Link-o-lator Interface

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The Link-o-lator interface

The Link-o-lator window has five main areas.


Contents

Source Profile area

Source profile window

Type menu

The Type menu lets you choose the type of profiles displayed in the Source profile menu. You can choose a type to reduce the number of profiles displayed in the Source profile menu. If you choose Input, Display, or Output, the Source profile menu displays only profiles of the selected type. If you choose All, the Source profile menu displays all three types of profiles.

Source Profile menu

The Source profile menu displays all ICC profiles of the type selected in the Type menu. If All is selected in the Type menu, the Source profile menu displays Input, Display, and Output profiles. If a desired profile is not active in the system, you may choose Other… from the Source profile menu and you can navigate to any ICC profile on any mounted volume.

Note: In OS 9 ICC profiles are stored in the ColorSync Profiles folder within the active System Folder. In OSX they can be located in the System/Library/ColorSync folder, or in the User/“user folder”/Library/ColorSync folder. At launch Linko-lator checks all the appropriate ColorSync Profiles folder(s) to determine the active system profiles for display in the Source profile menu.

Rendering Intent menu

The Rendering intent menu lets you choose the rendering intent (that is, a profile’s internal color mapping table; most profiles have three) to be used from the source profile. Automatically the Source profile Rendering intent gets synchronized to agree with the Destination profile Rendering intent – which by default is the preference built into the profile – and this is the recommended arrangement. If you desire that the Source profile Rendering intent specifically be different than the Destination profile Rendering intent, choose the Destination profile Rendering intent first, and then reset the Source profile Rendering intent as desired. The rendering intent choices are Perceptual, Saturation, Relative Colorimetric and Absolute Colorimetric.

Embed Source Profile in Link check box

The Embed source profile in link check box gives you the option of embedding the actual source ICC profile into a device link. Normally, because of the way ICC device links are designed, they can be used to transform color but won’t allow you to see a soft proof. However, with a Left Dakota “megalink” (i.e., a device link that has embedded both the source and destination profile), other applications may use the embedded profiles to create previews and soft proofs.

Color Management Module area

Color Management

Color Management Module menu

The Color Management Module menu lets you choose the color management module (CMM) you want to use. If you do not make a selection, the default system CMM is used.

Destination Profile area

Destination Profile area

Type menu

The Type menu lets you choose the type of profiles displayed in the Destination profile menu. You can choose a type to reduce the number of profiles displayed in the Source profile menu. If you choose Display or Output, the Destination profile menu displays only profiles of the selected type. If you choose All, the Destination profile menu displays Display and Output profiles.

Destination Profile menu

The Destination profile menu displays all ICC profiles of the type selected in the Type menu. If All is selected in the Type menu, the Destination profile menu displays Display and Output profiles.

Note: In OS 9 ICC profiles are stored in the ColorSync Profiles folder within the active System Folder. In OSX they can be located in the System/Library/ColorSync folder, or in the User/“user folder”/Library/ColorSync folder. At launch Linko-lator checks all the appropriate ColorSync Profiles folder(s) to determine the active system profiles for display in the Destination Profile menu.

Rendering Intent menu

The Rendering intent menu lets you choose the rendering intent (that is, a profile’s internal color mapping table; most profiles have three) to be used from the destination profile. Automatically the Source profile Rendering intent gets synchronized to agree with the Destination profile Rendering intent – which by default is the preference built into the profile – and this is the recommended arrangement. If you desire that the Source profile Rendering intent specifically be different than the Destination profile Rendering intent, choose the Destination profile Rendering intent first, and then reset the Source profile Rendering intent as desired. The rendering intent choices are Perceptual, Saturation, Relative Colorimetric and Absolute Colorimetric.

Embed Destination Profile in Link check box

The Embed destination profile in link check box gives you the option of embedding the actual destination ICC profile into a device link. Normally, because of the way ICC device links are designed, they can be used to transform color but won’t allow you to see a soft proof. However, with a Left Dakota “megalink” (i.e., a device link that contains both the source and destination profile), other applications may use the embedded profiles to create previews and soft proofs.


