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Author Topic: soft proofing  (Read 6425 times)
pad
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« on: March 13, 2006, 01:52:18 AM »
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Why should I need to re-adjust my images for each type of paper/colour profile I choose to print on?

The intuitive approach for me would be to adjust the image once in CS and then when I select a paper/colour profile for printing, the print driver/CS would adjust the image data to send to the printer, to suit my choice. Thus I would print what I see on the monitor, on any paper I choose, without further re-adjustment.
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francois
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2006, 02:17:23 AM »
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Why should I need to re-adjust my images for each type of paper/colour profile I choose to print on?

The intuitive approach for me would be to adjust the image once in CS and then when I select a paper/colour profile for printing, the print driver/CS would adjust the image data to send to the printer, to suit my choice. Thus I would print what I see on the monitor, on any paper I choose, without further re-adjustment.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Ian Lyons has an excellent article on soft-proofing. You can read it [a href=\"http://www.computer-darkroom.com/softproof/softproof_1.htm]here[/url].
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Francois
colourperfect
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2006, 06:05:31 AM »
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Pad,

You approach may be Ok if you had paper, printer and ink that could reproduce any colour or tone in your image. However papers and inks have limited gamuts and finite shadow detail capabilities. Soft proofing alows you to see the effects of these real world effects and compensate.

For example, many matte papers dont have really good shadow detail reproduction. A softproof and a curves adjustment may help you maximise the shadow detail.

Also as printers have smaller gamut than most editing color spaces you will want to see the effect of this gamut reduction through different rendering intents.

Try printing out a really intense and saturated colour wedge, now turn on the softproof and the gamut warning. You will see much of the image is out of gamut.

Softproofing helps you see the real world effects of your print process through the printer profile.

Ian

http://profiles.colourperfect.co.uk





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Why should I need to re-adjust my images for each type of paper/colour profile I choose to print on?

The intuitive approach for me would be to adjust the image once in CS and then when I select a paper/colour profile for printing, the print driver/CS would adjust the image data to send to the printer, to suit my choice. Thus I would print what I see on the monitor, on any paper I choose, without further re-adjustment.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60180\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Schewe
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2006, 02:58:47 PM »
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Soft proofing is useful to avoid wasting ink/paper in  the pursuit of an optimal print. Having a 90% + accurate prediction of what the image will look like when the ink hits paper is useful and greatly helps making better prints. I would really suggest learning how to use soft proofing if print quality is important.
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pad
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2006, 01:31:53 AM »
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Thanks.

I have a particular image of some African Violets that has always defied being printed with colours that I can accept as being near to true.

I have adjusted in soft proof mode and then printed, to get acceptable results.

I just wanted the core reasons for doing it --- i.e. because the out of gamut regions that the printer/paper/ink combo cannot reproduce accurately need to be adjusted.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2006, 12:50:46 PM »
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I dont' think soft-proofing gives a particularly accurate preview of what the print will look like. In my experience the soft-proof almost always looks significantly worse than the actual print. For one thing there will be some color shifts caused by the ICC profile to compensate for the way a particular ink/paper combination reacts, so the fact that certain colors look a bit "off" in the softproof doesn't mean they will in the print. Also the soft-proof tends to look duller/flatter than the actual print. You can't really expect to get an accurate depiction of what ink on paper will look like by viewing an image on a computer monitor.

Soft proofing is still useful though. Most obviously, the gamut-warning can show you which colors are not printable, allowing you to decide how to handle them. I also look for other problems like banding or posterization that can show up if an image has subtle tonal variations that the printer profile can't handle well. It's also very useful to see what happens to the darker tones; if the shadows look like a murky mess with no detail then you'll probably want to fix that or change the rendering intent if you want to get a good print. So
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Schewe
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2006, 02:08:30 PM »
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I dont' think soft-proofing gives a particularly accurate preview of what the print will look like. In my experience the soft-proof almost always looks significantly worse than the actual print.

Then I would suggest that you are not using soft proofing correctly...

First off, to accurately soft proof you need accurate display and printer profiles. Most canned or generic profiles will not provide reliable soft proofing. The SP profiles supplied as extras to the 479/800 K3 printers are accurate profiles with good interchange RGB to display tables. Most "generic" profiles fail to provide good display.

Second, you need to know how to use Photoshop's soft proofing. Simply turning it on and checking the Display options for paper white and ink black will not be particularly useful unless you set the Photoshop background to black and hide ANY interface elemts. The palettes of Photoshop will be used by your eyes to determine "white" and the soft proofed image will appear overly flat. This is due to the eye's use of Simultaneous Contrast Adaptation. The other thing is you need a reliable and consistant viewing environment for the print and the luminosity of the print viewing must match the luminosity of the display. Easier to do with bright LCD's, tougher with dim CRTs. You'll need to reduce the print viewing luminosity with a dimmer that does not effect color temp. Then you must not have the computer display and print viewing in the same visual field. I suggest a 90 degree difference so that you must turn your head to view first the display and then the print.

