ColorNews Issue #35

CHROMiX Stunt Profiles

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

Issue # 35
January 21th, 2009


Table of Contents


1. CHROMiX News
2. Shows and Events
3. Color Industry News
4. CHROMiX Stunt Profiles - an article by Pat Herold and Steve Upton
5. CHROMiX Open Box items for sale
6. ColorNews Administration (feedback, subscriptions, etc.)




ColorShuttle and DisplayWatch are now ready for the final round of beta testing. We're so confident that you'll be pleased with Maxwell that when ColorShuttle and DisplayWatch are out of beta we'll be offering 3 free months with any monitor or calibrator purchased, no strings attached. Stay tuned...

In the meantime, we are opening the beta testing of ColorShuttle, DisplayWatch and Maxwell 1.1 for volunteers who want to help test.

So, first some background on these new tools:

ColorShuttle, Maxwell's new client application, bridges the gap between the browser and your computer. We're excited about all the things we can do within a web browser but a browser can't drive an i1 to take measurements or continually monitor your system for updated profiles or new arrivals in a hot folder (at least not without plug-ins, etc). ColorShuttle 3.0 directly supports the i1 and iSis hardware and uploads measurements right into Maxwell Tracks for immediate use anywhere in the world. It also creates and monitors hot folders so you can measure color using practically any hardware and software that can save measurements into a file format Maxwell can understand (which is continually expanding).

DisplayWatch is a service provided by ColorShuttle and Maxwell where any system's display can be continuously monitored for calibration updates and calibration / 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.

What does ColorShuttle 3.0 NOT do? It doesn't yet do real-time proof verification (immediate pass/fail feedback). That feature and many others will arrive in steady progression. We wanted to get the current capabilities into Maxwell users (and evaluator's) hands ASAP. Don't forget, Maxwell and ColorShuttle are currently in use around the world by companies ranging from Fortune 500 size down to smaller service providers.

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.

So! If you want to take a look at ColorShuttle and Maxwell 1.1 (which includes the new TimeLine tool which enables easy multiple-track reporting and comparisons) then please send an email to: maxwellbetatester(at) We'll send you the download information a bit later this week and you'll be off and running.

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

We've also created a new discussion area for Maxwell and ColorShuttle! Come by with questions:

Other CHROMiX News:

ColorNews now has its own forum on! Each issue of this newsletter tends to prompt responses from our readers and we often don't have enough time to respond to everyone (sorry!). So it seems it's time to create a discussion area on so anyone can ask questions, make suggestions, take issue with our prognostications or whatever. Come on by and have a chat!
ColorNews Forum

CHROMiX was at the 2008 PIA/GATF Color Management Conference in Phoenix from December 7th to 9th. Thanks for all who stopped by the booth to say hello or to ask questions about our products and services. As a footnote (and in spite of the economy), this was the largest attended PIA/GATF conference ever. We had both the highest attendance and the most vendors present. That speaks greatly about the importance of color management. BTW... apparently, the GATF/PIA will now be called the Printing Industries of America as the GATF name is going away.

You may have noticed that your ColorThink Pro beta version 20 has expired.
You can download the latest version here: Beta 21 for Mac/Windows:
ColorThink download
Your existing serial number will work fine.

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.




February 26, 2009, Pacific Northwest Color Management Users Group (Portland Chapter) announces a user meeting open to all: 'The Secrets of CS4 Color Management'. Mark Fitzgerald, author, 6:30 - 9:00 PM at The Oregonian 1320 SW Broadway, Conference Room A. A panel of 3 designers who are 'color managed' will discuss their experiences and other topics relevant to their journey of becoming color managed. For more information or RSVP at

February 26-27, 2009, G7 Expert/Professional Sheetfed Training with Don Hutcheson. Hosted at KBA North America, 291 Hurricane Lane, Williston, Vermont. Learn the latest G7 techniques. To Register G7 Expert

February 26-28, 2009, Graphics of the Americas Exposition and Conference, owned and operated by the Printing Association of Florida, Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, FL is the premier trade show for the printing and publishing industry for North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. For more information: Graphics of the Americas

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

March 9th-11th, 2009, 32nd Global Ink Jet Printing Conference, Fira Palace Hotel, Barcelona, Spain.
For more information:

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

March 23rd, 2009, IDEAlliance 'PROOFING SUMMIT. Proof to Press: Best Practices. Survivor's Guide to Best-in-Class Proofing', Marriott Marquis, New York, NY. Learn from top industry experts best in class practices and how you can become more efficient, productive and knowledgeable with your proofing strategies. For more event information:

To register: idealliance/register

May 5th-8th, 2009, CONTROL 2009, Stuttgart Exhibition Centre, Stuttgart, Germany. CONTROL is an international trade fair focusing on quality assurance.
For more information:


