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Author Topic: Book Module, blurb and color management  (Read 11610 times)

herminy

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2018, 06:19:04 PM »

Hi, there! First let me say that I am very glad that I subscribed to this site, it has been invaluable in helping me navigate the wonderful brave new world (for me) of printing with a new Canon Pro 1000 printer. Right now, though, I am trying to make a decent photobook rather quickly using the output from LR, which I thought would be an okay option. The soft proofing piece has thrown me a bit, as a lot of my images have pretty saturated blues in them, and I really want to know if they are falling out of gamut. My question is this: having downloaded the ICC profile from blurb, does it make sense to soft proof using that profile in PhotoShop, and then pull the images back into LR to plug into the book layout module? Is that going to get me the closest to where I need to be colorwise, even though what is getting uploaded won't be CMYK? I hope this question makes sense. I was very disappointed to find that you can't use the CMYK profile in LR, and proofing using sRGB seems like a pretty crummy option...Thanks in advance!
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Hannah in Minnesota

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2018, 07:05:40 PM »

My question is this: having downloaded the ICC profile from blurb, does it make sense to soft proof using that profile in PhotoShop, and then pull the images back into LR to plug into the book layout module?
There's no reason to soft proof at all!
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers"

Redcrown

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2018, 12:12:40 AM »

I hesitate to defend Blurb, but I've produced 21 copies of 13 different books with good satisfaction. Certainly the quality of the CMYK printing is not equal to most alternatives. And Blurb is definitely inconsistent. Identical books printed at different times or places (US vs. Europe) often have easily visible differences. And Blurb often creates garbage. Of my 13 books, I've rejected 3 and Blurb reprinted at no charge, with no argument. Two of those had bad color and tone, one had physical damage to several pages.

But consider that you get what you pay for. Blurb is cheap, from 30% to over 200% cheaper than their competitors. That's a big factor many overlook. With the exception of AdoramaPix books that are printed on "real" photo paper (and cost a small fortune) all the others use the same CMYK process. Maybe one has a consistently better CYMK process than the others, but is it twice as good? I don't think so.

After my second Blurb book, I made a "test" book, using several images printed in 3 or 4 versions. Each version had a slightly different curve adjustment applied, trying to match the soft proof. As a result of that test, I now apply a very slight s-curve to images I submit. The curve lowers RGB value 76 to 68 while anchoring the curve above 175. It's not a perfect restoration of blacks and shadows, but it's as close as I can get to my sRGB monitor display.

I also include a small synthetic version of the Macbeth colorchecker as the last page of every book. I can then compare each new book with older ones, and have a good basis for rejection if needed.

And I have to respectfully disagree with Andrew. There is good reason to soft proof. It will give you a reasonably good indication if your image is printable to your satisfaction. If you are not satisfied, there is little or nothing you can do about it. Either live with it, or don't print that image.

In one of my Blurb books I had an image of a Japanese woman in a dark blue kimono. It came out a flat, solid blue. All the folds and texture of the kimono were lost. Really ugly. After the fact, I soft proofed the original image. The out-of-gamut problem was obvious. Nothing I could do about it. I wish I had proofed before printing, because I would not have used that image.
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digitaldog

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2018, 09:32:26 AM »

It’s pointless to soft proof if you don’t have the ICC profile for the process. Blurb does not supply such a profile. It’s a generic profile they expect you believe defines all papers for one and that’s impossible! Therefore I submit again it is worthless to soft proof using blurbs profile!
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers"

David Eichler

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2018, 02:25:42 PM »

It’s pointless to soft proof if you don’t have the ICC profile for the process. Blurb does not supply such a profile. It’s a generic profile they expect you believe defines all papers for one and that’s impossible! Therefore I submit again it is worthless to soft proof using blurbs profile!

Since it seems there will always be some inconsistency with POD, would a specific ICC profile be of any real use, anyway? Are there any POD services that provide specific ICC profiles and deliver a relatively high degree of consistency?
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digitaldog

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2018, 02:34:18 PM »

Since it seems there will always be some inconsistency with POD, would a specific ICC profile be of any real use, anyway? Are there any POD services that provide specific ICC profiles and deliver a relatively high degree of consistency?
IF the process control were sound (it isn't and I'm not the only one reporting this) then yes, an ICC profile that actually reflects output conditions would be useful for soft proofing. And conversions to the output color space if allowed. That's a big if too. Lots of shops provide profiles they state you can use just for soft proofing but do not permit you to convert the files for output. That's a sign you're dealing with a shop that's not savvy about color management but want unsuspecting customers to think they are. Soft proofing with a profile that isn't used for the final conversion is simply a waste of everyone's time.
What is a POD (other than something dub kids eat instead of throwing in a washing machine?).
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers"

Rhossydd

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2018, 02:36:02 PM »

It’s a generic profile they expect you believe defines all papers for one and that’s impossible!
Given the HP Indigo press works in a different way to RGB inkjets or CMYK offset presses etc. The generic profile helps gain an appreciation of what you might get.
No it's never going to be entirely accurate, but you will get an idea and so does have some benefit.

