Recently I wrote an article on “Using ColorPort for QTR grayscale measurement and profiling.” Today I’d like to talk about using i1Profiler v1.3 for QTR grayscale measurement and profiling. I’ve been using i1Profiler’s new “Measure Reference Chart” feature and the new i1Pro2 “Raven” device for a year and now that it’s officially released I can tell you about it.
i1Profiler is XRite’s new professional level application that anyone can download for free at XRite.com. While some of the features require a purchase or dongle, the “Measure Reference Chart” feature that we will use for this doesn’t require a purchase. Measure Reference Chart are new features in i1Profiler version 1.3.
Mac OS: Library>ApplicationSupport>X-Rite>i1Profiler>ColorSpaceRGB>MeasureReferenceWorkflows
Win XP: \Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\X-Rite\i1Profiler>ColorSpaceRGB> MeasureReferenceWorkflows
Win 7 and newer: \ProgramData\Application Data\X-Rite\i1Profiler>ColorSpaceRGB> MeasureReferenceWorkflows
I’ve also made my Grayscale and Alt-Process profiling targets available with patches for the i1Pro, and iSis and DTP70 patches on separate layers that can be enabled. These profiling targets have large 21 step patches that come in handy with irregular alt processes and some images to help monitor the tonal scale during testing. The values of the 21 and 51 step targets are exactly the same as those from QTR. Feel free to use these targets for non-commercial purposes.
With the workflow files installed, launch i1Profiler, click on the “Advanced” User Mode on the far right side, click on “Switch to Saved Workflows” in the lower left side, find the “21-step-gray-i1Pro-bySM” workflow and click on it.
[Alternately you may use the “Measure Chart” feature in i1Profiler, enter your device, the size of the patches (8.3mm), the number of rows and columns of your profiling target and start measuring.]
Now you can select your device, click on the “Measurement” workflow button below, calibrate your device and start measuring the patches. I recommend i1Pro users use the “Spot mode” as pictured below. i1Pro2 users should plan on using the Dual scan mode.
When you are done, save your measurements, choosing the “i1Profiler CGATS CIELab(*.txt)” format option.
You now have a measurement file that you can drag and drop onto the “QTR-Create-ICC” script to make an ICC Color Profile for your grayscale printing process! Of course, QTR users can also drag and drop this measurement file onto “QTR-Linearize-data” and use the linearization curve in QTR. Tip of the hat to Roy Harrington for his brilliant work on this script which is available for download at www.quadtonerip.com.
Since recent versions of Photoshop won’t let us select our profile in the Print dialog, alt-photo printmakers tend to print with the free QTR Print Tool application that allows us to select our profile and the “Perceptual” rendering intent at the time of printing.
You can also use this profile for soft proofing in Photoshop. Choose “View>ProofSetup>Custom…” and select for printer profile with Perceptual and Black Point Compensation. “Simulate Black Ink” and “Simulate Paper Color” do an excellent job at simulating the paper color and the lighter blacks of your alt photo process. If you check “Preserve Color Numbers” you’ll see how badly your images print *without* this profile.
[optional] If QTR-Create-ICC won’t make a profile, open up the measurement file in a text editor and checkout the leftmost column of numbers that contain pertinent Luminosity channel numbers. If any of these numbers aren’t sequential QTR-Create-ICC can’t make a profile. If this occurs you probably have an anomaly in one of your measurements that you can manually fix in the text editor. I sometimes find a single patch in the shadows that is slightly out of sequential order, and adjusting this value so that QTR-Create-ICC can make a profile has no detrimental effects. [I used to do this occasionally when using the i1Pro, but haven’t seen the need when using the newer i1Pro2 and iSis2 devices]
Of course, my clients that would rather not invest in a spectrophotometer and all this geek stuff can utilize my private remote profiling service. While I think most will want to do this themselves, it’s always good to have options. I hope this is useful – enjoy making grayscale profiles!
– Scott Martin