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PHOTO:choosing print rendering intent


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In APh you usually can setup the rendering intent to use under the preferences in the color settings. - For advanced printing the printer driver should also allow to make specific usage/setup of custom made printer profiles with the help of the Mac OS ColorSync system. See also related ColorSync in Mac OSX here, which describes that theme for Mac OS, and the following to get a quick overview...

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Convert color spaces correctly with rendering intents

Red is red and green is green - but not if you want to print digital RGB images in a CMYK booklet. Then bright red can turn into spotty reddish brown and iridescent green turns to dull pale green. This can be due, inter alia, the method used to convert the RGB color space in the color space of the offset printing machine. The methods used today are called "rendering intents", while the conversion of the color spaces themselves is "gamut mapping".

Different methods and which one should be used best for his pictures ...

Differences and customization of color spaces

Every color representation, be it on the monitor or on a print, has a certain color space (English: "Gamut"). This refers to the actually displayable and therefore visible color gamut. But the different technical devices each use a different color space, which sometimes has significant differences. Therefore, in practice, the well-known problems arise that a color expression differs from the representation on the monitor as well as the originally scanned motif. To keep these differences small, the color spaces of the source and target media are adjusted in the application programs. Colors that can not be output on the target media must be modified to match the color capabilities of the target media, such as the printer. This conversion of non-reproducible colors is called "gamut mapping".

The right method: rendering intents

But to change the colors you can go different ways. The most important question here is whether only the colors that can not be reproduced on the printer or monitor should be converted or all colors changed. On the other hand, there is no unambiguous answer, because depending on which image type is used and which output device you use, the method of conversion is different. These methods are called "rendering intents". You encounter one at the latest when you want to set up the proof in Photo and "rendering priority" does not know which setting you should choose. But even with the color settings of the monitor, the user is asked for priority in the conversion options. There are four options: perceptual, saturation, relative colorimetric and absolute colorimetric. These conversion methods of the individual colors of an image from one color space to another ("Rendering Intents") were specified for the standardization of the conversion by the ICC (International Color Consortium).

 

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Perceptive (= perceptual, photographic, perceptual)

If you set the rendering priority to "Perceptual" in Photos's color settings (found in the "Preferences->Color" panel), the relationship of the color values of the original color space is retained. In other words, the color space is compressed as a whole until all the color values of the source medium (eg the digital image) fit into the color space of the target medium (eg the printer). The compression takes place non-linearly in order to avoid excessive deviations, especially in the case of low-saturated colors. For humans perceive differences between these or neutral color tones more strongly than with saturated colors of the same color. The saturated areas are therefore more compressed. This gives a very balanced picture. Disadvantage however is the strong reduction of the color values of the picture, so that this can look pale. Nevertheless, the perceptual method is most suitable for converting images for the press, that is, for converting from RGB to CMYK.

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Saturation (= saturation, presentation, saturation)

Also for the maintenance of saturation is the method "saturation", also called "Saturation Rendering Intent". Again, all colors are changed, but only in favor of saturation, so that brightness and Huewinkel can be greatly changed. The result is brilliant, brilliant colors - but often the colors are lost. Therefore, this method is particularly suitable for presentation graphics (cake or bar charts, etc.), which should "radiate" and in which it does not necessarily depend on the actual color accuracy.

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Colorimetric methods

In addition to the two aforementioned rendering intents, each of which changes all colors of a color space so that they fit into the other color space, the color values of a color space can also be converted to "colorimetric". In this case, all color values that are also present in the target medium (eg the proof printer) are retained, and the colors that can not be reproduced are "trimmed" so that they can be imaged on the edge of the target color space. This cut is also called "clipping". To occupy the Zielfarbraumrandes while the shortest conversion path is used. Conspicuous in this conversion, however, is the loss of detail of the marginal color values. On the other hand, proofs from digital printers (inkjet printers with 6 or more colors), which have a larger color gamut than offset printing machines (CMYK four-color printing), can be output as far as possible to the end device (offset machine). Depending on the output device, a distinction is again made between two methods: the relative colorimetric and the absolute colorimetric.

Relative colorimetric (= relative colorimetric)

If an RGB image is to be converted for display on the monitor or a proof (without paper simulation), one uses the "relatively colorimetric" rendering intent. The same applies to the conversion of graphics for four-color printing. The reason for this is that with this conversion method, the color values of both media are related to their white point, so the paper white is not simulated. This in turn increases the brilliance of the picture or the graphic, but can lead to fraying of the very bright tones by the clipping (cutting off at the edge of the color space). Therefore, the relatively colorimetric method is used, above all, for the presentation of logo colors in a high brilliance - be it on the monitor or on the proof.

