Monthly Archives: June 2011

Welcome to next generation monitor calibration

Introducing the ColorMunki Display and i1Display Pro.

The new calibration solutions from X-Rite have arrived. Two new display solutions, two new ways to calibrate your monitor.

If you’re into colour management, or a bit of a colour perfectionist, you’ll probably already know how important monitor calibration is in the process of achieving accurate colour. The ColorMunki Display and i1Display Pro are the latest solutions from X-Rite, and give you a whole-host of new features and capabilities to suit any level – from amateur to professional.

It’s fair to say these new systems are very much in the ‘new generation’ of calibrator, making use of completely new optical system and filter technology. This not only means you get greater repeatability and device longevity, but your state-of-the-art, modern LCD display can be accurately calibrated – even your wide gamut display can benefit.

The two devices give you two levels of calibration. The ColorMunki Display offers fast, intuitive calibration using their award-winning ColorMunki interface. The focus is ease; especially useful for those less familiar with colour management, or for those looking for a straight-forward, but still accurate calibration.

The i1Display Pro is suited to the more demanding of colour perfectionists, with a focus on customisation. This is suited for those looking for higher degrees of control and for those looking to achieve a really precise colour calibration.

It should be noted that both devices will:

  • Measure ambient light using Ambient Light Smart Control
  • Make use of Flare Correct
  • Profile/measure projectors
  • Support new and emerging display technology – both are ‘future proof’
  • Both have a tripod mounting system

The i1Display Pro does all the above plus extra features only available with this device:

  • 5X faster measurement speed that standard (the ‘standard’ being the ColorMunki Display)
  • The choice to use advanced profile setting and options
  • Let’s you check your display QA workflow against industry standards (e.g. FOGRA)
  • Allows you to check the uniformity of your displays
  • Utilises user defined Pantone palettes for colour optimisation

The i1Display Pro also uses the innovative i1Profiler software user interface, giving you wizard control and direct access. This means that you can customise the entire process to suit our needs. To see this software in action, check out the video below…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxYvDEW9I5w]

Two new additions to the ever changing world of colour management and calibration. If you’d like to chat to somebody about these devices, or which one may best suit your needs – don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. You can see our contact details here.

We’ll also be doing a detailed review of these products in the coming weeks, details will be posted on here and on colorconfidence.com

sRGB or Adobe RGB – that is the question…

It’s one of our most frequently received colour management questions in recent years.

What is the difference between sRGB and Adobe RGB?

Simply put – Adobe RGB defines a larger colour-space than RGB. (The ‘s’ stands for standard). But, how do you choose which format to work in?

The general rule of thumb is that the more you know and understand about colour management as a whole, the more likely it is you’ll want to use Adobe RGB to give you that extra control and customisation. Have you been pondering over switching to Adobe RGB? Have a read of our summary below…

The key advantages of Adobe RGB

  • Colours of a stronger saturation can be defined when working in Adobe RGB. In practical terms – or ink on paper – this means that some colours which use the Cyan – Yellow range of printing inks will not be reproduced to its full intensity as when working in sRGB.
  • The strongest Cyan printing colour that can be defined within sRGB equates to a 75% intensity of a Cyan printing ink, 85% of Green or 95% or Yellow, depending on your ink and paper combination.
  • As a result, Adobe RGB is considered the preferred source colour-space for conventional print when converting to press CMYK.

The key disadvantages of Adobe RGB

  • Monitor capabilities – Most monitors can only display the sRGB colour space, which generally means the increased colour intensities of Adobe RGB are not visible on-screen. Although sRGB sounds restricting in terms of colour vibrancy, Adobe RGB’s greater saturation is not necessarily that ‘natural’, and may only be relevant to a few percent of the pixels in your images.
  • Colour quality – Colour in sRGB is defined in steps, starting at white through to the most saturated level of Red, Green or Blue. Basically, the larger the colour space, the larger the steps have to be. Working in a smaller colour gamut – sRGB – means smaller steps, and less of a colour jump from one to the next. This means sRGB contains a larger range of intermediary colours, and smoother colour transitions within images.
  • Common use of sRGB – Web browsers automatically interpret images in sRGB format, so for colour accurate display online, images should be sRGB

So, in summary, working in sRGB is the best route to accurate colour for many users. But, once you understand and appreciate the potential pitfalls of working in Adobe RGB, you are in a much better position to make use of its advantages.

