Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Color Correcting

The last few days I’ve been color-correcting my upcoming book. Since the subject is “color and light,” my publishers and I want to get it as accurate as we can.

Each of the 270 or so separate color illustrations has to be checked and marked up on the press proofs.

Fortunately we have most of the original art available for comparison. This painting, called “Doorway to Mystery,” was first published in Dinotopia: The World Beneath, a copy of which lies open next to the page proof. The blue-greens of that water are especially hard to capture.

5 comments:

haikujaguar said...

Color correction really is a pain! It's one of the first things I shelled out money for when I went formal with the art business thing, real color correction software.

I am looking forward to Color and Light! I have it on order. :)

China Blue Rockett said...

This is amazing, I love that you can work so closely with the publisher to make the book *perfect*.

I cannot *wait* for this book.

Kyle Hall said...

Hi, Mr. Gurney. We met at Anthrocon a few times. You might remember me as the guy with spiky hair who asked you to autograph the postcard for Chris Batista, the person whose idea it was to invite you to AC.

Colour correction can be a tricky thing when it comes to printing. It requires careful calibration of your computer monitor, and the right ambient light.

I know this first-hand because a couple of months ago, I printed a small car magazine—it was my first big project since I got out of school. Everything looked great on two different computer monitors, but when it was printed, the photos had a slight green tint to them. Maybe it was because of the light in the room, or I just totally fluked, but I didn't catch that when they gave me the proof before doing the full run. It's good to see you being so careful with your book. I'll have to be more conscientious with my future projects.

I'm half-way through Imaginative Realism, and I'm really looking forward to your new book!

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Do you photograph your images with one of those CMYK pantone strips?

The first time I got some of work professionally photographed, a strip was inserted plus a greyscale to provide a baseline for all future printing. It certainly seems to reducve the scope for errors.

James Gurney said...

Hi, Kyle, good to see you at AC

Katherine, yes, I do shoot the art with the color strips, and when I have it shot professionally, they also use it. It really helps standardize the process, but it still takes a lot of tweaking.