GNOME Color Manager and printer profiling

Yesterday afternoon my community sponsored ColorMunki arrived. Within hours, I had fixed all the issues using it for display calibration:

Notice the device specific images? If you don’t get images you’ll be directed here and asked to submit images for other users. This just left projector support, which was also pretty easy to add:

So, then I moved onto calibrating printers. Normally people only want to profile the local printer, but I really want to profile the printer I use on a weekly basis: Snapfish. The idea of a print shop is you upload image files and in a few days time you get then back in the mail. Now GCM allows me to generate 7 photos worth of calibration squares and when I receive the photos I can generate the ICC profile so all subsequent photos are color compensated:

All the code is in git master, although the print shop feature is not quite finished yet. Yell if it breaks.

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Richard has over 10 years of experience developing open source software. He is the maintainer of GNOME Software, PackageKit, GNOME Packagekit, GNOME Power Manager, GNOME Color Manager, colord, and UPower and also contributes to many other projects and opensource standards. Richard has three main areas of interest on the free desktop, color management, package management, and power management. Richard graduated a few years ago from the University of Surrey with a Masters in Electronics Engineering. He now works for Red Hat in the desktop group, and also manages a company selling open source calibration equipment. Richard's outside interests include taking photos and eating good food.

17 thoughts on “GNOME Color Manager and printer profiling”

  1. This is all very interesting and exciting but I’m wondering how much you are inventing all from scratch (logic, GUI, layout, etc) and how much have you looked at other operating systems (like Vista, Win7, OS X) for hints?

    1. I’ve done some initial research using Windows 7 and OSX. You have to be horrifically careful about not looking at patents when you’re doing this kind of stuff. If you’ve got any pointers or suggestions, either ping me on email or reply to this post. Thanks.

  2. In that last image, the description string would be better as: …”or process some reference images.”. The middle button label should be: “Create Images for Print Shop”. :-)

  3. This is really lovely, and it will be tremendously useful.

    Two minor nitpicks from the screenshots:

    * Should be “is an LCD” since you read it as “is an el cee dee”.

    * Should be “or process some reference images” without the “to”.

    It would be good to have a web page or downloadable PDF for reference on how to do your color workflow – which tools support it, which don’t, and something like a flowchart of how to proceed.

    You are seriously tempting me to get a colorimeter :)

    1. Dude, I suck at dialogs! Could you check in a fix in gnome-color-manager for me please? Also, the help file is really coming on now, and I really want pages and pages of docs as this stuff is really quite hard to get your head around.

  4. I won’t nit pick, but

    “So, then I moved onto calibrating printers. Normally people only want to profile the local printer, but I really want to profile the printer I use on a weekly basis: Snapfish.”

    seriously … awesome :)

    You’ve gone above and beyond the call, Mr Hughes.

    One question: I don’t have the calibration hardware but if someone else has gone to the trouble of profiling print shop X, can one simply install and use that profile? If so, the next step would be maintaining an online repo of said profiles (presumably print shops would want to publish this data)

    1. Good catch, thanks:

      commit 2347dddbf786159f2959e3e4e203fdbb0cf3826b
      Author: Richard Hughes
      Date: Mon Mar 1 10:03:17 2010 +0000

      trivial: use the en_US spelling of analyze internally and in the UI

  5. Looks pretty good. One small suggestion: the “CRT” image looks more like an iMac than a CRT. Maybe it’s better to actually rotate it 45 degrees so that you can show the “bulk” of the CRT end, in order to distinguish it from an LCD? Note that I’m definitely not a usability expert either so feel free to ignore this suggestion if this was already Designer Approved :-)

      1. [ciupicri@hermes gnome-color-manager]$ mkdir ~/.root
        [ciupicri@hermes gnome-color-manager]$ configure –prefix=~/.root
        bash: configure: command not found

        There only a “” in the directory.

  6. Debian/Gnome user here just to say: Thank you so much! I’m really looking forward to this someday becoming available in a (.deb?) package. Then I can color-correct my DG45ID with my flat-screen CRT HDTV via HDMI ^_^

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