Softproofing via recipies in the Viewer: rendering intent, black point compensation, out of gamut colors

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17 comments

  • BeO

    Example:

    Whitewall

    https://www.whitewall.com/uk/service/faq/proofs-icc-profile/#what-printing-processes-does-whitewall-use 

    Their advice how to do the "Soft proofing with Adobe Photoshop":

    1. Open Adobe Photoshop
    2. Open the file you want to simulate
    3. Menu > View > Proof Setup > Custom
    4. Under “Device To Simulate”, select the profile
    5. Do not select "Preserve RGB values"
    6. Rendering intent: "Relative Colorimetric" with “Black Point Compensation”
    7. Optional: "Simulate Paper Colour"
    8. Click OK to confirm
    9. Check your colour profile in fullscreen mode against a gray background

    The (CYMK) ICC profile from Whitewall is:

    https://static.whitewall.com/ICC/WhiteWall_ICC_Canvas_matte.icc 

     

    Here is the proof in the printer dialog (left) vs. the viewer (right) when Rendering Intent is set to "Relative" in preferences.

    The colors are similar or identical but the colors of the dark water are way off and ugly, without black point compensation checked.

    Now with BPC checked, the printing dialog shows a similar result to Affinity Foto Softproof:

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  • BeO

    Affinity Foto, Rendering Intent "Relative", BPC checked.

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  • BeO

    The point is, C1 should provide a convenient way to softproof and adjust an image with all the power of its adjustment tools, before creating an output file.

    Besides the requested recipe settings for BPC, rendering intent and a tool to show out of gamut colors, it would be great to have an additional process recipe setting for a second ICC profile. 

    One ICC profile for the simulated printer/paper, and the other ICC profile for the actual file output. This would reflect the actual workflow when soft proofing the variant in C1 and then sending a file to a printing service.

    The rendered colors in the viewer should take both profiles into account, and the raw image colors, after camera profile is applied, should first be converted to the file output color space (e.g.AdobeRGB), and then to the printer/paper simulation space before being transformed by the monitor profile. 

    Because that's the actual workflow, you would create an AdobeRGB file (first color space conversion) before sending it to the printing service, and the paper profile is to simulate this second step.

    Benefits:

    For soft proofing and out-processing you can use the same recipe, lower risk to make a mistake, and it is more convenient.

    You can create a recipe depending on the printing service/paper, e.g. sRGB for Whitewall and AdobeRGB for the better service providers.

    The monitor profile could then always be set to its native gamut (needs to be a good monitor with decent AdobeRGB coverage, of course), no need to switch between sRGB for Whitewall and AdobeRGB for the better service providers.

     

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  • BeO

    Any thoughts anybody?

    regards

     

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  • JSS

    I couldn't agree more!

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  • Lily

    Hi there,

    Thank you for the request and all the details provided along with it.

    Your suggestions were provided to the Product Management team.

    Hopefully your feedback contributes towards a future version of Capture One.

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  • JSS

    I'd like to add a proposal here.

    Soft proofing always looks worse than the final print, especially when proofing for matte papers.  I believe the root cause is that our computer monitors have a much higher dynamic range that paper.  Soft proofing maps the blacks to the L-min of the printer/paper profile.  You can simulate the soft proof look using the levels tool - just move the top black level handle to match the L-min value of your paper profile and you'll get that muddy soft proof look.  I believe there is a perceptual adaptation issue here.  Our eyes adapt to the black level - similar to white adaptation.  When you view the print your eyes are adapted to the paper's black level, and it looks fine.  When you view the soft proof, your eyes are adapted to the much darker black level of the monitor so the blacks look awful.

    My proposal is to have a button in soft proofing (perhaps as a pull-down option on the proofing tool) that will cause the soft-proofing to map the paper L-min to screen black.  It could be like an inverse-perceptual rendering for the in-gamut blacks to the monitor blacks.  Or, alternatively, just apply the soft proofing as a gradient starting at 0% for L = 0 to 100% at L = 20 (say).  That means your not really soft-proofing the blacks, and the user needs to understand that.  Of course, this feature would have to be switched on and off with a single click or keystroke.

