ColorNews Issue #34

Color Management in Photoshop CS4

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C H R O M i X C O L O R N E W S - 10th Anniversary Issue

Issue # 34
November 25th, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving (this week) to all US recipients. CHROMiX will be closed 11/27 to celebrate.

Table of Contents


1. CHROMiX News - CHROMiX is 10 years old!
2. Shows and Events
3. Color Industry News
4. Color management in Photoshop CS4 - an article by Pat Herold
5. CHROMiX Open Box items for sale
6. ColorNews Administration (feedback, subscriptions, etc.)




CHROMiX is 10 years old!!! It's 10 years from when Steve Upton first started the company. Wow.. time flies when you're having fun! @ CHROMiX. Raise your glass please.... To commemorate this milestone, we're having a 10th Anniversary 1 month Sale and slashing prices on 2 Eizo LCD models to ultra-low levels. See Eizo Ad below.

We are now ready to launch ColorShuttle and DisplayWatch.....

ColorShuttle, Maxwell's client application, now directly supports the i1 and iSis hardware and uploads measurements right into Maxwell Tracks for immediate use anywhere in the world. It is currently in limited release and will go into a much wider release after the PIA/GATF Color Conference in December. We appreciate the patience of everyone who's been waiting for the Shuttle to arrive. If you are on the original Maxwell beta or announcement list, you will receive notification of ColorShuttle's release.

DisplayWatch is a service provided by ColorShuttle and Maxwell where any system's display can be continuously monitored for calibration updates and calibration and profiling data is uploaded into Maxwell for tracking and notification alerts. DisplayWatch will be available for beta testing at the same time ColorShuttle is released.

As a reminder, a Track is any item (printer, paper, monitor, etc.) whose activity you want to monitor. Also, Notifiers within Maxwell alert you when the item associated with the Track falls outside of tolerances or fails to meet certain requirements.

Finally, and from a User Manual perspective, we've been continually adding relevant information about Maxwell on the ColorWiki. Check it out:

For complete Maxwell product information, go to
If you'd like to register for a free one month trial Track, email us at maxwellfreetrack//chromix//com or call CHROMiX Sales at (866) CHROMiX ext 1. Find out for yourself how easy it is to use, and how much time it can save you.

New Brands at CHROMiX:
PHOTO RESEARCH spectroradiometers.
Samsung XL series LCD monitors
LaCie 700 series LCD monitors

IDEAlliance SWOP Industry Proofing Study Update:
On November 13, 2008, IDEAlliance, Steve Upton and Larry Warter presented 'The Final Results' of the IDEAlliance SWOP Proofing Study via webinar.
During the summer of 2008, IDEAlliance conducted a proofing study on behalf of its SWOP and GRACoL Working Groups. This effort utilized new online reporting technology (Maxwell) that forms the foundation of the new IDEAlliance IDEALink Verify software. The study captured, and reports, weekly proofing tolerances submitted from more than 60 printers, publishers, agencies and premedia shops world wide. The initial results were first presented at the IDEAlliance Spectrum Conference in September 2008. The final general report will be available to IDEAlliance members soon. At this time IDEAlliance's intention to release the report to the general public are unknown. We will keep you up to date however.

Other CHROMiX News:
CHROMiX will be at the PIA/GATF Color Management Conference in Phoenix from December 7th to 9th (see event details below). The sole focus of this conference is 'color management'.
If you're planning to attend this great event, please stop by and say hello to Rick Hatmaker at our booth, or wave to Steve Upton in one of his many seminar speaking roles.

CHROMiX is pleased to be able to sell PHOTO RESEARCH spectroradiometers, considered the world standard in high-end lab-level spectroradiometers. We feel uniquely qualified to sell and support these excellent products. Please give us a call if you have any questions or would like to discuss your needs.

PRICE MATCHING POLICY: Through the years, many people have purchased 3rd party color management products from CHROMiX because of the additional value that CHROMiX provides (pre-sales advice, post-sales help, support, and a fabulous sense of humor). In most cases, we've been able to price match (or come close) if asked. We never want price to be an issue if you want to buy from CHROMiX. In an effort to make this policy more visible, we've added a 'Price Matching Policy' starburst near the price for most 3rd party items for sale on our website. If you have any questions, call us toll free at (866) CHROMiX, ext 1.




