Blog Color Management

What is LAB Color Space?

The LAB color model is a three axis color system and LAB colors are absolute, meaning that the color is identical. It’s what’s known as device independent; meaning that the LAB color space is the only way to communicate different colors across different devices.

00:23 It is a three axis system. The first axis, the L-channel or Lightness, goes up and down the 3D color model and it consists of white to black – and all of your gray colors will be exactly right down the center. All neutral colors will be relatively in the center of this axis.

00:43 The A axis, goes from cyan color across to magenta/red color. And the B axis goes from blue to yellow. So within this area we’re going to plot visual or reproducible colors based on the gamut or the profile of the device we have.

01:05 So we’re going to turn on the sRGB color profile. Most monitors will display in sRGB and sRGB is preferred for any type of internet or web application. We’ll get this thing spinning here and you can see the volume of the colors that you can reproduce from this additive color model. Obviously since dealing with projecting light, they’re very bright colors and they’re very saturated.

When to use LAB color space

– Matching paint colors to printed media

– Matching fabric colors in a catalog or website

– Communicating your favorite Pantone color to another media form

– LAB color space is the back-bone of all color management between devices in the color workflow


What questions do you have regarding LAB color mode? Please leave your comments below…


Blog Design

Make Your Images Hi-Def: Free Photoshop Action Script

Needless to say, I love sports and ESPN. I am a big fan of and visit it almost everyday. I have always been fascinated by their photography and it got me thinking- hmmm Photoshop action script – about how they process images for the website. The photos jump off the screen and far exceed the color quality of rival sites.

My subconscious always directs me back…

So it got me thinking and you’re going to like what i have to share with you! I went ahead and scripted a Photoshop action script that will turn your good photos to great photos. I combined some of my favorite adjustments for you in one simple action in Photoshop. All you need to do is press ‘play’ and it’s all done automatically.

Always process copies of your images in case you are not completely happy with the results and make another effort with compensations.

Installing the Photoshop action script is easy. From inside Photoshop, go to Window/Actions to open the Actions window. In the upper right corner, pull down the drop-down menu and select Load Actions and select the HiDef3 color Photoshop action script. Click the Play button and presto, you’re image is done and ready for placement.

The resulting image is in sRGB and ready to be imported into Adobe InDesign.

Yes, the image is in RGB, however you do not need to convert your images to CMYK. Watch this RGB to CMYK tutorial and automatically convert all your images to CMYK upon exporting press-ready PDF. A remarkable workflow that will save you a tremendous amount of time and improve your color quality on press.

Drop me a note HERE and I will personally send you the HiDefColor Action Script…

Please post your feedback below in comments…

[learn_more caption=”Transcript of Video” state=”open”] Hi. This is Rick Rys from

Today’s tutorial is going be a quick instructional video on using the new Hi Def 3 action scripts within Photoshop to automate your image processing.

00:17 Inside Photoshop CS go under the window and select actions. In the actions window you want to select load actions and navigate to where you downloaded your Hi Def 3 Photoshop action script file.

00:35 Mine here is on the desktop, select the file, click open, and now the actions are ready to be used. So from here we’re going to open a couple of files.

01:02 Now with this action script, this action script will automatically assign Adobe 98 RGB color profile to your images. The Adobe RGB color profile is a much larger color gamut so your colors will be much more vibrant. I do not recommend using this for portrait photography. Use the sRGB color profile for portrait photography.

01:26 I will be uploading an action script Hi Def action script with the sRGB color profile in the next few days. So from here we want to go ahead and ignore the missing profile. The image will be brought in and simply select the Hi Def 3 action script and click the play button.

01:49 You’ll see the process is automatic. We have a much much greater better color balance here we got much more vibrant colors and notice the definition. Inside the images are incredible details. Almost giving the look of three-dimensional look because you can see here that the quarterback here is almost jumping out at you from the background. You see the background here the depth of field is much more greater than the original photograph.

02:22 Let’s take a look back here in our history and look at the old picture. This is what was published but with the simple action script this is what you could have seen. Some people may look at this and say is too sharp. Keep in mind, this is very important, when the image goes into the RIP – raster image processor – in prepress, and gets converted into a screen – with an FM screen we are running – the image automatically will soften up.

02:52 So to give you a better idea, look at it at the sixty-six percent and it will give you an idea of how that actually will look when printed. You can see it’s cleaned up a little more here and again very sharp.

03:04 And compare with the old, to the new, this’ll give you true high definition color in your next printed project. Combine this with the Never Convert to CMYK video at and your images will be saved with the correct RGB profile and converted to CMYK during the export out of InDesign.

03:29 Well, thanks for tuning in. Have a good day. Take care…[/learn_more]


Color Management Photoshop

Installing Printer Profiles: Where Do These Files Go?

Today’s VIDEO will explain installing printer profiles so they will load correctly into Adobe Photoshop. Take the first step in discovering how to soft-proof your CMYK images in your display or get the best CMYK conversions.

BTW, this all starts with a calibrated monitor.

You’re on your way to a color managed workflow!

Is soft proofing a useful process for you? Please leave your comments below…

[learn_more caption=”Transcript of Video” state=”open”] Hi. This is Rick Rys from

00:05 Today we’re going to demonstrate installing printer profiles into Adobe Photoshop. Now, I have already downloaded a zip file containing the three color printer profiles – ICC printer profiles – and we’re going to unzip and open up the folder. Inside the folder, you will see the three color printer profiles, the GRACoL and SWOP coated printer profiles.

