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Author Topic: A possible way to softproof in LR?  (Read 1329 times)


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    • Jan R. Smit Fine Art Printing Specialist
A possible way to softproof in LR?
« on: October 26, 2010, 04:58:29 PM »

My objective is to be able to softproof an image from within Lightroom, without the need to acquire Photoshop ( a cool 900

Euros). The scope of my needs are limited to my own printing from LR using my inkjet printer.

So i found a routine in the Lcms library (Little CMS, called tificc.exe, that can be used to create a softproof

rendering of given image. From different mailings on the internet i get the impression it can do a very good job of softproofing.

Next thing was to get this to work with LR (get an softproofed image created and into LR) so i can see what the effect of the

printer profile is, and then in a sort of similar way as in Photoshop CS5 develop the source image such that its proof looks more

or less like the intended original aka master. A workflow still needs to be carved out, but first i needed to get this softproof

function working.

What works, without serious programming (for me anything more than scripting is serious programming ;-)) is the following set up:

In Windows XP (7 or vista may work, not tested)

Install in a directory in Windows XP (vista, or w7 should work as well, but not tested):

- lcms2.lib
- lcms2-static.lib
- tificc.exe  (These 3 files can be downloaded from
- Prophoto.icm (can be copied from the folder holding icc profiles, in my case: C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\drivers\color)
- A printer profile you want to use
- Batch file (.bat), created as instructed below, with as name f.i.: softproof-01.bat
  Note: replace the "HPDJ6900 x.icc" bit of text with the name of your printer profile

Create a batch file (.bat) with the following text:

@echo off
REM The following will open a file given as argument (%1), transform it and save it.

REM First create a copy, you cannot open and save the same file in one action
copy %1 temp.tif

REM Transform the colorspace to some softproof setting, and save the file back
tificc -v -i"ProPhoto.icm" -o"ProPhoto.icm" -t1 -b -c1 -w16 -n -e -p"HPDJ6900 x.icc" -m11 temp.tif %1

REM remove the temporary file
del temp.tif

REM usage: tificc [flags] input.tif output.tif
REM flags:
REM -v - Verbose
REM -i<profile> - Input profile (defaults to sRGB)
REM -o<profile> - Output profile (defaults to sRGB)
REM -l<profile> - Transform by device-link profile
REM -t<n> rendering intent:
REM         0 - Perceptual
REM         1 - Relative colorimetric
REM         2 - Saturation
REM         3 - Absolute colorimetric
REM         10 - Perceptual preserving black ink
REM         11 - Relative colorimetric preserving black ink
REM         12 - Saturation preserving black ink
REM         13 - Perceptual preserving black plane
REM         14 - Relative colorimetric preserving black plane
REM         15 - Saturation preserving black plane
REM -b - Black point compensation
REM -d<0..1> - Observer adaptation state (abs.col. only)
REM -c<0,1,2,3> - Precalculates transform (0=Off, 1=Normal, 2=Hi-res, 3=LoRes)
REM -w<8,16,32> - Output depth. Use 32 for floating-point. For LR use 16 on tiff files.
REM -a - Handle channels > 4 as alpha
REM -n - Ignore embedded profile on input
REM -e - Embed destination profile
REM -s<new profile> - Save embedded profile as <new profile>
REM -p<profile> - Soft proof profile
REM -m<n> - Soft proof intent
REM -g - Marks out-of-gamut colors on softproof
REM -k<0..400> - Ink-limiting in % (CMYK only)
REM -h<0,1,2,3> - More help

Then in Lightroom:

Set in export panel of LR:
Export Location:  Export to: Same folder as original photo
                      Tick Add to This Catalog
                      Tick Add to Stack
File Naming:      whatever filenaming you wish
File Settings:    Format: TIFF               Compression: None
                  Color space: Prophoto RGB  Bit Depth: 16bits/component
Post Processing:  After Export: Open in Other Application
                  Application: choose the batch (.bat) file you created as specified above.

Save this as a export preset just in case.

Now select a raw image in LR, select export and with above setting, hit Export.
A tiff file will be created, imported into the catalog and added to the stack of the originating image.
Then the tificc routine will alter the color rendering as specified in the .bat file.

Now you can compare the softproof rendering with the original image to see the impact of the print profile.

As a closing note: I tested it functionally, and it works fine, actually quite straightforward. I have not yet tested the

rendering result against actual prints. Will do this this weekend.
A workflow to apply developmentsto the original image to compensate for the printer profile impact still needs to be carved out.

I have some ideas but need to test this together with actual printing.

Have fun and share your findings.
Fine art photography:
Fine Art Printing Specialist:

Jan R. Smit


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Re: A possible way to softproof in LR?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2010, 07:19:52 PM »

Jan, I don't know if this will interest you or others, but Picture Window Pro from Digital Light and Color  at $90 does soft proofing (including an out-of-gamut  warning option) using lcms. I regularly send a ProPhoto tif to it from LR, soft proof it while comparing it to the LR display, make the needed changes in LR, delete the tif and print from LR.

I have been using PWP for nearly ten years as my primary pixel editor and can testify to its excellence.
Roll over Ed Weston,
Tell Ansel Adams the news
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