32 Replies Latest reply on Jun 14, 2008 8:14 AM by (Joel_Crawford)

    Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3

    Level 1
      Hi,

      I'm going nuts with a problem in FrameMaker 5.5.3 (same in 5.5.6).
      I've been working for seven years on a book that the publisher
      suddenly wants in full color.

      I have some grip on the problems in RGB--when I print from Phootshop CS2
      to an Epson R3800, the colors are reasonable (not great, I'm still
      getting calibrated).

      When I convert RGB images to CMYK in Photoshop, they get very, very
      dark. If I throw a very strong curve on them, I can get them to look
      reasonable on screen and print OK. However, when I link in the TIFF
      to FrameMaker, the color is incredibly bad--the worst I've ever seen.
      They go extremely dark and cyan. Color management is working, sort of--
      what comes out of the printer is just as bad as what's on screen.

      I've tried printing through ColorBurst as well as directly through
      the printer driver. The results are a bit different but just as
      bad. I'm sure I've made some idiot mistake somewhere, but a week
      of looking has not suggested what I might have done wrong.

      Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

      Joel
        • 1. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
          (Aandi_Inston) Level 1
          FrameMaker on Windows doesn't support CMYK images in TIFF. So you get
          a multiple conversion.

          Aandi Inston
          • 2. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
            (Marco_Ugolini) Level 1
            I don't know FrameMaker at all. What puzzles me, though, is that your RGB-to-CMYK conversion creates "very, very dark" results. That doesn't sound right.

            Two questions:

            1) How do you convert to CMYK? Meaning, do you use Image > Mode > CMYK Color, or do you use Edit > Convert to Profile? (The former uses the default CMYK working space, rendering intent and Black Point Compensation in the Color Settings of your copy of Photoshop; the latter gives you complete control on destination profile, RI, BPC, PCS and dither policy)

            2) *If* you are using the Relative Colorimetric intent (either in your Color Settings or in Convert to Profile), are you checking the BPC option (Black Point Compensation)? If you are *not* checking it, you are clipping all the tones in the source image that are darker than the destination profile's darkest possible tones -- hence the "very, very dark" results.

            Please check on that.

            Sorry that I cannot help you further with your problems in FrameMaker.
            • 3. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
              Level 1
              Hello Aandi and Marco,

              Thanks for your reply.

              I thought that there were issues with CMYK in vector art,
              but not in TIFFs. Certainly the application is CMYK-aware.
              I have read elsewhere that the display engine for CMYK in
              FrameMaker was bad, but it seems to be good enough that
              people can print color books from it. The problem is further
              that the print-outs have the same really awful color. (And
              I mean, the worst you've ever seen.)

              I re-ran the CMYK conversion (using >Image >Mode >CMYK) and
              realized that it wanted to throw out the curves layer, which
              was making the image lighter in RGB. So that problem is maybe
              not so serious as I had thought.

              >Edit >Color Settings shows Adobe 1998 for RGB and
              Europe ISO Coated for CMYK (the book will be printed in NL).
              Color management is set to Preserve Embedded for RGB and
              Convert to Working CMYK for CMYK. Engine is ACE, Intent
              is Perceptual, Black Point Compensation is checked, and
              Use Dither is checked. Conversion is Adobe ACE and Intent
              is Perceptual.

              The conversion to CMYK in Photoshop seems maybe not TOO
              bad, and throwing a reasonably strong curve on the result
              does give a tolerable image.

              The real problem comes when the image is linked into
              FrameMaker--it goes crazy dark and cyan. It prints just
              the way it looks.

              Do I gather that >Edit >Convert to Profile is a potentially
              more accurate way to make the conversion?

              Color me baffled.

              Thanks,

              Joel
              • 4. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                Level 1
                Hi again, Aandi and Marco,

                Following my reply, I decided to get much more scientific about
                this problem.

