i've checked my monitor screen-up...everything is set to "standard". adjust Ps-CS6 image...it looks swell. print the bad-boy on my Epson NX430...and the image looks dark. or like mud. or too bright.
how can i get the printer, monitor, and Ps-CS6 to be on the same page, colorwise?
It sounds as though your monitor gamma calibration is off.
You should read everything you can on:
Photoshop CS6 does, regarding color-management, what you tell it to via the many parameters and system settings. Your challenge is to figure out how YOU want them all set.
This is a challenge everyone faces. Once you have color-management under control you can confidently print and know what to expect.
Windows offers a super-basic calibration capability (click Start, type Calib), and there are various better tools and charts with which you can get it close to the normal 2.2 gamma response "by eye", and of course there are a number of different hardware-based calibration solutions that use a measurement device.
There are many articles available online... Example: http://www.imaging-resource.com/ARTS/MONCAL/CALIBRATE.HTM
Note specifically the little gamma 2.2 check image on that site. It should look a more or less even gray.
Here's a site with a chart that allows you to see what your current gamma response is: http://www.normankoren.com/makingfineprints1A.html
There are controls on your monitor itself, (usually) in the video card drivers, and there's also the ability to associate a color profile that can invoke automatic calibration setup by the system or an application slated to run at startup. It's a bit complex, but there really are no shortcuts other than learning - gaining a working understanding of how the parts of a color-managed system play together.
Try not to latch onto a "do it this way" approach (lots of people offer that kind of advice), but keep reading about how things work until it starts to make sense - then you can make the best choices for you.
okay, did the windows calibration thing...big difference. will obviously have to go back and adjust the colors in the piece.
however, what gets printed still doesn't match the monitor (it's darker, overall).
when i print, should i select for the color handling, "printer manages colors" or Photoshop Manages Colors"...and if i pick "Ps Manages", then which printer setting (there's a bunch listed for Epson)? i've been messing with the Epson seetings and there's not any real magic bullet. is it possible i need to do some kind of calibration thing to the printer, as well?
Might want to google "photoshop printer manages color epson". Several articles both from Epson and PS on what they think is best.
Color is tricky, but a whole lot easier than making a print in darkroom with chemicals.
what gets printed still doesn't match the monitor (it's darker, overall).
Photoshop-Epson Print Workflow has a bug when you select 16 bit in the print dialogs (don't check those options in the printing routine)
SECRET: How-to-make-the-print-match-the-monitor goal
Matching your print to what you see on your monitor begins with a good monitor profile (to PROOF the color accurately on the monitor), and it succeeds with a good target print profile (and proper print work flow) to PROOF the color accurately on the print.
The file (the document's Source Color Space) is independent of Photoshop:
- The Color Management System CMS, Photoshop, ONLY uses the monitor profile for one thing: To PROOF a source file on the monitor (the monitor profile has zero to do with how the file prints).
- The Color Management System CMS, Photoshop, ONLY uses the printer (target) profile Print Space for one thing: To PROOF a source file on the paper (the printer profile Print Space has zero to do with how the file looks on the monitor).
While my simple PROOFING ANALOGY doesn't address the pitfalls of relying on a bad monitor to evaluate and adjust digital color, it does make two important facts about Photoshop and professional color-managed printing workflows:
- The printer can PROOF (print) the source file faithfully regardless of how right or wrong the monitor is set up, and
- The monitor can PROOF (display) the source file faithfully regardless of how right or wrong the printer is set up.
Remember, this is true simply because the Source Profile is independent of the Monitor Profile and the Print Profile.
Getting a known good file (like the Adobe RGB or preferably the Whacked RGB PDI Photodisc-GettyImages RGB reference image) into Photoshop allows me to evaluate the monitor alongside the print to help me see where the problem is occurring...
well, it's been painful...not the setting of the monitor gamma via windows...that was swell. but the printer still needed far too much tweakage to get things right...which, of course translated to far too much ink wasted getting the colors right. if the setting work for the rest of my portfolio, that'll be okay. but if i have to go through this with *each* of my pieces... <shudder>
i still think there's *got* to be a better way than trial-n-error... (¬.¬;)
Well, actually there isn't. But you have to remember that in Photoshop manages colors, you have to use the "Print Settings" box that should be to the left on the page. It is not enough to set the printer profile to Epson (model) (paper type). You have to use Print Settings> Print Settings to select the general paper type as well.
I found that using Photoshop manages colors set to ProPhoto RGB, Print Settings>Print Settings set to plain paper, aand then printing to Staples copy paper gives me a rough approximation to the desired print on Epson Premium matte, except that the copy paper print is not quite as saturated. Saves money on paper. Saving money on ink for your Epson is a hole nuvver levvo. I get my ink from LD for about 40% of retail.
Your mileage may vary.
there's *got* to be a better way than trial-n-error... (¬.¬;)
there is, you nail down the workflow settings and then troubleshoot your setup
if the tagged PDI reference image not displaying right, examine your monitor profile and/or what Source profile Photoshop is using
if it is not printing right, you need to examine your Print Profile and/or your print settings