1 2 Previous Next 66 Replies Latest reply on Nov 7, 2014 7:02 PM by trshaner

    sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?

    Rockshead Level 1

      As I understand it images destined for Blurb are converted by the Lr engine into sRGB behind the scenes. To achieve best chance of colour accuracy in the finished Blurb book, is it better to softproof using a sRGB profile or the icc profile* offered on the Blurb Support website. On the surface this icc profile is recommended (by them) for their Booksmart process. Anyone know if that is similar to the Lr Book module process? There is no mention of Lr anywhere on the Blurb color management pages.

       

      It would be great to pin down the answer to this. I cannot find any recommendation for best work practice aimed at getting good colour reproduction in these books; and trial and error, whilst acceptable in making inkjet prints, is a very expensive route when applied to printing a Blurb book.

       

      * And even then, as far as I can see, there is no method for differentiating between the Blurb papers. It is just one profile to fit all.

        • 1. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
          john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          You understand correctly - not least the point about Blurb's profile being a single one for all their papers and all their printers too. It's also CMYK profile, so it won't work in LR's RGB process.

           

          The best you can do in LR seems to be to soft proof in Develop using sRGB. I'm tending to stick to one paper and produce a small version of a book before committing to more cost.

          • 2. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
            Rockshead Level 1

            I'm sure your approach is right - except.... From what I can make out - and its not crystal clear - the Blurb profile they offer for their BookSmart option is not a CMYK version. If you have a moment to spare, maybe you could have a look at their page on this and see if you come to the same conclusion.

             

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

             

            It seems to be compatible with Photoshop, and there is a specific line in there saying not to put CMYK images into BookSmart. I have no idea how close BookSmart is to the Lr process; but this profile might be compatible. Interested in any comment you have. Cordially, dk

            • 3. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
              john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              I didn't think it was a profile for BookSmart - isn't it for Photoshop? That article is about preparing files in Photoshop, for BookSmart.

              • 4. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Blurb only provides one (1) printer profile for all paper types. It is CMYK and not useable in LR, only PS:

                 

                http://www.blurb.com/resources/color_management

                 

                I sent an email to Blurb Tech Support concerning the use of only one (1) printer profile. There response was that "they adjust the images" at the CMYK printer engine for the different paper types. If you soft proof in PS using the one (1) Blurb CMYK profile the benefit is questionable, since we do not know which paper it is targeting. Most out of gamut colors shouldn't look significantly different in the printed Blurb book compared to LR's sRGB soft proof image.

                 

                IMHO – Monitor calibration accuracy, luminance setting (100 cd/M typical), and room lighting (subdued) will affect your printed book image matching more than anything else.

                • 5. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                  thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  trshaner wrote:

                   

                  Blurb only provides one (1) printer profile for all paper types. It is CMYK and not useable in LR, only PS:

                   

                  http://www.blurb.com/resources/color_management

                   

                  I sent an email to Blurb Tech Support concerning the use of only one (1) printer profile. There response was that "they adjust the images" at the CMYK printer engine for the different paper types.

                  Which makes the idea of using the profile for soft proofing pretty idiotic even IF LR could use it. What’s the point? Other than to try to convince users Blurb is somehow color managed.

                   

                  If you can’t load the profile used to convert the data, if you can’t control the rendering intent, if you can’t control the CMM (for Black Point Compensation), then you don’t need a profile. Just pretend it is pre 1995 and Photoshop and most other applications don’t have a clue what an ICC profile is.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                    grandad37

                    I tried Blurb via Lightroom 4.1 for the first time last week and I confess that I am pretty impressed with the results. Previously, I have produced my own books using a Spyder 3 calibrated flow from IMac through to printer. My IMac settings are 120cd/M and 5800. Comparing book to monitor, the Blurb images look to be slightly more saturated in the blues and greens but there is nothing that gives me any concern. Moreover, I used an Adobe RGB colour space rather than sRGB with the occasional photo soft-proofed in Photoshop with the Blurb icc profile. Would I use Lightroom and Blurb again - the answer is 'yes I would'.

                    • 7. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                      web-weaver Level 5

                      It is a CMYK profile. You can use it for softproofing in Photoshop because Photoshop works with CMYK profiles and lets you softproof them.

                      But you can't get Lr to display it or work with it. Even if you install it and it works in Photoshop it doesn't show in Lr.

                       

                      I used it for softproofing a book in Photoshop and the results of the printed book were very good, practically identical to what I got on my own printer. The softproofing in Photoshop is slow and tedious, since you have to load every image into Photoshop and softproof it. But in my opinion it's well worth the effort.

                      • 8. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                        As_Seen_ by_Janine Level 1

                        I'm super frustrated that, despite all the intense marketing and advertising to promote Lightroom, specifically for the fact that it included the Blurb Book module, still in Feb. 2014, NOBODY can give a straight up answer on how to assure the best color when ordering books directly through Lightroom.