                I took a test image (PDI Target.jpg) that I had. I loaded it
                into PS CS2 and saved it as a TIFF (RGB). Then I converted it
                to CMYK in PS. Some rather subtle color shifts occurred, most
                notably in the Macbeth color swatch, but entirely within reason.
                I saved that as a TIFF (CMYK). I loaded both into a FrameMaker
                document. On screen the CMYK image is rather cyan, although
                not absurdly so, and the contrast has jumped up unpleasantly
                but not outside of bounds. With that, the shadows have filled
                in, but the lighter tones are at reasonable levels.

                When I print on Inkpress Proofing Matte through the Epson driver,
                the result is pretty much what you would expect from seeing the
                images on screen. I imagine that if I fiddled with this for a
                while, I could get a half-decent result. (I have made no
                corrections for dot gain or Dmin/Dmax.)

                I'm beginning to wonder why I am getting so much worse results
                from my own photograph. I'll think on this and decide what
                experiment to run next, unless you have suggestions?

                Thanks again,

                Joel
                • 5. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                  IIRC FrameMaker 5.x is many years old (my FM 5 box is still sitting in the shelf, but lots of dust on it..)

                  Anyway - color handling has never been the strongest part of FrameMaker, and due the way it produces its output I urgently recommend to consider the following approach:

                  - prepare your images in Photoshop, keep them in RGB (in this context of producing a book in color in FM, preferably sRGB); just make sure they look good in Photoshop, and preferably on a proofing system (at least, use one for some of the images); if you are not an expert at running a proofing system ask someone else to do a couple for you, just as a reality check

                  - import into FM as RGB

                  - prepare a PDF from FM through Distiller, keeping all colors as they are (no color conversions in Distiller!)

                  - check out whether the PDF looks right on screen

                  - convert colors to CMYK either yourself, if you think you are up to the task, or ask for the help from someone with more expertise (such a person should be able to properly convert your PDF in minutes, given it looks OK in RGB); beginning with Acrobat 8 Professional there is a color conversion built into Acrobat; for best possible results you'll though want to use a dedicated PDF color conversion tool (PLEASE NOTE: I am very PARTIAL and potentially BIASED here: I work for callas software, and I honestly believe callas has one of the best possible PDF color conversion tools, sold as a part of pdfToolbox; cf. www.callassoftware.com for more info)

                  The most important implication of my advice is: do not manage color in FM, rather, do it in the PDF you create from your FM document. As the only stuff that FM can somehow handle reliably is RGB, feed RGB images to it.

                  HTH.

                  Olaf Drümmer
                  • 6. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                    Level 1
                    Hi Olaf,

                    Thanks very much for your thoughts on this. I have heard
                    a similar suggestion on another list somewhere, and I'm
                    starting to think that this may be the best approach. It
                    somehow seems "wrong" to work in RGB since I'm going to
                    CMYK, but if reliable conversions can be made after-the-
                    fact, then this could certainly be a workable route.

                    >prepare your images in Photoshop, keep them in RGB (in this
                    >context of producing a book in color in FM, preferably sRGB);

                    So far, everything is in Adobe 1998. Won't I be chopping of
                    parts of the gamut if I convert to sRGB?

                    >just make sure they look good in Photoshop, and preferably
                    >on a proofing system (at least, use one for some of the images)

                    I'm getting some gorgeous stuff out of the R3800, even when
                    printed on cheap matte proofing paper... as long as I work
                    from RGB!

                    >if you are not an expert at running a proofing system ask someone
                    >else to do a couple for you, just as a reality check

                    Right; then just output from FM through Distiller and then
                    go on to CMYK conversion.

                    >callas has one of the best possible PDF color conversion tools,
                    >sold as a part of pdfToolbox; cf. www.callassoftware.com for more info)

                    ah, right, yes I have run into pdfToolbox already.

                    >The most important implication of my advice is: do not manage
                    >color in FM, rather, do it in the PDF you create from your
                    >FM document. As the only stuff that FM can somehow handle reliably
                    >is RGB, feed RGB images to it.

