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Soft Proofing - CMYK

Jan 25, 2012 7:48 AM

I love that this feature has finally been added. Thank you.

On my first attempt to test it out, I can't seem to find CMYK as a profile option. Am I missing something?

 
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  • Andrew Rodney
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    Jan 25, 2012 8:06 AM   in reply to mcmphotomtl

    RGB only. LR is an RGB engine, it can’t handle or deal with any CMYK or non RGB data. Use Photoshop.

     
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    Jan 25, 2012 12:25 PM   in reply to mcmphotomtl

    Personally I don't believe that LR "can not handle CMYK", it is just not implemented. You can help yourself with a CMYK plugin from the UK and please add your +1 to the wishlist at http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/cmyk_in_lr4 so that it can be tracked by Adobe, even when this forum is closed after the beta phase of LR4.

     
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  • Andrew Rodney
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    Jan 25, 2012 12:56 PM   in reply to Kaffeesegler

    Kaffeesegler wrote:

     

    Personally I don't believe that LR "can not handle CMYK", it is just not implemented. You can help yourself with a CMYK plugin from the UK and please add your +1 to the wishlist at http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/cmyk_in_lr4 so that it can be tracked by Adobe, even when this forum is closed after the beta phase of LR4.

    Even if it could preview CMYK, you can’t edit CMYK. You’d end up with RGB. So how useful would seeing CMYK now be? The LR/ACR engine is RGB. It always renders through MelissaRGB (ProPhoto 1.0 TRC gamma). That is true if you work with a raw or a JPEG or a TIFF.

     
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    Jan 25, 2012 1:02 PM   in reply to Kaffeesegler

    check the URL Kaffeesegler, it's not valid. I'd value being able to preview what my images will look like with magazine clients, and will vote for it.

     
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    Jan 25, 2012 1:21 PM   in reply to VeloDramatic

    Sorry, the editor killed the link, it's http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/cmyk_in_lr4

     

    It's a bit like comparing apples with oranges, but imagine you need to deliver your material in full color, but your client is printing it in b/w: although you are not even allowed to deliver it in b/w, you need to know how it will translate later.

     

    Another example: visit any recording studio of your choice all over the world: They are working with the best monitor speakers they can afford. BUT there is always at least one set of cheap speakers so that they can check how well their mix will work later on a listeners kitchen radio. Sometimes those trash speakers are more used than the big ones. So for me soft proofing is not an option, but sometimes I think I should only work in sp mode ...

     

    So as I am very sure that a big, big percentage of all LR processes material will be converted earlier or later to a CMYK color space, we all should be able to check easily wheter we are more or less within the CMYK space or have left it too far. And I have seen masses of material that is far out of the CMYK color space and results in big problems.

     

    It's not the nice color on our wide gamut monitor that counts, but how well the picture rocks later on the kitchen radio!

     
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    Jan 25, 2012 3:31 PM   in reply to Kaffeesegler

    So as I am very sure that a big, big percentage of all LR processes material will be converted earlier or later to a CMYK color space, we all should be able to check easily wheter we are more or less within the CMYK space or have left it too far. And I have seen masses of material that is far out of the CMYK color space and results in big problems.

    You would probably be wrong about that. I think the overwhelming majority of material processed through LR stays in RGB space either because it goes straight to the web, to a printing lab (who all operate in RGB), or to inkjet printers that are fine art oriented or consumer grade. All of those are RGB devices nowadays. I think the images that are printed in books are probably more the exception.

    Nevertheless, I personally would really want to have cmyk softproofing support in Lightroom, but I do realize that I am an edge case.

     
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    Jan 25, 2012 8:20 PM   in reply to mcmphotomtl

    mcmphotomtl wrote:

     

    As far as I'm concerned, the soft proofing feature in LR4 is incomplete for a professional workflow without CMYK.  

     

    I don't disagree that it would be "useful" to have CMYK soft proofing in LR4.x but the reality is, ain't gonna happen (at least in the 4.x time frame). Unless you can imagine a really good use case why LR, an RGB processing pipeline), NEEDS to have a CMYK soft proofing, the odds are it won't happen.

     

    Personally, I think it would be useful to predict what a PPRGB>CMYK conversion would look like in LR4. But...that's an edge case as most photographers tend to supply RGB rather than CMYK for assignments...not a hill worth dying on for me...

     
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    Jan 26, 2012 6:00 AM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    "I don't disagree that it would be "useful" to have CMYK soft proofing in LR4.x but the reality is, ain't gonna happen (at least in the 4.x time frame). Unless you can imagine a really good use case why LR, an RGB processing pipeline), NEEDS to have a CMYK soft proofing, the odds are it won't happen."

