- Written by Chris Heinonen
- Published on 11 October 2012
Updated and New Features – Test Pattern, Color Check, Reporting
My favorite improvement to CalMAN is the addition of new test patterns and charts. Included now are luminance and saturation sweeps. These have been available previously in ChromaPure, but now are available in CalMAN as well, and with finer resolution (any increment for luminance and 20% or 25% in saturation, as opposed to 25% for each in ChromaPure). One of my main complaints about display reviews is the reliance on how well a display calibrates to the primary and secondary color points, when really those just tell you how well a display does at 6 color points. Using multiple saturations and intensities lets you see how well a display performs across more points and provides a better representation of how well it performs.
Additionally a Gretag Macbeth color checker test chart has been added for those with supported signal generators. Gretag Macbeth consists of 24 color and grayscale samples, meant to represent common color elements like green leaves, blue sky, skin tones, and so forth. Since none of these are point that you calibrate to, performance against this chart gives you a better idea of how well a display will perform with general content. I’ll be trying to include this in as many reviews as possible going forward, as I think it provides a much more accurate picture of how well your display will look with real content.
The reporting engine in CalMAN has had a complete makeover compared to prior versions. Previously you could spend a lot of time making a report, but that report was tied to a single workflow, even though you often report the same information from many workflows. Since displays with a full CMS and those with only minimal controls have different workflows, this meant creating the same report twice to get the same information out. With CalMAN 5, this has been entirely changed.
Now your reports are free to move between different workflows, letting you design and maintain a single report or two, and continually reuse them between different workflows. For professionals that want to provide the best information to their clients, and for users that want to adjust what they see in their own reports, this really improves upon what was available. Combined with more data being available from the updated charts and patterns, this means we may see more in depth, through reports about displays and projectors being available in the near future.
There are countless more updates and features in CalMAN than I can hope to address. There are gamma target editors, allowing you to create your own targets if you need a special solution that isn’t among the presets. There are alternative color matching functions that help to account for how the human eye will perceive different light sources (CFL, LED, Xenon) differently, even if the standard CIE chart says they are the same. You can better match two displays to be identical if you have a video wall, determine the maximum dynamic range of your display, have a full, 3D view of your colorspace instead of only the traditional 2D charts, and far more. CalMAN 5 is a massive upgrade from the previous versions, with far more features and usability than before.