GretagMacbeth ProfileMaker Pro 5.0.5: GoP

In ProfileMaker Pro 5.0.5 Packaging there is a feature GretagMacbeth calls by the acronym “GoP”. The acronym stands for Generic Output Profile, and means you can alter one of the four colour channel in a CMYK or Multicolor profile without having to start profiling all over again
GoP is a high-end feature not many of us will ever use, but printers and prepress professionals will love the way GoP works. First of all, it will only work with CMYK and MultiColor profiles. The icon/button will not even appear when you select the Printer button in ProfileMaker Pro 5.0.5. GoP is part of the MultiColor capabilities, and rightly so: GoP is not for colour sissies, as I was soon to find out.

When you click on GoP, ProfileMaker expects you to load at least a CMYK profile. Once you have loaded such a profile (not one of the reference profiles like Euroscale or SWOP, mind you), the GoP button changes to show you your in GoP mode. You can now edit selective colours in the profile without having to go through the profiling process all over.

When clicking the Spearations button in ProfileMaker, GoP will open a dialogue window first, asking you if you want to change the order of print colours. So, if you want to first print Magenta before Cyan, GoP will allow you to do that. As far as I can see, this feature will be most useful with multicolour profiles, where additional colour channels have been defined in the profile. If your Orange comes before your Green, GoP will allow you to change the order.

Clicking OK in this dialogue opens another window where you will actually be changing the colour channels.

For example, do you want to minimize ink consumption? If so, you can change the profile in this dialogue by using a simple pop-up menu. You can also select a channel and go another level deeper. On that level, the deepest in ProfileMaker, you will actually change the values of the colour channels you selected.

Change that Channel!In the window that allows you to change the individual colour channels, you can measure (or set manually) paper white and the colours themselves. The user has the option to load a previously measured values file, or start spot colour measurements with his measurement device. THere’s a huge number of devices you can choose from, but they’re all limited to GretagMacbeth’s or X-Rite’s products—the reason why will be clear.

I tried—for fun and to see what dramatic changes would result into—to replace the Yellow channel with a measured orange colour patch and I added to this insult by also measuring an even more reddish colour patch from a Post-It note that happened to be in front of me, in one of the Ink Coverage percentage input boxes. The result is what you see hereafter: the profile has been messed up considerably—not far from what I expected.

Of course, in real life, printers would not use this powerful feature to mess up their profiles—unless they happen to be drunk at the time—but to actually replace a colour in the profile quickly, and still get the good results they’ve come to expect from using ProfileMaker Pro 5.0.5.

I just had a bit of fun, but imagine that you have to profile your printing press not daily to accommodate for drift, but with each and every job because of the need to change colour channels in-between jobs. Instead of spending an hour creating and fine-tuning a profile each time, GoP accomplishes the same in well under half that time. Speaking of cost-savings!

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