General Interest

Curiosities/Ponderings in regards to sRGB/RGB, &c.

Hi guys,

I am looking for a bit of helpful information in regards to a few things. 

First, let me say that I have had a book "ready to be published" for about 2+ months now, but my being a perfectionist has really halted that, not to mention the fact that I have been somewhat curious/skeptical about my editing software in regards to sRGB and RGB and everything else intertwined there (and yes, I do need a "For Dummies" book in this regard, especially considering the fact that this is all somewhat new for me, even though I’ve read and researched, &c.). With that said, my book is roughly 177 pages (and I say "roughly" because I am still editing and so-forth, which has essentially taken me forever—again, because of perfectionism), and not to mention all of the negative output that I read in regards to printing/quality (especially in regards to black and white, which is my "specialty," which somewhat worries me to a certain degree). Not all negative, but the negative seems to ‘linger’ longer than the positive, so I am naturally curious about certain things. 

In any event, I have read all about RGB and sRGB and the "workspace" and "color management" in one’s particular editing program. I know that "greyscale" gives Blurb’s printers "hives" as someone once said, so for my first question:

1. Say that I have a particular image that had previously been converted to greyscale and it is an image that I want in my book. Would it be possible to somehow "bypass" the greyscale and save it as something completely different so that the printers won’t create a problem with the image? Or, would that just create another "layer" over the top of the previous greyscale, thus keeping the identical problem with printing? 

My second question: 

1. As previously mentioned, I have read about sRGB and RGB and so-forth, but I was wondering if perhaps someone could tell me if my "image information" is "compatible" with the printing process. 

(I must say that I use Corel Paint Shop Pro X as my editing software. Secondly, I don’t have Photoshop, so that bit of information may be helpful to the kind person whom decides to respond to my new topic here.)

2. For instance, a black and white image of mine (and they all have this particular information, except for two or three that are "Grey" [greyscale, obviously]), upon right-clicking on the image and then opening up the "Image Information" window, the information where it says "Pixel depth/colors" is as following: "RGB – 8 bits/channel" ...Is that okay and correct? "Correct" insofar as to say that it is compatible with everything that needs to be right? 

My "Color Working Space" for Corel Paint Shop Pro X is set to "sRGB Color Space Profile." Is that correct? 

Under "Color Management", next to "Image, graphic, or text generated by" it says "sRGB Color Space Profile.icm" ...is that okay? 

Of course, all of my images were created/edited in these settings for the past 3 years. For my book project, I just used BookSmart’s option of uploading images directly from Flickr and added them to my book that way. 

In any event, ANY help would be thoroughly appreciated. I’m really hoping that everything is okay with the procedures and settings and whatnot (although I know that my ‘greyscale’ images would perhaps cause problems, as I’ve asked above, so any help in that regard would be helpful, too, in regards to saving it differently, &c. —I’m blabbing now…)

As mentioned, I’d appreciate the help when time permits itself!

Blessings,

-Derrick-

Replytopic_b_normal
Posted by
DerrickT
Sep 10, 2008 10:48pm PDT
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DerrickT
 

Derrick,

As for Corel Paint Shop Pro X, I do not know for the answer – because I use Adobe Design Premium on Macintosh platform exclusively.

Let’s hope for someone else chime in and offer a better insight on how to work with the same application and progression of soft proofing and such techniques applied around Corel image editing app.

Hope that helps and let’s cross some fingers that other Blurbarian chime in and help you with some info.

Cheers, Brian
A passionate Blurbarian

Posted by
brianbonitz
Sep 11, 2008 2:00am PDT
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brianbonitz
 

As for sRGB color profile, you need to convert all of your images to sRGB. Also convert all of your images set to 300 dpi. Those two are very important step.

Once you do those two tasks done, then you can do further experiment with soft proofing process in your imaging application. Once you are satisfied with the process of soft proofing, along with… perhaps many “round trips” back and forth doing some further edition of image in the middle of soft proofing.

Once you are satisfied with result, you might want to do the next step… exporting these image files to be successfully imported into BookSmart app.