                         

                        Extremely annoying that when writing to Blurb tech support, they refer you to an article about how to color profile and softproof in Photoshop or InDesign, and totally ignore that your said you are using LIghtroom.

                         

                        They also tell you Lightroom can't support their profiles, yet at the same time, Blurb actually advertises Lightroom on their site and gives you a chance to order LR directly from their site. I find it unimaginable that they are actually promoting sales of Lightroom, yet they can't offer a single piece of tech support on how to get the best color when using Lightroom.

                         

                        So what gives????  What is the best way to assure accurate color when ordering Blurb books directly from Lightroom.

                         

                        My instinct is to save images as sRGB JPEGs, softproof (which thankfully we can now do in Lightroom), and hope for the best. I hope somebody can advise me because I have a HUGE wedding album book order, which I spent countless hours preparing in Lightroom, and now I'm afriad to place the order because Blurb can't seem to answer my simple question about how to get the best color.

                         

                        Has anyone had good success with Blurb Books using the book module in Lightroom and if so, what color profile did you submit?

                         

                        Janine Fugere

                        As Seen by Janine: Eyes of the World Images

                        • 9. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                          thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                          As_Seen_ by_Janine wrote:

                           

                          I'm super frustrated that, despite all the intense marketing and advertising to promote Lightroom, specifically for the fact that it included the Blurb Book module, still in Feb. 2014, NOBODY can give a straight up answer on how to assure the best color when ordering books directly through Lightroom.

                          Lightroom sends Blurb the data in sRGB. Nothing you can do about that. And while I'd prefer a larger color space such as Adobe RGB (1998) based on my understanding of Indigo CMYK, it isn't a hill worth dieing on.

                           

                          What gets sent through a RIP to the printers is CMYK and CMYK isn't supported in LR. Soft proofing without having the actual ICC profile of the output device is really a waste of time. If it makes some users feel better (or they charge by the hour <g>) go for it. sRGB and what comes off these presses are not even remotely the same so why soft proof using a profile that's based on a theoretical CRT circa 1994 and not the actual output device?

                           

                          Robust color management isn't on Blurb's radar. If it were, they would supply the actual ICC profiles for the various press technologies and papers they offer. One could use those profiles outside of LR (Photoshop comes to mind). They don't. So basically find another provider or send them the data they force you to send them out of LR.

                          • 10. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                            D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            And just to add that proofing to sRGB is generally a waste of time unless you have a wide gamut monitor. If not, what you see on-screen is already soft proofed to sRGB (or something so close to it that the difference doesn't matter).

                             

                            If sRGB really was your target, just look at the screen.

                            • 11. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                              trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              Blurb suggests submitting books with sRGB profile images if not using PS or InDesign. The problem is that the smaller gamut Blurb.icc CMYK profile falls outside the sRGB color space in certain parts of the Yelllow, Green, and Blue spectrum, which effectively clips these colors when sending sRGB profiled images. How badly this affects the color in your images depends on the amount of area that actually falls into these clipped areas. But even with significant out of gamut areas the image may still look quite acceptable.

                               

                              It has already been established that a single profile (i.e. Blurb.icc) cannot represent the actual gamut of all the paper types Blurb offers, but using it should theoretically get more of your image into the actual printable color gamut. I use InDesign with the Blurb plugin and ProPhoto RGB workspace, which is converted to the Blurb.icc CMYK profile during PDF export. I haven't found it necessary to "correct" images based on soft-proof preview using the Blurb.icc profile and the printed book images have been remarkable close to what I see on my calibrated sRGB gamut monitor. Unfortunately I haven't used the LR Book module to compare the results using sRGB images, but I'm guessing it would be very close.

                               

                              I suggest printing a small test book with a sampling of the wedding images to determine what adjustments (if any) may be required. The best advice I can offer is to  establish good White and Black clipping points. Also use the Highlights and Shadows controls to help reveal fine detail in those areas, which otherwise may be lost in the printed copy.

                              Blurb versus sRGB Gamut.jpg

                              • 12. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                web-weaver Level 5

                                I have made several books in Lr 5 and had them printed with Blurb, the last one just a week ago.

                                My monitor is calibrated and set to an intensity (brightness) of 110 cd/m2.

                                 

                                Within reason the Blurb-printed colors match what I see on screen. Within reason means that you have to expect some color changes since not all colors that you see on screen can be printed. In my recent book the most notable color shift was from a turquoise (think a lovely blue-turquoise of an iceberg) to a darker turquoise-green.