December 2nd, Color Control Freak, Portland, Oregon (an all-day color management seminar training) sponsored by X-Rite, MacForce and the Pacific Northwest Color Management Users Group - Portland Chapter
Cost is $299. CMUG Members receive $100 discount and can attend for $199. Lunch provided. RSVP is required for this event. Non-CMUG members register and pay for event at
CMUG members email colorcontrolfreak//pnwcmug//com for membership verification. Once confirmed, a $100 coupon code will be emailed to the CMUG member to use when registering at above link.

December 7th - 9th, 2008, PIA/GATF 2008 Color Management Conference, Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix, AZ. Hosted by the PIA/GATF, as suggested by the name, the entire focus of this conference is Color Management. CHROMiX's Steve Upton, along with Dave Hunter and Dan Caldwell, will be delivering a general session together looking back on the last 10 years of color management and forward to the next 10 years.

December 8th, Color Control Freak, Seattle, Washington (an all-day color management seminar training) sponsored by X-Rite, University of Washington and the Pacific Northwest Color Management Users Group - Seattle Chapter
. Cost is $299. CMUG Members receive $100 discount and can attend for $199. Lunch provided. RSVP is required for this event. Non-CMUG members register and pay for event at
, CMUG members email tschroe//rei//com for membership verification. Once confirmed, a $100 coupon code will be emailed to the CMUG member to use when registering at above link.

March 3rd-5th, 2009, PMA 09 International Convention and Trade Show. Everything photography - considered THE show for photography.
Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall, Las Vegas, NV

March 9th-11th, 2009, 32nd Ink Jet Printing Conference, Fira Palace Hotel, Barcelona, Spain. For more information: Suzy Sclater, Tel: +44 208 367 7808, Email: suzysclater//ems-ltd//org

March 15th-18th, 2009, NAPL Top Management Conference, Tucson, AZ.


Color, Product & Industry News


Adobe began shipping CS4 On October 15th.
For a good overview, here is a free 70-page CS4 SuperGuide you can download compliments of Creative Studio (CAFE)
Here is a good overview of the top 10 features of Photoshop CS4:

Here is a link to Adobe's Eligibility Tool:

Finally, for a unique CHROMiX perspective don't miss Pat Herold's review below in this issue's article, 'Color Management in Adobe Photoshop CS4'

Techkon USA is offering an additional 10% off selected SpectroDens, SpectroPlate and SpectroDrive models through end of November as a continuation of their Graph Expo specials. Hurry, any orders must be placed by Nov. 28th. Please call CHROMiX Sales for details or questions.

X-Rite is offering a very generous mail-in rebate from Oct. 26th through Nov. 30, 2008. Receive an additional $500 for combined purchase values over $3999, and $1000 for combined purchases over $10,000. ALL X-Rite products and solutions apply. The promotion mail-in deadline is 12/31/08. See other details in Ad below.


This Month's Feature Article:

Color Management in Adobe Photoshop CS4

by CHROMiX's Pat Herold


Color Management in Photoshop CS4

With the recent release of Adobe Photoshop CS4, plenty have written about the new features in this newest version of the gold standard in image manipulation. This month's article will present an overview of what's new in Photoshop's color management.

Incidentally, CHROMiX ColorNews newsletters are always sent out in text-only format as a courtesy to our readers (to not fill up their inboxes with large emails.) As a result, this current article might seem rather dry without pictures of what we're referring to. So we encourage all who can to browse over to the site and see the Reserved Article version of this issue. in PS CS4

There, we have posted screen shots of all the dialog boxes we mention here.


(Edit > Color Settings)

At first glance, the Color Settings dialog box is relatively unchanged from the previous versions. Under the hood, however, you'll find that several new profiles are included. If you click the drop down box for Working Spaces: CMYK, you will find the latest GRACoL and SWOP profiles from the 2006 specs.