If you have accurate profiles, learn how to use soft proofing and use it correctly, then the soft proof will be about a 90% accurate prediction of both the print contrast range and color rendering-which is a considerable improvement over wasting ink and paper trying to twiddle a print to look good.
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Brian Gilkes
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2006, 04:04:37 PM »
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I agree totally with Jeff .
A couple of years ago when I started digital printing I didn't use profiles  and wasted heaps of media and time tweaking to get the results I wanted. Profiles changed everything, enabling production of very good prints straight off . Often small adjustments then produced prints of great beauty, consistently better than anything I could have done in the darkroom.
There are a couple of important provisos.
The profiles must be built by an expert who not only does the correct thing technically, but knows how to make beautiful profiles of great luminosity and depth. There are a lot of lousy profiles out there . Just paying someone $100 or so does not ensure great results. Sensitive profile editing is essential.
Secondly soft proofing must be done in correct viewing conditions. That includes low ambient light conditions and the viewing of the print with a full spectrum light source at the correct colour temperature. Again Jeff's advice in right on.
All this assumes calibrated monitor of sufficient quality, calibrated scanner if one is used, and use of an appropriate colour space and rendering intent.
HTH
Brian
www.pharoseditions.com.au
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digitaldog
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2006, 07:20:47 PM »
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Why should I need to re-adjust my images for each type of paper/colour profile I choose to print on?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60180\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Based on a sound soft proof, you may not. But Photoshop has no idea how to show you how an image will output until you do so. A file in Adobe RGB (1998) isn't providing a preview based on any output device. Until you load a soft proof (and assuming you have a good display profile and good output profile), the preview you see could be pretty far off from what you'll see on output.

The Simulate Paper color/ink black is very useful to show you the dynamic range of the output.
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Andrew Rodney
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2006, 02:40:41 PM »
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If you have accurate profiles, learn how to use soft proofing and use it correctly, then the soft proof will be about a 90% accurate prediction of both the print contrast range and color rendering-which is a considerable improvement over wasting ink and paper trying to twiddle a print to look good.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60298\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Well, I'm using a hardware-calibrated display and custom printer profiles. I'm pretty comfortable with the concepts of color management. I never said soft-proofing is worthless, I just said that in my experience the on-screen softproof looks subjectively worse than the final print. Maybe it comes down to your mention of "90% accurate" prediction, I just think soft-proofing gives you a somewhat pessimistic prediction. I still use soft-proofing and find it very useful, I've just come to expect that the final print will look better than what I see on-screen in soft-proof mode.
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Dale_Cotton
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2006, 03:43:17 PM »
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FYI: I just installed the new version 3.6 software for my i1 Display 2. The improvement on my recent-vintage La Cie Electron Blue 19" is extraordinary. (This is using manual calibration for 6500K and 2.2 gamma; the new auto calibration is too bright.)

Using the Epson profiles for EEM and PL for the 4000, non-soft-proof still slightly more closely resembles the print than soft proof mode as viewed in appropriate lighting, but the margin of difference is much smaller and dramatically much smaller than anything I could get with the previous version I was using (3.2).

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soft-proofing gives you a somewhat pessimistic prediction
Exactly what I'm seeing: the soft-proof view (even with paper white on) seems slightly too desaturated and slightly low in contrast. While, even in out-of-gamut areas, the non-soft-proof view is usually near-identical to the print. IAC, I'm just thrilled to be getting such a close match between print and monitor without fiddling; as far as I'm concerned it's all the better that I don't need to bother with soft proof.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2006, 07:59:56 PM »
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So how's everyone viewing the prints? Under a "D50" light source with the correct luminance? Makes a difference.

In Match 3.6, you can actually measure your light box for the white point.

Nearly all ICC output profiles assume a D50 illuminant. Higher end packages allow you to measure the light you'll view the prints under. When I build a profile for myself, I measure the light source  (a GTI box) using my Eye-One Spectrophotometer and build that into the profile instead of using D50.

So, there are a number of areas where one can concentrate to get that extra 2-3% soft proof accuracy.

Depending on the output profile and the package that made it, its not at all uncommon to edit JUST the proofing portion of the output profile table. IOW, you love the output but the soft proof is off. A good profile editor allows you to tweak just the soft proof table while leaving the output table alone.
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Andrew Rodney
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Chris_T
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« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2006, 07:46:24 AM »
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The profiles must be built by an expert who not only does the correct thing technically, but knows how to make beautiful profiles of great luminosity and depth. There are a lot of lousy profiles out there . Just paying someone $100 or so does not ensure great results. Sensitive profile editing is essential.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60316\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Where do we find these experts?
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colourperfect
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« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2006, 08:01:08 AM »
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Images and prints can be are beautiful with great luminosity and depth.

