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ColorNews Issue #44

Digital Projector Calibration & Profiling

  CHROMiX ColorNews
   Issue # 44 - January 27, 2011

This Month's Contents

  1. CHROMiX News
  2. Latest blog entries in ColoRants (and Raves)
  3. Shows and Events
  4. Color Industry News
  5. Forum Topics, Random Bits, etc.
  6. Article - Digital Projector Calibration & Profiling
  7. CHROMiX Open Box items for sale
  8. ColorNews Administration (feedback, subscriptions, etc.)

For the very freshest color updates, check out our new blog Colorants (and raves).

Respond & Discuss
Don't forget, you can discuss this month's article and anything else from this newsletter in ColorForums.com

Find full details about subscriptions, etc at the end of this newsletter.

  CHROMiX News What the heck have we been up to?

CHROMiX at the PIA Color Management Conference in Phoenix Dec. 5th-7th.

Considered the most "color management" focused conference in North America, CHROMiX had a dual presence at the recent PIA conference. Steve Upton spoke at several events, highlighting ColorThink Pro, Curve2 + VPR, Maxwell and more. Pat Herold and Rick Hatmaker demonstrated CHROMiX software including the new Maxwell MeasureWatch service by offering a free instrument "Health Check" for anyone who brought their spectrophotometer by the booth. We used the new COLORef target and loaded the data into Maxwell for an instrument accuracy check. We saw many X-Rite i1Pros, a few Techkon Spectro Dens, a couple of X-Rite 500 series and a couple of X-Rite DTP-70s (although we weren't able to measure the COLORef target with the 70s). Each individual received a Pass/Fail type of label and will also receive a group summary report comparing their instrument to the groups performance. We are publishing the final results for participants, and then will provide this publicly or by request.

And speaking of MeasureWatch... announcing MeasureWatch!

MeasureWatch is a new service of Maxwell specifically for tracking spectrophotometer instrument accuracy, performance and conformance to a standard or with other instruments. MeasureWatch performs Pass/Fail reporting, custom label printing, Trend Analysis and other strong reporting and analysis. MeasureWatch combined with a reference Color Reference Material (CRM) is a perfect solution to measure, manage, track and analyze any spectrophotometer within your workflow or enterprise. As mentioned above, the Vogelsong COLORef (See Color Industry News item below) is the first CRM compatible with MeasureWatch. We expect to introduce other compatible CRM product with MeasureWatch at later dates. For more information, contact CHROMiX ColorGear Sales at 866-CHROMiX x1 or email sales@chromix.com

Curve 2 awarded 'IDEAlliance G7 Certified System' status!

At the recent PIA Color Management Conference in Phoenix, Curve2 was awarded the new IDEAlliance G7 Certified System status. "The G7 System Certification Program is designed to evaluate the ability of a candidate system to calibrate a printing device to meet the G7 gray scale definition using four 1-D Curves." noted Joe Fazzi, VP of Media Production Technologies and Training with IDEAlliance. CHROMiX and HutchColor co-developed IDEALink Curve and its successor, Curve2. Congratulations... Don and Steve!

Curve 2.1 (and VPR) shipping!

  • Esko ArtWorks PressSync curves are built into v2.1.
  • A new gray balance option that can be used to smooth curves with dramatic spikes.
  • Ability to export curves as single-channel files with control point / value pairs for some RIPs.
  • Virtual Press Run is a Curve2 add-on module to eliminate the 2nd G7 press run.
  • OneRun targets (hybrid targets containing multiple targets) are now supported. The current target supported is for P2P25x & IT8.7-4. We'll be adding more targets in the future and by request.
  • Curve2.1 now allows scrambled P2P25x targets.
Curve2.1: Download Here Purchase NEW or UPGRADE

Did you know that there are Curve2 Training VIDEOS available! now? The first 2 are FREE, here are the links: 20 min Curve2 Overview and 47 min Curve2 comprehensive

ColorThink v2.3 Released

ColorThink v2.3 (non-Pro) for Mac and Windows is now available. A series of updates brings full Windows 7 compatibility (32 and 64 bit) , corrected rotation animation in the Grapher, and numerous other tweaks and fixes. Download here


  CHROMiX Blog Here are some of the recent posts to our blog: Colorants (and raves)

  Shows and Events Color-relevant gatherings to plan for

January 25th - 28th, 2011 - Graphic Communication - The Production of Knowledge as part of International Printing Week 2011. Hosted by Cal Poly's Graphic Communication Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Sponsored by EFI, EskoArtwork, Kodak, Ricoh and RR Donnelley. For more on the event:

March 8th - 10th, 2011 - ATC Global 2011 Exhibition and Conference - RAI Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

March 22nd - 24th, 2011 - The Publishing Xchange Conference and ON DEMAND 2011 Exposition and Conference - will be help simultaneously this year at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington DC. Hosted by Questex Media. The conference is aimed at publishers, marketers, printers and digital service providers.