Color, Product & Industry News


X-Rite announced a reduction of approximately 90 jobs as part of a new profit improvement plan for its 2009 sales expectations and cost structure. They also announced a reduced fourth-quarter and 2008 sales estimate due to the slowdown in the global economy. In an article from WhatTheyThink, Tom Vacchiano remained very positive and was quoted as saying: "Despite current economic challenges, we remain positive about X-Rite's future". WhatTheyThink article:
and X-Rite Press Release:

NEC announced the new 26-inch MultiSync LCD2690W2-BK-SV and 30-inch LCD3090W-BK-SV widescreen displays with calibration sensor and SpectraView II calibration software. CHROMiX will carry these at competitive prices. review: www.imaging

RIT's School of Print Media has released the latest edition of Test Targets, a free publication from the collaborative efforts of students, faculty and staff researching various topics related to improving printing. Topics range from practical to theoretical. There is a wealth of information here. The latest issue, Test Targets 8.0 explores Ink Sequences on Offset presses, Device Link Profiles performance, Ink Trapping on press and more. Check it out. You'll be amazed at the wealth of information here:

Of pop culture interest:
Gap and Pantone opened up a 'concept T-shirt store' adjacent to its flagship store at 54th and 5th Ave. in New York.

Apparently this is the last MacWorld conference and expo that Apple will attend:

Steve Jobs has taken a leave of absence from Apple: Steve Jobs

Polaroid files Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization:

Our good friend, sometimes partner and sometimes sub-contractor consultant/trainer for CHROMiX, Steve Laskevitch of Luminous Works, is releasing his new book 'Photoshop CS4 Photographer 's Handbook'. Congratulations getting through that last edit, Steve! We look forward to seeing it on the shelves soon. This is Steve's first solo effort. He co-wrote 'Photoshop CS3 Photographer's Handbook: An Easy Workflow' with Brad Hinkel. For more about Luminous Works

Going Green? We found this free article of the '56 Ways to Go Green in 2009' from WhatTheyThink. Check out the 'Going Green Digest' alongside the article. Lots of related information.

Joel Wolfson Photographic Workshops will be conducting a digital/giclee printing workshop January 24-25 at their Arizona studio. This hands-on workshop takes you from simply making a print to creating beautiful exhibition quality images. For more information: Call toll free 1-866-WOLFSON or


Article Update - Revisions to last month's article on Photoshop CS4

Steve Upton


Last month's ColorNews included an article on Adobe's new Photoshop CS4. In our eagerness to get it out the door, we neglected to mention a few interesting and important notes.

Device Link Profile Limitations:

While Photoshop CS4 supports the application of device link profiles, it is important to note that you can only use profiles that convert to and from the same color model. So, if you have an RGB file you can only use an RGB->RGB device link. For CMYK files, only CMYK->CMYK device links will work. For many linkers, this will suffice, but for those experimenting with customized gamut mapping and other effects for their RGB->CMYK conversions, you'll need to continue using either device link plug-ins or tools outside Photoshop.

Some users have complained that CS4 drops the image into the same color space as it started. In other words, if your file was originally in Adobe RGB(1998) then it is deposited into Adobe RGB(1998) after conversion. To the complainers we say, "what did you expect?" or perhaps more importantly "how would it know to do anything else?"

It's true that post-link, a file may be intended to be in a different color space. If you were testing a device link that converted from GRACoL 2006 to your inkjet's paper profile then the converted file *should* indeed be assigned your inkjet profile in order to appear correct in Photoshop. But, if you were testing a device link that converted from GRACoL 2006 to GRACoL 2006 with heavy black generation, then the assigned profile should be unchanged. But the most important point here is that the ICC spec doesn't require that the entire source and destination profiles be embedded inside device link profiles. So Photoshop has no *reliable* way of knowing (or doing) what should be done. It is the nature of device link profiles today. Some profiling tools like Link-o-later DO embed the profiles for reference and future use and it's a great idea - but not something Photoshop can rely on.

Abstract Profile Application:

CS4 can finally use abstract profiles. In it's current incarnation, Photoshop uses your current document profile as the source and destination with the abstract profile in between.

To clarify - when you choose an Abstract profile from "Convert to Profile...," Photoshop will convert via: (current profile) -> abstract profile -> (current profile). At this time you are not able to select the abstract profile as part of an RGB->CMYK conversion.

Interestingly, Photoshop allows you to select a rendering intent during this conversion. Abstract profiles do not contain tables for different rendering intents, so the intents at work are from the document's current profile. I cannot see why any intent other than Relative Colorimetric would be used in this conversion, but I'll keep my ear to the ground for strategies and ideas.

Some are unhappy that this conversion method creates an extra step and could degrade the image. I suppose this is a possible issue, but I'm just glad to see the ability to use abstract profiles is finally available. Time will tell if this power profile type will finally get the exposure it deserves.


This Month's Feature Article:

CHROMiX Stunt Profiles

by CHROMiX's Pat Herold and Steve Upton


Using profiles for testing, analysis, or fun!