To be honest I think its best to start with a technicaly accurate profile and then allow the PS user to add luminosity and depth if its needed.

With a softproof and good quality display you can use PS to adjust your image so you like what prints. That way you develop the skills rather than relying on the profile makers magic.

I believe you are better understanding the short commings of your chosen ink / paper and printer and correcting for it yourself.

After all if you have a c**p image a profile is never going to add luminosity and depth.

Ian

http://www.colourperfect.co.uk
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Chris_T
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« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2006, 08:19:25 AM »
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Soft proofing is not as simple as many make it out to be.

A. As described in Ian Lyons' article, even in a well calibrated environment, a soft proof may still be (slightly) off and need some (minor) tweaking. Jeff used to have an article at his site about the same process. "Slightly" and "minor" are subjective, and depend a lot on the kind of images and a viewer's sensitivity and expectation.

B. In soft proof, PS knows nothing about how a printer driver will lay down the ink. If a printer driver is not perfect, it should not come as a surprise that some prints can be way off from their soft proofs. In the following thread, even Russel Brown (and Jeff?) suggests NOT using No Color Management in an Epson 2200 driver. My understanding is that this approach works well with some but not all images.

http://adobe.groupbrowser.com/Epson_2200_R...ode-t17169.html

The question for Epson is why don't they fix the driver.
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« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2006, 10:23:41 AM »
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No..you got that wrong...I reccomened using DUAL color management for B&W prints from the 2200. Basically it required a custom profile of the printer going through the Photo Realistic rendering of the Epson 2200 driver. So, you would use BOTH the 2200 driver color management AND a profile of the printer in that condition. It allows much more neutral B&Ws because the Photo Realistic setting of the EPson driver was the most linear of all the Epson settings.

This is no longer needed with the K3 ink printers.
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colourperfect
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« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2006, 01:24:47 PM »
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"In soft proof, PS knows nothing about how a printer driver will lay down the ink"

But if you have a custom profile and softproof then as long as your printers doesn't vary between one print and the next then PS does know.

If your printer does vary then its time for a new printer ;-)

Ian

http://profiles.colourperfect.co.uk
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Chris_T
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2006, 07:05:48 AM »
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No..you got that wrong...I reccomened using DUAL color management for B&W prints from the 2200. Basically it required a custom profile of the printer going through the Photo Realistic rendering of the Epson 2200 driver. So, you would use BOTH the 2200 driver color management AND a profile of the printer in that condition. It allows much more neutral B&Ws because the Photo Realistic setting of the EPson driver was the most linear of all the Epson settings.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60513\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I am in agreement. In my post, I did mistakenly use "No Color Management" at the Epson driver. It should be "No Color Adjustment". As you and several others have pointed out, in addition to a good profile, the Epson 2200 driver plays a big role.

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This is no longer needed with the K3 ink printers.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60513\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Does the K3 ink fix the problem, or did Epson fix the K3 printer drivers, or both?
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Chris_T
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« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2006, 07:15:23 AM »
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"In soft proof, PS knows nothing about how a printer driver will lay down the ink"

But if you have a custom profile and softproof then as long as your printers doesn't vary between one print and the next then PS does know.

If your printer does vary then its time for a new printer ;-)

Ian

[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Perhaps some clarification is called for.

How the Epson 2200 driver lays down ink is a function of the paper type selection (as described by mposter at this thread [a href=\"http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=10224)]http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....howtopic=10224)[/url], and other settings as described by Russel Brown. In either case, soft proofing in PS cannot predict how these settings will be made at the driver.
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colourperfect
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« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2006, 02:33:25 AM »
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Chris,

Softproofing CAN understand these settings because the principle underlying it assumes that the same settings used to create the printer profile (used as part of the softproof process) are used for future prints.

If this assumption is broken then the whole colour management process falls apart.

So to summarise you select your paper type, your dpi, your color density, your speed etc and you print your profile charts. A profile is then created which is specific to these printer settings. You then use this profile for your softproof and all the printer settings are taken into account.

Of course if you want to change the settings you need a different profile for each variation. But most people wanting to maximise quality may only have a couple of variations.

Ian

http://www.colourperfect.co.uk



Quote
Perhaps some clarification is called for.

How the Epson 2200 driver lays down ink is a function of the paper type selection (as described by mposter at this thread http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....howtopic=10224), and other settings as described by Russel Brown. In either case, soft proofing in PS cannot predict how these settings will be made at the driver.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60676\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
« Last Edit: March 21, 2006, 02:34:37 AM by colourperfect » Logged
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