Section 4.4. Creating CM Workflow Actions


4.3. Convert to Output Profile

Once you've gone to the trouble of establishing profiles, actually using them becomes one of the easiest stages to control in a color-managed workflow. In this final stage of the color-managed workflow, we'll put the output profiles to use.

4.3.1. Placing Color Profiles

When you create a profile for any of your devices using profile creation software, it is automatically saved into your system folder (the ColorSync Profiles folder on the Mac or the Spool If you download a profile, you will need to place it in your system folder so that Photoshop or your print driver can use it. The directory for placing the profile in various operating systems is shown in the table to the right.

4.3.2. Checking Your System Profile

Your monitor profile is your system profile, which is automatically saved to the profile folder when it's created and, in most cases, is seeded as your system profile automatically. There are two places to check to make sure that your profile is properly seated.

In Windows, right-click on your desktop to bring up the Display Properties, select the Settings tab, and then click the Advanced button. Select the Color Management tab, and you should see the name of your monitor profile selected. If you do not see it, click the Add button (which will take you to the Color folder), select your profile, and then click the "Set As Default" button.

Operating System

Profile Location

Windows 95/98

Windows System Color Folder

Windows 2000

WinNT System 32 Spool Drivers Color Folder

Windows XP

Windows System 32 Spool Drivers Color Folder

Vista

Windows System 32 Spool Drivers Color Folder

Mac OS 9

System Folder ColorSync Profiles

Mac OSX

(Username or hard drive name) Library ColorSync Profiles


On the Macintosh, open the System Preferences, select Displays, and select the Color screen to show the selected profile. If your profile is not highlighted, scroll through to find it, and select your monitor's profile.

Monitor profiles can also be selected in Photoshop. On either platform, from your Color Settings window, choose the RGB Working Space pull-down menu, and you should see your saved monitor profile name next to Monitor RGB. This will allow you to use your monitor profile as a working space, if necessary.

Photoshop automatically uses your system profile to display your images accurately in Photoshop.


Occasionally, a monitor profile may become corrupted. When this happens, nearly everything looks fine except images viewed in Photoshop (because Photoshop uses the profile, as mentioned above). If this ever happens to you, you must find the profile in your ColorSync or Color folder, move it to the trash, empty the trash, restart your computer, and then recalibrate your monitor. This happens to me once or twice a year and is easy to fix by recalibrating.

4.3.3. Applying Profiles for Output

Applying profiles, or rather converting to a profile, for output can be done in any one of three places in a Photoshop workflow:

  • In Photoshop, Edit "Convert to Profile

  • In Photoshop, File "Print with Preview interface

  • In your printer's driver or File Export plug-in interface

Apply the profile with the same print settings that were used to create the profile.

If you are working with a professional photographic lab, the chances are good that you will not need to apply an output profile. However, you may need to apply one if your working color space is different from the lab's requirement. If this is the case, turn to the last section of this chapter, where I walk you through creating an action in Photoshop to prepare these image for your lab or printing press.


4.3.3.1. Using Photoshop's "Convert to Profile" command

From the main menu in Photoshop, select Edit "Convert to Profile." In the Destination Space section, use the Profile pull-down menu to select your specific profile for printing, along with the conversion options. Select OK, and your file will be converted to the output profile. Visually, youll see little difference in the image, but the values of the file itself will have been changed to print correctly. You are then ready to send the file to your printer with instructions to print in its native, profiled form. Because you have converted your profile within Photoshop, Off or No Color Management should be selected in the printer driver and in the "Print with Preview" interface.

4.3.3.2. Using Photoshop's "Print with Preview" option

The second (preferred) method for converting to your output profile is by selecting File "Print with Preview." This option is a little more convenient than previous one. In the Options area, select Let Photoshop Determine Colors, and choose your Printer Profile and your preferred Rendering Intent.

If you look to the right of "Let Photoshop Determine Colors," you'll see a little bubble with an exclamation point. By placing your cursor over that bubble, you can see the Reminder at the bottom of this window telling you to disable color management in the printer driver.

4.3.3.3. Using the printer driver to convert your profile

Start by clicking Print to bring up your printer driver. Choose your printer, if necessary. In Mac OS X, select Printer Color Management and then select Off (No Color Adjustment), thereby disabling color management in the printer driver. (Don't forget to use the Print Settings window to set your paper type and resolution.) In Windows, select the Main tab and then Advanced Settings to establish these same settings.

