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Digital Color Management: Encoding Solutions, 2nd Edition by Michael A. Kriss, Thomas E. Madden, Edward J. Giorgianni

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Introduction

Not very long ago, digital color technology was available only on high-end color-imaging systems. Its use essentially was limited to commercial applications such as the production of graphic arts prints and motion picture visual effects. Although high-end systems remain an important segment of the digital color-imaging industry, the overall field has changed significantly. Inexpensive high-quality digital cameras, scanners, computers, electronic displays, and color hardcopy output devices such as inkjet, laser, and thermal-transfer printers are readily available. As a result, digital color imaging is now pervasive in virtually all scientific, commercial, and personal applications.

These changes have profoundly affected every aspect of digital imaging. In particular, they have made it necessary to fundamentally alter the way images are color encoded, i.e., how the colors that make up images are numerically represented in digital form.

In the past, the color-encoding methods used on high-end systems typically were quite straight-forward. That was possible because these systems generally were self-contained or “closed.” For example, some electronic prepress systems always used a certain type of scanner to digitize images input from a particular type of photographic film, and the resulting digital images were used exclusively for graphic arts printing. Relatively simple color-encoding methods were successful in such systems due to the invariant nature of the input and ...

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