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Input/Output/Workflow Scanning, printing, color management, and discussing best practices for control and repeatability

Input/Output Color match

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  #1  
Old 02-12-2003, 01:39 PM
artms artms is offline
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Input/Output Color match

I know that you don't get the same color on a print that you see on the screen. However, my prints seem to be too cool or blue in the shadows though that is not what is on the screen. i have calibrated my monitor with Adobe gamma and I have calibrated my printer, cleaned heads..to no avail. It seems there is WAYYY too much to it to help in a few lines, but I was wondering if there is any advice or resource you can point me to which might help. I feel a little dyslexic about this because it seems the printer functions relative to the monitor and i can't figure out really how to make the printer know what the monitor is doing. One thing I have done is to decrease the blue channel before printing but that seems stupid to me. Is there a software that helps? I have an hp970c.
Thanks artms
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2003, 08:59 PM
CJ Swartz's Avatar
CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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artms,

While you wait for someone here with expertise in this area (and we do have a few, thank goodness), have you tried using the Photoshop proofing command -- View-->Proof Setup (choose CMYK for printing on paper), and then View-->Proof Colors or [Control-Y], or View-->Gamut warning to see if the particular hue of blue that you're working with IS printable? Probably a minor point, but worth a shot.
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2003, 12:19 AM
Stephen M Stephen M is offline
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In Photoshop 5.x or earlier the gamut warning is tied directly to the current CMYK Work Space set-up. So this is not much use unless you are after the CMYK WS gamut description.

The same for later versions - unless you use a softproof. The softproof profile would be the inkjet printer in question - which is most probably a RGB profile, and the input images should be RGB.

Generally most desktop output profiles are RGB - CMYK is more for press, although if you are into PostScript output on the desktop then CMYK is often the profiling space used.

If you are using a standard printer driver, then it is probably a RGB input for output. If using a PostScript printer driver - then CMYK is a good bet. As PostScript costs, most consumer devices do not use it - so it is often a good bet to say a given desktop output device is RGB based.

Here is the basic workflow recommended by most users for desktop printing:

* Acquire images and retain source ICC profile (scanner or camera) and then convert a copy of this data into your preferred safe neutral editing or Work Space RGB (Adobe RGB etc).

* Perform edits via adjustment layers and a softproof using the output profile, as the input colours may be out of gamut for the destination.

* Print the image, converting from the WS RGB to the printer RGB in the print colour management section.

** Using Adobe Gamma will not lead to the best possible monitor profile. The monitor profile is critical to display of accurate colour. Often a hardware/software package is used for this task, and the savings in ink/paper/frustration usually make this a no brainer as 'spyder' calibrators/profilers are quite cheap these days.

*** Using a canned or default profile of the printer will probably not lead to best results, but in some cases they do a OK job. A custom profile is often better. There are consultants and services to profile your printer with one particular brand of ink/stock and resolution which you do not change (or the ICC output profile for the printer is invalid). This saves buying expensive hard/sofware and having to learn how to profile yourself.

http://members.ozemail.com.au/~binar...V_links.html#E

The above link is more for Epson info, but in a broad sense most of the workflows are applicable to any stable output device.

Related info on colour settings and colour management is here:

http://members.ozemail.com.au/~binar...V_links.html#C

http://members.ozemail.com.au/~binar...V_links.html#I

There is a wealth of info out there to be found on colour managed printing (ICC, PIM, manual methods etc). Try a web search - as it is too hard rewriting all the great info out there! There are also inkjet specific email groups around at YahooGroups and other places which you can join and read archives and get specific answers from users of the same device.

Stephen Marsh.
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  #4  
Old 02-13-2003, 04:03 AM
Stephen M Stephen M is offline
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Re: Input/Output Color match

Quote:
Originally posted by artms
My prints seem to be too cool or blue in the shadows though that is not what is on the screen.
First step before you do anything else:

Open the problem file in Photoshop or other image editor - place the cursor or eyedropper over the shadows which look neutral on the monitor but print coloured - and read the RGB colour values that make up this region (usually 3x3 average eyedropper).

A neutral value is equal RGB numbers, or R=G=B - such as 0r 0g 0b for solid black, or 10r 10g 10b etc. Pure white is 255r 255g 255b, while highlight detail may be 245r 245g 245b etc.

Working by the numbers is easy and works hand in hand with ICC colour management or other methods, it is a critical backup to what the eyes think they see.

