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Using a soft proof to visualize the print


Photoshop CS6 for Photographers

with Chris Orwig

Video: Using a soft proof to visualize the print

For me there's something amazing about creating a good photographic print. It's almost like you're finishing off the photograph. And in order to create a good print, one of the things that you typically need to do is to create what's called a Soft Proof Preview. This preview allows you to simulate how this image that you're viewing on your monitor will actually appear after it's gone through the whole printing process. So let's take a look at how we can work with the Soft Proof Preview and also how we can make any needed adjustments to our photograph in order to ensure that it looks its best.
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  1. 1m 43s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 11m 49s
    1. Ideas for how to learn Photoshop more effectively
      4m 25s
    2. Isolating what you've learned and taking quality notes
      3m 53s
    3. Getting creative and being ready to be surprised
      3m 31s
  3. 38m 58s
    1. Customizing the Bridge workspace
      4m 46s
    2. Reviewing and evaluating your photos
      4m 22s
    3. Rating, ranking, and filtering photographs
      5m 42s
    4. Organizing photos with stacks
      3m 56s
    5. Grouping pictures together with collections
      3m 56s
    6. Adding metadata and keywords
      4m 47s
    7. Renaming images
      1m 45s
    8. Accessing the Photoshop tools from within Bridge
      2m 28s
    9. Working with Bridge and Photoshop
      2m 40s
    10. Working with Mini Bridge
      4m 36s
  4. 45m 29s
    1. Setting up your color settings
      3m 31s
    2. Choosing preferences for the HUD color picker
      3m 50s
    3. Setting image interpolation preferences
      3m 3s
    4. Modifying zoom preferences
      4m 20s
    5. Changing HUD brush options
      3m 41s
    6. Customizing interface preferences
      3m 30s
    7. Opening up documents in tabs
      4m 11s
    8. Reviewing file-handling preferences
      5m 4s
    9. Setting performance preferences
      4m 23s
    10. Choosing cursor preferences
      5m 14s
    11. Reviewing guides and type preview preferences
      4m 42s
  5. 21m 5s
    1. Exploring two simple steps for more accurate color
      2m 58s
    2. Introducing color profiles
      5m 17s
    3. Opening and saving files with embedded profiles
      7m 33s
    4. Setting up your studio
      1m 59s
    5. A demonstration of monitor calibration
      1m 46s
    6. Finding color management resources
      1m 32s
  6. 28m 35s
    1. Introducing the Tools panel
      4m 53s
    2. Changing the view mode and working with panels
      5m 33s
    3. Opening and arranging multiple documents
      6m 31s
    4. Combining, saving, and closing multiple documents
      5m 17s
    5. Creating custom keyboard shortcuts
      5m 12s
    6. Working with a Wacom tablet
      1m 9s
  7. 18m 24s
    1. The foundation of digital imaging: pixels and bit depth
      6m 12s
    2. Introducing image resizing
      3m 42s
    3. Resizing images effectively
      3m 48s
    4. Resizing and straightening with the Crop tool
      2m 28s
    5. Creative tip: sizing images correctly
      2m 14s
  8. 41m 56s
    1. What is Camera Raw?
      2m 47s
    2. Accessing the Camera Raw preferences
      3m 16s
    3. Improving your images with the basic controls
      7m 0s
    4. Correcting color and white balance
      4m 44s
    5. Processing multiple images at once
      5m 56s
    6. Utilizing the Crop tool to recompose your pictures
      5m 28s
    7. Creating dramatic black-and-white conversions
      5m 34s
    8. Reducing noise and making tack-sharp photos
      7m 11s
  9. 32m 56s
    1. Introducing layers
      2m 23s
    2. Understanding layers and layer transparency
      1m 29s
    3. Working with layer opacity
      3m 29s
    4. Aligning layers
      1m 32s
    5. Creating new layers
      4m 53s
    6. Organizing layers
      2m 31s
    7. Filtering and finding layers
      2m 8s
    8. Adding layer style effects
      5m 28s
    9. Creating a clipping mask
      6m 50s
    10. Targeting and moving layers
      2m 13s
  10. 33m 22s
    1. Making selections with the marquee tools
      4m 50s
    2. Using the three lasso tools
      4m 56s
    3. Selecting with the Magic Wand tool
      5m 43s
    4. Working with the Quick Select tool
      7m 21s
    5. Selecting based on color with the Color Range controls
      7m 13s
    6. Correcting skin tones with Color Range
      3m 19s
  11. 23m 2s
    1. Introducing masking
      1m 14s
    2. Painting away the contents of a layer with a mask
      3m 59s
    3. Using a selection to build a mask
      3m 3s
    4. Removing a subject from the background with a mask
      6m 37s
    5. Using a mask to selectively sharpen an image
      3m 58s
    6. Making selections with Quick Mask
      4m 11s
  12. 13m 42s
    1. Creating a custom border using selections and masks
      5m 4s
    2. Painting custom border effects
      3m 34s
    3. Using prebuilt borders
      4m 13s
    4. Exploring the PhotoFrame plug-in
  13. 11m 49s
    1. Adding brightness and contrast
      3m 3s
    2. Using hue and saturation and the Target Adjustment tool
      5m 34s
    3. Working with vibrancy and saturation
      3m 12s
  14. 14m 36s
    1. Working with auto levels
      3m 36s
    2. Enhancing color and tone with levels
      4m 12s
    3. Painting in adjustments with levels and masking
      4m 10s
    4. Creative tip: checking in
      2m 38s
  15. 29m 50s
    1. Introducing the Curves dialog box
      3m 12s