As with our previous last few blog posts, the above extract was taken from our extensive learning centre. For more information, or for a selection of similar articles, click here.

Adam Borriello
Social media & marketing

A view on lighting conditions

Part 3 of our learning themed blogs takes another look at lighting conditions.

All the way back in deepest, darkest December, we blogged about the light in which you view any printed image. Today’s post takes things a little further, and as always, links you to information in our learning centre with a free PDF download should you wish to print it out in full for your own use.

You may wonder why the light in which you view prints is important?

Well…

You go to the trouble of setting the correct white point to match the ambient lighting, and use a neutral balance reference for checking white point and exposure when taking the photograph, why not make sure the light in which you view prints is as accurate as possible?

“The light in which you view your prints is crucial.

“It is important to assess images in consistent and correct viewing conditions. The colour of a print will look different from one lighting condition to another. From natural daylight to a fluorescent tube or to tungsten, images can look warm, cool, flatter and less vibrant.

“Daylight (5000°k or D50) is the industry standard for viewing prints. Working near a window during daylight hours provides a good natural solution, but what happens for consistency when it gets dark? It is also important to consider your working environment and position of your monitor to avoid unacceptable reflections on the screen.

“Viewing booths from Just Normlicht and GTI are available to provide a correct neutral backdrop and perfect 5000°k illumination. Superior units will also include a dimmer switch as a specified temperature can cover a range of intensities. Models with dimmer switches allow the intensity of the light to be adjusted to match the brightness of the
monitor.”

The above was written by Simon Prais, our technical director here at Color Confidence. He’s also a bit of an expert on all things viewing conditions, and wrote a brief but detailed paper on the subject which can be downloaded in this PDF.

In a sense, we can see that the light in which you view your prints is equally as important as the profiling and calibration that goes into the capture and editing stages.

There are a range of options available on our website, from desktop lights to luxurious viewing booths should you decide to go pro!

Adam Borriello
Social media & marketing.

Colour management; a few Q&A’s

Part 2 of our Learning Centre influenced blog posts follows on from last weeks ‘an overview of colour management’.

So, you now hopefully know what colour management is – roughly – but I imagine these have raised a few questions…

We talked about profiling in our previous post, but “how does your system compensate for the differences between profiles?”

“The straight answer to this is that it doesn’t! A monitor does not work to a colourspace rather it attempts to reproduce colour as closely as possible. This is exactly why monitor profiling is so essential. A monitor profile optimises your monitor to only produce colours it is capable of using the known data saved in the profile, thereby not creating colour distortions. Put simply without a monitor calibration device you cannot truly trust your monitor. If you do start  looking at rendering intents I would suggest further reading, however for most photographic work the perceptual rendering intent is suitable.”

I’ve profiled my monitor fine, but there’s this new sRGB and Adobe RGB thing, “what’s the difference between them and when should they be used?”

“The main difference between sRGB and Adobe RGB is quite simply the size – Adobe RGB is a significantly larger colour gamut.

“Advantages of using AdbobeRGB in photography are:

  • Blue/Cyan and yellow colours of increased saturation can be achieved in a photograph when printing from the AdobeRGB colourspace. The increased cyan/blue will be visually more noticeable than the yellow.
  • The flexibility of using other types of output device with the potential of future devices able to achieve more saturated ranges of colour.

“Advantages of using sRGB in photography are:

  • Many computer monitors will only display colours to a colour saturation as defined by sRGB. Therefore this is appropriate as it avoids colours that cannot be accurately displayed on a monitor.
  • Many cameras are configured to work as a default in sRGB. Avoiding conversions between colourspaces reduces the potential for errors.

“There is no single, correct working space to operate in and it depends on the type of photography you are undertaking but for minimum fuss and maximum control, use sRGB, however if you want to capture as much as possible and make amends to colour from the top down then using AdobeRGB may be just fine.”

The above was an extract taken from our colour management Q&A document which you can download for free here. You’ll also see an extra 2 questions on the pdf, which will be particularly useful if you’re a bit confused with CMYK/RGB printing, or are struggling to grey balance an image in Photoshop post-shooting.

As ever, if you have any questions or problems, comment below and we’ll do our best to answer them!

Adam Borriello
Social media & marketing