     

    Having worked in photography for over 50 years I see a definite trend toward usage of other media, such as offset printed photo books, HD monitors, and the Web. I use both Adobe CS5 Design Standard and Lightroom 3 for my business materials and personal photography work. Most of my business materials are sent to an offset printer, which uses 4-color CMYK process. I currently do all of my soft proofing inside PhotoShop and/or InDesign. I am now considering using Blurb books for distribution of my personal photography, which also uses CMYK offset print process:

     

    http://forums.blurb.com/forums/5/topics/560

     

    If I want to soft proof camera images placed in the Blurb book I can do that inside InDesign or Photoshop, but not all Lightroom users have that option. It would be far simpler and efficient to do CMYK soft proofing in Lightroom using a virtual copy. The virtual image copy can then be adjusted inside Lightroom to correct for “out of gamut” color issues, and then exported to proper layout size for placement in the target RGB application. I agree that first and foremost Lightroom should provide capability to output images to wide-gamut inkjet printers for producing high-quality prints, but let’s not neglect the other media.

     

     

     
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  • Andrew Rodney
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    Jan 26, 2012 7:01 AM   in reply to mcmphotomtl

    mcmphotomtl wrote:

    Repeat until no (or very few) colours are out of gamut.

    That is both counter productive and not a very good way to handle OOG colors. Let the profile do this. Here is why:

     

    http://digitaldog.net/files/LR4_softproof2.mov

     

    It is even more so with CMYK than the sRGB demo shown in this video!

     
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  • Andrew Rodney
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    Jan 26, 2012 7:03 AM   in reply to trshaner

    trshaner wrote:

    If I want to soft proof camera images placed in the Blurb book I can do that inside InDesign or Photoshop, but not all Lightroom users have that option.

    Technically that is correct. In reality, considering the single CMYK profile Blurb supplies, not at all. The profile isn’t used to convert the data for all output needs (one profile can’t define all the papers and conditions). So using that for soft proofing is nothing more than a feel good button. For other book publishers, that might be different.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 26, 2012 3:28 PM   in reply to Andrew Rodney

    Thank you for the informative video on LR 4 soft proofing tools. I agree that an ICC color profile should be generated for each paper type, but Blurb only provides one. From everything I've read so far it appears there isn't much difference in photo reproduction between the different paper types. It's more an issue of paper weight and print through:

     

    http://forums.blurb.com/forums/5/topics/10111

     

    Blurb also mentions that "repeatability" between print runs will not necessarily be what you expect from a well-managed inkjet printer. I still think the ability to do CMYK proofing in LR would be helpful for target applications like Blurb books and other publishers using offset 4-color printing. As with any soft proofing, it's difficult to simulate the actual reflective paper print image on the display, but it's better than nothing. As you pointed out in your sRGB example, out of gamut colors in most images usually have minimal damage from the sRGB export. Given the smaller gamut of CMYK offset printing like Blurb books, the impact will be more noticeable and may cause disappointment if not corrected before uploading.

     
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  • Andrew Rodney
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    Jan 26, 2012 4:16 PM   in reply to trshaner

    trshaner wrote:

    From everything I've read so far it appears there isn't much difference in photo reproduction between the different paper types.

    You read that where?

     

    I’ve built dozens of profiles for Indigos using differing stocks. What you read could be considered true if you are OK with max deltaE values between two papers that exceed dE10! That’s a max using an ECI2002 target measurement. You OK with more than 10 dE? Add coatings and the numbers are even worse. And that doesn’t take press variation over time into consideration, and these are averages of press runs used to build the profiles (dozens of ECI’s). On a single press run, with two different papers, the dE values are significantly higher.

    Blurb also mentions that "repeatability" between print runs will not necessarily be what you expect from a well-managed inkjet printer.

    Nope, not even close. I have a lot of data about that as well. A really, really good shop might be able to keep a average dE of a similar target in the range of 3 or so compared to the profile.

     

    It would be easy to monitor Blurb by simply inserting a small target with every book you print and measuring it, then ideally, plotting that against the profile (since that is what is the expected behavior). When Blurb sets up my free account for books, I’d be happy to do that <g>.

    As with any soft proofing, it's difficult to simulate the actual reflective paper print image on the display, but it's better than nothing.

    Unless you are viewing those high dE values based alone on differing profiles! That doesn’t take the press changing over time or from the reference (the profile) into account.

     

    Using a canned profile this way really isn’t effective.

     
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    Jan 27, 2012 3:05 AM   in reply to Andrew Rodney

    trshaner wrote:

    From everything I've read so far it appears there isn't much difference in photo reproduction between the different paper types.

     

    I was referring only to the paper types used by Blurb and comments posted by a number of their customers on results. I couldn't agree with you more concerning the wisdom of profiling each paper type.

     

    Andrew Rodney wrote:

    Using a canned profile this way really isn’t effective.