    2. Using auto curves and adjustments to enhance an image
      4m 17s
    3. Changing brightness with curves and masks
      3m 59s
    4. Using curves and masks to improve tone and color
      4m 56s
    5. Making advanced selections and masks
      3m 53s
    6. Enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks
      5m 53s
    7. Using, modifying, and saving curves presets
      3m 40s
  16. 20m 13s
    1. Introducing the magic of blend modes
      6m 33s
    2. Blending multiple images together
      3m 51s
    3. Using blending modes to remove white or black
      2m 8s
    4. Improving exposure, contrast, and color with blending
      5m 37s
    5. Using blending shortcuts
      2m 4s
  17. 10m 26s
    1. Working with color correction in Camera Raw
      1m 21s
    2. Correcting color with the eyedroppers
      3m 11s
    3. Correcting color and tone with the eyedroppers
      5m 54s
  18. 36m 1s
    1. Using a Replace Color adjustment
      4m 14s
    2. Using Replace Color, Hue/Saturation, and masks
      5m 32s
    3. Replacing color with advanced masking
      7m 14s
    4. Selecting and modifying color with the Hue/Saturation eyedroppers
      2m 30s
    5. Using Color Balance to create vivid color
      4m 3s
    6. Modifying color with Selective Color
      5m 3s
    7. Changing color with Photo Filter
      4m 4s
    8. Making creative color changes with Color Lookup
      1m 44s
    9. Creative tip: shoot more
      1m 37s
  19. 35m 13s
    1. The modern equivalent of a traditional technique
      1m 40s
    2. Introducing two burn and dodge techniques
      7m 22s
    3. Burning and dodging with the Brush and Gradient tools
      4m 18s
    4. Dodging and reducing shadows in a portrait
      6m 0s
    5. Using selections, masks, and curves to change tonality
      7m 21s
    6. Improving a black-and-white landscape
      8m 32s
  20. 16m 9s
    1. The power of black and white
      4m 14s
    2. Converting a portrait to black and white
      4m 6s
    3. Converting a landscape to black and white
      4m 23s
    4. Adding grain and tone to a black-and-white image
      3m 26s
  21. 31m 58s
    1. Introducing Smart Filters
      3m 36s
    2. Applying Smart Filters
      6m 20s
    3. Creating a soft contrast effect
      6m 38s
    4. Changing focus with the Blur Gallery
      3m 40s
    5. Working with Tilt-Shift Blur
      3m 53s
    6. Creating a realistic lens flare
      2m 45s
    7. Adding light with the Lighting Effects filter
      5m 6s
  22. 12m 33s
    1. Using the Noise Reduction filter
      3m 46s
    2. Exploring advanced noise reduction using channels
      2m 49s
    3. Masking in noise reduction to a specific area
      2m 1s
    4. Reducing noise with Surface Blur
      3m 57s
  23. 48m 31s
    1. Cleaning before you enhance
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the healing and cloning tools
      7m 22s
    3. Cleaning up the background of an image
      6m 21s
    4. Basic portrait retouching
      3m 15s
    5. Brightening shadows under the eyes
      4m 54s
    6. Brightening the eyes
      2m 30s
    7. Retouching selected areas
      5m 27s
    8. Using Content-Aware Fill to remove distractions
      5m 34s
    9. Moving a subject with the Content-Aware Move tool
      7m 54s
    10. Changing shape and dimension with Liquify
      4m 12s
  24. 24m 2s
    1. Using the Lens Correction filter
      6m 52s
    2. Reducing exaggerated distortion
      5m 16s
    3. Applying Free Transform to correct perspective
      3m 49s
    4. Correcting distortion with the Perspective Crop tool
      3m 45s
    5. Using Puppet Warp to correct perspective
      4m 20s
  25. 26m 48s
    1. Combining two photos with movement
      4m 12s
    2. Using two frames for a group photo
      4m 57s
    3. Creating a panoramic photo from multiple frames
      3m 37s
    4. Correcting distortion with the Adaptive Wide Angle correction
      7m 34s
    5. Cropping, filling in the gaps, and making final panographic adjustments
      6m 28s
  26. 27m 25s
    1. Working with Smart Sharpen
      6m 17s
    2. Using Unsharpen Mask
      4m 50s
    3. High Pass sharpening an image
      4m 47s
    4. Selectively sharpening the in-focus areas of an image
      3m 35s
    5. Selective sharpening with hand-drawn masks
      7m 56s
  27. 22m 44s
    1. Preparing images for the web and email
      4m 38s
    2. Sharpening for the web
      3m 5s
    3. Using Save for Web to create an optimized JPEG
      4m 26s
    4. Exporting images to Facebook or Flickr
      4m 46s
    5. Creating a web gallery
      5m 49s
  28. 26m 6s
    1. Desktop printing recommendations
      2m 46s
    2. Creating a PDF layout and contact sheets
      5m 56s
    3. Using a soft proof to visualize the print
      8m 0s
    4. Adjusting printer settings
      3m 43s
    5. Customizing the Print dialog box options
      5m 41s
  29. 32m 4s
    1. Opening up a video file in Photoshop
      7m 7s
    2. Editing a video clip and adding text
      5m 15s
    3. Using adjustment layers and adding an audio track
      4m 47s
    4. Creating a project with multiple clips
      4m 55s
    5. Adding a cross-dissolve fade and creating custom shortcuts
      4m 43s
    6. Customizing the workspace to review your project
      3m 2s
    7. Exporting a project
      2m 15s
  30. 3m 4s
    1. Exploring additional resources and ways to keep in touch
      2m 29s
    2. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS6 for Photographers
12h 20m Beginner Apr 26, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Photoshop CS6 for Photographers, author, photographer, and teacher Chris Orwig explores Photoshop from the perspective of the photographer.

