8 Replies Latest reply on Sep 19, 2018 8:02 AM by rob day

    Pantone output with same ICC profile differs between InDesign and Photoshop

    Suripanta Level 1

      Hi, let's see if someone else who also has a good understanding of color management could provide another analysis of this:

       

      A certain file for professional printing in CMYK space (no spot colors) should include certain Pantone swatch. Accurate color output will depend on how we manipulate the Pantone. Let's get on it:

       

      1. New INDD is set in CMYK, profile is FOGRA39.

      2. A new Pantone swatch (any) is added, format is LAB spot. Resulting swatch is applied to object (eg a box).

      3. Same Pantone swatch is chosen, but now format is made into a CMYK process swatch. Resulting swatch is applied to another element for comparison purposes.

      3. File is exported through a PDF preset that honors FOGRA39, colours DO convert to destination.

       

      Then...

       

      1. New PSD is set in CMYK, profile is FOGRA 39.

      2. Same Pantone swatch is chosen from same Color Book as done with the INDD. Resulting swatch is applied to object (eg a box).

      3. File is exported with the very same PDF preset that honors FOGRA 39, as done with INDD, and thus one of both INDD swatches (Lab or CMYK) should match.

       

      Result: I open both PDF. Inspect colors. They do not match. I am yet surprised to discover that one should still distrust INDD native capability to convert a Spot into CMYK through a ICC profiles during PDF export. I assumed this was fixed, as reported by the popular indesignsecrets.com

       

       

      My opinion is: trust Photoshop CMYK values, and discard INDD. Photoshop values are natively made into the desired ICC profile, while INDD works differently (colors are either converted or not to your desired ICC when exported to PDF).

       

       

      Any other opinions are welcomed

        • 1. Re: Pantone output with same ICC profile differs between InDesign and Photoshop
          rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I'm not seeing the problem here.

           

          I think there are some other variables that you have to watch out for. Even if the ID and PS documents have the same CMYK profile assignments, you still have to make sure the Conversion Options match—Engine, Intent, and Black Point Compensation can affect the Lab to CMYK conversion:

           

          Screen Shot.png

           

          Also, if you are exporting to PDF there is the possibility of further conversions during the export, and the measurement over in AcrobatPro could be affected by the Simulation Profile chosen in Output Preview.

           

          Here I'm converting an out-of-gamut color PANTONE Orange 21, and a neutral color PANTONE Cool Gray 8. The ID and PS values match (the Photoshop 8-bit sample gets rounded)

           

          Screen Shot 1.png

           

          Screen Shot 2.png

          Screen Shot 3.png

           

          I can export both docs to PDF/X-1a, which by default sets the Simulation Profile to document CMYK and both values still match:

           

          The Photoshop PDF

           

          Screen Shot 4.png

           

          The InDesign PDF

           

          Screen Shot 5.png

          • 2. Re: Pantone output with same ICC profile differs between InDesign and Photoshop
            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Also, ID has the option to make the Lab conversion to CMYK via Ink Manager. There has been a problem with the way Ink Manager converts Pantone tints, so I never use it and prefer to make the conversion via the swatch. See this thread:

             

            Re: Ink Manager Bug/Problem?

            • 3. Re: Pantone output with same ICC profile differs between InDesign and Photoshop
              Suripanta Level 1

              Hi Rob, thanks for time and your reply.

               

              - No Engine, Intent, and Black Point Compensation has been used, because there is nothing to convert. I am not using one profile then "converting" to another: files have been set from start with the FOGRA39 profile and CMYK space color.

              - Any conversion during the export is handled by the same PDF preset with same ICC profile and thus should be equal.

              - I do also distrust the Ink Manager and do the conversion via swatch.

               

              I have repeated your experiment with the same Pantones you suggested and yes: they do match. But then I repeated with my Pantones: 7701C and 362C.

               

              InDesign first:

               

              Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 21.31.13non-retina.png

               

              Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 21.31.27non-retina.png

               

               

              Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 21.31.36non-retina.png

               

               

              The Photoshop:

               

              Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 21.35.29non-retina.png

               

               

              Then used the same PDF preset and checked with Acrobat the blue:

               

              Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 21.41.44non-retina.png

               

              Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 21.41.54non-retina.png

               

              I also did with the green. Yes: there is a slight difference, but not as noticeable. Not as much as it was today in the morning. But while I was testing, I found something:

               

              My InDesign is somehow altering the color profile. I would set it in FOGRA 39, it will automatically change it without asking to another. I would have made a video to show you how weird this is, but believe me: I have been in editorial since 2001 and worked extensively with InDesign for over 15 years and never saw such thing. First I thought it was because Bridge was not synchronizing Color Settings across Adobe CC. But I did the sync and still InDesign is acting weird, and actually it is not the first time - a few days ago I had to reset settings because it was not recognising Color Books neither.

               

              I created a new Color Setting from InDesign and then it stopped changing to another ICC.

               

               

              So, if someone else is reading:

               

              - There can be slight differences with some Pantones when converted into CMYK in InDesign and Photoshop - and this might even happen if you're carefully following the same procedure. Pantones are tricky and were not created to be handled in CMYK!

              - Make sure your InDesign is not acting weird and altering your Color Space (like mine is doing).

              - Check your CMYK colors twice, it's alright.

               

              Thanks,

               

              RICO

              • 4. Re: Pantone output with same ICC profile differs between InDesign and Photoshop
                rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                No Engine, Intent, and Black Point Compensation has been used, because there is nothing to convert.

