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What To Do When PS Color Proofing Reveals Problems?

 
 
Mardon
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      03-22-2006
When a problem is uncovered during "Color Proofing" in Photoshop CS2,
how do I fix the image so that the printer will be able to handle the
colors correctly? I have a specific example of what I'm talking
about that you can see here:
http://www.JustPhotos.ca/misc/proofing.htm

 
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Bill Hilton
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      03-22-2006
> Mardon writes ...
>
>When a problem is uncovered during "Color Proofing" in Photoshop
>CS2, how do I fix the image so that the printer will be able to handle
>the colors correctly?


I assume you mean "soft proofing" ... if you're pretty sure that the
printer profile is accurate (many aren't) and that your monitor profile
is accurate (in other words that the 'soft proof' will match the final
print fairly well) then here's what I do ... duplicate the image, show
both the proofed version (which shows the problem) and the original
(which looks the way you want it to look on the screen) on the screen
at the same time ... on the proofed version make a new layer set and
name it for the printer paper you are proof-correcting for (in your
example maybe "costco matte") ... add adjustment layers to this layer
set (which ever adjustment layer types you're most comfortable using -
Curves, Levels, etc) and correct the proof until it looks as close to
the original as you can get.

So when you're done you should be able to turn off the layer set and
the soft proof option and see the original image, then turn on the soft
proof and the layer set with these adjustment layers for that proof and
see the same thing, within the limits of the printer (gamut). It's not
uncommon for people to have multiple adjustment layer sets for
different printers or papers if they regularly print on different
machines or papers (for example, 'Lightjet matte' or 'Epson 4000
Luster' or 'Epson 4000 Velvet Fine Art' are three of mine for one image
that gets printed a lot. Then when you're ready to print you can make
a copy of the image with the proper adjustment layer set turned on,
flatten it and send it to the printer.

The key is to use adjustment layers in a layer set so you can make the
changes without changing the underlying image. I should also point out
that when you soft proof checking or not checking 'simulate: paper
white' makes a big difference in how the proof looks on-screen. This
may or may not agree with the final print, depending on the light you
use to view the print. And finally this method is only as good as the
two profiles and there are a lot of profiles that are not accurate.

Bill

 
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bmoag
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      03-22-2006
Since soft proofing is nearly worthless I strongly suspect you have an
error in your workflow or an incoorect/damaged/corrupt profile.
Soft proofing is only marginally useful when making major conversions, e.g
from an RGB to a CMYK medium, and have made a major error in color
management while still in Photoshop.
There is no way on earth soft proofing can show significant differences when
you are looking through profiles for different paper surfaces for the same
printer because you are viewing the image through a computer monitor
interface. You actually have to make a test print to really see what is
going on. This is also where experience pays off in having made a certain
volume of prints with different paper surfaces and understanding what the
differences are between the different paper surfaces.


 
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