POD = print on demand
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digitaldog

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2018, 02:46:41 PM »

Given the HP Indigo press works in a different way to RGB inkjets or CMYK offset presses etc. The generic profile helps gain an appreciation of what you might get.
No it's never going to be entirely accurate, but you will get an idea and so does have some benefit.

POD = print on demand
I've worked massively with so called POD's (we call them digital presses): Indigo from 5000's on, NexPress, Xeikon all with the goal of creating custom profiles for each type of machine, for shops spread across the globe each using dozens of each digital press per location! Along with process control measures for each site. They can be maintained and calibrated to a nearly non perceptual differences but it takes work and the measurement of custom targets thought the day. It's expensive. IOW, you can get a digital press to behave like an inkjet in terms of consistent output with custom profiles. No generic profiles necessary. Blurb doesn't operate this way!


Blurb doesn't supply a generic profile of their devices that start to define their print processes. They supply one that's not even based on their device let alone the various output differences with respect to differing papers. It's easy to see this by examining the profile they provide! Unless something recently changed, the Blurb ICC profile is GRACoL2006 Coated-1, right down to the paper white L*a*b* values. What they're using is essentially a copy of the IDEAlliance GRACoL profile and has little if anything to do with how they're actually printing. So using it for soft proofing is a waste of time. But if it makes you feel better doing so, have at it.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 02:50:53 PM by digitaldog »
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Andrew Rodney
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digitaldog

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2018, 02:54:45 PM »

The generic profile helps gain an appreciation of what you might get.
Like the idea of soft proofing to sRGB, only after suspending all rational thought and logic would that make sense  ;)
At least with Blurb and the books I've printed using identical images over the course of time, it does not provides appreciation of what you might get. Seems my experience is similar to another here as well. 
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers"

Rhossydd

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2018, 03:41:10 PM »

Well, two of us in this thread think it is of some value to soft proof, you don't.

Let the OP decide.
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ButchM

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2018, 04:29:46 PM »

Well, two of us in this thread think it is of some value to soft proof, you don't.

Let the OP decide.

Not quite what Rodney was sharing .... soft proofing to a 'known' target could prove very beneficial and can be quite valuable. OTOH soft proofing to a profile that is very likely not the correct target for the end product is merely an exercise in futility. It's like playing darts blindfolded. If you hit the target it's purely the result of chance not measured effort with reliable, repeatable results.
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digitaldog

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2018, 04:38:03 PM »

Not quite what Rodney was sharing .... soft proofing to a 'known' target could prove very beneficial and can be quite valuable. OTOH soft proofing to a profile that is very likely not the correct target for the end product is merely an exercise in futility. It's like playing darts blindfolded. If you hit the target it's purely the result of chance not measured effort with reliable, repeatable results.
Exactly! The OP can examine such facts and see why soft proofing to any profile that doesn’t define the output is folly.
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers"

digitaldog

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2018, 04:47:05 PM »

Here's one view of sRGB (red) versus an Indigo running glossy paper (custom). This should illustrate how idiotic it would be to soft proof sRGB when the output is to an Indigo! Should I plot the differences between the Blurb profile and my Indigo profile to again show how really silly it is to use the wrong profile when soft proofing? Might as well dig up an old Epson 1200 ink jet profile and use that for soft proofing to Blurb; it's just as silly an idea but it may make some here fell they are benefiting from the big fat lie the soft proof indicates. And some here probably don't have the tools to see how their displays may or may not have the gamut to view all the colors from the output device.

The reason there's so much ignorance on the subject of soft proofing, is that those who have it are so eager to share it
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers"

Rhossydd

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2018, 05:24:29 PM »

This should illustrate how idiotic it would be to soft proof sRGB when the output is to an Indigo!
But it doesn't. All that shows is that there's some bits of the Indigo gamut that exceed sRGB.
We both know there's a lot more to this sort of issue than a simple flat screen shot.

