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Author Topic: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial  (Read 2938 times)

michaelbiondo

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Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« on: July 28, 2018, 07:54:26 pm »

Just starting to shoot a big book project, publisher is in Japan and the printer is in Singapore.
I am supper psyched about it and for this project I would like to improve my color workflow.
In the past I would get my images to where I would like them on a calibrated Eizo monitor and then send them off as flattened adobe RGB Tiffs.
Results are mixed and I would like to do everything I can on my end to get them files that match what's on my screen.
Is a RIP necessary in order to send a CMYK file to an Epson 9880? If so which RIP? all I need is to proof, no need to create photo packages or anything like that
Thanks!

digitaldog

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2018, 10:11:28 pm »

First things first: can you get the actual ICC press profile?
No, you don’t necessarily need a RIP depending on if you wish to proof (cross rende) only images as opposed to the entire composed page. You can covert from output CMYK back to RGB and use the Epson RGB profiles with its native driver. The key to all this however, is the recipe for output CMYK the press expects and sometimes that’s difficult to get.
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Jim Metzger

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2018, 10:34:56 pm »

I would also consider printing the images at your end and submitting as proofs for comparison
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michaelbiondo

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2018, 05:08:10 am »

Thanks for the help, I will request an ICC profile and hopefully I will get one.

I am only interested in proofing the photographs and not the entire spread with text.

Let me see if I understand this correctly. First, I convert the photo from RGB to CMYK then back to RGB. The second step, CMYK back to RGB works because the CMYK color space is smaller and fits into the RGB colorspace?

Thanks,
MB

michaelbiondo

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2018, 05:08:42 am »

I am considering sending prints to use for reference. Does it make any sense to use the epson "proofing" paper?

Thanks,
MB

digitaldog

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2018, 09:18:00 am »

Let me see if I understand this correctly. First, I convert the photo from RGB to CMYK then back to RGB. The second step, CMYK back to RGB works because the CMYK color space is smaller and fits into the RGB colorspace?
Yes, in a nutshell. This goes into far more detail about what is known as cross rendering: http://digitaldog.net/files/05Rendering%20Intents%20and%20ICC%20profiles.pdf
Yes, you want a proofing paper that matches as closely as possible, the paper white used on press.
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elliot_n

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2018, 09:27:29 am »

Confused. Is it a 'big book project' or a 'large magazine editorial'? You'll have more leverage if it's the former.
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JeanMichel

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2018, 11:48:22 am »

There is more than just the conversion and soft-proofing. You need to know and deal with, among other stuff, screen frequency (and sharpening for that), the paper - coated, uncoated, etc. - that will be used, whether or not there will be a varnish applied.

You can prepare you files as best as you can, then get the printing house to send you a proof from their system, it is usually considered that such a proof is at least 90% accurate and is fine for printing “pleasing colour”. For accurate colour, you will need press proofs, and maybe be at the printing house to check and approve the actual press run. Not a cheap process!

Your best friends in this case are the pre-press people at the printing house. They are the best people to guide you in this process.
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digitaldog

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2018, 01:10:25 pm »

There is more than just the conversion and soft-proofing. You need to know and deal with, among other stuff, screen frequency (and sharpening for that), the paper - coated, uncoated, etc. - that will be used, whether or not there will be a varnish applied.
No need to deal with screen frequency on his end. Sharpening indeed, to some degree; output sharpening for halftone. Varnish is part of the process the ICC Profile HAS to account for in the conversion.
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farbschlurf

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2018, 01:16:11 pm »

Not a cheap process!

I can only stress that.
Basically it all depends on the budget you have for quality printing. Probably best you can do is get in touch with the printing house. Maybe (!) they have the time to give you profiles and some tips. If it's not a very high budget you can forget about hard proofing either way round (that is: You send them prints for reference how you want it or they print proofs and send them to you). Unfortunately the reality of printing on a budget means a lot of compromise. I sometimes have to deal with artists and illustrators who seem not to have an idea how much (read: little) money is in books theses days.
 
But maybe it's another matter with your project (ads/commercial?), than it is indeed the job of the publisher and print house to provide information how you should handle the photos and how they should be processed from your side.
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digitaldog

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2018, 01:24:52 pm »

This idea of expecting the printer to match supplied 'proof's' is largely fantasy. You need a contract proof! That doesn't mean with proper and ideal color management, one can't cross render on an Epson or even find an Epson being used, by the printer as a contract proof. The key idea here is CONTACT! That means the printer has to agree to match their proofs and press (within reason, certainly within say an average deltaE of 6 or less).
See:
http://digitaldog.net/files/CMYKPart1.pdf


http://digitaldog.net/files/CMYKPart2.pdf
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michaelbiondo

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2018, 06:58:33 pm »

