Using Elements+ for Soft-Proofing?

Started 8 months ago | Questions
Flycaster
Flycaster Senior Member • Posts: 1,286
Using Elements+ for Soft-Proofing?

I'm using Elements+ plugged into PSE14.  Monitor (Dell U2312HM) has been calibrated with ColorMunki Display.  I'd like to use Elements+ Soft-Proofing ability, but not sure how to do it.  Printing to be done at Walmart, but don't have their printer's ICC profile.  A few questions:

1. Do I select "Preserve RGB numbers"?

2. Do I select "Black point compensation"?

3.  If Yes or No to 1 & 2, why?

4.  As a test just to see what things look like on the monitor when SP'ing, I chose an ICC from Costco. The image was darker than the original. Also of note, is that I've been using Walmart for my printing and their prints are also darker than the originals as seen on the monitor.  So, my question is when given that commercial prints are darker than their original monitor images, what does one do get the image to come closer to the original monitor image???  Could it be one has to take the image back into PSE and by trial and error try to match it up with the SP'ed image???

Thanks.

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jpegman
jpegman Senior Member • Posts: 1,254
Re: Using Elements+ for Soft-Proofing?

What is Elements+ - a new Adobe product?

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Flycaster
OP Flycaster Senior Member • Posts: 1,286
Re: Using Elements+ for Soft-Proofing?

Elements+ is a plug-in for Photoshop Elements.  E+ unlocks many of PS' functions that are still hidden within PSE. E+ will allow for soft proofing, and it only costs $12...a super bargain if one is using PSE and wants it to more closely function like PS.

jpegman wrote:

What is Elements+ - a new Adobe product?

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pixelgenius
pixelgenius Senior Member • Posts: 4,206
Re: Using Elements+ for Soft-Proofing?

Flycaster wrote:

I'm using Elements+ plugged into PSE14. Monitor (Dell U2312HM) has been calibrated with ColorMunki Display. I'd like to use Elements+ Soft-Proofing ability, but not sure how to do it. Printing to be done at Walmart, but don't have their printer's ICC profile. A few questions:

1. Do I select "Preserve RGB numbers"?

No.

2. Do I select "Black point compensation"?

Yes if that’s going to be used for the conversions when you convert TO the output color space.

3. If Yes or No to 1 & 2, why?

Preserve isn’t used this way. It’s aim is to show you via soft proofing what the image in the current color space would look like IF you printed without the output profile and you’re not going to do that.

BPC is best used for conversions because with no harm and depending on how the profile was built (by what product), it could be useful to compensate for black mapping.

Now most importantly, you can soft proof fine. But can you actually convert to the output profile in Elements? Will the lab provide and allow you to use it to convert if Elements can?  Because if you can’t, this is mostly a big waist of time.

technoid Senior Member • Posts: 2,276
Re: Using Elements+ for Soft-Proofing?

pixelgenius wrote:

Flycaster wrote:

I'm using Elements+ plugged into PSE14. Monitor (Dell U2312HM) has been calibrated with ColorMunki Display. I'd like to use Elements+ Soft-Proofing ability, but not sure how to do it. Printing to be done at Walmart, but don't have their printer's ICC profile. A few questions:

1. Do I select "Preserve RGB numbers"?

No.

2. Do I select "Black point compensation"?

Yes if that’s going to be used for the conversions when you convert TO the output color space.

3. If Yes or No to 1 & 2, why?

Preserve isn’t used this way. It’s aim is to show you via soft proofing what the image in the current color space would look like IF you printed without the output profile and you’re not going to do that.

Right.  "Preserve RGB Numbers" is used when the image that is being soft proofed is already in device RGB space, such as by prior conversion to a specific printer profile. It causes the program to ignore the actual image colorspace and interpret it's RGB values as is they had already been converted to device space. It also grays out / ignores Intent and BPC since these options were selected at the time the device RGB image had been created. This option is rarely used.

