ColorThink Pro - ColorSmarts Guide
ColorSmarts Guide Concept
The ColorSmarts Guide is part automator, part tutor. Many functions in ColorThink Pro require multiple steps performed in the correct order to obtain the correct results. The Guide can help automate these tasks, simplifying a multi-step color test or analysis to a few simple selections.
The Guide also describes each step in the process so you can learn how to perform them yourself and alter the settings as you need.
The tasks available in the Guide are selected by function or by tool. Use the function grouping when performing particular analyzes and the tool grouping when you want to learn more about each ColorThink tool's function.
- If you are just learning about ColorThink Pro, viewing some of the tests "by tool" is a great way to learn more about how each of the tools work. In this way the Guide is almost like a tutorial, showing you many different ways each tool can be used.
Color managed workflows are composed of profiles, measurements, images and so forth. ColorThink allows the analysis of each of these workflow components as well as the evaluation of the entire workflow. By isolating each component in your workflow you can determine which function it performs as well as which item might be contributing to color errors.
Profiles contain a significant amount of information about the devices they represent and about their output functions.
Create a Profile
While ColorThink Pro does not create the more common ICC device profiles, it can generate device link, abstract and ColorCast profiles. These Guides help setup each of these profile types. See ColorThink Pro - Seven Profile Types for more information about each profile type.
Here's an example of how to create a "ColorCast" profile:
When creating a ColorCast profile, the select file screen comes up.
- In the Proofing Profile area, insert the profile you want to proof - that is, the profile that has the effect you want to have simulated.
- In the Device Profile area, insert the profile that gets the simulation put into it, the profile that you want to end up with.
You would like to have the effect of a CMYK printer profile bound into an RGB profile. The CMYK profile would be the Proofing Profile and AdobeRGB would be the Device Profile.
See the section on the Color Worksheet (Part 1) for more details on how ColorCast, Device Link and Abstract profiles are made.
Click the links below for more details on how to create Abstract and Device Link profiles:
Evaluating and Comparing Profiles
Device profiles contain both the ability to output to the device as well as the ability to simulate the device somewhere else (proofing). Use these tests to isolate each function in profiles as well as compare two profiles.
Remember, gamut graphs represent the gamuts of devices described by profiles. If you are looking for the comparison of two profile gamuts, you are actually comparing the gamuts of two devices - see Evaluating and Comparing Devices below.
Devices can be evaluated using either measurements of the devices' output, profiles for the devices or both.
Evaluating and Comparing Devices
These tests can be used for a wide variety of tasks including calculating gamut volumes, comparing gamut graphs, checking device calibration and more. Select each tool for a description of its function.
Sometimes the only way to understand the results you are seeing is to model the entire workflow in ColorThink Pro. The Color Worksheet offers many different methods for setting up a workflow simulation. To get started with a simplified workflow, have the Guide set one up for you and then try your own.
After selecting the desired test, the second step is typically to supply the files (profiles, measurements, etc) to be analyzed. The Guide provides 'drop zones' for each of the test's required files. Either choose the '+' menu to open files or drag and drop the files from the Finder or Windows Explorer.
Profile training data extracted automatically
Many profiling tools embed the original measurements and reference data in their profiles. The ColorSmarts Guide will automatically extract this data for certain tests (Evaluate Profile's Proofing Accuracy, for instance). To determine if your profile's data is in a recognizable form, open it into the Profile Inspector and select the "Statistics" tab. If Training Data Available is marked "yes" then the Guide should be able to automatically extract this information for testing.
Choosing display of results
ColorThink Pro's tools are based on a shared data structure that allow the same color information to be shared by the Grapher, the Color Worksheet and so forth. This allows many of the Guide's test results to be produced in your choice of ColorThink Pro's tools.
For the final stage of running a test, choose your desired tool from the list of enabled tools. The Guide will disable any tool choices that are not available for each particular test. This same mechanism is used by the Guide when selecting tests by tool.
The possible ColorThink Pro tools used for a test include:
Running the Test
While the test is running, the Guide moves into a small floating window and displays a text description of each stage of the test. When the test is complete, each step is listed to aid in reproducing the results 'by hand'.
Suggesting new tests
If you find you are performing the same multi-step tests in ColorThink over and over, send us an email or a feedback item using ColorThink's built-in feedback system (Web > Feature Requests / Bug Reports...) Describe the steps you perform and how you interpret the results (the practical use of the test) and we may add it to a future version of the Guide.
When configuring tests in the Guide the left and right arrow keys will move you backward and forward.
Also, double-click on a test name to select the test and move to the next step.