00:28 And from here we’re going to open a new window into the finder and go into the Macintosh hard drive. We’re simply going to follow a path from Macintosh hard drive, to Library, to ColorSync, to Profiles, and importantly, the Recommended folder of profiles

00:49 which will make any ICC aware compliant program will recognize the profile. From here, we’re going to select our three printer profiles and we’re going to drag them into the Recommended folder.

01:03 From here we can simply close are windows and boot up Adobe Photoshop. And once were booting up from scratch, Photoshop will recognize the printer profiles files and load them accordingly.

01:18 So we’re going to go ahead and open an image, use our embedded profile, and just simply go under the proof set up under custom, and then we pull down the window and now we can see our individual profiles are now inside Photoshop and we can do our soft proofing.

01:35 Look for upcoming tutorial on soft proofing in Adobe Photoshop.

01:40 Until next time, take care and have a good day [/learn_more]


Color Management Featured Article

Gamut! That’s Not My Color: Mac OSX Monitor Calibration Made Easy

I can’t stress enough how important it is to calibrate your monitor properly. If a picture is worth a thousand words, now you know what those words are telling you. Watch how to calibrate a monitor using i1Profiler software along with the i1Pro2 spectrophotometer on your Mac OSX.

Select the proper white point (color temperature) of your display. Adjust settings for proper luminance (brightness) that will match your prints or press sheets to your screen display. Mount the i1Pro2 to the monitor and run the color control patches. The i1Profiler software will read the known color values and create an accurate ICC profile of your monitor/display and store the new calibrated profile in your system.

Take the first step in matching your screen to print on your Mac OSX.

Do you have challenges matching your prints to your display? Please leave a comment below…

[learn_more caption=”Transcript of Video” state=”open”] This is Rick Rys from

Today we’re going to go through the process of calibrating your monitor using the i1Profiler software suite and the i1Pro2 spectrophotometer from XRite. Once you’re inside i1Profiler, we’re going to click the Display Profiling box, and we’re going to take it into the Settings mode. In here, we’re going to select our display, which is our color LCD, and pick our white point of our monitor.

[0:30] We have multiple options here. I suggest that you go with the D65, which is 6,500 Kelvin temperature. Our luminance, we want to set this to 100 candelas per square meter. This will simulate more of the process or the environment looking at your printed material. Most monitors are too bright, causing your prints to come out too dark when your monitor calibration is incorrect .

[0:56] From here, we’re going to leave the ambient lights mark control sensor off. We’re going to click the Next button.

[1:06] From here, we’re going to calibrate the i1Pro2 spectrophotometer. I’ve placed the spectrophotometer on the white point balance point, the calibration target, and I’ll simply hit the Calibrate button.

[1:21] From here, the spectrophotometer will be referencing a known white point that is neutral. That will balance out the sensors inside the spectrophotometer.

[1:34] From here, we’re ready to start the process. At this point, we’re going to leave our Automatic Display control checked. The Adjust Brightness/Contrast and RGB Gains…we don’t want to mess with this button right here.

[1:49] Here’s our different color patches that we’re going to be displaying on the screen, which will be read by the spectrophotometer. We’re going to start the measurement process. At this point, I’m going to hang the spectrophotometer onto the monitor to begin the calibration process. The device is now connected to the display. I’ll hit the Next button.

[2:16] At this point, the software is going to run through approximately 100 different control patches, which are going to display a known LAB value, RBG value to the screen that the spectrophotometer is going to read.

[2:32] Through the calibration process, through the process of creating the profile, it will read the displayed values and what they should actually be displayed on the screen. It’s a relative database comparing the two. That’s what creates the calibration process for your monitor.

[2:47] We’re going to speed up the process to go through these colors. We’ll be back in just a minute.

[2:53] OK. We are done with reading our color patches. By the way, that process takes upwards of six to seven minutes. Obviously, we edited it down so we don’t have to bore you to death with that process.

[3:22] Up on the right hand side of the screen here, these are the patches that we read. You can notice that they’re cut with a diagonal line. The value on top is what the actual color should render as. The color on the bottom is what the spectrophotometer actually read our uncalibrated monitor actually reading.

[3:45] That being said, what we’re going to do now is create a relational database between the known color values and what was displayed, and then sync those up together. We’re going to do that by clicking the Next button.

[4:00] At this point, we’re going to name our ICC profile. This is going to be the MacBook Pro and today’s date. That way, I know just by looking at that that that’s for my MacBook Pro. By having the date in there, I can choose the most recent profile.

[4:22] From here, I can set a reminder that reminds me every four weeks to actually create the new profile — a reminder for me to go back and double check my calibration. From there, I click Create and Save Profile. My ICC profile has now been generated.

[4:40] You’ll notice the change with the screen. Look at the gradient here, my gray scale, my gray ramp. From before, and after. Now I’m balanced all the way through my tonal range with the proper gray.

[4:56] That is it. I can’t stress enough how important monitor calibration is. I have a saying that if a picture is worth a thousand words, this will tell you what those thousand words are telling you.

[5:08] Until next time, thanks again and have a great day. [/learn_more]

X-Rite i1PRo2 and i1Profiler software. Learn more here