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Author Topic: Options for softproofing in LR workflow  (Read 7749 times)
Tklimek
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« on: May 07, 2008, 06:57:12 PM »
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Folks....

I know everyone is waitng for LR to get softproofing....and I know it will....in time.  Until then, what other options for softproofing exist if one currently has no other options?  So I guess:

1.  Photoshop
2.  RIP

I currently have Photoshop Elements, but as far as I can tell no options there for softproofing.  I guess I should probably have PS anyway....just didn't feel like shellin' out another $600.  I guess I'm a whiner!    

Any other ideas?

Cheers...

Todd
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theophilus
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008, 09:18:49 PM »
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I haven't used it, but I *think* Qimage has soft-proofing.
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Nat Coalson
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2008, 09:51:05 AM »
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I agree that $600 just to get soft-proofing capability is painful, but soft-proofing in Photoshop is still the best way to prepare files for printing.

Some RIPs offer soft-proofing, but RIPs are more expensive than Photoshop and involve a whole different workflow.

Besides, soft-proofing at the RIP doesn't make a lot of sense, as the real strength of soft-proofing in Photoshop is that you can add adjustment layers to get the soft proof to look like you want.

The general consensus is that soft-proofing will NOT be included in 2.0. Maybe Adobe will surprise us though.
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rdonson
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2008, 11:25:31 AM »
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Export your files to TIFFs and print from Qimage.  Softproofing is available.  You can make global adjustments in Qimage that are applied as a filter so its non-destructive.

Lightroom has some very nice printing features until you feel the need to softproof.

You may also appreciate the uprezzing and final sharpening provided by Qimage.
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Nat Coalson
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2008, 11:32:46 AM »
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I agree Qimage is a fine product but it's only available on Windows.

And still doesn't address the issue of making real-time adjustments to the file while soft-proofing.
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RogerW
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2008, 04:09:48 AM »
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just didn't feel like shellin' out another $600. I guess I'm a whiner!

be thankful you don't live in the UK.  We have to pay that price in £ (i.e. nearly twice as much).
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2008, 05:23:10 PM »
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Folks....

I know everyone is waitng for LR to get softproofing....and I know it will....in time.  Until then, what other options for softproofing exist if one currently has no other options?  So I guess:

1.  Photoshop
2.  RIP

I currently have Photoshop Elements, but as far as I can tell no options there for softproofing.  I guess I should probably have PS anyway....just didn't feel like shellin' out another $600.  I guess I'm a whiner!   

Any other ideas?

Cheers...

Todd
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=194266\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Do you really need soft proofing?  How are you printing now?  $600 is a lot for soft proofing...I have CS3 but don't soft proof that often; using a 3800 and a limited # of paper types.
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Nat Coalson
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2008, 11:42:20 PM »
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Do you really need soft proofing? How are you printing now? $600 is a lot for soft proofing...I have CS3 but don't soft proof that often; using a 3800 and a limited # of paper types.


To make the best print possible it is necessary to soft-proof and make adjustments before printing. You may not realize how much better your prints could be.

Custom profiles are also important.
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2008, 11:42:01 AM »
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To make the best print possible it is necessary to soft-proof and make adjustments before printing. You may not realize how much better your prints could be.

Custom profiles are also important.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195151\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Good points...But what is the standard used to judge "much better"?  If the print  "closely" matches the calibrated monitor and looks good to me what will soft proofing add?   That said,  I need to improve my goals and standards for print quality.
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Nat Coalson
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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2008, 12:17:16 PM »
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Of course, the final decision of what looks good is always up to you.

But many images destined for inkjet prints can benefit from a boost in saturation and more/better detail in the shadows. Saturation and shadow detail are often the first things lost in the conversion from a wide format color space to the relatively narrow color space of the printer/paper profile. And the color reproduction capabilities of different papers varies widely.

When soft-proofing for a print on photo paper, I most often make a saturation increase of +5-10 and use a single-point curve to brighten level 50 to around 60.

For canvas, I might boost saturation +20 and open up level 25 to around 35.

But every image (on every paper) will have different potential. This is why I say soft-proofing and making adjustments is critical for the best print possible.

I offer a tutorial on soft-proofing in Photoshop on my blog.
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larsrc
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2008, 03:03:48 PM »
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Folks....

I know everyone is waitng for LR to get softproofing....and I know it will....in time.  Until then, what other options for softproofing exist if one currently has no other options?  So I guess:

1.  Photoshop
2.  RIP

I currently have Photoshop Elements, but as far as I can tell no options there for softproofing.  I guess I should probably have PS anyway....just didn't feel like shellin' out another $600.  I guess I'm a whiner!   

Any other ideas?

Cheers...

Todd
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=194266\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Gimp 2.4 offers soft-proofing, though no adjustment layers.