                                 

                                I always use my Raw images (NEFs) directly in the Book Module. I don't make any conversions or saves as sRGB JPGs. The best way to color-proof your images is by softproofing them in Photoshop to the Blurb profile. Be sure that you have "simulate paper color" checked to give you an indication of the printed image.

                                Since softproofing in Photoshop is a bit cumbersome, I do it only for some images.

                                 

                                Before the upload to Blurb I check my books by exporting them as PDFs and viewing the created PDF. This I do particularly to see if my sharpening is (a) enough but (b) not too much.Since the printing process softens the images, your images may look a tiny bit over-sharpened in the PDF.

                                 

                                For the export to PDF I change the Book Settings (right side, top panel) from "Blurb" to "PDF". The Blurb-logo page will then disappear. I use these settings for the export to PDF: JPG quality - 100; Color Profile - sRGB; File Resolution - 300 ppi. I check the box "Sharpening" and select "High" and "Glossy" for Media Type.

                                 

                                On my system (quad Xeon and 12 GB RAM) the export to PDF for a large book (13 x 11) with over 200 pages takes about 1 hour. The upload to Blurb took about 2.5 hours. This certainly depends of the upload speed that you are getting.

                                • 13. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                  thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                  trshaner wrote:

                                   

                                  The problem is that the smaller gamut Blurb.icc CMYK profile falls outside the sRGB color space in certain parts of the Yelllow, Green, and Blue spectrum, which effectively clips these colors when sending sRGB profiled images.

                                  The real problem is that's a bogus profile! It doesn't define their output. It's a generic CMYK profile based on GRACoL 2006, and further, we're expected to believe it's based on all the papers one can select? Again, unless one is supplied the actual ICC profile used to convert the RGB data, soft proofing and attempting to evaluate the output with a bogus profile is, well bogus <g>.

                                   

                                  I've measured all the papers Blurb provides, just the papers alone are not even close to GRACol 2006. In fact, the deltaE differences in just the two most different papers are nearly dE4! So you have a profile supplied (they actually say on their website it is GRACol 2009 <g>) that isn’t anything like any of their papers and worse, their papers are all over the place, full of OBA’s that don’t act anything alike.


                                  The alternative is for Blurb to simply supply the 4-5 actual profiles from the actual papers. Then there is the issue of soft proofing CMYK in Lightroom although there IS a possible solution that Steve Upton who writes ColorThink pointed out on the ColorSync list. Those users who have ColorThink Pro with the optional ColorCast module can "embed" the proofing effect of any ICC profile (RGB, CMYK, or more channels) INTO an existing RGB profile like AdobeRGB. That’s an expensive option and what we really need is for Adobe/Blurb to possibly licence this from CHROMIX and supply to all LR users. But it isn’t worthwhile until we have actual profiles for the actual print process.


                                  Lastly, if you compare even the GRACol profile to sRGB which is uploaded to Blurb, you see a significant amount of out of gamut blues, teals and some yellows that sRGB can’t contain as you've correctly pointed out. IOW, sRGB to Blurb isn’t ideal. Adobe RGB would be much better with still a tiny amount of OOG if we believe that the GRACol aim is valid for Blurb.


                                  At this point, simply sending the images to Blurb without soft proofing is the only viable solution because making decisions based on any soft proofing we can currently use is not valid. Blurb at this point isn’t setup to provide anything close to a color managed workflow. So putting the burden upon Adobe and the LR team to provide more functionality isn’t going to help.

                                  • 14. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                    trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    web-weaver wrote:

                                    Within reason the Blurb-printed colors match what I see on screen. Within reason means that you have to expect some color changes since not all colors that you see on screen can be printed. In my recent book the most notable color shift was from a turquoise (think a lovely blue-turquoise of an iceberg) to a darker turquoise-green.

                                    Blue-turquoise (i.e. deep blue-green) is the predominant color area that falls outside of sRGB gamut. I'm guessing if you sent the same images to Blurb with conversion from ProPhoto to the Blurb.icc CMYK profile the color would be a lot closer.

                                    Blurb versus sRGB Gamut 2nd View.jpg

                                     

                                    Here's my results using InDesign with the Blurb ID plugin and ProPhotoRGB placed images. The images were converted to the Blurb.icc generic profile using Blurbs Export to PDF X-3 preset from inside InDesign CS6.

                                     

                                    The below is a ProPhotoRGB profiled JPEG. Click on image, right click, save, and open in LR or PS to see the full gamut. Only the two blue patches on the last two rows are rendered slightly off-color, but notice they are not darker as web-weaver experienced.

                                     

                                    On the left side is a CCPP image placed in the Blurb book on standard paper and on the right side is the actual CCPP.

                                    BlubBook_ID_ProPhotoRGB_Export_Burb.icc.jpg

                                    • 15. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                      web-weaver Level 5

                                      trshaner,

                                      Thank you for this tip. Unfortunately I don't have InDesign, so can convert to Blurb-icc only in Photoshop.