     

    Most of my soft proofing concerns have been with logo and product colors to minimize customer complaints. The soft proofing tools in PhotoShop and InDesign have been helpful for this purpose. I have very little experience with 4-color offset printing of photographic images using a printer such as Blurb. Based on your experience what is effective?

     
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  • Andrew Rodney
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    Jan 27, 2012 6:23 AM   in reply to trshaner

    trshaner wrote:

    Most of my soft proofing concerns have been with logo and product colors to minimize customer complaints. The soft proofing tools in PhotoShop and InDesign have been helpful for this purpose. I have very little experience with 4-color offset printing of photographic images using a printer such as Blurb. Based on your experience what is effective?

    Soft proofing for 4 color images is super useful when the profile (and it’s previews) reflect the printing conditions. Here is another rub. You have to play the rendering intent guessing game with workflows that provide a generic profile and don’t also specify what intent the RIP uses. Effective is, what you see is what you get and consistently.

     
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    Jan 27, 2012 8:58 AM   in reply to Andrew Rodney

    Thanks Andrew. I did find this Blurb link with information on soft proofing:

     

    http://www.blurb.com/guides/color_management/image_prep_pdf

     

    Blurb recommends Perceptual rendering "to preserve subtle gradients," Black Point Compenstaion, and Simulate Paper Color (if your monitor is 100-120 cd/m2).

     
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  • Andrew Rodney
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    Jan 27, 2012 9:21 AM   in reply to trshaner

    trshaner wrote:

     

    Blurb recommends Perceptual rendering "to preserve subtle gradients," Black Point Compenstaion, and Simulate Paper Color (if your monitor is 100-120 cd/m2).

    Several odd comments there. I agree about BPC and Simulate paper color and ink. The rest seems up to debate but whatever.

     
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    Jan 27, 2012 9:50 AM   in reply to Andrew Rodney

    I have to agree, especially since Blurg has now added a 'ProLine' with two more paper options, Pearl Photo and Uncoated. I can't see how one paper profile will work.

     
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    Jan 27, 2012 9:57 AM   in reply to Andrew Rodney

    Andrew Rodney wrote:

     

    http://digitaldog.net/files/LR4_softproof2.mov

     

    Andrew  - thanks very much for this tutorial.  Very informative.

     

    Rory

     
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    Jan 27, 2012 10:40 AM   in reply to hillrg

    Yes, great tutorial video. I hope there will be a part 3.

     

     

    About CMYK:

    As Lightroom is RGB only, would it be possible to "simulate" CMYK soft proofing?

    Would it be possible convert a CMYK profile to an RGB profile?

     
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  • Andrew Rodney
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    Jan 27, 2012 11:34 AM   in reply to shamo42

    You could, sort of. It is a hack. You could convert from CMYK to something like sRGB or ColorMatch. The overall color appearance should be honored but you wouldn’t want to then edit that data and convert back to CMYK just to view in LR.

     
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    Jan 29, 2012 10:34 AM   in reply to trshaner

    I just received this response from Blurb Tech Support concerning why the only provide one ICC color profile:

     

    "Blurb currently offers five different paper choices for your books. We felt that trying to supply a Color Profile for each of the substrates would be confusing for some users. Instead what we have done is have our printer calibrate and target their printing device directly to our single Blurb ICC Profile against the paper type chosen during checkout. This takes any confusion out of the equation while still providing the most advanced color management available for a Print-On-Demand workflow."

     

    I would still prefer to use a paper specific color profile and make my own decison on soft proof corrections, but at least we now know the print output isn't being generated directly using the single ICC profile.

     
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  • Andrew Rodney
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    Jan 29, 2012 10:42 AM   in reply to trshaner

    I just received this response from Blurb Tech Support concerning why the only provide one ICC color profile:

     

    "Instead what we have done is have our printer calibrate and target their printing device directly to our single Blurb ICC Profile against the paper type chosen during checkout. This takes any confusion out of the equation while still providing the most advanced color management available for a Print-On-Demand workflow."

    Are they actually saying they send the same RGB numbers through that single profile that goes out to the different papers? That be the question I’d ask. I’ll bet dollars to donuts the RIP is setup for different profiles for each paper. If so, what they are saying is silly. It is useful to calibrate the press to a specific and desired condition, no argument there. That calibration doesn’t in any way make differing papesr behavior such that a single profile could be used however.

    trshaner wrote:

    I would still prefer to use a paper specific color profile and make my own decison on soft proof corrections, but at least we now know the print output isn't being generated directly using the single ICC profile.

    Exactly.

     
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    Jan 29, 2012 10:51 AM   in reply to Andrew Rodney

    Agreed. I have sent Blurb Tech Support a request they offer customers the option of using seperate ICC paper profiles for at least the new 'ProLine' Pearl and Uncoated book paper types.