Those who have a need to convert to a larger CMYK working space than the often-used "US Web Coated SWOP2" profile will find that the Coated GRACoL 2006 profile is a great improvement in gamut, and is a good representation of a press running to a G7 standard.

Also note an additional checkbox under Conversion Options: "Compensate for Scene-referred Profiles." It is recommended that this checkbox stay checked, unless you are trying to duplicate colors in other programs that do not compensate for scene-referred profiles. Color profiles are said to be scene-referred if their tone-response curves are based on the conditions in the typical scene. Color profiles are said to be output-referred if their tone-response curves are based on the conditions in the typical viewing environment. This choice may be more important to those working with moving pictures and video. Check the Photoshop help menus for more information on scene-referred profiles.


(File > Print)

The left side of this dialog box features some new soft-proofing options. There are now check boxes allowing you to see a gamut warning and/or simulate your paper white right here in the preview window. Previously, you would have had to go to the View > Proof setup > Custom section to view your image with these features.

The top center of this page now has a small printer icon next to the Printer selection box. This button will automatically bring up the printer maintenance utility program for the printer selected. This is a great way to check your inkjet nozzles just before printing a big job.

The right side of the page is essentially the same on CS4 as it was with CS3. You still choose whether you want Photoshop, or the printer, to manage colors (or whether you want No Color Management), and you choose your rendering intent, black point compensation, etc.


(View > Proof Setup > Custom)

This section is unchanged from previous versions of CS, except for the multi-color profile issue I'll be mentioning below.


(Edit > Convert to Profile...)

While the "Assign Profile" dialog box has not changed, the Convert to Profile dialog has much more functionality. Click the new "Advanced" button, and you are now presented with a choice of almost any profile type you can think of. Just like before, you can still convert to an RGB, CMYK or Gray profile, but now you have the added ability to:

- Convert directly to the Lab color space
- Convert to a multi channel profile
- Convert to a device link profile
- Convert to an Abstract profile.

Each of these choices comes with a drop down box so you can choose which profile you want to use in each category.


Just a note here: We are not talking about profiles for a typical modern inkjet printer that has more than the usual four inks. Multi channel profiles (or "n-color" profiles) are very specialized animals that handle 5, 6, 7 or more inks, and only work on certain multichannel printers/presses and the rare RIPs that can process multi channel printing.

The ability to convert to a multichannel profile is a big step for Photoshop, and those who work with a Roland 6-channel printer using spot colors (or some such monster) will be pretty excited to add this useful tool to your arsenal. Epson is rumored to be coming out with new printers that will be using multichannel inks, so this feature may have wider applications in the future.

While the conversion to multichannel profiles works very well - the preview or visual display of that profile conversion does not. According to Adobe, the calculation required to do an accurate soft proof of these profiles would take so long as to be unusable at this point in time. However, they did want to make available this conversion to multichannel separations, and didn't want to remove the feature just because the soft proofing was not there yet.

(We should note that CHROMiX has patent-pending technology called ColorCast which creates specialized soft proofing profiles that will accurately soft proof multi-channel profile conversions quickly and accurately. ColorCast is available as an optional add-on for ColorThink Pro 3. visit
for more information) You can see the preview inconsistency when you look at how a converted image is displayed. For example, compare the preview of your image when using the Convert to Profile "Preview" checkbox with the image after conversion to the multichannel profile, and you can probably see a noticeable difference where you would not expect one. We looked at a preview of the unsharp mask filter and saw the preview as almost monotone. Similar results were found with the soft proofing function in View > Proof Setup, and the Print dialog preview.

For those worried about having to learn a new interface, the Adobe folks have left alone that which works well. But they have snuck in more functionality in reasonable places where you need it and want it. While they don't yet have accurate previews using multicolor profiles, the ability to convert to multicolor separations in Photoshop has been on the wish list for many years with many printers, and its inclusion might come to be very timely in the near future.

Thanks for reading,

Patrick Herold

Tech support, CHROMiX


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 for more information.


ColorNews Administration (feedback, subscriptions, etc.)

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