Channel Info area

Channel Info area

The Channel Info area lets you choose the pure color channels you want to preserve, preserve with dot gain adjustments and optionally scale. This area is available only if you are making a device link that contains source and destination profiles from identical color spaces. For example, if the source profile is an RGB profile and the destination profile is CMYK, there are no corresponding pure color channels. As a result the options in the Channel Info are are not available. However, if you make a CMYK-to-CMYK device link, which has common channels on both sides of the link, the options in the Channel Info area are available. There is one exception to this: if you create a CMYK-to-Maxi-Channel link, Link-o-lator will assume that the first four channels in the maxi-channel profile correspond to the source CMYK, and Link-o-lator lets you preserve those pure channels. Currently, however, Link-o-lator does not error-check to ensure that the channels are CMYK, so you should be careful in your choice of settings.

Generic Link buttons

If you leave all radio buttons and set to their initial state, Link-o-lator will create a standard ICC device link. The resulting link would produce almost identical results to the those you would get if you simply made a profile-to-profile conversion in Photoshop. Based on the selected CMM and source and destination profiles, some contamination would likely occur in cyans and magentas, and black-only text and drop shadows would become four-color black.

Preserve Pure Color buttons

The Preserve Color buttons let you preserve pure colors values on a color-by-color basis. For example, if you preserve a pure cyan, a 50% or 100% cyan from the source file will be replicated on the destination side as 50% or 100%, respectively, and will not have any contamination from any other colorant – even if the addition of another colorant were required to create a colorimetric match. As a result, any pure value you start with is the value you end with.

Preserve Dot Gain buttons

The Preserve Dote Gain buttons let you preserve pure colors on a color-by-color basis while simultaneously compensating for tonality or dot gain differences between the source and destination devices. The end points (0% and 100%) are preserved, but the shape of the curve between those points is adjusted to create a visual tonal match.

For example, if your source device exhibited 20% dot gain in the midtones, but your destination device behaved in a completely linear fashion, the 20% dot gain behavior will be replicated onto the destination side for a tonal appearance match, yet there will not be any contamination from any other colorant – even if the addition of another colorant were required to create a colorimetric match.

Scale Pure Color L* buttons

The Scale Pure Color L* buttons let you preserve the purity of color and adjust for dot gain differences on a channel-by-channel basis while simultaneously scaling the 100% point of the destination profile to a percentage of coverage that will appear to match the luminance of the 100% patch on the source device.

For example, if you want to create a proof of a press running uncoated newsprint and you’re using an Fuji FinalProof with coated paper to create the proof, preserving and replicating the exact black channel would not produce the desired results. The proof would contain pure colors without contamination, but it would appear to be too dark. This is because 100% black on newsprint looks like a dark shade of grey due to press densities and paper characteristics. However, 100% black on a Fuji FinalProof with coated paper would appear very dark.

Link-o-lator will use the luminance data from the source and destination profiles and calculate the apparent brightness created by the various percentages of input colorant and will scale back the destination values so that they will produce the same luminance as the source (L*) while still remaining pure. This means you can create the most accurate digital proofs possible.

Edit Scale Curve buttons

Edit Scale Curve buttons

The Edit Scale Curve buttons let you customize Link-o-lator’s Preserve Dot Gain and/or Scale Pure L* luminance scaling. When you click any of these buttons, the accompanying Edit button becomes available. Clicking the Edit button displays the Curve Editor dialog box. The 10 sliders in this dialog box let you override Link-o-lator’s currently calculated settings. If you click OK, any changes you’ve made to the sliders are saved. Clicking Cancel will retain Linko- lator’s calculated values.

Last Saved

Scale Pure Color L*: Revert to popup menu

If you wish to reset the sliders to Link-o-lator’s precalculated Linear, Dot Gain Curve, or L* Scaled Curve settings, select the curve setting you desire from the popup menu and click Reset to force a recalculation of the curve. Selecting Last Saved will reset the curves to the last saved condition, as will clicking Cancel.

