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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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16

Color-Management Paradigms

Every successful color-imaging system employs one or more means for controlling and adjusting color information throughout the system. That is what is meant by color management. Color management may be incorporated in various forms: as software designed specifically for that purpose, as equipment calibration procedures, as operator adjustments, as chemical process control, etc., used either alone or in various combinations.

At the heart of every color-management approach is an implicitly or explicitly defined paradigm—an underlying conceptual model that ultimately determines how an imaging system using that color management will function. One of the problems facing the color-imaging industry today is that there are many different kinds of systems that all seem to work in very different ways. That would suggest there also must be many possible color-management paradigms; if that is so, our goal of a unified, industry-wide, color-managed environment would seem quite hopeless.

A number of years ago, we and a group of our colleagues spent some time thinking about this, and we eventually realized that although existing color-imaging systems might behave quite differently, they all can be described in terms of just three fundamental types of color-management paradigms. Each paradigm is perfectly valid, yet each produces very different color results. For convenience, and to avoid any names that unintentionally might imply a value judgment on our part, these ...

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