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Color Breakdowns

Sep 11, 2009 1:33 PM

We are using InDesign 5.0.4 and are trying to check color breakdowns for a job and my partner & I are getting different readings. We both have our Color Settings set the same. Can anyone give me some feedback on this? Thanks.

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 11, 2009 1:36 PM   in reply to woopit

    What are you readiung, and how are you doing it? Spot or process?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 11, 2009 1:47 PM   in reply to woopit

    How are you converting?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 11, 2009 1:57 PM   in reply to woopit

    I'll repeat the question. HOW are you changing to RGB?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 11, 2009 2:31 PM   in reply to woopit

    48, 57, 141 is what I get for Pantone 2735 Coated with a document assigned RGB space of Adobe RGB and Use LAB values for spot colors turned off in Ink Manager. I haven't yet come up with the other numbers, but changing the RGB space will give a lot of different variations, as will using LAB values.

     

    Several things to check: Both machines really are using the same RGB space assigned to the document (Edit > Assign Profiles) BEFORE creating the swatches. Both machines are using the same Ink manager settings regarding use of LAB values. You are both choosing the same Spot library (one of you isn't using process ot spot or color bridge or something like that), and you are both using the same version of InDesign. Nobody mistyped the color number.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 11, 2009 3:19 PM   in reply to woopit

    Here is color chain for 2735 - 48/57/141:

     

    US Web Coated SWOP v2 CMYK, Adobe RGB, relative colorimetric

     

    Here is color chain for 2735 - 39/54/145:

     

    US Web Coated SWOP v2 CMYK, sRGB, relative colorimetric

     

    So the difference is the RGB color space.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 11, 2009 3:39 PM   in reply to Printer_Rick

    That's interesting. In order to get the second set of numbers I had to change BOTH the CMYK and RGB spaces, which I find very surprising.

     

    The first set of numbers, by the way also comes up with a Sheetfed Coated CMYK profile combined with Adobe RGB, but if you combine that with sRGB you get 48/37/122.

     

    SWOP/Adobe RGB corresponds to the North American Prepress color settings option, while SWOP/sRGB corresponds to North American General Purpose.

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Sep 11, 2009 8:09 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    That's interesting. In order to get the second set of numbers I had to change BOTH the CMYK and RGB spaces, which I find very surprising.

     


     

    If the spot color is defined as CMYK (Use lab Off...) it's color managed the same as any CMYK color, so both the CMYK and RGB profile would effect a conversion to RGB. If the spot is defined as Lab (as it should be) then it's color managed as any Lab color would be and only the RGB profile effects a conversion to RGB. That's why it's a bad idea to define spots as CMYK—the CMYK profile should have no effect on the (RGB) display of spot colors.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 12, 2009 5:38 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    That's also interesting. I had always presumed that if the use Lab values was unselected, the CMYK values would be the same in all profiles, i.e. the ones in the swatch book (and maybe that's the case, and what you are saying is the conversion goes first to the swatchbook va,ues, then uses those values to make the RGB).

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Sep 12, 2009 6:31 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    the CMYK values would be the same in all profiles, i.e. the ones in the swatch book

     

    That's right, but the preview of a CMYK defined spot is color managed as a CMYK color even if the swatch is set as a spot. So, the CMYK values defined in the swatch get converted to your document's RGB space for display. The displayed appearance of the CMYK color changes depending on the CMYK profile—US Sheetfed assumes more dot gain and ink density than US Swop, so a color's preview (converted RGB values) generally appears darker, which is what should happen on press IF your were printing CMYK color.

     

    If you decide to convert the color to RGB, the RGB values you get  depend on the destination RGB space—to get the US Sheetfed color to appear the same in ProPhotoRGB (1.8 gamma|5000K|big gamut) or AdobeRGB (2.2|6500K|smaller gamut), the RGB values have to be adjusted.

     

    Defining spot colors as CMYK creates a significant color management problem for the display of spots—when you use Lab you disconnect the CMYK profile from the display color management, which is what you want.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 12, 2009 6:44 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    Can you explain why I was getting the same values for Sheetfed Coated/Adobe RGB and Swop Coated/Adobe RGB? Coincidence?

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Sep 12, 2009 8:00 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    You're right, I can't. I was testing over in Photoshop where it's easier to look at the info palette while Color Settings is open. It looks like there are some RGB values hardwired in or it's a bug. Try this, double click the Pantone swatch and first choose CMYK then RGB then click OK. In that case I get the color managed conversion.

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Sep 12, 2009 8:22 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    I've noticed other cases where mode conversions in the Swatches Panel produces erratic results. Fill an object with the Pantone color, select it and make the conversion from the Color Panel fly out. In that case the conversion responds to the document profiles as expected—you get the same conversions as in Photoshop. The Color panel and the Swatches panel can produce two different results. I vote bug.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 12, 2009 8:26 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    In my testing I never even finished the swatch before changing the mode, trying to follow the OP's method of defining it all in one operation. I'd bet the Color Picker might give different results, too (though it won't redefine the swatch, just screw up your spots).