September 11th - 14th, 2011 - Graph Expo 2011 - McCormick Place South, Chicago, IL.

September 22nd - 29th, 2011 - ITMA 2011 - Barcelona, Spain

November 10th - 12th, 2011 - Graphics Canada, Toronto, ON.

Events Calendar: For all current and future events, bookmark this calendar.

  Color Industry News What's going on in the world of color

InT'Hutch Ltd & FineEye Color introduce the Vogelsong COLORef

COLORef is a new and affordable CRM (Color Reference Material) that =is compliant with ISO 15790-2004 and similar to much more expensive BCRA Ceramic Tile Sets. COLORef provides a NIST-traceable, durable and inexpensive CRM. As a stand-alone product, the COLORef is a good indicator product and allows you to compare the measurements you get with the reference values (included). Simply used, you can see at any point in time how close your instrument compares to any standard. Add Maxwell MeasureWatch to the equation and it is a greatly enhanced and powerful tool (see above CHROMiX News item). Vogelsong COLORef MSRP is $300. For more information: Click Here

Adobe Releases "No Color Management" Tool

Have you been frustrated that there has been no way to turn off color management in the Color Handling pop-up menu in the Photoshop CS5 Print dialog? Well, there now is a utility from Adobe:
Adobe Color Printer Utility application

X-Rite i1Profiler "Publish"

i1Profiler encompasses the best attributes of i1Match, MonacoPROFILER and ProfileMaker into one comprehensive software platform, and adds a more robust palette creation and color bridging tool called PANTONE Link. The originally anticipated release for Q4 2010, has been slightly delayed until end of January 2011, but may get pushed to the first part of February. Also, any purchase of MonacoPROFILER or ProfileMaker until then will receive a free upgrade to i1Profiler as well as receive a $400 voucher towards purchase of any X-Rite or Pantone product. More information: X-Rite i1Profiler

EFI ships Version 4.5 of EFI Colorproof XF and EFI Fiery XF

XF 4.5 boasts native Windows 64-bit OS support and multi-threaded halftoning, a new Cut Marks Option, new Job Merge function that handles variable content, new & improved Dynamic Rendering Intent, and more. XF 4.5 is ISO 12647-7 / 8 compliant. EFI XF 4.5

  Forum Topics and other bits  Popular topics from ColorForums.com

    On the ColorSync: Fogra Monitor Visual Assessment:   Fogra has some nifty test images to help visually assess monitor quality. Fogra Monitor Visual Assessment Images

Thanks to Peter Karp and the people at Fogra for translating the documentation for the test pictures into English, which is now included in the download: Fogra Monitor Visual Assessment English Documentation

    Luscious video:   This is a lot of fun to watch (from a color management geek's point of view). Do you know any printers that have been through this? OffRegister - Luscious!

    How Well Is Your Business Positioned for the Future?:   Its a new year and we're all trying to find ways to focus on business. This short article from WhatTheyThink's Bob Lieber is succinct and to the point: How well positioned are you?

  Digital Projector Calibration & Profiling - an article by Pat Herold

Among the many interesting projects to come through the offices of CHROMiX in recent years has been the testing, analysis and comparison between different brands and models of digital projectors. We've tested and reviewed over two dozen different models and have learned quite a bit about color on a projector. Now don't go emailing us to give you a recommendation - we are under a non-disclosure agreement for most of this information - but I can give you a few things to look for.
This article will cover the basics of how to get a decent profile of a projector using any of the common display profiling packages. It is possible to get a more accurate profile by using a more advanced system designed for the video world, but that is beyond the scope of this article.


If you are looking to purchase a digital projector, we recommend a model that utilizes the LCD chip technology over the DLP technology. DLP projectors may have a number of advantages (and disadvantages) that have nothing to do with color, but we have found a couple of issues that should put these off your list if you are a color geek:
  • With true DLP projectors, you can see a "rainbow effect" when images move across the screen rapidly. You can observe this just waving your hand across the screen.
  • DLP projectors have a huge trade-off between broad color gamut and brightness. (More on this below.)


