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Author Topic: Soft Proofing  (Read 6632 times)
ThePhotoDude
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« on: July 18, 2008, 02:59:14 PM »
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OK, OK, I know about soft proofing, a little.

But I still don't understand, really why we need it?

For example, I have a Z3100, build in Spectro, and use APS to profile.
Isn't the whole idea of this setup to eliminate the need for softproofing? Doesn't all of this equipment and software mean, I can click 'print' in Photoshop, and I get an exact color consistant print, matching what I see on my calibrated monitor?
Why not?
I still need to soft proof, punch up the blacks a little, perhaps bump the saturation.

Can somebody please explain, what am I missing?

thanks.
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Schewe
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2008, 03:05:05 PM »
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Can somebody please explain, what am I missing?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209225\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


You are missing the fact that profile have no intelligence. Only humans do (supposedly) so it's up to YOU to determine what to do to an image to get EXACTLY what you want on a print, given a printer/paper/ink combination. The profile will always to the same thing (depending on the rendering intent) and it may be "ok" for some images while less that optimal for others.

The fact that you ARE soft proofing and finding a use for it answers your own question. Color management is only trying to match appearance across devices but we all know that's only a 90-95% accurate sort of thing. If you want the control to take it all the way there, then you soft proof and adjust the image for optimal output. If you don't care about optimal, then don't bother...
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2008, 03:38:10 PM »
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Every device "sees things" differently. A profile characterizes the behaviour of each device being profiled, so that the device will output the colour and tonal values of the image file as correctly as it can. Because no two devices behave exactly the same, no two profiles are likely to be identical and especially when comparing a display and a printer, definitely not identical. For starters, the colour gamut and saturation of the display differs substantially from that of most any printer (not only because light is transmitted to the display, while light is reflected off a print). Soft proofing is just a way of trying to get your display to show you how your printer will translate the file data into a print - using the printer profile and (if you select it) the tone of paper white for the paper you will be printing with; it simulates on the display what the print will look like (just about). Therefore if you make your final colour and tonal adjustments with the softproof active, there is a higher probability of a better match between the soft-proofed image you see on the display and the printed result.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Tklimek
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2008, 11:44:28 AM »
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And I'm so new to this I may not even really know what I'm talking about.  But....I thought the whole concept of "soft-proofing" was to let you see what effect the paper has on the print.  If your monitor and your printer are "perfectly" profiled and in-synch, your computer will send the absolutely perfect instructions to the printer for the printer to produce the colors it needs to.......if the ink weren't going on "anything".  So depending on what paper you slide in there, the "perfect" output from your "perfectly" calibrated monitor and printer can produce different results.

Folks...do I have this right?

Cheers....

Todd
« Last Edit: July 19, 2008, 11:45:17 AM by Tklimek » Logged
rdonson
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2008, 12:47:34 PM »
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Isn't the whole idea of this setup to eliminate the need for softproofing? Doesn't all of this equipment and software mean, I can click 'print' in Photoshop, and I get an exact color consistant print, matching what I see on my calibrated monitor?
Why not?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209225\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

So.... you think your image printed on high gloss RC paper will look just the same printed on cotton rag matte?

Without soft-proofing how do you account for the tone of the paper or the fact that the contrast ratio on your monitor is five times greater than your paper?

As Jeff says, if this last step towards perfection isn't important then don't softproof.
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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,
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2008, 01:09:57 PM »
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Hi,

Some prints are easy, some are not. Softproofing will show you what the print will look like on paper.

Some pictures reproduce easy, because they don't have extreme contrast. There is no way to reproduce the dynamic range of digital capture on print, however. Something needs to be compressed to fit the dynamic range of the capture in the dynamic range of the paper.

Keep in mid that profiles are just math. Some rendering intents, like perceptual. may even be vendor specific.

Another issue is illumination. A print will be very different if it is illuminated by a spotlight or if you look at it at some low level illumination.

Best regards
Erik
Quote
OK, OK, I know about soft proofing, a little.

But I still don't understand, really why we need it?

For example, I have a Z3100, build in Spectro, and use APS to profile.
Isn't the whole idea of this setup to eliminate the need for softproofing? Doesn't all of this equipment and software mean, I can click 'print' in Photoshop, and I get an exact color consistant print, matching what I see on my calibrated monitor?
Why not?
I still need to soft proof, punch up the blacks a little, perhaps bump the saturation.

Can somebody please explain, what am I missing?

thanks.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209225\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2008, 04:23:15 PM »
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And I'm so new to this I may not even really know what I'm talking about.  But....I thought the whole concept of "soft-proofing" was to let you see what effect the paper has on the print.  If your monitor and your printer are "perfectly" profiled and in-synch, your computer will send the absolutely perfect instructions to the printer for the printer to produce the colors it needs to.......if the ink weren't going on "anything".  So depending on what paper you slide in there, the "perfect" output from your "perfectly" calibrated monitor and printer can produce different results.

