ColorNews Issue #58

Soft Proofing

  CHROMiX ColorNews
   Issue # 58 - June 22nd, 2015

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 - Article - Soft Proofing
  7. CHROMiX Open Box items for sale
  8. ColorNews Admin (feedback, subscriptions, etc.)

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

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CHROMiX News What the heck have we been up to?

Maxwell supports the new iSis2 series

Not sitting on our heels, CHROMiX was quick to adapt the new iSis2 series with full Maxwell compatibility.

The AUTO-ROUTING feature in Maxwell Digital PressWatch (DPW) is one of the only practical market applications that take advantage of truly automating the sheet fed barcode function of the iSis. An operator simply feeds their target into the iSis and walks away knowing that Maxwell will automatically complete the processing. If ever there was a reason to buy an iSis, Maxwell is it.

Since the iSis (series 1) is no longer available, Maxwell AUTO-ROUTING customers will be faced with adding the new iSis2 device instead. Rest assured, it will be no problem in Maxwell Client v5.

Give us a call to talk about your options and/or concerns. We'll help you find the correct solution.

You can talk with a friendly Maxwell specialist, at: (206) 985-6837 extension #1.

Maxwell Client software v5 adoption is going well

Many customers have upgraded to Maxwell Client v5. Most to take advantage of MeasureWatch Control, which utilizes the ISO-13655 M-Series of measurement filtration and gathers 15 other measurement parameters. Others have upgraded to use the Barbieri SpectroPad for wireless and seamless measurements anywhere there is a wifi network and a Maxwell Client workstation. Yet others have upgraded to benefit from the faster speeds. Whatever the reason, CHROMiX is here to help make your migration to v5 easy and painless. Just give us a call.

CHROMiX encourages most customers to upgrade to v5 Client, and strongly recommends it before end of 2015. Support for versions before v5 will diminish over time.

Talk with a Maxwell specialist, at: (206) 985-6837 extension #1.

Maxwell now supports Environmental sensing with Maxwell Client version 5

Maxwell customers can now record Temperature, Humidity and Barometric information while connected to a Maxwell Client v5 measuring-workstation. And, it's a simple process: Anytime a target is measured via Maxwell Client (intended for a Maxwell Track), and an approved USB Vernier sensor is attached, environmental readings are automatically stored in each related measurement.

These environmental readings are displayed near the lower third of each related ColorSet pane window. As we continue to develop the functionality further, environmental information will behave more like standard Maxwell device data (i.e.: Maxwell measurement data from printers, presses, spectrophotometers, monitors, etc.) and will eventually have similar track and reporting capabilities.

Furthermore, specific Vernier sensors have been tested and approved for Temperature, Humidity and Barometric measuring within Maxwell.

Just think what this environmental information can do to help you troubleshoot and correlate related print production issues!

If you have any questions or want to talk with a Maxwell specialist, call us at: (206) 985-6837 extension #1.

CHROMiX consolidates corporate address

Starting immediately, for all customers, vendors and partners, CHROMiX is consolidating it's main address to the following:

8320 5th Ave NE, Suite B
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 985-6837 Main
(206) 526-8278 Fax

From this point forward, please change all of your CHROMiX information to this address.


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

Shows and Events Color-relevant gatherings to plan for

September 13th - 16th, 2015 - Graph Expo and CPP Conference 2015, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL. CHROMiX will be at this event. Details TBA September ColorNews.

November 2nd - 4th, 2015 - FTA Fall Technical Conference in Columbus OH. CHROMiX's Steve Upton will be speaking in the Keynote panel. More information to follow.

November 4th - 6th, 2015 - SGIA Expo 2015. Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta GA. CHROMiX will be at this event. Details TBA September ColorNews.

December 5th - 8th, 2015 - This years '2015 Color Management Conference' provided by Printing Industries of America is at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, Phoenix, AZ. Start planning now! CHROMiX will be at this event. Details TBA September ColorNews.

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

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

Color Blindness: Surprising news

More than 10 million Americans have trouble distinguishing Red and Green or Blue with Yellow, and yet there's no treatment for colorblindness....or is there?

CxF3 approved as new global standard

The ISO TC130 committee has adopted the X-Rite Color Exchange Format CxF3 (v3) as the new standard for color data exchange and verification. ISO 17972-1:2015 provides the graphic arts industry with an accurate, efficient way to communicate color information across any supply chain. Note: The ISO TC130 committee sets global standards for the Graphic Arts Industry.

Forum Topics and other bits  Popular topics from and other things we've found along the way.

The current State of Color Management:   An interesting article about Best Practices for Color Management with US-based Print Service Providers.

i1Profiler CGATS output problem:   CHROMiX became aware of this problem while trying to help troubleshoot the problem with Curve3 customers.