Output Options area

After you choose a source and destination profile, one of the four tabs in the Output Options area is automatically made active. Based on what type of destination profile is selected, various link options are available.

Grayscale tab

When you choose a grayscale destination profile (for example, the Linear Gray profile), the Grayscale tab is activated.

Blackpoint compensation

Blackpoint Compensation Pop-up

If you check Blackpoint Compensation, Link-o-lator uses a built-in algorithm to adjust for differences in the black points of the selected source and destination profiles. When Full Range Blackpoint Compensation is selected, the black point of the source profile is expanded or compressed so that the full dynamic range of the destination color space is used (even if the black point in the source space is lighter). When Shadows Blackpoint Compensation is checked, the black point of the source profile is expanded or compressed so that the full dynamic range of the destination color space is used (just like Full Range Blackpoint Compensation) but in this case the effect protects the highlights and midtones by actually starting around the 80% shadow area and continuing to the 100% shadow. If you don’t check Blackpoint Compensation, the dynamic range of the source space is maintained in the destination side of the link, but may possibly clip.

Channel Info Area: Edit Curves button

When Gray is selected as the output option, clicking on the Edit Scale Curve (Edit) button allows you to edit the 10 values that make up the grayscale curve.

RGB tab

When you choose an RGB destination profile, the RGB tab is activated.

RGB tab

Blackpoint Compensation check box

If you check Blackpoint Compensation, Link-o-lator uses a built-in algorithm to adjust for differences in the black points of the selected source and destination profiles. When Full Range Blackpoint Compensation is selected, the black point of the source profile is expanded or compressed so that the full dynamic range of the destination color space is used (even if the black point in the source space is lighter).

When Shadows Blackpoint Compensation is checked, the black point of the source profile is expanded or compressed so that the full dynamic range of the destination color space is used (just like Full Range Blackpoint Compensation) but in this case the effect protects the highlights and midtones by actually starting around the 80% shadow area and continuing to the 100% shadow. If you don’t check Blackpoint Compensation, the dynamic range of the source space is maintained in the destination side of the link, but may possibly clip.

K only becomes equal amounts of RGB check box

The K only becomes equal amounts of RGB check box is available when the source profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel and the destination profile is RGB. When K only becomes equal amounts of RGB is checked, any tint of pure black from 0 to 100% (for example, black-only text or a drop shadow) will map to equal amounts of RGB. This option lets you transform color space into RGB in such a way that you can later reseparate the file back to CMYK (or Maxi-Channel) and regain the black-only nature of the source.

100% K becomes 0,0,0 RGB check box

The 100% K becomes 0,0,0 RGB check box is available when the source profile is CMYK or Maxi- Channel and the destination profile is RGB. When 100% K becomes 0,0,0 RGB is checked, 100% black (for example, black-only text) will map to 0,0,0 RGB. This option lets you transform color space into RGB in such a way that you can later reseparate the file back to CMYK (or Maxi-Channel) and regain the black-only text.

Preserve 0,0,0 check box

The Preserve 0,0,0 check box is available when both the source and destination profiles are RGB. When Preserve 0,0,0 is checked, a black value of 0,0,0 (RGB) will not change and will remain pure RGB black. This is useful, for example, if you want to make sure that black text set at 0,0,0 maintains its value.

Preserve 255,255,255 check box

The Preserve 255,255,255 check box is available when both the source and destination profiles are RGB. When Preserve 255,255,255 is checked, a white value of 255,255,255 (RGB) will not change and will remain pure RGB white. This is useful, for example, if you want to make sure that a white background set at 0,0,0 for transparency reasons maintains its value.

CMY tab

CMY tab When you choose a CMY destination profile, the CMY tab is activated.

