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Author Topic: Paper Manufacturer vs Buying Custom vs Making Own Profiles  (Read 9851 times)
fike
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« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2012, 07:55:25 AM »
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How can you tell if you have a good profile? Is it the similarity between what you see when softproofing on your screen and the print?

No. Soft proofing is only an approximation of what you will get in print. I think people overstate the visual information that softproofing provides.  The most useful information is the out of gamut warning. Otherwise, you need a bit of trial and error. 

How can you tell if you have a good profile?  The answer is completely subjective, but you will know it is good when you are completely happy with the tonality, and color rendition in the print.  Getting the best printing workflow generally requires lots of trial and error involving your post-processing and pre-printing workflows.  The paper profile only allows you to set aside one of the many myriad of variables while you work on all the others. 

This complexity shows why most digital print-makers don't switch their papers too often.  By the time you get to a satisfying workflow with a paper, you kind of want to stick with it for a while.

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« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2012, 10:35:21 AM »
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No. Soft proofing is only an approximation of what you will get in print. I think people overstate the visual information that softproofing provides.  The most useful information is the out of gamut warning.

Boy, I’d say the opposite. The overlay for OOG isn’t at all useful IMHO. It treats 1% OOG and 100% the same, blocking your image with an ugly overlay. You can’t do much to alter this, it is OOG and the profile will do a better, faster job once you soft proof and select a rendering intent. OOG overlay is from the pre-Photoshop 5, soft proof days so at the time, it was better than nothing. Today, it isn’t too useful other than for educational purposes.
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Andrew Rodney
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BigBadWolfie
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« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2012, 11:20:13 AM »
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Boy, I’d say the opposite. The overlay for OOG isn’t at all useful IMHO. It treats 1% OOG and 100% the same, blocking your image with an ugly overlay. You can’t do much to alter this, it is OOG and the profile will do a better, faster job once you soft proof and select a rendering intent. OOG overlay is from the pre-Photoshop 5, soft proof days so at the time, it was better than nothing. Today, it isn’t too useful other than for educational purposes.
Ya. I watched one of your videos and was convinced that fixing OOG parts wasn't really worth it. So what would you consider a good profile to be digitaldog?
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BigBadWolfie
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« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2012, 11:23:56 AM »
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THIS may help.  Jack Flesher does a nice job of pointing out the important things and his image (taken from some of Bill Atkinson's work) is useful.
Thanks for the link. Should I evaluate by making the print or will softproof mode suffice? I'm guessing it's best to make the print?
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« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2012, 11:48:59 AM »
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I watched one of your videos and was convinced that fixing OOG parts wasn't really worth it.

That depends - it is easy enough to use a HSL adjustment curve to get a quick handle on how OOG your colours are, and, if necessary, adjust accordingly. Why leave everything to the black box of your rendering intent?
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2012, 11:54:05 AM »
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Thanks for the link. Should I evaluate by making the print or will softproof mode suffice? I'm guessing it's best to make the print?
Make the print so you can see the changes under your print viewing conditions.  You can also get valuable information on the B/W patch set and there's a nifty black patch in the upper corner to measure Dmax for your paper/ink combination.
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fike
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« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2012, 11:54:53 AM »
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Boy, I’d say the opposite. The overlay for OOG isn’t at all useful IMHO. It treats 1% OOG and 100% the same, blocking your image with an ugly overlay. You can’t do much to alter this, it is OOG and the profile will do a better, faster job once you soft proof and select a rendering intent. OOG overlay is from the pre-Photoshop 5, soft proof days so at the time, it was better than nothing. Today, it isn’t too useful other than for educational purposes.

I use OOG warning to see the general state of the image against the intended profile.  If I see many very small areas that are OOG, I don't worry about it, but if I see whole blocks of the image OOG, I will look at an adjustment layer to reduce blocky color transitions.  Are you suggesting this isn't worth the trouble? It is interesting to hear that it treats 1% and 100% the same. I guess I would see that manifested when I make an adjustment layer and use only a very minor adjustment to get back in gamut.  The most common areas I have seen substantial gamut problems has been deep yellows in flowers and in deep royal purple colors I have encountered in art photos.  
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« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2012, 02:34:57 PM »
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I use OOG warning to see the general state of the image against the intended profile.

