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  • 15. Re: OSX Print dialogue's Color Matching > "Automatic" option - what's it actually doing?
    Richard Liu Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    Kurt,

     

    I've reprofiled both monitors to 5500K and Gamma 2.2.  Everything is now just a touch "brighter," i.e., the photos don't look so dark.  This hasn't made a difference in how the photos are printed, however.  Normally, one wouldn't have expect any difference.  But I understood that setting ColorSync to Automatic causes the driver to transform the photo on-the-fly to the display space before printing, and then to use the default printer profile for printing the transformed photo.  Under these circumstances, I was hoping that the result would be somewhat lighter.  If I hadn't selected Automatic a profile instead, then I would have expected the photo to be printed exactly the same as when the displays were profiled for 6500K and L*.

     

    Do you know whether using iPhoto to print might be a problem?  A photography instructor said that she uses Photoshop to print, even when she doesn't modify the photos, because the prints more closely resemble what she sees on the screen.  I could imagine that that was the case at one time, because Photoshop used to be a Windows-only program, and had to support the profile itself, since Windows didn't have support built into the OS.

     

    I apologize for squeezing all the information out of you that I can, but I'm trying to get everything straight in my head before approaching the purveyor of the profiles, because I have the impression he's not familiar with my setup.

     

    Thanks,

    Richard

  • 16. Re: OSX Print dialogue's Color Matching > "Automatic" option - what's it actually doing?
    Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,995 points)

    Do you know whether using iPhoto to print might be a problem?

    I've never used iPhoto, but it could be telling to use something else to print the same photo. Try one of the images you printed from Photoshop and see if it's better/same/worse.

     

    One big tip for PS. When you print anything through ColorSync, it shouldn't matter which way you do it. That is, letting PS apply the ColorSync translations and the printer doing nothing, or letting the printer handle color matching and then applying ColorSync in the print dialogue. For some reason, it does make a difference with PS. If you choose to let the printer handle color matching, you're pretty much guaranteed to get a print that doesn't match. But if you let PS handle the color matching, it's perfect.

     

    With your image open in PS, call up the Print dialogue. You'll want it to look something like the image below.

     

    Screen shot 2012-11-27 at 8.18.56 AM.png

     

    This CS6, so if you're using a different version, it won't look exactly like this. In the case above, I chose the printer it's going to at the top, and the profile for plain paper I made. Always have Black Point Compensation on. Intent is up to you. Most programs default to Perceptual. I prefer Relative Colorimetric. When you choose Photoshop Manages Color in CS6, all printer color matching options are automatically disabled. So it's impossible to apply ColorSync twice to the data being printed (a good thing).

    because Photoshop used to be a Windows-only program

    Nope, it started on the Mac. See this Wikipedia entry. Then the first section, Early history. Per the last line, version 1 was Mac only. They weren't stupid, though. It didn't take long for Adobe to release a Windows version.

  • 17. Re: OSX Print dialogue's Color Matching > "Automatic" option - what's it actually doing?
    Richard Liu Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    Kurt,

     

    I don't have Photoshop.  I did try with Graphic Converter and Preview, but the differences, if any, are so subtle that it wouldn't be worth exporting the photos from iPhoto just to printer them with either of these two programs.  I don't know whether Apple's Aperture or any of Adobe's "pared down" versions of Photoshop support the kind of printing flexibility you describe.  One reason for sticking with iPhoto is all the time that I have invested in manually tagging 40,000+ photos (faces, places, keywords).  I understand Aperture supports Faces and Places, too.

     

    I guess I'll have to investigate whether Elements or perhaps GIMP manage color like Photoshop.

     

    Regards,

    Richard

  • 18. Re: OSX Print dialogue's Color Matching > "Automatic" option - what's it actually doing?
    Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,995 points)

    I believe PS Elements has pretty much the same print engine as its big brother. It mainly doesn't do CMYK. You can always download it from Adobe as trial software and see how it does. It's fully functional for 30 days.

  • 19. Re: OSX Print dialogue's Color Matching > "Automatic" option - what's it actually doing?
    Richard Liu Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    OK, I downloaded and installed an evaluation copy of PSE11.  It does offer the option to let it do the color management when printing, but it doesn't help me to turn off color management in the printer, which was the reason I needed ACPU.  Instead, it just reminds me to disable it in the printer preferences, which, of coures, I can't.  This seems like a dumb thing to do, since the very existence of ACPU proves (1) Adobe knows about the problem, and (2) Adobe knows how to circumvent it.