-Lars
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sniper
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2008, 03:32:38 PM »
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Isn't it sad that FREE software offers softproofing but £200 worth of Lightroom doesn't.  quote "New Adobe® Photoshop® Lightroom® software is the professional photographer's essential toolbox, providing one easy application for managing, adjusting, and presenting large volumes of digital photographs so you can spend less time in front of the computer and more time behind the lens."  
It seems some professionals essentials are different!   Wayne
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jmwscot
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2008, 06:42:58 PM »
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I think too many of us are getting hung up on softproofing. If you've got a decent pro printer and professional quality monitor, both properly calibrated, the results should be very close. Your own experience of any minor quirks of reproduction should be sufficient to make any adjustments prior to output. Softproofing is by its very nature only a simulation.

We are using the 3800 with Epson Premium Semigloss and Fuji-Hunt Satin. With regard to what is seen on the monitor, and the colour accuracy and tone reproduction of the prints from the machine, the results are as close as you could wish. When we softproof it's really to see what difference perceptual or relative saturation makes.

I do concede though that there is possibly more of a case for softproofing if printing to matt papers if only because when viewing the image in Lightroom (or Photoshop without 'Proof Set Up' ticked), the shock of a flat, desaturated chalky image as it appears on the print can be very disheartening.

Regards, John
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rdonson
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2008, 12:58:14 PM »
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I think too many of us are getting hung up on softproofing. If you've got a decent pro printer and professional quality monitor, both properly calibrated, the results should be very close. Your own experience of any minor quirks of reproduction should be sufficient to make any adjustments prior to output. Softproofing is by its very nature only a simulation.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196301\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, it simulates the differences in contrast and color gamut and allows you to see which rendering intent is going to work best for your image/printer/paper/ink combination.  Its surprising you don't see this of great value.   The contrast on your monitor is far greater than any printer/paper can produce.  

If you're not too picky about getting things just so in your prints then you're right, just go ahead and print (on glossy and satin).  None of the softproofing tutorials have offered any guidance on how to adjust for matte papers anyway.
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[span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'][span style='font-family:Arial'][span style='font-family:Geneva'][span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%']Regards,
Ron[/span][/span][/span][/span]
Tklimek
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« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2008, 11:34:53 AM »
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Yes, it simulates the differences in contrast and color gamut and allows you to see which rendering intent is going to work best for your image/printer/paper/ink combination.  Its surprising you don't see this of great value.   The contrast on your monitor is far greater than any printer/paper can produce. 

If you're not too picky about getting things just so in your prints then you're right, just go ahead and print (on glossy and satin).  None of the softproofing tutorials have offered any guidance on how to adjust for matte papers anyway.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196408\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Folks; thanks for the advice.  Prior to doing any printing, I just calibrated my display again with my Spyder 2 (2.3.5) system.  I think folks have indicated that this system may not be the best, but it is what I currently have.  I've downloaded (of course) the latest Epson drivers for my 4880 which appears to have included may Epson paper profiles.  I then printed from LR and was not pleased with the result; the image looked "ruddy" to me.  downloaded a demo copy of Qimage (which seems to have a learning curve of it's own), but was able to print out an image much, much closer to my onscreen version.  As I mentioned, when printing from Lightroom, my initial image of some tulips came out quite "ruddy"; even though the onscreen version looked pretty good.  I brought the same image into Qimage and chose the correct printer and paper profile; made some adjustments and printed a second version of the image.  Much much closer to my onscreen representation.  The paper I was using was Epson Photo Luster; is that expected results?  I'll retry my options again using Lightroom and verifying all settings and then compare again in Qimage.  Seems like if you have your printer drivers and paper profiles, Qimage might be a no-brainer for $40 US until Lightroom provides soft-proofing and finished output sharpening (in beta I believe).

Should I have that much of a difference when printing from LR if I have a calibrated display and am choosing the correct printer and paper combo (Epson Luster)?

Thanks for the tip on Qimage!

If I wanted to use Lightroom to actually "print" the image; could I do all of my softproofing work in Qimage and then export to a TIFF and bring back into LR for printing?  Does that even makes sense?

Cheers...

Todd Klimek
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2008, 11:47:41 AM »
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Folks; thanks for the advice.  Prior to doing any printing, I just calibrated my display again with my Spyder 2 (2.3.5) system.  I think folks have indicated that this system may not be the best, but it is what I currently have.  I've downloaded (of course) the latest Epson drivers for my 4880 which appears to have included may Epson paper profiles.  I then printed from LR and was not pleased with the result; the image looked "ruddy" to me.  downloaded a demo copy of Qimage (which seems to have a learning curve of it's own), but was able to print out an image much, much closer to my onscreen version.  As I mentioned, when printing from Lightroom, my initial image of some tulips came out quite "ruddy"; even though the onscreen version looked pretty good.  I brought the same image into Qimage and chose the correct printer and paper profile; made some adjustments and printed a second version of the image.  Much much closer to my onscreen representation.  The paper I was using was Epson Photo Luster; is that expected results?  I'll retry my options again using Lightroom and verifying all settings and then compare again in Qimage.  Seems like if you have your printer drivers and paper profiles, Qimage might be a no-brainer for $40 US until Lightroom provides soft-proofing and finished output sharpening (in beta I believe).

Should I have that much of a difference when printing from LR if I have a calibrated display and am choosing the correct printer and paper combo (Epson Luster)?

