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Fine Art & Creation Reproduction - part 5 of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

by Mike McNamee Published 01/10/2011

creativereproduction-07.jpg

Dealing with metamerism and 'difficult' colours

Many artists' pigments are very vibrant and lie outside the gamut of even the best inkjet printing. The highest gamut inkjet printing is provided by the multi ink sets, typified by the Epson Vivid magenta HDR (11-colour) or the Canon wide-format Lucia Inks (12-colour).

Metamerism can have two damaging effects in repro. It can make 'different colours' look the same in the print or it can create a colour difference which is larger than that displayed in the original or even non-existent in the original. This assumes, of course, that the viewing light is both correct and controlled, which might not be true of the exhibition area, but that is a separate issue. The first thing is to recognise that you are dealing with a metameric pigment in the original. Ideally you should use a spectrophotometer to measure it and gauge the scope of your problem. If you have an i1 Pro for profiling there are utilities that enable you to measure colour parameters; we use Babel Colour, which reports in detail for both the metameric index and the Colour Inconstancy Index. In the absence of instrumental help you have to view the original in two sorts of light (eg daylight and tungsten) and assess the balance of colour and the way it changes - if neither you nor the artist can spot a difference then don't worry, you do not have a problem. Assuming that you can detect a difference you may need to mask an area of the image and introduce more or less colour depending upon the effect you require. One thing we have learned from proofing for artists is that , given the choice, they will sometimes prefer a more vibrant rendering of their work over a colourimetrically accurate one. This is not a problem providing the eventual purchaser of the limited edition print is unable to make a direct comparison with the original.


creativereproduction-08.jpg

Dealing with metamerism and 'difficult' colours

Many artists' pigments are very vibrant and lie outside the gamut of even the best inkjet printing. The highest gamut inkjet printing is provided by the multi ink sets, typified by the Epson Vivid magenta HDR (11-colour) or the Canon wide-format Lucia Inks (12-colour).

Metamerism can have two damaging effects in repro. It can make 'different colours' look the same in the print or it can create a colour difference which is larger than that displayed in the original or even non-existent in the original. This assumes, of course, that the viewing light is both correct and controlled, which might not be true of the exhibition area, but that is a separate issue. The first thing is to recognise that you are dealing with a metameric pigment in the original. Ideally you should use a spectrophotometer to measure it and gauge the scope of your problem. If you have an i1 Pro for profiling there are utilities that enable you to measure colour parameters; we use Babel Colour, which reports in detail for both the metameric index and the Colour Inconstancy Index. In the absence of instrumental help you have to view the original in two sorts of light (eg daylight and tungsten) and assess the balance of colour and the way it changes - if neither you nor the artist can spot a difference then don't worry, you do not have a problem. Assuming that you can detect a difference you may need to mask an area of the image and introduce more or less colour depending upon the effect you require. One thing we have learned from proofing for artists is that , given the choice, they will sometimes prefer a more vibrant rendering of their work over a colourimetrically accurate one. This is not a problem providing the eventual purchaser of the limited edition print is unable to make a direct comparison with the original.

Impasto with a paint media that has a gloss finish can be very troublesome with reflections from the lighting. Regardless of how the lights are set there is always somewhere catching the light and reflecting straight back into the camera! Use of polarisers is the only solution and in extreme cases it will be necessary to use polarisers on the light source and a crossed polariser on the lens. This adds to the complications of getting the colour temperature correct but may be the only way to deal with the issue. For similar reasons, scans of slightly glossy canvas can be troublesome.


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1st Published 01/10/2011
last update 11/11/2019 12:43:10

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