Folks...do I have this right?

Cheers....

Todd
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209384\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Partly right. Other things besides the paper white affect the print, most importantly the colour gamut of the printer, which differs from that of the monitor and the colour working space embedded in the file. And there is no perfection in this process. It can be very, very good, but is not perfect.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Panopeeper
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2008, 05:01:18 PM »
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I still need to soft proof, punch up the blacks a little, perhaps bump the saturation.

Can somebody please explain, what am I missing?

First of all, everything posted before this one is correct (IMHO). I am the least one here qualified to talk about printing, and I certainly don't want to contradict the others, but to formulate it a bit differently, from my semi-laymannish perspective.

The conversion is not so straightforward as one might think; it is accompanied with losses. Not all colors can be transformed between devices and color spaces; you have to decide, if you accept the losses or want to go back and change the image data before trying another transformation.
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Gabor
Tklimek
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2008, 11:52:52 AM »
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Ah....yes.

MarkDS and Panopeeper are right.  That was the critical part I was missing in my post; there must be a conversion that will be made and softproofing basically lets you control where *you* want the losses.  I think.... LOL.

Cheers....

Todd

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First of all, everything posted before this one is correct (IMHO). I am the least one here qualified to talk about printing, and I certainly don't want to contradict the others, but to formulate it a bit differently, from my semi-laymannish perspective.

The conversion is not so straightforward as one might think; it is accompanied with losses. Not all colors can be transformed between devices and color spaces; you have to decide, if you accept the losses or want to go back and change the image data before trying another transformation.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209431\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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ThePhotoDude
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2008, 11:21:41 AM »
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So depending on what paper you slide in there, the "perfect" output from your "perfectly" calibrated monitor and printer can produce different results.


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209384\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, but I have calibrated and profiled my paper also.

So why am I printing huge test charts and getting my onboard spectro on my Z3100? Doesn't that print colors on a specific paper, then scan them in to see what the 'red' or 'blue' or whatever looks like as a print on that paper, then adjust the printer so it knows how to recreate exact colors? and tones?

Sorry if this is so obvious to most, but I bought this fancy printer thinking it would replicate what is on my screen, because of the onboard spectro. So what exactly have I paid for??
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Schewe
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2008, 11:56:08 AM »
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Sorry if this is so obvious to most, but I bought this fancy printer thinking it would replicate what is on my screen, because of the onboard spectro. So what exactly have I paid for??
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209921\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


You've paid for a decent color management solution...but no color management solution can make and image on a 500/1 contrast range on a computer display match a print with maybe 200/1 contrast range on a print. It ain't the color so much that soft proofing help show but the contrast range of the image as it will appear on print.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2008, 12:40:48 PM »
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You've paid for a decent color management solution...but no color management solution can make and image on a 500/1 contrast range on a computer display match a print with maybe 200/1 contrast range on a print. It ain't the color so much that soft proofing help show but the contrast range of the image as it will appear on print.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209929\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Exactly, but too add - because I think perhaps PhotoDude may not understand the underlying principle - as I mentioned before, each device, be it the monitor or the printer, reproduce colours differently. The appartus in the Z3100 creates a profile describing how that machine will lay down ink on a specific kind of paper for each of those colour (and greyscale) test patches. Your monitor profile is doing likewise. Both of these profiles are needed because without that information for each device, the colour management system will not know how to reproduce the colour numbers in your image accurately on either the display or from the printer. For example, your file, amongst all the millions of other colours, has a colour value of say L=70, a=30; b=60 (kind of bright orange but in gamut) you want THAT hue to show on the display, and you want THAT hue to emerge from the printer. You need both the printer profile and the display profile to insure this consistent reproduction. Now let us say that I increase L to 80. The orange will appear brighter on my display, as it should. The problem is, this particular shade of orange is out of gamut for say an Epson 4800 using Enhanced Matte paper. I only realize what that means to the printed result (before printing) when I activate the softproof with that printer/paper profile, showing me on the display how that colour print - and because it is out of gamut, I will immediately see that I should expect a duller version of this colour to emerge from the printer relative to what I see on the display. So to make a long story short: the softproof is a complementary procedure that becomes useful once you have a correct profile for both the monitor and the printer. None of these things are substitutes for each-other. They are components of a chain designed to give you a high degree of predictability over outcomes before you waste paper and ink.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
TylerB
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2008, 03:46:45 PM »
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...
Sorry if this is so obvious to most, but I bought this fancy printer thinking it would replicate what is on my screen...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=209921\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

to be harshly honest, it's that expectation that is the problem, not the performance of a color managed system. The other posts here have addressed what the system will do for you, but color management has too often been over sold as something that will do what you describe.
It does what it does well, but it does not do that.
The one time I got to meet Bruce Fraser and hear him speak, he wisely started his presentation with a blatant revision of our expectations- LOWER!

Tyler
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