Somewhere along the line you should be able to accept that sometimes things don't have to be absolutely perfect to be helpful.
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digitaldog

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2018, 06:08:18 PM »

But it doesn't. All that shows is that there's some bits of the Indigo gamut that exceed sRGB.
Nice speculation without a lick of colorimetric data or proof!
There's not 'some bits' out of gamut; it's massive and hugely visible. You seem to know as little about viewing gamut maps as soft proofing so let's look at actual data.
First, let's convert 988 solids into sRGB and then Indigo CMYK (I'll use a good profile that actually defines the device). Here's the report:
It's sorted with worst dE at the top and those who understand such a report can also see the average dE is 4.7, easily visible but the worst 10% is a whopping 9.77 and the worst offender is nearly a dE of 15. Not sure you even understand what dE means but let me clarify that IF you use sRGB to soft proof to an Indigo, it's a mile off (excuse the non scientific distance, it might sink in for some here).
That's NOT even taking the display into account!!! We're off, way off using sRGB to define a CMYK indigo press. But you seem to believe it's good advise to the OP he should either use sRGB or some profile from Blurb that doesn't define their process. So I think you need to study up on this before posting again. If you need help with dE may I suggest:


Delta-E and color accuracy

In this 7 minute video I'll cover: What is Delta-E and how we use it to evaluate color differences. Color Accuracy: what it really means, how we measure it using ColorThink Pro and BableColor CT&A. This is an edited subset of a video covering RGB working spaces from raw data (sRGB urban legend Part 1).

Low Rez: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy0BD5aRV9s&feature=youtu.be
High Rez: http://digitaldog.net/files/Delta-E%20and%20Color%20Accuracy%20Video.mp4



Suggesting someone use sRGB to soft proof to an Indigo is a bit like someone suggesting that if their images appear too dark on-screen, just turn up the brightness knob on the display, it will look better and somewhere along the line you should be able to accept that sometimes things don't have to be absolutely wrong to be unhelpful.
I apologize if the colorimetric facts ruin your day and by all means, do provide the audience here your own colorimetric data that suggests otherwise.


The reason there's so much ignorance on the subject of color management, is that those who have it are so eager to regularly share it! - The Digital Dog
Here's a close up of the gamut map for you to inspect again....

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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers"

digitaldog

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2018, 06:17:24 PM »

Well, two of us in this thread think it is of some value to soft proof, you don't.

Let the OP decide.
Easier now that he has actual colorimetric data instead of colorimetric fiction.
BTW, I'm a huge believer in soft proofing and suspect I've written more peer reviewed articles and a few video's dating back to the advent of soft proofing (in 1997) than you. By far! Or your friend who believes using the utterly incorrect profile for soft proofing has any merit. Yes, let the OP decide but hopefully his decision will be made based on colorimetric data provided by those who understand how to produce and present such facts.  ;)
Quote
We both know there's a lot more to this sort of issue than a simple flat screen shot.
You've not at all convinced me that's at all true.  :(
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 06:23:53 PM by digitaldog »
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers"

digitaldog

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2018, 06:33:30 PM »

Lastly, for the visually inclined: Left is sRGB, Right side is Indigo CMYK. Yes, soft proofing! If they appear the same to you, you should get your eyes examined tomorrow or don't and continue to soft proof using any profile that comes up in the list. Enough said until we can get Rhossydd's colorimetric data to suggest this is all wrong.....


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Andrew Rodney
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2018, 09:52:14 PM »

Your image isn't showing up, Andrew. I'm seeing a large empty gray box with broken doc icon.
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Rhossydd

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2018, 04:01:10 AM »

It's like playing darts blindfolded. If you hit the target it's purely the result of chance not measured effort with reliable, repeatable results.
Interesting analogy. What the Blurb profile says is where the dart board is likely to be, you might not get a double 20, but you're more likely to hit it.
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Rhossydd

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Re: Book Module, blurb and color management
« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2018, 05:02:57 AM »

Well this thread originated back in 2013 and Blurb's requirements have changed since then.
There's now a difference in recommended practice between PDF to book (now prefers CMYK files in their own profile), Bookwright (sRGB) and LR's print module(delivers sRGB as I understand it).

Let's be clear about about a couple of issues.
Waving around dE numbers in this context isn't helpful when looking at this. What you need to know is what colours won't reproduce as expected, not just theoretical colour differences.
What we need to know is where the printer gamut may be smaller than the file's sRGB colourspace . Any colours beyond aren't important as the source file won't have them in it anyway.

For those unused to seeing how an image on a monitor look when arriving in a printed book from Blurb are likely to have a nasty surprise if they haven't got some idea of what that reproduction process will change. In that context soft proofing, imperfect though it maybe with Blurb's profile, will give an idea of what colours will change.

That imperfect insight may help with image preparation, image choice and design decisions for the book.
Redcrown's experience above is a good example of this;
“In one of my Blurb books I had an image of a Japanese woman in a dark blue kimono. It came out a flat, solid blue. All the folds and texture of the kimono were lost. Really ugly. After the fact, I soft proofed the original image. The out-of-gamut problem was obvious. Nothing I could do about it. I wish I had proofed before printing, because I would not have used that image. “
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