Thank you everyone for the advice, this project is a hybrid magazine / book. It is a Japanese Architecture Magazine, soft cover and only has one AD per issue, has a high newsstand price so as you can see it is very unusual. I am fortunate in that they have asked me to shoot the entire issue, 190 pages. Soft proofing on my calibrated monitor is ok, I just want to take it one step further. I have worked with all kinds of proofs and I have worked closely will pre-press houses in the past. As you all have guessed, there are budget issues and I would like to handle as much of the color/contrast work in house. It is a six month project so I have time and I hope to find someone at the magazine who can provide a printers profile. In the past, when I have asked for profiles I get a range of responses from ok to what is a profile? We shall see. Thanks for the links Andy, I will read them with interest.
MB

elliot_n

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2018, 10:06:56 am »

It sounds like a great project — and the sort of project where you could open up a dialogue with the printers (re. profiles).

In the past, I did many shoots for Japanese magazines. I also shot a limited edition book for a Japanese client, somewhat similar to the one your embarking on (but smaller in scale - only 60 pages).

I was never disappointed with the quality of Japanese printing. I just sent them AdobeRGB tiffs and let them do their best. (Sometimes I would soft-proof to CMYK, just to check whether any bright colours were going to be butchered in the process, and then tone them down.)

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digitaldog

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2018, 10:25:03 am »

(Sometimes I would soft-proof to CMYK, just to check whether any bright colours were going to be butchered in the process, and then tone them down.)
With the actual press profile and with the rendering intent that press will use for conversions?
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elliot_n

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2018, 11:15:24 am »

With the actual press profile and with the rendering intent that press will use for conversions?

No nothing as fine-tuned as that. Just to a generic CMYK profile. Obviously not the best way to do it, but satisfactory for my needs. (On rare occasions, I have proofed to a specific press profile, but it's often not easy to get hold of these profiles. And a couple of times I've done the CMYK conversions myself (in liaison with the printers, and with their press profiles).)
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digitaldog

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2018, 11:36:52 am »

No nothing as fine-tuned as that. Just to a generic CMYK profile. Obviously not the best way to do it, but satisfactory for my needs. (On rare occasions, I have proofed to a specific press profile, but it's often not easy to get hold of these profiles. And a couple of times I've done the CMYK conversions myself (in liaison with the printers, and with their press profiles).)
My advise to the OP (since that's the topic) is to avoid that as it's fraught with potential hurt-me issues and results.
Soft proofing CMYK (where you can't see the effect of dot gain or black Gen), then editing based on a view and numbers and a RI that don't specifically reflect what's going on within the press isn't a good idea IMHO. If you can't get the actual output profile and control the conversions yourself, skip anything CMYK and send tagged RGB. Probably ColorMatch RGB due to the gamma encoding, certainly if the shop/printer isn't sure what an ICC profile is!
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aaronchan

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2018, 12:18:54 pm »

But to be honest, many traditional offset company does not have an ICC profile because what they usually look at are the curves. So sending them a hard copy would be more ideal.

Aaron


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digitaldog

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2018, 12:47:49 pm »

But to be honest, many traditional offset company does not have an ICC profile because what they usually look at are the curves. So sending them a hard copy would be more ideal.
Curves? What are they using to convert from RGB to CMYK? It may not be an ICC Profile if they really operate in the late 20th century but they still need to define a conversion. Could be the old 'classic' CMYK engine in Photoshop (doubt that, it's really hardly a production environment to do so).
I suspect the reality is many traditional off set companies have an ICC profile but simply do not want to supply it. Some incorrectly believe it contains some proprietary data their competitors might use which is really hogwash.
IF they can't define then supply a CMYK method of conversion, then it's kind of pointless and often painful to attempt any CMYK work outside their environments. Send them tagged RGB and hope for the best, get a contract proof, go to the press check (which isn't always possible and alone can cause problems).

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digitaldog

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2018, 04:28:44 pm »

Here's a visual of how a soft proof, in fact separated CMYK files from the same RGB source appear the identical, but the underlying data, in this case, the black plate, vary based on simply the CMYK profile's Black Generation settings. They all appear the same in the composite. But they are vastly different and would print differently.
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digitaldog

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Re: Need some advice on proofing a large magazine editorial
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2018, 04:41:48 pm »

One more example. Same image and same CMYK profile, but the only difference is Perceptual vs. Relative Colorimetric. Subtract the black channels from each and the difference is shown below using Calculations command/subtract to show the differences in just this one critical channel.

There's a lot going on here, under the hood you can't see that can hugely impact what's going to happen on press. At least with the proper CMYK output profile, that black generation should be correctly configured for the output. Without the proper profile, you're soft proofing the composite and (ugh) editing the data and of course that black channel too. Kind of dangerous.  :'(
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