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Sep 12, 2009 8:57 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    I'd bet the Color Picker might give different results, too (though it won't redefine the swatch, just screw up your spots).

     

    There shouldn't be two different results given the same profiles are in place, so one of the results has to be wrong. The erratic mode conversion in the swatches palette isn't restricted to Pantone colors. Try making a new swatch 0|0|0|50 convert it to RGB and then back to CMYK and you get the original 0|0|050 build (if you did that in PS you would get a color managed 4-color conversion). Now try converting 0|0|0|50 to RGB but before switching back to CMYK adjust the R value by one 10th percent. Now when you switch back to CMYK you'll have a 4-color mix.

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Sep 12, 2009 8:58 AM   in reply to woopit

    Why are you converting the spot to RGB?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 12, 2009 9:31 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    rob day wrote:

     

    Why are you converting the spot to RGB?

    That, actually, is probably the best question of the thread.

     

    RGB implies, at least to me, that this is destined for screen viewing, and most likley not on a profiled monitor in a managed application, so your color appearance is going to vary from viewer to viewer no matter what numbers you use, and none of them are likely to look all that much like 2735 in print.

     

    sRGB is designed to approximate an average uncalibrated monitor, if such a thing exists, so If you need to do a conversion, thatr would probably be my space of choice, bad as it is. My instinct is to enable Lab values, too, so the CMYK profile is out of the loop.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 12, 2009 9:35 AM   in reply to woopit

    I see I cross-posted. You must be printing these panels, yes? On some sort of InkJet plotter, perhaps?

     

    Most such machines have RIPs with built-in Pantone spot conversion (which may not be very good), but if you choose NOT to use that, you should set your working spaces to the profiles that match the equipment doing the output and convert to those profiles.

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Sep 12, 2009 9:39 AM   in reply to woopit

    Then the ideal would be to use the Lab values as the source and find out what the RGB space of the panel device will be and convert to that.

     

    In Photoshop you can make a Lab doc, fill it with Pantone 2735, open your Info panel, and see the RGB conversion for your RGB Working Space which could be anything—maybe HDTV?

     

    The only reason you would want the CMYK defined swatch is if you were referencing process swatches of the Pantone color rather than solid swatches.

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Sep 12, 2009 9:43 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    I was assuming a flat panel TV display, not a backlit inkjet print.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 12, 2009 9:47 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    rob day wrote:

     

    I was assuming a flat panel TV display, not a backlit inkjet print.

    But essentially the same answer...

     

    Just goes to show how not having a complete picture of the problem leads to biased assumptions.

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Sep 12, 2009 10:28 AM   in reply to woopit

    2735 is out-of-gamut to CMYK, so to take advantage of the printer's larger gamut use the Lab values. Converting from CMYK definitions to RGB will not help matters.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 12, 2009 6:59 PM   in reply to woopit

    Just to add more confustion, I grabbed my Pantone Color Bridge book. According to the book, Pantone 2735C = r40.g0.b145 AND c100.m95.y0.k3.

     

    The cmyk swatch is darker and less vibrant than the spot color, as usual.

     

    I thought my Color Bridge book was fairly new (purchased this year). The copyright date is 2005, though. This might matter since Pantone seems to change the color breaks with every new book.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 12, 2009 11:11 PM   in reply to its_betty

    I'm surprised about the RGB-values for the Spot Pantone 2735

    Coated in this thread.

     

    My results by Photoshop CS2:

    Lab: 14 / 54 / -74

    sRGB: 39 / 0 / 146

    aRGB: 35 / 0 / 142

     

    By my own calculations

    http://www.fho-emden.de/~hoffmann/swatch16032005.pdf

    Page 6, top left:

    Lab: 14.09 / 53.87 / -74.77

    sRGB: 37 / 0 / 147

    aRGB: 33 / 0 / 143

     

    According to these results, Pantone 2735 C is out of

    gamut for sRGB and aRGB, which is indicated by G=0

    (negative values clipped).

    The best APPROXIMATION is a different issue - a solution

    better than plain clipping.

    Can be found by GMB ProfileMaker ColorPicker. G is still

    clipped at 0.

     

    On the other hand, these values

    sRGB: 39/54/145

    aRGB: 48/57/141

    are confirmed by a couple of people in the thread.  The numbers

    are indicating, that 2735C is in-gamut for both spaces, which

    is wrong.

    If these values should be based on CMYK, then the whole

    discussion is meaningless, in my humble opinion.

     

    Yes, Pantone changes the Lab numbers occasionally a little,

    but this is hardly visible. It explains minor differences (in my

    example) between Photoshop CS2 and my swatch book.

    Pantone sRGB calculations are sometimes a little wrong, for

    instance in the instrument ColorCue (here version 1).

     

    Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Sep 13, 2009 12:32 PM   in reply to its_betty

    Just to add more confustion, I grabbed my Pantone Color Bridge book. According to the book, Pantone 2735C = r40.g0.b145 AND c100.m95.y0.k3.

     

    The cmyk swatch is darker and less vibrant than the spot color, as usual.

     

    I thought my Color Bridge book was fairly new (purchased this year). The copyright date is 2005, though. This might matter since Pantone seems to change the color breaks with every new book.

    The only way to define a solid color ink with any kind of accuracy is with a device independent color space like Lab. To do that you would have to read a printed swatch with a colorimeter. There could easily be some some variations in the Lab reading depending on the density of the printed ink swatch or how well the ink was mixed. CS3's lab definition for 2735C is 15|48|-75.

     

    You can convert the color into device dependent color spaces like CMYK or RGB, but those spaces have nothing to do with a solid color ink and the values could be anything depending on the target device. Most of the confusion starts with ID defaulting to a CMYK definition for it's spot color libraries, which guarantees inaccuracies with out-of-gamut colors like 2735 and many others. Photoshop on the other hand correctly defaults to Lab for the solid libraries.

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Sep 13, 2009 12:46 PM   in reply to Gernot Hoffmann

    On the other hand, these values

    sRGB: 39/54/145

    aRGB: 48/57/141

    are confirmed by a couple of people in the thread.  The numbers

    are indicating, that 2735C is in-gamut for both spaces, which

    is wrong.

    If these values should be based on CMYK, then the whole

    discussion is meaningless, in my humble opinion.

     

     

    They are based on CMYK but don't have to be. ID has a preference in Ink Manager, which allows you to correctly set the Pantone books to Lab definitions.

     

     

     

    My results by Photoshop CS2:

    Lab: 14 / 54 / -74

    sRGB: 39 / 0 / 146

    aRGB: 35 / 0 / 142

     

    CS3 has the Lab value at 15|48|-51 (the difference is barely discernible on screen)

    The conversions to sRGB or aRGB also change slightly depending on the engine (Adobe or Apple)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 13, 2009 2:00 PM   in reply to Rob Day

    Those numbers, as I believe I mentioned, were produced with the Use Lab for Spots box unchecked. If you check the box, you get the same numbers in ID and Photoshop that Rob is getting.

     

    All of which, again, points out that it really doesn't matter what you use (as long as everyone is using the same values) becasue the color is out of gamut and won't be right no matter what. I still think the best solution is to leave the color defined as spot and do the conversion to the output profile at the time of printing.

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Sep 14, 2009 4:51 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    All of which, again, points out that it really doesn't matter what you use (as long as everyone is using the same values) becasue the color is out of gamut and won't be right no matter what.

     

    But any press CMYK space is going to be considerably smaller than an RGB space, so the clipping is going to be more severe if you force the color into CMYK. If you are proofing to an inkjet printer, which will likely have a much larger gamut than press CMYK, you would have to stay in Lab in order to take advantage of that larger gamut.

     

    Also, if you use CMYK the preview or proof color will change depending on the assigned CMYK profile, which is not what would happen with a spot color on press.

     

    On the swatches bug—I tried making conversions via scripting, and all the conversions came out as expected, so it looks like there's a bug in the GUI.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 14, 2009 5:30 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    Rob,

     

    you told us in Post #31 your CS3 Lab values for Pantone 2735 C:

     

    (1) 15 / 48 / -51

     

    Are you sure about ?

     

    A friend found by PhS CS3:

     

    (2) 15 / 48 / -71

     

    I found by PhS CS2:

     

    (3) 14 / 54 / -74

     

    and by ProfileMaker 5:

     

    (4) 14.1 / 53.9 / -74.8

     

    Therefore I'm assuming in the moment that your numbers

    contain a typo (-51 instead of -71).

     

    Pantone's transition from (3) to (2) would cause a color

    difference dE=6.8 .

    Without clipping by the sRGB-like monitor signal flow this

    would be visible.

     

    Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann

     
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  • Rob Day
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    Sep 14, 2009 5:41 AM   in reply to Gernot Hoffmann

    Sorry, was a typo–it's -71

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 14, 2009 6:41 AM   in reply to its_betty

    its_betty wrote:

     

    Just to add more confustion, I grabbed my Pantone Color Bridge book. According to the book, Pantone 2735C = r40.g0.b145 AND c100.m95.y0.k3.

     

    The cmyk swatch is darker and less vibrant than the spot color, as usual.

