5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 22, 2006 3:46 PM by Sami@Adobe

    Color Spaces

      I have been experimenting with the usefulness of kuler colors in cmyk printing swatches and have hit some really odd color space conversions.

      One case is the Bright Pink in 1985!!!! which is RGB 251.31.182 and translates to a Dull Rose color when you use kuler's CMYK Which is odd because that pushes it towards the orange. Apple Colorpicker's conversion of CMYK does what you would expect which is take the magenta and push it towards the lilac quite accurately.

      kuler needs to progress from a toy to a useable tool. I notice already the initial rush of enthusiasm has petered out after the novelty has worn off and the usefulness becomes moot.

      To make kuler useful, for me at least, I would like to be able to choose the colorspace of the .ase file. Even then .ase files don't reveal their colors until the user goes through the extremely awkward installation procedure and applies the colors to objects in CS2 Studio applications.

      Bad colorspace conversion doesn't help either. Nor the lack of a preview on something as visual as color swatches, which is a real barrier to using them in workflows.

      Playing with alternatives I have found a .png colorbar of 100x20 pixels with preview icon comes to about 56k. It allows me to see the colors clearly in Finder and in cocoa apps, where I can actually access them freely and easily with drag and drop. Unfortunately in Adobe's applications there doesn't seem to be an easy way at all. I tried using pdfs and that is about as close as it gets with a lot of hand manipulation to being transferable with preview.

      Perhaps Adobe can extend kuler to generate a pdf bar with named colors, specs and preview icon, then use that as the color swatch instead of the impractical .ase files?
        • 1. Re: Color Spaces
          3ABNPublishing Level 1
          I cannot comment on the quality of the RGB-to-CMYK conversions.

          The installation procedure is awkward. I hope something simpler will be available in CS3.

          A selection of color spaces is a good idea. Perhaps this could be a setting in the user's profile, along with choice of avatar :-) and other such things.

          Your comments on previews of saved color themes struck a chord with me, as they are similiar to my thoughts. It is difficult to work with the themes as .ASE files with generic icons, if one's intent is to download appealing themes and use a local storage folder as one's library of colors. It sounds like this is what you are trying to do, and it is similar to my workflow, becaues I have all kinds of color palettes gathered from many sources that I like to browse visually.

          This has worked for me (though it is a bit tedious): If you create an Illustrator file, and then create graphics using all the colors in the palette (say, a row of bars or a bunch of circles), and then save the file as an AI EPS, you can then use the free program CocoThumbX ( http://www.stalkingwolf.net/software/cocothumbx/) to generate a 128x128 preview icon of the file. For palettes of less than 16 colors or so, this works well; for more, you pretty much have to settle for choosing a representative subset of the colors, or else the preview icon ceases to be much use.

          Having said that, your suggestion of a PDF file, with appropriate color space tags, as an output format is a good one. I like it.

          As for any apparent lessening of enthusiasm in kuler, I think that is the case for any new application. I personally like the way it is progressing, and hope Adobe keeps up the good work.
          • 2. Color Spaces
            Peter_Breis Level 1
            I've gone well beyond that. I have created fully labelled .pdf files created in Illustrator and generated thumbnails and icon previews of those with Graphic Converter. Not absolutely necessary, as in Mac OSX's Column View the pdfs preview very nicely anyway.

            I drag the pdf swatches into TextEdit where with paragraph spacing I give them a bit of "air" all around showing 6 to a page then print them to .pdf again where I get a beautifully presented, organised and labelled catalog of color schemes in a file less than 800kb.

            The .pdf swatches I have created in Illustrator I can drag into any Cocoa app's color picker and sample the colors to my mini-color library. Ah the power of Cocoa and OSX!!

            Pity Adobe doesn't learn a few lessons from this. Closest I can get is to take the .pdf swatches into Bridge where I can preview them but not much else. Illustrator ofcourse recognises the colors along with their names as gobal swatches. InDesign picks up the colors with its own color spec labels but not the original color names nor as global swatches. Photoshop and GoLive don't do really much of anything, bit of a shambles all round. No guaranty drag and drop will work everywhere, everytime.

            There is so much inconsistency between the results of Drag and Dropping from the Finder, Drag and Dropping between CS apps, Copy and Paste between CS apps, Editing from Acrobat, Placing and just Opening that it is beyond mere mortals to keep track of what happens. Let alone all the settings you have to keep in various preferences to make anything work.

            The much vaunted "integration" of Adobe's CS suite is about as real as Microsoft's Office suite faux "integration". It is the integration of exclusion not inclusion. Designed to make everything else look bad so Suite software looks a bit better, but not by much.

            Having done my tests I am struck by how little actually works as expected and how unreliably and inconsistently when it does. I can't rely on any of Adobe's Suite working with any other part of the Suite without a lot of note taking, testing and deep probing of step by step instructions in the Help
            • 3. Re: Color Spaces
              Sami@Adobe Adobe Employee
              Hello folks,

              I am passing along Peter's earlier comment about the RGB to CMYK conversions, that does sound odd.

              Peter, what kind of creative work do you do (clearly print work of some kind)? Distant Thunder has shared his background on the 'kuler stories' thread. We always like understanding more about how users work with our programs.


              • 4. Re: Color Spaces
                Peter_Breis Level 1
                Print and publishing, templating series of publications.

                Producing manuals and on screen instructions with some multi-media.

                I am fascinated by kuler's potential but frustrated by the reality of using the results in Adobe's Creative Suite.

                My observations seem to be being echoed by previewers of Photoshop CS3 in the macosx.com forum. Not on the use of kuler but on the increasing clumsiness of Adobe's GUI.

                I do appreciate the experimental aspects of kuler. How does the Adobe Lab developer team see it as coming out of the lab and into working Studios?
                • 5. Re: Color Spaces
                  Sami@Adobe Adobe Employee
                  Hi Peter,
                  Getting back to you before the holidays... At this point we are interested in learning how people use kuler, and we'll go from there. :-)