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Author Topic: Using ColorPort for QTR grayscale and alt-process profiling  (Read 6268 times)
Scott Martin
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« on: February 24, 2012, 08:44:28 AM »
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For those of you that make QTR grayscale profiles and linearization curves, I just released an article on using XRite's free ColorPort utility (instead of Measuretool) for the 21 and 51 step grayscale measurements. I have the needed ColorPort files and a customized grayscale profiling target on my downloads page. Hopefully this ease this transition and allow people to ditch MeaureTool forever.

http://www.on-sight.com/2012/02/22/using-colorport-for-qtr-grayscale-and-alt-process-measurement-and-profiling/

Hope this is useful.
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TylerB
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2012, 03:14:25 PM »
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this is great. QTR profiling is such a unique and useful tool, amazing only Roy has concieved of and made available this resource. This kind of updating for current tools helps keep it alive... Thanks,
TYler
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smilem
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2012, 09:41:54 AM »
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Hopefully this ease this transition and allow people to ditch MeaureTool forever.

"i1Profiler reads a sheet at least 25% faster, but we saw all too frequent (4 times out of 322 measurements or 1.3%) instances where the data were corrupted by mixing of color values between adjacent patches. Our software has detected this a grand total of 3 times out of over 12628 measurements (0.02%) made using MeasureTool."
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=54083.msg441539#msg441539

I rather use measuretool that is more reliable.

Correct me is I'm wrong but Xrite has not released any reliable softwre since merging with Gretagmacbeth, and they woke up after 5 years or so inventing XRGA when they realised that 2 different standards were used by the devices sold under Xrite name, come on were were you 5 years?
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 09:53:23 AM by smilem » Logged
Scott Martin
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2012, 11:45:33 AM »
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If you're having measurement accuracy issues in i1Profiler you might want to play around with the patch size and parameters. You didn't mention what device you're using, but there are several things worth exploring. Improving these algorithms for measurement accuracy is something that's being closely looked at right now and I suspect you'll see improvements in the near future. I1Profiler is a whole new consolidated platform built on modern code that has come out since the GMB merger. The EyeOneDisplayPro device is an excellent new device. I can only say so much here but rest assured they aren't sitting on their hands. I too was frustrated with the development lull that existed for a few years but am glad too see things on track with developing continuing to move forward at a decent rate.

But this thread isn't about i1Profiler at all. In fact the current version of i1P can't read grayscale targets at all. This thread is about reading the 21 and 51 step grayscale targets in Colorport. I'd guess that 95% of the people doing this today are using an i1Pro using spot measurements. Considering that Measuretool is discontinued, doesn't work on some systems, and that ColorPort is so nice and simple, I think people will find ColorPort to be a nice, modern solution for taking these measurements that won't result in any less accuracy whatsoever. Also, the custom targets that I've made utilize smart patch sizes and spaces between patches for increased measurement accuracy. Hope it helps!
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2012, 12:03:03 PM »
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Correct me is I'm wrong but Xrite has not released any reliable softwre since merging with.... come on were were you 5 years?

It might not be obvious to most users but there is some pretty amazing "under the hood" technology in i1P that took a long time to develop and there's nothing else like it in the industry. It's just a v1.2 product with the common shortcomings of a new product. It's also priced far below PMP and MP. I have a demanding color management business and it killed me to wait so long, but I now use it daily under challenging conditions. I can't use it for 100% of my work but look forward to the day when I can - and I think that day will come in the fairly near future.
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smilem
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2012, 12:54:21 PM »
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The comment above about measurement quality is not mine it is from another thread I gave you the link.

Sure the i1Profiler is nice but some shortcomings are really killing it like the

Better Dmax with Profilemaker 5 than i1Profiler
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=61006.0

The conversions back and forth between i1Profiler modules to trick it to read CGATS data are simply amazing.
Sure I like the BW neutralizations and that my proofs pass certification at expense of some Dmax but other than that Profilemaker is way better if you have adjustable RIP and stable output.

Profilemaker - better for photographers
I1Profiler - better for proofs that must be within tolerance
ColorPort - not bad considering it is free, but very limited user interface.

These shortcomings killed the Colorport for me:

- Only after measuring I have the option to export my data.
- Not able to generate a custom target and instantly save CGATS data. (you must measure and then you get reference and sample data as one file). This kills the Colorport as the only easy and free utility to make custom targets.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 01:05:41 PM by smilem » Logged
Scott Martin
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2012, 08:11:05 PM »
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Are you easily killed? :-] To be frank, it sounds like you're looking for faults.  Still, this thread has absolutely nothing to do with i1Profiler.
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smilem
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2012, 05:53:48 PM »
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Are you easily killed? :-] To be frank, it sounds like you're looking for faults.  Still, this thread has absolutely nothing to do with i1Profiler.

