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Michael Rothman <[log in to unmask]>
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SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 13 Oct 2011 16:22:56 -0400
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Hi everyone,
Well I've managed to get away without worrying about color calibration for quite awhile, but I will have to dig my head out of the proverbial sandpit of ignorance and ask for some advice from folks on the list.    Here goes: up until now, when I prepared illustrations in conventional media (typically graphite, pen & ink, or acrylics), I would scan the flat artworks at resolutions with a minimum of 400dpi for regular electronic output as JPEGs or TIFFs.   My clients would be generally regular publishers (including textbook publishers, children's book publishers, popular magazines, web sites, and the like), rarely have I had my artwork in technical publications were strict color calibration mattered.  So, I have been blissfully operating without fretting about how a color image looked on anyone else's  monitor except my own.  So some comments about commercial calibration software would be welcome.

Most of the my stuff looked OK when published, not necessarily perfect, but generally pretty close.  Perhaps I'm actually being a bit too critical here: I normally calibrate my Mac laptop using the native OS utility and leave the color space as sRGB IEC61966-2.1, paint under an even mixture of 1:1 daylight florescent bulbs to warm florescent bulbs and, most critically, always include a Kodak color calibration strip adjacent to the "live art".   After scanning the illustration, I compare the original artwork and the physical Kodak strip against the resulting image up on my screen.  I work with the contrast, saturation, lightness/darkness, color balance, and sharpness settings on the computer until I get a good match for the real artwork while viewing it under the same studio lighting conditions under which it was created.   (I generally send out large pieces for digital capture to regular labs that have scanning/image capture services).   The process has worked for me up to now.   However, a client for whom I will be preparing a series of small murals needs to have the work supplied as files which have been fully calibrated via dedicated calibration software.    So, my question is, can anyone on the list recommend a reasonably priced software package that would allow me to send out digital files (TIFFs most likely, but possibly CYMK on occasion), to a clients?       I realize that there have been previous discussions about calibration software, but  I don't remember how to retrieve those exchanges from the archives.

Thanks for any help or advice on this,
Mike R.

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