Soft Proofing in Photoshop

ivarivar I'd be happy with a cookiePosts: 8,395Registered Users Major grins
edited April 23, 2012 in Tutorials
It's a good idea to start with a calibration print.
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Wouldn't it be great if the printer faithfully produced your sRGB file exactly as you submitted it with no subtle changes? The answer is to get the ICC profile and use it to soft proof in an application like Photoshop.

Right click and save for the SmugMug ICC profile

To install ICC profiles in Windows 98/ME/2000/XP: Download the profile by right-clicking and selecting "Save Target As." Then right-click on the downloaded profile, a file named ezprints.icc. A menu will appear. Choose Install Profile. If the Uninstall Profile menu item appears, it means you already have an ICC profile of the same name installed.

To install ICC profiles on a Mac with OS X: Drag the ICC profile to the Users/[user name]/Library/ColorSync/Profiles folder. Soft Proofing only works in CS2, CS3, CS4. Does not work in PS Elements. Soft proof every so often to check your work. It's not done every time you edit.

In Photoshop, click View>Proof Setup>Custom
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Choose from the dropdown list the device you want to simulate.
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Incorrect: Here we see the effect of checking the "simulate paper color" box. Makes the shot looked washed out. This is not how your print will look!
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Correct: This is what you should see when you've soft proofed correctly. Look carefully at the settings here.
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An animation:
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Comments

  • Pure EnergyPure Energy Major grins Posts: 180Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 19, 2012
    I've downloaded the lab profiles for EZ Prints, Bay Photo and Loxley Colour. Could one just as easily get the profiles for the latest lab, then compare how an image looks in Photoshop and correctly decide which lab to go with?

    Is View>Proof Colors checked or unchecked (what does it mean)?

    Why not soft-proof all of the time?
  • arodneyarodney Major grins Posts: 2,005Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 22, 2012
    ivar wrote: »
    The answer is to get the ICC profile and use it to soft proof in an application like Photoshop.

    Right click and save for the SmugMug ICC profile

    Major issue. You are forced to send sRGB, not data converted using that profile right? So soft proofing isn’t going to be all that effective. You have to pick a rendering intent with or without Black Point Compensation yet you have no control over either if you are forced to send sRGB. We have no idea what CMM is used for conversion. In fact we don’t know if that profile is even being used to convert the data on the print side. It might. It might have been built years ago and does the output conditions of the device still behave as the profile describes? You can’t convert then edit based on the soft proof because, well you can’t convert. You have to send sRGB.

    Any lab or shop that supplies a profile you are supposed to use to soft proof that doesn’t allow you to fully use the profile is using a half baked color management workflow. It is mostly to make you feel better. I have no issue with a lab geared towards those customers who are OK feeding sRGB to a device and getting back what they get back. I’m not so OK with a lab that makes the customer think they are working in a true color management workflow when they really are not. Either supply a profile and let us use it as intended or just tell us to send in sRGB and ignore soft proofing as well as converting to an output color space.
    Incorrect: Here we see the effect of checking the "simulate paper color" box. Makes the shot looked washed out. This is not how your print will look!

    In correct. That is exactly why we have such an option! To simulate the contrast of the print and the color of the paper which has a huge role over the output color. If when you soft proof using this option, you don’t get a better match, then either your display calibration, that profile, or the color management process is hosed. The simulate option was put into Photoshop by some smart engineers and color experts for a reason!
    Andrew Rodney
    Author "Color Management for Photographers"
    http://www.digitaldog.net/
  • OverfocusedOverfocused Photo Nut Posts: 1,061Registered Users Major grins
    edited April 23, 2012
    I just convert my images to sRGB and don't have trouble with any lab anywhere... in my experience that takes care of itself
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