Spyder3Print Profiles Not Reproducing Blues Correctly on Epson R800

Started Jan 23, 2010 | Discussions thread
dmiller62 Contributing Member • Posts: 511
Re: Awesome thread and a note for David Miller.

Kiran P wrote:

I have been following this thread since it started and I am very happy to see both >
But how difficult would it be to incorporate a test feature whereby the software

prints an image with the profile it created and then have it read the colors to see

how accurate they are? If it thinks it gave you blue but in fact reads that it is
more purple, it could then make further adjustments. This seems like a simple
solution that would only require an update to the software and I think would put
this package miles ahead.

1. It wouldn't work like that. These are out-of-gamut colors we're talking about, which means, by definition, that the printer can't actually print them. So what happens for these colors is that they have to be "mapped" (through math) somewhere into the printable color range.

2. Regarding ColorMunki: You can search everywhere on DPReview, in every discussion thread, and you will never find a single technical reply from anyone who has worked on or is officially connected to that software.

I have seen many printer profile packages come and go over the years and none
of them seem to make everyone absolutely happy and I just don't understand
why.

Because there are no "perfect" answers. Every printer profile is going to have strengths, and weaknesses. If you take every color in RGB space and put it through a printer profile, from any company, at any price, you're going to see good things in most places; and things you wouldn't expect to see in others.

Why? Because printers can't print every color in RGB space. It's as simple as that.

What happens to the colors that they can't print? (i.e. the "out-of-gamut" colors"?) They have to be mapped (converted) into printable colors, and that's where compromises come in.

|This is perhaps where my lack of expert color management is a good thing. I
fully understand the out-of-gamut colors but when you can see your printer

being able to produce a deep rich blue and knowing that it is physically possible,

then if a software package cannot get the printer to print it, then this is obviously
a serious shortcoming of that software that needs to be addressed.

That's not what's happening in -this- discussion thread. The blues that are being talked about here are not printable blues. They're out-of-gamut. The printer/paper/inkset can't print them. Simple as that.

I think my solution is quite clever, and although not new I'm sure, I don't see why > it isn't used in any software package.

We've already got a great deal of that built into Spyder3Print.

We have adjustment sliders for the basic colors (Red/Cyan, Green/Magenta, Blue/Yellow) as well as overall brightness, contrast, and saturation; and even beyond that, additional sliders for highlight detail, shadow detail, etc. It's a lot of slider adjustments possible, most people don't use any of them at all (nor do we recommend that most people make these adjustments, and rather than intimidate people with all of these things, we've moved them into a separate Advanced Editing screen in the latest 4.x versions of software).

We also have a Presets popup that lets you save all of the slider settings for all of these adjustments in a named preset, so that you can save and then recall multiple adjustments of your own by selecting a preset name in the popup.

We also provide a number of presets we've created, mostly as toning adjustments for grays with B&W printing, for people to use as starting points.

We also provide the ability to import a Photoshop curves (.acv) file as yet another additional adjustment.

I don't know of any other profiling package that provides any of this flexibility. In fact, if you look at other, older discussion threads on DPReview, you'll see that certain people jumped into these threads and criticized us for even providing any adjustment controls at all.

We've historically updated our printer profiling software at least once a year; often twice; and that every new update has brought changes, new features, etc. We listen to our customers, as seen through our presence here on DPReview threads..

In comparison, as just one example: if you read this thread:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1003&message=34215841

There's not been a single official response from regarding a simple question about why ColorMunki profiles weren't turning out right.

So anyway, great thread, I've learned alot, but I do wish that in this day and age, > we didn't have to fight so much with software and hardware, especially when a > > manual workaround proves that what the fancy software package said it coudln't > do was in fact accomplished, which is this case was to make a proper blue!

Every profiling package is going to produce results in out-of-gamut colors that end up being pleasing in some places; not so pleasing in others.

Skies are an easy target, because they're large, and everyone "knows" what a blue sky "should" look like. (Whether that blue is too cyan, or not...:-)

There are other out-of-gamut colors worked out much more poorly, in comparison to Spyder3Print profiles, in the images we've been talking about. In the standard Epson and Cathy's profiles that I looked at, the sky blues mapped to a more visually pleasing cyanish-blue, but other colors, in the shadows, flattened and lost detail. It all depends on your image - another image could easiliy produce better results through the S3P non-adjusted profile than either the Epson or Cathy's profile.

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David Miller
Senior Software Developer, Digital Color Solutions
Datacolor

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