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Can someone tell me in simple layman terms what are ICC Profiles and how to use them?
Also, How do I install them?
Thanks in advance for your guideance.
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This should help
(click on the blue text above Adrian....)
The information in the camera needs to be translated to ink colour, and ink colour in the final print depends on the make-up of the ink pigment and how it is rendered onto the paper, and each paper in turn will render it differently.
So for example if you are prinitng a blue colour on a particulat paper, the inks may need to use pigments in quantities 25%A, 25% B and 50%C, but for ink manufactuter B it may be 24%, 28%, 48%. So the ICC profile translates the camera information to print colour.
If you can find the profile online it is usually a simple case off pressing the 'install' button, or following the instructions provicced by the printer. When you are in Photoshope/Lightroom/whatever programme, you select the ICC profile from the list that appears in the print module.
Thanks Guys, just downloaded and installed ICC profiles from my fav printer paper (Permajet), only problem is they are not showing in my printers (Epson R2880) drop-down menu on the print interface.
Yes I have checked they are in the right Windows 7 directory (Windows/system32/spool/driver/color) as instructed.
No photoshop was not open when installing the profiles and yes I have re-started my system.
Any ideas guys?
You should find the printer profile selection in the Photoshop print dialogue, not the printer's.
You need to turn off colour management in the printer dialogue and then in Photoshop select 'Photoshop manages colours' (or whatever the wording is, can't remember exactly). What you are doing is telling Photoshop to render the colours, not the printer driver.
Quote: Thanks Guys, just downloaded and installed ICC profiles from my fav printer paper (Permajet)
If you are using Permajet papers you can get free custom ICC profiles too, these will be even more accurate than the generic ones. The custom ones work by downloading their patch files and printing out, this is usually two or five sheets on colour swatches. You then post them to permajet and they will build a profile based on your exact printer. Believe it or not two printers which are identical can often print slightly different so this is where custom profiles come in for more accurate results.
Should be able to get the profile to come up in to printers panel by associating it with that printer.
You don't have to disable printer adjustments to use an ICC profile. You just tell the printer to use that profile. The printer doesn't know if its a profile you have inserted, or one that the maker provided. To it is just a dataset.
So one can say profile a printer with a Color Munki, and give that profile to a friend who associates it with his printer, and then he gets accurate colour even though he's using very basic photo editing software.
There are of course advantages to letting the printer do the rendering, because you can make the print darker or lighter with ease if one needs to. ie the profile comes up in the printer panel even with colour control on. You select your new magic profile - the colours should be spot on, but if your screen luminance is out, the print can be a tad dark or light. So you use the colour controls to adjust and leave it at whatever setting suits.
Quote: So one can say profile a printer with a Color Munki, and give that profile to a friend who associates it with his printer, and then he gets accurate colour even though he's using very basic photo editing software.
That's incorrect. A custom icc profile is for the actual printer that's being profiled, using specific media, ink and print settings. That's the whole point of having a custom profile made, as opposed to using a generic one.
I think Justin, you may have missed the point.
I profile your printer on your computer with my Colour Munki. Then because you have a simple editing software, I associate that profile with that printer in the operating system/printer driver and it will show on that printers panel.
I can hook your printer to my computer and then give you the profile. As long as the printer is doing the colour management both times. They do recommend that you have colour controls set to off when you profile, but if in the colour control panel all is set to zero, that IS colour controls off, though you are using the printers colour engine. In fact it doesn't matter if you are using a print profiler, because whatever the setting, it reads the error, which is in effect the profile, and the printer uses that, because you tell it to but you do need to keep those settings unchanged. Though I accept its not ideal - still, better to be approximately right than exactly wrong. (One may have to modify the profile to get it dead right if you go that route. )
In principle for a perfect result you do need to keep the settings ink and media constant. In fact of course, other than for absolute perfection, the paper doesn't make a lot of difference, so long as its broadly similar. One is not going to get away with it using matte fine art paper for a gloss profile. However, one has to nit pick a lot between say HP white gloss and Fuji white - both are very white and pretty similar. But Epson paper is very yellow, and side by side then you can see a difference. Kodak premium high gloss used on a Galerie lustre profile and the results are almost indistinguishable compared with Galerie lustre. One will get to know what does and doesn't upset the system, and what is acceptable to you.