    The brighter saturated colors would still be fully rendered by the soft proof.  I believe that by eliminating the distraction of soft proofing the blacks, this would allow the user to see much more clearly what printing does to the brighter out-of-gamut colors.

    Food for thought?

     

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  • BeO

    I share your observation that soft proofing, in all applications I have used so far, present you an image which looks worse than the actual print. Whatever the reason is, it would be superb if there is a solution to it.

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  • SFA

    Surely a lot of the visible results for softproofing are also subject to the capabilities of the screen used for viewing and how well it can be adjusted for brightness, etc.

    There has long been a significantly small group of people considered to be expert in producing their own printed output and spending considerable time and money seeking perfect results.

    Usually they make allowances for what ever visual anomalies are left after images have passed through their software challenge course.

    Most people seem to accept close enough and send the files off to a commercial printer.

    It might be worth considering the Cultural Heritage option for C1 although I think that is somewhat dedicated to the use of Phase digital backs in order to exert some control over the colour capabilities and workflow.

    Then of course one needs a well calibrated light source to view the printed output as well as control over the ambient light that might be affecting the viewing screen.

    Some years ago I looked at the costs involved. Decided that the majority of consumers would not notice so it was unlikely to be money well spent. Worse, individuals as consumers, even if they did notice, were unlikely to want to pay the amounts that would be required for the process hours, consumables for test prints and the final output.

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  • BeO

    Normalized light, color rendition and white balance for white and colors is one thing. What I mean is the less contrasty / muddy look of soft proofs which is not apparent in the actual print. Btw, I am using a printing service.

    This allures to over-compensate the presumed lack of contrast.

     

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  • Simon Kimmerle

    Dear Lily,

    about a month ago you stated that you'd give the ideas posted here to the Product Management Team. Have you already got results? 

    Thing is: I am considering purchasing Capture One. But I would like to get more out of my prints, and here we come to the point: The printing service I would like to use is saal-digital.de. But on their website they say that Capture One Pro does not allow important functions as black point compensation, so a reliable soft proof can not be made. It'd be better to not do a soft proof at all. (https://www.saal-digital.de/support/article/softproof-in-capture-one-pro/).

    Have you got a solution for me? I'd say "choose another printing service", but I don't seem to be the only one with this problem. I only would like to get a proper soft proof and have an idea of what the print looks like before printing...

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  • Giacomo Sassoli

    I totally agree with BeO and I too look forward to see this features implemented in the future updates/release.

    This could be so usefull to many of us.

    Thank you for submitting BeO request to the PM Team

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  • Todd Dominey

    +1. Wish there was a Rendering Intent option in the Process Recipes to emulate Perceptual/Relative intents when using recipes with paper ICC profiles. The two can be vastly different. Going into Preferences and changing Rendering Intent for the entire app isn't intuitive.

    (Honestly, "proofing" overall in C1 (IMO) could really be improved and streamlined. It's way more confusing than it should be)

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  • BeO

    Softproofing is a weak point in C1, though one could think a professional image software with very professional upgrade prices would be specifically good in this area.

    As a side note: Similarly, I am disappointet by the Luma Curve implementation in terms of color shift when I compared it with LAB curves in Affinity Photo.

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  • Patrick Baur

    Thank you BeO for submitting your arguments and ideas about improving the color management workflow. It would be really nice to have a proper soft proofing within Capture One. This would be really an increase in regard of the value provided by the software. I really hope the Product Owner of Capture One is putting this increment on the top of the product backlog. Would be really nice to get this by the next release (!). Kind Regards, Patrick

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  • Ric Cohn

    Just updated to 14.3 with its new "and improved" export dialog and see there is still no setting for turning black point compensation on and off. It appears to be off making the preview not match Photoshop's default at all. Not matching what it will look like in Photoshop makes it mostly useless for soft proofing. I don't understand why this industry standard option is not provided.

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  • BeO

    It seems they have a biased view on what is really missing in C1, and cannot really see what existing features are already a value add and should be kept (e.g. processing tools). Of course I have my own bias :-) here due to how and for what I use C1. I rarely use PS (or Affinity, nowadays) but even if I use another app downstream, I would like to do all exposure and color work in C1 (including soft-proofing) because it is non-destructive and generally quite good.

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