Thanks for the tip on Qimage!

If I wanted to use Lightroom to actually "print" the image; could I do all of my softproofing work in Qimage and then export to a TIFF and bring back into LR for printing?  Does that even makes sense?

Cheers...

Todd Klimek
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196588\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I use a Mac but my prints LR>3800 with Luster are usually very close to what I expect from my calibrated monitor.  I am no expert, but it is difficult to compare prints to monitor due to the difference between transmitted vs reflected light.
Occasionally I will get weird results..will soft proof in CS3 and still get weird results...it doesn't happen often enough for me to try and figure out the problem.

Steve
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rdonson
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« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2008, 06:05:14 PM »
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If I wanted to use Lightroom to actually "print" the image; could I do all of my softproofing work in Qimage and then export to a TIFF and bring back into LR for printing?  Does that even makes sense?

Cheers...

Todd Klimek
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196588\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

If you're going to try a workflow like you describe you might as well use Photoshop for your softproofing and keep as much of the basic workflow in LR.  With LR 2 the roundtripping to CS3 gets more natural and you don't have a step to create an intermediate file (I think).  

I do believe though that if you're uprezzing that Qimage produces better results with far less effort than Photoshop.  That's not exactly a scientific statement though.
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Denis de Gannes
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« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2008, 06:52:03 PM »
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If you're going to try a workflow like you describe you might as well use Photoshop for your softproofing and keep as much of the basic workflow in LR.  With LR 2 the roundtripping to CS3 gets more natural and you don't have a step to create an intermediate file (I think). 

I do believe though that if you're uprezzing that Qimage produces better results with far less effort than Photoshop.  That's not exactly a scientific statement though.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196668\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I use Lightroom for my raw processing, Photoshop for other editing and Qimage for my printing. I use the tools that provide the best results for each function and for me neither PS or LR match the results I achieve printing with Qimage.
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« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2008, 03:50:26 PM »
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I think too many of us are getting hung up on softproofing. If you've got a decent pro printer and professional quality monitor, both properly calibrated, the results should be very close. Your own experience of any minor quirks of reproduction should be sufficient to make any adjustments prior to output. Softproofing is by its very nature only a simulation.

We are using the 3800 with Epson Premium Semigloss and Fuji-Hunt Satin. With regard to what is seen on the monitor, and the colour accuracy and tone reproduction of the prints from the machine, the results are as close as you could wish. When we softproof it's really to see what difference perceptual or relative saturation makes.

I do concede though that there is possibly more of a case for softproofing if printing to matt papers if only because when viewing the image in Lightroom (or Photoshop without 'Proof Set Up' ticked), the shock of a flat, desaturated chalky image as it appears on the print can be very disheartening.

Regards, John
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196301\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

John,
I agree that once you know what you want and what the translation is from screen to print (along with good profiles and CM workflows, SP is not such a helpful tool.  While I admit to using it to view rendering options, I rarely work from a copy and make destructive adjustment layers to fix what I see can be better.  I take that view, understand what I need to do in the develop module and apply the rendering I decided was best.  
I find there are 3 big problems.
1] I've been told in a forum that if one uses color management properly, that the print and screen should look identical.  (my attempts to correct this notion provided only ugly denials)  I trust this forum's participants understand the differences between a transmissive screen image and a reflected print.
2] Almost everyone on this forum seems to know how to calibrate a monitor, but there is a huge difference between a calibrated monitor and one that you can correctly balance a print, especially LCDs.  I still have my old expensive large CRT, but added a 20" widescreen LCD about a year age.  I love the qualities of the LCD for almost everything.  I only turn my CRT on now when I'm correcting imagery.  It is many times better for print matching--the LCD doesn't come close or really work at all.  The Macs at school have 20" Cinema displays (inherited) and they are better, good enough to teach color correction in PS (via ACR) about 75 students a year, but I had to make them noticeably darker than did the calibrator (I know that's a no no) to get them close.  When a print isn't right yet correctly made, I have more difficulty than at home (CRT) to correct things.  The big problem is that you can calibrate a cheap or midrange LCD and it still sucks or you can use a calibrated Eizo CG display and get an excellent translation.  I have been looking at Eizo CG, & CE monitors, and LaCie and the new NEC top of the line like the one the gray guys (Michael & Jeff) use on the new ACR tutorial.  I think those are the only current LCD displays that are anywhere as good for color correction as the best CRTs
3] Soft proofing, in my opinion, is not for beginners even though they may need it the most.  I really think you need to have a lot of color sensitivity with your vision as well as how to change what you see.  My idea is to try to teach the basic conversion differences and printer needs and let the expense of bad prints do the teaching.  It is not that difficult and is very similar to the problems I had making photographic prints from transparencies (via internegs) for picky photographers.  They would look at their 35mm Kodachrome with a 4x Schneider glass loupe and tell me my 20x24 print didn't look like the chrome!  The problem was worse then since the control without making separations was very limited.  At least with digital prints, we can change the HSL of eight colors and individually correct the density and contrast all along the curve.
Neil
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