I'm not looking for faults the so called "faults" or should I say shortcomings are obvious when one tries the software. The thread is about colorport so lets talk about it.

I like that it is free and unlike measuretool it allows to add custom patches to the target move them around and so on.
But let me ask you how to you save you custom targets after making them?

I find it ugly to have to Print - > measure them -> get cgats file, then edit the file and remove sample data leave only reference.
I find it more quick to make targets in excell or colorlab free app from gretagmacbeth.

Maybe I'm doing it wrong please share your workflow with colorport.
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2012, 07:39:42 PM »
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I hit "Save Target" when I'm done designing a new target. This saves a TIFF target at the location of your choice and it saves the reference data as an XML file (a modern day forward thinking format) in the ColorPort Resources folder. That way it shows up under "Measure Target" and you can start measuring right away. No CGATS file needed or wanted for this workflow.

As for as grayscale QTR profiling goes, I've made the needed XML files available so that people can easily install them and start measuring grayscale targets. If you have any questions about *that* workflow I'd love to entertain them.  For for those few geeks wanting to measure grayscale targets, I think they'll find ColorPort to be delightfully simple and capable, especially with the instructions that I've carefully laid out in the article I've linked to. If they have trouble doing so I'd love to hear about it.

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smilem
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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2012, 03:08:46 AM »
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Why the XML "(a modern day forward thinking format)" is so good?
AFAIK it is very hard to edit, unless you have purchased something like oxygenxml editor.
Storing simple numbers in a hard editable format is not good nor user friendly.

I know the xml workflow, I was refering to CGATS files that are still industry standard (would not say so about xml, definitely not XRGA) but how do you average the data if xml is so great? What do you use, if X-rite is serious about it why i1profiler, or colorport does not have averaging utility of some sort?  It's been quite a while from i1profiler release they could have wrote the average utility from scratch like adobe did with target print utility.

Clearly xrite is busy with something else. They could have improved the help file for i1profiler, I mean wrote normal help file.
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2012, 09:24:34 AM »
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Let's not confuse the separate rolls of the generated targets (saved as XML in CP and TXF in i1P) and *patch sets*. Patch sets are the files that you'd like to reorder, add/subtract from, play with in a spreadsheet etc and you can do that prior to making a CP target XML.

I was refering to CGATS files that are still industry standard

It's one standard. There are many standards. One of the challenges with CGATS is that there are so many different versions of it so it's difficult to keep up or stay compliant with one version or the other. XRGA is another excellent and very needed standard and CGATS supports embedding XRGA encoded measurements.

It's worth noting that CP supports saving your measurements in a variety of formats, including CGATS. The process I've outlined in the article I mentioned in the OP (did you read it?) talks about saving measurements in a particular CGATS format that QRT-Create-ICC can understand.

but how do you average the data if xml is so great?

Measurement data is never saved as XML. CP is a basic tool for creating targets and measuring them. i1P is the tool for averaging, and you can do so from CGATS files saved out of CP. Measure first in CP then average in i1P.

If you don't mind me saying, it's sounds like you're clinging to the old tools, struggling to understand all the new formats and are kinda freaked out by all the changes the industry is undergoing. Sounds like you've got a lot of emotion built up in all of this. Change is good but can be scary of course. The new tools offer lots of benefits to some users but aren't as mature and refined as the old tools. We are in a transition period. I believe we will soon be able to abandon the old tools as the new tools acquire more functionality and become more complete. MeasureTool won't even run on Mac OS 10.6.8 and higher so making the QTR targets available in ColorPort along with an article on using it would help ease this transition, at least for the niche grayscale profiling community.
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2012, 09:27:47 AM »
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I rather use measuretool that is more reliable.

It's not any more reliable for the process I've outlined in the OP - grayscale target measurement! There is no advantage to MT at all. And Mac users need an alternative to MP since it won't even launch on 10.6.8 and newer.
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S Kale
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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2012, 01:16:28 PM »
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Onsight, thanks for doing this. You will likely be interested in this post.  There are a few other things to contend with when making and using QTR profiles with OS-X.

BTW, Measuretool works fine on 10.6.8. It's 10.7.x that doesn't support PowerPC applications. Colorlab was another great little utility for generating test charts - it too is PPC.

Note, if it were me I would order the patches in your profiling chart so as to go from dark-light-dark.

EDIT: the Colorport installer doesn't seem to work. "Install" is greyed out.

Ok this is weird. If I have the install location as my main hard disk (on which my applications are installed) it says the install requires no extra space and "install" is greyed out.  If I change to another drive "install" is available and it requires 320MB of space but the application doesn't work of I install there. I have EyeOne Match, iProfiler installed and MeasureTool installed but that's it from the Gretag/X-Rite family.

