Soft Proofing/Device Link Profiles questions

Widmark

Active member
I have some questions about soft proofing. While looking into RIPs I've seen a lot about the benefits of Device Link Profiles. It seemed like a smart way to profile your papers, but then it occurred to me that you wouldn't be able to do any soft-proofing in Photoshop for instance. You could soft-proof within the RIP that created/is using the device link profiles, and if that RIP has editing software/controls you can make changes there, but you're not going to be able to be doing retouching in photoshop and softproof those papers, because you don't have actual ICC profiles for the paper. Am I just confusing the needs of different people? Like for vendors/printers using the RIPs and making color changes in the RIP that's fine, while retouchers/designers aren't so concerned/aware of these things, and if they're soft-proofing, they're soft-proofing to a standard (GRACoL, SWOP etc.

I just want to be able to make the best profiles I can for my printer, and retouch/softproof in photoshop with that in mind. Can anybody help me clear this up?
 

Widmark

Active member
one answer to my old question...I asked this of Printfactory and their response was:

"Unlike typical device link system PrintFactory calibrator application allows you to export a soft proof ICC profile from the device link profile you are using. That can be used in photoshop etc."

which seems to answer my question nicely. Not sure how this would be handled in other RIPs.
 

Mike Strickler

Well-known member
I leave it to GMG's representatives to address implementation in Print Factory, but I can comment generally about device links.
 

Mike Strickler

Well-known member
Somehow the screen froze and the rest of my reply got dumped. Device links may need to be soft-proofed if they contain modifications that are intended to change the appearance of the image or other file that is not present in either its source or destination profiles. Adobe apps cannot softproof these effects. Likewise they cannot softproof the application of multicolor (e.g., CMYKOV) profiles. For this you would need a special third-party application. ColorLogic's CoPrA profiling app can generate RGB preview profiles for both DLs (RGB, CMYK, grayscale, multicolor) and multicolor output profiles for an accurate view in Photoshop, Acrobat Pro, etc. ColorLogic's ZePrA also provides a Photoshop extension for pushing images to conversion with devicelinks without leaving te Photoshop UI. The image is converted, saved, and opened immediately in a separate window. This is not exactly real-time but very fast. ZePrA can also convert any PDF using device inks (which can optionally be generated on the fly) to any press output space and subsequently to RGB for softproofing. For conventional proofing of CMYK device links are normally used (e.g., in GMG Colorproof) only to iteratively optimize the match to a CMYK press reference, which can be previewed accurately in Adobe apps without additional tools.

I hope this helps.

Mike Strickler
MSP Graphic Services
 

michaelejahn

Well-known member
Years and years ago, ( wow, just checked, 10 years ago in 2012 ! ) we had a project come across the innertubes where the customer wanted to see what their greyscale PDF would look like if printed on green paper ( a very specific Lab value ) - we created an output intent that would be applied when using the output preview tool. Sorry, but all the links in the article are all 404 ( as the company I was consulting with was sold ) - but it address some interesting problems - might be interesting to you ( oh, and hi @Mike Strickler ! )

PDF/X Output Intent procedure explained
 

Widmark

Active member
GMG no longer owns/runs Printfactory fwiw.

I think I understand what you're saying, but don't think it's relevant to my intended usage, which is just using device link profiles to print to a 12-color inkjet (Canon).
 

Mike Strickler

Well-known member
Sorry for the long delay in responding. Hello Mike Jahn(!) and thanks, Widmark, for correcting the info on PrintFactory. I've since been in touch with them on an unrelated matter and have gotten updated on their current organization.

As for your original device link question you did ask mention soft proofing as an issue, so I thought I answered that. I can tell you that DLs aren't really essential for color matching in production inkjet printing, and the number of colors in your printer probably isn't relevant. They may perform special functions such as iterating a match to a reference profile, and in some cases can preserve more the source gamut. Could you clarify what your question is, exactly?
 

Widmark

Active member
My question was answered by Printfactory. I didn't understand how to reconcile the use of devicelink profiles in a RIP with the ability to soft-proof in Photoshop and Illustrator. Printfactory's creation of ICC profiles as well seems good enough for me.

My point about the inkjet was just to point that I'm making profiles (ICC and/or DL) for proofing to a wide gamut RGB inkjet and not anything that would require the effects you mention the Adobe software wouldn't support.
 

