8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 1, 2012 5:51 PM by ChristianAaltonen

    Using RGB Color Mode For Photoshop Images?

    ChristianAaltonen

      Hi guys,

       

      there are lots of The True Masters among you. I would like to ask for your opinion on article posted on Smashingmagazine.com. It talks about RGB × CMYK workflow. It seems to be nice & clean & logical approach. I just want to ask the wiser ones before I will begin to export...

       

      http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/10/27/10-pre-press-tips-for-perfect-print-publishing/

       

      Thank you!

        • 1. Re: Using RGB Color Mode For Photoshop Images?
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          That's a perfectly valid method for working.

           

          That said, if you are a whize at Photoshop, converting images to CMYK for the intended output in Photoshop allows you more control than the conversion during export from ID. If you simply use Convert to Profile in Photoshop and stop there, there's no advantage whatever.

          • 2. Re: Using RGB Color Mode For Photoshop Images?
            ChristianAaltonen Level 1

            Thank you for your post Peter.

            • 3. Re: Using RGB Color Mode For Photoshop Images?
              winterm Level 4

              In addition to Peter:

              both workflows are perfectly valid, however, neither of them is fool-proof

              as one wise man said:

              "You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist."

              • 4. Re: Using RGB Color Mode For Photoshop Images?
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                I use both workflows, depending on the project, the quality of the images I start with, and how much control I'll actually have over output. For advertisements, and similar work where I don't have exclusive use of the press and may not even know the correct profile, I generally use the RGB workflow, gettng the best I can out the RGB image before placing. Where my project is the only thing on the press sheet, and I'm working with a printer I know, I very often tweak the CMYk in Photoshop first, especially when dealing with photos of artwork, though most correction still happens in RGB. The CMYk workfoow does limit the usuability of your file though. If you need to go to another press you generally need to redo the photos.

                • 5. Re: Using RGB Color Mode For Photoshop Images?
                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  The article implies that the smaller CMYK color space sits inside of a larger RGB space:

                   

                  “Ink-on-paper colors” will never be as bright or saturated as the colors on your computer screen or TV, no matter how much ink you add to the paper.

                   

                  But there are CMYK colors that are outside of the RGB gamut and can be printed but not displayed—100% cyan is way out and usually the other primaries as well. So if you need a CMYK color that's outside of the RGB gamut, it would have to be done after the conversion.

                   

                  There might also be a case for different black generations on the same page—i.e. a black & white photo that you want to run as 4-color on the same page with saturated photos—you couldn't do that out of ID.

                  • 6. Re: Using RGB Color Mode For Photoshop Images?
                    Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                    That is a very interesting article, but I do have qualms about at least two of its points.

                     

                    (1) PSD files are not necessarily the best way of placing Photoshop-based content into InDesign. If one is dealing strictly with photographic quality imagery with no Photoshop-based text and vector graphics, then PSD is overkill unless your goal is really to have a single file in a single repository that serves as the working file for edits as well as the source for links from InDesign. A maximum quality JPEG (assuming no transparency or clipping) or a ZIP-compressed TIFF would be much more efficient. If live text and/or vector graphics are in the Photoshop content, PDF is preferred over PSD for content placement into InDesign. InDesign does not place Photoshop text as text realized via use of fonts from PSD but does do so from PDF saved from Photoshop. If you really need to access Photoshop content layers in InDesign, yes, PSD is the only way to go. But again, for most raster images placed in InDesign from Photoshop and especially photographic images, PSD is not necessary. (By the way, we would never recommend EPS anymore for this purpose. It is supported, but is considered somewhat archaic workflow.)

                     

                    (2) The other issue is that the article recommends letting InDesign convert the RGB to CMYK upon export of PDF. This of course assumes a workflow in which Luddite prepress and printing personnel out-of-hand reject any RGB either because they can't handle it (way out-of-date workflow tools), are afraid of handling it (i.e., ignorance), and/or they want to be able shift blame when colors don't come out “right.” At Adobe we most strongly recommend PDF/X-4 PDF publishing workflows in which all colors remain in their original, native color spaces accompanied by ICC profiles and where conversions occur at rendering time, either at the platemaking RIP and/or at the DFE for digital printers. It is an absolute myth that providing CMYK to a printer is the “safest” workflow in terms of getting the colors correct. There are many additional factors beyond C, M, Y, and K values in a PDF file that affect color rendition. Of course, there is always the issue of which CMYK the PDF file is being prepared for versus which CMYK the printer is actually printing. The only got'cha for workflows in which content remains in native color spaces until the end is that there is a responsibility on the designer and print customer to properly preview the PDF file for the target CMYK print condition. This may be very easily accomplished either in InDesign, Acrobat Pro, or both!

                     

                              - Dov

                    • 7. Re: Using RGB Color Mode For Photoshop Images?
                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      The only got'cha for workflows in which content remains in native color spaces until the end is that there is a responsibility on the designer and print customer to properly preview the PDF file for the target CMYK print condition. This may be very easily accomplished either in InDesign, Acrobat Pro, or both!

                       

                      But only if the printer can provide an accurate press profile.

                       

                      If my job is printing on Mohawk Superfine on a sheetfed press and the printer tells me to use the default color settings (US SWOP), or the dreaded "turn color mangement off" (both common recommendations), I'm not going to supply X-4 and let them make color conversions.

                       

                      With an accurate press profile I can deliver either X-1a or X-4 and the output numbers in the end should be the same. Without a profile X-4 is better, but only if the printer outputs to the correct profile, which they should have given to me to begin with.

                      • 8. Re: Using RGB Color Mode For Photoshop Images?
                        ChristianAaltonen Level 1

                        Thank you guys for your valuable opinions.