Mechdyne Color Management Services
For more than 20 years, Mechdyne has designed and maintained some of the world's most complex and advanced visualization display systems for clients requiring the highest standards of color quality. Applications demanding such impeccable, high-resolution image quality has required solutions that used leading-edge components such as new display devices, connectivity, image generators, as well as multiple projectors to achieve their exacting standards. Installing and managing these complex systems to display expectations requires trained personnel and disciplined processes. Poor and inconsistent image quality, in demanding applications, has the potential for inaccurate assessment and decision-making based on flawed information.
Exacting display of critical data extends beyond the visualization space. Design work is usually done at the desktop level before display in a visualization center. Desktop monitors and laptops have widely varying components that affect color reproduction. Designs are often printed for use in other parts of the review and decision-making workflow. Scanners and cameras can be used to generate content with different interpretations of the colors they see. Creating uniformity across all devices to create consistent results is the objective of color management.
Our interactions with demanding applications led us to consider the entire visual display and presentation workflow. To improve consistency between different electronic display types as well as printed material, the proper equipment, assessment, and maintenance practices are required. Mechdyne delivers this consistency through our Color Management Services based on the 5 C's.
- Color measurement; including standardization of the tools used for color measures.
Tools such as light and color meters used to measure and record the current state of image quality metrics on a new or operational device that present color in some form to users. An initial calibration of tools and the work environment much be achieved. Once a baseline is set, adjustments can be made to achieve desired color values. The tools and environment must be maintained for future color management.
- Calibration and linearization of devices, such as displays and printers, used to view and judge color. Calibration is the act of bringing an imaging device to a consistent and reproducible state; essentially making mechanical changes to the device using available physical controls. Linearization involves making changes using the devices' software. The software in question is almost always specific for the device, usually provided by the manufacturer. Once a device is physically calibrated to a known state, the software will then produce known values that can be adjusted. Every device used to present and assess color will need this full attention.
- Characterizing the "gamut" (color input and output capability) of every device using values from the calibration process. Gamut values are compared to international color standards to create a defined profile for each specific device in the workflow. These profiles allow building the connectivity between very different devices, like a monitor and a printer, for the conversion process.
- Conversion between color devices. Though devices have different color profiles, they can be programmed and/or recalibrated so the color they reproduce will be consistent with other devices. This requires experienced technicians to make the adjustments to each device necessary for color consistency.
- Conformance. Over time, equipment will age and/or be updated, which can affect their color profile. In order to maintain devices and profiles over time, a disciplined process is required to track their performance relative to set targets and tolerances. Any changes in the working environment, such as lighting, are also taken into account. Through regular checks and maintenance, color reproduction across devices will continue to conform to desired requirements.
Mechdyne works with color critical applications like automotive and corporate branding. We take a disciplined approach to the five C's and have developed, defined and refined processes to suit specific workflow requirements. Mechdyne technicians have the knowledge to support audiovisual systems and manage technology where color quality is paramount to presentation and decision making. Color management is available as a short-term contract to establish conformance and process, or an on-site managed service with Mechdyne technicians.