But one place it can be useful is if you have an untagged image that had been converted for printing at one of the Costco centers. You can check this and select the Costco printer profile to soft proof the image.

BPC is best used for conversions because with no harm and depending on how the profile was built (by what product), it could be useful to compensate for black mapping.

Now most importantly, you can soft proof fine. But can you actually convert to the output profile in Elements? Will the lab provide and allow you to use it to convert if Elements can? Because if you can’t, this is mostly a big waist of time.

Flycaster
OP Flycaster Senior Member • Posts: 1,286
Re: Using Elements+ for Soft-Proofing?

Thanks, PG, for helping me to understand what's happening within E+'s Soft Proofing.

Do you have any comments as to how to get a "darkened" soft proofed image to print closer to the original image (image before soft proofing).  Do I have to readjust the monitor or do I have to readjust the soft proofed image so that once printed, the print will mirror its un-proofed monitor image?

pixelgenius wrote:

Flycaster wrote:

I'm using Elements+ plugged into PSE14. Monitor (Dell U2312HM) has been calibrated with ColorMunki Display. I'd like to use Elements+ Soft-Proofing ability, but not sure how to do it. Printing to be done at Walmart, but don't have their printer's ICC profile. A few questions:

1. Do I select "Preserve RGB numbers"?

No.

2. Do I select "Black point compensation"?

Yes if that’s going to be used for the conversions when you convert TO the output color space.

3. If Yes or No to 1 & 2, why?

Preserve isn’t used this way. It’s aim is to show you via soft proofing what the image in the current color space would look like IF you printed without the output profile and you’re not going to do that.

BPC is best used for conversions because with no harm and depending on how the profile was built (by what product), it could be useful to compensate for black mapping.

Now most importantly, you can soft proof fine. But can you actually convert to the output profile in Elements? Will the lab provide and allow you to use it to convert if Elements can? Because if you can’t, this is mostly a big waist of time.

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Canon PowerShot SD850 IS Olympus Tough TG-2 Panasonic FZ1000
Flycaster
OP Flycaster Senior Member • Posts: 1,286
Re: Using Elements+ for Soft-Proofing?

Thanks, technoid, for further explaining (clarifying) the workings and utilization of E+'s soft proofing.

And, I might as well ask you the same question as I just did with Pixelgenius:

Do you have any comments as to how to get a "darkened" soft proofed image to print closer to the original image (image before soft proofing). Do I have to readjust the monitor or do I have to readjust the soft proofed image so that once printed, the print will mirror its un-proofed monitor image?

technoid wrote:

pixelgenius wrote:

Flycaster wrote:

I'm using Elements+ plugged into PSE14. Monitor (Dell U2312HM) has been calibrated with ColorMunki Display. I'd like to use Elements+ Soft-Proofing ability, but not sure how to do it. Printing to be done at Walmart, but don't have their printer's ICC profile. A few questions:

1. Do I select "Preserve RGB numbers"?

No.

2. Do I select "Black point compensation"?

Yes if that’s going to be used for the conversions when you convert TO the output color space.

3. If Yes or No to 1 & 2, why?

Preserve isn’t used this way. It’s aim is to show you via soft proofing what the image in the current color space would look like IF you printed without the output profile and you’re not going to do that.

Right. "Preserve RGB Numbers" is used when the image that is being soft proofed is already in device RGB space, such as by prior conversion to a specific printer profile. It causes the program to ignore the actual image colorspace and interpret it's RGB values as is they had already been converted to device space. It also grays out / ignores Intent and BPC since these options were selected at the time the device RGB image had been created. This option is rarely used.

But one place it can be useful is if you have an untagged image that had been converted for printing at one of the Costco centers. You can check this and select the Costco printer profile to soft proof the image.

BPC is best used for conversions because with no harm and depending on how the profile was built (by what product), it could be useful to compensate for black mapping.

Now most importantly, you can soft proof fine. But can you actually convert to the output profile in Elements? Will the lab provide and allow you to use it to convert if Elements can? Because if you can’t, this is mostly a big waist of time.

