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Author Topic: Question about Printing with Profiles  (Read 4460 times)
thomas_moran
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« on: January 02, 2006, 09:31:13 PM »
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I'm just starting to get my head around having a color managed work flow and I have a few nagging questions that I need your help with... Here is some back ground info that may be useful. I have an apple 22inch cinema display and a few months ago I bought the Color eyes calibration software that comes with a x-rite monitor calibrator. Then I downloaded the epson premium profiles for my R2400 and everything is working great. My prints look almost exactly like they look on screen, but here is the part I'm having trouble with...

When I start working on an image I make all the changes I want to photoshop (contrast, curves, saturation ect...) and get it just the way I want it... then when I'm ready to print I assign the proper profile for the paper I'm using and everything goes darker and gets muddy looking. I then use curves saturation and contrast to get the image back to as close as possible to how it looked on screen before I assigned the profile. I know that no printer has the range of a monitor but what I'm trying to figure out is when is it best to assign the profile? Before you start making any adjustments or make all your adjustments and then correct the image again after the profile is assigned?

Thanks for your help.

Thomas
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pfigen
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2006, 09:46:18 PM »
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You want to Convert to the profile, not assign. Converting will save you all sorts of aggravation, and in your case, time. Make sure you do it on a copy of the file and not your original.
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thomas_moran
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2006, 09:50:06 PM »
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You want to Convert to the profile, not assign. Converting will save you all sorts of aggravation, and in your case, time. Make sure you do it on a copy of the file and not your original.
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Can you please explain the difference between assigning and converting?
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2006, 10:42:02 PM »
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You want to Convert to the profile, not assign. Converting will save you all sorts of aggravation, and in your case, time. Make sure you do it on a copy of the file and not your original.
Unless you're using a third-party print service, or are dealing with an unusually difficult-to-print image, you don't want to do either. What you want to do is turn off all color management in your print driver settings (look for "No Color Adjustment") and then use Photoshop's Print With Perview dialog to print. Set the color management to "Let Photoshop Manage Colors" if it is an option. Set Source Space to Document, and the Destination Space to your printer profile. The color conversion will be done on the fly without requiring you to change your document color profile.

Keep in mind that a printer profile is only valid for one printer, one set of printer settings, and one paper type. If you change any of these, the profile will not work properly.

The difference between assigning and converting profiles is fairly simple. RGB color numbers have no intrinsic color values; they are only meaningful in the context of a profile, which is a sort of conversion table between RGB values and actual colors. If you assign a different profile to an image, the RGB color values are not altered; all you're doing is changing to a different lookup table that converts between RGB values and colors, so that while RGB values in the image are not changed, the colors they convert to are changed, and the appearance of the file in Photoshop will be altered. Converting to a profile is exactly the opposite; when the profile is changed the RGB color values are altered, but the colors they convert to through the profile are not, and therefore the appearance of the image will not change in a color-managed application like Photoshop.

The only time you should ever assign a profile is when there is no profile attached to a file, or the attached profile is not the correct one. That shouild be a rare thing if you're processing your own work or files from color-management-savvy third parties. The only times you should convert to a different profile is if you are preparing an image for web display (in which case you convert to the sRGB profile), printing an image with highly saturated colors and need every last bit of the printers gamut (range of printeable colors) to print the file well (in which case you convert to the appropriate printer profile), or when sending a file to a third party that requires submissions converted to a particular profile, say a printer profile for a specific press that will be used to print the image. As pfigen correctly pointed out, this should always be done on a copy, not the original file. Your main working copy of the image (the edited master) should be in a standard RGB editing space like Adobe RGB or Prophoto.
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francois
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2006, 04:24:34 AM »
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In addition to Jonathan's post you may want to read this article on Computer Darkroom site. Print Workflow 2 is what you "need".
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Francois
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2006, 06:12:07 PM »
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There are two solid reasons for doing your conversions in Photoshop prior to sending the file to the printer. One is that you get to see on screen immediately the effect of different rendering intents for your image, and second, there is a bug that can sometimes give you less than stellar image quality when letting the driver handle the conversion. There was a recent thread on the Adobe forums regarding that. Had never seen it myself, as I always convert first.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2006, 07:16:21 PM »
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There are two solid reasons for doing your conversions in Photoshop prior to sending the file to the printer. One is that you get to see on screen immediately the effect of different rendering intents for your image, and second, there is a bug that can sometimes give you less than stellar image quality when letting the driver handle the conversion.
You can see the effect of different rendering intents just as well with soft proofing, and I've never encountered the bug you're referring to. If you use QImage or a RIP to print, the bug is moot anyway. Unless you're pushing the edges of the printer gamut with an image or sending the file to a third party who requires such profile conversion, there's no advantage to making a separate version of an image for each ink/paper combination you print to.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2006, 07:29:27 PM »
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You can see the effect of different rendering intents just as well with soft proofing, and I've never encountered the bug you're referring to. If you use QImage or a RIP to print, the bug is moot anyway. Unless you're pushing the edges of the printer gamut with an image or sending the file to a third party who requires such profile conversion, there's no advantage to making a separate version of an image for each ink/paper combination you print to.
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Not with Print with Profile but sometimes in the actual driver (in my case Epson). PwP is 100% Photoshop. But if you were to set it for No Color Management and select a profile in say the Epson driver, it could get funky. You don’t have access to ACE, Black Point Compensation, dither. But PwP or Convert to profile are 100% functionality the same.
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Andrew Rodney
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2006, 08:48:49 PM »
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I always softproof before invoking the Print With Preview window, so I already know what rendering intent I'll be using beforehand. The Epson driver print preview window always displays horribly wrong color, so I never even have it open. QImage does the preview job better and always manages to get the color right, which is a big reason I use it for printing instead of Photoshop.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2006, 08:53:29 AM »
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The Epson driver print preview window always displays horribly wrong color, so I never even have it open.
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Well at least on the Mac, there’s no Epson driver print preview so me might be talking about different items. Print w/Preview has an incorrect (non color managed preview for FPO only). I find it ironic the dialog is called Print with Preview when the preview is simply not showing the color correctly.
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers”
http://digitaldog.net/
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