                                      Although Lr will display a TIFF converted to Blurb-icc in Photoshop, the problem is what Lr does with the Blurb-icc profile - if it does anything at all.

                                      I assume it will just disregard it when I upload to Blurb since it is a CMYK profile.

                                      • 16. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                        trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                        I tried using 'Export Book to PDF' in the LR Book module with 'Book' set to 'Blurb' and the PDF images are all tagged as sRGB profile and 8-bit color.

                                         

                                        SUGGESTION
                                        If you set 'Book' to 'PDF' under 'Book Setting' you can use Adobe RGB profile, 300 ppi, and your own Sharpening selection, which as Andrew Rodney mentioned is a better choice. You can submit the LR Exported PDF at Blurb's 'PDF To Book' upload page and they will do the proper CMYK conversion on their end. The only issue is that the images are still exported in the LR Book module as 8-bit color JPEGs. This may cause banding with a wider gamut profile, but that should be apparent when reviewing the exported book PDF.

                                         

                                        Here are some comments from Blurb concerning using Blurbs 'PDF to Book' workflow, which is similar to what I just described:

                                         

                                        From Me:

                                        My Workflow Details:

                                         

                                        My objective is to process all images in LR4 and then export them as 300 dpi, ProPhoto RGB profile, 16 bit TIFF images for layout in InDesign using Blurb's InDesign plugin (Blurb Book Creator CS6 v2.0.2.34d8). I will soft proof the placed images inside InDesign using its 'Proof Colors' tool and the Blurb_ICC_Profile.icc profile. Once the InDesign layout is complete I will do the RGB to CMYK Blurb_ICC_Profile conversion during the export to PDF process using the Blurb PDF X-3 Export Preset v1-1.

                                         

                                        Blurb's Resonse:

                                        Response Via Email(David) - 07/18/2012

                                         

                                        Using InDesign and our Blurb InDesign Plug-in does mean you're using the PDF to Book Workflow. This is because your InDesign files will ultimately be exported/uploaded as PDF files.

                                         

                                        Regarding, "Once the InDesign layout is complete I would like to do the RGB to CMYK Blurb_ICC_Profile conversion during the export to PDF process":

                                         

                                          Unfortunately, there is no option for this and it's actually unnecessary during the export process. Our printers convert and process all images as CMYK using the Blurb ICC Color Profile, so even if you upload/export them with an RGB color profile, they'll be converted to CMYK for the production process.

                                         

                                        My Response:

                                        Customer By Email - 07/19/2012 05:10 AM Thanks for the explanation David. It sounds like I can just upload the PDF file using my ProPhoto RGB profiled PDF, but I would prefer to do the conversion from ProPhoto RGB to Blurb ICC CMYK profile. This way I can see the results before uploading the file to Blurb. Can I use the Blurb PDF X-3 Export Preset v1-1 with Output > Color Conversion to Destination > Blurb CC profile, and then upload the PDF file myself? If so please advise where I should upload the file on the Blurb website.

                                         

                                        Blurb's Response:

                                        Response Via Email(David) - 07/20/2012 03:49 PM Hi Todd,

                                        If you do end up exporting your PDFs with the workflow you're referring to, you can upload your files here:

                                        http://www.blurb.com/make/pdf_to_book

                                         

                                        IMHO there's no reason why Adobe and Blurb couldn't work together so ProPhoto RGB 16-bit images can be used in the book PDF that gets uploaded (or exported!) to Blurb's website. Blurb then handles the CMYK conversion using full-gamut 16-bit images and not clipped sRGB 8-bit images.

                                        • 17. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                          web-weaver Level 5

                                          trshaner,

                                          This is most excellent. I did not know that there is an option for using the 'PDF to Book' workflow outside of InDesign.

                                          Thanks so much for this, and also for the links.

                                          I'll try it next time.

                                          • 18. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                            trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            Andrew Rodney wrote:

                                            The real problem is that's a bogus profile! It doesn't define their output. It's a generic CMYK profile based on GRACoL 2006, and further, we're expected to believe it's based on all the papers one can select? Again, unless one is supplied the actual ICC profile used to convert the RGB data, soft proofing and attempting to evaluate the output with a bogus profile is, well bogus <g>.

                                            I totally agree and it's also one of the reasons I haven't bothered making soft-proof adjustments to my placed book images. About all I do is set White and Black clipping points and Highlights and Shadows controls to "unblock" those areas.

                                             

                                            I'm also pretty sure  if I sent Blurb a ProPhoto or Adobe RGB PDF the results would be the same (or perhaps even better?) than a file converted to the Blurb.icc profile during export to PDF. As you can see from the image in my post #14 the color-match is pretty darn good, at least with the Blurb Standard 80# paper type.

