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Author Topic: Simulate Paper Color:Don't know anymore  (Read 11587 times)

walter.sk

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Simulate Paper Color:Don't know anymore
« on: October 05, 2010, 01:10:30 pm »

I've been using a color management workflow that has worked for me over the past few years, with CS2, CS3, CS4 and now CS5.  I've been using an NEC 3090 for about 3 years now, calibrated/profiled by the eye-1Display ii, and more recently, by the Colormunki, both with the Spectraview ii software.  I print from Qimage on a Win7 computer, to an HP Z3100 gp PS printer and use a Just Normlicht print viewer with adjustable brightness.

I have been softproofing in Photoshop using either Perceptual or Relative Colorimetric rendering depending on the image, and I have always checked the Simulate Paper Color box.  I duplicate the image and have them side by side, using adjustment layers to bring the softproofed version back as much as possible to resemble the optimized but not softproofed version.  My results have been quite good.

A few months ago, X-Rite guru Joe Brady said he does not use Simulate Paper Color for glossy or luster papers, but only for matte papers.  In my usual manner I scoffed to myself.  Today I decided to try it, using Epson Premium Luster.  I am astounded at the results!  It took less adjustment on the softproofed image to bring it into line with the original.  More importantly, the softproofed version resembled the final print even more than had the version softproofed with Simulate Paper Color on!  It seems that much of my adjustment in the past had been to compensate not so much for the paper, but for the changes caused by the Simulate Paper Color option!

Is it possible that the Photoshop Simulate Paper Color somehow is not as accurate as it is supposed to be, perhaps using an outmoded algorithm?
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Schewe

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Re: Simulate Paper Color:Don't know anymore
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2010, 01:24:10 pm »

Is it possible that the Photoshop Simulate Paper Color somehow is not as accurate as it is supposed to be, perhaps using an outmoded algorithm?

No...it's less accurate to not check the Simulate Paper Color. But (there's always a but) YOU need to understand how to interpret what the screen is showing you.

You image in screen without soft proofing is being displayed at the full contrast range of your display-which not paper print could EVER match. Checking the display options for both ink black and paper white compresses your image into the dynamic range of the print. Which is accurate...however, your eyes will adapt to the whitest portion of the display and identify that as "white". The fact that Photoshop is dimming the whites and lightening the blacks takes practice and often clicking into full screen mode to fully understand the implications of the soft proofing.

If you have ANYTHING in front of your eyes that is whiter than the soft proofed white, the white adaptation with your eyes in the soft proofed image will be visually incorrect...

Yes, the white dims-as it is supposed to. And yes, sometimes the paper white will look a bit cool. However, it's quite accurate...if you know how to use it to restore the image appearance of the original in the final print.
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probep

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Re: Simulate Paper Color:Don't know anymore
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2010, 01:34:18 pm »

Is it possible that the Photoshop Simulate Paper Color somehow is not as accurate as it is supposed to be, perhaps using an outmoded algorithm?
Hm, soft proofing is almost always not as accurate as it is supposed to be.
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nilo

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Re: Simulate Paper Color:Don't know anymore
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2010, 02:26:38 pm »

There has been a very interesting discussion in this thread between Andrew "digital dog" and Thomas "tho_mas" in this recent thread. They both have different views and procedures, which they very well explained and exposed again in that thread "A classics revisited: My prints turn out too dark!" http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=46010.0 Despite the title things immediately start to turn around "Simulate Paper Color"

regards nino
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nilo

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Re: Simulate Paper Color:Don't know anymore
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2010, 02:28:13 pm »

[...]A few months ago, X-Rite guru Joe Brady said he does not use Simulate Paper Color for glossy or luster papers, but only for matte papers.[...]

do you have any link or reference for this?

thanks in advance

nino
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digitaldog

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Re: Simulate Paper Color:Don't know anymore
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2010, 03:14:01 pm »

A few months ago, X-Rite guru Joe Brady said he does not use Simulate Paper Color for glossy or luster papers, but only for matte papers. 

Joe’s not correct. In the video I just saw, he said something like “its too strong and I hope Adobe fixed it in CS5 but they didn’t”. That is simply not the correct understanding of what the simulate does nor why. As Jeff said, the simulation is more “accurate” (it provides a better match) assuming proper display calibration and good profiles with good tables for both output and preview. It far better accounts for the dynamic range of the paper when on. If you have a display with a far larger contrast ratio than the print, watching the simulate before your eyes looks pretty awful too (just don’t watch it update), and don’t have other UI elements on screen that your eye will adapt to that do not undergo the paper simulation if possible (that does make editing on a single display system difficult).

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Hm, soft proofing is almost always not as accurate as it is supposed to be.
I suspect there is some truth to that statement. But when done correctly, its more accurate than without.
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Andrew Rodney
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tho_mas

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Re: Simulate Paper Color:Don't know anymore
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2010, 03:29:14 pm »

It far better accounts for the dynamic range of the paper when on.
except if your display is already calibrated to the luminance level of the paper in the viewing booth - in this case "simulate black ink" will do the trick  ;D
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nilo

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Re: Simulate Paper Color:Don't know anymore
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2010, 03:44:33 pm »

[...]In the video I just saw,[...]

is it possible to get/watch this video?
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digitaldog

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Re: Simulate Paper Color:Don't know anymore
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2010, 04:13:40 pm »

except if your display is already calibrated to the luminance level of the paper in the viewing booth - in this case "simulate black ink" will do the trick  ;D

Unless I’m missing your point fully, I don’t see why the two have to be mutually exclusive. We have a paper profile that has some data about paper white and ink black. We could have any number of displays with differing native contrast ratios or better, those calibrated to a target ratio. We’d use the same paper profiles on all the displays (they are display agnostic). I would suspect that if you have display who’s ratio is 900:1, the effect of the simulation would be visually greater toggling it on and off than doing so on a display that was calibrated to 350:1. But I’m not sure why both the profiles (with simulation) and the display calibration can’t be used in tandem.
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Andrew Rodney
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walter.sk

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Re: Simulate Paper Color:Don't know anymore
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2010, 04:57:28 pm »

You image in screen without soft proofing is being displayed at the full contrast range of your display-which not paper print could EVER match. Checking the display options for both ink black and paper white compresses your image into the dynamic range of the print. Which is accurate...however, your eyes will adapt to the whitest portion of the display and identify that as "white". The fact that Photoshop is dimming the whites and lightening the blacks takes practice and often clicking into full screen mode to fully understand the implications of the soft proofing.