     

    I thought my Color Bridge book was fairly new (purchased this year). The copyright date is 2005, though. This might matter since Pantone seems to change the color breaks with every new book.

    its_betty,

     

    Not sure if someone has addressed this yet. In InDesign, when "Use Lab Values" is not checked in the Ink Manager, InDesign defaults to Solid to Process book values.

     

    Color Bridge Values are newer, and with certain colors (i.e. Cool Gray 11) they are very different from the Solid to Process values. To get Color Bridge builds you have to use the Color Bridge libraries.

     

    With Color Bridge you also have different CMYK values for uncoated. This is not the case with Solid to Process.

     

    In InDesign the Color Bridge libraries are broken. If you select one of the colors, then hit enter, then double click the swatch, the mode switches to CMYK. If you do this using the Solid to Process library, the mode remains Solid to Process.

     

    Again to clarify, if Lab values is not checked in Ink Manager, when you have a Pantone Solid color (any of the 3 solid libraries) InDesign defaults to Solid to Process numbers. The funny thing is, you can't even purchase Solid to Process books anymore, Pantone no longer sells them.

     

    (Side note: Quark defaults to Color Bridge Coated numbers, no matter what solid library you use, even uncoated, if you change the swatch to process. Illustrator behavior matches InDesign, and Illy also has a Lab option, and of course the wording is different – Adobe does not always believe in consistent language among its applications)

     

    Rob and others suggest using Lab values, and this is the best solution. One problem, though. Hardly anyone does this. The reason is simple – it's not the default setting. To complicate matters, as Rob stated, Photoshop defaults to Lab values when using Solid libraries. I can't begin to tell you how many mismatched colors result from this discrepancy.

     

    As far as the RGB values in the Color Bridge books goes - these are predefined by Pantone, to render the color in sRGB. As far as I know, these sRGB book values are not attainable in an InDesign color library. The only way to make them is to create custom RGB swatches.

     

    Quite the mess, isn't it?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 14, 2009 7:10 AM   in reply to Rob Day

    Peter and Rob,

     

    Regarding the color breakdowns, I was also using Photoshop color picker for faster calculations (I think Rob did the same thing).

     

    The OP has already been advised to use Lab source for RGB output – CMYK as a launching pad unnecessarily destroys the saturation of a blue such as Pantone 2735. I will also mention that changing the color to Lab does not do the trick. The Ink Manager setting must be used. The spot color will then have a Lab icon.

     

    Now to discuss this InDesign CMYK - RGB conversion bug. This seems pretty bad to me. Admittedly I never have a need to go from CMYK - RGB. It's probably a rare conversion for anyone.

     

    Anyway, when I make a custom CMYK color, then convert this to RGB - my InDesign document profiles have no impact on the conversion. I don't think it's supposed to work that way. Does everyone else see this same behavior?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 14, 2009 7:42 AM   in reply to Gernot Hoffmann

    Gernot Hoffmann wrote:

     

    Yes, Pantone changes the Lab numbers occasionally a little,

    but this is hardly visible.

    The change from Solid to Process to Color Bridge should not be compared to the minor adjustments Pantone has made to Solid to Process in the past.

     

    The differences in some colors is quite profound. Just look at Pantone 180, Bridge Coated vs. Solid to Process.

     

    Not only is the Bridge system quite different, Bridge also has separate recipes for uncoated.

     

    Hardly anyone is using Bridge colors in the Adobe apps. I can't blame them. The Color Bridge is a bridge to nowhere. Quark's decision to default to Bridge builds further complicates matters.

     

    Anyway, the Bridge numbers aren't used much in the Adobe files I receive, but lots of people buy the new Bridge books. So the physical swatch book reference is not consistent with the CMYK values in the file.

     

    Not that it would help much if the values did match. CMYK numbers do not define colors. The same CMYK colors can produce wildly different results, depending on the print condition.

     

    The solution is Lab values as a source, or better yet, avoid Pantone Solid colors when designing a CMYK print job. But as I stated earlier, hardly anyone uses Lab values. And LOTS of people pick Pantone Solids from a swatch book for CMYK jobs (I see it every day).

     

    If they did use the Lab source values, InDesign would try to honor the Lab color on the monitor. So you've come back around to the age-old problem "why don't the colors on the proof look as pretty as they do on my screen." Of course they don't, because most CMYK color spaces are pretty pitiful compared to Lab, the mother space.

     

    The solution to this problem exists - Proof View, and All Spots to Process (Ink Manager). But these features are not defaults – a user must turn them on. Proof View is pretty much broken, because you have to turn it on every time you open a file.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 14, 2009 7:55 AM   in reply to Printer_Rick

    What is a designer to do if the cmyk values/swatches in the Pantone Bridge book are not close to accurate? I understand that there will be differences depending on substrate and printer (both the equipment and the people). But I still need to be able to show my clients a swatch that will be CLOSE to the color that they can expect.

     
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