In this tutorial I am going to show you how to make a Photoshop action that will create a soft proofing version of your image prior to printing. This will help insure that what you see on your monitor will hopefully match want is printed. Basically we are going to use Photoshop to simulate what an image will look like when printed on a certain type of paper. We can speed hours post processing an image to look the way we remember it, but when it comes time to print, well our print copy does not look like the processed copy on our monitor. Different papers interact differently with inks, printer pixels and resolutions do not match the image on our monitor. Sometimes we need to tweak our image by making a few additional adjustments to get it to print as closely as possible to what we see on our screen. We need the ability to compare our screen image with a print proof. In this tutorial we are going to create an action to compare the two.
Let’s open an image. This image has been processed by me and saved in a tiff format. All the layers I created to arrive at this final output are preserved in the tiff file.
In addition I add, as a final layer, a “Levels Adjustment Layer” set to “Screen Blending Mode”, with a 50% opacity, because I know that my printer has a tendency to print darker than what I see on my monitor. So I want to click on the eyeball icon to activate this layer. If you do not have this layer on your image you should create one before now.
The first soft proof we are going to create is one for Premium Luster Photo Paper. You can create different actions for different types of paper. Different papers have different print profiles which will require you to make adjustments for a specific paper profile.
Next let’s duplicate the duplicated image. When the duplicate dialog box appears be sure and tweak the name. It will probably automatically assign the second copy as copy2 but if it doesn’t then add the number 2 next to the word copy so that when we click on OK it does not ask me if I want to over-write the existing file.
“I have spent hours watching Sean’s video and converting it into a printed version for my personal use as a follow along guide. Sean has a whole series of video tutorials for processing images using Luminosity Masks. (Click here to be taken to his web site.) I highly recommend them. Sean’s videos along with Tony Kuyper’s TKActions Panel for Luminosity Masks (Click here to be takento Tony’s web site.) will be the best investment you make and will improve your post processing by 100% Plus. John Gilbert”