If you have ANYTHING in front of your eyes that is whiter than the soft proofed white, the white adaptation with your eyes in the soft proofed image will be visually incorrect...
I have been aware of the eye's adapting to the whitest portion of the display.  My assumption, though, was that if the original and softproofed versions of the image are side by side, regardless of how my eyes adapt, I would still see differences between the two images and try to adjust the softproofed version to look like the other.  I have always used Simulate Paper Color, and been successful using the two-image paradigm.  I judge my success by comparing the print to the full-screen softproofed image.  While there are always small differences, the soft proofing has helped me avoid surprises in the prints.

There is no way I could fit a second display on the desk, and will probably continue to use Simulate Paper Color after doing some comparisons of prints softproofed with & without Paper Sim.
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tho_mas

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Re: Simulate Paper Color:Don't know anymore
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2010, 04:58:52 pm »

Unless I’m missing your point fully, I don’t see why the two have to be mutually exclusive.
actually we already covered this point in the other thread.
If the monitor is calibrated to visually match both white point and brightness of the paper in the viewing booth but SPC reduces the brightness further (due to the max. L*96 or whatever) you won't get a good match. In this case you only get a good match when you check "simulate black ink". As the brightness is already accurate there is no reason for the color management to reduce the brightness further, whereas "simulate black ink" will boost the black point to the level of the paper (L*6 or whatever) so that you end up with an accurate representation of the contrast ratio.

Vice versa: if you prefer to use SPC the monitor should be calibtrated to a brighter level initially... so that the brightness matches first when you enable softproofing with SPC.

The final result is absolutely the same (basically).
« Last Edit: October 05, 2010, 05:00:29 pm by tho_mas »
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digitaldog

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Re: Simulate Paper Color:Don't know anymore
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2010, 05:31:46 pm »

actually we already covered this point in the other thread.
If the monitor is calibrated to visually match both white point and brightness of the paper in the viewing booth but SPC reduces the brightness further (due to the max. L*96 or whatever) you won't get a good match.

The monitor (in my case) was calibrated visually with SPC (if that means Simulate Paper Color).
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Andrew Rodney
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tho_mas

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Re: Simulate Paper Color:Don't know anymore
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2010, 06:08:30 pm »

The monitor (in my case) was calibrated visually with SPC (if that means Simulate Paper Color).
well, yes. The basics are the same.
So in your case softproof with SPC will match very good for that respective paper but probably not so good for other papers. And the display is a bit too bright when editing images without any softproof enabled.
We turn around in circles ;-)
« Last Edit: October 05, 2010, 06:17:15 pm by tho_mas »
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digitaldog

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Re: Simulate Paper Color:Don't know anymore
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2010, 08:10:44 pm »

So in your case softproof with SPC will match very good for that respective paper but probably not so good for other papers.

Yup, depending on the papers I’d agree. FWIW, in this case, I was using Premium Luster under the viewing booth, printed on a 3880 for calibration of the display. We then printed on HP 9000 series printers using their glossy paper, still got a great visual match. Pop some matt, warm white paper, all bets might very well be off.

Quote
And the display is a bit too bright when editing images without any softproof enabled.

Not really (it wasn’t an issue). Again, this was a classroom situation where students were using the display for editing in Lightroom, then sending the rendered data to Photoshop for soft proofing. There really wasn’t a noticeable disconnect here visually. But I’d agree, its not a prefect situation. The nice thing was, with the NEC software, we could have easily built a series of targets for each paper but in this case, it wasn’t necessary.
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Andrew Rodney
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tho_mas

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Re: Simulate Paper Color:Don't know anymore
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2010, 03:38:44 am »

Yup, depending on the papers I’d agree. FWIW, in this case, I was using Premium Luster under the viewing booth, printed on a 3880 for calibration of the display. We then printed on HP 9000 series printers using their glossy paper, still got a great visual match. Pop some matt, warm white paper, all bets might very well be off.
makes sense. Just recently I played around with paper samples of the whole Canson Infinity line and the respective canned profiles (for Epson 11880) they provide on their website. Even without printing anything it gets clear quite quickly that the most profiles of their matte papers (without OBAs) seem to represent consistent white points (i.e. SPC matches the visual apperance of the papers quite good and the profiles do not contain absurd low white points... they are around L*97-L*98 or so). So in this case I think it would be fine to calibrate the monitor to a proof paper (as these provide a kind of "neutral" reference under D50) and use SPC. Of course actual printing would be required to proof how well the profiles really behave. But if you take the satin resp. glossy papers into the mix you are set back to softproofing without SPC as the white points with SPC enabled are too blue (and therfore also too dark!) due to the OBAs of these papers.
So I think the workflow really depends on the actual papers you are (mostly) using.
The good thing is: if you are persistent enough to fine tune your workflow, you can get very good results... one way or the other :-)
« Last Edit: October 06, 2010, 03:42:06 am by tho_mas »
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