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Color appearing differently in different Adobe CS5 applications

Feb 1, 2012 4:31 AM

Tags: #cs5 #color #mac #color_management_problem

Hi,

 

Can anyone tell me why color tends to appear different on screen in different Adobe applications, even if I have synchronised the color settings for CS5 applications?

 

The following image provides an example, where you can see the same image viewed in InDesign (top left), Bridge (top right), Photoshop (bottom left) and Acrobat (bottom right).

 

Skjermbilde 2012-01-31 kl. 15.51.05.png

All the CS5 applications are set to the "Europe General Purpose 3" color setting, and the image has the CMYK profile Coated FOGRA39 (from "Europe General Purpose 3"). The PDF was exported from InDesign with the "Press Quality" preset.

 

As you can see it appears quite similar in InDesign and Bridge, but really different in Photoshop and Acrobat.

 

Thanks,

Eivind

 
Replies 1 2 Previous Next
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2012 5:30 AM   in reply to eivind80

    This makes no sense to me.

     

    What I do know is that Bridge previews are converted to sRGB and FOGRA39 has a larger gamut. So there might be gamut clipping - but nothing on this scale. Export to PDF with press quality will convert to destination (your ID working CMYK) but again that shouldn't matter if the file is FOGRA39 to begin with.

     

    The only thing I can think of is that old culprit, the monitor profile. So what is it and how was it made, or where does it come from?

     

    I think you need to post screenshots of relevant color settings, export settings in ID etc. Perhaps someone will spot something.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2012 7:07 AM   in reply to eivind80

    OK, Dell 2711 is a wide gamut monitor, so that's something. Did you calibrate with ColorSync, or do you have a calibrator? Someone else will have to step in on Mac stuff.

     

    I see the FOGRA39 profile is consistent throughout. But out of curiosity, could you test with ISO Coated v2 (ECI) or ISO Coated v2 (ECI) 300% ? In a recent thread some peculiarities were discovered with the FOGRA39 profile. But ISO Coated was clean.

     

    BTW I'm in Norway too, so...hi!

    I bet most people belive we're so few up here that I must know you, but I don't think so...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2012 12:09 PM   in reply to eivind80

    If you have a calibrator I'd try that. IME the monitor profile is always the prime suspect in cases like this. But try the CMYK profile as well.

     

    The Dell factory calibration operates on delta E's around 5 (which is no good), so it can only improve things if you do your own. Which calibrator?

     
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  • Noel Carboni
    23,523 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2012 2:34 PM   in reply to eivind80

    I just don't see how the monitor profile would cause an image to look different on the same monitor when all the applications are native Adobe applications.

     

    Monitor profiles can be improperly constructed.  Not only that, but the standards are changing.  Not every application uses the same color-management code - even in Adobe - and so one app may interpret profiles differently than another.

     

    I'm sorry to ask the most basic of questions, and I'm doubly sorry if you already covered this in the thread above and I missed it, but are you SURE you're looking at the same data in all cases?  In other words, you haven't saved a file, edited it some more and saved it in another format/place, right?

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2012 2:41 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Noel Carboni wrote:


    Not every application uses the same color-management code - even in Adobe - and so one app may interpret profiles differently than another.

    The PS and ID teams are in different cities, so....

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2012 2:49 PM   in reply to eivind80

    eivind80 wrote:

     

    Spyder 2 IIRC

    Hmm. The Spyder2 is risky with that monitor, as it's reported to not work well with wide gamut monitors. Might work, but no guarantees.

     

    The Spyder3 OTOH is perfectly safe with wide gamut, it was made specifically for it, and by all accounts they also tightened their quality control considerably. And now Spyder4 is out.

     

    It might be a good investment anyway, because in cases like this you can rule out the monitor profile quickly. Or even solve the problem.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2012 3:06 PM   in reply to eivind80

    The PDF/X-4 standard is the more "modern" one, in that it doesn't convert at all. This is for leaving the images in their native RGB space, usually preferred now (and the printer converts as the very last step).

     

    The press quality preset goes by the PDF/X-1 standard. This converts everything to a final destination CMYK. But in your case it's all FOGRA39 anyway.

