What LR output sharpening for Blurb book using BookWright?

Explorer ,
May 10, 2019 May 10, 2019

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In the past I have made a couple of Blurb books with LR Classic CC book module and uploaded them directly from LR. You choose the type and size of paper and it is not clear what kind of output sharpening LR does when it uploads.  Do you know?

I have switched to using the Blurb BookWright software though because it gives me more control. To use it though you have to export your photos from LR into a folder and then import them into BookWright. I have not been able to find any guidance on what output sharpening to use in the LR export window.

For example, the book I am doing now is a 10x8 inch book using the Premium Lustre paper. Premium Lustre paper is sort of between matte and glossy paper. The photos do not fill the full page.  Should I set Output Sharpening in the export window to Matte Paper and the Amount to Standard? Or something else?

When LR uploads directly to Blurb I suppose it chooses the best setting and also considers the print size, but I do not know what to use when I export the photos myself for use in BookWright. Anyone have any knowledge about this?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 10, 2019 May 10, 2019

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Without knowing whether the software also resizes the images before uploading I don't think you can actually know. Are you resizing the images yourself to the size you are going to use in the book at the right resolution of typically between 240 and 300 ppi? If you are not doing this, the output sharpening you apply is not relevant anyway. Lightroom's output sharpening is applied at the pixel level and in general at sizes typical for book prints, the effect is going to be completely invisible because the printing method is not able to reproduce that detail. You will only see the effect of output sharpening if you scale down your images to a more reasonable resolution for the output medium.

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Explorer ,
May 11, 2019 May 11, 2019

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I could not find any Blurb guidance for photo sizes so mine are in the 3000 to 3800 pixels on the long side for the photos I imported into BookWright.  I do not know if BookWright resizes them before it uploads.

My other questions, which should be much easier to answer on this Adobe Lightroom forum, was about what the LR book module does when you use it.  Does it resize before uploading to Blurb?  Does it do output sharpening?  Does it do different output sharpening depending on paper type and size?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 10, 2019 May 10, 2019

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For me there are too many unknowns (except by proof printing a small test piece through Blurb, if that is possible).

Sharpening must be done after resizing, so surely Blurb can support you with some help with your query.

Please let us know how you went . . .

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Explorer ,
May 11, 2019 May 11, 2019

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I tried to find information about this already on the Blurb website and support.  I couldn't find anything helpful though.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 11, 2019 May 11, 2019

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There is no info anywhere on this indeed. Best advice is to just try some

things and see what looks best. I am pretty sure that the built-in service

rescales the images but no clue whether it sharpens. If you scale to 3000

pixels that is a good size for images about 10” long so good for the larger

book sizes. I would simply sharpen for glossy paper at that export size and

see what happens. Certainly a long turnaround time to get feedback but

probably as good as you can do.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 11, 2019 May 11, 2019

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I agree with Jay vdL’s advice, LR’s output sharpening is very good both for up sizing and reducing file size.

Regards, Denis: iMac mid-2015, 5K 27”, GPU 2GB, Ram 24GB, HDD 3TB, macOS 11.2.3, LrC 10.2, Lr 4.1, Ps 22.3, Pr 14.8.0; Camera OM-D E-M1.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 11, 2019 May 11, 2019

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bakubo  wrote

In the past I have made a couple of Blurb books with LR Classic CC book module and uploaded them directly from LR. You choose the type and size of paper and it is not clear what kind of output sharpening LR does when it uploads.  Do you know?

None; all output sharpening is targeted for ink jet technology, Blurb is using a totally different kind of device using halftone dots. In the Print Module, your options are three strengths for two papers using ink jet output. This was based on the Pixel Genius PhotoKit Sharpener II product and Adobe didn't take the halftone (or contone) sharpening algorithms for output to those kinds of print technologies.

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

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Explorer ,
Nov 19, 2019 Nov 19, 2019

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Too bad they didnt take the whole product...and find a substantive way to show their appreciation.

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Explorer ,
May 11, 2019 May 11, 2019

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Thanks to everyone who has replied.  Okay, so it is believed that the LR book module does not do any output sharpening on the files it uploads to Blurb?

I am still trying to figure out though what I should use in the export window for output sharpening when the photo files will be imported into BookWright.  I thought that if I knew what LR does when it sends photos to Blurb then I should probably try to do the same.  Should I turn output sharpening off in this case?

