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ColorSync (I'm an Apple employee)
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JohnZ
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Nov 4, 2000, 12:23 AM
 
My name is John Zimmerer and I'm the ColorSync Product Manager for Apple.

I'm here to start a constructive dialog with customers to help shape my perspective, focus, and direction, and maybe the product, too.

I'm here to help -- and learn from -- those struggling to implement color management on the Mac. We do listen to our customers. As product manager, that's part of my job description.

Now I have to make the obligatory statement about what I can and cannot say. I'm here as me, not as the "Voice of Apple." I am not the PR contact for Apple Computer and do not represent Apple here in any offical capacity. Please do not quote me beyond the normal thread replys. I'll be glad to share an insider's perspective as long as it doesn't involve talking about unreleased products or sensitive materials and topics. I'm here to help and learn.

Lastly, please keep in mind that I am focused on ColorSync and, to some degree, display/Quartz and printing. I may not be a good resource for all other topics. If I say "I don't know", I really don't.

Thanks for your continued support of Apple.
     
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Ferndale, MI
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Nov 4, 2000, 11:36 AM
 
I recently purchased a DPG4 450 with the 17" Studio Display. I went with the Apple Display primarily because of it's advertised ColorSync ability.

Being an amateur photographer, it is important to me to have the prints off my Epson Photo 700 be really close to what I have on the screen - almost anal retentive about it really. I have used Monaco previously for color matching on my iMac 333 and have also used some excellent Epson profiles from InkJet Mall and had really good results.

When my new G4 and Display arrived, one of the first things I did was print out a test print with Colorsync and PhotoShop 6. Using Colorsync in the past produced awful prints so I wasn't expecting too much. Was I wrong! I can honestly say that what I received off the printer was almost exactly what was on the screen! No more printing off LUTs and running calibrations - hours upon hours of tuning and reprinting, tuning and reprinting...all gone!

So, enough with my raves - on to my question: Where can I learn more about ColorSync? I've looked on apple.com and didn't see anything very deatiled, just success stories and the like and have also looked for books to no avail. It kind of seems that, "Here's ColorSync - have fun figuring it out". I'm sure that the primary users of ColorSync, being professionals, know all about it but where can a "newbie" find detailed resources?

Also, in regards to OSX, I noticed in the Beta that there wasn't the Monitor Control Panel like I have in 9.04 where I can run calibration, etc. I am hoping that this will be fully integrated into the final OSX. I know that you're in the ColorSync group and I see that that is in OSX beta - just hoping you might have an idea on this other Control Panel.

Thanks for letting me bend your ear,

s'fit
"I have a lot of nightmares and I poop too much." ~Beavis
     
JohnZ
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Nov 5, 2000, 05:44 PM
 
Originally posted by screamingFit:
{SNIP}
So, enough with my raves - on to my question: Where can I learn more about ColorSync? I've looked on apple.com and didn't see anything very deatiled, just success stories and the like and have also looked for books to no avail. It kind of seems that, "Here's ColorSync - have fun figuring it out". I'm sure that the primary users of ColorSync, being professionals, know all about it but where can a "newbie" find detailed resources?

Also, in regards to OSX, I noticed in the Beta that there wasn't the Monitor Control Panel like I have in 9.04 where I can run calibration, etc. I am hoping that this will be fully integrated into the final OSX. I know that you're in the ColorSync group and I see that that is in OSX beta - just hoping you might have an idea on this other Control Panel.
s'fit
OK, you're right. So that's why I'm in the process of a website redesign. It will be more informative, with how'to information. You have a unique opportunity to shape the content. Tell me what would be most valuable to you.

For some good info you might want to check out GATF's "Practical Guide to Color Management" 2nd edition, or the X-Rite guide, or http://www.iccabc.com/, or http://www.profilecity.com/ -- there are lots of places with good info, and one of the things I'm going to do is have a links page to it all.

Our overall goal is to at least provide feature parity when it comes to calibration, so....
     
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Join Date: Sep 2000
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Nov 7, 2000, 10:04 PM
 
When will ColorSync support the EPSF file format?
     
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Nov 8, 2000, 07:20 AM
 
Thanks for the reply JohnZ.

I think what would be utterly helpful is unfortunately, "An Idiot's Guide to ColorSync". My 65 year old father-in-law isn't going to know the first thing about profiles and the like. All he knows is that he's got a Mac, he's got a printer, he wants what's on the screen to match what comes out of the printer (or at least close - it can never be "perfect") and he's heard me talk about this "ColorSync".