                                            • 19. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                              thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                              trshaner wrote:

                                              I'm also pretty sure  if I sent Blurb a ProPhoto or Adobe RGB PDF the results would be the same (or perhaps even better?) than a file converted to the Blurb.icc profile during export to PDF.

                                              Not sure, certainly depends on the image but I'd prefer something larger gamut wise than sRGB for the source of a CMYK conversion.

                                              • 20. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                As_Seen_ by_Janine Level 1

                                                Thanks twenty_one for saving me a world of wasted time going through and pointlessly soft proofing 317 images!

                                                • 21. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                  As_Seen_ by_Janine Level 1

                                                  trshaner - 

                                                   

                                                  Thanks for some excellent tips on watching my white and black clipping, and watching for retaining details in my highlights and shadows. And from all I'm reading, I believe your idea of a test book with some of the wedding photos is a great idea; especially including in the test book those photos with colors most likely to be out of gamut. Thanks.

                                                  • 22. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                    As_Seen_ by_Janine Level 1

                                                    Thanks web-weaver,  I have a couple of questions about your advice:

                                                     

                                                    You mentioned:

                                                    << My monitor is calibrated and set to an intensity (brightness) of 110 cd/m2. >>

                                                     

                                                    My monitor is calbrated using an X-Rite Color Munki and a webinar I took to learn how to use it recommened setting it to a brightness intensity of 100. Can you explain to me the reason you are going with 110? My understanding is that if my monitor is too bright, I stand a greater risks of printed products coming out too dark. Curious how you arrived at the choice of 110.

                                                     

                                                    A bit confused about how soft proofing to the Blurb ICC profile in Photoshop helps if I'm ultimately bringing those images back into Lightroom to create & upload the book, since Lightroom can't handle the Blurb ICC profile because it's CYMK. Am I missing something in my thinking here?

                                                     

                                                    LOVE your suggestion of exporting to PDF first and checking the PDF for results before uploading to Blub. Thanks for the tech tips for settings when exporting to PDF. You mentioned that you specify "Glossy" as media type. I wondered about that since none of the paper choices is truly "glossy" though I'm guessing you ultimately plan to print to the ProLine Pearl, which is the most glossy of their choices. Would you still recommend setting to glossy if the client only wants to pay for the Premium Lustre, which is slightly less glossy?

                                                    • 23. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                      As_Seen_ by_Janine Level 1

                                                      This all sounds very technically helpful; however, I must admit sounds pretty daunting and time consuming.

                                                       

                                                      Most of all, it still begs the question of what the heck is the point of Adobe & Blurb partnering up an building a Blub Book module directly into Lightroom if we need to use all these other programs and processes to get a good book???

                                                       

                                                      Exhausted just from trying to read all that I might need to do, let alone actually DOING it....  Grrrrrrrrr!

                                                      • 24. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                        As_Seen_ by_Janine Level 1

                                                        trshaner, 

                                                         

                                                        While the idea of sending a ProPhoto or RGB PDF sounds better than just going with sending sRGB, I thought this is not possible if uploading the book directly from Lightroom to Blurb, which automatically converts images into sRGB JPEGs. Are you referring to creating a PDF with ProPhoto or RGB images, and then using the PDF to Book option which is available at the link you provided?  

                                                        • 25. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                          thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                          As_Seen_ by_Janine wrote:

                                                          My monitor is calbrated using an X-Rite Color Munki and a webinar I took to learn how to use it recommened setting it to a brightness intensity of 100. ]

                                                          Sad that X-rite would disseminate such nonsense! The correct values for any calibration target (aim point) are those that produce a visual match from display to print. Since the viewing conditions are not defined, it's simply impossible to provide a 'correct' intensity value. Same for white point. The company makes good products but their information in this case simply isn't correct. See: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/why_are_my_prints_too_dark.shtml

                                                           

                                                          I think that article will explain that the values you set your display to can vary and without any knowledge of the method a print is viewed next to a display, any recommendation is suspect.

                                                          A bit confused about how soft proofing to the Blurb ICC profile in Photoshop helps if I'm ultimately bringing those images back into Lightroom to create & upload the book, since Lightroom can't handle the Blurb ICC profile because it's CYMK. Am I missing something in my thinking here?

                                                          Even in Photoshop it's not going to help because as I've outlined, the ICC Profile doesn't define the output conditions. It's a generic CMYK profile. You could just as easily picked SWOP V2 or another CMYK profile and maybe you'll be close to their output, maybe not. Just forget the soft proof process here, it's ill defined.