                    I suppose an alternative would be to upgrade to the latest FM,
                    but is it still stupid about CMYK? Could this still be the case
                    so many years later??

                    Thanks & regards,

                    Joel
                    • 7. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                      Level 1
                      Hi Joel,

                      - with regard to the RGB profile to choose - if you already have your images in AdobeRGB, leave them in AdobeRGB and do some testing (aka proofing), and check whether everything is OK. The reason I was suggesting sRGB: I am not exactly sure what FM is 5.x is doing, probably it is not doing much, and then sRGB (the kind of middle of the road de facto RGB profile especially on Windows) is the better choice in terms of being able to judge color while working in FM. Also, to be honest I do not know whether an Adobe RGB source profile when printing in FM on Windows gets honored somehow, or just gets dropped.

                      - with regard to proofing: a lot of color printers can print gorgeously, but that is not what is relevant here - rather, the purpose of a proofing device is to simulate the printing behavior of some other printing device (or printing press); For example. a proofer is good if it can print precisely as 'ugly' as newsprint if asked to do so. So the important question is: how well does your printer simulate the printing device/process/press you are (or rather, your publisher is) going to use for printing your book?

                      - with regard to newer FM versions: I haven't actually tried the most recent version of FM and have not enough information to make a call on whether the color handling got better and if so, to what degree or in what ways. I wouldn't be surprised if it is still RGB-centric...

                      Olaf Drümmer
                      • 8. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                        Level 1
                        Hi Olaf,

                        Thanks again for your clear insights.

                        It is certainly so that I have to do some proofing, but
                        first I have to learn how. (I'm actually so uncertain about
                        this that I am going to INSIST on an actual press proof
                        before the plates are burned. I know it's expensive, but
                        if I had insisted once before, it would have saved a lot
                        more money.) And even though I think my new EIZO is pretty
                        accurate out of the box, I'm going to have to get a calibrator
                        of some sort.

                        As far as proofing, yes, I do understand. I was only citing
                        the "gorgeous prints" to indicate that the hardware is at
                        least capable of good output. Too good, as you point out.

                        As far as the new FM is concerned, yeah, probably. This is
                        not a program that Adobe is spending lots of money on.

                        Best,

                        Joel
                        • 9. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                          IMO one has to check, whether the CMYK numbers
                          in the PDF are the same as in the source images.
                          This means:
                          Convert the RGB images into ISOCoated by Photoshop.
                          Place these images in the FM doc.
                          Export as PDF or print as PostScript file and
                          distill with Leave Color Unchanged (don't change
                          the numbers).
                          Open the PDF in Photoshop in CMYK mode and check
                          the numbers by comparison with the source file.

                          The monitor appearance in FM is meaningless.

                          This advice is based on the assumption that FM
                          is able to link without embedding&converting.

                          CMYK test pages (plain PostScript) are here:
                          http://www.fho-emden.de/~hoffmann/swatch22112002.pdf
                          Use page 3.

                          Printing such a PDF by an inkjet can be called Proof
                          Printing if the printer is calibrated and the driver
                          knows the source space (ISOCoated) and the output profile.
                          If the PDF contains (additionally) RGB images and
                          Grayscales, then we have already too many degrees of
                          freedom - the proofing is not safe, unless the RIP accepts
                          parameters for all kind of input files, eventually
                          different for raster and vector (I'm using such a RIP).

                          Another issue is the rendering intent:
                          a) from RGB to CMYK: RelCol with BPC. This is the final
                          intent for offset printing (feel free to use Perceptual,
                          which contains inplicitly BPC).
                          b) additionally for the inkjet proof: RelCol with BPC
                          or AbsCol. It depends much on the paper color whether
                          AbsCol is reasonable. This should be clarified by
                          tests in advance to the final task.

