6 Replies Latest reply on Aug 7, 2017 2:19 PM by jdanek

    Color matching

    wertas2001 Level 1

      Hi everyone,

       

      Recently I took a part in a project that is facing a color matching problem. Basically, we scan an object (e.g. butterfly), store the image as a jpeg. file and then print it. The problem is that when we compare the object (under similar to the scanner light) with the print, colors do not match. Therefore, I was trying to understand where does the color changes throughout this process ( is it scanner , image storing or printing problem)?

       

       

      Also, I understand that a digital image is stored in RGB format, whereas print consists of CMYK colors. Nevertheless, I was wondering is it possible to make some scanner, monitor and printer calibration or do something else to print in the original color?

       

       

      I hope that my explanation of the problem is understandable and that someone could help me with this.

       

       

      Lukas

        • 1. Re: Color matching
          jdanek Level 4

          It requires a bit of experimentation on your part.  But, when you look at an image on your monitor, it is considered transmissive light ( sort of like looking at a color transparency on a light box with very little ambient light ).  You will see color that, in most cases, cannot be replicated in a print which is considered a reflective light source.  That in itself explains why some color on the monitor does not look the same in a print.  You did not mention the type of printer used, the type of paper used, and the application's color settings.

           

          "Also, I understand that a digital image is stored in RGB format, whereas print consists of CMYK colors. Nevertheless, I was wondering is it possible to make some scanner, monitor and printer calibration or do something else to print in the original color?"

           

          Not always.  Some images can be stored as CMYK with an embedded profile.  But, you are asking some very comprehensive questions that cannot be easily explained here.  For instance, I just printed a card in which I had to match a sample of Red that was probably printed with an offset press using a spot color.  The only way I could come anywhere near that Red was to export my file out of Illustrator as an RGB tif @150ppi. No RGB color tag applied.  Then, I opened the tif in Photoshop and assigned it a "Pro Photo RGB" profile and printed the RGB file on glossy paper.  When I place the original card next to my print I can see a very close but not exact match.  I could do this because I am using a closed loop work space.  And I am using an 11 cartridge inkjet proofer to print on glossy paper.  In short, there is no way I am ever going to match that original card that has been printed using spot color.  But, I can come close.

           

          I suggest you give us some more specific information like the paper used, and the printer used.  Then, maybe you can follow what I did or we can help you with a work around.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Color matching
            jdanek Level 4

            Also, here is my setup which I am very happy with.  You can try it and see if your results improve.

             

            Scanner / capture profile: Adobe RGB;

             

            Application RGB work space = Adobe RGB;

             

            Output profile = Adobe RGB.

             

            But, like I explained in my previous post, I tested all of the RGB profiles and none of them printed as close as ProPHOTO RGB did for that particular print.  ProPHOTO is a wide gamut RGB which could print additional gamut color where others like AdobeRGB might not.  In your case, you want to print "photographically" where you should keep the file in RGB mode for the print.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Color matching
              thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              It's not difficult to find colors in captures that you can print that exceed Adobe RGB (1998)! Very easy:

               

              The benefits of wide gamut working spaces on printed output:

               

              This three part, 32 minute video covers why a wide gamut RGB working space like ProPhoto RGB can produce superior quality output to print.

               

              Part 1 discusses how the supplied Gamut Test File was created and shows two prints output to an Epson 3880 using ProPhoto RGB and sRGB, how the deficiencies of sRGB gamut affects final output quality. Part 1 discusses what to look for on your own prints in terms of better color output. It also covers Photoshop’s Assign Profile command and how wide gamut spaces mishandled produce dull or over saturated colors due to user error.

               

              Part 2 goes into detail about how to print two versions of the properly converted Gamut Test File  file in Photoshop using Photoshop’s Print command to correctly setup the test files for output. It covers the Convert to Profile command for preparing test files for output to a lab.

               

              Part 3 goes into color theory and illustrates why a wide gamut space produces not only move vibrant and saturated color but detail and color separation compared to a small gamut working space like sRGB.

               

              High Resolution Video: http://digitaldog.net/files/WideGamutPrintVideo.mov

              Low Resolution (YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLlr7wpAZKs&feature=youtu.be

              • 4. Re: Color matching
                jdanek Level 4

                Just so that we are clear, ProPHOTO may or may not print a match to the monitor.  It depends on what deficiencies are found in the print ( I.e., color cast, too dull, too bright, under saturated, over saturated, missing color, etc. ).  A match means a disciplined approach based on certain objectives.

                 

                Sent from my iPhone

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Color matching
                  jdanek Level 4

                  "Therefore, I was trying to understand where does the color changes throughout this process ( is it scanner , image storing or printing problem)?"...

                   

                  When you have a printed sample and you scan it, the resulting scan depends on the capture RGB.  Often you'd take the scan into Photoshop and, based on the result vs. the original vs. an initial print, you'd adjust the image to closer values to the original.  Scanners come with a software scan application that allow you to use a particular RGB to tag your scan.  Mine is set to Adobe RGB because I work predominantly in print, graphic arts not photographic.

                   

                  In your case, I would recommend you scan using different profiles.  Open each scan and print them without any adjustments.  The prints will tell you which one to use in capturing the type of original you are working with.  You have not specified what scanner, what printer, etc., so the missing information leaves us a bit handicapped in recommending any particular course of action.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Color matching
                    jdanek Level 4

                    Also, scanners can be calibrated. If it is, you have the option of using a custom profile you built during calibration.

                     

                    Sent from my iPhone

                    1 person found this helpful