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Curve2 with Virtual Press Run (VPR) Technology

Posted by Dan Gillespie on January 22, 2010, 3:32 pm

Curve2 software has been shipping for several weeks now and I'm interested to get peoples feedback on this new version.  I've been using IDEALink Curve software since it was released and it has been able to get the job done quite well.  It is my understanding, however, that this new software is much smarter and should yield much better results so I'd love to here some real world examples.  The new software hosts a bevy of new functionality including the ability to calculate ISO-standard TVI curves (in addition to G7 method NPDC curves), interative curve generation that gets smarter and better the more data you pump in, and I think the most anticipated feature called Virtual Press Run (VPR). VPR is an optional add-on to Curve2 and claims to negate the necessity of a second "verification" press run by taking the G7 curves from the first run and applying them to the profiling target measurement data. I really want to know if this works as well as advertised - the feedback I got from Steve Upton at Chromix is that it's impressive and a must have.  The VPR option is due for release in a month or so and promises to be very exciting new technology - at least for a ColorGeek!

1 comment

I've been using Curve2 since about November and it seems the gray balance function is improved. With Curve1, the gray balance curves seemed "shakey" at best when asked to do more than about a 4-5% correction. I did a job recently using FM screening and Curve2 that called for about a 15% correction in gray balance and it worked well given the amount of correction that was necessary.

I think the big news is the UI itself....the ability to hold multiple press runs in the same session and organize them is a great improvement. Also, the ability to base subsequent runs on previous data ("iterative" corrections) is a nice feature.

I think there's still some room for improvement with regards to the UI but this is one of the few times in recent software development history that I can honestly say it's worthy of it's "version 2" status...it feels like an entirely different product.

No opinion yet on the "Virtual Press Run" feature but it sounds interesting. My only "negative" comment on that feature is more a philosophical one than technical: it seems the VPR feature is designed to alter target reference data with the intent to create a custom ICC profile from the "G7'd" press. I generally discourage custom profiling of the press since the general idea is to bring the press in compliance with one of the G7 "standard" print conditions so a standard GRACoL/SWOP3/SWOP5 profile can be used for separations, proofing, etc. There are times when a custom press profile is desirable, for example when using device link profiles for press color management, but generally it's something we ought to avoid. In other words, if after doing the G7 calibration the press is still in a state where the standard GRACoL profile cannot provide a sufficient color match between press and proof, then the questions should be asked "why not?". Like I say, more a philosophical question than whether technically the VPR feature works. Having said that, I can see cases where it might be a valuable tool.