Absolutely colorimetric (= absolute colorimetric)

If, on the other hand, you want to match the proof of an inkjet printer to a four-color press, absolutely colorimetric playback ensures that the proof does not become more brilliant than the later print result. The absolute colorimetric method calculates absolute color values and also takes into account the influence of the paper color. Although this irritates the viewer more often, because the colors seem "dirty" at first glance, on the other hand, the print shop can use the proof to get a better idea of the final result in terms of color values. Nevertheless, the absolutely colorimetric rendering intent should only be used to process the output on a proofing device.

 

See also the related video tutorials:

Colour Management

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19 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

In APh you usually can setup the rendering intent to use under the preferences in the color settings. - For advanced printing the printer driver should also allow to make specific usage/setup of custom made printer profiles with the help of the Mac OS ColorSync system. See also related ColorSync in Mac OSX here, which describes that theme for Mac OS, and the following to get a quick overview...

 

 

See also the related video tutorials:

Colour Management

Hi v_kyr

Unfortunately the rendering intent in preferences has no effect on printing.

 I am finding that the profile is defaulting to a perceptual rendering and there does not seem to be a way of choosing a different intent in the driver.

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Then you have to try and see the --> Soft Proofing (translated from this source here) ability which should affect printing. There is also a tut video about that option ...

I also recall I've once seen some other Affinity video, which dealt in more detail with custom printer driver and profile setup (made use of ColorSync) but strangely I can't find a reference to that one anymore.

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6 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

 

I also recall I've once seen some other Affinity video, which dealt in more detail with custom printer driver and profile setup (made use of ColorSync) but strangely I can't find a reference to that one anymore.

This one ?

 

Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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29 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

Then you have to try and see the --> Soft Proofing (translated from this source here) ability which should affect printing. There is also a tut video about that option ...

I also recall I've once seen some other Affinity video, which dealt in more detail with custom printer driver and profile setup (made use of ColorSync) but strangely I can't find a reference to that one anymore.

Thanks but this doesn’t get to the heart of the problem which is the inability to choose the rendering Intent during conversion to the print profile.

It seems to be a unique feature of photoshop as I have not seen it in any other software (Apart from Capture One) 

if there was a way to edit the profile to change the default rendering then I could at least make 2 versions (relative and perceptual) and choose the appropriate profile when printing. 

If anyone knows how to do this would be much appreciated. 

Thanks. 

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37 minutes ago, keypix said:

It seems to be a unique feature of photoshop as I have not seen it in any other software (Apart from Capture One)

Not sure if you mean any different PS settings from these here, since those should be similar to the APh prefs settings then ? - Since I use PSE instead things are there more like this there.

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1 hour ago, keypix said:

Those are exactly the settings I am referring to, however the settings in AP preference are not the same thing though.

My understanding of this is very limited at best but according to articles like this one, Photoshop's settings may not really be what they seem to be, either.

Also, I started looking at the "A2B" & "B2A" tables in several of the printer ICC profiles installed on my Mac using Apple's ColorSync Utility. Many of them have a set of three A2B0, A2B1, & A2B2 tables for device to PCS conversions, but they are all exactly the same. It is the same for all the numbered B2A tables for conversions from PCS to device conversions.

I don't know what to make of that, other than (maybe) rendering intents are 'built into' ICC profiles, so to speak, & the conversion tables that describe them are used for soft proofing, but not directly in the printing process ... or something like that. :S

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2 hours ago, R C-R said:

...other than (maybe) rendering intents are 'built into' ICC profiles, so to speak, & the conversion tables that describe them...

Yes that's right, ICC profiles contain a "Default Rendering Intent", which is stored in the profile as additional information when a profile is created. So each color profile usually includes an entry defining the preferred rendering intent to be used in the conversion to the color space described by the profile. This rendering intent is then used where no specific preference is given to favoring a particular rendering intent. In the profile itself, however, all options are always available and the default rendering intent can easily be changed with software products for color profile editing.

2 hours ago, R C-R said:

I started looking at the "A2B" & "B2A" tables in several of the printer ICC profiles installed on my Mac using Apple's ColorSync Utility

To convert colors from a source to the target color space, the so-called Profile Connection Space is used. This color space is always either CIELAB or CIEXYZ. In each device profile, interpolation points are therefore stored in the form of tables which describe the translation of the origin color values into CIELAB or CIEXYZ and vice versa. These tables translate the device-dependent color values (such as RGB or CMYK) into a standard color value (CIELAB or CIEXYZ) that describes a color as the human eye actually sees it.