Personally, I don't care if I have out of gamut colors...what I care about is what the colors of the image will look like when printed. OOG Warning was useful in the old days when trying to force fit RGB into a CMYK reproduction...it's really not all that useful these days with wide gamut displays and printers.

Soft proofing on the other hand allows you to see what the printed colors will look like, decide on a rendering intent and see what the image will look like in the contrast range of the print. Soft proofing at least in Lightroom which has advanced the tools and technique is very useful for predicting and correcting an image before spending the time, ink & paper making a proof. If you get good at soft proofing and really understand what the display is telling you, gives far more power and control over the final print and can substantially reduce your wastage in ink & paper–assuming that is of interest to people.

Generally, when I hear people saying soft proofing doesn't really work and provide a benefit, what I hear is that they really don't know how to make use of soft proofing optimally...and the OOG Warning is a very old tool that only tells you if a color is in or out, not by how much nor how important the OOG is and what it's gonna look like...that's what soft proofing can tell you. I really think a lot of people worry too much about color gamuts and what's in/out and should worry more about what the print will look like and how to adjust the contrast range.
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eronald
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« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2012, 06:55:12 PM »
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I'd say that for the rest of us, with imperfect restricted gamut laptop screens proofing modern wide gamut inkjets, it provides a guide that informs our experience.

Edmund

Personally, I don't care if I have out of gamut colors...what I care about is what the colors of the image will look like when printed. OOG Warning was useful in the old days when trying to force fit RGB into a CMYK reproduction...it's really not all that useful these days with wide gamut displays and printers.

Soft proofing on the other hand allows you to see what the printed colors will look like, decide on a rendering intent and see what the image will look like in the contrast range of the print. Soft proofing at least in Lightroom which has advanced the tools and technique is very useful for predicting and correcting an image before spending the time, ink & paper making a proof. If you get good at soft proofing and really understand what the display is telling you, gives far more power and control over the final print and can substantially reduce your wastage in ink & paper–assuming that is of interest to people.

Generally, when I hear people saying soft proofing doesn't really work and provide a benefit, what I hear is that they really don't know how to make use of soft proofing optimally...and the OOG Warning is a very old tool that only tells you if a color is in or out, not by how much nor how important the OOG is and what it's gonna look like...that's what soft proofing can tell you. I really think a lot of people worry too much about color gamuts and what's in/out and should worry more about what the print will look like and how to adjust the contrast range.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 06:57:14 PM by eronald » Logged

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Tony Jay
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« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2012, 07:09:12 PM »
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Steady on Edmund.
Who are the rest of us.

If one is going attempt a proper colour-managed workflow one needs the proper tools.
If one has gone to the trouble of getting a good printer don't hobble it with a monitor that cannot contribute to getting a good print.
Even if one is using a third-party to print on one's behalf then softproofing is also crucial to getting a result that is not pure chance.

This is not a 'them' and 'us' type of issue - and Schewe is not 'them'.

Regards

Tony Jay
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 07:12:18 PM by Tony Jay » Logged
BigBadWolfie
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« Reply #30 on: June 14, 2012, 06:39:05 AM »
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Alright guys. So what do you guys recommend? Put down the money and buy some custom profiles to try or just stick with the manufacturer's?
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Mark Paulson
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« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2012, 07:12:31 AM »
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I think Evan (Post 14)  gave you the best advice. On a side note, the one tool in all of this stuff that helped me visualize what whas happening in the whole systme was Chromix Color Think. Help me grasp th concept of color space, monitor and printer profiles and how it all  fits together. they may have a demo, I'm not sure.

Just have fun and don't over think it like I do.

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fike
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« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2012, 07:25:19 AM »
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This is not a 'them' and 'us' type of issue - and Schewe is not 'them'.

