Light Illusion's new SpaceMatch DCM software promises to guarantee facility-wide colour matching of PC displays by circumventing the standard ICC Profiles that can throw things badly out of kilter.
Aimed at VFX houses running multiple workstations or anyone who wants to completely trust that what they're seeing on a laptop for review is as close as possible to the desired finished look, SpaceMatch DCM directly controls a display's calibration via the graphics card, circumventing the usual ICC Colour Profiles.
Showing the true picture
"Many graphics programs use any active display profile as a guide to the way the image should be displayed," explains Light Illusion head honcho, Steve Shaw. "This means that, without knowing it, the image you are looking at can be colour distorted with respect to the real image data. Photoshop etc are perfect examples of this. By controlling the graphics card directly via SpaceMatch DCM this is avoided."
Featuring a Command Line capability that ensures the correct calibration LUT (Colour Look-Up Table) is always activated whenever the PC is started up, SpaceMatch is essentially an adjunct to the company's LightSpace CMS high-end display calibration system. The idea is that facilities use this high-end tool for display profiling and LUT generation, and SpaceMatch for essentially distributing it. The result is that all VFX workstations, for instance, will be displaying the same colour profile.
Multiple Look Up Tables
Additionally, users can switch between multiple LUTs to allow different looks or calibrations to be dynamically compared, or even turned off completely on demand. Multiple desktop displays can also be controlled individually as required.
Linux and Mac versions of SpaceMatch DCM will follow close on the heels of this first Windows release, probably in the next couple of weeks, and it works with all graphics cards. Pricing starts at £345 per license, with "large discounts" for volume orders. Sounds expensive? Not compared to the alternatives, Shaw reckons.
"If VFX work has altered the underlying colour of an image, it can be difficult to fix, if possible at all," he says. And you get the feeling that that's when things can get really costly...