                                                           

                                                          As for clipping, you can only verify this outside of the non bogus output profile from Blurb. That means sRGB since that's what is sent to Blurb from LR. Since we have no idea what the print conditions are due to a lack of a true output profile, we also don't know how sRGB will be transformed to CMYK. What may appear as no clipping could result in clipping after a conversion which unfortunately we are unable to simulate.

                                                           

                                                          Additionally, don't assume clipping is necessary bad. It depends on the image and you as the image creator. It is useful to see what's clipping such you can if so desired, avoid this but if the image appears better with clipping, so be it! This is especially true for black clipping. No rules here. Take a look at say the work of Greg Gorman (http://www.gormanphotography.com) a man who has a serious disregard for shadow detail, and amazing images! Render the images as you desire.

                                                          • 26. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                            D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                            Andrew Rodney wrote:

                                                             

                                                            Take a look at say the work of Greg Gorman

                                                            A useful reminder. Those blacks make my hair stand on end, but...it sort of works   (just kidding; great shots) (incidentally, those movie posters pop up in the Photoshop forum all the time: how do I get this effect...and they all start talking about HDR).

                                                             

                                                            Goes to show how paradigms change. This is pretty much the same effect as the old Kodachrome / underexpose trick. The colors would just explode, with blacks that nothing could penetrate. And that was perfectly OK.

                                                             

                                                            Of course back then you coudn't have both, so you picked the part of the dynamic range that the film could reproduce, about 5 stops for transparency film, 4.5 for Kodachrome. Today the sensor records up to 12 stops, so we feel we have to use them all.

                                                             

                                                            Anyway, black clipping is one thing, gamut clipping another. The latter often gives a heavy-handed, unpleasant effect lacking in "air" and light.

                                                            • 27. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                              As_Seen_ by_Janine Level 1

                                                              Andrew Rodney wrote:

                                                               

                                                              As_Seen_ by_Janine wrote:

                                                              My monitor is calbrated using an X-Rite Color Munki and a webinar I took to learn how to use it recommened setting it to a brightness intensity of 100. ]

                                                              Sad that X-rite would disseminate such nonsense! The correct values for any calibration target (aim point) are those that produce a visual match from display to print. Since the viewing conditions are not defined, it's simply impossible to provide a 'correct' intensity value. Same for white point. The company makes good products but their information in this case simply isn't correct. See: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/why_are_my_prints_too_dark .shtml

                                                               

                                                              I think that article will explain that the values you set your display to can vary and without any knowledge of the method a print is viewed next to a display, any recommendation is suspect.

                                                              Andrew,  Thanks for helping understand how to "break out of the box" and not assume any recommended calibration target is best.

                                                               

                                                              Just to clarify, the tutorial which recommended a target brightness setting of 100 was not directly from X-Rite, but rather a webinar put on by Mac Groups (in partnership with X-Rite) many years ago. But you've helped me recall that 100 was a suggested starting point, not necessarily a brightness target for good and forever!

                                                               

                                                              The good news is that for 3 years now, I've successfully used the X-Rite to Calibrate to that desired brightness level and I've successfully printed both at home and pro lab prints which come back EXACTLY as desired, so their "recommended starting point" has been working for me, up to now.

                                                               

                                                              My concern has arisen becase now I'm moving from the realm of conventional photo prints to press books and there seems to be soooooo much hub-bub about the problems getting color, shadow, and highlight accuracy. All because Blurb does not offer any "real" information about specific profiles for specific papers.

                                                               

                                                              I also agree, based on all the logic presented, that it is a moot point to even bother trying to soft-proof to Blurb's ICC profile, since it is a bogus, generic profile which is not specific to the individual papers on which the book is to be printed.

                                                               

                                                              Ultimately, I'm coming to believe my best bet for getting good results is to follow the advice for #1 - a small test book of some of the most vital photos, including ones most likely to be out of gamut, and also #2, once the full book is created, uploading to PDF first to see how happy I am with the results.

                                                               

                                                              Thanks to all who've given advice!

                                                               

                                                              Janine Fugere - As Seen by Janine 

                                                              www.asseenbyjanine.com

                                                              • 28. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                                As_Seen_ by_Janine Level 1

                                                                Andrew Rodney wrote:

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                Additionally, don't assume clipping is necessary bad. It depends on the image and you as the image creator. It is useful to see what's clipping such you can if so desired, avoid this but if the image appears better with clipping, so be it! This is especially true for black clipping. No rules here. Take a look at say the work of Greg Gorman (http://www.gormanphotography.com) a man who has a serious disregard for shadow detail, and amazing images! Render the images as you desire.

                                                                 

                                                                Once again, reminders not to get trapped into being stuck in a box! No question, there are many times that there are photos I truly love, which have black clipping, and reducing it to the point that "no clipping" shows in the histogram destroys the image I had in my mind's eye.... 