However, usually an applications color management settings should also influence the way how ICC profiles do behave here.

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28 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

In the profile itself, however, all options are always available and the default rendering intent can easily be changed with software products for color profile editing.

OK, but as I said, in every one of the printer profiles I checked the tables were identical for all the rendering intents they included -- the same number of bits, the same values, the same curves, the same everything. So it would seem that no matter which one the software used, the results would always be the same.

I can't find it now -- I browsed through considerably more than a dozen articles trying to find good info -- but at least one of them seemed to suggest that the default is always the A2B0 or B2A0 one (depending on input to the PCS or output from it), & the others are redundant, only there because some (maybe older?) software looks for a specific one.

But again, I am not sure of any of this.

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See this source here for some explanations on the general materia:  Perceptual and relative colorimetric rendering intent

More concrete infos and specifications are available on the ICC site here:

But honestly I doubt anybody wants to dive into those Icc spec details now, or has the time to read through all that stuff.

 

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@v_kyr, I understand the differences in the various rendering intents & what they do. What I do not understand is why the tables that specify the conversions to/from the PCS in ICC profiles have identical entries for each of the rendering intents they include. IOW, if say a printer profile has B2A0, B2A1, & B2A2 tables, they are the same in every respect.

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5 hours ago, R C-R said:

@v_kyr, I understand the differences in the various rendering intents & what they do. What I do not understand is why the tables that specify the conversions to/from the PCS in ICC profiles have identical entries for each of the rendering intents they include. IOW, if say a printer profile has B2A0, B2A1, & B2A2 tables, they are the same in every respect.

Hmm good point, AFAI usually every output profile contains six tables, one in each direction between device RGB or CMYK and PCS values for each rendering intent. My guess here is, that these printer profiles might use or support the default rendering intent, so those tables always define the same destination color to yield/get. The systems Color management Module (CMM) uses those values from the source (sRGB) and destination (CMYK) profiles and converts the color values by calculating the needed intermediate values. - But as said that's only a guess here.

The book "Real World Color Management" has some good read about these things and describes some of the involved aspects in much more detail. - Here just a short excerpt ...

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Rendering Intents

There's one more piece to the color-management puzzle. As we explained in Chapter 2, each device has a fixed range of color that it can reproduce, dictated by the laws of physics. Your monitor can't reproduce a more saturated red than the red produced by the monitor's red phosphor. Your printer can't reproduce a cyan more saturated than the printer's cyan ink. The range of color a device can reproduce is called the colorgamut.

Colors present in the source space that aren't reproducible in the destination space are called out-of-gamut colors. Since we can't reproduce those colors in the destination space, we have to replace them with some other colors, or since, as our friends from NewEngland are wont to remark, "you can't get theah frm heah," you have to go somewhere else. Rendering intents let you specify that somewhere else.

...

When you use a CMS to convert data from one color space to another. you need to supply the source profile and the destination profile so it knows where the color comes from and where the color is going. In most cases, you also specify a rendering intent, which is how you want the color to get there. When you aren't given a choice, the application chooses the profile's default rendering intent, which is set by the profile-building application and is usually the perceptual rendering intent.

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Profiles

Profiles are conceptually quite simple, though their anatomy can be complex. ...

A profile can describe a single device, such as an individual scanner, monitor, or printer; a class of devices, such as Apple Cinema Displays. Epson Stylus Photo 1280 printers, or SWOP presses; or an abstract color space. such as Adobe RGB (19981or CIE LAB. But no matter what it describes, a profile is essentiany a lookup table, with one set of entries that contains device control signal values RGB or CMYK numbers and another set that contains the actual colors, expressed in the PCS, that those control signals produce (see Figure 3-3).

A profile gives RGB or CMYK values meaning. Raw RGB or CMYK values are ambiguous they produce different colors when we send them to different devices. A pmfile, by itself, doesn't change the RGB or CMYK numbers it simply gives them a specific meaning, saying, ineffect, that these RGB or CMYK numbers represent this specific color (defined in XYZ or IAB).

By the same token, a profile doesn't alter a device's behavior it just describes that behavior.

