User login

ICS Invents Tools for Color-Accurate Visual Collaboration

(August 2003) posted on Wed Aug 13, 2003

Co-developer of ColorBlind continues to push the envelope

click an image below to view slideshow

By Eileen Fritsch

What's this got to do with graphics? With Remote Director's color-accurate and dynamic soft-proofing, car manufacturers and other brand marketers can examine their ad campaigns in whole new ways. A car maker can visually compare how the actual colors used to make their new models look compared to the colors in images of the cars output on billboards, magazine ads, trade-show graphics, and promotional banners for their dealers. Maybe the car maker would like the billboard colors to match those of their magazine ads. But maybe not. After all, why should the billboard colors be compressed to match the more limited gamut of SWOP printing when the 16 ft, 8-color inkjet printers can produce images with colors that better match the true color of the vehicle? When used in conjunction with 3D design software, ICS's visual-collaboration software can even provide fast, color-accurate previews of how graphics-wrapped buses might actually look when driving down a sun-drenched street.

Needless to say, this technology could benefit wide-format graphics-production firms who need extremely fast, low-cost ways to show how the same image will appear when output from different devices, on different substrates, and to proofing standards other than SWOP.

This capability isn't as pie-in-the-sky as it might sound. One of Remote Director's most compelling features is that the soft-proof sender controls all the color data when the proofs are received for use on 24-bit color displays at the proof recipient's site(s). If the proof recipient's monitor isn't calibrated for accurate color viewing, a red stoplight and picture of a colorimeter appears on the client's screen. The client then simply hangs the colorimeter on the screen in the designated location and pushes a button. That's it. All the data needed to calibrate the monitor is relayed back to the host site, which makes the adjustments needed to give all monitors in the proofing session the "green light."

Many of the same sophisticated technologies used in Remote Director are now available in ICS's basICColor monitor calibration software, which sells for $149 ($249 with colorimeter). One feature likely to appeal to digital photography pros is a unique 16-bit gamut-compression tool that makes it possible to see much greater shadow detail in the images viewed on the screen.