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Northern Diesel
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Placed rasters shift colors in PDF output

Jun 20, 2012 3:00 PM

Tags: #color #pdf #cs6

Hi all,

New to the forum but been working with CS tools for many years now. I'm sure this problem is fairly straightforward but it has me completely stumped.

 

This problem has surfaced recently; I've noticed it before but the situations were never as severe. It appears that when I place a raster on a page, the colors of the other objects on the page change. This happens only on the page where the graphic is placed, and only with raster images; vector graphics and text etc. are fine. File types also do not change the result; the issue happens with BMP, PSD, JPG, with or without transparency.

 

The document is strictly for viewing as a presentation on-screen, via PDF. I am maticulous in making sure all the objects are in RGB color space and sRGB is used wherever possible.

 

In the image below, the graphic on the left slide is a raster with transparency from PS, and on the right slide a vector graphic (PDF from Visio). The blue background is a rectangle on the master filled with a spot color (0, 44, 119 / Pantone 288C), and the text is on the page in a frame from the master. The text and blue background appear correctly on the right slide, and seem somewhat flatter on the left slide. This is only apparent in PDF form, on-screen in ID they both look correct.

 

Anyone have any advice? Thanks in advance for your help.

 

Color Comparison.png

 
Replies
  • Rob Day
    3,126 posts
    Oct 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 20, 2012 4:48 PM   in reply to Northern Diesel

    Have you tried exporting as PDF/X-4? What app are you viewing the PDF in?

     
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    Jun 21, 2012 12:18 PM   in reply to Northern Diesel

    You say it doesn't matter if there is transparency, but are you sure? Are you adding transparency, perhaps, by adding a drop shadow? This looks for all the world like tranparency flattening using Docunet CMYK instead of Document RGb as the flattener blend space, but since you haven't told us anything about the export settings you use, we don't even know if transparency is being flattened.

     
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  • Rob Day
    3,126 posts
    Oct 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 21, 2012 12:57 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    You say it doesn't matter if there is transparency, but are you sure?

     

    That's what I thought at first, but the OP says it only happens in the exported PDF. The color is a spot and you need to maintain the Lab definition on exporty to accurately display the spot in Acrobat. PDF/X-4 does, PDF/X-1a doesn't:

     

    A nice feature of CS6 is, the Pantone Solid libraries display as Lab whether you have Use Standard Lab Values checked in Ink Manager or not, which should cut down on spot color display confusion.

     

    Page with no transparency. Color is Pantone Purple C

    Screen shot 2012-06-21 at 3.31.47 PM.png

     

    PDF/X-4 left, PDF/X-1a right

     

    Screen shot 2012-06-21 at 3.34.12 PM.png

     
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  • Rob Day
    3,126 posts
    Oct 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 21, 2012 2:28 PM   in reply to Northern Diesel

    The document is strictly for viewing as a presentation on-screen, via PDF. I am maticulous in making sure all the objects are in RGB color space and sRGB is used wherever possible.....The blue background is a rectangle on the master filled with a spot color (0, 44, 119 / Pantone 288C)

     

    Forgot to mention there's no reason to use spot colors for screen documents—many of the Pantone colors could be out-of-gamut to sRGB. You can pick a Pantone Solid but it's a Lab color not sRGB. To convert a spot to sRGB, assign sRGB as the document RGB profile (Edit>Assign Profiles...), then change the swatch color type and mode to process RGB

     
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  • Rob Day
    3,126 posts
    Oct 16, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 27, 2012 3:55 AM   in reply to Northern Diesel

    I re-assigned sRGB to the document and checked that Transparency Blend Space was Document RGB, no change.

     

    CS6 Pantone Solid spot colors are always defined as Lab so the RGB or CMYK profiles have no effect on their display. Pantone 288 is not in the sRGB gamut so when it gets converted to sRGB the color is brought into gamut—PDF/X-4 works because it keeps spot colors. If you set your document's profile to sRGB and convert the 288 swatch to process RGB, you'll see the shift in your ID doc:

     

    Screen shot 2012-06-27 at 6.38.27 AM.png

     
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