Printer Profile & Blender?

How do you associate a Printer Profile with Blender?

I’m not sure what you wanna do You mean ICC profiles (color profiles for color management)? A printer profile would be a CMYK based ICC profile but as far as I know you can only save RGB image files in blender or am I wrong?

I recently finished my first serious Blender model then rendered and saved as a JPEG. I took it to Costco to have printed, the colors were off and the print was a lot darker than the JPEG. Costco said I must calibrate my monitor and download their ICC printer profile from drycreekphoto.com.

Drycreekphoto.com says you must first install the printer profile. My PeaZip can’t extract it, because it doesn’t recognize the file type. However, GIMP recognizes the printer profile when I select Preferences/Color Management/Monitor Profile.

I also need to calibrate my monitor. It seems I must buy calibration software, but none of the stores in my area sell it in-store and I don’t like to buy stuff on the internet. Isn’t there calibration freeware?

The image resolution of the printed 12"x18" 300ppi JPEG is great, but it is critical that I solve the color problem ASAP.

Why don’t monitors come calibrated directly from the factory?

I don’t know what to do.

DashTwo

The colors of the monitor always change. One and another monitor of the same factory never have exactly the same color that’s impossible. In theory you would have to calibrate your monitor every day, so that you get EXACTLY the colors you want. However, calibrating the monitor time after time (maybe every week or month just like you feel comfortable) is very important.

There are two major color systems. RGB (which are the colors used for monitors, beamers and so on) and CMYK (the colors for printing). The problem is, that the RGB color space is bigger than the CMYK color space, but sometimes also the RGB color space is smaller than CMYK in some color areas (for example more cyan colors can be printed on a printing machine than can be displayed on a monitor)

So how do we translate the colors from RGB to CMYK? How do we know that color R255 G255 B255 is C0 M0 Y0 K0? There is one color system, which was developed to show all the colors that are possible to be seen by the human ey. This color space is called Lab (there are several Lab color spaces but as far as I know mostly two are used for color convertion).

So when you convert colors from one color space (RGB) to another (CMYK) the Lab color space (which describes how colors are seen by our eyes) the Lab color space is your translator.

It tells you: Ok, so if you have this RGB value, you need this CMYK value.

So what is a calibration hardware doing? There is no freeware because you need some special devices for it. It scans some predefined colors on your monitor. It scans the color red 255 but what it scans on your monitor isn’t 255. It should be 255, but it isn’t. So it changes this color on your monitor, until it really is 255.

That’s how color calibration works (very simplified).

To get a result as good as possible there are several things to do: Use the correct RGB color space, the correct CMYK color space (which they gave you - I guess it’s ISOcoated but it also can be their own defined color profile) and most importantly use a monitor that displays colors correctly.

Probably you don’t have such a monitor. The first problem about “bad” (common) monitors is, that the colors are displayed wrong anyways. Good monitors (usually EIZO or Quato) display colors good from the beginning, but they still need color calibration!

The second problem is, that your monitor probably can’t even display half of the color which can be printed on a printing machine. Only expensive monitors from EIZO or Quato can do this.

So you can’t even print as shiny as on a printing machine. You can’t reach the full color space of their printing machine.

However, you can still get good results. Of course you need a good monitor (a 500€ EIZO monitor should be ok for the beginning (they don’t cover all the color space - they only do from a price beginning from 1000€, but the colors are still very good in relation to normal monitors … btw dont use Apple Cinema Displays they just fucking suck.)

Then you need to use the right RGB profile. It is recommended to use eciRGB. More to be found here: http://eci.org/doku.php?id=de:start

eciRGB and AdobeRGB are pretty similar to each other (according to color range), however usually it is recommended in industry to use eciRGB. It was specially developed for this purposes.

However, I guess your monitor can only display about sRGB. So it is proabably ok if you only work in sRGB. When all your work is finished, you convert your image file into the CMYK color profile the printing company gave you. Then you are finished.

What OS are you using. Color profiles are ICC files (international color consortium). There are also one or two different file types, but they aren’t used in the industry anymore.

What file type did you get from your printing company? I hope that enlightens something for you :).

Is this a possible way of getting better print color?