The CMY tab
Blackpoint Compensation check box

If you check Blackpoint Compensation,Link-o-lator uses a built-in algorithm to adjust for dif-ferences in the black points of the selected source and destination pro-files. When Full Range Blackpoint Compensation is selected, the black point of the source profile is expanded or compressed so that the full dynamic range of the destination color space is used (even if the black point in the source space is lighter). When Shadows Blackpoint Compensation is checked, the black point of the source profile is expanded or compressed so that the full dynamic range of the destination color space is used (just like Full Range Blackpoint Compensation) but in this case the effect protects the highlights and midtones by actually starting around the 80% shadow area and continuing to the 100% shadow. If you don’t check Blackpoint Compensation, the dynamic range of the source space is maintained in the destination side of the link, but may possibly clip.

Super Proof check box

The Super Proof check box is a unique and very powerful feature of Link-o-lator. When checked it allows Blackpoint Compensation to be used with the Absolute Colorimetric Rendering Intent. This feature is particularly powerful when used with a proofing system (IE: Epson with UltraChrome Inks) which can’t achieve the darkness that a source device (IE: press) potentially can. Use of this mode will reveal the press shadow detail on the proofer, while still providing the accuracy of the white point adaptation of Absolute Colorimetric Rendering Intent.

Preserve Registration Black check box

The Preserve Registration Black check box is available when the source profile is CMY, CMYK or Maxi-Channel and the destination profile is CMY, CMYK or Maxi-Channel. When Preserve Registration Black is checked, a file that contains crop marks and registration marks made up of 100% of each channel (300% 400%, 500%, 600%, etc.) will be mapped to 300% (CMY Registration Black) and will not separate to the total ink limit built into the destination profile.

0,0,0 RGB becomes 100% CMY check box

The 0,0,0 RGB becomes100% CMY check box is available when the source profile is RGB and the des-tination profile is CMY. When 0,0,0 RGB becomes100% CMY is checked, 0,0,0 RGB (for example, text defined as 0,0,0 will map only to 300% black in a CMY file. This option lets you move from RGB in such a way that you can create black-only text in CMY devices (like dye-sublimation machines).

CMYK tab

When you choose a CMYK destination profile, the CMYK tab is activated.

The CMYK tab

Blackpoint Compensation check box

If you check Blackpoint Compensation, Link-o-lator uses a built-in algorithm to adjust for differences in the black points of the selected source and destination profiles. When Full Range Blackpoint Compensation is selected, the black point of the source profile is expanded or compressed so that the full dynamic range of the destination color space is used (even if the black point in the source space is lighter). When Shadows Blackpoint Compensation is checked, the black point of the source profile is expanded or compressed so that the full dynamic range of the destination color space is used (just like Full Range Blackpoint Compensation) but in this case the effect protects the highlights and midtones by actually starting around the 80% shadow area and continuing to the 100% shadow. If you don’t check Blackpoint Compensation, the dynamic range of the source space is maintained in the destination side of the link, but may possibly clip.

Super Proof check box

The Super Proof check box is a unique and very powerful feature of Link-o-lator. When checked it allows Blackpoint Compensation to be used with the Absolute Colorimetric Rendering Intent. This feature is particularly powerful when used with a proofing system (IE: Epson with UltraChrome Inks) which can’t achieve the darkness that a source device (IE: press) potentially can. Use of this mode will reveal the press shadow detail on the proofer, while still providing the accuracy of the white point adaptation of Absolute Colorimetric Rendering Intent.

Preserve Registration Black check box

The Preserve Registration Black check box is available when the source profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel and the destination profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel. When Preserve Registration Black is checked, a file that contains crop marks and registration marks made up of 100% of each channel (400%, 500%, 600%, etc.) will be mapped to 400% and will not separate to the total ink limit built into the destination profile.

