Getting started with ArgyllCMS

Started Feb 24, 2014 | Discussions
E Santiago New Member • Posts: 7
Getting started with ArgyllCMS

I just got my hands on an i1 Basic Pro (what an oxymoron) so I could profile my Epson 9600 running ConeColor Pro inks. It didn't include iProfiler and I have no desire to shell our $1000 for the required upgrade. The plan was to use ArgyllCMS, but it hasn't been a straightforward as I had hoped. Looking for some advice on

Here's what I've tried thus far. I would love some feedback from someone with more experience profiling with ArgyllCMS. (Note my i1 does not have the UV-filter).

targen -v -d2 -G -e4 -g64 -f528 desired_profile_name
printtarg -n -v -i i1 -T360 -P -pLetter desired_profile_name

I used the above commands to generate a single 8.5"x11" page TIF with 22 rows of 24 patches. I've read that 528 patches is on the low side for a good profile for the 9600 and some recommend higher (up to 3000). Right now I'm limiting things to one page and only using cheap copier paper until I get this working as expected. I also upped the greyscale patches to 64 to support occasional B&W printing.

I used the Adobe Color Printer Utility to print the Tif without color management. I've also read you can use Mac's native ColorSync utility with the option "Print as Color Target". Are these two options equivalent or is one preferred over the over?

chartread desired_profile_name
colprof -v -A "Epson" -M "Stylus Pro 9600" -D "Epson9600PlainPaper" -qh -S AdobeRGB1998.icc -cmt -dpp -O Epson9600PlainPaper.icc desired_profile_name

Used the above commands to read my chart (which took some time getting the speed just right). Generated the ICC and copied it to Macintosh HD > Library > ColorSync > Profiles. Loaded up a test image in Photoshop, selected the new profile, ran the print, and viola! ... it looked like crap.

Now I recognize plain copy paper isn't the best medium, but the colors were clearly off. Imagine a Warhol painting. So, I'm still trying to figure out where I went wrong. I think I selected all the right options when generating, printing, and reading the target, but I'd love some feedback there. I think I may try another print doing a nozzle check first, not using high-speed, and allowing the ink more drying time before recanning. I'd love to hear of any other suggestions or sage words of wisdom from the more experienced.

MirekE
MirekE Contributing Member • Posts: 925
Re: Getting started with ArgyllCMS

I used the above commands to generate a single 8.5"x11" page TIF with 22 rows of 24 patches. I've read that 528 patches is on the low side for a good profile for the 9600 and some recommend higher (up to 3000). Right now I'm limiting things to one page and only using cheap copier paper until I get this working as expected. I also upped the greyscale patches to 64 to support occasional B&W printing.

I think that using copier paper is not a great idea for this purpose. I would recommend some paper for which the settings are known and for which you already have commercial profile so that you can easily compare your results. I would definitely use some problem free photo paper for that e.g. Epson Luster if you have any.

I used the Adobe Color Printer Utility to print the Tif without color management. I've also read you can use Mac's native ColorSync utility with the option "Print as Color Target". Are these two options equivalent or is one preferred over the over?

I use the Adobe utility. It is not very practical for multi page targets, because they need to be printed one by one, but it works. I never heard of the ColorSync method and can't comment on that.

chartread desired_profile_name

I use -T0.4 parameter in chartread, which errors out if the reading is too far from expected value

colprof -v -A "Epson" -M "Stylus Pro 9600" -D "Epson9600PlainPaper" -qh -S AdobeRGB1998.icc -cmt -dpp -O Epson9600PlainPaper.icc desired_profile_name

Used the above commands to read my chart (which took some time getting the speed just right). Generated the ICC and copied it to Macintosh HD > Library > ColorSync > Profiles. Loaded up a test image in Photoshop, selected the new profile, ran the print, and viola! ... it looked like crap.

That sounds correct, as long as you used the profile correctly from your printing application.

Now I recognize plain copy paper isn't the best medium, but the colors were clearly off. Imagine a Warhol painting.

I would not expect good printout on plain paper, but Warhol style (saturated colors with no gradations?) sounds strange. I would suggest using regular photo paper for which you have a correct profile from the manufacturer.  Argyll should give similar result. For these tests I like to use a test image , that reveals issues quicker than a random print.

