32 Replies Latest reply on Jan 13, 2019 4:13 PM by rob day

    How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?

    lauraj26961942 Level 1

      Hi, how can I convert many Pictures from RGB in CMYK a the same time? In Photoshop 2019 it doesn't work the same way like in Photoshop 2018.

        • 1. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
          c.pfaffenbichler Level 9
          In Photoshop 2019 it doesn't work the same way like in Photoshop 2018.

          And what way was that?

           

          Actions in combination with Batch, Image Processor, … should still provide options to process multiple files.

          2 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
            c.pfaffenbichler Level 9

            Also: Why do you need to separate the images and did you get the CMYK space definition from the actual print provider?

             

            Many people prefer to separate on pdf export from the layout application – in principle separating in Photoshop would provide an option to catch certain issues (banding, suboptimal Render Intent, …) but if one batch processes the images in one go that advantage does not seem to come into play.  

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
              D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Actions and Batch work exactly like they always have. Make an action to convert, and run that action in a batch.

               

              And now for the mandatory warning. Feel free to ignore if you already know this:

               

              You don't really want to do that, because it ties you to a specific print process. You lose future flexibility. Unlike RGB working spaces, CMYK isn't generic. Every CMYK profile represents a particular combination of offset press, ink, and paper stock.

               

              CMYK to CMYK conversions is something you normally want to avoid for a whole lot of reasons. Hence the lock-in.

               

              With RGB master files you're free to convert as needed, when you know the actual process and can pick the appropriate CMYK profile.

               

              Use Convert to Profile, don't ever use Image > Mode > CMYK. That just converts to whatever CMYK profile you have as working CMYK. The default in Photoshop is US Web Coated (SWOP), which is not used anywhere outside the Americas - and may not be right within it either. This is something you always need to ask the printer about.

              2 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                lauraj26961942 Level 1

                Thank you for your quick answer!! You're right, but I can't change the Color profile with the Image Prozessor. I don't find the button.

                • 6. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                  MikeGondek Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Save an action that converts to CMYK, then assigns your profile and set that here. Mine is GRACOL.

                   

                  Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 9.08.05 AM.png

                   

                  Warning about the .tif format. The image processor does something to the file where when you place in Illustrator the transparency works, but in InDesign transparency is corrupted. Use the .psd format, .tif is so old an not updated that issues like this exist.

                  2 people found this helpful
                  • 7. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                    lauraj26961942 Level 1

                    Photoshop Problem1.jpgPhotoshop Problem2.jpg Here I have you my Screenshots. The German Version. I can't make it like you.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 8. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                      Stephen_A_Marsh Adobe Community Professional

                      As mentionEd, you need to create the action, it is not a default.

                      2 people found this helpful
                      • 9. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                        rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Are the pictures getting placed in a page layout? Why not make the conversion either at the export to PDF or at output in the RIP?

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 10. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                          lauraj26961942 Level 1

                          It's getting warmer. :-D Can you tell me a Homepage where I can download some actions? Or a

                          • 11. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                            Stephen_A_Marsh Adobe Community Professional

                            You can record the simple 1 step action of converting from RGB to CMYK into an action that you create yourself.

                             

                            But then the question is… What CMYK?

                            2 people found this helpful
                            • 12. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                              c.pfaffenbichler Level 9

                              You should know which CMYK Space you need to convert the images to, so you need to record the Action yourself.

                              The Action Panel’s interface element seem fairly straightforward, otherwise please read this

                              Actions and the Actions panel in Photoshop

                               

                              And I get the feeling you have not been answering certain questions. 

                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 13. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                MikeGondek Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                Making your own basic actions is easy, works just like  a VCR did with a record and stop button. Then flip the triangle to see what was recorded. (Sorry if you are young and do not know what VCR is, but best way to think about if you do)

                                Create actions in Adobe Photoshop

                                 

                                Here is what mine looks like. Gracol is what I named the action, yo can choose whatever name you need.