Ver 2.0.1 installs just fine
« Last Edit: March 03, 2012, 08:09:37 AM by S Kale » Logged
Scott Martin
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2012, 08:48:08 AM »
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Onsight, thanks for doing this. You will likely be interested in this post.  There are a few other things to contend with when making and using QTR profiles with OS-X.
Yes, I'm aware of the issues you've discussed in that thread. For the article above I decided to keep it simple and not discuss all the many details of profiling alt-proceses, including ABW mode. I'll working on a more lengthy article that will go into these details in greater length.

BTW, Measuretool works fine on 10.6.8. It's 10.7.x that doesn't support PowerPC applications.
MeasureTool stopped working on my 10.6.8. machines for reasons separate than Rosetta. In addition, the latest Security Update for 10.6.8 kills Rosetta completely. So MeasureTool is dead on 10.6.8 and newer.

Colorlab was another great little utility for generating test charts - it too is PPC.
I know! It's one of the few utilities I will hate to give up...

EDIT: the Colorport installer doesn't seem to work. "Install" is greyed out.... Ver 2.0.1 installs just fine
I talk with the product manager and he admits that there is a bug with the current installer that sometimes causes the install button to go gray. I've given him a list of bugs to look at - hopefully we'll see an update soon.
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S Kale
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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2012, 09:03:49 AM »
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In addition, the latest Security Update for 10.6.8 kills Rosetta completely. So MeasureTool is dead on 10.6.8 and newer.

No this was corrected swiftly by Apple



I talk with the product manager and he admits that there is a bug with the current installer that sometimes causes the install button to go gray. I've given him a list of bugs to look at - hopefully we'll see an update soon.

Thanks.  I am playing with the previous version. A little annoying (for my basic use) that it's moved away from a simple .txt based system.  It was so easy to create a .txt file and open it in Colorlab and play from there (randomizing, adding gaps etc).

How did you force it to 3x17 for the 51 step wedge?

(BTW your Alt-Process test chart is tagged dot gain 20)
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2012, 09:40:47 AM »
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this was corrected swiftly by Apple
I see! Good to know.

It was so easy to create a .txt file and open it in Colorlab and play from there (randomizing, adding gaps etc).
It sure was.

How did you force it to 3x17 for the 51 step wedge?
You can make you own targets in Photoshop however you like, or modify them for ease of use. You can see I've done a bit of that. The 21 step is my primary focus for alt-processes and I've extended it a bit to make it easier for that type of printmaker. Not only is it important to get the exposure and development times just right for the highlights and shadows, there are such irregularities that a larger sampling area was needed.

(BTW your Alt-Process test chart is tagged dot gain 20)
Yes, it's just assigned (not converted) and can be reassigned if need be. More on that later.
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S Kale
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« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2012, 09:51:55 AM »
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You can make you own targets in Photoshop however you like, or modify them for ease of use.

But don't the TIF and .xml files need to "match"?  (x rows and y observations per row)

I also find it a bit weird that it lays out the patches right-to-left and that you have to select landscape in order to get a conventional portrait layout of the chart. Weird program.
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2012, 09:59:02 AM »
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But don't the TIF and .xml files need to "match"?  (x rows and y observations per row)
The values need to match yes, and the order one needs to measure my 51 step target may not be obvious I admit.

I also find it a bit weird that it lays out the patches right-to-left and that you have to select landscape in order to get a conventional portrait layout of the chart. Weird program.
I agree but it's a small thing in the bigger picture. I actually like to position the target vertically when taking spot measurements with the 1Pro.
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S Kale
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« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2012, 10:38:25 AM »
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Ok I am struggling with this little Colorport and likely because I never work in CMYK - with Colorlab I could just work with K.

In "Create Target" I define a 51 patch set with K varying 0-100 (C, M, Y all set to 0). I want it to be read by an i1Pro (which defines a minimum patch size). I select Landscape to constrain the width as ultimately I want to print it portrait and have it fit on A4 (without resizing in PS because presumably there is some sense to the minimum patch size 8x10mm). I add a row separator the same width as the default column separator. Annoyingly, because of the other guff it adds, I have to muck around with paper size and margins to trick it into setting this up as a 3x17 matrix but whatever - at least I get a tif and xml file that "match". I assume I have to read this chart (when it's reoriented to portrait and edges trimmed to fit A4) from right to left or does it not matter which way it's read?

My main problem is with the generated chart, a CMYK document (untagged). How do I get this to an untagged greyscale document without screwing up all the K values?
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S Kale
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« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2012, 12:05:53 PM »
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I think I can now answer my own question re converting the chart. Delete the C, M, Y channels; Image->Mode->greyscale; Edit->Assign Profile->Don't Color Manage This Document.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 03:57:57 PM by S Kale » Logged
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