Oh yes it is.  Grin Schewe is definitely one of them because I don't think he really would tolerate being one of us. Wink
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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« Reply #33 on: June 14, 2012, 08:01:28 AM »
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Ya. I watched one of your videos and was convinced that fixing OOG parts wasn't really worth it. So what would you consider a good profile to be digitaldog?

I run a lot of synthetic and real world images (mine, Roman 16s etc) and evaluate the color, tone, gray balance, smoothness etc. The soft proof and output table should reasonably match which is accomplished by display calibration to some degree.
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Andrew Rodney
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eronald
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« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2012, 03:38:12 PM »
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Tom,

 I probably have as much color management junk around the house as most of us. In fact, the ICC just sent me an invoice for overdue membership fees Smiley
 But there is a place for "real" color managed workflows eg in press and prepress, a different set of practices, I'd argue, in fine arts printing, and a place for color managed workflows for people with consumer printers and canned profiles. People who print in the privacy of their own home can run "closed loop" and predict their output, up to a point, even if their monitors are less than optimal. Thankfully, because these days quite a few monitors are less than optimal.
 As for Schewe I think of him as a sympatico  colleague. Hope he won't grumble that the house prices in this neighborhood are gonna fall thru the floor Smiley
 Now, maybe we can back to our usual colorimeter vs spectrophotometer disputes, or have a beer or other accepted (legal) forms of recreational activity ...

Edmund

Steady on Edmund.
Who are the rest of us.

If one is going attempt a proper colour-managed workflow one needs the proper tools.
If one has gone to the trouble of getting a good printer don't hobble it with a monitor that cannot contribute to getting a good print.
Even if one is using a third-party to print on one's behalf then softproofing is also crucial to getting a result that is not pure chance.

This is not a 'them' and 'us' type of issue - and Schewe is not 'them'.

Regards

Tony Jay
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 03:51:18 PM by eronald » Logged

Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
Schewe
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« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2012, 04:36:37 PM »
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As for Schewe I think of him as a sympatico colleague. Hope he won't grumble that the house prices in this neighborhood are gonna fall thru the floor Smiley

Simpatico or Psycho? And house prices in my hood are holding up pretty well but the US economy still sucks :~(

As for making or buying custom profiles vs. using the paper company's profiles, I've done/do both...but for the Epson papers I print on, the Epson supplied profiles are good and my own profiles not any better so as long as I have a good profile I don't bother with making them from scratch. Although truth be told I'm down to really only using a small subset of papers. If I were using a lot of 3rd party papers I would prolly build my own profiles.

One test if a 3rd party paper profile is how well the interchange space to display mappings are made. The profile needs to have good two way color mapping not just from the interchange to printer mapping but also back to the display. LR and Photoshop have to use those color mapping to properly display the soft proofed image so if those mappings are not optimal then it breaks soft proofing. Building you own profiles using current tools will generally give good two way mapping and allows for custom tuning if you need to (which I try real hard to avoid).
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eronald
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« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2012, 06:12:28 PM »
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Simpatico or Psycho? And house prices in my hood are holding up pretty well but the US economy still sucks :~(

As for making or buying custom profiles vs. using the paper company's profiles, I've done/do both...but for the Epson papers I print on, the Epson supplied profiles are good and my own profiles not any better.



I hope people won't diagnose a testosterone insufficiency just because I agree so often with Jeff Smiley
 
Yes, it is very puzzling that house prices keep "rising" here too, while so many people are struggling.

Of course, I've never bought profiles but over the last few years I have often used the Epson profiles on their standard papers as "reference quality" to compare with my own Gutenprint profiling work, and when testing a spectro or software. It was not always so, the old printers really benefited from custom profiling, especially to ensure neutrality. Now the many gray/black inks have removed that flaw.

Apart from Epson original media, I systematically profile everything else myself; Epson seem to have a very good quality of profile, but this does not carry over to third parties.

Edmund
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 06:21:07 PM by eronald » Logged

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