                                Screen Shot 2019-01-11 at 8.55.40 AM.png

                                 

                                I added clear clipping path and close, you do nto need those but they may be good ideas depending on your needs of using this action in future.

                                2 people found this helpful
                                • 14. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                  Stephen_A_Marsh Adobe Community Professional

                                  Just curious why you add the manual assign profile step, when converting to profile should automatically include the ICC tag as a single step?

                                   

                                  Edit: Is this something to do with Mode>CMYK vs. convert?

                                  • 15. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                    MikeGondek Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    Great question.  Gracol is not defined as our working space on our computers. Other reason is some images are already CMYK, and for this client we need Gracol. We get images from a variety of sources so being extra safe.

                                    • 16. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                      D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      It's not a good way to do it. You risk converting to one CMYK profile and then assigning another, changing the colors. In fact that will happen if your target is anything other than your working CMYK.

                                       

                                      Image > Mode is just a Convert to Profile - only you don't get to choose, you have to take the working space.

                                       

                                      I always advise to not use Image Mode for RGB <> CMYK, for precisely this reason. Everything you need is covered in the Convert dialog anyway, so there's no reason to ever touch Image Mode for color space conversions. Only for bit depth.

                                      1 person found this helpful
                                      • 17. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                        rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                        Many people prefer to separate on pdf export from the layout application – in principle separating in Photoshop would provide an option to catch certain issues (banding, suboptimal Render Intent, …) but if one batch processes the images in one go that advantage does not seem to come into play.

                                        Sorry, I posted the same without reading yours.

                                         

                                        InDesign lets you customize the rendering intent for any image file via Object>Image Color Settings, so there would have to be another unusual reason like a post-CMYK color correction—i.e. some text that needed to be a specified CMYK build like 50% K, or getting to a CMYK color outside of the source RGB space like 100% cyan.

                                        1 person found this helpful
                                        • 18. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                          Stephen_A_Marsh Adobe Community Professional

                                          Great question.  Gracol is not defined as our working space on our computers. Other reason is some images are already CMYK, and for this client we need Gracol. We get images from a variety of sources so being extra safe.

                                           

                                          Thanks Mike. There are some very specific workflows with valid desired outcomes where one may convert to profile A, then assign profile B… However these are not the norm… And there are some very specific and valid workflows where using the Image > Mode > CMYK command is desired over using Convert to Profile. Again these are exceptions to the rule.

                                           

                                          The following is intended more for those new to CMYK who may be confused...

                                           

                                          I am going out on a limb by saying that for most users I would advise against converting to profile A then tagging profile B as the valid description of the image! If you want profile B, use convert to profile and select profile B, which will convert the values into the desired visual appearance and also tag the desired profile at the same time.

                                           

                                          Although it is possible to “permanently” hide the warning and reset it back on again – here is the standard “warning” when using the Image > Mode > CMYK command (this window is suppressed when recorded into an action):

                                           

                                          mode-cmyk.png

                                          In the case of the message above, if Fogra39 is not the desired output condition, then using Image > Mode > CMYK is probably not the best thing to do, nor is assigning a different profile (however there are valid exceptions to the rule).

                                           

                                          Generally to maintain the original correctly profiled visual appearance, one would convert to profile using the correct destination profile and that is it, a single step with no assign profile changing the visual appearance (but not the values/numbers).

                                           

                                          If you have images in CMYK that have a correct profile tagged against them, again the convert profile route will preserve the visual appearance by changing the numbers/values. If changing the numbers/values is not desired, then simply assigning another profile will indicate the expected visual appearance. If you have images that do not have a CMYK profile (mystery meat) – then they will be displayed using your Working CMYK space and assigning a new profile will again indicate the expected visual appearance in the assigned space. If one is not converting and simply assigning a different profile, then one may need to manually edit the image (changing values/numbers) to account for the difference in appearance that the newly assigned profile is indicating.

                                           

                                          So unless one really understands what is going on, my advice would be to convert to profile and not assign a different profile to an image that has been converted to CMYK via the Image > Mode > CMYK command.

