Why use iccMAX profiles?ICC recommends profiles made according to the v4 specification for most workflows, as it supports consistent results in today's open and cross-platform color management systems.
To achieve this consistency, it was necessary to define a fixed Profile Connection Space, so that the data to which a profile is assigned is always interpreted in the same way. The PCS was chosen to be based on the CIE 1931 Observer and D50 illuminant. Data that has a different colorimetric interpretation - i.e. different illuminants and observers - must be transformed into the ICC PCS by chromatic adaptation.
In the 20+ years since the first ICC specification, many new needs have emerged that cannot be addressed by a fixed colorimetric PCS. ICC has addressed these by introducing a powerful and highly flexible extension to v4, known as iccMAX. As well as flexibility in the connection space, iccMAX incorporates many new data types (including high-precision integer and floating point), the ability to actually program the conversion within the profile, and many other new features.
Benefits that users will see with iccMAX include:
An example that illustrates the limitations of v4 and the extended functionality of iccMAX is a modern package design. Incorporating many different inks, including metallics and fluorescent, together with fine surface texture and gloss varnish or laminate, the preview in a v4 system is limited to a single viewing condition of light source and viewing angle, and cannot predict how the non-process colours will overprint. Using iccMAX, it is now possible to fully predict the final appearance of the package under different light sources and viewing angles, making it possible for a developer to build a realistic 3D previewing system.
iccMAX overview by William Li (ICC co-chair)
Life of a color: color management and iccMAX by Max Derhak (ICC co-chair)