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Old 07-10-2006, 05:55 AM   #1
ktinkel
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Default From digital camera to print

Interesting Printing News article: “How to Prepare Digital Camera Files for Print” by Heidi Tolliver Nigro, in collaboration with Adobe’s Dov Isaacs.

It is an overview of the steps required, with a discussion of better file formats like RAW (and how to handle JPEGs), not a how-to piece. But it does get a little practical when discussing where to convert from RGB to CMYK.

Nice read.

The online edition Printing News is a weekly newsletter with focus on Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Many of the articles are generally useful, however. There is also a U.S. edition for $40/year; the online edition is free.

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Old 07-10-2006, 07:39 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel
Interesting Printing News article: “How to Prepare Digital Camera Files for Print” by Heidi Tolliver Nigro, in collaboration with Adobe’s Dov Isaacs.
On the whole, a nice article, though a bit thin on image processing.

And this doesn't parse:
Quote:
Keep in mind that sharpening accentuates any digital noise from the original image. You should adjust the sharpness before dealing with artifacts and noise.
Precisely because sharpening tends to accentuate noise (and artifacts) it should be done as the very last step. Color correction, removing artifacts and noise reduction are all considerably harder when done after sharpening. In addition, sharpening can introduce its own artifacts - you don't want those (however subtle) to be complicating the cleanup you need to do. And remember that some cameras do their own in-camera sharpening - sometimes rather agressively. If there is a choice, it's probably best to choose a setting with the least amount of in-camera sharpening.

Ideally, sharpening comes as the very last editing step, even after downsampling; downsampling may actually accentuate sharpening artifacts. In some cases a light sharpening just before downsampling may help - an exception ratherr than the rule - but experiment and be sure to compare results at high enlargement to see what is actually happening to the image data. Conversely, a very slight blurring before downsampling may give better results. (And you can use downsampling by itself to sharpen by doing it in very small steps.)

   
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Old 07-10-2006, 08:06 AM   #3
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Good point. I am also getting into target sharpening, where I only sharpen part of a photo. But not always. Only in photo with a defined point of interest, such as portraits.
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:59 AM   #4
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Precisely because sharpening tends to accentuate noise (and artifacts) it should be done as the very last step.
I wondered about that. I don’t know much, but always took last-stage sharpening as gospel!

   
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Old 07-11-2006, 01:45 PM   #5
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I scanned the article - did they mention which profile to use when converting to CMYK as this makes ahuge difference
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Old 08-21-2006, 09:46 PM   #6
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Default Don't Convert to CMYK!

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Originally Posted by PeterArnel View Post
I scanned the article - did they mention which profile to use when converting to CMYK as this makes ahuge difference
Peter
The best advice that we at Adobe (and many other non-Luddites in the community) can give is not to convert to any CMYK at all until RIP time. Premature conversion ties your content to a particular set of print conditions; most content generators in fact do not know what those conditions are. The prepress professional does and modern PDF workflow systems can do the proper conversion either at the RIP or immediately prior to the RIP process, assuming that you properly tag all RGB content with ICC profiles.

- Dov
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Old 08-22-2006, 02:08 PM   #7
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Dov
I am not convinced about that - and I think it’s an old fashioned view. As a printer I don’t want to touch any file that comes in, I don’t have the time, I don’t know whether that is the effect they want and the risk is too great. The design agency must take this responsibility – even perhaps going back to the photographer. When soft proofing comes on stream there will have to be a conversion to CMYK anyway. I think the real issue is, my clients really struggle with CMYK profiles and to try and get them to have ISOCoated and ISOuncoated copies of the same images would be too difficult – it may have to be that jobs are proofed and viewed by the agencies using the ISOCoated profile (similar to analogue Matchprint) and then we carry out a change of overall profile to convert the file to ISOuncoated . This may seem the same as keeping the images in RGB – but as printers we have to get away from high resolution proofing – it is too time consuming and expensive. Agencies should be able to proof at their end knowing that the printer will print to that standard and soft proofs in reality should just be used as confirmation that the agency has sent the right file.
That’s why some form of common standard for printing is very much the top of the agenda at the moment
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Old 08-22-2006, 02:38 PM   #8
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Peter,

If you don't think that you have the time to do color conversions, do you really think that the "design agency" or even the photographer has either the time or especially the skill to do such conversions? The job of the photographer is to conceptualize and capture the image, hopefully properly exposed and focused. Very few photographers know squat about color management and conversions to CMYK. They produce images that may be targeted to any number of print conditions. The same is true with a "design agency" or a creative professional.

In fact, you, the print professional, don't really need any "time" to do the conversions in a properly functioning PDF print publishing workflow. Modern day PDF print workflow systems and RIPs can dynamically handle this automatically without any intervention of the part of the print professional. There is no good reason to maintain separate digital assets for different final print conditions if the appropriate conversions can be more reliably made on-the-fly so to speak.

The direction for printing standards is not towards any one or another CMYK print technology for purposes of digital assets, but rather towards device-independent, color-managed PDF print publishing workflows with live transparency, tagged RGB images, etc. as you will be seeing in the upcoming PDF/X-4 specification.

I agree that customers should do whatever degree of proofing (hard or soft) is appropriate. This is especially true with downward pressure on print pricing; printers must adjust costs accordingly. And tools are continually being improved to assist with such proofing based on dynamic conversion of RGB or LaB color to the specified final print conditions.

- Dov
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Old 08-22-2006, 03:08 PM   #9
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Dov
I agree that customers should do whatever degree of proofing (hard or soft) is appropriate - but that is my point. If we work on the principle that when ever a client sees colour it should be as the final result - then conversion has to be carried out by photographers and agencies - now if you are saying that all RIPS will seperate the file the same way thats OK - but doesnt that mean all RIPS have to have the Adobe conversion - If its not the case then we end up with printers still having to proof through the RIP which outputs the plates to ensure intergrity - which I thought we were moving away from
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Old 08-22-2006, 03:34 PM   #10
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The standard is based on ICC color management. That implies that color conversion is (or should be) the same. The idea behind the Adobe Creative Suite including Acrobat as well as the Adobe PDF Print Engine is to have such uniform color management and conversions.

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