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Creating better prints by soft proofing

From: Lightroom 4 Essentials: 03 Creating Prints and Books

Video: Creating better prints by soft proofing

After you've completed your workflow in the Develop module, in other words, after you've completed processing your photograph and you're ready to go to the Print module, well before you do that, what you want to do is turn on soft proofing. Now what exactly is soft proofing? Well soft proofing is a way to preview your photograph. It gives you the ability to preview your picture in a way that will give you insight into how the image will be reproduced on a particular printer and paper type. It lets us evaluate and then make corrections to our photographs so that our final prints look good.

Creating better prints by soft proofing

After you've completed your workflow in the Develop module, in other words, after you've completed processing your photograph and you're ready to go to the Print module, well before you do that, what you want to do is turn on soft proofing. Now what exactly is soft proofing? Well soft proofing is a way to preview your photograph. It gives you the ability to preview your picture in a way that will give you insight into how the image will be reproduced on a particular printer and paper type. It lets us evaluate and then make corrections to our photographs so that our final prints look good.

In order to turn on soft proofing, you can find this in the toolbar. If your toolbar isn't visible, press the T key to bring it back, and if the Soft Proofing option isn't there, click on the triangle icon and then select it in the menu here. Well let's go ahead and turn on Soft Proofing, and as we do that, pay attention to the Histogram up above and also the image. When we turn this on, all of a sudden everything is going to look different. Well our image, it appears different. There's a different color surrounding the photograph and rather than the Histogram, we now have the Soft Proofing panel.

Our Histogram is also changed. Rather than having percentages, we now have RGB amounts. So that if I hover over the image, you can see the amounts of red, green and blue here, and you will see those values as I move around the photograph. Well, what's happened? Well we've entered the Soft Proof view. And in this view a few things have taken place. One, it's drawn a different Histogram. Two, it shows us our paper white. It's doing that by turning on this option here simulating our paper and ink.

Now that's the default. You can change that by right-clicking or Ctrl+Clicking. Here you can see Paper White is selected or we could choose a different background, say like 50% Gray. And again, the default Paper White is chosen, because different papers, well, they have different whites. If you've ever painted a room in your house white, you know that there are different shades of white. There's a bright white, ultra white, or there's a white, which is a little bit more yellow or others which are bit more blue. So it is with photo papers as well.

Well this is simulating that paper white and also how the image will appear on that paper type. Well how does Lightroom know how to do that? Well if you navigate to the panel, you'll notice there's a Profile. If you click on this menu, you can choose different profiles. Here I'll choose AdobeRGB (1998). This is the Soft Proof for that particular profile. Or if I'm going to send this to my printer, I can use one of the paper types that I use quite often, say like this VelveFineArtPaper that I use on my Epson 3880, it will show me how this image will look.

All of a sudden, it's a bit less saturated, a bit less detail. Also there's just less color, there's less contrast. Well that's because that paper has a high dot gain. In other words, the ink kind of spreads into the paper. It can't hold the saturation as much as other paper types. Compare this, say, to another profile, how about for glossy paper? Well here all of a sudden, the image it's much more saturated. Much more colorful. Now if you don't see your profile in this menu, you can always go to Other.

This will open up our Profile dialog. Here we can choose to display or not display profiles. If there are profiles that you use frequently, typically you check these on and you include those. For example, I've been printing with this paper recently, Exhibition Fiber Paper. So I'll turn this profile on and then click Ok. It will select that as my profile, or I can choose this from this menu here. Another thing that we can do is choose our Rendering Intent. We're going to actually spend quite a bit of time talking about this so that we can really understand Rendering Intents because these two options sometimes, well they're a little bit confusing.

So I'm going to skip that for now, but we will cover it in another movie. We've already talked a little bit about simulating our paper and ink and how we can turn that option On or Off. Now typically, you're going to want this on. Now how else can we work with Soft Proofing and what's the big deal here? Remember in the previous movie when I talked about clipping and those clipping indicators? You may notice that in the Soft Proofing Histogram up here that we have different indicators or different icons that were in the same position as those Highlight and Shadow indicators.

Here in Soft Proofing, it's not highlight or shadows, but it has to do with viewing color on our monitor. Hover over this, it will show us colors that are out of gamut, that are out of range when being viewed on a monitor. We're not concerned with that. Here we're focused on printing so we want to look at this icon. We can hover over it to see the problem areas or click on this in order to turn on this clipping indicator. Now when I turn this on, all of a sudden I realize, Oh, my gosh, all of these bright vibrant colors, the colors that I was so excited about, well, they're not going to be able to be reproduced on my printer with this paper type.