Manually adjust the monitor the way I like to view it while creating the Blender model. When the model is finished and I am ready to add color, manually adjust the monitor to match the previous Costco print where the color was off and too dark. It seems that by doing this, Costco’s print color will more closely look like the color and shade I want to achieve.

Am I completely wrong about this?

DashTwo

The colors of the monitor always change. One and another monitor of the same factory never have exactly the same color that’s impossible. In theory you would have to calibrate your monitor every day, so that you get EXACTLY the colors you want. However, calibrating the monitor time after time (maybe every week or month just like you feel comfortable) is very important.

There are two major color systems. RGB (which are the colors used for monitors, beamers and so on) and CMYK (the colors for printing). The problem is, that the RGB color space is bigger than the CMYK color space, but sometimes also the RGB color space is smaller than CMYK in some color areas (for example more cyan colors can be printed on a printing machine than can be displayed on a monitor)

So how do we translate the colors from RGB to CMYK? How do we know that color R255 G255 B255 is C0 M0 Y0 K0? There is one color system, which was developed to show all the colors that are possible to be seen by the human eye. This color space is called Lab (there are several Lab color spaces but as far as I know mostly two are used for color convertion).

So when you convert colors from one color space (RGB) to another (CMYK) the Lab color space (which describes how colors are seen by our eyes) is your translator.

It tells you: Ok, so if you have this RGB value, you need this CMYK value.

So what is a calibration hardware doing? There is no freeware because you need some special devices for it. It scans some predefined colors on your monitor. It scans the color red 255 but what it scans on your monitor isn’t 255. It should be 255, but it isn’t. So it changes this color on your monitor, until it really is 255.

That’s how color calibration works (very simplified).

To get a result as good as possible there are several things to do: Use the correct RGB color space, the correct CMYK color space (which they gave you - I guess it’s ISOcoated but it also can be their own defined color profile) and most importantly use a monitor that displays colors correctly.

Probably you don’t have such a monitor. The first problem about “bad” (common) monitors is, that the colors are displayed wrong anyways. Good monitors (usually EIZO or Quato) display colors good from the beginning, but they still need color calibration!

The second problem is, that your monitor probably can’t even display half of the color which can be printed on a printing machine. Only expensive monitors from EIZO or Quato can do this.

So you can’t even print as shiny as on a printing machine. You can’t reach the full color space of their printing machine.

However, you can still get good results. Of course you need a good monitor (a 500€ EIZO monitor should be ok for the beginning (they don’t cover all the color space - they only do from a price beginning from 1000€, but the colors are still very good in relation to normal monitors … btw dont use Apple Cinema Displays they just fucking suck.)

Then you need to use the right RGB profile. It is recommended to use eciRGB. More to be found here: http://eci.org/doku.php?id=de:start

eciRGB and AdobeRGB are pretty similar to each other (according to color range), however usually it is recommended in industry to use eciRGB. It was specially developed for this purposes.

However, I guess your monitor can only display about sRGB. So it is proabably ok if you only work in sRGB. When all your work is finished, you convert your image file into the CMYK color profile the printing company gave you. Then you are finished.

What OS are you using? Color profiles are ICC files (international color consortium). There are also one or two different file types, but they aren’t used in the industry anymore.

What file type did you get from your printing company? I hope that enlightens something for you :).

Oops sry for double posting.

Yea that’s probably the best thing to do even though it is not the usual way! But it is the only thing you can do. To manually adjust the colors until they are ok. But wait … where are you printing? At Drycreekphoto.com? What color profile did they gave you?

broken is currently adding sRGB output in the 2.5 branch in part of his linear to sRGB process. I think blender currently outputs Rec709 RGB which gives slightly different values.

There is a 2.5 colour management build at graphicall.

accessoire,

Thanks for your info, it is very helpful and cleared up many things.

If I buy a monitor calibrator, that won’t solve the problem because I can’t install Costco’s printer profile. It seems that there must be a way to associate Costco’s printer profile with Blender just as I did with GIMP, but I can’t find how to do that.

Costco printer files can be downloaded from drycreekphoto.com. There are two choices, glossy or luster. I downloaded the luster ICC file , “Costco-FL-Clearwater-Lus”. I will use Costco for printing.