                          Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann
                          • 10. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                            Level 1
                            Thanks Gernot,

                            You said:

                            >IMO one has to check, whether the CMYK numbers
                            >in the PDF are the same as in the source images.

                            I made a very simple test. I took a test image that
                            looks fine in Photoshop as RGB. I linked that image
                            into FrameMaker. Then I make a copy of the image
                            and converted it to CMTK. Finally, I linked the
                            CMYK version into FrameMaker. I then printed all
                            four versions. Results:

                            The first three prints are nearly indistinguishable
                            and look just fine. The display of the RGB image in
                            FrameMaker may be slightly different from the Photoshop
                            display, but the differences are small enough that they
                            would not bother me.

                            The fourth image, CMYK in FrameMaker, has gone extremely
                            cyan and very dark. The gray scale is now heavily cyan
                            and goes to black much too quickly. The on-screen display
                            is a fairly close match of the printed output--both are
                            about equally horrible.

                            I think that these simple tests alone are sufficient to
                            conclude that FrameMaker 5.5.6, at least the way I have it
                            set up, does not even come close to passing CMYK values
                            through to any output device.

                            As a final test, I printed both pages from FrameMaker to
                            the ColorBurst RIP. I printed from ColorBurst and distilled
                            to PDF. Everything matches--the RGB images are fine
                            both in PDF and on paper, and the CMYK images are the
                            same awful dark, cyan as the other CMYK output from
                            FrameMaker

                            I should not spend further time on this until I have
                            figured out why FrameMaker is making such a terrible
                            mess out of CMYK images. Yes, I could go ahead and
                            take the advice to work in RGB in FrameMaker, and this
                            would probably work, but I'm fearful to do this because
                            of unexpected results when the file is ripped. I could
                            make a press proof and intend to do that in any case,
                            but I would like to be confident that what I am sending
                            for proof will work.

                            >This advice is based on the assumption that FM
                            >is able to link without embedding&converting.

                            FrameMaker will certainly link either RGB or CMYK images
                            into the document (this is actually the only way I have
                            ever used it--I never embed).

                            >Printing such a PDF by an inkjet can be called Proof
                            >Printing if the printer is calibrated and the driver
                            >knows the source space (ISOCoated) and the output profile.
                            >If the PDF contains (additionally) RGB images and
                            >Grayscales, then we have already too many degrees of
                            >freedom - the proofing is not safe, unless the RIP accepts
                            >parameters for all kind of input files, eventually
                            >different for raster and vector (I'm using such a RIP).

                            Which RIP, by the way? I still have to buy one.

                            >Another issue is the rendering intent:
                            >a) from RGB to CMYK: RelCol with BPC. This is the final
                            intent for offset printing (feel free to use Perceptual,
                            which contains inplicitly BPC).
                            >b) additionally for the inkjet proof: RelCol with BPC
                            or AbsCol. It depends much on the paper color whether
                            AbsCol is reasonable. This should be clarified by
                            tests in advance to the final task.

                            Right; I'll get to these refinements once I have the
                            basic problem solved.

                            Thanks very much for taking the time and energy to
                            consider this and reply.

                            Best,

                            Joel
                            • 11. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                              Joel,

                              I'm apologizing in advance for the SHORT answer.
                              Tomorrow morning I'm going to Athens, Greece, in
                              order to establish an exhibition, for which I had
                              printed the posters.
                              http://www.fho-emden.de/~hoffmann/hagiasophia.html

                              Please try to check, how plain CMYK files (my example)
                              are handled by FM, followed by Export to PDF.
                              I don't know FM, but IMO it's almost the same situation
                              as printing by PageMaker: PM's Kodak color management
                              was rather perfect, ten years ago, but some experts
                              didn't understand it all.
                              The advice was then: use PM with CMYK images without
                              any color management.
                              The preview is very bad then, but the PDF would be OK,
                              if the numbers were not changed.
                              Therefore I would rely on the 'perfect' CMYK images as
                              generated by Photoshop, whatever the appearance in FM
                              might be.

