What's The Default Rendering Intent?

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What’s the default rendering intent?

A rendering intent determines how colors are represented when changing from one device (and, consequently, color space) to another. You can think of rendering intent as a style of rendering colors; it’s the approach that Windows uses to choose the right colors when translating colors from one device to another.

The Advanced tab in Windows Color Management lets you specify a mapping between WCS gamut-mapping model profiles and the four common ICC rendering intents.

In general, you should only change these rendering intent mappings if you have installed third-party WCS plug-in gamut-mapping models and you want to use those instead of the default WCS gamut mapping. Most users will never need to change these settings.

Most graphics editing programs let you specify a rendering intent for a picture. If your program doesn’t, you can specify the default rendering intent that’s used. There are four common rendering intents that cover the most common uses. Depending upon the rendering intent, the appearance of a picture will be different, since Windows will use a different range of available colors to render it. These are the four rendering intents in common use:

Perceptual (photo images)
Best for photographic images. When colors are converted from one device’s color space to another, the relationship between colors is maintained. This is the initial default rendering intent setting for Windows.

Relative colorimetric (line art)
Best when a few specific colors must be matched exactly, such as when rendering logo graphics. This is also the best choice for the last transformation stage in print previews. The colors that fall within the allowable color space of both devices are left unchanged, but other colors may change, resulting in compressed color tone. The relative colorimetric rendering intent will map white from the source device color space to white in the destination device color space.

Absolute colorimetric (simulate paper)
Best for use in the last transformation stage when making page proofs where you want to represent the paper color in the output. Absolute colorimetric intent differs from relative colorimetric intent in that white in the source color space isn’t mapped to white in the destination color space.

Saturation (charts and graphs)
Best for business graphics in which vividness is more important than realistic color, such as with business charts and graphs. When colors are converted from one device’s color space to another, the relative hue is maintained, but colors may shift


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