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Author Topic: Question about ICC paper profiles vs Printer "paper-type" settings  (Read 2206 times)
John V.
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« on: May 11, 2013, 07:21:32 PM »
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Pretty much my confusion here...

I'd like to know what exactly a paper icc profile (from a paper manufacturer) does as compared to the "paper type" setting on the printer itself/in the printer driver. I'm familiar with the process of creating custom paper profiles and understand the color management purposes behind doing so (or using the canned profiles from whatever manufacturer), but what do the different paper-type settings on the printer actually do (aside from the PK black vs MK black issue)?
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2013, 07:41:07 PM »
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The profile is "keyed" to an OEM paper that is contained in the printer manufacturer's driver data base. When a paper company, or a service provider or yourself make a custom profile for the paper you will be using, it needs to be "keyed" off of some paper in the driver data base, otherwise the printer wouldn't know how to handle it - this affects how ink gets laid down on paper. So for example, when I make a profile for Ilford Gold Cotton Textured for my Epson 4900, Ilford recommends that I key it off of Epson's Textured Fine Art Paper setting in the Epson driver. When i go to print with that profile, I need to select Epson Fine Art Textured in the Epson driver set-up, so the driver and the profile are in sync. The profile is only as useful as you maintain consistency between the parameters in which you created the profile and the parameters in which you make the print.
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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
eronald
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2013, 08:28:33 PM »
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Pretty much my confusion here...

I'd like to know what exactly a paper icc profile (from a paper manufacturer) does as compared to the "paper type" setting on the printer itself/in the printer driver. I'm familiar with the process of creating custom paper profiles and understand the color management purposes behind doing so (or using the canned profiles from whatever manufacturer), but what do the different paper-type settings on the printer actually do (aside from the PK black vs MK black issue)?

Different papers have widely different physical characteristics. The paper type settings define the amount of ink put down on the paper, in some cases the platen spacing for thick papers etc.

Edmund
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Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
Mac Mahon
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2013, 04:00:43 PM »
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The simple way I think about it:

ICC profile governs mix of inks, for colours;

Media type setting governs amount of inks to account for different absorbency, reflectance of paper.

Tim
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2013, 03:38:37 AM »
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For a RIP the printer profile usually contains almost all data for ink limitation, black generation, mixing, dot weaving, (possibly media transport adjustments, head height, auto cut enabled or not) and the integrated ICC profile describes the gamut details of the CMYK(or N-color) device; the printer.
 
If an OEM driver is used for an inkjet the parts are usually separated, the media preset (made active with the media choice in the driver) has the description for ink limitation etc but includes an RGB>CMYK translation for that paper and then a simple separate ICC printer profile describes the gamut from the RGB perspective. The printer is in that color management approach seen as an RGB-device, like a monitor is. In the HP Z3200 drivers the RGB-device profile can be linked permanently to the media preset and be packed in one .OMS file. Third party media suppliers can get the tools from HP to create the total .OMS data file. This gets close to the RIP approach but the profiling remains an RGB-device type one.

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Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

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December 2012, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.

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digitaldog
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2013, 08:42:27 AM »
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Media settings affects how the ink hits paper and paper handing. The profile describes that and much more (the entire print process).

Think of media settings fingerprinting one finger on your hand. Think of ICC profiles as fingerprinting your entire hand (or both).
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Andrew Rodney
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bill t.
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2013, 04:12:48 PM »
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Are "media types" potentially non-linear as to ink application?  For example is there information in a media type file that might specify a different ratio of mid-tone ink density to maximum black density?  Perhaps a look up table or something.  Or is there just a single, linear factor applied evenly across all densities?

I have always assumed linearity corrections were the responsibility of the profile, but I have often wondered why "media types" were tied to specific products names, rather to a generic set of possible settings.
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Schewe
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2013, 04:27:03 PM »
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Are "media types" potentially non-linear as to ink application?  For example is there information in a media type file that might specify a different ratio of mid-tone ink density to maximum black density?  Perhaps a look up table or something.  Or is there just a single, linear factor applied evenly across all densities?

I have always assumed linearity corrections were the responsibility of the profile, but I have often wondered why "media types" were tied to specific products names, rather to a generic set of possible settings.

Media types do alter the printer's output...but it's more related to things like media thickness, platen gap, and ink load. While the media setting will impact the way ink is laid down on the paper, as long as the ICC output profile was created using the same media setting as the one being printed with, then it's all factored in the final output.
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Scott Martin
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2013, 04:45:42 PM »
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Calibration and Profiling are two different processes. With a RIP we calibrate a printer paper combination by :

1) Determining the optimal ink limit for each and every ink
2) Linearize each ink channel with these ink limits
3) Linearize the combined ink channels for grey balance
4) Determine and set a total, combined ink limit

After the calibration is done we profile the process. A driver's Media Setting is this calibration (as well some other things like paper handling preferences, separation parameters, etc). It contains not only ink limiting but also curves for each and every ink.

If the calibration process is done optimally, a profile shouldn't have to correct gray balance or tonality. We don't want to rely upon a profile to do much of the linearization work because the final image quality will suffer. It's really important to start with an excellent calibration (or media setting) before we profile a process.

Around the year 2000 driver media settings were primitive so those that were savvy could get better results by performing a custom calibration and profile in a RIP. These days the tables have been turned and the media settings built into todays drivers are so darn good that you'd be hard pressed to evan match the quality with a RIP. At least with common aqueous inkjet media. The emerging solvent media market is totally struggling with getting optimal calibrations and profiles for their media right now! That's an area that's keeping keen color management consultants busy these days...
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