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Framemaker color definitions--New

Mar 25, 2009 5:08 AM

Okay. I am bewildered. I haven't done much with Frame and color, so when my company asked me to set up a 4C template, I figured I would give it a try. Here's the problem.

I need an orange color defined as M80, Y100, as defined in InDesign. When I use these values in Frame's color definition dialog box, the color is not correct (way too bright) on the display, nor does it print to PDF correctly. When I examine the color with Acrobat's Print Production preview, I get M92, Y100.

Okay, I know Frame is really an RGB-based program, so I went into Photoshop to get the equivalent RGB definition, which is R241, G90, B34. Well, Frame doesn't allow RGB numbers greater than 100%, so there's no way to enter these values.

I am stumped. I get the same results with Frame 7.1, Frame 8, Acrobat 7, and Acrobat 9. I print to a .ps file and then use Distiller to create the PDF, leaving colors unchanged. The same color outputs correctly from Photoshop.

Years ago I did some color work in Frame and don't recall having these problems.

Any suggestions?
 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2009 5:24 AM   in reply to sglinert
    Always tell your version of software when asking for a hand. <g><br /><br />R241 isn't really 241% red, it's 241/255*100% red. So, you don't have to enter RGB values greater than 100% in FrameMaker.<br /><br />Even with FrameMaker 9, I'd recommend avoiding CMYK in FrameMaker and using CMYK only in EPS files created elsewhere and imported into FrameMaker by reference.<br /><br />What are you using the CMYK colors for?<br /><br />Cheers,<br /><br />Sean
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2009 7:14 AM   in reply to sglinert
    I echo Sean's suggestion that you try adding color by using referenced eps files that use the cmyk color. Frame passes these through to Distiller as is.

    There is another strategy to add color within FrameMaker; however, I cannot find a reference to the information that I used to do this. FrameMaker allows you to add custom inks to the application with an acf file. You define the custom colors in the acf file in both cmyk and rgb. So you can specify the rgb equivalents as they come from Photoshop or Illustrator, which are different than the ones used by Frame.

    Note that the acf file specifies rgb colors in 16 bits, not 8 bits. The formula I used was

    16-bit component = (8-bit component * 256) + 255

    The 8-bit component values are the ones you got from Photoshop.

    The acf file is added to the fminit > color folder within the FrameMaker programs folder.

    I tested this in my case by importing a square eps file painted in the cmyk color. Then overlapped it with a square created in Frame and painted with the custom rgb color. Printing on my color laser printer showed negligible difference. We have yet to print to an ink printer.

    I know this is vague, but maybe someone else can provide the link to a better explanation. THere might be something about this in the Frame help files.

    Good luck,
    Van
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2009 9:26 AM   in reply to sglinert
    As you know, there is no unique conversion from rgb to cmyk. I do work in a workflow that needs color management, so I am just making guesses here. You might look into your Distiller settings. Maybe you can play with the color options, such as preserving or not under color removal. Or turning off color management.

    Just guesses,
    Van
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2009 10:56 AM   in reply to sglinert
    Sue,

    You also need to make an adjustment in a maker.ini setting that
    affects how FM renders colours on output.

    Find the entry for GetLibraryColorRGBFromCMYK in the [Preferences]
    section.

    Set it to: GetLibraryColorRGBFromCMYK=None

    For more detailed info about this see:
    http://www.techknowledgecorp.com/help/color.html at Tim Murray's site.
    This info was originally posted by Mike Hardy a couple of years ago on
    this site, but it's scrolled off now. Here's the original posting
    content:

    +++++++++++++++++++++

    This post gives all the information I know about using colors in
    FrameMaker
    under Windows. It does not cover the use of separations. It instead
    describes display, and direct output to color devices such as printers
    -
    including creating PDFs.


    Color models
    =====================================
    FrameMaker supports three different color models:

    - CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key)

    - RGB (Red, Green, Blue)

    - HLS (Hue, Light, Saturation).


    FrameMaker uses an algorithm to convert between each of these color
    models.
    For example:

    RGB to CMYK:
    C = max(R, G, B) - R
    M = max(R, G, B) - G
    Y = max(R, G, B) - B
    K = 100 - max(R, G, B)

    CMYK to RGB:
    R = min(100 - K - C, 0)
    G = min(100 - K - M, 0)
    B = min(100 - K - Y, 0)



    Color output
    =====================================
    Like most Windows applications, FrameMaker uses the Windows graphics
    device
    interface (GDI) for its output. The GDI handles both display and
    printer
    output.

    Unfortunately, the GDI only supports the RGB color model. Any colors
    that
    are defined in other color models are therefore converted to RGB for
    output
    (see below).

    The only exception to this is Encapsulated PostScript (EPS). When you
    print
    to a PostScript printer, or distill a PDF, the EPS is inserted
    unchanged
    into the PostScript. So any CMYK colors in the EPS get printed
    unchanged.
    This is the only way to output a CMYK color from FrameMaker under
    Windows.

    (Note that if you instead print to a non-PostScript printer, any EPS
    files
    are output using their preview bitmap, in RGB.)


    Types of color in FrameMaker
    =====================================
    There are two types of color in FrameMaker:

    - those defined by component values that you type in

    - those defined by choosing a named ink from a color library.

