Compensation adjustments when softproofing with ICC profiles

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by PhotoGramly, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. PhotoGramly

    PhotoGramly TPF Noob!

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    So in preparation for trying to print some images, I found the ICC profile for the printer they'll be using (Fuji_Frontier_DryLab4x0_PD_v3a if it helps to know that), and I've softproofed with it, and it changes the image pretty noticeably. I know that's how it works, but the trouble is I can't seem to make the right adjustments to get it back looking the way it originally did, the way I want it to print.

    On the surface it seems like fairly basic changes, like with contrast, saturation and skin tone, but even when I make changes to try and compensate it still doesn't look right. That may just mean I'm not very good at knowing how to make the right adjustments, and I can show examples if people want, but I was wondering if there's a way to find exactly what and how the profile changes things, so that I can make more precise changes to fix it without just kind of guessing and fiddling around. No such luck with cursory google searches, but that may just be because I don't know the right search terms. Any other ideas?


     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Is your display calibrated and profiled?
    What application (software) are you using to soft proof?
    What rendering intent do you have selected?

    An accurate soft proof also requires a display that is capable of reproducing the full range of colors the print will have.
    Which is why Adobe recommends using a display having a color bit depth of 16 bits.
    Displays in the couple hundred $$$ price range often only have a 6-bit color depth. Displays from there to the couple thousand $$$$ price range usually have a 10 bit color depth.
    If the display isn't fully capable regards the color bit depth it can display, it can often still provide a helpful, if not accurate soft proof for those colors which it can produce (as long as one is also aware of those which it cannot).

    Because a print is fore lit and not back lit a print will never look like a digital image displayed electronically.
    At its best soft proofing only displays an approximation of what the print will look like.

    Some of the information here may be helpful for you:
    Soft Proofing: Matching On-Screen Photos with Prints
     
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  3. PhotoGramly

    PhotoGramly TPF Noob!

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    I've calibrated my monitor with the Windows calibrate dispaly option, which I'm aware isn't as good as dedicated devices for calibration like ColorMunki or Spyder, but it's the best I can do right now.
    I'm using Photoshop for softproofing.
    According to my monitor specs it has 8-bit color depth.

    So it turns out that turning off the "preserve RGB numbers" option and setting the rendering intent to relative colormetric solves my color issues when softproofing. Does that mean the printer will output it that way though? Considering I'm using a print on demand service which doesn't have the same interface...
     
  4. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You're working with an un-profiled display. Your softproofing efforts are in vain. Cross your fingers and wish really hard -- that's easier and should be just as effective. Sorry for the bad news but for softproofing to work an ICC profile for your display created by a hardware profiling device (X-Rite, DataColor) is a bottom line requirement.

    No. Your softproof settings will have no effect on the printer output.

    Joe

     
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  5. PhotoGramly

    PhotoGramly TPF Noob!

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    Are you always this snarky when you answer the questions of people who are genuinely trying to understand complex subjects?
     
  6. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Sorry -- you're right that was uncalled for.

    OK, so what you're trying to do is in vain. In fact you are better off doing nothing than the steps you've undertaken so far. And I'm sorry to have give you that answer but I am trying to help.

    You need to calibrate and profile your display as step #1. You can only do that with a hardware device like an X-Rite or DataColor colorimeter or spectrophotometer. You noted you used the Windows software display calibration wizard. The section devoted to gamma calibration is likely beneficial but hopefully you didn't proceed with the color adjustment section. If you did it would be a good idea to undo that if possible -- may require that you delete the display profile.

    Ideally you need an ICC printer profile for the specific printer that will make your prints -- most ideally it's best to have a printer profile that is made by the exact same calibration hardware that profiled your display. NOTE: I don't mean the same brand hardware I mean that same specific serial #xxxxxxxxx device. (If that's not possible then same brand device is beneficial). In lieu of that it's helpful to have an ICC profile for the printer that was made by the printer operator -- in other words did you contact the print shop and get the profile from them? Generic ICC profiles tend to be a bad idea, maybe better than nothing but not always and not much.

    Unable to do the above your best option is to check your display settings and use the defaults and/or a setting for sRGB if your display has that. Then make sure your image file is tagged sRGB and trust the print shop to take it from there -- don't attempt soft proofing. Trying to get around the process by skipping, avoiding or substituting the above requirements for hardware calibration and profiling will as likely leave you worse off than doing nothing.

    Sorry for the bad news.

    Joe
     
  7. PhotoGramly

    PhotoGramly TPF Noob!

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    Okay, thanks for the extra info.

    Managed to revert the color calibration as well.

    I wasn't aware that calibration devices could profile both printers and monitors so that's good to know. So even different profiling devices from the same brand have a noticeable difference in the results then? It must be a very precise science.

    I'm guessing I'm using a generic ICC in that case, I downloaded one from the Fuji site after I saw what kind of printer they were using. Didn't occur to me to ask them for one. But does that then also mean that if I was able to profile my own monitor with the right hardware and also get an ICC profile from the printers that there would still be a mismatch because we're using different hardware to calibrate?

    Thanks.
     
  8. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It's all a matter of degree. If you calibrate your display with an X-Rite colorimeter and the printer is using a DataColor spectrophotometer to profile their printer you should in theory both be working toward the same general standard, but in practice you get closer if you're both using the same calibration hardware, but right now you're not close enough to worry about that level of discrepancy.

    Consider the popular X-Rite spectrophotometer ColorMunki Photo. It will generate an ICC profile to control a printer and it works pretty well. But it also contains the option to analyze the specific photo that you're printing and then generate a more precise control profile for the printer tailored just for that one photo -- a matter of degree. To begin with you need to reach the level of degree where what you're doing is better than doing nothing. From that point forward you can keep zeroing in, tightening the degree limits. At some point you reach a compromise point where it's no longer worthwhile to spend the additional time and money to tighten the limit further.

    To reach the point where you're better off than doing nothing you start by:
    1. Calibrate your display with a hardware device.

    From there you can keep going:
    2. Get a generic printer ICC profile.
    3. Get a custom printer ICC profile from the printer operator.
    4. Get your own printer and create your own profile.
    5. Use the same hardware device to both calibrate and profile your display and profile the printer.
    6. Get software that will allow you to edit your printer profile. (I'm considering this step right now but reluctant to spend the $550 it's going to cost -- my compromise point).

    Each step progressively tightens the degree limits.

    Joe
     
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  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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  10. PhotoGramly

    PhotoGramly TPF Noob!

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    Alright, so since I'll be sending all my prints to a lab for the foreseeable future, is there much relative benefit from getting a spectrophotometer, or could I get away with a reasonably accurate approximation by getting a colorimeter for my display and a custom ICC from the lab?
     
  11. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Unless you see yourself doing your own printing with your own printer fairly soon then go for the colorimeter. I'd contact the lab you plan to work with. Ask them if they can supply printer ICC profiles and then ask them for a recommendation on the colorimeter. Tell them what you want to do and ask for soft-proofing settings like "relative colormetric" versus perceptual, etc. Buy the same brand colorimeter they recommend.

    Joe
     
  12. PhotoGramly

    PhotoGramly TPF Noob!

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    Alright thanks.
     

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