So, I'm still trying to figure out where I went wrong. I think I selected all the right options when generating, printing, and reading the target, but I'd love some feedback there. I think I may try another print doing a nozzle check first, not using high-speed, and allowing the ink more drying time before recanning. I'd love to hear of any other suggestions or sage words of wisdom from the more experienced.

Nozzle check, good drying, these all sound like good ideas. Not sure if the lack of UV filter could cause any issues or require special settings or handling.

OP E Santiago New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Getting started with ArgyllCMS

Thanks for the suggestions.

I ended up revising my workflow a bit.

targen -v -d2 -G -e8 -g128 -f700 desired_profile_name

In the above, I increased the grayscale to 128 and patch count to 700 because...

printtarg -v -ii1 -L -a0.87 -m8 -M8 -T360 -P -pLetter desired_profile_name

... I was able to fit more patched on a letter sized page by 1) suppressing the left margin created for the backing board clip [-L ], 2) decreasing the margins [-m8 -M8], and 3) scaling down each individual patch slightly [-a0.87] -- the i1 can have a minimum of 7mm by 7mm patch. Oddly enough, in my first test I supressed the spacers [-n] because I thought it would give more patches, but it had the opposite effect so, I removed that option.

chartread -T0.4 desired_profile_name

I added -T0.4 as was suggested to increase error sensitivity. When I printed the target this time, I still used plain paper but I didn't use "high speed" and I let the target dry for about an hour. Scanning went more smoothly partly because of the better quality print and partly because I had some more practice.

colprof -v -A "Epson" -M "Stylus Pro 9600" -D "Epson9600PlainPaper" -qh -S AdobeRGB1998.icc -cmt -dpp -O Epson9600PlainPaper.icc desired_profile_name

Generated the icc file, copied it over, opened photoshop and printed my test image . This time it was much closer to my expectations.

Given the success, I printed a second target using (more expensive) Epson Photo Glossy Paper, scanned that, and used colprof only changing "plain" to "glossy" to change the icc filename. After printing the test image again I could see the resulting profile was much better. Puttting the new test print next to a print of the same test image I had done on the same printer/paper several months ago using Epson OEM inks and I could barely tell the difference.

OP E Santiago New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Getting started with ArgyllCMS

I'm moving on to profiling some Epson Enhanced Matter. Should I add -Zm and/or -Zp as options to specify Matte and/or Perceptual intent?

MirekE
MirekE Contributing Member • Posts: 925
Re: Getting started with ArgyllCMS

E Santiago wrote:

I'm moving on to profiling some Epson Enhanced Matter. Should I add -Zm and/or -Zp as options to specify Matte and/or Perceptual intent?

I think the two do not have any impact on actual quality of the profile, but I suppose using them won't hurt.

l_d_allan
l_d_allan Veteran Member • Posts: 5,070
Re: Getting started with ArgyllCMS

E Santiago wrote:
It didn't include iProfiler

The iProfiler software can be downloaded and installed for free, but it has limited capabilities without a license / dongle.

However, it has plenty of capability to prepare targets in demo mode, and the free ColorPort utility can read imported targets. However, ColorPort and iProfiler have some compatibility issues.

I've got an i1iSis that ArgyllCms doesn't support directly, but I can use its colprof.exe to generate printer profiles that I'm pleased with.

If it would help, I can describe the work-flow I use, but you may be better off staying within the ArgyllCms workflow / tool-chain.

Also, the ArgyllCms author ... G. Gill is excellent on support. There is a forum for ArgyllCms.

 l_d_allan's gear list:l_d_allan's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ47 Canon PowerShot S110 Canon EOS 5D Mark II Canon EOS 600D +28 more
OP E Santiago New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Getting started with ArgyllCMS
1

Thanks, all. I gathered everything I learned here and on other forums and put together a tutorial on my blog for any other newbies getting started with ArgyllCMS. I'd love your comments on it. Thanks.

Profiling an Epson 9600 with an X-rite i1 Pro and ArgyllCMS

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads