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Author Topic: 8bit and 16bit Printer Profiles  (Read 3447 times)
phero66
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« on: April 27, 2010, 05:01:21 PM »
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I'm preparing some Isis targets, the Colorport 1728 & Bill Atkinsons 1728 and noticed that Colorport saves its targets as 8bit files and Mr. Atkinsons are 16bit.  I read through his FAQ and saw that he prefers 16bit printing since more drivers will support this in the future.  The funny thing is I have had others make me profiles in the past using 8bit printed targets and claiming the profiles made were 16bit.  Right now though I don't know if the profiles I currently use are 8 or 16bit, they are the Lexjet profiles for the epson 9880 series (I have emailed them so I should know soon), this has left me with a couple of questions, but first this is my intended workflow:

I do all editing in 16bit, AdobeRGB, and then flatten & convert to 8bit before resizing for final output (which are often quite large and sometimes difficult to either resize or edit in 16bit once enlarged).  Currently my interest is to not print in 16bit, but I was told that a 16bit profile was the way to go (by Booksmartmedia) and that printing an 8bit file through a 16bit ICC profile posed no problem.

Questions:
1. To make a 16bit profile do you have to print a 16bit target?  If so, can an 8bit colorport target be converted to 16bit without impacting the target in any negative way?
2. To compare the Atkinsons target with the Colorport can I down convert the Atkinson 16bit target to 8bit?  I noticed that when I open the Atkinson target in Colorport I can reformat the target to other sizes and once saved it becomes 8bit... so this leads me to think, at least if the conversion happens in Colorport, that it is ok to do so.
3. Can 8bit images be printed through 16bit profiles with no negative impact?

Thanks,

-John
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digitaldog
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2010, 06:02:43 PM »
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Quote from: phero66
Questions:
1. To make a 16bit profile do you have to print a 16bit target?  If so, can an 8bit colorport target be converted to 16bit without impacting the target in any negative way?
2. To compare the Atkinsons target with the Colorport can I down convert the Atkinson 16bit target to 8bit?  I noticed that when I open the Atkinson target in Colorport I can reformat the target to other sizes and once saved it becomes 8bit... so this leads me to think, at least if the conversion happens in Colorport, that it is ok to do so.
3. Can 8bit images be printed through 16bit profiles with no negative impact?

1. Makes no difference. The target can be 8-bit and the resulting profile can be used for 16-bit printing and vise versa.
2. If you want to convert, by all means do so.
3. Yes.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2010, 06:03:46 PM »
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Note that there is a “bit depth” option (table size) in some products that make profiles. This has zero to do with the bit depth of the target or how its printed.
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Andrew Rodney
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pherold
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2010, 01:15:20 PM »
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Just about every profile-making software these days makes "16-bit" profiles.  It has to do with the depth of the look up tables inside the profile, and really has nothing to do with what color resolution the profiling targets were printed at.

We had a thread on this recently at ColorForums:
http://www.colorforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=1111
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BobFisher
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2010, 01:49:00 PM »
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Is 16 bit printing even relevant yet in Windows?  I've read some about the newer XPS drivers which apparently support 16 bit colour depth printing but haven't found any good information yet on integration of the driver from the manufacturer and apps like PS or LR.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2010, 03:44:10 PM »
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Quote from: BobFisher
Is 16 bit printing even relevant yet in Windows?  I've read some about the newer XPS drivers which apparently support 16 bit colour depth printing but haven't found any good information yet on integration of the driver from the manufacturer and apps like PS or LR.
XPS print path has been around for a while (it was introduced with Vista, and even back-ported to XP). But nobody seems to be supporting it, probably because it's a completely new interface from the GDI that developers have been using for years and years.

Other than that, Canon has 16-bit printing plugins for their printers, available for use in Photoshop (but not Lightroom or other applications).

I agree there's no need for profiling test targets to be 16-bit color, even when creating 16-bit profiles for use with a 16-bit printing path.
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phero66
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2010, 03:46:13 PM »
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Quote from: pherold
Just about every profile-making software these days makes "16-bit" profiles.  It has to do with the depth of the look up tables inside the profile, and really has nothing to do with what color resolution the profiling targets were printed at.

We had a thread on this recently at ColorForums:
http://www.colorforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=1111

Thank you for the link.

Where can I find the LUT table info to determine if a given profile is a mft2 (16bit) or mft1 (8bit)?  I tried opening up some profiles that were allegedly made in PM5.  Looking at a profile in Editor it does not list the tag info under Profile Info.  I then tried to load the profile into Profile Maker and it gives an error, "IgoProfileTagNotFound" (Error 5005).

Thanks,

-John
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pherold
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2010, 05:15:41 PM »
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I don't believe those programs will access all the tags so you can see them.  If you have access to a Mac, the built-in Colorsync utility will allow you to see these tags.  Other programs like ColorThink will too.  If you're really desperate, you could open up a profile file into a text editor and just search ("find") for the word "mft2".
In most cases you would find 7 instances of it in a ProfileMaker profile.
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phero66
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2010, 05:50:35 PM »
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Quote from: pherold
I don't believe those programs will access all the tags so you can see them.  If you have access to a Mac, the built-in Colorsync utility will allow you to see these tags.  Other programs like ColorThink will too.  If you're really desperate, you could open up a profile file into a text editor and just search ("find") for the word "mft2".
In most cases you would find 7 instances of it in a ProfileMaker profile.

Awsome, thanks!  I have a macbook so I looked it up in colorsync, don't know why I didn't think to try that.  It shows as having a mft2 tag, 6 of them and one mft1 tag, which looks crazy in a 3d mapping (like the center section is totally missing).  

-John
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neil snape
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2010, 12:38:35 AM »
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The 16 bit profiles are built around grid points with more precision . This can better the output through the transformations but is not at all the same thing as 16 bit document data, going through a print driver.

The error in PM is when the original target layout and or tags was different than trying to be displayed, or at least that was what used to show up for me. As PAt said something to do with the tags.

At run time when calculating an 8 bit profile it will be faster than 16 bit but these days it's not a concern.
Whether or not ICC V4 or 2.1 is though thanks to Apple throwing colored monkey wrenches at it's user base.
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