The course details the features and techniques behind enhancing and retouching photos, preparing them for print and online publishing, and much more. Chris demonstrates how to make basic edits in Camera Raw, develop and save color profiles, work with layers and selections, tone and sharpen, and retouch images while retaining their natural character.

Chris also shares some creative tips and project ideas, such as converting a photo to black-and-white and enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks. The course also covers workflow details, such as organizing images in Bridge and Mini Bridge, optimizing Photoshop preferences, and calibrating your monitor.

Topics include:
  • Getting started with Bridge and Mini Bridge
  • Setting up color and performance preferences
  • Calibrating your monitor
  • Improving images with the basic controls in Camera Raw
  • Creating, aligning, and organizing layers
  • Using masks for removing or blending images and for sharpening
  • Working with vibrancy, hue, and saturation controls
  • Enhancing color and tone with Levels
  • Using Curves and masks to enhance brightness, color, and tone
  • Mastering the art of blending modes
  • Correcting and replacing color
  • Burning and dodging
  • Converting to black and white
Chris Orwig

Using a soft proof to visualize the print

For me there's something amazing about creating a good photographic print. It's almost like you're finishing off the photograph. And in order to create a good print, one of the things that you typically need to do is to create what's called a Soft Proof Preview. This preview allows you to simulate how this image that you're viewing on your monitor will actually appear after it's gone through the whole printing process. So let's take a look at how we can work with the Soft Proof Preview and also how we can make any needed adjustments to our photograph in order to ensure that it looks its best.

Let's navigate to our View pulldown menu and then go to Proof Setup and choose Custom. This will open up the Custom Proof dialog. Here we can choose to simulate a particular device and paper type. I'm going to be printing to my Epson 3880, so I'll go ahead and click on this pulldown menu and I can choose different paper types. For example, let's choose this PremiumGlossyPhotoPaper. Now when we do that, what we'll see is that this paper, it can handle more color. It also can give you more saturation.

Let's compare that say to a different paper type, perhaps one like this one which was that EnhancedMatte which was selected previously. Well, now the image looks a little bit more muted. If you click on your Preview, you can see the before and after so that all of the deep saturation and deep contrast that we see in our monitor, we're not going to be able to create that on our printer if we leave the image as is. Another thing that you'll notice is as you choose these different options in regards to your profiles for your paper and also your printer that when you make a selection, say, even like PremiumGlossy, you have another option which is a Rendering Intent.

Sometimes it's difficult to know which intent will work best. Well, here we can select different intents and you can see how it's changing the overall color characteristics. As I choose these different options, one of the things that I'm noticing is that the difference between Relative and also Absolute is that I like Absolute better with this paper type. It gives me even more saturation and more vivid colors. Now each image will respond differently, but it's nice to kind of see this preview before you actually create the print.

