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  1. #1
    dleather is offline Member
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    Default Tool for reading color from an object?

    Hi all, is there a tool that will read the color of an object (paper, fabric, or some other object) then give a suggested color breakdown (for Lab, RGB, or CMYK)? I swear I've seen this thing, but I can't find anything online about them. Any prepress/premedia operators out there using this magical thing? Does it have a name? Do multiple companies produce them?

  2. #2
    Verdant is offline Member
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    Pantone makes such a device, we have one at our office. I can't think of it's name right now, but I do know that it's not very accurate. You get a different reading every time you try it. Honestly, we don't even use it. It's much quicker and accurate for us to just match the color to a swatch book. Heck, they're roughly the same size and the swatch book doesn't need batteries...
    Last edited by Verdant; 03-05-2010 at 10:06 PM. Reason: Typo

  3. #3
    TerryWyse's Avatar
    TerryWyse is offline Senior Member
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    Any spectro along with the right software will do that for you. The real question is whether you will get the best results with a standard 0/45 degree instrument or a spherical spectro....spherical is preferred for heavily textured or "3D" objects while a 0/45 is fine for flat/smooth objects.

    Regards,
    Terry
    Terence Wyse, WyseConsul
    Color Management Consulting, G7 Certified Expert

  4. #4
    meddington's Avatar
    meddington is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerryWyse View Post
    spherical is preferred for heavily textured or "3D" objects while a 0/45 is fine for flat/smooth objects.
    Another question might be whether you could accurately use/correlate measurments from a spherical instrument in graphic arts applications which is based on 0/45
    Last edited by meddington; 03-06-2010 at 05:51 PM.

  5. #5
    ljgoldberg is offline Junior Member
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    Default Tool for reading color?

    Quote Originally Posted by meddington View Post
    Another question might be whether you could accurately use/correlate measurments from a spherical instrument in graphic arts applications which is based on 0/45
    The answer to the original reply is the Pantone Color Cue. Careful and timely calibration is required if repeatable results are expected. The device has been vigorously "value engineered", so take that into account when deciding.

    Texture and surface geometry can have a very strong effect on measuring instruments. Think about the human color-matcher's job at the blanket factory; match a satin trim to a woolen blanket? If the properties of the sample are strange enough even a sphere-type instrument will not give completely acceptable results. Automotive pearlescent finishes are extremely difficult to characterize.

    Once a set of numbers are generated, further issues will arise when attempts are made to match them with print processes and the methods used to evaluate print appearance.

    Larry Goldberg
    Technical Director
    Beta Industries
    800-272-7336
    Color Densitometers, CTP Calibration Systems for Print Quality

  6. #6
    dleather is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerryWyse View Post
    Any spectro along with the right software will do that for you.
    Thanks Terry. Will my Eye One hand-held spectrometer do the trick, or is that only good for monitors and RGB values?

  7. #7
    Andy D is offline Junior Member
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    X-Rite's Color Munki?

  8. #8
    tmiller_iluvprinting's Avatar
    tmiller_iluvprinting is offline Senior Member
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    I use my Eye1 from time to time, even works decent with Eye1 Share(freeware from Xrite.) As stated before texture and surface geometry can have a big effect-you may need to adjust some readings.
    Regards,
    Todd

  9. #9
    rich apollo's Avatar
    rich apollo is offline Senior Member
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    dleather,
    If it's an Eye One Pro you're good. An Eye One Display is not gonna' do what you want.

  10. #10
    jwoodworth is offline Junior Member
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    I've had more success with the X-Rite ColorMunki than the Pantone Color Cue. The Color Cue has serious problems with ambient light influencing accurate readings (I think a redesign is in order), although it works pretty well in a controlled lighting environment on flatter surfaces. The ColorMunki is not perfect, but I'd say the quality of readings is much higher. The readings are imported directly into the ColorMunki software (yes, it needs to be tethered via USB) –– the imported swatches can then be renamed and saved as a Photoshop-compatible library.


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