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Author Topic: What Happened to Soft Proofing?  (Read 13083 times)
ozphoto
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« on: August 17, 2010, 09:32:32 AM »
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Just curious to how people are still doing soft proofing? I wonder if people using LR3 still go into PS to soft proof or are folks just not doing the soft proofing, we've all waited for eons for this to be included as it was one of the most wanted features.

Conspiracy theorists say it won't be as Adobe wants PS included in the LR workflow?

All I know its a dissappointment for sure!!!! I have heard Adobe wants to do it right and lots of folks have given their thoughts into how it might work but I am still very concerned.

I am not a programmer so I don't know how easy or hard it might be to code this feature?

Anyway until Adobe decides it will or will not include soft proofing is there a way to at least automate the steps from LR3 to PS to bring up the 2 windows showing the before and after profile applied. I currently do everything manually tiling the windows horizontally etc etc.

Cheers


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john beardsworth
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2010, 12:33:50 PM »
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It's one of the most wanted features for those who want it - but it's not on the radar for many others. After all, lots of photographers would pay lip service to soft proofing's value, but just don't bother with it in their daily work. That, plus the amount of coding to make a good UI that would encourage everyone to use it, probably explains why it's not made the feature set.

As for automation, you could probably write a script to do the tiling, then put the script into a droplet. Then in LR you'd set up the droplet as an external editor, select the image and Edit With the droplet.

John
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Photo Op
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2010, 05:33:29 PM »
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Here's my take on the situation. It's my understanding that Jeff Schewe still uses/advocates soft proofing by using the LR to PS workflow. If I'm wrong, I'm sure he will respond. Smiley If I'm right, than I think there is hope that LR may contain soft proofing, someday. He does mention it in passing in one of the new LR3 LuLa tutorials (I forget which one). As for me, I somewhat ascribe (80-20) to the conspiracy theory that keeping it out of LR does benefit Adobe financially by having "some" folks decide to keep upgrading to PSx. 20% of me wants to think that it's really hard to put SP into LR, but you would think that a package developed primarily for photographers would have had IT by now (6 years after the development began)! Yes, I know it's a small team. And yes there were 'other' priorities, but geez Louise it must be moving up the list.

 
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2010, 06:48:01 PM »
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It's one of the most wanted features for those who want it - but it's not on the radar for many others. After all, lots of photographers would pay lip service to soft proofing's value, but just don't bother with it in their daily work. That, plus the amount of coding to make a good UI that would encourage everyone to use it, probably explains why it's not made the feature set.

I think you're right on the money with this: just like MLU button soft proofing is a feature "needed" by a tiny but very loud minority. I've dabbled with PS softproofing and it's a poor substitute for printing proofs. YMMV.

While I'm sure LR cannibalizing PS sales is keeping Adobe execs awake at night, I would imagine soft proofing is (again) a minor feature of PS, and probably not a significant help in driving PS sales alone.

Now where's my damn MLU button?
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Schewe
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2010, 07:37:15 PM »
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As for me, I somewhat ascribe (80-20) to the conspiracy theory that keeping it out of LR does benefit Adobe financially by having "some" folks decide to keep upgrading to PSx. 20% of me wants to think that it's really hard to put SP into LR...

Then the 20% is the more intelligent part of you. Soft proofing just simply didn't get done for LR 3. A lot of things that were on the spec for 3 didn't get done. It's called 'feature triage', some stuff can't get engineered in enough time to include it in the final release. Course, I can't really tell you all the stuff they WANTED to put in to 3 that got cut...but soft roofing was the most personally painful one for me.

Seriously, you all need to move on from the 'ain't gonna put it in Lightroom to save the market for Photoshop' theory. Photographers are less than 10% of the Photoshop/Creative Suite marketplace. You all simply aren't all that important that the execs would be sitting around factoring in cannibalization of Photoshop sales by Lightroom. Better Lightroom than an application not made by Adobe, ya know? If Photoshop were so insecure in their dominance–you do know what the Photoshop market share is, right–the BIGGEST competitor to Photoshop CS5 is CS4 and CS3, not Lightroom. Lightroom is a pimple on Photoshop's butt compared to the difficulty convincing earlier Photoshop users to upgrade.

Lightroom is the Adobe 'Un-Photoshop'. The original founding engineer, Mark Hamburg was the #2 engineer on Photoshop and wanted to do his own application to come up with an imaging application that wasn't Photoshop. That ended up being Lightroom and yes, it almost didn't happen except Apple releasing Aperture breathed life into Adobe's decision to develop and release Lightroom. Once Adobe circled the wagons and released Lightroom the die was cast. Lightroom had a life of its own largely independent of Photoshop–but joined at the hips with Camera Raw.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2010, 08:01:41 PM »
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You all simply aren't all that important .....