                                                                 

                                                                Also appreciate the reference to Greg Gorman for inspiration, who also happens to be a photographer near me - Greg is in Denver & I am in Boulder/Louisville, Colorado. Many of his images would, as I mentioned about some of mine, be completely transfigured into something far from Greg's vision for the images if black clipping were eliminated...

                                                                • 29. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                                  As_Seen_ by_Janine Level 1

                                                                  Andrew Rodney wrote:

                                                                  See: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/why_are_my_prints_too_dark .shtml

                                                                   

                                                                  I think that article will explain that the values you set your display to can vary and without any knowledge of the method a print is viewed next to a display, any recommendation is suspect.

                                                                  What an excellent and comprehensive article!  Very helpful.... thanks!  Janine

                                                                  • 30. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                                    thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                                    twenty_one wrote:

                                                                    Anyway, black clipping is one thing, gamut clipping another. The latter often gives a heavy-handed, unpleasant effect lacking in "air" and light.

                                                                    I find Gamut clipping vastly more useful in deciding what color space to encode within. In terms of black/white clipping, the image/overlay technique (alt click on various sliders) is the way to go, not with the Histogram (since we don't have a "Luminance" histogram in LR). Convert to grayscale and you'll get pretty close to a "Luminance" histogram as we have in Photoshop. But seeing on the image where pixels clip is far more useful IMHO. Histograms in that respect are so 20th century .

                                                                    • 31. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                                      trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                      As_Seen_ by_Janine wrote:

                                                                       

                                                                      trshaner, 

                                                                       

                                                                      While the idea of sending a ProPhoto or RGB PDF sounds better than just going with sending sRGB, I thought this is not possible if uploading the book directly from Lightroom to Blurb, which automatically converts images into sRGB JPEGs. Are you referring to creating a PDF with ProPhoto or RGB images, and then using the PDF to Book option which is available at the link you provided?  

                                                                       

                                                                      SOLUTION #1

                                                                      LR's book module is Blurb's 'PDF To Book' process with a GUI that provides selection of book size, cover type, paper type, logo page, estimated price, layout controls, and file upload utility. When you select 'Blurb' at the top of 'Book Settings you see all of these options. If you select 'PDF' as the 'Book Setting' additional settings appear for JPEG quality, color profile, file resolution (s/b 300dpi), and sharpening. These are only applied when you 'Export Book to PDF with Book type 'PDF' selected, not 'Blurb.' When using the Blurb setting the PDF  is output at 300 ppi, sRGB, Quality ??, and a fixed sharpening setting probably based on paper type selected.

                                                                       

                                                                      The PDF output appears to be otherwise identical for both the Blurb and PDF settings. So instead of using LR's 'Send Book to Blurb' button you would manually upload your 'PDF' settings created export file here:

                                                                       

                                                                      http://www.blurb.com/pdf-to-book

                                                                       

                                                                      Here you enter your book specifications for size & orientation, page count, paper type, cover type, and additional information required to place the order. You then upload your book 'Export to PDF file.' I suggest adding a comment in the description field that states the PDF uses Adobe RGB color profile images, which they will discover when the RIP conversion to CMYK. You can contact Blurb Customer Support and present them with this workflow to verify there are no issues.

                                                                       

                                                                      SOLUTION #2

                                                                      Simply use the LR Book module and process your images as per the suggestions here. Submit a test book and if the results meet your expectations you're done! If not you may may want to print another test book using Solution #1 with the 'PDF To Book' workflow.

                                                                      • 32. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                                        web-weaver Level 5

                                                                        Janine,

                                                                        You wrote "My monitor is calibrated using an X-Rite Color Munki and a webinar I took to learn how to use it recommened setting it to a brightness intensity of 100. Can you explain to me the reason you are going with 110?"

                                                                        I am going with 110 because at that setting my prints done on my printer match what I see on screen. If 100 works for you, then that is the correct setting for you. The "correct"  intensity (brightness) setting is not a value that can be determined mathematically. Generally it is recommended to choose a value between 100 and 110. Any setting in that range that works for your monitor is fine.

                                                                         

                                                                        You also wrote "A bit confused about how soft proofing to the Blurb ICC profile in Photoshop helps if I'm ultimately bringing those images back into Lightroom to create & upload the book, since Lightroom can't handle the Blurb ICC profile because it's CYMK. Am I missing something in my thinking here?"

                                                                         

                                                                        It is a test only. It doesn't do anything for the image(s) in Lr. If I have an image with critical color, I send it to Photoshop and softproof it to the Blurb icc-profile. Just for viewing on my screen and to give me an idea. I don't convert to Blurb CMYK and use the converted photo in Lr. That would indeed be futile since Lr cannot handle CMYK - as you correctly say. And ... I don't do this for every image.

