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  1. Making Epson Prints When Using Custom Profiles
  2. Editing Profiles with Profile Editors and/or Photoshop Adjustment Layers
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Editing Profiles with Profile Editors and/or Photoshop Adjustment Layers

Once you make a profile, or have one made for you, it is possible to edit the profile to change it and fix small areas you are not happy with. According to my friend Bruce Bayne, a color management expert, it is very common to have to make small edits to many of the profiles that are created. You will want to have this capability even if someone else makes a profile for you. Many of the profiles I have made were essentially good except for some minor flaw, like having a magenta cast in the 20% and 10% highlight areas. Monaco EZ Color 2.1, Monaco Proof and many other profiling packages now contain profile editors. These allow you to edit and improve a profile after making it. Another technique I've found to be very useful, and sometimes easier to use, is to just use the Photoshop Curves tool to edit your profiles. Let's say you create a profile, or have one made for you, and then test that profile with your images, or with the calibration image in the Chapter 15 folder on the Photoshop 7 Artistry CD, PS7ArtistryCalibrationImage. Say you find that the entire image has a green or magenta cast, it might be a bit too flat or contrasty or when looking at the gray swatches you may see a magenta cast in just the 10% and 20% swatches. For all these types of problems, you can often create a curve, which will fix this problem. The steps to take are as follows:

  1. If you have Photoshop 7 Artistry, bring up my PS7ArtistryCalibrationImage.psd file.

  2. Go into Image/Image Size and turn off Resample Image and then set the Resolution to 375 Pixels/Inch. This will adjust the image to print on an Epson Letter size piece of paper.

  3. Choose Image/Mode/Convert to Profile to convert this test image from ColorMatch RGB into the color profile you made for your printer, or into a canned Epson profile installed with your printer.

  4. Print this image using the Print dialog shown in Figure 3. Follow the directions for that option to set up the rest of your Print dialogs correctly for your printer and paper combination using a custom profile with No Color Correction in the Advanced dialog.

  5. Make a print and let it dry overnight, for pigment-based prints, and for at least 48 hours for dye-based inks. This will allow the colors to stabilize.

  6. Bring up my original calibration image on the screen and set View/Proof Setup/Custom to the same profile that you used to make the print. If your monitor is correctly calibrated, this should give you an accurate on-screen proof of your print. The problem is usually that your print does not match this screen correctly. Now create Levels, Curves, Hue/Saturation or other adjustment layers to modify the image on screen until it looks like your print.

  7. Once the image on screen looks like your print, you can now create yet another adjustment layer, or two, to modify the image on screen to make it look the way you really wanted your print to look. To have your printer output match your monitor, adjust this so the printed output looks like my original calibration image as it is displayed on your screen while still in ColorMatch RGB color space. Use the Save button in each color correction tool to save each of these last one or two adjustment layer settings. Now make yet another test print starting with my original calibration image again but after step 3, after Image/Mode/Convert to Profile, create adjustment layers of the types and in the order used in step 7 and use the Load button in each color correction tool to load your saved settings from step 7 into each (see Figure 8). After your test print dries for the correct amount of time, see if your adjustments improve the results. When you get the calibration image to look right, then you can use these same saved settings to adjust all your images for this printer, ink and paper.

    Figure 8Figure 8 Using two adjustment layers to edit the results of applying a profile, which in a way edits the profile. These adjustment layers need to be applied to each print after the Image/Mode/Convert to Profile step and right before you print. What I do is define an action that automatically does the Mode Conversion then adds these Adjustment Layers. Once the print has been made, this converted image can be thrown away since it is only good for this printer/paper combination. If you need to make a lot of this same print on this paper and printer, you can of course save this file for doing so.

These saved settings are actually being used to edit the profiled image on-the-fly before making your print. I do this all the time to "edit my profiles" and you can try it without having to buy an expensive profile editor. I find that it works great and for small adjustments I can often avoid step 6 and just make a guess at what my step 7 adjustments will be. I try them out and tweak them once or twice and then I end up with a Curve, or some other adjustment, that I can use over and over again just to tweak the changes made by my profile so things look just right on the printer. You will need to make a set of these saved tweaks for each profile, but you can keep them in an appropriately named folder and just load them into adjustment layers when you need them. When using the Epson 2200, 7600 and 9600 with Ultrachrome inks, you may find the tweaks you do for one paper, like Epson Premium Luster, may work fine for another paper, Epson Premium Semi-Matte, for example. For more tips and also for Barry's workshop information, check

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