Also, be sure to have correct color calibration done with your computer monitor. It IS very important step before doing all conversion of sRGB color profile, etc… and all kinds of image editing techniques. If you didn’t do the color calibration done, I am afraid to say that most of your images might look terrible. It just depends on given situation, it depends on lot of factors, really.

But most importantly of all, having color calibrated once for all, this will save you lot of time, money and effort.

You might as well want to consider to do first twenty (20) pages of test proof book, this will give you a better idea how the test book looks with the result. If you didn’t like what you see in that proof book, you can go back and fix the necessary step to address anything you don’t like or what you saw in that proof book. Again, it depends on lot of factors involved.

It sounds like a lot of work. But it will be well worth the whole process in a long run. Eventually, you’d be pleased with the result once you are done with the project.

Again, i hope this helps. boy, I have been staying up real late and haven’t get any rest!

Cheers,
Brian, a passionate Blurbarian

Posted by
brianbonitz
Sep 11, 2008 2:11am PDT
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brianbonitz
 

Brian,

Thank you for the kind replies and bits of help information! 

You said:

"As for sRGB color profile, you need to convert all of your images to sRGB. Also convert all of your images set to 300 dpi. Those two are very important step."

As much as I have heard about this particular procedure, I have been somewhat "lost" in regards to how it needs to be done. I have read several things in regards to it, but I haven’t really been able to figure out what exactly I need to do to go about converting the images to sRGB, which was primarily the reason why I was asking about Corel’s color "workspace." It’s set as sRGB and even though the "image information" states that the images are RGB – 8" I was thinking that perhaps it wouldn’t matter, considering the fact that my photographic editing software’s color workspace is set to sRGB … so, what exactly does that mean?

I am absolutely clueless about softproofing, as well, and how I need to go about doing that. 

As far as color calibration is concerned, yes, I have already done my "investigating" in that regard and have already aligned everything up.  Well, it was rather simple, actually, being that all I had to do was go to File > Color Management > Monitor Calibration and I read/followed all of the steps there, and apparently everything is "as is" and is the way it needs to be (I hope). 

With that said, I have thought about creating a "test book" indeed, but haven’t gotten around to getting that together, because I’ve been so bent on the "master copy" and all of the things that need to be done to make it look perfect. I’ve had these ‘worries’ and ‘ponderings’ for a while now, so it was good to finally get someone else’s opinions (although I had asked several Blurbians/Flickrites in the past about their books, and they both said that their book came out excellent, without having to go with the softproofing and sRGB converting, &c. – even though they mentioned that their images were RGB? I can’t recall, but I know that they didn’t have any problems. In fact, one of the women said that she merely uploaded all of the images that she wanted in her book directly from Flickr and created her book that way [which is also what I’ve done] and she said that she didn’t have any problems, so, we’ll see I suppose!). 

I was wondering, too: 

Will Blurb one day come up with a better "solution" for people whom have to go through these steps and so-forth for black and white images; perhaps using better technology solely for printing black and white? I’ve never been one to complain (only a ponderer!), but it seems to me that they would have already gotten this "figured out" by now. Then again, a lot of factors and situations come into play in that regard, as well, so there’s always "pros" and "cons" to everything. 

Again, I appreciate the help, Brian, and please respond back as soon as time permits itself for you. And, please, please do try and get some rest! :)

Blessings,

-Derrick-

 

 

Posted by
DerrickT
Sep 11, 2008 11:28am PDT
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DerrickT
 

By the way, I came across a site where someone was writing about Blurb and the RGB/sRGB situation (was wondering your opinions, ideas, comments in regards to what was said), and they wrote the following:

"So I experimented by converting my sRGB images in Photoshop to several
other ICC color profiles such as Adobe RGB (1998), Apple RGB, CMYK, etc. I
created another book placing these images in pages that I knew would be in
my Book Preview PDF file.
Tip! —I determined that no matter what ICC color profile was embedded in
my image, BookSmart converted this into an sRGB IEC61966-2.1 color
profile. Does this matter? Yes, you bet it does, and especially if you are not
using the sRGB IEC61966-2.1 color profile for your images"
Posted by
DerrickT
Sep 11, 2008 11:37am PDT
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DerrickT
 

...which is good news (I think) because in my "Color Management" window, under where it says "Monitor Profile: (2. Plug and Play Monitor)" it says "sRGB IEC61966-2.1" and under that, where it says "Printer Profile" it also says "sRGB IEC61966-2.1". I mean, is that good? Or, what? 