If by chance you convert the profile and forget to turn off color management in the print driver, you will end up with some very interesting results that may not be to your satisfaction and that are not consistent.


Save your printer driver settings so that the next time you print using the same paper and profile, you can select saved driver settings without having to go through these steps each time.

As technology rapidly improves, one of the most powerful advances in ink-jet printing today is a technology developed by Canon: a new line of printers that use a 12-color pigment ink system, which includes not only the CMYK and light cmyk inks, but also red, green, and blue inks that allow for a wider color gamut. When installing the printer driver for the iPF5000 printer (or any of these printers), you have an option to install a driver plug-in to use in Photoshop or from Digital Photo Professional (Canon's image-processing software).

This plug-in supports another innovative feature for ink-jet printing: you can select a 16-bit printing mode that allows a powerful 12 bits of image data to be printed from a 16-bit file.


4.3.3.4. Using Auto Color for the output profile on the new Canons

I know this sounds a little iffy, but I can tell you from experience that this setting is very impressive because once you have selected the Media Type, the Auto Color chooses the correct profile automatically. Sure, you can always create and use custom ICC profiles and select them specifically, but the Auto feature works very well, and the custom profiles that I have built have been only as good as what comes with the printer.

To use this feature in Photoshop, choose File Export iPF5000 Print Plug-in to bring up the dialog box. Youll see Main and Page Setup tabs that you'll use to establish the initial settings for media type, printing resolution, orientation, and profile selection.

There is no need to convert to profile because selecting the Media Type and Auto (Color) will color manage the image automatically from the Main tab. Here, select the printing resolution and whether you want 8-bit or 16-bit. Also, if you click on the Set Configuration button, you can establish sharpening settings for your printing on the fly.

From the Page Setup window, establish your Media Size, Orientation, Layout information, and Media Source (such as cassette, roll paper, tray, or front load in). The Color Settings tab's (not shown) default settings are all set to zero and should remain so, regardless of whether you're using Auto or selecting a profile for printing.

When you return to this Canon plug-in, the settings will be the same as the last time you printed. So, unless you're using a different paper or media source, simply double-check your Orientation and print away.

If you prefer to use "Print with Preview," as described earlier, the same settings are available in the printer driver for the Canon printers (except for 16-bit printing). Select the Set option in Color Handling to have the option to select No Color Management.

Using a RIP software or hardware/software package offers many production advantages in a printing workflow, and there are a variety of software solutions available, including Colorburst, Onyx, and ScanVec. RIPs can be either hardware or software based, and they allow you to assemble a series of images, select the printer, prepare for package printing, change media type and profiles, and choose other settings outside of Photoshop. You can drag and drop image files to a work area for printing.

Printer

Calibration

ICC Profile

ICC Color Control

Ink-jet - Canon 5000

Automatic

Custom and vendor supplied

RIP or print driver

Ink-jet - Epson 9800

Automatic

Custom and vendor supplied

RIP or print driver

Ink-jet - Epson 2200

Manual

Custom

RIP or print driver

Laser printer

Manual

Custom

RIP or print driver

Dye sub - Sony

Software

Custom

RIP or print driver


In-house printing

Printer

Calibration

ICC Profile

ICC Color Control

Professional Photographic Lab

At lab

At lab

Send or convert to sRGB

Professional Photographic Lab 2

At lab

At lab

At lab

Consumer Lab - Costco

At lab

Download from Internet

Convert to their profile

Marathon Press

At plant

At plant

Send or convert to Adobe RGB (1998)

DynaColor Press

At plant

At plant

At plant

Unknown CMYK press

N/A

N/A

Embed Adobe RGB (1998)


Outsource printing

4.3.4. Output Objective Lists

One of the most useful things that you can do is make a list of all the output devices that are involved in your workflow. Include all of your output needs and uses: ink-jet, dye sub, professional photographic labs, consumer labs (e.g., Costco), full-color printing presses, news print, laser printer, Internet, and even unknown CMYK four-color printers. For each output objective, create a description of how each is managed from your workflow and create separate lists for in-house and outsource printing needs. Creating this list will remind you that each output objective may need certain workflow procurements or special attention. In addition, it will help you identify which stages of your workflow might be automated using actions or droplets (see next section).




Practical Color Management. Eddie Tapp on Digital Photography
Practical Color Management: Eddie Tapp on Digital Photography
ISBN: 0596527683
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 61

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