Bair Art Edition's Tutorial on:
Epson Professional Printing Workflow
This isn't a conventional method by any means! If you find yourself confused of wondering if it would work, then don't even bother. However, I know it does work, and that it is a temporary (or even permanent) solution to a common problem.
In order to understand how to implement the techniques in this module, you MUST understand color correction in Photoshop. Here are some tutorial modules on that, if you can look over these pages and feel comfortable with the information, then you are ready to proceed:
Once you understand all of the above tools and how they are used to master exposure, contrast and color, you are ready to use them to "profile" your printer.
I must add, a professional printer profiler may do a better job!! The purpose of this information is for those who do not want that expense.
Although this may take some time, one you have the paper profiled, the "profile" can be used on any image.
Profile your monitor!!! This is not an option. Whether or not you put in the time and expense towards a printer profiler is up to you. This, however, is a must!
With that said, the following methods don't actually absolutely require a profiled monitor, in fact the techinques in this module can be used to circumvent that step. So in fact could you get by without profiling? The answer is yes.
Then why does it matter? The answer is that this method DOES use Epson settings that are very close to ture output, and therefore, if you are using a profiled moitor, you'll be that much closer.
Get the image to look correct on your profiled monitor. Hopefully you are using adjustment layers to correct color and exposure, as taught in the Photoshop Tutorial in the above links
If you are looking for an image to test with, get this one.
Important: If you don't use ICC Profiles in printing, start now! Read our print procedure pages before doing this step.
Determine the printer settings that will deliver the best results. For example, if a brand new paper came out (we'll call it X paper), and it is a smooth fine art paper, you might think that it would work well with __________ settings? The answer(s) is (are): Enhanced Matte, Radiant White WC, Smooth Fine Art, etc.
Which one IS the best? I don't know, let's do a couple test prints on X paper with the settings I think would work best. I try it on the three paper settings above, and find that the Enhanced Matte settings are the closest. I will then proceed to correct the problems that I see using Photoshop layers; but first, for those who need a little hand holding, here are the settings that might work with various papers
|New Paper Type
You get the idea
Fine Art WC
Matte Paper HeavyWeight
Radiant White Watercolor
Textured Fine Art
Smooth Fine Art
||Depends on the surface,
get really crazy and creative,
but follow the suggestions above
depending on the finish of
the canvas, i.e. a matte
setting for a matte canvas
Correct for color and exposure problems in the print using Photoshop layers. Realize that you have already corrected the image to look right on your screen, now will be doing it for the printer settings/paper combination.
Start by putting all of your current adjustment layers into a layer set, so they are out of the way and not confused with the "profile" layers you are about to make.
In our ficticious example, I find that although the Enh. Matte settings are the closest, they are slightly too saturated, especially in the greens, and the print could be a bit darker. So I make two new adjustment layers to correct the problem.
The first adjustment layer is a Hue/ Saturation layer, which I promptly name "X Paper Profile layer-1." Then I do the following (remember this is hypothetical) to correct the saturation problem: In the Master channel, I move the saturation slider to -10. Then I want to work on the greens, so I go to the Green channel in the same window.
As I look at the greens in the print, I realize that they aren't there in place of what should be neutral/magenta (a color bablance problem), but they are on the green side when they should be more on the yellow side (a hue problem). I therefore (in the Green Channel of Hue/ Saturation) take the Hue back six points (-6). This makes the green portions on the image look too yellow on screen, as well as teh entire image appearing somewhat desaturated.
I then use a curves layer (which I label "X Paper Profile Layer-2") to darken the image slightly.
Now obviously the image onscreen should look weird! It was correct, and then you went and messed with the hue, saturation, and exposure. The important thing is this:
The image on screen WITHOUT the "profile" adjustment layers, should look like the print when the adjustment layer are applied.
Print it using the same settings you did at first, and see how close you are.
Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until you are confident in the results.
Drag the "profile" adjustment layers you've made onto evry new image you want printed on that paper. Remember to always use the same settings you decided upon in Step #3.
More Tips and Tricks:
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