Over the years, we have created, garnered and collected several test profiles here at CHROMiX. These profiles are not generally for the purposes of viewing or printing out pretty-looking pictures, but are frequently for the exact opposite reason! These are test profiles, intended to help us analyze workflows, verfiy rendering intents, test to see if things we think are happening are in fact, *actually* happening.

When we send these newsletters out in email format, we consciously choose to keep it in plain text formatting, which does not allow images, so as to not fill up your inbox with unnecessary large files. However, you can also view this article in the "Reserved Articles" section of soon after its email release. There, this newsletter contains links and images showing the results of using these test profiles.


CX RGB RenderTest PCS=RGB.icc

We have taken a typical output printer profile and edited each rendering intent (B2A). When you *print* using this RGB output profile, your prints will give a different color hue with each rendering intent chosen. The "PCS" in the file name stands for Perceptual, Colorimetric and Saturation. If you use the Perceptual rendering intent during printing, the image will have a strong red cast. If you use Relative Colorimetric, the image will go green, and Saturation will look blue. P = R; C = G; S = B. Get it?

How can you use this profile?

Even though your software says that you are using the rendering intent of your choice when you are printing, sometimes it's nice to have something else confirm that fact. If you are using some new, experimental or beta software, this is a quick test to see that it really does print using each rendering intent as expected.

Once in awhile, we run into a printing system that does not offer a rendering intent choice, and you're left to guess which one they are using, or if they are grabbing the "default" rendering intent. This profile will give you an easy way to find the answer. The "Proofing" transforms of this profile are all normal. This means that if you assign this profile to an image, you will not see any of the strange transforms. For testing THAT part of a workflow, see the next profile

CX CMYK RenderTest PCS=RGB.icc

This is a CMYK version of a rendering intent tester profile. As above, this will *print* with a different color cast for each rendering intent. This can be used on a RIP or other image processing software that requires a CMYK profile. The results are the same as what was described above with the RGB RenderTest.

Perceptual = Red
Colorimetric = Green
Saturation = Blue.


CX RGB ProofTest PCS = RGB.icc
CX CMYK ProofTest PCS = RGB.icc

For these profiles we have altered each of the *proofing* (A2B) intents. If you assign this profile to an image it will appear to be heavily color casted depending on the rendering intent used by the software performing the conversion. In most software packages the Colorimetric intent is used so the image will appear to have a Green cast. Of course you need to choose the correct profile for the color model in which your image resides. If you just want to see if an application uses a profile at all, try the profile "CX scnr RGB->Gray.icc" below.

CX RGB scnr IntTest PCS=RGB.icc

This is an input profile version - again, showing a different color cast for each rendering intent. This can be used to verify what rendering intent is being used with input profiles like scanners or cameras. If you rely on your scanner software to apply a scanner profile, you might use this profile to verify that your scanner software is actually using the profile and is applying rendering intents correctly.


CX scnr RGB->Gray.icc

When this profile is used, it will strip all saturation out of a color image, making it a black and white image. This (along with the weird.icc profile below) makes it easy to see if an embedded profile is actually working or not.

If you are dealing with a new workflow - a new printer interface, new computer - any situation where you have reason to doubt that your profile is actually being used - a little profile like this in place should remove all doubt.

We've all been in situations where we're setting up a new printer and trying to troubleshoot why the color is not coming out correctly. You're pulling your hair out trying to figure out if you've missed a button somewhere because everything you try just ends up with the same bad color. It is a small thing to plug one of these profiles into place in your workflow. If you don't see a change, then something is certainly wrong. If you do see the change these profiles cause, you at least have the reassurance that whatever is controlling your color management is doing its job correctly. It may not solve all your problems, but this is a simple, useful troubleshooting tool to keep in your color management bag of tricks for a rainy day.

CX output weird.icc

This one is a little more fun. Every rendering intent in this profile gives the image a different strange, mind-bending, retro 60's tie dye posterization look. There's no mistaking it when this profile is working. Psychedelic!

This is a matrix monitor profile.
Ever find yourself doubting whether your Vista operating system is using your monitor profile? This monitor profile gives a strange look, while still rendering your display readable.

CX Hue+45 abst.icc
This is an abstract profile that simply adds 45 degrees to the hue of all colors. In other words, all the colors in the image take a short spin around the color wheel. I always liked abstract profiles as they can capture interesting transformations for use again and again. With ColorThink Pro's ColorCast technology you can also permanently attach them to normal ICC profiles to create special effects, capture proofing color shifts or correct profiles.

All of the profiles mentioned in this article are available for download for free, courtesy of CHROMiX, from the public area of our Maxwell site. (

CX RGB rendertest PCS=RGB




CX RGB scnr IntTest PCS=RGB

CX scnr RGB-Gray

CX output weird

CX Monitor weird

CX Hue_45 abst

As always, if you or any of your color management team are caught using these profiles on April 1st, CHROMiX will disavow any knowledge of them!

Thanks for reading,

Patrick Herold and Steve Upton

Tech support, CHROMiX

Don't forget, you can discuss this article and anything else from this newsletter in


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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