What Does a Printer Profile Actually Do?

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    Topic: What Does a Printer Profile Actually Do? Read 44089 Times
  • Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
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    What Does a Printer Profile Actually Do?
    on: April 25, 2020 at 10:51 pm

    Instead, it devolved into a bickering battle between individuals, myself included, on technical minutia that is of no use to the practicing photographer. 

    I’m not sure why you feel you should be speaking to all practicing photographers about these posts being technical minutia. There was indeed  realities of CM and soft-proofing provided. Might just thank Rand for his kind words pervious:

    What a GREAT discussion! “

    Thank you Rand.

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Mike Nelson Pedde
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    Re: What Does a Printer Profile Actually Do?
    Reply #1 on: April 26, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    Dave: I am very far from being a colour expert, but I found this one the ICC website, and it sums it up in terms even people like me can understand. To answer the Subject question:

    Device profiles provide color management systems with the information necessary to convert color data between native device color spaces and device independent color spaces.

    The differences with rendering intents, etc. get into how exactly they do that and how they deal with mismatches. There’s a lot more, here: http://www.color.org/iccprofile.xalter

    Mike.

    _____
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Victoria, BC
    https://www.wolfnowl.com/



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    Re: What Does a Printer Profile Actually Do?
    Reply #2 on: May 16, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    I’d like to refer to Dave’s citation of Jeff Schewe’s “The Digital Print“. On p.72, it says: “To ensure that what you see in Photoshop or Lightroom is accurate, a well-made profile must have an accurate set of tables for the display and the final output“. Now, as I too am trying to gain better understanding of profiles, could someone please verify: In my understanding a printer profile contains tables that translate from PCS to output and vice versa, but not to the display directly. Did I get something wrong? Thanks in advance for clarification. Regards, Michael

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
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    Re: What Does a Printer Profile Actually Do?
    Reply #3 on: May 16, 2020 at 8:11 pm

    There are two tables that need to be ‘accurate’ (quote on purpose): one affects the output and the other the preview (soft proof). Ideally they are in ‘sync’ along with of course a good display calibration aimed towards a match to the print:

    • AtoB0Tag (device to PCS, perceptual)—soft proof

    • AtoB1Tag (device to PCS, colorimetric)—soft proof

    • AtoB2Tag (device to PCS, saturation)—soft proof

    • BtoA0Tag (PCS to device, perceptual)—output

    • BtoA1Tag (PCS to device, colorimetric)—output

    • BtoA2Tag (PCS to device, saturation)—output

    The important item to keep in mind is the direction (device color space to PCS or PCS to device color space). When the direction is from the device color space to PCS, that table ultimately affects the soft proof. This is also known as the Forward transform or AtoB table. When the direction is from the PCS to device color space, that table controls the output portion. This is also known as the Inverse transform or BtoA table. When you edit the Inverse transform (BtoA), both the soft proof and the output will be affected by the edit since both need to be updated. When you edit the Forward transform (AtoB) only the soft proof will be affected. When you edit both the Forward transform (AtoB) and Inverse transform (BtoA), just the print (output) will be affected, and the soft proof will remain unchanged.

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)



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    Re: What Does a Printer Profile Actually Do?
    Reply #4 on: May 16, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    Thank you, Andrew.

    As you mention editing profiles: I went through the color.org list of profile editing tools. Unfortunately, those seem either to be out of market (Profile Maker) or very expensive (Apogee, Alwan etc.). Photoshop is listed as an ICC profile editor, but Adobe color management forum denies that (correctly?)

    Hence, is there any affordable profile editing software? I am aware that tinkering with profiles should generally be avoided – nevertheless I would like to have a try.

    References welcome!

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
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    Re: What Does a Printer Profile Actually Do?
    Reply #5 on: May 16, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    There should be no reason anyone would normally need to edit profiles.

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)



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    Re: What Does a Printer Profile Actually Do?
    Reply #6 on: May 16, 2020 at 10:07 pm

    Sometimes I get 44″ prints made by a printing studio abroad. They do provide me with profiles for soft-proofing, but those do not match their own hard proofs in my viewing booth (my own prints match, FWIW). So I could

    a) set up extra monitor calibration for their prints or

    b) establish correction curves in PS for their prints or

    c) tweak the provided icc-profile for soft-proofing their prints

    being c) the most fail-safe solution in my view. Thus my question. References (or better workflow recommendations) still welcome.

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
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    Re: What Does a Printer Profile Actually Do?
    Reply #7 on: May 16, 2020 at 10:09 pm

    Getting a profile you can only use for soft proofing, not for actually allowing you to convert and pick a rendering intent and perhaps output specific edits is an utter waste of time. You don’t even know if that profile reflects the actual print conditions.

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)



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    Re: What Does a Printer Profile Actually Do?
    Reply #8 on: May 16, 2020 at 10:22 pm

    That said, I am just curious about affordable profile editing tools. Just to play with, for fun, learning, understanding how things work. So, if someone knew such a tool that allowed me to tinker with output profiles, I would still be grateful. Thank you in advance!

    Andrew Rodney
    Andrew Rodney
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    Re: What Does a Printer Profile Actually Do?
    Reply #9 on: May 16, 2020 at 10:35 pm

    I don’t know of any affordable modern tools for proper profile editing.

    Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)



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    Re: What Does a Printer Profile Actually Do?
    Reply #10 on: May 16, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    Andrew, thank you for your time and effort, much appreciated!

    Patrick Herold
    Patrick Herold
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    Re: What Does a Printer Profile Actually Do?
    Reply #11 on: May 18, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    There really isn’t anything on the market today that edits profiles like the old ProfileMaker Editor.  One might see this as a burning need in the market.  On the other hand, profiling software has gotten so good these days that people should not need to tweak a “bad” profile anymore.  If something is not matching, then that is a clue that something is wrong in the process somewhere.   At the same time, there are a lot of controls already in profiling packages that allow you to adjust the behavior of the profile.  Contrast and Saturation controls allow for increasing shadow detail and highlights, and white / black point adjustments can be made to scale a profile to a new white point.  But there’s nothing that allows for the fine granularity of specific color changes like in ProfileMaker.  If you really really had to get an edit, you could pay someone who still runs ProfileMaker to do it for you.  Not an ideal situation.

    http://www.colorwiki.com/wiki/Editing_Profiles_for_Fun_and_Profit

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