Well, to make things a little bit more complicated for us, let's go to a paper type that's going to mute the image a bit, like this one here, this EnhancedMattePaper. Let's then choose a particular Rendering Indent that we think will work well for this image and I'll just click through all of these until I find one that I think looks best. Again, here I like the color and saturation yet it doesn't really work for this image, so I'm going to go back to Relative Colorimetric. It's a bit more muted. But let's go ahead and click OK to apply this preview.

When you click OK, you're not changing anything. You're just getting a glimpse, almost like a glimpse into the future of how this image will print. You can turn this preview on and off either by way of a shortcut or by going to this menu item here, Proof Colors. The shortcut, that's Command+Y on the Mac; Ctrl+Y on Windows. Well, what do we do with this preview? Well, one of the things that I like to do is I like to duplicate my image and then have the image side by side one with the preview turned on, one with the preview turned off, so that I can make any needed adjustments.

Let me show you what I mean and let's take a look at how we can do this. If you go to your Image pulldown menu, here we can select Duplicate. By doing this, it will create a copy of our file, let's click OK to do that and you can see we now have two tabs of this open. On the copy file, let's turn the Soft Proof Preview off. Next, go to Window, choose Arrange, and let's choose 2-up Vertical. By doing that, we can see these side by side. Well, here is the image how we wanted to display and here is how it's going to print.

Here is the actual file we're going to send to the printer. Well, with this preview turned on, what we can do is make any needed adjustments in order to try to correct the photograph or modify it so we can bring it closer to the way that we want it to appear. Now we'll never be able to get it perfect, but we can get it a little bit closer. So let's go ahead and click on an Adjustment layer Icon in order to start to modify this photograph. Here I'll go ahead and brighten the image up a little bit and I just realized I'm actually on the wrong photograph, so here let me delete that adjustment layer and I want to click in the tab of the photo I'm actually going to send to the printer.

That's rob.jpg. Well, now that I've selected the correct photo, I'll click on my Curves adjustment and start to brighten this one up a little bit. Then I'm also going to try to add a bit of contrast because this photo has some nice contrast. Well, as I make those changes, what I'm noticing is that it's looking a little bit better but there is too much red in the file. Well, next I'll go to my Hue/Saturation Adjustment Icon or adjustment layer and I'll click on the Target Adjustment tool and click on the skin here.

That's going to take me to these reds and I just want to desaturated those reds a little bit. The reason I'm doing that is because when I increase that contrast, it did add a nice boost to the overall colors yet it just brought in too much red, so I wanted to scale that back a little bit. I'm trying to match these two images so that they're starting to look a little bit more close. Next, what about the blues? Well, with this tool selected we'll go ahead and click on the shirt, and then here we can change the overall brightness or darkness of that blue.

And by darkening that up and also increasing the Saturation a little bit, we can start to find perhaps something which is a little bit more comparative. Well, now that we've made these adjustments, let's close this icon so that we can see these two side by side. There is no way to get this perfect. What you can start to see is that we're having a few similarities in regards to the overall look. I'm also thinking about how this paper works and how the ink sets on the paper. One of the things that I know is that this type of paper, it likes really deep blacks.

So I'm going to go back to my Curves adjustment here by double-clicking this and I'm going to deepen these blacks up even a little bit more, darkening those. Now while this looks a little bit muddy here on the paper, I think it's going to set into that really nicely. Now that we've made these types of adjustments and now that we've customized them either by going back into our different channels and making any needed changes in order to get the image to look its best, what I want to do is just focus on the image I want to send to the printer. So here we'll press the F key in order to focus on this picture.

As we look at this, we want to turn off the Preview. To do that, press Command+Y on a Mac, or Ctrl+Y on Windows, and here you can see what we've done, is essentially here's where the image was. Yet we discovered that it was going to fall a little flat and a little desaturated. So we just compensated for that adding in some more color and saturation. Each image will respond differently depending upon your printer and paper and all of those things. And I hope that by seeing this process, it can help you start to see how you can try to make some corrections before you send your image to the printer, in that by having the Soft Proof Preview, it can just give you a little bit of an insight.

Now the Preview will never be perfect and there are those who say, you know what, I don't like using the Soft Proof Preview at all. There are others who use it all the time. What you'll want to do is experiment a little bit with this process. In my own workflow, I find that it guides me just a bit. It kind of nudges me in the right direction. Well, now that we've gone through this whole process, let's now take a look at the next part of the process, and that is working with the Print dialog and then finally sending our image to the printer.

And let's go ahead and do that in the following movie.

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