And, yes, I realize trying something, uploading the book, buying the book, waiting for it to arrive here to Japan, examining it, trying something else, and repeating that is the ideal way.  It is quite expensive though because in addition to the price of the book each time there is the expensive shipping to Japan and it usually takes 4-6 weeks each time to receive it.  I would prefer to get it right or as close to right the first time. 🙂  I have been reasonably satisfied with the books I made using the LR book module so if I did the same with regards to output sharpening that it does then that would probably be okay.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 11, 2019 May 11, 2019

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i don’t think the book module does anything. You can test this by exporting

to pdf instead of sending to blurb and extracting the images and comparing

to the originals. I would also be extremely surprised if the book Wright

software does anything special either. At most either software will

downscale your images to around 300 ppi in order to save bandwidth but it

might not even do that. This output sharpening is a very esoteric thing and

hard to get right which is why testing is a good idea but I get that this

is a costly prospect both in time and money.

Even though the printing technology is different than inkjet (these are

laser printers for small numbers of copies and digital offset for larger

numbers) using the output sharpening from Lightroom will absolutely improve

the printed images. Testing will show this to be true. What is optimal is

really hard to say and ultimately depends on your taste too. I think in

general you don’t need to bother as you have very little control over the

printing chain and just have the software take care of it. If you really

want to try and control it scale your images on export to about 300 ppi and

apply low output sharpening for glossy paper. If they do some extra

sharpening it won’t be overdone and if they don’t it will look a bit better

than without. I would ‘t bother personally and just export at a high enough

resolution for the prints in the book.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 11, 2019 May 11, 2019

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Sharpening can be applied by Blurb on the front end RIP. Ask them or send WITHOUT additional sharpening. You're far better off not over sharpening. And the output sharpening for ink jet vs. Halftone is considerably different: that's why PhotoKit Sharpener had different modes for each.

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management" (pluralsight.com)

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Explorer ,
May 16, 2019 May 16, 2019

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It took 6 days for Blurb to reply to my post on their website (same post as above) and this is the reply I got today:

The HP Indigo printers we use print using halftones. That being said, we do not usually recommend much sharpening for your images. Sharpening is something that you may not want to apply to all images. It is hard for me to make a judgement on your images with a sharpening method from another company's software.

However, to help you get started, I suggest trying out that sharpening and then zooming into 200% to check the quality of your image. Also, zoom into 200% of an unsharpened version of that image. If the image quality looks good at that zoom level it's a good indicator that it will hold up well for printing. If it looks very blocky, grainy, blurry or pixelated, it will print that way.

For more detailed instructions on the 200% test, including sample screenshots, please see the following knowledgebase article: https://blurb.zendesk.com/entries/55623984

Sharpening can add pixelation or grain to some images and I do highly suggest using minimal sharpening and adding it only when reviewing each image while zoomed into 200%.

Additionally, as you are placing your images into BookWright image containers, please note that it is best to make sure your images are the size of the image container in BookWright. If your images are much larger than the image container in BookWright then the software will have to compress that image to fit the container. This can cause some grain in your image, which can become even grainier if that image was over-sharpened.

Yesterday I uploaded my photo book using the BookWright software.  I decided to turn off the output sharpening in the LR export window and that seems like the proper choice.  Thanks again to everyone.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 17, 2019 May 17, 2019

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See the last post here:

https://support.blurb.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/205746076-Sharpening-for-print

Blurb uses numerous printers who almost certainly use different settings concerning resizing and sharpening. I use InDesign with Blurb's plugin and resize placed images to 300dpi with matte standard sharpening with Standard paper selection. The printed copy matches the screen preview very closely. For books created using Bookwright I suggest doing the same if your book results with no sharpening or resizing are not as sharp as desired. I've had no issues using this method.

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Advocate ,
Jan 05, 2020 Jan 05, 2020

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Hi,

I have a question about Bookwright and the support team don't seem to be able to give an answer. If anyone here has some experience with Bookwright, thanks in advance.

I can't use Blurb from LR because it's an option that is too limited when manipulating large amounts of text. So I'm using Bookwright. However, it seems that Bookwright is not color managed (even when the softproof option is enabled). I have imported JPEG/sRGB images into Bookwright and they are all oversaturated, as usual in non color managed software. So I'm wondering whether this will also affect the prints. This overstaturation is a show stopper for me. I'm using a calibrated display and all my photos are correctly displayed in any color managed software. So, the problem is not on my side.

Anyone having also noticed this behavior ?

Thanks.

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New Here ,
Dec 23, 2020 Dec 23, 2020

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This is happening to me as well, and the Blurb team doesn't seem to answer or know how to answer my ticket. It's been a while since your post. Have you resolved this issue?

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