I Used To Do This In MeasureTool
Once a year they let me out of my tech support cage at CHROMiX and I get to travel to the PIA color management conference in Arizona. Its great to get out and shake hands with people with whom I have traded emails or talked with on the phone.
This year someone on our team commented about how surprising it is that we still find folks who are still bemoaning the loss of MeasureTool software. This was the measuring module component of the ProfileMaker suite from X-Rite, but which has been discontinued. Sure, X-Rite has a replacement in the form of i1Profiler, but many of the functions of MeasureTool that people relied on for evaluating measurements are no longer available. Or are they?
Did you know that you can do many of these same functions using ColorThink Pro?
Below are a few of the tasks that color geeks like to do, and ways to make each happen with CHROMiX's ColorThink Pro software.
I used to like to just drop a measurement file or even a reference file into MeasureTool to see visually what it would look like.
This you can do in ColorThink Pro. Drag a CGATS file onto the ColorThink Pro dock icon (Mac), or the Worksheet icon (Windows) and the file will automatically open in the Worksheet, showing you a visual layout of the colored patches defined in the text file. Click "I" to expand the Images section of the Worksheet and a preview appears. This preview is color-accurate, meaning that the colors you see are actual representations of the RGB, CMYK or Lab values processed through the monitor profile of your display, just as Photoshop would do.
I used to compare two measurements in MeasureTool.
You can do this in the Worksheet in ColorThink Pro. Open a measurement into the Worksheet as described above. Drag and drop a second measurement onto the "Images" or "Colors" section of the first measurement, and a new Workflow containing the second measurements will be added next to the first measurement. Click the dE button and a third column will be added showing dE differences between the two measurements. Open the Images section and see a heat map showing all the differences between the two measurements as they appear on the layout of the sheet. (More details on this is here)
While MeasureTool used to identify the worst patch with red and others with yellow, the ColorThink Worksheet gives you the ability to change a wide range of colors on the heat map. For example, a delta E window with adjustable sliding buttons allows you to dial in your shops tolerances so that a red on the heatmap shows up when a difference falls outside of a max dE of 5. Comparisons can be done between color lists or you can compare how an image is affected by different profiles. (More help is here in ColorWiki)
Of course, any of these 3 columns can be graphed, including the dE numbers. Viewing the dE differences as vectors in the 3D Grapher can be very useful in diagnosing problems. (And it looks cool too!)
What if I want to compare using a different dE formula?
By default, ColorThink uses dE 2000 in its calculations (as does MeasureTool). You can change this to any of the other common calculation methods by clicking the box in the upper right corner of the Worksheet. Delta E 76, Delta E 94, Delta E 2000, CMC1:1, CMC 2:1 are all available - as well as delta Lab and delta LCH which allow you to see the differences between Lab elements or lightness, chroma, and hue. For example, you can use this feature to see if the difference between 2 measurements is mainly due to a change in lightness or a change in hue.
What about specific patches? I used to be able to hover over a patch and see the Ref vs. Sample values.
Ditto for the Worksheet. Click the eyedropper tool in the Images section and hover over any patch. The values will be displayed across the Worksheet.
The illuminant and standard observer angles can be changed like in MeasureTool. The Color Setup dialog is found by clicking any of the headings in the Colors section.
Can I create a report like in MeasureTool?
Yes. There is a "rpt" button in the Colors section of the Worksheet which lays out a dE report in text format. If you want to save this report as a file, it is an easy matter to copy and paste this text data into a text editor for saving.
Keep in mind that any profile created using i1Profiler can be loaded into i1Profiler again, and it will automatically repopulate each portion of the workflow. This enables you to save out reference data and measurement data if you wish.
For those profiles not made by ProfileMaker or i1Profiler, you can do what we call "pushing numbers through a profile." A reference list is brought into the ColorThink Pro Worksheet, a profile is dropped on top of it, and ColorThink automatically adds the profile to the list, presenting you with the resulting list of Lab values. You can see how it affects the colors visually, you can view them in the Grapher or save the list out as a CGATS text file. This is incredibly useful for simulating what printing will do before you actually print, or capturing a set of ideal aim values for your favorite in-house target.
There is a description of this in the ColorWiki.
More improvements and upgrades are coming to our flagship ColorThink software in the coming year. If you have some features you would like to see, drop us an email, or post a topic in the ColorForums.
Thanks for reading,