Colorants (and raves) - CHROMiX Blog

Musings on color management, CHROMiX products and services and other relevant topics.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Check your instruments


The beginning of a new year is a great time to take stock of all your measurement devices.  I'm thinking that peak time around your company is winding down now, and you have a bit of time to devote to some proactive maintenance.

This is a good time to:
  •  Run your spectros through any diagnostic programs that are available for your devices.  Barbieri has a software tool called "Service Report" for all of their instruments and X-Rite has a utility called "i1Diagnostics" that has been recently updated to work with the i1Pro 2 and IO 2 table.
The reason why you want to run your instruments through these tools when there is nothing wrong with them, is so you can have a record of what your instrument looks like when everything is good.  Run your instrument through the diagnostic tool, save the result and keep it for the future.  Someday you'll thank me when you have a color problem and the idea goes through your mind, "I wonder if the instrument is bad?"  You can run the process again and hopefully say, "Well the service report shows basically the same numbers it did when we ran the same test back in January."
  • An even better way to have assurance of instrument accuracy is to measure a control tool on a regular basis.  This control tool would be a control strip that is specially made to be stable and colorfast for a long time.   We sell the Vogelsong COLORef and also bundle it with our MeasureWatch service of Maxwell.  This combination gives you a quality control strip as well as an easy way to track the accuracy of your device as you make routine instrument checks over time.  The idea is that if an instrument is going out of spec. you'll know about it ahead of time. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Looking forward to Color Conference in December!




December 6th - 9th, 2014 - The 2014 Color Conference presented by the Printing Industries of America, the conference will be at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort and Villas, Scottsdale, AZ and is always a favorite stop for CHROMiX to end the year colorfully. Please come on by our booth and say hello to Rick, or attend one of Steve's or Pat's sessions. We'll look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Yosemite compatibility and CHROMiX apps



Apple's Yosemite version of Mac OS X (v10.10) has just been released.

We've completed some preliminary testing for ColorThink 3.0.3 and Curve 3.0.1 and both seem to be running well.

We'll be testing Maxwell and the Maxwell Client on Yosemite in the days ahead and will let you know if we find any issues.

So far, so good!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

CHROMiX on NEC Google+ hangout

Hey everyone… I just spent an hour discussing color management on the NEC Google+ hangout panel. It was a live discussion and a YouTube video recording is available at NEC Google+ hangout discussion. Check it out!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Black and white display


Maybe this seems rather regressive, but in a day and age when people are using their phones to send text messages, this could be the next Big Thing.

Did you know you can calibrate an Eizo to produce a perfectly black and white display? I didn't. A recent post in ColorForums got me doing some research in this vein.  There are a couple of ways to do this.  One is to create an RGB profile in Photoshop but define the primary colors using very low-chroma primary colors.  Eizo's ColorNavigator software can be called in to emulate that profile on their display and you end up with a mostly black and white display.  An even better way to get a more completely neutral result is to go into the ColorNavigator advanced feature that allows you to independently adjust contrast, saturation and such on 6 colors.   I removed all saturation, re-calibrated, and now have a perfectly calibrated black and white display.   (I wonder if I can get 'I love Lucy' on this...?)

Friday, August 8, 2014

Dye Sub printer profiling

I recently got back from two days of training on the new Epson F-series dye sub printers.  It's amazing how many ways there are to get the color wrong in this process.  When it comes to making profiles for a process that transfers color to fabric like T-shirts, you have to get right:
- the settings in the RIP
- the printing to transfer paper
- the procedure of using the heat press to transfer the image onto the fabric.

Don't get me wrong - these new Epson printers are amazing and I've never seen such brilliant images from a dye sub process.   The amount of color you can transfer onto a piece of fabric these days is just stunning.  It's almost like looking at a fine art print.

This training was in partnership with JVH Technical here in the Northwest.  This is a great Epson dealership, well known for outstanding customer service.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

NEC PA2 Displays


We have posted new reviews of the latest generation of NEC displays for high end color work.  The PA242W, PA272W, and PA302W make use of LED's in their backlighting.  

The use of LED's makes for some notable improvements, such as an even larger color gamut than before, more consistency between monitors, better white point rendering, lower power consumption.  Check them out: