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Author Topic: X-Rite software B&W profile options?  (Read 1574 times)

NAwlins_Contrarian

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X-Rite software B&W profile options?
« on: March 14, 2020, 11:50:28 pm »

Hopefully one of you can explain to me two of the options in some X-Rite software regarding building specialized ICC profiles for B&W printing. Specifically, the software is i1Studio version 1.5.1, which builds printer profiles with the i1Studio and ColorMunki Photo spectrophotometers. The software offers initial options for building profiles specifically for color or B&W prints. If you choose to build a B&W printing profile, at the end it gives you five options for what sort of profile you want to build (sort-of explained in the screen capture below). Three are high-contrast, color tone, and sepia--which seem obvious--but what I want is a 'normal' B&W printing profile, and the other two are confusing to me:
(1) a "Standard BW" profile, which is described as "To convert your color image to gray tones"
and
(2) a "None" profile, which is described as "To optimize neutral tones for your color image".

Neither sounds like what I really want, because I always do conversions to B&W ahead of time. So by the time I get to printing, I'm not trying to either "convert [my] color image to gray tones" or "optimize neutral tones for [my] color image". So which option do I use at the profile-building stage, to get a profile optimized for neutral printing of images that are already B&W? Thanks!
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digitaldog

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Re: X-Rite software B&W profile options?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2020, 02:12:21 pm »

Neither sounds like what I really want, because I always do conversions to B&W ahead of time. So by the time I get to printing, I'm not trying to either "convert [my] color image to gray tones" or "optimize neutral tones for [my] color image". So which option do I use at the profile-building stage, to get a profile optimized for neutral printing of images that are already B&W? Thanks!
Yes and there is no such setting to ensure neutral printing. There's an option to attempt that goal with optimization which may or may not work to some degree.
You want dead nuts neutral prints, you use a print mode like that found in the Epson Advanced B&W which doesn't use all the inks and is a black box designed for this task (and others).
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Doug Gray

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Re: X-Rite software B&W profile options?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2020, 10:06:47 pm »

Hopefully one of you can explain to me two of the options in some X-Rite software regarding building specialized ICC profiles for B&W printing. Specifically, the software is i1Studio version 1.5.1, which builds printer profiles with the i1Studio and ColorMunki Photo spectrophotometers. The software offers initial options for building profiles specifically for color or B&W prints. If you choose to build a B&W printing profile, at the end it gives you five options for what sort of profile you want to build (sort-of explained in the screen capture below). Three are high-contrast, color tone, and sepia--which seem obvious--but what I want is a 'normal' B&W printing profile, and the other two are confusing to me:
(1) a "Standard BW" profile, which is described as "To convert your color image to gray tones"
and
(2) a "None" profile, which is described as "To optimize neutral tones for your color image".

Neither sounds like what I really want, because I always do conversions to B&W ahead of time. So by the time I get to printing, I'm not trying to either "convert [my] color image to gray tones" or "optimize neutral tones for [my] color image". So which option do I use at the profile-building stage, to get a profile optimized for neutral printing of images that are already B&W? Thanks!

Just a guess but, given the instruction to user Percpetual, I suspect these options only apply to it and are similar to the neutral adjustments for Perceptual in I1Profiler except that I1Profiler won't convert Perc. to neutrals. Those adjustments don't affect Rel. Col.

One way to check is to make a profile and print a color image in Rel. Col. as well as Perc. Wouldn't surprise me if Rel Col prints normally and Perc. maps RGBs to neutrals.

If so, then it really isn't any different than just converting to B&W first then printing but you have more control in the conversion process where you can weight RGB to taste.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2020, 10:10:46 pm by Doug Gray »
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NAwlins_Contrarian

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Re: X-Rite software B&W profile options?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2020, 06:53:20 pm »

I was thinking about trying some tests tonight along the lines of what Doug suggested, when I got a reply to the similar question I submitted to X-Rite, from a "Technical Support Rep - Level 2":

Quote
If you do not want to see any type of a conversion to your images from the profile then select None. None would be the correct option to use if you are working within images that are already black and white.

Now they really ought to put that on screen in the software, which is what I told them, but it does answer the question, and guide me going forward.

FWIW, I generally find that I get better results with B&W using perceptual rendering intent, even though I generally prefer relative colorimetric for color images. I get the impression (i.e., no real testing as such) that with B&W, rel. col. tends to have a significant risk of blocking up the shadows.
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Doug Gray

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Re: X-Rite software B&W profile options?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2020, 09:04:01 pm »

I was thinking about trying some tests tonight along the lines of what Doug suggested, when I got a reply to the similar question I submitted to X-Rite, from a "Technical Support Rep - Level 2":

Now they really ought to put that on screen in the software, which is what I told them, but it does answer the question, and guide me going forward.

FWIW, I generally find that I get better results with B&W using perceptual rendering intent, even though I generally prefer relative colorimetric for color images. I get the impression (i.e., no real testing as such) that with B&W, rel. col. tends to have a significant risk of blocking up the shadows.

Yep. Pretty noticeable with B&W. My approach with B&W is to use a standard color profile or use a B&W specific profile which properly shows tints (see my thread on B&W profile creation with Argyll and my program which synthesizes values suitable for I1Profiler or Argyll.)  To use these I use Rel. Col. but don't select BPC. Instead, I use curves to increase the blacks to where the media can just print them. Gets rid of blocking and gives the darkest possible prints.

The problem with Perc. and Rel. Col. with BPC is that it doesn't know what the max blacks are in the image so it lightens everything. So L* that is printable at 16 on a matte paper gets printed at 16 rather than getting raised to something like L*=20 so that the values below 16 don't get blocked.

In other words, if the images's max black is L*=8, you want to actually print that at the paper's max black, not some higher neutral value.
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