Dot-Free Paper White check box

The Dot-Free Paper White check box is available when the source profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel and the destination profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel. When Dot-Free Paper White is checked, the destination white point is forced to contain no dot. The most powerful use of this feature is when it is combined with the Absolute Colorimetric Rendering Intent and the Super Proof option. When these three options are used in conjunction (for example in inkjet proofing), you get all the benefits of white point adaptation in your pastels, quarter tones, and spot color matches, all the benefits of Black Point Compensation in your shadows, and none of the political problems of scum dots in your white point. In effect, this feature allows you to start Absolute Colorimetric Rendering at 1%. It can also be used to compensate for errors in various CMMs which introduce scum dots in white in the Relative Colorimetric Rendering Intent.

Preserve 100% K Overprints check box

The Preserve 100% K Overprints check box is available when the source profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel and the destination profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel. When Preserve 100% K Overprints is checked, if an incoming source color has a 100% K overprint, the C,M,Y under the K will be allowed to color manage, but the 100% K value will be preserved.

Preserve R - G - B check boxes

The Preserve R - B - B check boxes are available when the source profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel and the destination profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel. When any of the respective Preserve R - G - B boxes is checked, then an incoming color which consists of Y100,M100, or 100Y,100C, or 100C,100M will be protected. This feature was added to protect the red, green, and blue of color bars (as some workflow systems actually run color bars through color management) so that wet trap reading may still be made.

0,0,0 RGB becomes 100% K check box

The 0,0,0 RGB becomes100% K check box is available when the source profile is RGB and the destina-tion profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel. When 0,0,0 RGB becomes 100% K is checked, 0,0,0 RGB (for example, text defined as 0,0,0 will map only to 100% black in a CMYK file. This option lets you move from RGB in such a way that you can create black-only text in CMYK.

Equal amounts of RGB becomes % of K Only check box

The Equal Amounts of RGB becomes % of K Only check box is available when the source profile is RGB and the destination profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel. When Equal Amounts of RGB becomes % of K Only is checked, any RGB color which consists of equal values (for example, RGB gray defined as 128,128,128) will map directly to a percentage of pure black in a CMYK file. This option lets you make separations from RGB to CMYK that automatically create black-only drop shadows. Warning: This feature is a potentially dangerous one.

Gray becomes % of K only check box

The Gray becomes % of K only check box is available when the source profile is grayscale and the destination profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel. When Gray becomes % of K only is checked, a grayscale file will become CMYK, but only the black channel will have values. If Gray becomes % of K only is not checked, a grayscale profile will become a four-color CMYK file, and the neutrality will be deter-mined by the destination profile.

Maxi-Channel tab

When you choose a destination profile that contains more than four channels, the Maxi-Channel tab is activated.

The Maxi-Channel tab

Blackpoint Compensation check box

If you check Blackpoint Compensation, Link-o-lator uses a built-in algorithm to adjust for differences in the black points of the selected source and destination profiles. When Full Range Blackpoint Compensation is selected, the black point of the source profile is expanded or compressed so that the full dynamic range of the destination color space is used (even if the black point in the source space is lighter). When Shadows Blackpoint Compensation is checked, the black point of the source profile is expanded or compressed so that the full dynamic range of the destination color space is used (just like Full Range Blackpoint Compensation) but in this case the effect protects the highlights and midtones by actually starting around the 80% shadow area and continuing to the 100% shadow. If you don’t check Blackpoint Compensation, the dynamic range of the source space is maintained in the destination side of the link, but may possibly clip.

Super Proof check box

The Super Proof check box is a unique and very powerful feature of Link-o-lator. When checked it allows Blackpoint Compensation to be used with the Absolute Colorimetric Rendering Intent. This feature is particularly powerful when used with a proofing system (IE: Epson with UltraChrome Inks) which can’t achieve the darkness that a source device (IE: press) potentially can. Use of this mode will reveal the press shadow detail on the proofer, while still providing the accuracy of the white point adaptation of Absolute Colorimetric Rendering Intent.

Preserve Registration Black check box

The Preserve Registration Black check box is available when the source profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel and the destination profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel. When Preserve Registration Black is checked, a file that contains crop marks and registration marks made up of 100% of each channel (400%, 500%, 600%, etc.) will be mapped to 400% and will not separate to the total ink limit built into the destination profile.