Just to make myself perfectly clear, before I buy calibration software and, also, before I am able to install the Costco printer file, when my next Blender model is finished and ready to add color, I will first adjust my monitor according to the color and shade of the print Costco did for me yesterday where the color was off and too dark. After that, any color I add to objects should be very close to the way Costco will print them, right?

DashTwo

Nope it doesn’t help if you adjust the colors on your monitor to the look on the print because your monitor doesn’t show you the right colors anyways. You have to adjust the colors, print it and see if it is getting better like you wanted it in your original image.

Soo you keep an eye at your original model like you want the colors to be.
Make a copy of your original model and then adjust the colors in thise image until the printed result compliances with your wishes.

But don’t do it always like this. Just this time. Next time you’ll know better. You’ll get headaches if you always have to readjust your colors. That’s not how colormanagement workflow works.

Usually you should get what you see on your monitor. And it’s not soo expensive to get good hardware for pretty acceptable results in color correctness.

I just thought about something, if my monitor isn’t calibrated correctly, I can’t use the alternative method I suggested. It looks like no matter what, I must calibrate the monitor first, yes?

DashTwo

Well if you have a calibrated monitor which dispays colors at least a little bit correct (I don’t assume that your monitor is super high-end) then you can activate the softproof view in GIMP (if GIMP offers softproof). Softproof shows you how your colors look when they are converted into CMYK and being printed. It also simulates the paper white.

Of course you have to tell GIMP which CMYK profile you want to use for the softproof (In your case the profile you got from cotco or however it was called).

So if your monitor is calibrated and the colors are correct enough, then you can use the softproof to see your results live on your monitor.

Where are you from? If you’re from Germany or if you understand german then I’d definitely recommend to read the PDF from www.cleverprinting.de about colormanagement. Probably one of the best PDFs about colormanagement in the whole world.

I don’t know if this will help you, but I print Blender renders by exporting them as PNGs and then importing them into MS Word. They look pretty much the same as they do on my monitor after that, when using premium photo paper and the correct settings for that paper type both on the printer and in the printer driver.

OOOOwwwww, word, nasty nasty!! I hope you keep the original image because word BUTCHERS your images… Unlike open office, where you can open the file as a zip archive and extract every single part of whatever was in the file.
Don’t EVER alter something about the image, save it in word and throw the original one away. Quite a few times I got send images that were originally large and good enough quality to print in a folder. “yes we would like these images in the folder.” “do you have the original images?” "No, just use these…NOOOOO!!!
Word is evil.

If you need to work with the printer’s color profile and gimp work with em but blender doesn’t, why don’t you adjust the image in the gimp afterwards? When I used to import tiff renders from blender to indesign I had to resave in in photoshop as well for some reason.

I’ve been playing with Blender and GIMP for a few hours and changed my mind about something. I CAN get very close to the print color I want without calibrating the monitor or using Costco’s printer profile. I have two Costco prints in front of me now, the same image, but one with medium colors and the other has light colors. I adjusted the monitor manually according to the colors I see in the two prints. Now when I add color to an object, it will be very close to what I expect the print to look like. If I want to print photos of people, I probably couldn’t use this method, but, for now, it looks like this method is going to work. I will let Costco print several more files after a couple of days to test this out.

DashTwo

It might also be worthwhile gamma correcting your Blender output before printing:-

http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=119205

Noooooo. BAD idea. That’s just going to make your problem even worse. It will skew your color even further.

1 - Calibrate your monitor the best you can to 5600 color temp. (if there is a monitor profile for your printer use it)

2- Preview what the print is going to look like using the printer profile

3- If it looks how you want it with printer profile preview, give the print shop the RGB image (don’t give them CMYK, most modern printers use a lot more than just 4 ink colors, and the RIP server they have will do a much better job starting out with RGB since RGB isn’t a device dependant color space)

4- Use a real print pre-press type of program to check deal with this. (Google for “Scribus”)

5- Don’t render to jpeg, the compression degrades the color. Use something like PNG at a minimum, and 16bit TIFF if possible. (I believe Scribus properly deals with 16bit TIFF)