In-depth understanding and use of color management (c)

Screen color profile

The best color profiles for screens are generated by a combination of sophisticated hardware and software, such as GretagMacbeth's Eye-One product line. Before performing the color profile, the display needs to be calibrated to ensure the stability of the display. In terms of the stability of the color display, the Apple LCD display has a prominent advantage over the conventional CRT display.

First let the screen produce a series of colors. For each color, compare the actual generated value with the expected value. The comparison result will be stored in the system specified place.

Applications such as Adobe Photoshop use screen color profiles to correct the colors of displayed images. Regardless of whether you have calibrated your monitor or generated its color profile, Photoshop assumes that the process is complete. To optimize the use of Photoshop, a monitor that is calibrated and produces the correct color profile is necessary.

Make output device color profile

To generate a color profile for an output device, you first need to print out a color target containing different colors. GretagMacbeth's software provides a variety of print target color targets that you can choose according to your needs. Depending on the color format (RGB or CMYK), the color target used for printing is different.

Choosing the right print target color target

The printer embodies colors in two common ways. Before choosing the right color target, you need to know which method your output device uses to represent colors. Photosensitive photo paper supports red, green and blue lasers. This type of device includes commercial large format printers.

Inkjet printers and printers use 4 colors or more for all colors. The 4 colors are the so-called CMYK colors, ie, cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Some printers or printers use more colors (such as 6-color printers) to enhance stability or expand color gamut.

You may think that a 4-color inkjet printer needs to use a 4-color printing color target to make its color profile, but this is not always the case. A 4-color printer without RIP software needs to use RGB target color targets for the color profile. Six-color printers such as the HP Designjet 10ps, or 8-color printers such as the Epson Stylus Pro 7600, require RGB color targets for color profiles to achieve a wider color gamut than CMYK 4 colors.

When you use a color laser printer, almost all of these printers use built-in Adobe Postscript or other RIP software. For such printers, institutions that include 4-color printers or use RIP for proofing services need to use CMYK's target color targets for color profiles.

Calibrate before making color profiles

The printer usually needs RIP software to perform the color calibration process. However, the current inkjet printer is generally stable enough to meet the requirements of the color profile file.

Print target color target

Using the color target method, you can create a color profile for the printer. The color target is not only designed to create a color profile, but also designed for measuring equipment (spectrophotometer). These devices vary depending on the price and the degree of automation. Hand-held spectrophotometers like the GretagMacbeth Eye-One are very easy to use. When producing a large number of different color profiles, the fully automated iCColor or Spectrolino/SpectroScan is a good choice. Before printing, you must choose the correct color target for your device. Some color targets have more test color samples and will require more than one sheet of paper. The conditions for printing the target color target need to be exactly the same as the actual working conditions, such as using the same print settings, ink, and paper.

Analysis of printed color targets

When the color target is printed, it needs to be read by a spectrophotometer and analyzed by software. The value that each color square is read will be stored in a file. This file will be opened by ProfileMaker software and each stored value will be compared to the standard value. The result will be calculated and a color profile will be generated.

Install and set the color profile

Once the color profile is generated, it must be placed in the correct location on your computer to be ready to be called at any time, and your application software should be set up correctly to use these color profiles.

System-level settings in ColorSync's Preferences panel:

Mac OS X has designed a simplified system preset for ColorSync. You can set the default color profile and CMM to make them automatically applicable to all applications. Open the ColorSync utility and select a preset profile. From the preset, you can specify a color profile for files that do not have embedded color profiles. For each color space, choose a standard-based generic color profile so that the application will always find high-quality color profiles for each file.

The CMM (Color Management Module) button lets you choose how to calculate colors. If the CMM setting shows Automatic, ColorSync will use the specified CMM for the source file. Or you can choose Apple CMM, ColorSync will automatically take effect, regardless of whether there is a CMM is assigned to a source file.

Put the color profile in the right place

The Eye-One Match and ProfileMaker software places the color profile in the correct place for the operating system to use at any time. Sometimes you will also find that the color profile comes from somewhere else and you need to put it in the right place. Mac OS X provides different places to put color profiles. Here are some quick ways to put color profiles in the right place.

In Mac OS X, ColorSync color profiles are placed in several places. The operating system installs the color profile in a read-only location: /System/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/. Other places such as /Library/ColorSync/Profiles/ allow the user to enter and edit color profiles.

Set color profile for Adobe application software

Adobe software including Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Acrobat all use a consistent color management process. You can easily set default or custom color settings for Adobe's software. Here's how to perform color management in your application software.

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