Little CMS abstractor

The Abstractor enters beta!

Hopefully it would be ready really soon! The manual is still in a very primitive stage, but the software works fine for windows. Mac version is expected to be next ready. Linux is at lower priority, but being worked on as well.

What does this program?

The abstractor is an abstract ICC profile authoring tool. It allows you to create abstract profiles for two use cases: component adjusts in a given space, what is often known as sooft-proofing and adjustments on CIE CAM16 color appearance model. No more, no less.

What are abstract profiles?

Though we tend to use three different profile types - those for scanners, monitors and printers, the ICC has actually created a total of 7 different profile types. Each has its own capabilities and situations for best use. Abstract profiles is the fifth type, very powerful but unfortunately seldom used and understood.

Let’s see what ICC says about abstract profiles:

“Abstract profiles allow you to perform custom image effects, such as applying a particular ‘look’ to a series of images. Such a profile allows you to define CIELAB (or CIEXYZ) values as both input and output. Thus you can algorithmically define colour changes of whatever type you like and produce the LUT that achieves that. A small number of colour management applications support the creation and or use of abstract profiles."

Photoshop supports abstract profiles. Little CMS color translator, either the full one or the MINI one supports abstract profiles. Krita does. Other advanced image editors does as well.

If device links convert from device to device then abstract profiles are the opposite; they convert from Lab to Lab. Where the device link’s domain is device-space edits, abstracts are all about Lab-space (color) edits. Contrast bumps, increasing saturation, and gray or sepia effects are just a few examples of simple color edits than can be captured within an abstract profile. That means, you are doing color manipulation in a device-independent space. Which translates to real-world as, the changes you do, looks same no matter your images are in sRGB or AdobeRGB.

Here are some samples created by Abstractor Beta 1

  • Gray conversion profile If you think the conversion to gray of your image editor is good enough, congratulations! You need not to check this one. On the other hand, if you think you need a superior approach, try it. Yo will not be disappointed. CAM16 does an excellent job when separating luma from chroma.

  • Give more color punch This is just the opposit of previous. It “boosts” colors to give more “punch” and make colors more saturated. Funny, but just as a demo. It does not have the strict physical meaning that other samples have.

  • Viewing conditions change This is a demo of abstractor capabilities to model real world. The goal of this abstract profile is to do all necessay adjusts to allow a photographer to do a viewing session using a projecto on a dark room. Abstractor does all necessary corrections to keep the look & feel of photos under a projector on a dark room. No more surprises like “hey, that looks completly different when printed”. This samples assumes a dark room under 157 lux. Other environments are possible by using the abstractor app.

  • SWOP CMYK adjust A sample of sooft-proofing. You select the target prepress space and modifies the appearance by adjusting CMYK. This sample adds more cyan on a SWOP-like press. This functionality is a big deal for print-as-a-service professionals.

Stay tuned, Abstractor will be released very soon!

Abstractor beta 1