                                          • 19. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            So unless one really understands what is going on, my advice would be to convert to profile and not assign a different profile to an image that has been converted to CMYK via the Image > Mode > CMYK command.

                                            When you use Image>Mode>CMYK the profile assignment depends on the Color Settings CMYK policy, so as long as it is either Preserve or Convert to Working CMYK the conversion will be to the Working CMYK Space and that profile will be assigned. If the policy is Off, the conversion is to the Working space and no profile is assigned.

                                            • 20. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                              Stephen_A_Marsh Adobe Community Professional

                                              If the policy is Off, the conversion is to the Working space and no profile is assigned.

                                               

                                              Thanks Rob, I did not consider that, Mike may not have been assigning a different profile after converting.

                                              • 21. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                                c.pfaffenbichler Level 9

                                                InDesign lets you customize the rendering intent for any image file via Object>Image Color Settings, so there would have to be another unusual reason like a post-CMYK color correction

                                                Certainly, but I suspect some people may be more likely to catch issues when checking the images one by one in Photoshop than the whole of them in a pdf.

                                                And as for banding I am afraid that might be overlooked altogether if one does not also check the Channels in Acrobat (or whichever application one uses for pdf viewing and editing).

                                                • 22. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                                  rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                  Certainly, but I suspect some people may be more likely to catch issues when checking the images one by one in Photoshop than the whole of them in a pdf.

                                                  I understand the desire for that kind of control, but if I'm that fussy, I would need to keep two copies. A copy of the original layered RGB version in case I change my mind, or the press conditions change, and the flattened CMYK conversion for the page layout. With a conversion there will be uncertainties about what happens to the CMYK version downstream. If I include a profile, would that invite an unwanted CMYK-to-CMYK conversion? Is the page layout's CMYK policy preserving numbers or preserving the link's profile?. If I don't include the profile how will I remember what destination space was used in the conversion?

                                                   

                                                  That's the advantage of not converting in PS, there can be a single, layered RGB master that gets placed in the layout without worrying about whether a duplicate CMYK conversion is correct. The flattening, profile selection, rendering intent choice, and conversion to 8-bit can happen from the layout on export.

                                                  • 23. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                                    c.pfaffenbichler Level 9

                                                    No argument.

                                                     

                                                    But as for

                                                    If I don't include the profile how will I remember what destination space was used in the conversion?

                                                    If someone doesn’t embed the profile in an image (no matter whether RGB or CMYK) then that person may not be serious about what they are doing anyway.

                                                    • 24. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                      If someone doesn’t embed the profile in an image (no matter whether RGB or CMYK) then that person may not be serious about what they are doing anyway.

                                                      That's definitely true for RGB, but for press work CMYK-to-CMYK conversions can do more damage than good, that's why InDesign has the extra CMYK policy Preserve Numbers (Ignore Linked Profiles).

                                                       

                                                      The obvious problem is with single color black or gray text, which would get converted to 4-color. Saturated primary colors like 100% cyan or yellow often get contaminated in an effort to preserve appearance. The appearance of two coated press profiles like GRACol and SWOP is fairly similar, but the conversion between the two can cause problems with saturated CMYK colors:

                                                       

                                                      Here I'm converting GRACol to SWOP.

                                                       

                                                      Screen Shot 8.png

                                                      Screen Shot 9.png

                                                      • 25. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                                        c.pfaffenbichler Level 9

                                                        By the way: I am usually converting RGB-images on pdf-export myself, I just tried to find reasons why the OP might want to convert the images in bulk.

                                                        • 26. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                                          D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                          We all agree that CMYK to CMYK conversions should be avoided. It's also perfectly fine to send untagged CMYK to press as long as the data have been converted to the correct space first - e.g. via PDF/X-1a which always strips the profile.

                                                           

                                                          In that case the profile has already done its job and is no longer needed as such. No more conversions will happen.

                                                           

                                                          What started off this last discussion, however, was what Stephen caught in post #14. The problem is the practice of using Image > Mode, thus converting to working CMYK, and then assigning a different CMYK afterwards. That's clearly the wrong way to go about it. The right way is to convert to the correct profile the first time.

