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Author Topic: What Happened to Soft Proofing?  (Read 13084 times)
ozphoto
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« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2010, 11:47:37 AM »
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yes of course the 2 monitors I have are set up with data colors studio calibration and match functions.
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2010, 12:47:12 PM »
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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.

Thank you, Jeff, for the well thought out reply. You provided me a more complete perspective in the scheme of things as goes software development and third-party plugins.

I do have a well profiled display and printer, no doubt it is an issue of user skill. That said, I am very happy with what I get when printing and I'd say it is well within 95% or better of what I see on the display. It is predictable, and that seems the key... predicability. Along the lines of predictability, I am in agreement with PeterAit:


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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.

I, too, almost subconsciously add extra contrast and brightness, and the final print appearance is otherwise primarily limited by the inevitable differences between display and printer gamuts, these differences being of minor if any significance, IMO.

Edit: I should add, this inevitable difference between printer/display gamuts is minimized in its effect by choosing the correct rendering intent. I use soft proofing for rendering intent determination inside the Photoshop-Canon Print Plugin, my last step prior to clicking the print command.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2010, 02:06:25 PM by jgbowerman » Logged

digitaldog
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« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2010, 12:49:16 PM »
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In my experience, people who don't know HOW to use soft proofing tend to discount it's usefulness.

So true! One of us really needs to sit down with this fellow and how him the path!

http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2010/archives/11824

See #4...
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Andrew Rodney
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kikashi
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« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2010, 01:54:50 PM »
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So true! One of us really needs to sit down with this fellow and how him the path!

http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2010/archives/11824

See #4...
That would be the second #4, not the first #4. Kelby may be a great teacher of photoshop but he seems to have a problem with counting!

Jeremy
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2010, 02:33:07 PM »
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So true! One of us really needs to sit down with this fellow and how him the path!

http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2010/archives/11824

See #4...

Not really Andrew. I'm a firm SP-user - wouldn't think of printing without it, which is why I print from Photoshop after doing everything I need from LR that it is particularly good for. That said, two qualifications: (1) there are respectable photographers who make very fine prints straight from LR without any softproofing, and (2) using a paper such as Ilford Gold Fibre Silk (and I would assume the same for other similarly large gamutm high DR papers) in my Epson 3800, the difference between the image view with versus without SP is not anywhere as large as it is when using matte media, hence one COULD almost take a stab at slightly over-compensating contrast and saturation in LR and get the print one wants - but that's where the fear factor sets-in, and mine tells me to soft-proof. Others are hardier. What's really interesting about Scott's list is (a) he's hearing about a lot of other priorities on peoples' minds quite apart from SP, and (b) he's objective enough to report it all, regardless of his own personal feelings about the importance of this or that item on other peoples' wish-list. I respect him for this.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2010, 04:41:48 PM »
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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.


Jeff, as a person about to order a MacPro, I would appreciate if you could elaborate on specifically what problems you have in mind here and what the workarounds are - aside from using CS4 and Windows for printing (not because there's anything wrong with that, but because I know about it already!).
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2010, 05:38:26 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.

Ozphoto
No video because it takes 2 seconds and is 2 clicks.
In LR r click to selelect edit in PS.
When done close PS and click save and your image is right back in LR where you started.
Or are you trying to do something else?
Explain a little more if it is another issue.
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Schewe
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« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2010, 06:35:19 AM »
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Jeff, as a person about to order a MacPro, I would appreciate if you could elaborate on specifically what problems you have in mind here and what the workarounds are - aside from using CS4 and Windows for printing (not because there's anything wrong with that, but because I know about it already!).

The main problems with Snow Leopard and printing relate to the difficulties in actually printing a proper profile target...you CAN'T print out such a target from Lightroom...you CAN print out the target from Photoshop CS5 _IF_ you use the assign profile Eric Chan workaround. The other issue with printing from either Lightroom or Photoshop CS5 is it uses Apple's new print pipeline which requires the most recent print driver updates. Since I know you print on an Epson 3800, making sure you've got the most recent driver loaded (and not the generic CUPS driver installed by the OS) will eliminate the printing issues.