You mean we, right Jeff?  Wink
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Schewe
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2010, 08:22:01 PM »
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I mean 'photographers', yes...I don't necessarily mean me. I kinda have an 'in' than makes what I think maybe just a bit more important than most photographers (and yes, I strongly wanted soft proofing in LR 3 and didn't get it).

Even though Photo is in Photoshop's name, photographers have never been the most important market segment for Photoshop. Over the years, 'we photographers' (and I count myself in this group) have had great influence on the DEVELOPMENT of Photoshop but the bean counters (the suits) have never been much impressed with our market because it's so relatively small in the overall importance of Photoshop and the entire Creative Suite.
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2010, 08:50:51 PM »
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If Photoshop were so insecure in their dominance–you do know what the Photoshop market share is, right–the BIGGEST competitor to Photoshop CS5 is CS4 and CS3, not Lightroom. Lightroom is a pimple on Photoshop's butt compared to the difficulty convincing earlier Photoshop users to upgrade.

I think Jeff's right on target.  I have CS4 and the number of times I move from LR to PS to do something is really quite small.  I find that I really don't need to soft proof glossy papers as I've not seen much difference in the soft proof versus the final print.  Matte papers are a different story and soft proofing is quite useful there.  There are times where I need to do some editing to get some junk out of an image and the PS tools are great for that.  I don't see any need to move on up to CS5 as the features don't add anything to what I need.  I do have a number of friends who are graphic artists and they do things with PS that I find quite amazing.  It's likely that Adobe's principal focus is on them in regards to PS capabilities.
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Schewe
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2010, 09:30:23 PM »
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I do have a number of friends who are graphic artists and they do things with PS that I find quite amazing.  It's likely that Adobe's principal focus is on them in regards to PS capabilities.

Correct...Photoshop has always had "graphic artists" (which is a big and very loose term) be it's major market share. Photoshop added to its overall market by adding the Extended version for video, 3D and industrial/scientific markets. They also added Fireworks for the web side (although most web devs use Photoshop a ton as well).

Adobe literally owns the pro market space between Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. What small impact Lightroom might have in Photoshop sales and upgrades Adobe still grabs by having Lightroom be its own product devoted to photographers. But development of Lightroom does not really have much impact on Photoshop itself (other than to push the Photoshop engineers towards doing things in a more Lightroom sort of way-consider the non-modal Adjustment panels in CS4 as an example).

What does and doesn't end up in Lightroom is really defined by what the Lightroom engineering team can and can't do in a given development period.

Personally, I keep Lightroom and Camera Raw (Bridge and Photoshop) in lock-step so I can use the tool I need to use when I need to use it. As much as I use Lightroom (a lot) I also use Camera Raw, Bridge and Photoshop. Which tool I use is more dictated by which tool set I need and when. I do still prefer to print out of Lightroom due to all the advanced stuff in the Lightroom Print module, but any serious prints will always go through Photoshop for soft proofing and real retouching-which I still find myself needing even if the majority of image correction is done in Lightroom/ACR.
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Photo Op
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2010, 10:36:14 PM »
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...but any serious prints will always go through Photoshop for soft proofing....

Good enough for you, good enough for me! Wink
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David
ozphoto
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« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2010, 10:37:03 AM »
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Good discussions, until Adobe decides on this issue is there a way to automate softproofing from LR to PS to LR, there were some pointers a few replies ago about using a script and droplet method, but not being a PS guru I would find this very time consuming for me and I may not get it working right.

Suggestion: Perhaps Adobe or a PS guru could post a tool, script, or whatever that people could download and install to make soft proofing easier for photographers in the round trip from LR>PS>LR ??
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feppe
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« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2010, 11:10:00 AM »
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Seriously, you all need to move on from the 'ain't gonna put it in Lightroom to save the market for Photoshop' theory. Photographers are less than 10% of the Photoshop/Creative Suite marketplace. You all simply aren't all that important that the execs would be sitting around factoring in cannibalization of Photoshop sales by Lightroom. Better Lightroom than an application not made by Adobe, ya know? If Photoshop were so insecure in their dominance–you do know what the Photoshop market share is, right–the BIGGEST competitor to Photoshop CS5 is CS4 and CS3, not Lightroom. Lightroom is a pimple on Photoshop's butt compared to the difficulty convincing earlier Photoshop users to upgrade.

