Monday, February 14, 2011

Week 4 Review -Softproofing prints...

This may be the real reason you got Photoshop... Your prints look awful... not the work of Art you know it is...
Just as a check before you start make sure you have been working with the right color space.  ProPhoto RGB.
And, verify that the image has been set to 16 bit (this actually makes a big difference!) You more than likely already made these presets in Camera Raw!
Menu Image > Mode > √ (Check) RGB and √ (Check) 16 bits/Channel
Before you begin load a duplicate of the image you want to soft proof. Use the Menu Bar item "arrange documents"

We will want to make our soft proof emulation (what the print will looks like on paper)  -- to the way it looks on your monitor!
in order to do so we'll have to make some "tweaks" to the softproof image.
Select the menu item
View > Proof Setup > Custom...
and make the following settings

1. If you have a color profile for the paper and your printer
(in my case this was supplied by Red River Paper, the manufacturer of the Polar Matte paper)
You may have made your own profile, or you are using the profile for the paper supplied by your Printer manufacturer.
For my Canon Printer, when I'm using Canon Paper, the profile is BJ Color Printer Profile 2000.
2. Rendering intent:  You have two choices here, the choice is yours based on aesthetics (how the result looks to you!
a. Relative Colormetric (based on tones from light to dark )
b. Perceptual: (Based on color to color changes)
3. Since the purpose here is to see what the print will look like Check Simulate Paper Color
4. Will show you what it'll look like... UGLY! Well maybe... Sometimes the changes are quite subtle...

Generally you'll want to ensure that black are printed as blacks, and you'll want to tweek the colors Dynamic range with the Curves palette and bump the saturation of the colors with the Hue/Saturation palette. 
1. Blacks
Use the menu 
Select > Color Range
Use the eye dropper to select the blacks and set fuzziness to around 25
Click OK
To place the color selection on a layer use the keyboard shortcut Control J (PC) / Command J (Mac) this will copy the black selection onto a blank layer. (see the layers Palette)

In the layers palette duplicate the black selection and change The Layers Blending Mode from "Normal" to  "Multiply"  This will darken the black range by multiplying the value of the pixels... you can duplicate this layer to make the effect stronger and you can use the opacity setting to back off the changes... 
Use the The Curves Palette to work with the dynamic range of the colors and Hue/Saturation palette to tweak the colors
The goal is to match the Softproof to the Monitor Version...

 The key word is " tweaks" so be gentle when you make your changes. Have fun! and Enjoy!!!

Oh, yes... save your softproofed image as (for example) EnglishBay-Canoni9100-polarMatte-Relative.psd
In other words include the Name of the photo, what printer, profile and rendering intent you used as a .psd so you can do more tweaks if you so desire.


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