The latest version of i1Profiler (v1.6.1) no longer accepts the CGATS output saved out of Curve3. i1Profiler gives a message about an 'invalid file format'. This kind of measurement output is mainly used in saving out OneRun target info and VPR target info.

One work around is to use the previous version of i1Profiler (v1.5.6) which is still available for download from X-Rite. That version seems to work fine.

No word yet from X-Rite when this will be fixed.

Article - Soft Proofing

All right, let's see some hands. How many of you bother to soft-proof your print work?

I have seen industry surveys and observed this question at color management trade shows. A good 50% or more of people involved in color-critical printing do not make use of soft-proofing in their workflow. There are always reasons behind stats like this. I'm sure if you're working in the high volume, consumer end of printing, like a drug store or a consumer photo lab, there is no need to soft proof since the customer is expected to do this sort of thing ahead of time. But the rest of the world really needs to get on the stick!

Soft-proofing is the viewing on a display what a printed image will look like ahead of time, so that you can make changes or approve the image before it gets printed. This is an incredibly useful feature that most people have access to, so it is rather mystifying why so many people decide to skip this step.

There are big advantages to making use of this feature. This enables you to:

  • Take the guesswork out of printing. You know what your image will look like before it gets printed (for better or for worse) and correct it if necessary.
  • Save money on expensive paper and ink, by fixing color problems before they print, and printing only what you need.
  • Have realistic expectations about what your printer / ink / paper combination can do.

For many of us, the first view of an image is that which we see when we bring it up on our monitors. Because we are in front of those screens all day, we start to assume that what we see there is WHAT IT IS. (We think it actually represents the totality of that image.) In reality it is helpful to keep in mind that what we see is merely what that monitor can show us of that image. Dedicated readers of the CHROMiX ColorNews will recognize these two color management truisms:

* There are colors you can print, that you can't see on your monitor. This explains why higher-end wide-gamut monitors have become popular.

* There are colors on your monitor that can't be printed by your printer. This is the subject we'll be looking at today. What do we do when these vivid colors on a monitor come out looking flat or dark when they get printed? Part of the answer is to use soft-proofing.

Some of the programs that have the ability to soft-proof are Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Lightroom, Quark. Qimage is a popular program for Windows only. Photoline is one we like that runs on Mac and Windows. Not all apps have the bi-directional soft-proofing capability built in, so check with the publisher to find out for sure. Did you know that ColorThink Pro can be used to soft-proof? Also, accurate soft-proofing is usually limited to RGB or CMYK color modes only. But ColorThink Pro can create ColorCast profiles that can be used in these other programs to soft-proof multi-channel profiles.

Here is the procedure for soft-proofing in Photoshop. Other software will be similar.

  • Start with a well-calibrated display. See this ColorWiki article for more information.
  • Go to View > Proof Setup > Custom, to get the Customize Proof Condition dialog.
  • For Device to Simulate, choose your printer profile,
  • For Rendering Intent, choose Relative Colorimetric or read here for more information.
  • Turn on Black Point Compensation (check the box)
  • For Preserve RGB (or CMYK) Numbers, Simulate Paper Color, and Simulate Black Ink - leave these unchecked.
  • Turn on Preview (check the box).

What this does is send your image through the same profile that will be used to print the image. The image you see on the monitor is filtered or dumbed-down to the color gamut of your printer. This is important. If you know that different papers give you different printed results, then how can you view an image on your screen and expect it to look like your prints without something in the process that takes your paper into the equation?

It's somewhere around this point where some users say "Ugh! That preview box just makes my image look dull and muddy. Forget it." Actually it is showing you a more accurate preview of what your printer will do to your image. Use it. If you really don't like what you see in the soft-proof, then this is the time to boost the saturation or think about trying a different paper and so forth. It's telling you the hard truth - but you know... truth is a good thing.

If you are printing to a premium luster paper on an inkjet, you may not see a big difference. If your paper is a matte-surfaced media such as a watercolor paper, you can expect to see some desaturation of the image when you check the preview box. Matte papers are not going to be capable of delivering the same color richness as a gloss or semi gloss paper.

Once you see how to arrange a soft-proof viewing setup, It is quite easy to save that setting as a preset so you can get back to it. Create several presets for your favorite papers.

I hope this short article has whetted your interest to try soft-proofing. There is more to be learned than I have time for here. Other checkboxes that we skipped over have their uses for different purposes. It is also possible to go all out and use a service like Remote Director to replace hard proofs with color-accurate online proofs.

Soft-proofing is easy, fast and powerful - and it can save you money and frustration as well. Embrace the truth! Use it and make your life better.

Thanks for reading,

Patrick Herold
CHROMiX Tech Support

   To read this article with images in ColorWiki, click here

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