Lightroom is the Adobe 'Un-Photoshop'. The original founding engineer, Mark Hamburg was the #2 engineer on Photoshop and wanted to do his own application to come up with an imaging application that wasn't Photoshop. That ended up being Lightroom and yes, it almost didn't happen except Apple releasing Aperture breathed life into Adobe's decision to develop and release Lightroom. Once Adobe circled the wagons and released Lightroom the die was cast. Lightroom had a life of its own largely independent of Photoshop–but joined at the hips with Camera Raw.

Thanks for the good insight! 10% is indeed a small portion of PS users, so even if there's some cannibalization it probably won't keep anyone up at night Smiley
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ozphoto
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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2010, 10:34:20 AM »
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I have searched for some automation tips on the trip from LR to PS for soft proofing back to LR to no avail. Perhaps LuLa can address this somehow that would make it somewhat easier to soft proof???

Also I found this blog from Scott Kelby on what he would like in LR 4, soft proofing of course! , honestly it needed to be in LR 2 and it better be in some revision of LR 3 or I think it might be time to abandon LR.

http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2010/archives/11824
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2010, 10:56:47 AM »
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However, this is how he phrased it...

Quote
I’m not a soft proofing guy on any level, but I hear from many photographers out there who would put this at the top of their wish list, so it would have to be included in the list of the biggies, even if it’s a feature I personally will never use.
.

Have you tried Configurator? If you don't know how to script or create a droplet, it may allow you to figure things out. It's very easy to use - you just drag menu commands (such as duplicate image, arrange horizontally) onto a palette, export the panel, and restart PS. It's then available as a PS palette.

John
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peterurban
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« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2010, 11:27:00 PM »
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What does and doesn't end up in Lightroom is really defined by what the Lightroom engineering team can and can't do in a given development period.


It is a pity that SP didn't make it into LR this time around. I believe that for a lot of people the lack of SP is often the only reason for the round trip to Photoshop and back before printing - I often can do without the highly advanced editing features in PS but I can't do without seeing what I'll get before printing. It's a regular annoyance and I could have done without *any* new features bar soft proofing for the new release.

Obviously the dev team's priorities where somewhere else which probably means my needs are not that representative after all ;-)
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« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2010, 10:11:47 PM »
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It is a pity that SP didn't make it into LR this time around. I believe that for a lot of people the lack of SP is often the only reason for the round trip to Photoshop and back before printing - I often can do without the highly advanced editing features in PS but I can't do without seeing what I'll get before printing. It's a regular annoyance and I could have done without *any* new features bar soft proofing for the new release.

Obviously the dev team's priorities where somewhere else which probably means my needs are not that representative after all ;-)

Peter, all kinds of things are priorities, because many people are always asking for many different features and options. The development team needs to evaluate what deserves to be worked-on, assign tasks to sub-groups and different tasks will take different periods of time to be developed (both the math and the GUI), quality-controlled and tested. It could well be that soft-proofing got assigned at the same time as a lot of other stuff which ended-up in V3, but as Jeff said, simply couldn't be finished within the available time period given the resources they had. Inevitably, all such processes are resource-constrained so inevitably there will be trade-offs, and unless we have a complete picture of what they were faced with, it would be hard to conclude that their priorities are somewhere else. They know SP is important to many of us. And I do agree with you on the workflow point - lack of SP is a key reason I still go into Photoshop - but there are others too, so there you go!
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« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2010, 09:31:06 AM »
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Just curious to how people are still doing soft proofing? I wonder if people using LR3 still go into PS to soft proof or are folks just not doing the soft proofing, we've all waited for eons for this to be included as it was one of the most wanted features.

Conspiracy theorists say it won't be as Adobe wants PS included in the LR workflow?

All I know its a dissappointment for sure!!!! I have heard Adobe wants to do it right and lots of folks have given their thoughts into how it might work but I am still very concerned.

I am not a programmer so I don't know how easy or hard it might be to code this feature?

Anyway until Adobe decides it will or will not include soft proofing is there a way to at least automate the steps from LR3 to PS to bring up the 2 windows showing the before and after profile applied. I currently do everything manually tiling the windows horizontally etc etc.

Cheers




It seems the modular design of LR is ideal for the inevitable addition of soft proofing. However, will it be configured primarily with Epson printers in mind? I'm not clear on this myself, but on the surface, it looks to me PS, LR, and Epson are somewhat intertwined. I assume this is because those photographers with the greatest influence on Adobe's design team use Epson printers.

