Photoshop soft proof not working as should (Lightroom seems OK)

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  • Updated 3 years ago
Hi All, I'm hoping someone can help solve this query for me, as it's something that's been bugging me for a while.

I've had my printer for over a year now (Canon Pixma Pro-1) and have used it on and off. I bought a book (Jeff Schewe - The Digital Print) on how to do soft proofing so what you see in Photoshop is how it will appear when printed, but it seems that my soft proofing does not, in any way, match what I see in print, even after following it to the T. I always thought that this might be a limitation of soft proofing, as the image looks flat, faded and the colours are off, but today for the first time I used the soft proof function in Lightroom and it was nearly spot on to what I printed.

For the life of me I can't figure out what I've done wrong in Photoshop for the soft proofing not to work, the settings all seem correct to what the book suggests. Whereas Lightroom I haven't changed any settings, I just clicked on Soft Proof and chose the papers ICC profile and it just worked ('worked' in the sense that a print I did before looks exactly the same as what shows in Lightroom). In some ways this is great news, I can finally see what it looks like, but not so much if I want to alter the image using Photoshop to get the print right, not using Lightroom. My normal workflow is to do my main editing in Lightroom and then transfer the image over to Photoshop for some more advanced editing (luminosity masking, layers, masks, channels, etc...).

I have an Eizo monitor that displays 97% of AdobeRGB which is calibrated every few weeks. The settings in Photoshop are shown below:


The other screenshots below show how I edit the image in Photoshop by showing one with the profile I want to print to, and one with the profile that I edited in (to try and match them up). Obviously the screenshot is of average quality, so you won't be able to see much of a difference. However, the one of Lightroom shows differently to those two, namely the bottom left hand corner where you can see 'less' detail and more black. Which is how it does look when printed, as opposed to the Photoshop ones which show more detail and more grey.







Please note, I have tried changing the type of ICC profile to test the view, resulting in the same issue. I have also uninstalled my Spyder4Elite software to see what it would look like without colour correction, and it was the same (but with incorrect colour rendition, of course).

My way of thinking with this kind of problem is that if the monitor has been calibrated, it's applied to the WHOLE machine. But if two different applications show different results (side by side), then it seems like they have different user/input settings. However, as you can see they have the same settings, therefore the applications could have different rendering settings..?

Any help/guidance will be much appreciated!
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Paul MacKinnon

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Posted 3 years ago

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Chris Cox

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What OS version are you using?
Have you tried disabling GPU drawing in Photoshop, restarting the app, and try softproofing again?

Also, double check your proof settings. Even something as simple as a change in the Black Point Compensation setting could account for the difference you show.
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Paul MacKinnon

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Yes, I've tried all of those options and checked my soft proof settings. Still no difference.
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Chris Cox

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With the GPU off, Photoshop's soft proof is as accurate as it gets.
With the GPU on, there are some known issues (some of which vary among GPUs and driver versions).
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Paul MacKinnon

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Actually, Chris... I've done some more testing. I have turned GPU drawing off in Photoshop and left it on in Lightroom, and I also switched the applications from one side of the screen to the other. Oddly enough, it does look better. Also, coincidentally, I received an update for my graphics card this morning which I just installed, perhaps all of these have yielded a better result.

Your thoughts...?



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Chris Cox

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Without a known calibration image to work with, I can't be sure which view is correct.

Again, we know about some issues with GPU drawing in Photoshop that affect proofing, and are working to solve those. With the GPU off in Photoshop, it should be pretty bloody accurate.

Lightroom GPU support is newer, and could have issues. But with the GPU off, Lightroom should match Photoshop for the same proof settings. If Lightroom doesn't match the GPU off result in Photoshop - then there may be an issue in Lightroom.