     

    I set Rendeting Intent to "Relative Colorimetric" (without knowing what it or any of the other choices means) and printed anyway, whereby, of course, I had to specify a printer profile in the Print dialog.  Letting PSE11 do color management and selecting the same profile in the Print dialog as I told PSE11 to use resulted in a print that was just way too dark.  I suspect the profile was applied twice.  Letting the printer do the color management, once with Automatic and my profile specified as the default profile of the printer, and once with my profile specified directly, gave results that were visibly different than those produced by iPhoto.

     

    The rendering intent seems to have an influence, even when I elect to have the printer do the color management.  But I still have the suspicion that PSE isn't sending the same information to the printer as iPhoto.  I've sent feedback to drucker-calibrieren.com.  I've also mailed them some photos that I printed both with iPhoto and PSE11.  By the way, they claim that there is no Gamma in printer profiles.  Can that be?

     

    Regards,

    Richard

  • 20. Re: OSX Print dialogue's Color Matching > "Automatic" option - what's it actually doing?
    Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,995 points)

    It does offer the option to let it do the color management when printing, but it doesn't help me to turn off color management in the printer

    Hmm, I wonder why they did that differently in PS Elements? In Photoshop, if you select to have PS handle color management, all printer color choices under the Print Settings button (shown above in the image) are automatically disabled and grayed out. You couldn't turn them on even if you wanted to.

    I set Rendering Intent to "Relative Colorimetric" (without knowing what it or any of the other choices means)

    For Perceptual and Relative Colorimetric, intent tells the system how to handle out of gamut colors (colors that are outside the boundaries of the profile being used).

     

    With Perceptual, colors beyond the profile borders are moved in to the nearest color that is in the profile, and all other colors already in the profile boundaries are also moved to attempt to maintain a relative hue/saturation distance from those being moved in from the outside.

     

    Relative Colorimetric also moves out of gamut colors in to the nearest color within the profile, but colors already in gamut stay where they are.

     

    Imagine it like an accordion. With Perceptual, as you squeeze the accordion, every fold moves inward. With Relative Colorimetric, the only folds that will move are those from the outside to a given point inward. The rest of the folds will be locked, as if they were made out of wood, or other stiff material.

    Letting the printer do the color management, once with Automatic and my profile specified as the default profile of the printer, and once with my profile specified directly, gave results that were visibly different than those produced by iPhoto.

    Which at least says that the two apps are handling color differently, but I can't say how from here. I'd practically have to be sitting at your computer. But it could come back to something I mentioned early on. And that's the possible issue that the printer is applying some kind of automatic color adjustments right at the printer, with no way to turn it off.

     

    One way to maybe prove that is to make a simple test image. Put blocks of random colors on it, but nothing close to white, or darker than, oh, a 60% gray. Essentially pastel colors to somewhat dark. Print that. If the printer is applying unwanted contrast moves all on its own, your lighter colors will come out pushed towards white, and the darker colors towards black.

    By the way, they claim that there is no Gamma in printer profiles.  Can that be?

    That is technically correct. For instance, a monitor profile contains a LUT (Look Up Table) that is loaded to the video card when a monitor profile is applied. The LUT controls white point color, gray balance and gamma. You'll notice when you start a monitor profile, the monitor's settings automatically shift. That's the LUT being disabled by the profiling software so the monitor can be profiled from an uncontrolled state.

     

    A printer profile has no gamma. It doesn't need one and actually doesn't apply to that type of profile.

  • 21. Re: OSX Print dialogue's Color Matching > "Automatic" option - what's it actually doing?
    Richard Liu Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Hmm, I wonder why they did that differently in PS Elements? In Photoshop, if you select to have PS handle color management, all printer color choices under the Print Settings button (shown above in the image) are automatically disabled and grayed out. You couldn't turn them on even if you wanted to.

     

    Well, the dialog looks similar

    PSE11 Color Management.jpg

    Notice in particular the warning.  Now, when I continue on into the usual OS X Print dialog, here's what I see for Color Matching

    Color Matching - ColorSyc - SW.jpg

    Contrary to how this looks in ACPU, the options "ColorSync" and "Vendor Matching" are both selectable.  Here I've chosen a black-and-white ("SW") profile sent to me by drucker-kalibrieren.com.  So, having told PSE11 to do the color management and to use a color profile for the printer, and having told the driver to use ColorSync and to use a BW profile, when I print I get color print.  Does that mean that color management has been turned off in the printer?  If, in "Color Matching" I choose "Vendor Matching" instead and specify in "Paper Type/Quality" > "Color Options" > "Color Grayscale", then the result is a BW photo.  I also tried switching the two profiles areound in the previous test, i.e., having PSE11 use the BW profile and specifying ColorSync with the color profile in "Color Matching".  That gave a BW photo.