Several software packages allow you to calibrate a projector. The ColorMunki Photo and Design are relatively affordable and easy to use. The i1Beamer is a module that is available for the i1Pro spectrophotometer. By itself, it would be a rather expensive solution, but if you already have the i1Pro device, it is not much to add the Beamer upgrade. Before the Munki came along, it was about the only way to profile a projector. Some monitor profiling software packages like the Spyder 3 Elite have a procedure for using a colorimeter to measure color off of a projected screen. ColorEyes Display Pro provides a checkbox that allows the measurement window to expand to full screen, making a bigger target to aim your colorimeter to. There's no real procedure for how to do this though - and you're on your own for figuring out how to arrange your instrument to pick up the color off your screen. Still, we've had customers use colorimeters effectively to profile projectors.
Before profiling, allow the projector to warm up for at least 10 minutes. Ideally you will do your profiling on the same screen as you'll be using for presenting, since the screen color is a part of the overall color of the system. While it's warming up, check to see if your projector has preset "color" modes in the setup menus. Common names for these are "Presentation," "Theater" or "PC". The "Movie", "Theater", "Cinema" or "Film" mode will give you the maximum color saturation (maximum gamut), while settings like "PC", "Gaming", or "sRGB" will tend to give you less saturation, but oftentimes be brighter. With some technologies, like DLP projectors, this trade-off can be quite extreme: The highest-gamut Movie setting will project a rather dark image, while the 'bright' settings will be washed out - devoid of saturation in the colors. By our calculations, the gamut volume of the projector can drop by as much as 70% depending on these settings. If you are reading CHROMiX ColorNews, and wanting to calibrate a projector, my guess is that color is a big part of your life or work and you will want to use one of these "movie" modes to get a good range of colors on the screen. Use that setting as you profile the projector.
For an illustration of the gamut volume of two projectors, follow this link The inner gamut is a DLP projector and the much larger outer gamut is a 3 LCD projector. It's such a huge difference that it's a bit hard to believe.

Profiling steps

In the profiling software, choose similar parameters you would choose when making a good monitor profile. For example, choose a white point of D65 (or 6500K), gamma of 2.2. The actual white point chosen might not be that important. (More on this later.) Set the brightness aim to maximum.
The Spyder 3 and the i1Pro Beamer has a tabletop stand that adjusts so you can aim the measurement head toward the screen. The ColorMunki will set directly on a table top. You align it so that it is pointed at the screen, and adjust the measurement head up and down so that it is aimed at the center of the screen. If you are using a colorimeter that does not have a stand, you will need a way to hold the colorimeter fairly close to the screen and point the sensor toward the screen so that the sensor can pick up the colors off of the screen. At the same time, you usually don't want a shadow to be in the field of view of the sensor unless the software calls for that. If you are using the i1Pro Beamer, and have a glass bead screen, you might find your aiming circle bouncing around the screen, making it hard to know where to aim. You can solve this by putting the lens slightly out of focus while calibrating.
Run through the rest of the profiling procedure as usual and create the profile. The resulting profile can be put in place in your system as your "monitor" profile when you are outputting to the projector through a computer. Mac computers will assign an individual profile for each display that is connected. Windows systems will usually be limited to only one profile being used at a time - even though you have two or more displays connected. Make sure the projector profile you created is actually the one being used. You can experiment by substituting one of our stunt profiles and see if there's a difference. With Windows, after changing profiles, you will need to restart the computer or run a LUT loader program to actually load the profile information into the graphics card so you can see it.


When profiling monitors, we pay close attention to the ambient lighting situation in the room surrounding the display. Ambient lighting illuminating other colors in your field of vision will have an effect on your perception of colors on the monitor. Also, room lighting is critical for people trying to match their display to what they see coming off their printer in the same room. However, with projectors, this is a horse of a different color. If we are making any effort at all to optimize the viewing experience, we are going to turn off all the lights so that the room is as dark as possible. In this case, there is no "ambient" light to speak of - besides that which is produced by the projector itself.
Because of adaptation - our eyes' natural ability to adapt to whatever light source we're looking at - our eyes will do a remarkable job of adjusting to whatever white point the projector is throwing up there. So whatever white you choose will look normal after awhile. At least in comparing colors - "it's all relative" to the white point. However, profiling is still very important; it makes possible the scaling of all the colors to the white and black points.

DVI makes interchange possible

If you profile your projector on a specific screen using a DVI signal, you can then copy that profile and use it on every laptop or computer that will be used to run that projector and screen. The profile will remain valid and produce identical color on different video cards, even on different operating systems. You need to use a DVI cable (Digital Visual Interface - usually a video cable with white ends) and ports for this rather than an analog cable (blue ends) and ports, since the analog signal is more likely to be colored by signals from the computer's video card.
So how does it look? Don't forget that if the screen is different than before - that does not necessarily mean it is bad. It might take a while for your eyes to get used to the new look. If you are used to the projector blasting out such high contrast that highlights are blown out and shadows are lost in the murky darkness, then a well-profiled projector might look rather "flat" to your eyes to begin with. Give it some time.

Thanks for reading,

Pat Herold

We hope this helps. If you have found your own successful techniques, feel free to respond or post it on our ColorNews discussion forum: here

   To read this article with images in ColorWiki, click here

  ColorNews Administration (feedback, subscriptions, etc.)

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Entire Contents of CHROMiX ColorNews (c)2011 CHROMiX, Inc. CHROMiX, Maxwell, ColorThink, ColorNews, ColorSmarts, ColorGear, ColorForums, DisplayWatch and ProfileCentral.com 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. You may not copy or reuse any content from this newsletter without written permission from CHROMiX, Inc.