The bottom line is that the Mac OS is constantly evolving and changes are forced on users and developers alike. When Apple rev's the OS things can sometime get broken (such as the update from 10.6.3 to 10.6.4). Since Adobe must now use Apple's new print pipeline (unlike LR 2. and CS4) some users with older printers got caught because the older drivers couldn't cope with the new pipeline and required updated drivers which Epson was slow to get out. The 2200/76/9600 printer users had to wait till the OS bugs and new driver were released...this sort of start/stop/wait makes users nuts because what was working quit working because of app or OS changes. The tendency is to blame the application (Photoshop CS5 or LR 3) rather than the OS or print drivers. As a result, Adobe gets a lot of blame for the shortcomings of the others...this scenario doesn't happen nearly as much with Windows users as it relates to the print pipeline but they have their own set of other hardware/software issues :~)
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2010, 07:56:59 AM »
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The main problems with Snow Leopard and printing relate to the difficulties in actually printing a proper profile target...you CAN'T print out such a target from Lightroom...you CAN print out the target from Photoshop CS5 _IF_ you use the assign profile Eric Chan workaround. The other issue with printing from either Lightroom or Photoshop CS5 is it uses Apple's new print pipeline which requires the most recent print driver updates. Since I know you print on an Epson 3800, making sure you've got the most recent driver loaded (and not the generic CUPS driver installed by the OS) will eliminate the printing issues.

The bottom line is that the Mac OS is constantly evolving and changes are forced on users and developers alike. When Apple rev's the OS things can sometime get broken (such as the update from 10.6.3 to 10.6.4). Since Adobe must now use Apple's new print pipeline (unlike LR 2. and CS4) some users with older printers got caught because the older drivers couldn't cope with the new pipeline and required updated drivers which Epson was slow to get out. The 2200/76/9600 printer users had to wait till the OS bugs and new driver were released...this sort of start/stop/wait makes users nuts because what was working quit working because of app or OS changes. The tendency is to blame the application (Photoshop CS5 or LR 3) rather than the OS or print drivers. As a result, Adobe gets a lot of blame for the shortcomings of the others...this scenario doesn't happen nearly as much with Windows users as it relates to the print pipeline but they have their own set of other hardware/software issues :~)

So true, this issue with OS, CS5, print drivers and third-party plugins. Perhaps the biggest incentive upgrading to CS5 for Mac users is the ability to edit in 64-bit mode. However, most third-party plugins for Mac users remain 32 bit! I understand it might not be until November before Canon's Photoshop Print Plugin will be available in 64 bit. Until that time, CS5 remains in "beta" mode for many Mac users. Regardless, it is a minor workaround to print out of CS4 while otherwise editing in CS5... very well worth the upgrade. One can print out of CS5, with Canon's plugin, if they first change to 32-bit mode, but that is more of a hassle than simply closing in CS5, and reopening in CS4. One interesting thing when printing out of CS4 is a conflict if CS5 remains open; printing gets disabled. Took me awhile the first time around before figuring out I had to quit CS5 before printing out of CS4.

Once a Mac user experiences operating PS in 64-bit mode, they'll never want to go back. Reminds me of the internet dialup days! (Are we getting spoiled?)
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #29 on: August 31, 2010, 02:46:38 PM »
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The main problems with Snow Leopard and printing relate to the difficulties in actually printing a proper profile target...you CAN'T print out such a target from Lightroom...you CAN print out the target from Photoshop CS5 _IF_ you use the assign profile Eric Chan workaround. The other issue with printing from either Lightroom or Photoshop CS5 is it uses Apple's new print pipeline which requires the most recent print driver updates. Since I know you print on an Epson 3800, making sure you've got the most recent driver loaded (and not the generic CUPS driver installed by the OS) will eliminate the printing issues.

The bottom line is that the Mac OS is constantly evolving and changes are forced on users and developers alike. When Apple rev's the OS things can sometime get broken (such as the update from 10.6.3 to 10.6.4). Since Adobe must now use Apple's new print pipeline (unlike LR 2. and CS4) some users with older printers got caught because the older drivers couldn't cope with the new pipeline and required updated drivers which Epson was slow to get out. The 2200/76/9600 printer users had to wait till the OS bugs and new driver were released...this sort of start/stop/wait makes users nuts because what was working quit working because of app or OS changes. The tendency is to blame the application (Photoshop CS5 or LR 3) rather than the OS or print drivers. As a result, Adobe gets a lot of blame for the shortcomings of the others...this scenario doesn't happen nearly as much with Windows users as it relates to the print pipeline but they have their own set of other hardware/software issues :~)