I'm not trying to be a conspiracy theorist on this observation, but being a Canon user with Canon's iPF printer plugin, even if LR comes up with a soft-proofing module, will it be compatible with Canon's print plugin? This is only one angle on the complexity  behind the scenes when considering the question of a LR soft-proofing module. Without having the capacity to integrate Canon's printer plugin, a soft proofing module in LR would be of no benefit for those of us who print from the iPF Canon plugin; we would still need to open PS to get the job done.

On the question of using soft proofing in the first place, I only use it for determining rendering intent. I do not find soft proofing to be helpful otherwise, but I do print primarily on glossy and semi-glossy paper. I found Goldhammer's take on matte paper of interest. As goes rendering intent, the choice for glossy and semi-glossy paper will be Relative 95% of the time, but with matte paper, I understand it to be closer to 50/50.

I appreciate the likes of Jeff Schewe who find soft proofing to be of greater value and I mean no criticism when expressing my preference, but I'd wager many of us share Goldhammer's opinion on the overall futility of soft proofing.

A bit off the subject, but my primary frustration with LR/PS workflow is not about soft proofing, it is the fact most plugins for CS5 remain 32 bit (including Canon's iPF printer plugin... so currently, I go from LR3, then to CS5, and FINALLY to CS4!). From my perspective, it is not about how far LR3 should or could have gone on this question of soft proofing, it is the reality that many software developers have yet to fully catch up with LR3/CS5 and 64 bit technology.
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« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2010, 10:39:36 AM »
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I'm not trying to be a conspiracy theorist on this observation, but being a Canon user with Canon's iPF printer plugin, even if LR comes up with a soft-proofing module, will it be compatible with Canon's print plugin? This is only one angle on the complexity  behind the scenes when considering the question of a LR soft-proofing module. Without having the capacity to integrate Canon's printer plugin, a soft proofing module in LR would be of no benefit for those of us who print from the iPF Canon plugin; we would still need to open PS to get the job done.

If you are referring to Canon's Photoshop plug-in for printing to Canon printers, then you'll need to look to Canon to develop software that will work in Lightroom, not the other way around...Lightroom is designed to use the OS level print pipeline, not some proprietary plug-in technology. Canon isn't known for making great software...but they do develop OS level printer support. That would be the support you could expect Lightroom to allow soft proofing for when it happens.

I also wouldn't read too much into Adobe and Epson's relationship. Adobe has a healthy relationship with the three main print manufacturers. Adobe, Apple, MSFT, Epson, Canon and HP all work together on a project aimed at providing a best print experience. Ironically, the one entity that does the worst in providing a stable print pipeline is Apple. Where ColorSync used to be thought of as a plus, it now seems to cause far more problems than it solves.

In my experience, people who don't know HOW to use soft proofing tend to discount it's usefulness. Soft proofing in Photoshop works very well if (and only if) you have a well profiled display, a well profiled printer and the knowledge of how to use the soft proofing setup to predict not only the final color but also dynamic range of the print.

To the extent that soft proofing can predict color, today's printers can often print colors outside of the gamut of a display (the Epson 79/9900 printers can easily print colors outside of Adobe RGB let alone sRGB). So, determining the rendering intent and then predicting the impact of the dynamic range of the final print is where soft proofing becomes useful. Actually seeing the full gamut of the print isn't as successful because of the limited gamut of the displays particularly if your working space is Pro Photo RGB...but if you wish to extract the optimal results from your images when printed to paper, you really only have two choices; trial and error and constant fiddling to get a final print or soft proof to reduce the numbers of shots you take at getting the optimal print. Even with soft proofing there still needs to be real proofs made to confirm the prediction of the soft proof and finesse the final print appearance for the substrate and ink. Soft proofing just cuts the workload at arriving at an optimal result.
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ozphoto
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« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2010, 11:36:14 AM »
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Until LR gets soft proofing if ever, what we (I) need is a step by step instruction (video) more than what LR2 LuLa provided with tips and tricks to automate some functions from LR to PS to LR would certainly help a lot of us.
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« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2010, 11:40:20 AM »
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For critical work, I always go into Photoshop, not just for the soft proofing but also for the additional image control it provides over LR. In LR, my "soft proofing" occurs in my head. My experience is that getting the print to match the screen image (assuming your color calibration is set up properly) almost always involves 2 things: a little more contrast and a little more brightness. The resulting print may not be a 100% precise match, but it's almost always close enough as to not make any meaningful difference.
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Peter
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