At the same time, a profile isn't everything. You can find that one photo printed off a custom profile can still exhibit colour casts that are not paper related. A lot of profiles are optimised for one thing - often skin tones. Then you print a snow scene and ones marvellous profile prints a yellow, and you just cannot shift it without getting the profile modified or "accurised" for that range of colours. Most common in somehting that contains a predominance of one colour.
But its not incorrect I'm afraid, just a useful workaround.
However the one thing you can't workaround is a screen that is out. Because one gets a colour value off the camera. Let say a white. If your screen reproduces that as a pink you see hte error and and you clear the cast. It looks perfect on screen, but it will print slightly blue in simple terms.
Quote: But its not incorrect I'm afraid, just a useful workaround.
What exactly are you working around? You make colour management sound ten times more complicated than it actually is: calibrate and profile the monitor; get hold of a decent paper/ink profile; softproof the print in Photoshop for maximum accuracy and let Photoshop manage colour or send the file to the printer driver. The only way you'll get any nasty surprise is if you're using poor profiles or adopting some unnecessarily complex method.
I agree it is usually very easy in Photoshop, especially when one has got it right.
What if you don't have Photoshop, and you still want accurate colour. That is possibly what one is trying to workaround.
Or maybe he wants his ICC profile to appear in his printers panel, which isn't essential, but can be nice.
Or perhaps he has bought a profile or had one done for him, and has loaded it, and things are still not dead on - which they can be very easily.
The only way you'll get a nasty surprise.... well if one doesn't have colour spaces aligned is one good way. Monitor brightness incorrectly set (or not matching printer output) is another very common way way even when the colour is spot on, normally producing prints which are either too dark or too light. Even with a a good profile - because the profile is measuring colour values, but luminance is often set mechanically on the monitor panel and not through the graphics card, which is what the monitor profile talks to. (Thus the colour engine "knows" what colour values to send to the monitor, and what relative brightness, but it doesn't know necessarily how bright or dark the screen appears to you the viewer, and that makes a hell of a difference)
So one may well have to adjust the monitor to get a print to come out right (or use a non standard setting) , even if it has been colour profiled. But then I suppose it depends on how right is right to an individual.
But I'm afraid there is a little more to it than calibrating and profiling a monitor and letting PS manage the colour, or can be, depending on how the software works.
Quote: but it doesn't know necessarily how bright or dark the screen appears to you the viewer, and that makes a hell of a difference
I'd recommend removing sunglasses and turning off any nearby 400W halogen lamps.
Quote: I'm afraid there is a little more to it than calibrating and profiling a monitor and letting PS manage the colour
I have the same fear. If you kick the whole scenario off without any softproofing ability you may as well tie your shoelaces to the starting block; that's an immediate disconnect between screen and print. Luckily we have half of the solution in an all-singing, all-dancing spectrophotometer.
I have to agree with GlennH..Make it as simple and easy as possible, and Glenns way is just that.
If you not using Photoshop then I suggest you buy Elements as that is cheaper, and based upon Photoshop, and profiles are used the same way. If you try it via the long way then you will get frustrated in the end..
I agree with Glenn too. He's an authority on this in my opinion. Everything he posts about colour and calibration etc always proves to be good advice. Does make me chuckle though when I view his portfolio!
Quote: I agree with Glenn too. He's an authority on this in my opinion. Everything he posts about colour and calibration etc always proves to be good advice. Does make me chuckle though when I view his portfolio!
Thanks Chris - I'm full of contradictions! I'd deny being an authority; some people know daft amounts on colour theory whereas I tend to run a mile when I start seeing any type of formula. I have a fairly robust knowledge of the colour management process and I'm not even sure where that came from. Wrestling with monitor gamut issues at one point probably contributed, and before that contesting image-processing points with photo libraries before I really knew what I was talking about. I guess I eventually got bored of only having half a clue!
The simple process of attempting to answer questions on ePhotozine is a learning opportunity in itself. Sometimes I've realised in attempting to resolve one problem that I had poor understanding of related side-issues. So I'd follow up on those as well! Maybe the B&W stuff is my form of escape, although I'm a sucker for Parisian street photography - I want to get back to it.
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