                                                          1 person found this helpful
                                                          • 27. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                                            rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                            No more conversions will happen.

                                                            There might be if an image assignment is embedded and conflicts with the page layout's CMYK profile—i.e. placing an image with GRACol assigned in an ID document with default US SWOP Coated assigned, and with its CMYK policy set to Preserve Profiles. In that case a PDF/X-1a export would make the extra GRACol to SWOP conversion on export before stripping the profile.

                                                             

                                                            Default PDF/X-4 also exports Document CMYK (native ID CMYK colors and images with profiles that don't conflict with the document profile) as DeviceCMYK no profile, but keeps conflicting CMYK profiles embedded. In that case the GRACol to SWOP  conversion would still likely happen at output assuming the SWOP output intent is used.

                                                             

                                                            That's why Photoshop CMYK conversions could be dangerous if the OP doesn't have control of the page layout, or doesn't understand how InDesign's policies work.

                                                             

                                                            The default InDesign Color Settings presets all set the policy to ignore linked CMYK profiles, so if one of those Color Settings was used on document creation, it doesn't matter what CMYK profile is assigned over in PS because it will be ignored in the layout.

                                                            • 28. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                                              D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                              Right. As c.p. said - no argument.

                                                               

                                                              The Preserve Numbers / Ignore Linked policy is default for good reason in ID, as long as you're aware of it and what it does.

                                                               

                                                              All of this really boils down to not converting to CMYK until you know unambiguously which one. And, just to point back to the OP, that warning was the bulk of my initial response to him in post #3. My point was that he didn't really want to do this bulk conversion in the first place. To which he never replied.

                                                              • 29. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                                                MikeGondek Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                D Fosse what would you do when you get images from many different manufacturers (from pro studio to cellphone - RGB, CMYK 8 bit, 16 bit, PDF, jpg, NEF about 400 a week), and the color is not good or consistant on what they send. You also have 3 printers this goes to and they all require you send them 8 bit Gracol images?  Would you convert to GRACOL first, then do your color balancing?

                                                                • 30. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                                                  D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                  Well, to be honest, I convert everything to Adobe RGB 16 bit and go from there.

                                                                   

                                                                  As photographer I handle my own images mostly, but it does happen that I need to integrate outside material sent from "anywhere". Usually that's of questionable technical quality and needs extensive correction anyway - especially if it needs to blend in with the rest of the material.

                                                                   

                                                                  Then everything goes to the same PDF export and is converted to CMYK there.

                                                                  • 31. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                                                    rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                    I agree, if I'm responsible for final color corrections I'd want to get everything into a single large gamut RGB editing space and make the final CMYK conversions from the page layout. I think you would have to watch out for clients  submitting CMYK where they expect the values to be output with no changes—they might sophisticated enough to spot your conversion.

                                                                    • 32. Re: How to convert many pictures from RGB in CMYK at the same time?
                                                                      rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                      If anyone following this is doubting InDesign's conversion capabilities here's an example.

                                                                       

                                                                      An ID page with a ProPhoto RGB profiled image on the left and the same image on the right converted to GRACol Coated using Relative Colormetric and Black point Compensation in PS.

                                                                       

                                                                      The ProPhoto RGB's Image Color Settings is also set to Relative Colormetric (the InDesign default is to use Color Settings when the intent is not specified the BPC is also set in Color Settings)

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                      Screen Shot 4.png

                                                                      The ID document policy is set to Preserve Numbers

                                                                      Screen Shot 5.png

                                                                       

                                                                      The Export to PDF/X-4 with Coated GRACol set as the destination

                                                                       

                                                                      Screen Shot 6.png

                                                                       

                                                                      The PDF Output Preview showing that both images are now DeviceCMYK with matching CMYK values.

                                                                       

                                                                      Screen Shot 7.png

                                                                       

                                                                      Screen Shot 8.png

                                                                      Screen Shot 10.png