The digital paper was designed to avoid "text flare". A digital printer is capable of slamming a lot more light at the dyes in the paper emulsion than a conventional printer (especially when printing black), and if the paper can't handle it, the dyes will bleed into areas next to the pixels where they were exposed. Hence, what should have been "white" portions between the checkerboard pattern turned out to have a bluish dye creeping into it. This is what made the whole dress look colored.

What to do? Of course, the correct thing to do would be to buy the digital paper. But the idea of suddenly doubling the cost of materials was making the financial department balk. "Gee, isn't there any way you can make this work without having to go to this expensive paper?"

Enter the profile editor. I edited the printer direction of the profiles to taper off just the very blackest section of the gamut. Instead of running diagonally straight down to zero, the curves had a bit of a "J" shape to them so that black would actually get printed as "almost black" gray. We had to experiment with how much of this "roll-off" was needed to get rid of the colored artifacts while still printing a good, rich, dark print. But a happy medium was reached, they were able to stay on their existing media, and by one estimate the company saved $117,000 a year in paper savings alone.

All right, individual results may vary - and you may not save $100,000 on your home inkjet. But it does get you thinking about what one humble, little profile edit can do!

Thanks for reading,

-Patrick Herold


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Entire Contents of CHROMiX ColorNews (c)2006 CHROMiX, Inc. CHROMiX, ColorThink, ColorNews, ColorSmarts, ColorGear, ColorForums and are trademarks of CHROMiX Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. CHROMiX ColorNews is intended as an informative update to CHROMiX customers and business associates. We are not responsible for errors or omissions.