     

    I think I would take this to the InDesign forum as well. There are some people there who are very good with color management issues, like Peter Spier.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2012 9:09 PM   in reply to twenty_one

    In another thread, it was postulated that this forum's Jive software converts everything to sRGB and then strips the profile. This, coupled with the fact that screen shots are png and png has gamma problems,, plus the oddiities of Color Sync in Safari, and whatever it is that Firefox does, probably means that no one can see what the OP sees. When I look at the four images in the OP, I see three images that appear to be the same and the upper right seems a little grey, except the black border of the upper left image might be creating that.

    Another example of the forum defeating its own purpose.

    Many times in the past there have been loud complaints from posters who say that this or that app or whatever is grossly mangling the color, but when I look at the posted examples I see very minor differences at best, usually gamma, and none at worst. When I say this, some comment that my setup is very f***** up. But it isn't. The forum sw and Safari/ColorSync combine somehow to present everything as sRGB fresh off the ironing board. I don't trust any Safari blue because I know that ColoSync has trouble with it. I trust my comparison of my screen and my inkjet, which is as near to correspondence as I can get it. When I get Firefox 9 or 10 on my new box, I'll revisit this thread and see if I can discern any difference.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 12:29 AM   in reply to eivind80

    For a moment there I wondered if this could be an OpenGL problem. But this would affect PS and Bridge, not ID and Acrobat, which AFAIK don't use OpenGL. So that doesn't fit. Nevertheless, try to disable it in PS preferences and see if it makes a difference.

     

    So, summing up: All your settings seem healthy to me.

     

    Leaving OpenGL out of it, that points to the profiles, and there are only two of them: FOGRA39, and the monitor profile. There has to be a problem with one of them, or both. Keep in mind that for display, the document profile is converted directly into the monitor profile. So a problem in one could be amplified in the other.

     

    I don't know why I didn't say this before (probably had my mind elsewhere), but an easy way to test the monitor profile is to replace it with a generic standard profile. With your monitor that would be Adobe RGB. So if everything displays equally with that, you know it's the monitor profile.

     

    Although I still don't trust the FOGRA profile.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 3:08 AM   in reply to eivind80

    this is more than a simple answer, it can be many things, from how an image with transparency (for eg) is displayed, flattener presets, colours in the image that are out of printing gamut, separations preview... and so on. perfect colour management is/can be very tricky and is more suited to the advanced user...

     

    what is the image? PSD, layers? etc... is there a way you can upload it?

     

    G

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 3:14 AM   in reply to eivind80

    Wonderful! So once again it was the monitor profile. Why can't the monitor manafacturers get this right?

    But I suppose a good calibration with a proper calibrator should take care of business. Would this also ensure consistency across applications?

    Yes, yes and yes.

     

    Do some research, and decide on a budget. The overall best alternative is probably the x-rite i1 display at around 2000 NOK. But the Spyder has a lot going for it too, one thing is that the sensor will work with the standalone ColorEyes Display Pro, which is probably the best software. That means you can start with the inexpensive Spyder3express (about 800 NOK) and upgrade later.

     

    EDIT: Yes, Bridge is restricted to sRGB, as you correctly observe, so it will appear a little muted.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 3:30 AM   in reply to eivind80

    if the monitor colour is not calibrated correctly it wont cause the colour to display differently in each application. (although you should calibrate at least once a week - i use pantone eye 1)...

     

    To save a colour profile: In photoshop> edit> colour settings. set the working spaces (adobe RGB, etc) and anything else you want, click save and give it a name. Sync to that in Bridge. But if there are colours drasticaly outside printing gamut viwed in PS will look different than in ID (with cmyk working space)

     

    G

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 3:31 AM   in reply to eivind80

    oh: and why it looks closer in ADOBE RGB space, thats becase its gamut is much smaller that sRgb

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 3:32 AM   in reply to eivind80

    You probably know this already, but "consistency across applications" obviously means "across color managed applications". Just so we're clear. There are even Adobe applications that aren't color managed, like Fireworks, Dreamweaver and Flash.

     

    Those that aren't there's nothing to do about, except wait for them to catch up.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 3:50 AM   in reply to eivind80

    I'm replying via phone/email...

     

    2 min... ill go online

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 4:00 AM   in reply to eivind80

    ok

    monitor calibration: that is to correctly display colours (as they should look) on your monitor and needs a device to do this properly. This profile is saved and the graphic card will then adjust accordingly. If this profile is too old or has incorrect calibration info then the colour RED will display incorrectly, but if your colour magnagement is synced , as discussed, it will display that RED the same incorrect way in those apps.

     

    ... client here... will respond to other in mom...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 4:02 AM   in reply to Grant H

    Don't worry, Grant. We have it all figured out

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 4:29 AM   in reply to eivind80

    Noel is entirely right. A bad profile can break one app and work well in another.

     

    And manufacturer-supplied profiles are notoriously unreliable, all kinds of weird inconsistencies can and do happen all the time. Sometimes I wonder why they bother at all if they can't do it properly.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 4:38 AM   in reply to eivind80

    like i said: colour is not simple...

     

    .. but if your colour magnagement is synced , as discussed, it will display that RED the same incorrect way in those apps.

    is correct...

     

    but i still think you are confusing monitor callibration profile and working spaces profile (RGB)... ..

     

    then gamut on Adobe RGB is wider than sRgb... (thats what i meant but explained correctly... sorry) which means that a colour (lets say bright orange) that can displays "right" with ADOBE RGB will shift to closest matc (if u will) on a srgb set up... and even tho size of gamuts differ so does the shape.. if you know what i mean)... choosing Adobe RGB just allows for more colours and thus wont "convert" as many colours thus looks more consistant...

     

    i just want you to understand colour and management properly.

     

    G

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 4:44 AM   in reply to twenty_one

    Noel is entirely right. A bad profile can break one app and work well in another.

    I bad monitor profile is .. well bad... but people confuse the "software/application" calibration for the monitor... with a proper hardware device. Even so, if you set the calibration badly (too warm perhaps) the colour in a correctly synced and setup working space profile should look consistent even if the colour is not correct

     

    G

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 5:06 AM   in reply to eivind80

    Grant, I've been patient until now, but please stop this. Eivind understands this perfectly. He's not confusing anything. You are.

     

    EDIT: sorry, wrong address. I'll repost in case he reads by mail.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 5:07 AM   in reply to Grant H

    Grant, I've been patient until now, but please stop this. Eivind understands this perfectly. He's not confusing anything. You are.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 5:21 AM   in reply to eivind80

    Don't think I am misunderstanding although it is quite complex stuff.

    thats why i'm conscerned that you may "think" you have solved it and when printed looks a mess...

     

    sRGB dulls the images, and sometimes make different colours more alike because there are fewer options within its gamut. sRGB has

     

    ok: sRGB is usually brighter and more saturated than Adobe RGB... this is the confusing part... altho the gamut is bigger with ADOBE RGB... because it is meant for publishing, tightens up the colour range... some monitors you can choose a profile and even be "calibrated" with the software/application. But this is not accurate for DTP. If you calibrate using a device, a profile is saved, and when you boot up the graphics card uses the new profile. and sometimes you can see the monitor change colour/brightness etc when the card adjusts to the saved profile... this is just to get the colour of your monitor as accurate as possible...

     

    then: then your design software needs to be synced to "X" (project dependent ie. a project for a newspaper will need a different profile to a glossy mag)

     

    so... the applicationes need to be synced accordingly, this is different to the monitor profile...

     

    G

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 5:26 AM   in reply to twenty_one

    Grant, I've been patient until now, but please stop this. Eivind understands this perfectly. He's not confusing anything. You are.

    listen: you are not the OP....

     

    I dont think he understands completely, and needs to. Or run a risk of a irate client at print time... there is a lot more to colour, profiles and when to use what, and printing then can be discussed here... but some of the advice here is not entirely accurate and may result in him believing the colour to be close to how it will print and there is my conscern.

     

    I'm here to help him... and get him on the right track.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2012 5:28 AM   in reply to Grant H

    OK, I'm out of here, I don't want to get into an open quarrel with anyone. Been there, done that.

     

    Just get back to us when you have had the chance to try Adobe RGB on the Dell.

     
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