Soft and hard proofing

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This shows how to simulate what an image will look like when it gets printed using the custom printer profile from CHROMiX. You can soft-proof an image using a feature in Photoshop, or you can “hard-proof” – actually make a print on one printer which simulates the output from a different printer.

Example of soft proof setup in Photoshop

Proof on the monitor (soft proofing)

  1. Open the image in Photoshop
  2. Choose "View > Proof Setup > Custom..."
  3. Device to Simulate: Select your custom CHROMiX profile
  4. Leave “Preserve Numbers” unchecked.
  5. Intent: Choose Perceptual or Relative Colorimetric, whichever you are using when printing (See Appendix B for more information on rendering intents)
  6. “Black Point Compensation”: √ checked
  7. Paper Color: unchecked; Simulate Ink Black: √ (checked)
  8. Click OK

The image on the monitor will be displayed through the same profile you will use when printing. This provides a more realistic expectation of the colors you will see on your print, because the display will be limited to the gamut of your printer.

You can use a press / proofer profile for this simulation, or your printer profile. In both cases Photoshop will display your image as if it had converted through the profile (as in the example above) and then “proofed” back to your monitor. This is the most common use of soft-proofing.

Preserve Color numbers checkbox

If the file is already in the color space of the proofer / printer / press and you do not intend to convert the file for printing (use the profile while printing), then select “Preserve RGB/CMYK Numbers.” Photoshop will then simulate how the image will look when sent to the proofer / printer / press without any further conversions taking place. This is an important distinction. Another attempt to explain this often-confusing feature is here.

Experiment with the “Paper White” and “Ink Black” settings to see how the image is affected. Incorrectly measured paper white or black points may produce inaccurate results.

You can click “Save...” to name and save the proofing setup. This setup will then appear at the bottom of the "View > Proof Setup” menu for use again in the future and also in the printer-proofing technique explained below.

Proof on a printer (hard copy proof)

(steps 1-8 are repeated from above)

  1. Open the image in Photoshop
  2. Choose "View > Proof Setup > Custom..."
  3. Device to Simulate: Select the profile of the device you wish to simulate, or a print standard you wish to emulate (like GRACoL)
  4. Leave “Preserve RGB/CMYK Numbers” unchecked.
  5. Intent: Relative Colorimetric
  6. “Black Point Compensation: √ (checked)
  7. Simulate Paper Color: unchecked; Simulate Ink Black: √ (checked)
  8. Click OK
  9. Choose “File > Print...”
  10. Choose “Color Management” from the popup menu
  11. Choose “Proof” instead of Document
  12. For Color Handling: “Photoshop Manages Colors”
  13. Choose a printer profile representing the printer you will actually be printing to.
  14. For Rendering Intent: choose Absolute or Relative Colorimetric
  15. Click Page Setup... You will have to turn OFF color management in your printer driver, if this has not been done already. With Windows, you will be in the print driver’s properties window, and under Mac OS X you will be in the standard print driver window. Usually there is a setting called “No Color Adjustment,” or “ICM” and it’s fairly simple to hunt around for it. Once you find it, turn if off or set it to not work. All printer drivers are different. If you have printed your profiling target properly before getting the profile made, then this setting is likely already properly turned off.
  16. Click Print

Note: When you choose Proof Setup in step 11, the rendering intent will default to the same rendering intent you used to soft proof. If you choose Absolute Colorimetric, the printed image will simulate the gamut and paper color of the proofing profile. If you want to simulate only the gamut and not the paper color, then choose Relative Colorimetric for the rendering intent.

Photoshop performs a remarkable series of color conversions in this simple printing technique of proofing one device on another. Say, for example, you want to simulate a Matchprint proof of your RGB image on your inkjet printer. As you print your image with the above settings, Photoshop will convert your RGB image to Matchprint using the rendering intent chosen in step 5 of the proofing setup. Then Photoshop “proofs” from the Matchprint profile to your printer profile using the rendering intent set in step 14. In this way, Photoshop reduces the colors to those available on the Matchprint, and then faithfully reproduces them on your printer. All without actually affecting your RGB file! <p>

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