     
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  • Andrew Rodney
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    Jan 29, 2012 10:52 AM   in reply to trshaner

    If we could get both profiles, then it be easy to give an exact dE value difference between the two.

     
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    Jan 29, 2012 11:13 AM   in reply to Andrew Rodney

    Yes especially for these two, since there is probably a large difference between the Pearl Photo (coated) and Uncoated ProLine papers. I'll post their reply.

     
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    Jan 31, 2012 2:04 PM   in reply to trshaner

    Suggestion emailed to Blurb Tech Support: Since Blurb is now offering new ProLine services and paper types it makes sense to offer professional customers the option of using separate paper profiles for at least the new Proline Pearl and Uncoated papers.

     

    Here's Blurb Tech Support's reply received today:

     

    "Thanks for your suggestion, I'll make sure to pass it along!"

     

    At least they acknowledged the suggestion with a reply. Let's see what happens.

     
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    Feb 21, 2012 8:13 PM   in reply to trshaner

    What on Earth is the point of introducing soft proofing if you can only use it for web images?!

     

    You can clearly see in the LR4 intro videos that there are CMYK profiles for the Epson 2200 papers. 

     

    And look at the check box for simulate paper color and ink? 

     

    You want us to try out Blurb book printing but not let us use the profiles?  Insane!

     
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    Feb 21, 2012 8:19 PM   in reply to mightyeye

    mightyeye wrote:

     

    What on Earth is the point of introducing soft proofing if you can only use it for web images?!

     

    You can clearly see in the LR4 intro videos that there are CMYK profiles for the Epson 2200 papers. 

     

    For printing to Epson, the profiles are considered "RGB profiles" not CMYK. Have you actually tried doing soft proofing for inkjet printing? Worlk pretty well. Try it and get back to us...

     
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    Feb 21, 2012 8:28 PM   in reply to Jeff Schewe

    Yeah, I've tried it plenty.  It does work quite well.  Why didn't they put a Blub profle on here?  I really hope they plan on doing it given the fact that the "Book" tab and softproofing are the 2 biggest features of this release.  Otherwise, Adobe will be dealing with lots of angry photographers.

     
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    Feb 21, 2012 8:30 PM   in reply to mightyeye

    Blurb either accepts books as sRGB or via a CMYK profile–which is not supported in LR4 since it doesn't support CMYK profiles. Pretty simple really...if you want to do a Blub book and do CMYK soft proofing, use Photoshop.

     
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  • Andrew Rodney
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    Feb 22, 2012 7:07 AM   in reply to mightyeye

    mightyeye wrote:

     

    What on Earth is the point of introducing soft proofing if you can only use it for web images?!

    You can use it for any RGB output device (or working space) you have a profile for.

     
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    Mar 5, 2012 12:29 PM   in reply to mcmphotomtl

    I too was excited to see softproofing finally added to lightroom...  but like the original poster I was dismayed to see that it does not include soft proofing CMYK.  And I do not buy into any of the reasons suggested so far as to why it is not there?  I also find it incredibly hard to believe that some people were suggesting that although it might have been usefull...  they considered it of limited use to most photographers and an edge case due to the fact that most photograpers supply RGB images to thier clients... who then do the CMYK conversion for the commercial printing presses?  That may be true...  but since the images will be converted into CMYK in the end...  it would be hugely usefull to be able to soft proof images in lightroom first...  just to see if there is going to be problems with the CMYK conversion!  There are millions of photographers out there who are supplying stock or assignment photography that will be eventually be converted to CMYK for printing presses...  and most would find that being able to do a quick preview of the conversion in Lightroom first... would help to reduce the rude suprises that many have when they see the final image in print.  Yes...  I know you can always open the image in photoshop and soft proof it there...  but that is time consuming and in this busines time is money!  I try to spend as little time as possible in Photoshop for that very reason... and I am sure I am not the only one! 

     
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    Mar 5, 2012 12:39 PM   in reply to dalesanders

    Yes, it would be useful - but only some.

    Because as far as I know there is no CMYK profile that is valid for all printers. The RGB profiles (proPhoto, Adobe, sRGB) are device independent. But CMYK profiles are device specifc.

    As far as I know each printing press has its own CMYK profile and just using a generic profile won't do much good.

    It would give you a rough idea, though.

    WW

     
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  • Andrew Rodney
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    Mar 5, 2012 3:03 PM   in reply to web-weaver

    web-weaver wrote:

    Because as far as I know there is no CMYK profile that is valid for all printers. The RGB profiles (proPhoto, Adobe, sRGB) are device independent. But CMYK profiles are device specifc.

    As far as I know each printing press has its own CMYK profile and just using a generic profile won't do much good.

    It would give you a rough idea, though.

    Exactly (well stated). You’ll have to have another application to convert to CMYK, presumably Photoshop so might as well soft proof and convert there.

     
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