The Piezography Manual is vague on the best settings in the Customize Proof Condition window for soft proofing. Can you advise please. Thanks.
Use the Piezography Matte profile for matte paper softproofing and the Piezography Gloss profile for gloss paper softproofing.
Assuming you are printing “linear” (aka, no color management used when sending data to quadtoneRIP) then make sure to always turn “Preserve RGB Numbers” on. This will flatten your image and then require a slighty contrast bump before printing but will be an exact screen to print match and give you much more fine control of the shadows.
Great thanks, because the Preserve RGB numbers makes a significant difference. I’ll check the linear issue too, good point.
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One more question (staying at home solving lots of old problems!): I assume I turn off all color management: Photoshop seems to offer 2 options: PS manages color, or printer. Can you suggest how to turn all this off to achieve linear printing?
For the past 10 yrs or so we’ve only supported Print-Tool for Piezography printing exactly because of that issue. Print-Tool allows printing “With No Color Management”
Print-Tool is required as stated the download sections + our manual and many product descriptions.
So I’ve misunderstood something fundamental here: of course I use QTR, but on Windows. Print tool is a mac only app. Are you saying that in this case I can’t enable ‘with no colour management’??
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QTRgui on windows is always the linear workflow so the same applies there. No printing from Photoshop at all on Windows.
So, make sure (when on windows) that you always are softproofing and always are using preserve RGB numbers.
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For the sake of completeness, if you wanted to print using the non-linear workflow in Windows, you need to create a copy of the image file and manually convert it to an ICC in Photoshop and then print that. In which case you wouldn’t soft-proof using “preserve numbers”.
My general approach is to print using the linear workflow with a preserve numbers soft-proof as Walker describes, for the reasons he stated. In order to get the slight contrast bump that you need for printing, I have created a Photoshop curve that mimics the effect of converting to an ICC. I create a layer with this curve and set its layer opacity to somewhere in the 50% to 70% range. So in effect it’s like half of a conversion to an ICC. You only use the curve for printing with the linear workflow and for soft-proofing using preserve numbers, not for general editing. I find that this curve strikes a good balance between the shadow-crushing effects of printing with an ICC, and the flatness that can occur by using the linear workflow without any compensating adjustments.
If you’re interested, I can send you the PS curve.
p.s. I’m not sure whether Walker would agree with this, but my experience is that most of the above applies to printing on matte papers. I don’t find a lot of difference between the linear and non-linear workflows with PK papers, particularly with the HD black.
Thanks very much for your input and offer. I would appreciate that.
I’m working on that right now – I’ve just made a print much closer to what I see on my screen. Instead of 1 curve, I used a 2 part process – using TK luminosity mask to create a darkest shadows (Z1) boost, then lifting the highlights with a curve, so rebuilding contrast lost in soft proofing. I find this 2 stage approach more controllable.
Do you find your curve works for any print, and adjustment is simply opacity?
How’s life in Canberra in these strange times?
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Jeremy - I’ll reply partly here and partly by email. Does the curve work for any print? Yes and no. Every print is different and must be judged on its merits via the soft-proof, which can take some practice and experience to interpret. It’s rare that I’d make a print using the linear workflow without the curve, but the layer opacity of that curve layer varies from image to image.
Yes, mostly all I vary is layer opacity, although on occasion there can be a image where I might opt to mask out part of the layer, but it’s rare. For me it’s all about having shadows with enough depth while retaining detail, and achieving that balance varies from image to image. Again, I’m mostly talking about matte papers here and CRP in particular.
Note: I created the curve based on an idea from Paul Roark. The curve is designed to replicate converting to a QTR-created ICC when used at 100% layer opacity. But using the curve in this way assumes that the QTR curve that you’re printing with is linear. If not then there is still going to be a gap between the soft-proof and the print, due to the non-linearity of the curve.