 Flycaster's gear list:Flycaster's gear list
Canon PowerShot SD850 IS Olympus Tough TG-2 Panasonic FZ1000
pixelgenius
pixelgenius Senior Member • Posts: 4,206
Re: Using Elements+ for Soft-Proofing?

Flycaster wrote:

Thanks, PG, for helping me to understand what's happening within E+'s Soft Proofing.

Do you have any comments as to how to get a "darkened" soft proofed image to print closer to the original image (image before soft proofing). Do I have to readjust the monitor or do I have to readjust the soft proofed image so that once printed, the print will mirror its un-proofed monitor image?

First you must determine if the prints you are getting really are too dark or they appear darker than the display comparison. You should always test output using good color reference images designed for that task. The color reference images RGB values are such they are set for output and are editing and display agnostic. Test the output this way and examine for the same color issues so we know it's not your image specific issues causing the problems:

http://www.gballard.net/photoshop/pdi_download/
http://www.normankoren.com/makingfineprints1A.html#TestPrint
http://www.digitaldog.net/files/2014PrinterTestFileFlat.tif.zip

pixelgenius wrote:

Flycaster wrote:

I'm using Elements+ plugged into PSE14. Monitor (Dell U2312HM) has been calibrated with ColorMunki Display. I'd like to use Elements+ Soft-Proofing ability, but not sure how to do it. Printing to be done at Walmart, but don't have their printer's ICC profile. A few questions:

1. Do I select "Preserve RGB numbers"?

No.

2. Do I select "Black point compensation"?

Yes if that’s going to be used for the conversions when you convert TO the output color space.

3. If Yes or No to 1 & 2, why?

Preserve isn’t used this way. It’s aim is to show you via soft proofing what the image in the current color space would look like IF you printed without the output profile and you’re not going to do that.

BPC is best used for conversions because with no harm and depending on how the profile was built (by what product), it could be useful to compensate for black mapping.

Now most importantly, you can soft proof fine. But can you actually convert to the output profile in Elements? Will the lab provide and allow you to use it to convert if Elements can? Because if you can’t, this is mostly a big waist of time.

technoid Senior Member • Posts: 2,276
Re: Using Elements+ for Soft-Proofing?

Flycaster wrote:

And, I might as well ask you the same question as I just did with Pixelgenius:

Do you have any comments as to how to get a "darkened" soft proofed image to print closer to the original image (image before soft proofing). Do I have to readjust the monitor or do I have to readjust the soft proofed image so that once printed, the print will mirror its un-proofed monitor image?

This is a problem for many and there are multiple factors.

First, is matching the level of luminance which you view prints with to the illuminance of the monitor. Luminance is measured in Lux, luminance (the light emitted from a monitor or reflected of a white surface) is measured in cd/m^2 sometimes called "nits." A luminance of 500 Lux on a white paper corresponds roughly to 140 cd/m^2. If one is  more or less than the other it's hard to get a good match. Often the monitor is set too bright for the light a print is viewed with.

Second, the surrounding area of a print or monitor strongly affects how we see colors. They should be as close as possible for the best matching.

Third, the chromaticity coordinates (CIE xy) should be as close as possible. Often, the monitor's white is more bluish than the illuminant used to view prints. Interestingly, getting both of these close may not produce as good a match as one expects which brings up the last, and most difficult issue:

Fourth, there are strong cognitive effects at work. The brain knows whether an image is from a monitor or reflected from a print. This knowledge skews our perceptions strongly. Especially if one views a print at some distance  from the monitor. The best way to minimize this effect is viewing a print alongside the monitor in it's own lighted display. With care one can get a pretty good match.

A good book that delves into this is Fairchild's "Color Appearance Models, third ed - Wiley" Especially chapter 8.

What I've found works for me is to set the luminance and xy (chromaticity) for a blank white sheet in Photoshop to match an illuminated print next to the monitor. Not perfect, but quite good.

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