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Re: grayscale vs. color

Andrew, noymer@my-deja.com writes:

> So every time I make a change I have to go into
> IDL _and_ into the GIMP?
    Only if your monitor can't be colour calibrated in any sense
at all, which since you say "GIMP" could well be true.  But then
you're going to have a very hard time generating reliable CYMK
output in any case.

    I do have two displays which always seem to throw images
off-balance.  They are both flat panels (a Powerbook and a SGI
1600), and I can't prep critical work on them with any program,
even those with very sophisticated CYMK implementations.

    With all our cathode-ray tube monitors I am able to set them
up so that what IDL spits out of the printer is highly
predictable.  With the better monitors the match is very good.  I
only *need* to use Photoshop et al when dealing with off-site
printers where I want to preview the look of particular pantone
ink sets.  I would be interested to know what sort of print jobs
you are doing which are simple enough in terms of page layout to
be done in IDL without driving you nuts, but sophisticated enough
in their use of colour to require seamless CYMK integration.

    Colour-seperations are not rocket science, and IDL could do
them with one hand behind it's back while simultaneously playing
the fiddle and dancing the Lambada.  The hard part is defining
the colour spaces you're translating to and from, and doing so
accurately enough to make overriding the printer's default
settings worth the trouble.  Then making the whole thing
cross-platform adds extra headaches and you end up with a lot of
extra special-case programming which distracts from more
important problems.

    We're talking about a multi-thousand dollar data analysis
program, extensively used by the world's premier remote sensing
and geophysical labs, which still has problems plotting data at
the North Pole and gets confused and upset when it tries to grasp
the concept of the International Date Line.  Blocking up on
saturated greens pales into insignificance.