                With the current versions there is a conversion because the Pantone libraries are defined as Lab in both apps, so there's going to be a color managed conversion from Lab to CMYK, and the Color Intent as well as the destination CMYK profile will come into play. Lab color has no profile because it is and abstract color space, which is device independent.

                 

                You can see the affect of the intent on Pantone 362 (Lab 58|-41|46) using Photoshop's Color Picker, which is managed by Color Settings when there are no docs open.

                 

                With Absolute Colormetric as the intent, and BPC Off the conversion is to 72|6|100|0

                 

                Screen Shot 18.png

                 

                With Perceptual and BPC turned on the conversion is to 74|17|100|3. Both examples have FOGRA 39 as the Working CMYK space. Note that the Lab values are the same in both cases.

                Screen Shot 17.png

                 

                 

                 

                 

                I have repeated your experiment with the same Pantones you suggested and yes: they do match. But then I repeated with my Pantones: 7701C and 362C.

                Seems to me that you are getting a match, but are not allowing for Photoshop's rounding. You can get a more accurate reading in PS by setting the dropper samples to 32-bit and multiplying by 100:

                 

                Screen Shot 19.png

                 

                Samples set to 32-bit:

                 

                Screen Shot 20.png

                 

                You still can't expect it to be exact because color in ID is always 8-bit per channel

                • 5. Re: Pantone output with same ICC profile differs between InDesign and Photoshop
                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  My InDesign is somehow altering the color profile. I would set it in FOGRA 39, it will automatically change it without asking to another. I would have made a video to show you how weird this is, but believe me: I have been in editorial since 2001 and worked extensively with InDesign for over 15 years and never saw such thing.

                  Are you running the latest version, or do you have multiple versions installed. If you run two versions simultaneously, altering color settings in one version will affect the other.

                   

                  There have also been reports of problems with Color Settings and CSF files in CC2017:

                   

                  Indesign CC 2017 does not accept color management

                   

                  Also, I've noticed color conversions can get sticky and not respond correctly to changes in profile re-assignments, or changes in color intents. Usually the solution is to clear InDesign's Caches folder.

                  • 6. Re: Pantone output with same ICC profile differs between InDesign and Photoshop
                    Suripanta Level 1

                    https://forums.adobe.com/people/rob+day  wrote

                     

                    No Engine, Intent, and Black Point Compensation has been used, because there is nothing to convert.

                    With the current versions there is a conversion because the Pantone libraries are defined as Lab in both apps, so there's going to be a color managed conversion from Lab to CMYK, and the Color Intent as well as the destination CMYK profile will come into play. Lab color has no profile because it is and abstract color space, which is device independent.

                     

                    I meant there is no CMYK conversion from one color space to another. That conversion from Lab to CMYK you are indicating is handled in both InDesign and Photoshop by the same Color Settings and thus any variable (intent, black point, etc) is the same.

                     

                     

                    I have repeated your experiment with the same Pantones you suggested and yes: they do match. But then I repeated with my Pantones: 7701C and 362C.

                    Seems to me that you are getting a match, but are not allowing for Photoshop's rounding.

                     

                    I won't call this a match, Rob. The difference between values might be low and not to be perceived by the human eye once printed, but exist and is enough to be noticed on screen. However, accurate color conversion has been an issue with Adobe software for ages - same problems arise with Illustrator. This have improved greatly since Pantone works with Lab, but still anyone can encounter this kind of situations.

                     

                    Instead of suggesting to move into 32-bits and back to 8 (quite an annoyance), I would suggest any user reading this topic just to be careful, measure color difference, assess the difference (is it really significant?), and allow a bit of divergence if the document intent is print and you're going from Pantone to CMYK.

                     

                    I would also like to thank you for your kind and helpful responses and indications.

                    • 7. Re: Pantone output with same ICC profile differs between InDesign and Photoshop
                      Suripanta Level 1

                      https://forums.adobe.com/people/rob+day  wrote

                       

                      My InDesign is somehow altering the color profile. I would set it in FOGRA 39, it will automatically change it without asking to another. I would have made a video to show you how weird this is, but believe me: I have been in editorial since 2001 and worked extensively with InDesign for over 15 years and never saw such thing.

                      Are you running the latest version, or do you have multiple versions installed. If you run two versions simultaneously, altering color settings in one version will affect the other.

                       

                      I am running the latest, and there are no multiple versions on my Mac. However: the color setting was created with Adobe CC 2017 and re-used here. Now I have created a new one from scratch.

                       

                      I will try and delete InDesign cache folder, thanks for your suggestion

                      • 8. Re: Pantone output with same ICC profile differs between InDesign and Photoshop
                        rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        That conversion from Lab to CMYK you are indicating is handled in both InDesign and Photoshop by the same Color Settings and thus any variable (intent, black point, etc) is the same.

                         

                        They aren't necessarily the same, each app uses its own Color Settings Conversion Options and they could be set differently. Also, InDesign lets you set the document's intent for different kinds of objects via the Edit>Assign Profiles... dialog:

                         

                        Screen Shot 9.png

                         

                         

                        The difference between values might be low and not to be perceived by the human eye once printed, but exist and is enough to be noticed on screen.

                         

                        If I compare the screen previews after the same Lab to CMYK conversions in both apps, I can't say that I'm seeing a preview difference. If I screen capture the previews from both apps to get the monitor RGB values they match.

                         

                        We know Photoshop's 8-bit readouts can't be accurate because there are 256 gray levels in each channel, so the actual CMYK values could not be whole numbers. Each gray value would be at 0.390625 increments (100/256=0.390625), so it's Photoshop that has the accuracy problem not ID.