    FrameMaker handles these differently.


    If you type in the component values
    -------------------------------------
    FrameMaker stores the color in the document as CMYK. If the color was
    not
    defined as CMYK, FrameMaker uses its own conversion algorithm. So the
    CMYK
    values that are stored are the same values that you see in the CMYK
    view of
    the Color Definitions dialog.


    FrameMaker outputs the color as RGB. If the color was not defined as
    RGB,
    FrameMaker uses its own conversion algorithm. So the RGB values that
    are
    output are the same values that you see in the RGB view of the Color
    Definitions dialog.


    If you choose the color from a library
    -------------------------------------
    FrameMaker also supports color libraries that contain named inks.
    Almost all
    libraries specify both CMYK and RGB values for each ink. The important
    thing
    is that the mapping between the CMYK and RGB values can be very
    different to
    the algorithm that FrameMaker uses.


    FrameMaker stores the color in the document as the color library and
    ink
    name. It also stores CMYK values for the color, for backup. When
    FrameMaker
    opens the document, it looks for the color library and ink name, first
    in a
    cache, then on disk:

    - if it finds the color library and ink, it reads the CMYK and RGB
    values
    for the ink from the color library

    - if it doesn't find the color library or ink, it instead uses the
    CMYK
    values that are stored in the document, exactly as if you'd typed them
    in
    (see "If you type in the component values" above).


    FrameMaker outputs the ink as RGB. It can use:

    - the RGB values for the ink that are stored in the library

    - the CMYK values for the ink that are stored in the library,
    converted to
    RGB using its own algorithm.

    This depends on the output device that FrameMaker is using, and the
    GetLibraryColorRGBFromCMYK setting in the maker.ini file:

    - If GetLibraryColorRGBFromCMYK is set to "Screen", FrameMaker does
    screen
    output by converting the CMYK values for the ink to RGB. For printer
    output,
    it instead uses the RGB values for the ink.

    - If GetLibraryColorRGBFromCMYK is set to "Printing", FrameMaker does
    printer and PDF output by converting the CMYK values for the ink to
    RGB. For
    screen output, it instead uses the RGB values for the ink.

    - If GetLibraryColorRGBFromCMYK is set to "Printing&Screen",
    FrameMaker does
    all output by converting the CMYK values for the ink to RGB. It never
    uses
    the RGB values for the ink.

    - If GetLibraryColorRGBFromCMYK is set to "None", FrameMaker never
    uses the
    CMYK values for the ink. It does all output using the RGB values for
    the ink.


    For the most WYSIWYG results with the predefined libraries, I'd
    suggest
    setting GetLibraryColorRGBFromCMYK to "None". This means that the RGB
    values
    in the color library get used for the screen - and they're probably
    the most
    faithful colors for this. The same RGB color will be printed, giving
    you the
    same color mismatches that you get for most other Windows
    applications. And
    you will often find that the RGB to CMYK conversion of your output
    device
    will give more faithful results than FrameMaker's own conversion.



    Defining your own libraries
    =====================================
    Finally, note that you can define your own libraries. From the online
    "Customizing FrameMaker" manual:

    "ColorLib [in maker.ini] specifies the folder that contains color
    library
    files. These files are read in at startup and appear in the Color
    Libraries
    pop-up menu in the Color Definitions dialog box. You can add any
    library
    file formatted in the ASCII Color Format (.acf), version 2.1 or
    earlier, or
    in the Binary Color Format (.bcf), version 2.0. You can't use a
    FrameMaker
    product to save a .bcf library file."

    A web search might reveal details of these file formats, but if not,
    the
    ASCII one is pretty obvious. Here's a file I put together:

    ACF 1.0
    My Color Library
    LibraryVersion: 1.0
    Copyright: © 2005 Mike Hardy. All rights reserved.
    AboutMessage: Colors for my company
    Names: Partial
    Rows: 4
    Columns: 4
    Entries: 2
    Prefix:
    Suffix:
    Type: Process
    Models: CMYK RGB
    PreferredModel: RGB
    Data:
    0 0.25 0.5 0.25
    65535 32768 0
    Burnt Orange
    0.5 0.25 0 0.25
    0 32768 65535
    French Blue

    You can then control exactly what RGB values FrameMaker uses for
    display and
    printing:

    - determine the RGB values that you want to use for display, and note
    down
    the RGB values

    - determine the RGB values that you want to use for printing, perhaps
    by
    trial and error in another application

    - set the FrameMaker Color Definitions dialog to your RGB values for
    printing, then change to the CMYK color model, and note down the
    "equivalent" CMYK values

    - define your own color library

    - in your color library, define an ink with the RGB values you noted
    for
    display, and the CMYK values you noted for printing

    - set GetLibraryColorRGBFromCMYK to "Printing"

    This doesn't get you CMYK output, but it's the best you can do under
    Windows. Note, however, that setting GetLibraryColorRGBFromCMYK to
    "Printing" might not give such good results with the predefined color
    libraries (see above).
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2009 11:02 AM   in reply to sglinert
    Sue,

    Use the technique described by Mike Hardy to create your own custom
    colour library to ensure that FM creates the expected colours.

    Q: why are you manually doing the separations. This is now normally
    done from composite PDFs at the ripping stage.
     
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