     

    So it would seem that having PSE11 do the color matching causes any profile that is specified subequently in "Color Matching" > "ColorSync" to be ignored, whereas any options specified in "Paper Type/Quality" > "Color Options" > "Color" (only possible if "Vendor Matching" is seleted in "Color Matching") are applied in addition to the profile that PSE11 has been told to use.

     

    At a minimum, then, the UI in the OS X Print dialog is not accurately reflecting its state, and in the "Color Matching" dialog should offer only the option "Vendor Matching in Addition to Application Managed Color Matching".  I could imagine that the particular printer has something to do with the specifics of printer driver as reflected in the Print dialog.  Maybe selecting my printer, an HP Officejet 6500, in Photoshop CS6 would wreak similar confusion.  This might just be a case of one manufacturer, HP, trying to impose its will regarding how particular printers should and should not be used.

     

    Regards,

    Richard

  • 22. Re: OSX Print dialogue's Color Matching > "Automatic" option - what's it actually doing?
    Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,995 points)

    Notice in particular the warning.

    Yeah, that confirms printer color matching is not automatically disabled as it is in PS.

    Now, when I continue on into the usual OS X Print dialog, here's what I see for Color Matching.

    If there's a choice, that's where you need to change the drop down menu to No Color Management, or something similar that tells you a profile hasn't been chosen. Otherwise, you are indeed applying double profiles. If Vendor Matching gives you an option for no color management, use that.

    So, having told PSE11 to do the color management and to use a color profile for the printer, and having told the driver to use ColorSync and to use a BW profile, when I print I get color print.  Does that mean that color management has been turned off in the printer?

    I would have to presume that PS Elements is ignoring your ColorSync choice in the print dialogue. Otherwise, you'd end up with a B&W print. But you want to avoid choosing anything there, if possible.

    If, in "Color Matching" I choose "Vendor Matching" instead and specify in "Paper Type/Quality" > "Color Options" > "Color Grayscale", then the result is a BW photo.  I also tried switching the two profiles around in the previous test, i.e., having PSE11 use the BW profile and specifying ColorSync with the color profile in "Color Matching".  That gave a BW photo.

    In either of those cases, you're forcing double profiling. PSE is not ignoring the vendor choice, or can't. In the first test, PSE sent out a color image and the print driver changed everything to grayscale. On the second, the data that came out of PSE was already grayscale, and the print driver just lined up the gray values to the gray points in a color profile, netting a zero change. But you of course want to always avoid double profiling.

     

    So yes, your next paragraph seems to be the case (which I just reiterated before reading the following paragraph).

    At a minimum, then, the UI in the OS X Print dialog is not accurately reflecting its state, and in the "Color Matching" dialog should offer only the option "Vendor Matching in Addition to Application Managed Color Matching".

    Agreed. Both color matching options in the print dialogue should be grayed out, but PSE does warn you it doesn't do that and you have to handle it manually.

    This might just be a case of one manufacturer, HP, trying to impose its will regarding how particular printers should and should not be used.

    That is the case in almost all cheap to lower priced printers. They expect that the user either doesn't understand color management, or doesn't even want to, so the printer and accompanying software hold the user's hand and try to do everything for them, whether you want it to or not.

  • 23. Re: OSX Print dialogue's Color Matching > "Automatic" option - what's it actually doing?
    Richard Liu Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    In OS X there seems to be a point at which an applications hands over to the driver when it wants to print.  In most cases, users don't even notice that point, the usual OS X Print dialog pops up right away, and there is sometimes a tab for options specific to the application, e.g., Word, Safari, etc.  In PSE I think that point is when I click the "Print..." button in PSE, and PSE can no longer react to anything I do "downstream".  So

     

    I would have to presume that PS Elements is ignoring your ColorSync choice in the print dialogue.

     

    I interpret the warning to mean, "I've tried to disable color management in the driver, but that doesn't always work, so please check that it really is disabled."

     

    I suspect that, at least for HP printers, the option to allow the application to manage color is in "Color Options" under the "Papert Type/Quality" tab in the normal OS X Print dialog, at least if the description here is anything to go by (it is evidently rather old), but it is not available to all printers, and we have speculated about the reason for that.  I could imagine that there is a way for an application to tell the driver that it is going to manage the color, in which case under "Color Matching" both options would be greyed out, with "Vendor Matching" selected but "Color Options" in "Paper Type/Quality" disabled, just like with ACPU, but code in the HP driver says, "Whoa, 'Application Manages Color' is not valid for this printer," and enables "Vendor Matching".  Why that does not happen with ACPU has probably to do with some code that violates some conventions or otherwise does things that it should not.  Otherwise the code could be incorporated into PS and PSE.

     

    Regards,

    Richard

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