Converting colors always takes two profiles, a source and a destination. The source profile tells the CMS what actual colors the document contains, and the destination profile tells the CMS what new set of control signals is required to reproduce those actual colors on the destination device.You can think of the source profile as telling the CMS where the color came from, and the destination profile as where the color is going to.

 

From the Apendix:

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Rendering Intents and Conversions

When we perform conversions, most applications only let us choose a single rendering intent, yet both source and destination profiles contain rendering intents that can apply to the conversion. Here's how itworks.

If both source and destination profiles contain the rendering intent you specified. it's used for both the source-to-PCS and PCS-to-destination conversions.

However, matrix-based profiles only contain a single rendering intent. Usually [as we noted earlier in this appendix]relative colorimetric, even if it's often labeled as perceptual. Conversion between matrix profiles and the PCS can only use the renderlng intent in the matrix profile, so if either source or destination profile is a matrix, the conversion between it and the PCS uses the matrix rendering intent. If the other profile contains the specfied rendering intent, that intent is used in the conversion between the PCS and that profile.

If no rendering intent is specified, either because the user interface doesn't allow it or because you chose "Automatic." the destination profile's default rendering intent is used for both source-to-PCS and PCS-to-destination, if the source profile supports that rendering intent.

For example, it you request a conversion from a matrix-based editing space profile such as Adobe RGB I19981 to a CMYK output profile using Perceptual rendering, the source-to-PCS conversion will use relatlve colorimetric rendering because that's the only intent Adobe RGB 11998 contains, and the PCS-to-destination conversion will use percepmal rendering.

This is why rendering intents sometimes appear to have no effect- if you convert from one matrix profile to another, the conversion can only use the rendering intents contained in the profiles.

 

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These are particularly important when converting from RGB images to CMYK, to specific profiles. I typically would use relative (tho some danger of banding in some cases) most of the times (+black point compensation and dithering on, I believe I remember...), sometimes perceptual ( I guess if you have more colors out of printable range, or if having issues with gradients, you go perceptual, or just what looks better in a visual comparison if your monitors is well calibrated and all that). With some cases of important tones to be preserved in their intensity and saturation, I could use Absolute, but was extremely rare (I think I'd use it and Saturation intent only for checking some logos related stuff....). I too found strange back in the day that I wasn't finding in AP this option...Even if one is into RGB workflows only, is good for some rough tests when converting to a CMYK profile, even if the plan is doing it as a final step. Anyway, one of the things one gets ride of if going for a RGB - PDF/X workflow, I guess (mainly trusting in the print service, its machines or RIP.). Well, not totally, as will be needed any time you go from a wider color space to a narrower one, unless the colors on the source image happen to be in the destination image...

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  • 1 year later...

Just to 'bump' this topic.

I was hoping that the upgrade to version 1.8.2 might include these changes to the print dialogue on Mac OS, however it seems that we must wait a bit longer to finally  be able to cut the cord to Adobe. A fully featured print control in Affinity Photo (similar in controls to Photoshop) will for me close out the move from Adobe completely.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 3/17/2020 at 3:47 PM, Lefthand said:

Just to 'bump' this topic.

I was hoping that the upgrade to version 1.8.2 might include these changes to the print dialogue on Mac OS, however it seems that we must wait a bit longer to finally  be able to cut the cord to Adobe. A fully featured print control in Affinity Photo (similar in controls to Photoshop) will for me close out the move from Adobe completely.

I second that, Lefthand. Printing is the only reason to go back to PS for me. Sadly the rendering intent is still missing in 1.8.3. Otherwise, l really love the program thus far (I'm a fairly new user).

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  • 1 year later...

Agree all. I teach digital imaging and specifically digital printing and it is for me and my students one of the last issues that’s keeping Adobe in my studio. Please Serif- FIX THIS. It’s all so close. APh already yields excellent prints on a Mac without the ability to choose rendering intents at the printer driver. But with this feature (and also eyedroppers in the curves panel) we would have even more control. Once this happens I will no longer use Adobe in my digital print studio. Please please please…. Make this happen in 2.0? 

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12 minutes ago, elasticlimit said:

Please Serif- FIX THIS. It’s all so close. APh already yields excellent prints on a Mac without the ability to choose rendering intents at the printer driver.

The Mac versions just use the print drivers & related support files that are built into the macOS; consequently, unless the driver exposes rendering intents to Affinity, the 'fix' for this would probably require writing an entirely new set of routines to replace the ones built into the OS.

Certainly doable, but it seems unlikely that will happen anytime soon.

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