This will change with different profiles, right? Here I am using this fiber paper, let's go to a glossy paper. Well that paper, it can reproduce a wider gamut of colors so we can see that the indicator is not quite as broad. Or if we compare that say to velvet, you can see that there's much more of this clipping or out of gamut indicator. This out of gamut indicator, it's really helpful, because rather than going to the Print module and creating the print and being disappointed, now I get to see it beforehand.

And now, I get the chance to make some adjustments so that I can have a more accurate print so that what I'm seeing is closer to what I'm getting. And this problem comes up because on a monitor, we're seeing color via light. On a printer, we're seeing it via ink. Those two different types of colors, well, they're just created differently and they have different gamuts. So what do we do? How do we work with this? How do we correct this problem? Well let's take a look at how we can start to correct this problem or save our image or create a version of this image so that that version can be more reproducible so that we can create a higher quality print.

And let's take a look at how we can do that in the next few movies.

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This video is part of

Image for Lightroom 4 Essentials: 03 Creating Prints and Books
Lightroom 4 Essentials: 03 Creating Prints and Books

57 video lessons · 6856 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 2m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 20s
  2. 41m 46s
    1. Making basic adjustments in the Develop module
      3m 43s
    2. Creating better prints by soft proofing
      6m 32s
    3. Choosing a rendering intent
      8m 49s
    4. Correcting a soft proof copy
      4m 57s
    5. Painting away soft proof gamut problems
      6m 52s
    6. Soft proofing to add visual snap
      5m 48s
    7. Fine-tuning soft proof color
      5m 5s
  3. 17m 32s
    1. Making print collections
      3m 33s
    2. Using print templates
      5m 35s
    3. Creating a contact sheet
      4m 21s
    4. Creating your own custom templates
      4m 3s
  4. 24m 31s
    1. Customizing the layout of a single image
      4m 24s
    2. Exploring page options for a single image
      6m 59s
    3. Using the Picture Package layout style
      7m 42s
    4. Using custom layout styles
      5m 26s
  5. 25m 48s
    1. Exploring different types of printers and papers
      3m 44s
    2. Configuring page setup and print settings
      3m 10s
    3. Exploring desktop print job settings
      5m 17s
    4. Setting up to print JPEG images
      2m 47s
    5. Looking at brightness and contrast in print samples
      5m 25s
    6. Reviewing prints
      5m 25s
  6. 5m 19s
    1. Why build a book and why use Lightroom?
      1m 36s
    2. Reviewing samples of both printed and digital books
      3m 43s
  7. 21m 0s
    1. Creating collections for a book project
      6m 39s
    2. Choosing book settings and preferences
      4m 3s
    3. Exploring the Auto Layout option and tips for viewing pages and spreads
      5m 9s
    4. Editing Auto Layout presets
      5m 9s
  8. 35m 40s
    1. Customizing the page layout
      5m 50s
    2. Using guides and cell controls
      6m 0s
    3. Modifying individual images and page sequence
      5m 25s
    4. Swapping image position
      1m 46s
    5. Changing page spread sequence
      2m 6s
    6. Changing the zoom rate for multiple images
      2m 9s
    7. Changing the background
      6m 11s
    8. Reviewing the layout
      3m 38s
    9. Saving a book layout
      2m 35s
  9. 8m 42s
    1. Using the Print module to design a layout
      4m 33s
    2. Including a custom layout in a project
      4m 9s
  10. 5m 56s
    1. Making specific adjustments
      3m 42s
    2. Applying global adjustments to multiple photographs
      2m 14s
  11. 14m 59s
    1. Adding captions
      4m 4s
    2. Customizing type, part 1
      5m 40s
    3. Customizing type, part 2
      3m 5s
    4. Creating and using type presets
      2m 10s
  12. 22m 0s
    1. Changing the layout
      3m 56s
    2. A creative approach to selecting a book title
      5m 46s
    3. Adding a text field to a cover
      6m 55s
    4. Selecting an alternate cover layout
      5m 23s
  13. 30m 36s
    1. Selecting the keepers
      7m 27s
    2. A conceptual approach to setting image sequence
      11m 57s
    3. Reviewing the layout
      4m 55s
    4. Duplicating the book design
      6m 17s
  14. 6m 42s
    1. Exporting to PDF
      3m 7s
    2. Exporting to Blurb and evaluating the book online
      3m 35s
  15. 35s
    1. Goodbye
      35s

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