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Thread: Guide to Creating Scanner Profiles

  1. #1

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    Guide to Creating Scanner Profiles

    Thought I'd make a post after almost ripping my brains out over profiling my scanner.

    This seems to be the easiest way to make a scanner profile. I'm using a 6x7 Hutchcolor target, but this should work for any target.



    Step 1 - Scanning the Target:

    Scan the target with ZERO settings applied in your scanning software. This means disabling color management and making sure that no sharpening is applied, or color/levels/curves adjustments. We want to get a scan of the target exactly as the scanner sees it.

    You don't need to scan it at a very high resolution, around 1000 pixels on the long edge is plenty.

    My scan looks like this:



    Step 2: - Dustspotting and Cropping the Target Scan:

    First crop the target, making sure that it is perfectly straight. I find the straighten tool in Photoshop works best for this.

    Carefully using the clone stamp tool, remove any dust from the target squares. Don't worry about anything around the edges of the squares as the software to profile uses only the center 50%.

    Should look similar to this after you're finished:




    Step 3: - Creating the Scanner Profile:

    This is the longest step. I find the best software for creating scanner profiles is basICColor Input, and although it's not cheap I think it's very worth the price. They do offer a 14 day free trial for anyone who just wants to create a profile once.

    First we need to create a new preset for whatever target you are using.

    Once we open the program it should look similar to this:




    To create the new preset, click on the "Preset Editor" button, then click "New"

    Last edited by ethanfg; 21-Oct-2018 at 01:08.

  2. #2

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    Re: Guide to Creating Scanner Profiles

    Continued......

    Scroll down until you find your particular scanner target, and click to select it. Once selected, click on the circled search bar to choose your reference file. Once this is done, click "Save Preset".



    Give your preset a name, then click "Start Profiling".



    You should now be back at the start page, with your new preset selected. Drag and drop your dustspotted profile target scan to load it into the program.



    Align the grid with your target scan, give the profile a name and then click next.

    Last edited by ethanfg; 21-Oct-2018 at 01:10.

  3. #3

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    Re: Guide to Creating Scanner Profiles

    Continued.....

    I find these settings work best for my scanner and target, but feel free to play around and see which combination gives you the lowest average Delta E. Click start profiling to create your profile.



    Now that the profiling is complete, we can click on the "Report" icon next to the large slider to see more info about our profile.



    In the detailed report, we can see I achieved an average Delta E of 0.98, which is a very good result.



    Step 4 - Assigning your profile to scanned images:

    The best way to assign your profile is to do it in Photoshop after you have scanned your images.

    Open the scanned image and do the following:

    1: Edit > Assign Profile > Choose your profile from the dropdown > click OK

    2: Edit > Convert To Profile > Choose your favourite working profile from the dropdown > Choose "Relative Colorimetric" as the intent under conversion options, and use Black Point Compression > click OK

    Using a levels layer, set your shadow and highlight points to avoid any clipping. Now you're all done!

    Here's an example of a raw scan compared to one with the profile applied and only a levels adjustment to set the endpoints:



    Hope this can be of use to somebody out there.
    Last edited by ethanfg; 21-Oct-2018 at 01:12.

  4. #4
    Andrej Gregov
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    Re: Guide to Creating Scanner Profiles

    Many thanks for doing this Ethan! I've been looking for an up-to-date workflow. Did you by chance try using VueScan to create a profile? Just was wondering if you compared the output from both profiling methods. I have successfully created a profile with VueScan in the past and it worked OK. But I have never been very satisfied with the quality of the profile when I apply it in PS. For reference, my profile was created for scanning C-prints with my Epson 4990. So, I'm not scanning negs--but I imagine it shouldn't matter with the workflow.

    Any thoughts appreciated. Cheers. Andrej

  5. #5
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Guide to Creating Scanner Profiles

    Nice write-up!
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  6. #6

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    Re: Guide to Creating Scanner Profiles

    Quote Originally Posted by agregov View Post
    Many thanks for doing this Ethan! I've been looking for an up-to-date workflow. Did you by chance try using VueScan to create a profile? Just was wondering if you compared the output from both profiling methods. I have successfully created a profile with VueScan in the past and it worked OK. But I have never been very satisfied with the quality of the profile when I apply it in PS. For reference, my profile was created for scanning C-prints with my Epson 4990. So, I'm not scanning negs--but I imagine it shouldn't matter with the workflow.

    Any thoughts appreciated. Cheers. Andrej
    Andrej,

    I haven't tried using VueScan, so I can't comment on that. I would suggest trying the trial of basICColor Input and see if it improves your results. If not, then you know it's not VueScan that's producing the unsatisfactory results.

    Another note: is your monitor calibrated? Sometimes having an uncalibrated display can be the cause of profiles making the image look less than desirable.

    Ethan

  7. #7
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: Guide to Creating Scanner Profiles

    I have created a profile for my V850 using Vuescan. It seems to work pretty good on slide film. I don't use it to color correct anything else. Maybe, if I am scanning a print I will. Doing it in Vuescan is rather straight forward. I went mount the target on my Betterscanning holder, scan at same dpi I scan my negatives and follow the rest of the Vuescan steps to create the profile. I don't remember all of them, but it didn't take me very long to complete.

  8. #8

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    Re: Guide to Creating Scanner Profiles

    Thank you for this. I have attempted to do this and I'm not sure I knew what I was doing. It will be good to read through this and recalibrate my scanners.

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