About color management
Color management is the technology and processes to match color across multiple image capture and reproduction devices. Proper color management ensures that colors are rendered on screen and in prints as faithfully as the various output technologies allow.
A color profile is a description of a specific color space. Color profiles can be stored in individual files (typically ending with .icm or .icc file extensions) or they can be embedded within an image file, like a JPEG or TIFF.
Every monitor, printer, or other image output device has unique color reproduction qualities. Printers color output also varies according to different ink and paper types. Every camera measures light and colors in a unique way. Having accurate color profiles for each device in your photographic workflow will ensure that you get the most accurate color and overall photographic quality from your digital photos.
Every image starts with an input profiles, which is converted into a working space, and then shown on screen in a monitor profiles. When the image saved out to a JPEG or TIFF, the image is saved in an output profile which is typically embedded within the resulting file. When printing, Corel AfterShot Pro can optionally convert the image to a printer profiles, ensuring color matching from on-screen to print.
Input profiles are used as the starting point for color management. Every image file in Corel AfterShot Pro has an input profile. For supported RAW files, Corel performs detailed color calibration and profiling techniques to produce unique Color Profiles for the various supported cameras. For TIFF and JPEG files, Corel AfterShot Pro will use the color profile embedded within the master file, if one exists. If no profile is found, JPEG files that begin with an underscore character are assumed to use the Adobe RGB color profile (as many cameras use this filename format when writing out Adobe RGB JPEG'). Otherwise, the input profile is determined by the settings you choose in Preferences for TIFF and JPEG files.
Many digital cameras offer a choice of sRGB or Adobe RGB. This is meaningful only within the JPEG file written by the camera — this setting has no effect on image quality or color accuracy for RAW files in Corel AfterShot Pro.
Monitor profiles describe the display characteristics of your monitor. They are created with colorimeters which measure the light emitted from your monitor while displaying a known color pattern on the screen. Corel AfterShot Pro should automatically determine which monitor profile your Windows or Mac computer is using, but when you re-calibrate your monitor, it is good to verify that Corel AfterShot Pro correctly identified the new profile by looking at the Monitor Profile setting on the User Preferences panel.
Obtaining a Monitor Profile on Linux computers is more complicated, though it is possible. Corel AfterShot Pro cannot automatically determine the Monitor Profile used by Linux computers, so please set that manually on the User Preferences panel.
Printer Profiles are ideally created by the photographer or print lab that owns and operates the printer. These are unique for printer, paper, and ink combinations. Many printer manufacturers include default profiles for their printers in combination with their paper and ink. Paper manufacturers also sometimes supply printer profiles for their paper.
Printer Profiles should be used whenever possible, and are added to individual Print Batches on the Print window.
Soft proofing allows you to preview on your monitor what your image will look like once printed using a specific color profile that describes the printing characteristics of a specific printing process. Monitors and printers use very different technology to display images, and Soft Proofing will provide as accurate of a preview image as is technically possible. For Soft Proofing to work properly, you must be running Corel AfterShot Pro on a calibrated monitor with the proper monitor profile loaded into Corel AfterShot Pro, and you must select a color profile that has been created for your printer, paper and ink combination.