Thanks Jeff - late seeing this because for some reason I don't know I didn't get emailed by the Board - will check my Board Prefs and/or contact the powers-to-be as needed. Yes, the target-printing business has been an on-going saga for a while and for now we have Eric's workaround. Here's hoping that Adobe is soon to release their app for printing with no colour management. Of course, when the new Mac comes I shall download the latest 3800 drivers for Mac from the Epson site and install them, as I now have for PC on the XP computer. I'm wondering whether I would need to create a new printer profile for the Mac if I'll be using the same paper - is it safe to assume the latest Epson drivers for Mac and PC would work the same way?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #30 on: August 31, 2010, 03:43:24 PM »
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Thanks Jeff - late seeing this because for some reason I don't know I didn't get emailed by the Board - will check my Board Prefs and/or contact the powers-to-be as needed. Yes, the target-printing business has been an on-going saga for a while and for now we have Eric's workaround. Here's hoping that Adobe is soon to release their app for printing with no colour management. Of course, when the new Mac comes I shall download the latest 3800 drivers for Mac from the Epson site and install them, as I now have for PC on the XP computer. I'm wondering whether I would need to create a new printer profile for the Mac if I'll be using the same paper - is it safe to assume the latest Epson drivers for Mac and PC would work the same way?
Mark, I know Epson lists two separate downloads for profiles on their website depending on whether you are using a Mac or PC.  The operating systems are different and hence the drivers have to be coded differently as well.  It's hard to tell whether the profiles are the same or not as they come in compressed files and you need to uncompress to install.  As you know I'm a PC person so you can take this with a grain of salt until someone with experience with both systems can weigh in.

Alan
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #31 on: August 31, 2010, 03:48:36 PM »
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Mark, I know Epson lists two separate downloads for profiles on their website depending on whether you are using a Mac or PC.  The operating systems are different and hence the drivers have to be coded differently as well.  It's hard to tell whether the profiles are the same or not as they come in compressed files and you need to uncompress to install.  As you know I'm a PC person so you can take this with a grain of salt until someone with experience with both systems can weigh in.

Alan

Hi Alan -  I don't use Epson papers so their profiles are not the issue for me. I normally use Ilford GFS and roll my own profiles for it using my XRite Pulse Elite. I did that last time I up-dated the Epson driver and firmware for the PC, so I'm just wondering whether the same generation driver for the Mac would make the printer behave any differently. If it doesn't, I needn't reprofile and I needn't worry about workarounds to the "no colour management" issue. If it does, well then I shall have to trudge through another exercise.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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hsmeets
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« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2010, 03:05:37 AM »
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A short story on softproofing:

When I started to make inkjetprints I also bought a printprofiling kit. Figured out the best mediasetting, I printed the target, measured it and let the software create the profile, easy as that. Prints made with the profile where a little bit darker then on-screen and also had a small colorshift. The softproof in PS showed that effect too. So I always added an adjustment layer the correct for that. I was a happy camper. As that shift in color/brightness was constant I saved the curves as a preset.

Recently I decided to create a new profile as new ink was in the printer, printer had aged, etc etc and most important: I finaly had taken time to read the manual from the profiling kit and realised the impact of a certain chapter in that manual describing some functionality of the software: ability to tweak the profile to be created.

The software allows to change the colorbalance, contrast, brightness of the profile that is created. So what I did in a few iterative steps was change brightness and colorbalance settings so that I no longer need adjustments to bring back a softproof to the original.

I still have some small differences in color renderings between the original and the softproof/print but I have no problem with that as they only are visible next to each other and it does not harm the 'quality' of the print and also often fall in the realm of where screen and printer gamut do not match.

So since a few weeks I often print without doing a softproof, only with certain type of images I still experiment with the rendering intent to see what gives me the best results to my likings.

If you had asked me a year ago about Lightroom and Softproofing I would have said that the lack of softproofing would have been a serious shortcoming. Asked that same question again today my answer is different.

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dreed
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« Reply #33 on: September 21, 2010, 03:55:45 AM »
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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.

Hmm, there are a bunch of "consumer" monitors that claim to do > 100% of Adobe RGB. Should these be placed high up the shopping list for their ability to aid in soft proofing?
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #34 on: October 02, 2010, 10:48:43 PM »
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After reading the above comments about printing issues with Macs I'm pleased that I currently print from 64bit W7 machine but do my PSCS5 work on a Mac. I'd not have the patience to wrestle with those OS printing issues!

I'm an egalitarian, I loath PCs and Macs equally!
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Nick Rains
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