Chroma Graphics, Inc., based in Burlingame, is getting ready to ship its first product, Chromatica 1.0 for Apple Macintosh, Power Macintosh and Mac OS-compatible systems, that will be available around the MacWorld Expo/Boston timeframe. Windows development will result in a 32-bit Windows version shipping later this year.
Chroma Graphics is a technology company, with licensing and product plans beyond "plug-ins" and applications for the graphics marketplace. Chroma is ramping up an aggressive licensing strategy, with the goal of the company bringing "to computer imaging what Dolby is to sound." The technology enables better editing, pattern recognition and color mapping for any image, including x-rays, sonar scans, and traditional data sets using new digital methodology. Chromatica was originally a technological proof-of-concept which solved real editing problems for a large advertising agency in New York. Designed by a team of award winning engineers, and implemented as an Adobe plug-in, Chromatica 1.0 is now the first use of this patented technology in a mainstream desktop application.
In summary, Chromatica 1.0 allows users to edit and recolor images in a way never before possible. Tools within Chromatica easily and quickly masks any object by selecting a small sample of color, automatically detecting edges and and blending borders as if "seeing" the object within the image. Recolorings can take advantage of the full dynamic range of colors using scanned samples, Pantone based colors or colors from another image. It's much faster, and more accurate than the Photoshop "magic wand," or "lasso" tools, or tools from other plug-ins. Another Chromatica tool creates a color palette from an object or image, swapping new palettes for different effects, or manipulating the existing color. For the first time, artists can impose total creativity with existing images. For example, they can apply the colors of any Van Gogh painting to any image. Imagine a Monet painted by Van Gogh!
Chroma Graphics holds two patents, with another pending, based on the fundamental research of Dr. Fredric S. Young, who serves as vice president of technology research and development for the company. Dr. Young's extensive study of "biological" color is a composite of fractal geometry, mathematical rendering, chaos theory, complexity theory, and genetics.
The underlying technology of Chromatica 1.0 was borne from Dr. Young's dissatisfaction with the color editing tools available to color fractals. Fractals are mathematical forms that mimic the complex forms found in nature. The traditional digital, pixel-based metaphor and tools (Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia X-Res, etc.) do not take advantage of the complexity of natural color, infinite palettes or color-mapping. The results are unnatural recolorings and boring fractals. Using this new technology to map, recognize and apply color, the computer is now able to "see" color and extract the "digital DNA" from any image and apply it to another, with spectacular results.
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