Dot-Free Paper White check box

The Dot-Free Paper White check box is available when the source profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel and the destination profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel. When Dot-Free Paper White is checked, the destination white point is forced to contain no dot. The most powerful use of this feature is when it is combined with the Absolute Colorimetric Rendering Intent and the Super Proof option. When these three options are used in conjunction (for example in inkjet proofing), you get all the benefits of white point adaptation in your pastels, quarter tones, and spot color matches, all the benefits of Black Point Compensation in your shadows, and none of the political problems of scum dots in your white point. In effect, this feature allows you to start Absolute Colorimetric Rendering at 1%. It can also be used to compensate for errors in various CMMs which introduce scum dots in white in the Relative Colorimetric Rendering Intent.

Preserve 100% K Overprints check box

The Preserve 100% K Overprints check box is available when the source profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel and the destination profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel. When Preserve 100% K Overprints is checked, if an incoming source color has a 100% K overprint, the C,M,Y under the K will be allowed to color manage, but the 100% K value will be preserved.

Preserve R - G - B check boxes

The Preserve R - B - B check boxes are available when the source profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel and the destination profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel. When any of the respective Preserve R - G - B boxes is checked, then an incoming color which consists of Y100,M100, or 100Y,100C, or 100C,100M will be protected. This feature was added to protect the red, green, and blue of color bars (as some workflow systems actually run color bars through color management) so that wet trap reading may still be made.

0,0,0 RGB becomes 100% K check box

The 0,0,0 RGB becomes100% K check box is available when the source profile is RGB and the destina-tion profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel. When 0,0,0 RGB becomes 100% K is checked, 0,0,0 RGB (for example, text defined as 0,0,0 will map only to 100% black in a CMYK file. This option lets you move from RGB in such a way that you can create black-only text in CMYK.

Equal amounts of RGB becomes % of K Only check box

The Equal Amounts of RGB becomes % of K Only check box is available when the source profile is RGB and the destination profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel. When Equal Amounts of RGB becomes % of K Only is checked, any RGB color which consists of equal values (for example, RGB gray defined as 128,128,128) will map directly to a percentage of pure black in a CMYK file. This option lets you make separations from RGB to CMYK that automatically create black-only drop shadows. Warning: This fea-ture is a potentially dangerous one.

Gray becomes % of K only check box

The Gray becomes % of K only check box is available when the source profile is grayscale and the destination profile is CMYK or Maxi-Channel. When Gray becomes % of K only is checked, a grayscale file will become CMYK, but only the black channel will have values. If Gray becomes % of K only is not checked, a grayscale profile will become a four-color CMYK file, and the neutrality will be deter-mined by the destination profile.

Make Link button

Link Options

When you click the Make Link button, the Link Options dialog box is displayed.

Description field

Enter an internal name for your device link in the Description field. The name you enter in this field will be carried over to the Save dialog box (which is displayed when you click OK), where you can make the external name different from the internal name. (Note: Internal names being different from external names is not recommended.)

Link Options
Size menu

By selecting a desired size, you increase or decrease the accuracy of the link. It is from this setting that Link-o-lator determines how many distinct data points per channel are used in building the color transforma-tion matrix. High values will always produce better results but may produce very large profiles.

We have added the Custom option in size. This allows you to type in any value you desire.

We suggest odd numbers, and warn you that large numbers in this field can result in very large links. If you use the Equal Amounts of RGB becomes % of K Only feature, we recommend a size setting of 41 or higher.

Precision buttons

The Precision buttons also affect the quality of profiles and the size of the profile file. The default is 16 Bit (high quality), however, if you find this setting creates profiles that are too large for your needs, you can reduce the size (and quality) by choosing 8 Bit. If you click OK in the Link-o-lator dialog box, a standard Macintosh Save dialog box is displayed. Choose the volume and folder in which you want to save your profile and click OK.

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