It seems that ColorSync is reserved for the elitest of Mac Graphic Professionals, as I stated before. Since Apple has made a "computer for the rest of us" and put iMovieMaking in the hand of average-joe-user, I think ColorSync should be able to be implemented by a "normal" person. Someone who doesn't want to know about the intricacies of ColorManagement, gamuts and the like. They don't need a ton of options, I mean, they aren't going to be sending page spreads to an off-set printer - just stuff for home. They want what comes out of the printer to look like what's on the screen - or at least good enough so that Aunt Judy's face isn't jaundiced. Granted, this will take good default printer profiles from printer manufacturers - but Epson's are pretty good. Maybe start up something with Apple and Epson working together on this. "You'll get this type of ColorMatching with a Mac and Epson's line of printers", they'd pronounce. "You can't do this with Windows...".

-s'fit
"I have a lot of nightmares and I poop too much." ~Beavis
     
bluehz
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Nov 8, 2000, 05:36 PM
 
I would have to agree with all of the above. I am a graphics professional and very adept at setting up, maintaining and tuning Mac's. I ahve even read volumes on ColorSync, but the problem is...those volumes of info are spread across the universe. An idiots guide and unified source of advanced information is definitely necessary. I personally find that it is really just too much trouble to mess with. The prints I get for my purposes suit me ok. I can live with them. BUT, I would prefer to have all my components colorsynced for optimal results. Apple has always been way ahead of the PC crowd when it comes to color management and they should strive to make that advantage usable.

I also think a unified test kit would be useful. For example, "scan this color chart and then print it on your printer. It doesn't match, here's what you do next..."

- thx
     
JohnZ
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Nov 8, 2000, 05:45 PM
 
Originally posted by n8910:
When will ColorSync support the EPSF file format?
ColorSync (especially 2.6.1 and newer) supports all of the file formats that the ICC supports. There is support for EPS files already. Some apps roll their own. Generally speaking, EPSF files are generated from vector applications. There is excellent support for ColorSync and ICC profiles in Adobe Aiilustrator, Macromedia FreeHand, and other illustration/vector applications.

To test whether your particualr flavor of EPS file is managed, test a file with the ColorSync AppleScripts. If they don't work, then you may need to convert your files in an app that doesn't touch the color, just re-encodes the files.
     
JohnZ
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Nov 8, 2000, 05:58 PM
 
Originally posted by screamingFit:
Thanks for the reply JohnZ.

I think what would be utterly helpful is unfortunately, "An Idiot's Guide to ColorSync". {SNIP}
Granted, this will take good default printer profiles from printer manufacturers - but Epson's are pretty good. Maybe start up something with Apple and Epson working together on this. {SNIP}

-s'fit
I'll be the first person to admit that the average consumer has a hard time with ColorSync as it exists in Mac OS 9 and in previous versions. There is an assumption that color management just works, and doesn't require thought or user intervention.

There are two problems here.

One is a failure to communicate on Apple's part. ColorSync was meant to enable color management, not do everything for the enduser. This is both good and bad. If the OS managed everything and didn't allow the user any controls, there would be plenty of users upset, wanting to have the most detailed control over their color. However, there are plenty of users who what just the opposite -- automatic color.

The second problem is with the current state of the technology. Apple can only do so much, and we need our vendors to work with us and support ICC-based color management. Many do, some don't. And of the ones that do, there are good implementations and there are, well....

The good news is that I fully appreciate and understand these two issues, and I am working on ways to solve these problems. I don't know if things will change under OS 9 (so this means I'm not promising anything either way, happen or not happen). I am VERY confident that I can make a difference under OS X (although I don't know how much will appear in the first release). This is primarily due to the technologies that are emplyed under X that aren't in 9, and to our development schedule.

And I'm working on the whole education thing.

So the short of it is, I hear you. Stay tuned for more....
     
JohnZ
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Nov 8, 2000, 06:07 PM
 
Originally posted by bluehz:
I would have to agree with all of the above. {SNIP} An idiots guide and unified source of advanced information is definitely necessary.
I do understand the problem and am working to fix it. The first evidence of this will be a dresigned website with USEFUL links. More will follow that.

{SNIP} Apple has always been way ahead of the PC crowd when it comes to color management and they should strive to make that advantage usable.
I will make sure my manager reads that part

{SNIP} I also think a unified test kit would be useful. For example, "scan this color chart and then print it on your printer. It doesn't match, here's what you do next..."
Were you listening in on the conversation I just had yesterday? I was just talking to some of the folks here about the same thing....
     
   
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