Correct Color

Well-known member
A 12 color Canon? As in an aqueous fine-art machine?

If so, the last thing you need to be messing with is device link profiles.

(Actually, device-link profiles are pretty worthless in my opinion in large format inkjet printing anyway, but you can salvage a useable product with them if you're in some "standards"-based commercial commodity type printing environment; but the more your "aim point" is the individual pixels in the individual files you send the printer, as opposed to some attempt to match some "industry standard" the less use they are.)


Mike Adams
Correct Color
 
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Widmark

Active member
Would you say device link profiles are only useful for those doing CMYK proofing?

I have a Canon 4100. I use it to print photography/fine-art, but want to also be able to do proofing, make my own profiles etc.

Struggling a bit with figuring out what RIP or layout type program to get for OSX, as mentioned here in another thread and more recently on another forum (luminous)
 

Correct Color

Well-known member
Widmark,

Well, truth be told, since I stay almost exclusively in large format inkjet, I can't say I've ever seen a use for device link profiles period. I assume they have some use in traditional litho, maybe going from some standard CMYK space like Gracol or SWOP to some specific press space... but I myself have never seen it.

For doing proofing on an inkjet printer, no, they are of no use at all.

The path to follow for proofing is: The proofing printer must have a larger color gamut than the machine being proofed.

This should be no problem with your 4100.

Then the proofing printer must be accurately profiled on the media you're using to do your proofs.

Then you send the file you want proofed ,to the proofer, emulating the device you want proofed, while using the printer's profile as the destination color space.

No need or use or point in that path for device links.

Myself, I'm a Mac guy and I use a Canon iPF8400, and I run it with ONYX through parallels. I've got clients who also do their artwork on Mac's who use PC's to run their printers with ONYX.

ONYX would be my choice, either through Parallels, or on a stand alone Windows machine. If you just had to use a RIP that would run native on a Mac (it doesn't really but close enough) I'd use Caldera.

I wouldn't even consider anything else.

Just btw, the way this works is that RIP's convert pixels into dots, using information in profiles. The profile you use to print any file tells the printer everything there is to tell it about what dots to produce, and the dots are the job.

Profiles are the most important part of and perhaps the least completely understood part of the digital imaging process.

And while it's relatively easy to make profiles, making excellent profiles is not something you learn in a boot camp, or online, or on the fly.

If you're really, really curious what's involved, feel free to go to The Correct Color Channel and watch Color Management: The Movie.


Mike
 

Widmark

Active member
Thanks for your response and advice. I have watched your movie after seeing your posts here. I'll have to watch it again!

I had thought about using non-OSX software when somebody recommended Fiery XF as a digital front end, but didn't want to buy and manage another computer (the PC) and wasn't sure how well it would work using Parallels or VMware. Somebody else told me recently they were doing that so that's interesting. Not sure how well it would work on an M1 mac?
 

DYP

Well-known member
Thanks for your response and advice. I have watched your movie after seeing your posts here. I'll have to watch it again!

I had thought about using non-OSX software when somebody recommended Fiery XF as a digital front end, but didn't want to buy and manage another computer (the PC) and wasn't sure how well it would work using Parallels or VMware. Somebody else told me recently they were doing that so that's interesting. Not sure how well it would work on an M1 mac?
I am wondering why you have not looked at Caldera RIP or have you?
 

Correct Color

Well-known member
Thing is, PC's are dirt cheap. And most are plenty powerful these days to run a RIP and one printer. Only thing I'd note if you do decide to go that route is to make sure you get Windows Professional and not Home.

Setting up a little laptop as a RIP computer is a not in-elegant solution. And with ONYX Go, you could set the whole thing up for probably an initial outlay of under 5 hundred bucks.

And running ONYX on Parallels works just fine for me. But then I don't have an M1 Mac -- I have no idea how that would work -- and I'm also not a production environment. If I was, I would probably get a dedicated RIP computer anyway, and in that case, operating system is kind of irrelevant, and a PC costs a lot less than a Mac.


Mike
 

Widmark

Active member
Interesting, I wasn't familiar with Onyx Go. ONYX Go Plus looks like it might do anything I'd need. I can't tell though, would you need Onyx ColorCheck to certify to standards, or is that part of Onyx?
 

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