Also, what does it mean when there is an option that says "Proofing: see colors on your monitor and/or printer as they would appear on another device"? Is that the "softproofing" that you were referring to and that I keep reading about? When I click on that particular option (the green dot in the middle of the empty sphere) it shows the "Rendering Intent" as "Match" and then underneath it shows "Rendering Intent" (for "Emulated Device Profile"). 

Is that okay? Wrong? What exactly does it mean? I’m completely clueless in regards to all of this. It seems as though I’ve racked my brain for so long now, that my head is coming loose! 

Anyhow, any help in regards to all of what I have mentioned would be immensely-appreciated!

-Derrick-

Posted by
DerrickT
Sep 11, 2008 11:44am PDT
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DerrickT
 

And, one last thing (I promise):

I suppose I should have been more specific about my earlier question in regards to Corel. I know that you aren’t too familiar with the working innards of Corel, Brian, but I think one of my primary ponderings/bafflements is the idea that the "image information" says that the image is "RGB – 8" ... yet the color mangement/workspace for Corel is all set to sRGB ... so my curiosities is why the image information for the images are "RGB – 8" when it’s quite clearly-obvious that I have been working in sRGB? Perhaps that is just how Corel works? I have no idea, but it’s somewhat confusing, especially when Corel’s settings are all sRGB…

Posted by
DerrickT
Sep 11, 2008 1:13pm PDT
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DerrickT
 

Hi Derrick –
Here’s my take – I am not familiar with Corel, but that shouldn’t matter. The “RGB – 8 bit” is fine. All that tells you is that you are working in RGB instead of CMYK or Greyscale general color space. As long as its says sRGB in the client and you embed that color space (if it asks) at time of save you should be fine. BookSmart does translate everything to sRGB for working on screen BookSmart.

If you are attempting to soft-proof, you’ll actually need to to use a monitor profiling software/hardware combination such as the Colorvision Spyder or the X-Rite Eye One which you can find online. Some very high-end monitors are self calibrating as well.

As for printing black and white images – this can be one of the more challenging areas for print-on-demand, but a majority of people have a great experience. The challenge is that the print-on-demand HP printers we primarily use (though this is the case with all POD options) are really large, complex super high-end ink jets which use colored ink to create even greyscale imaging. So, if your image has a blue or red slight cast this can become more prominent when printed.

My suggestion is to frankly give it a shot. Send your book up and see what you get back. I don’t just don’t say this b/c I work for blurb, it really is the best way to get a proof and tweak. If you were laying down $10k in a traditional offset process this is similar how color management is done. You try your best in the first shot, but then they print a copy and one tweaks the images and prints again, etc… Like I said, I see many B&W books come through that are spot on. If you are worried about costs consider sending up a small book, say 20-40 pages as a softcover with a set of bracketed test images. I think once you have something in your hand the rest will go quite quickly.

cheers, chad

Posted by
CapnScrappy
Sep 12, 2008 2:33pm PDT
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CapnScrappy
 

Derrick, for a test book, just make a copy of your current book and start deleting repetitive pages. Leave content with examples of images that concern you. Do it quickly—it’s a test book not a masterpiece. If you are obsessing over some little thing get over it… its a test book!

In practice I believe that all Grayscale images should be saved with a grayscale palette, not full 24-bit RGB (rgb-8).  If the image is a 24-bit image, then it is a color image, period. Which means it can have hues of any color introduced from the source, manipulation or colro profiling.  Convert balck and white/grayscale photos to a grayscale palette. I think that’s the best starting point for keeping b/w photos as free of color variation. I would bet good money that many people may be using full RGB palettes when workign in grayscale. Often photoshop/corel filters will only work with RGB and not grayscale, forcing you to convert back and forth to apply certain effects.  Making certain the last version is grayscale is important.

 

Posted by
royalef
Sep 24, 2008 1:28pm PDT
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royalef