Then there are times when reading numbers does not help, as optical illusions will make a colour appear different even if it is made of the right values - context changes everything.

http://members.ozemail.com.au/~binar...valuation.html

Reagards,

Stephen Marsh.
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2003, 10:11 AM
artms artms is offline
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Thank you Stephen. I contacted HP and they said that I should be using sRGB...I was using Adobe rgb.
I don;t understand this part:
** Using Adobe Gamma will not lead to the best possible monitor profile. The monitor profile is critical to display of accurate colour. Often a hardware/software package is used for this task, and the savings in ink/paper/frustration usually make this a no brainer as 'spyder' calibrators/profilers are quite cheap these days

Are you saying I should use a different utility? Any names?
I also know that there are advanced settings in the print options window..brightness, contrast, warm or cooler...do I print a proof and then make adjustments there to try and match the monitor?

Thanks again
artms
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  #6  
Old 02-14-2003, 03:54 AM
Stephen M Stephen M is offline
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Hi ARTMS - I sort of doubt what HP told you on the RGB, but not knowing the specifics I am probably wrong. Since sRGB is part created by HP, there may be a good chance that default non ICC colour managed prints are fed this data. This is not to say that with other methods you could not do better. <g>

On the RGB thing - neither sRGB or Adobe RGB describe a printer space. Some devices can be made to assume sRGB type input which is then custom converted to the printer space - which is a different thing. Not sure of your settings or useage, but if this device does expect sRGB input by default then giving it Adobe RGB would be a problem.

Ideally you convert to the proper custom RGB printer profile and let the profiles do the work, instead of messing around with brightness and contrast controls in printer drivers and monitors etc.

The method you mention is opposite to the 'modern ICC colour managed approach' I described, it is one of the other methods available.

What my previous post and links attempted to do was to lead you to much better sources of information that what I can offer with my own thoughts here. Please do get back after you digest all of them.

Try a google or yahoo or whatever search for 'monitor calibration and characterisation or monitor calibration and profiling'. It is not much use going for custom ICC profiling of the monitor unless you adopt ICC editing and output methods as well, using a custom profile of the particular resolution/paper/ink combination in question.

ICC methods are complex to learn and often 'expensive' - although the alternatives are often a lot of wasted time, ink and paper. Users with desktop printers have really pushed a fully ICC colour managed viewing, editing and printing workflow, where as it has seen more limited or lesser adoption with prepress and press work.

Stephen Marsh.
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  #7  
Old 06-24-2003, 12:59 PM
cinderella cinderella is offline
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The profile for my Epson 740 printer seems to have evaporated from my computer. Where can I acquire another one???? Doing a net search came up with zip. The printer is old . But the quality is still good if I can get past the color matching problems.
Am now going to Yahoo group to see if there is info there.
Thanks
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  #8  
Old 06-25-2003, 07:59 AM
Stephen M Stephen M is offline
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Do you still have the CD for hte 740, Cinderella? I would presume the profile is on it, or perhaps try the support/downloads page at the Epson site for your model.

Stock, canned profiles can be good or bad - they often do OK for the OEM ink/stock/resolution combo that Epson originally designed them for.

Many folk in colour critical situations use the services of consultants (as the gear is not cheap) to produce their custom inkjet profiles for each combo of ink/stock/resolution, which is around the $50-100 USD mark if I recall correctly.

I could send you canned profiles from my old 800, but that is probably not going to help very much. <g>

Stephen Marsh.
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  #9  
Old 06-25-2003, 06:16 PM
cinderella cinderella is offline
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Thanks Stephen, I still have the 740 disk but it does not have the driver for Win 2000. And will not reinstall driver. I must have downloaded it in the first place.
when I go to epson website they seem to have dropped the info for that printer as I cannot download anything. I get a page with a little bo x in the upper left hand corner. Can't find a place to download profiles. Plan to call Epson tomorrow.
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  #10  
Old 07-11-2003, 02:29 PM
cinderella cinderella is offline
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In the for what it's worth department I was finally able to download the driver for my epson 740 printer for Win 2000. My son told me to right click on the little box that showed up on the upper left hand corner of the otherwise blank page when I tried to download from Epson. I was then able to" save the target as" and voila. my download was successful. ANd best of all my color prints are looking much better without a lot of tinkering. Won't be putting my printer in the trash after all.
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