                                                                         

                                                                        And you wrote "I wondered about that since none of the paper choices is truly "glossy""

                                                                         

                                                                        As far as I understand the settings "Glossy" or "Matte" determine how much sharpening is applied on export to PDF. Matte paper needs more sharpening since a print on matte paper is softer. I would select "Glossy" also for the Premium Lustre" paper.

                                                                        You are right, I mostly select the ProLine Pearl. The paper is much thicker than the Lustre.

                                                                        • 33. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                                          thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                                          As_Seen_ by_Janine wrote:

                                                                          While the idea of sending a ProPhoto or RGB PDF sounds better than just going with sending sRGB, I thought this is not possible if uploading the book directly from Lightroom to Blurb, which automatically converts images into sRGB JPEGs. Are you referring to creating a PDF with ProPhoto or RGB images, and then using the PDF to Book option which is available at the link you provided? 

                                                                          Export Book to PDF still produces the images in sRGB according to Acrobat Pro's preflight.

                                                                           

                                                                          Update, my bad, you can select ProPhoto RGB and Adobe RGB (1998), preflight indicates those are the output color space. But, what does Blurb's RIP do? We don't know. It could convert directly to CMYK, it could convert first to sRGB. Possible to test this by sending a PDF with the right image both ways and examining the output. Use something like a Granger Rainbow. Build it in ProPhoto RGB or even Lab. Export the book both ways (sRGB and ProPhoto). Send both for output. Should see a difference.

                                                                           

                                                                          Message was edited by: Andrew Rodney

                                                                          • 35. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                                            trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                            I tested this using an Adobe RGB CCPP image. PS shows three patches as out of gamut for the sRGB profile and four different patches for the Blurb profile. However when doing the actual conversion direct to Blurb.icc versus to sRGB and then to Blurb.icc there is no visual difference. The actual patch values also are within <0.5% RGB readings.

                                                                             

                                                                            This test is limited to the gamut represented in the 18 color patches on the CCPP and we  know from the 3D Gamut comparison in my post #11 that there is some deep blue-green (i.e. tuquoise) and yellow spectrum that falls outside the sRGB color space. If your images don't have heavily saturated areas with these colors then using sRGB images is of no practical consequence.

                                                                             

                                                                            Given that soft proofing doesn't tell you the "degree" that a color is out-of-gamut the best check is to print a test book with images that may have color issues.

                                                                             

                                                                            (Adobe RGB profile JPEG Upload)

                                                                            ColorChecker-3495_Convert to Blurb.icc profile.jpg

                                                                            • 36. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                                              thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                                              web-weaver wrote:

                                                                               

                                                                              Here's what Blurb says about color space conversion in PDF to Book: http://www.blurb.com/pdf-to-book-color-guides

                                                                              And after the very first sentence, you can move no as it's quite silly: Our digital printers use the standard four color print process that most every printing press uses – CMYK.

                                                                              • 37. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                                                As_Seen_ by_Janine Level 1

                                                                                Thanks trshaner ~ I've gone with solutions #2 for submitting a test book directly from Lightroom, after first creating a PDF within LR & verifying I like the PDF results. If I'm not happy with the test book, then I will try again using your Solution #1 - PDF to Book solution. Thanks for the great advice!


                                                                                Janine Fugere

                                                                                As Seen by Janine: Eyes of the World Images

                                                                                • 38. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                                                  trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                                  Good luck and please follow-up with your results.

                                                                                  • 39. Re: sRGB or Blurb icc profile better for soft proofing prior to Book module?
                                                                                    As_Seen_ by_Janine Level 1

                                                                                    The Blurb wedding album book I created within Lightroom's Book Module came out fantastic!

                                                                                     

                                                                                    I ended up using sRGB JPEGs to create the book, since no matter what I used, the images would be converted to this color space and image format upon upload from the Book Module to Blurb.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    I used a freshly color calibrated display, using an X-Rite ColorMunki, right before making final exposure, color, and black clipping adjustments directly from within the Book Module.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    I then created a Test PDF within Lightroom first and was very happy with the result, so I took the plunge and went ahead and ordered two copies of the album straight from Lightroom. Didn't even bother with printing a test book.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    The books came out gorgeous! 

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Read my full review and see links to my results on As Seen by Janine's Photo Blog:

                                                                                     

                                                                                    http://asseenbyjanineblog.com/tutorials/blurb-wedding-album-book-using-lightroom/

                                                                                     

                                                                                    I think the truth is, simple is best, so long as you are using an accurately color calibrated display. Best of luck to others. I can understand that maybe, for truly high end fine art photo books, some more elite book printer might be needed, but I'm convinced Blurb is "A-Ok" for most of my portrait clients' photo book needs.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Thanks to all who gave me advice.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Janine Fugere

                                                                                    As Seen by Janine: Eyes of the World Images

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