Colour Management in CorelDraw
You know for a lot of us going from the world of black and white to the world of colour takes a lot of practice and also a whole new way of thinking. One of those ways of thinking involves the technique of colour management. So what is colour management – well let me use what one author wrote on the Nikon site:
“The concept of colour management is to implement a method of working that attempts to standardize the representation of a digital images. The aim is to ensure that the appearance of any image (colour, brightness etc) remain consistent as it is moved, viewed and printed on any computer.”
To further make colour management effective:
“The ICC (International Color Consortium) has established a standard for the definition of a colour management system for image processing and reproduction. This page is intended as a concise explanation of the basic principles involved.”
A Color management system (CMS) helps to reduce or eliminate color-matching problems and makes color portable, reliable, and predictable. Thus colour management is the technique that we use so that what we see on the screen of monitor whether it be from our scanner, computer or camera will look exactly (hopefully) as it will appear on our printer. The problem with colour management is that if you want to be exact as to colour managing as you can it usually requires that you
1. Spend a lot of time on getting your devices set up right
2. Spend a lot of money making sure that your devices are set up right
3. Spend a lot of time reading information on colour management so that you get the whole set up right.
Personally I think for a lot of people any of these 3 steps becomes more than a lot of us really want to take. But do not despair I believe that with a little bit of time and effort you can get your system to the point where it can for the most part give you an accurate representation of what the colours on your screen are actually going to print out as.
Because this course is concentrating on Corel we will use this as our model. Also I will stick to Corel 10/11 as far as the diagrams. The colour management system in Corel 10 and 11, 12, X3 and X4 is different from Corel 8 or 9 in that version 10 an 11, 12, X3 and X4 are more of a graphical setup and the setup makes it easy to set everything up. So let us get started.
Open Colour Management
The first place we need to start is by opening up the Corel management control area in Corel. To do this go to the “tools” menu and than select the “colour management” menu – see Figure 1.
Our Colour Management Dialogue Comes UP
Figure 2 shows you the dialogue box that comes up.
Select Your Printer
Okay we have our screen up now what do we need to do? The best way to approach this is to take each of the settings outlined in the box and look at them individually.
So before we go one let us take one more stab at defining what a profile is. The following item was found on the Pantone web site. This item does well in describing what a profile is.
“..Profiles are a way of describing a device’s overall color reproduction characteristics. Profiles are used in conjunction with color management systems (CMS) such as Apple Color Sync, Windows ICM, and others. The goal of a printer profile is to provide for a better representation of color, particularly in images, when output to the myriad of color printers available today. The CMS uses profiles as a way to translate and communicate from the screen to the printer in order to achieve a better correlation between what you see and what you get.”
So really what a program like CorelDraw is trying to do with it’s colour management setup is to provide you with the ability to accurately see colour properly whether you are taking an image from a scanner or camera and printing it to a printer. So now that we have a good working knowledge of what profiles are and why we should use them lets look at each profile and how it relates in CorelDraw.
So let us start off with looking at a printer. Click on the down arrow that is beside the printer icon. Figure 4 shows us what we will see when we click on this arrow.
What you see in Figure 4 is a listing of the printer profiles that are resident on my computer. I have 2 profiles available. Both of these profiles where supplied by Epson. They are the Epson 1270 and the Epson 2200. If I am printing to my Epson 1270 I would select this printer profile. If I was printing to my Epson 2200 than I would use the 2200 profile. Also available in the menu are the ability to load profiles from disk or you can download profiles from the web. So if you have a profile from your printer manufacturer or ink supplier load it. It is best to have one.
Scanner/Digital Camera Profiles
As Figure 5 shows the options in this menu are the same as those that we find in the Printer Profile section. If you are setting up a scanner than select your scanner. If it is not there than chose none.
Okay here is the place where if you are going to spend your time and money here is where it makes the most sense. Now before we go on I would like you to ask yourself a question – what does the accurate representation of colour on my screen mean to me. If it means nothing than you really do not need to read this article. The fact that you are reading this article means that it must mean something. So before we keep going I will insist that you consider something. If you want to get good colour than you need a good monitor and a good video card. Without both all the tinkering you do is going to mean nothing. Spend the money and update your equipment if it needs to be. That said let us move on.
Figure 6 shows that I have a number of settings to choose from. Considering I am doing this on my laptop I do not have the proper profile as one is not available for me. Thus I need to create my own. As we saw with the printer setup and the scanner setup you have the ability to pick either a monitor that is loaded in your system or one that is available on disk or via the web. If you have a good monitor you can usually get the profile from the manufacturer and just load it in via disk.
Although using a supplied profile is fine all monitors are different – and as they age they change and get more different. Also there are other factors such as room lighting and operating systems that can influence the way your monitor displays colours. For this reason and if you do not have access to a profile you really need to create your own profile. I have the ability on my system to generate my own monitor profile. I can use Adobe PhotoShop or I can use a third party system that comes with software and a device that “reads” my monitor. Figure 7 shows a picture of the system that I have. This system is provided by Colour Vision. The monitor “attachment” is a spyder and it reads my monitor and creates the profile for me. For Further info on the spyder see www.colorvision.com.
Generic Internal RGB Profile
Leave this setting as is. See Figure 8.
Generic Offset Separations
Leave this as it is – See Figure 9
If you have profiled you monitor and you have an ICC profile than set up your colour management system as per Figure 10. Make sure that the orange arrows are active and point to the Epson Printer and to the Monitor. The others should be gray and thus inactive. To activate or inactivate you need to click on the arrow.
What is going on here? Any item that has an orange arrow means that we are reading its profile and pluging it into CorelDraw. If your scanner is not profiled than there is no reason to have an arrow on it as it has no information to provide to the system in regards to its colour profile.
Setting up CorelDraw’s Colour management is a very important technique that can provide you with proper colours so that you do not have to “guess” the next time that you create something in colour. There is one important item that needs to be done before you can have a successfully managed colour system and that is to have a properly calibrated monitor. If you do not have a monitor that is properly calibrated than anything else you do will not provide you with the proper results. Thus we are back at square one still guessing at what colours we are going to get.
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