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Device Link Profile

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Device link profiles are most closely related to the output class of profiles. A device link profile combines two output profiles to provide the specific conversion instructions between two particular devices. It provides the opportunity to maintain black and other separation purity by removing the need for passing the colour transformation through the PCS. To define a device link, we identify a source and destination profile to our colour management software, specify the rendering intent, and provide details on how constrained the re-separation should be. By avoiding the passage into and back out of the PCS, we can very strictly control the parameters of the colour conversion. The options for conversion are: • Full re-separation — Complete re-separation. Solid colours in the original file may not remain solid. The black generation parameters that you specify are used, which may result in using less chromatic ink and more black ink. • CMYK integrity — All colour builds can be adjusted. The relative amount of black versus CMY will be preserved in content processed through the device link. • Black purity only — Any colours other than the black channel (solid K, K-greys) can be adjusted. • Colour and black purity — The same as fully constrained, but solid colours can be reduced to a tint. • Fully constrained — Any colour made with only one or two inks will not have other inks added. Solid (100% tints) primaries and secondaries are not affected and remain solid. • Ink optimizing — A proprietary term in the ColorFlow colour management software for applying a full reseparation with a heavy grey component replacement (GCR) algorithm. Colour management software used to be required to preview the results of applying a device link. With the last few versions of Adobe Photoshop, a device link option has been added to the advanced dialog window of the Color Conversion menu, making device link previewing much more accessible. Currently, Photoshop only supports CMYK to CMYK device links. It does not support RGB to CMYK device links. Another alternative for viewing the results of applying a device link is to generate a virtual proof (VPS) in Kodak Prinergy with the device link specified. With this extraordinary level of control, why don’t we use device links for every colour conversion? The truth is, that with our gain in managing the colour conversion process, we sacrifice an even greater degree of flexibility. The premise of colour management and the use of profiles is that we do not have to generate a unique profile for each pairing of devices. With the power of the PCS gateway to provide the device independent colour description, we only need a single profile for each colour condition of a device and any two profiles can be positioned on either side of the PCS to provide a pathway for the colour conversion. Where it does make sense to go to the extra trouble of generating a device link profile is a situation where a specific pairing of two devices is used over and over again, such as a proofer for a particular press condition, or to keep two presses in a shop matched for their colour output. If we process an image from RGB to CMYK at the beginning of our production process, we gain the stability of having the image in our known CMYK space, but we surrender the flexibility of converting to the optimal CMYK space at final output. For final stage or late-binding conversion, we are dependent on the RIP environment for managing the calculations between the profile pair (see Module Five). A device link provides additional security in the conversion process by reducing the variability that can come with the processing application input that is part of a profile pair transformation.