Can anybody recommend good resources for learning some solid basics in color management? I'm interested in useful books (ideally current ones), forums, videos or courses. Everything I've found online is either too complicated, outdated, or doesn't apply to my set-up (see below). Any information, links, or resource recommendations are appreciated!!
I'm a second-career artist and I have no formal training in the mechanics of digital art so my knowledge in this area is very inconsistent despite digital rapidly becoming my preferred medium for illustration.
That being said, in years past I was able to make reasonable prints of scanned traditional work (Epson 4180 scanner) and some digital work from both from my old desktop canon printer and online printers (Imagekind) just using my mac's native calibration tools and some trial and error so I feel like this ~can~ be done. I've also done a handful of digital illustrations for an online publication and as far as I could tell the colours matched up well (e.g. the final product looked good when viewed on different computers and the AD didn't give any feedback suggesting there were issues).
My set up:
For financial reasons I'd really like to use my current equipment which includes:
- MacBook with Apple Cinema LED monitor
- Corel Painter 2016 (NOT photoshop) or Procreate on my iPad (exporting to Corel Painter for cropping, etc).
- Canon Pixma Pro-100 printer
- (I just moved so I'm still trying to find a local and/or online printer for offsite printing)
First and foremost - I want to make sure that the digital artwork I make will look the same on someone else's screen and that eventually if I send my work to people in the biz I won't look like a rank amateur. (My understanding is that this is a colour calibration thing - and so far my default calibration practices seem to have been working).
Second - I have a new desktop printer (Canon Pixma Pro-100) and would like to print some images for direct sale. I could certainly tweak my monitor until it looks like what the printer is putting out now but I worry that will throw off my monitor calibration for sending it elsewhere (for both online viewing and sending to outside printers).
A few other comments:
I realize that the actual answer is that this is way hella complicated and I need a PhD in professional printing and ICC codes - but I'm just looking for 'beginner/close enough' level quality in my desktop prints. I see loads of artists on youtube self-printing for small sales and conventions, The Man Mr. Jake Parker makes his own prints - it seems like it's POSSIBLE.
Canon does have ICC profiles for this printer (which seems like the thing I'm supposed to use) but I can't access them in Corel. The funny part is that I ~thought~ I saw those colour profiles before I upgraded to OS 10.11.6 but at that time I was in the middle of moving and wasn't working on colour stuff - it's possible that I imagined it.
If I have to get a Spyder or Munki or some other screen calibrator I will, but based on a previous thread comment by @smceccarelli I don't know if that's the problem.
If I have to subscribe to Adobe and use Photoshop I will (I used PSP for years until 2016). However, I'm working more in Procreate and would like to continue with that and use my existing Corel Painter 2016 for the PSP-like tools (cropping, colour profiles, etc) which theoretically should be possible. I'm jumping careers into freelancing right now and I have to be careful about where I allocate my savings.
I will be attending the SCBWI winter conference in February and taking the workshop "Digital Pre-Press Best Practices" which I hope will help, but the more understanding I can have going in to that the more I'll get out of it.
If SVS is thinking about offering a course I'd be all over that!
Any input is appreciated!