What Are Black & White Print Curves

Black and White print curves are used in a digital inkjet black and white printing workflow and are used to help correct and discrepancies found with the pixels values we see on screen and the actual pixel values which the printer prints on any given paper type.

Why Use Curves For Black And White Printing

For example, in the photograph above, the pixel values in the sky area indicated by Photoshop have a pixel value of RGB 222 which to our eyes indicates a light shade of grey.

Epson ABW Driver

Take the Epson Advanced Black and White driver for example, when we print black and white images through the ABW driver, we don’t use the standard ICC colour profiles because those profiles are based on the RGB driver, not the ABW driver.

Epson recommends setting the Color Handling option in Photoshop’s Print With Preview box to No Color Management meaning that your images’ RGB values are passed directly to the ABW driver unmodified.

In our example, the  RGB value (222) is exactly what Photoshop will give to the ABW driver.

Although this sounds perfect, things are not quite as cut and dry as they seem because other factors have a role into what comes out the other end. 

Choice of RGB working space can also have an impact on this because RGB colour spaces encode RGB values using different gamma curves. Adobe RGB uses a gamma of 2.2 while ProPhoto RGB uses a gamma of 1.8.

Using print grey curves can help to iron out some of these issues as they map the RGB working space values to the required output space.

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Print Curves Photoshop Script

This Photoshop Script will create the final curve for you.
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Black & White Print Curves FAQ

Black and White print curves are used in a digital inkjet black and white printing workflow and are used to help correct and discrepancies found with the pixels values we see on screen and the actual pixel values which the printer prints on any given paper type.

Yes, a Print Curve Work With Epson ABW. in fact the Epson Advanced Black and White Driver works very good with custom black and white print curves

The Custom print curve is placed at the top of the Photoshop Layer stack just before you print the photograph.

Yes, the Paper Grey Curves Photoshop Script, will generate the curves for you based on the data you enter into the supplied spreadsheet.

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