                              My RIP for large format printing and proof printing is
                              ColorGate ProductionServer. The printing quality is IMO
                              excellent, but the handling quality is far from being
                              perfect.
                              But that's quite normal, as for Onyx Postershop and
                              Best-Efi.

                              Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann
                              • 12. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                Level 1
                                Hi Gernot,

                                An absolutely fascinating building, the Hagia Sophia!

                                More on that another time.


                                >Please try to check, how plain CMYK files (my example)
                                >are handled by FM, followed by Export to PDF.

                                I HOPE that that is what I did. I made a plain CMYK
                                conversion in Photoshop that looks fine in Photoshop.
                                When linked into FrameMaker, it looks awful, prints
                                awful, and when exported as PS and distilled to PDF
                                it looks awful. All three awful versions are more or
                                less identical--very dark, extremely contrasty, and
                                very cyan. I have never seen CMYK in FrameMaker or
                                in any output of any kind FROM FrameMaker that didn't
                                look like this. To attempt to get it look, print, or
                                export reasonably, you have to put almost absurd curves
                                on the CMYK file in Photoshop.

                                This is not just a question of a color cast, this is
                                a huge error. The color separations I have printed
                                are just the same--the cyan plate is way too dark,
                                magenta is too dark, and even yellow looks fairly
                                dark. Only black looks at all reasonable.

                                >I don't know FM, but IMO it's almost the same situation
                                >as printing by PageMaker: PM's Kodak color management
                                >was rather perfect, ten years ago, but some experts
                                >didn't understand it all.

                                I'm reasonably sure that I'm doing something very wrong
                                somewhere, but I don't think it's in the CMYK TIFFs
                                themselves--these print very nicely from Photoshop.

                                >The advice was then: use PM with CMYK images without
                                >any color management.

                                These errors seem to me to be so large that it's not
                                a question of tweaking color management. See this
                                screen shot from within FrameMaker. RGB image on left,
                                CMYK image on right:

                                http://www.carfree.com/PDI_test.jpg

                                All of the output looks pretty similar--the RGB is OK,
                                the CMYK is very bad.

                                Thanks & have a good trip.

                                Joel
                                • 13. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                  (Aandi_Inston) Level 1
                                  Windows programs can't print CMYK in general, at all. There is no way
                                  to specify CMYK values. But some do - how do they do it?

                                  For a PostScript driver *ONLY* they use a special feature that lets
                                  them generate their own PostScript. This lets them print CMYK values
                                  directly to PostScript printers.

                                  Applications to do this are rare, but include InDesign, Photoshop and
                                  Illustrator among Adobe applications; not FrameMaker. I believe MS
                                  Publisher can do this in recent versions, as can some other apps like
                                  CorelDRAW.

                                  So, ironically, FrameMaker will read CMYK TIFF files, but then output
                                  them, the only way it knows, as RGB.

                                  FrameMaker *might* be able to print a CMYK EPS file, because EPS files
                                  have to pass direct to the printer anyway.

                                  If you aren't using a PostScript driver, no application can print CMYK
                                  values directly, unless there is a new thing I haven't heard about.
                                  Yes, even though all printers use CMYK inks...

                                  Aandi Inston
                                  • 14. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                    Level 1
                                    Thanks again, Aandi.

                                    >Windows programs can't print CMYK in general, at all. There is no way
                                    >to specify CMYK values. But some do - how do they do it?

                                    >For a PostScript driver *ONLY* they use a special feature that lets
                                    >them generate their own PostScript. This lets them print CMYK values
                                    >directly to PostScript printers.

                                    I have tried outputting PS using the ColorBurst RIP directly
                                    to the printer. This gives a result that is no different from
                                    any other other CMYK outputs I have tried.

                                    >Applications to do this are rare, but include InDesign, Photoshop and
                                    >Illustrator among Adobe applications; not FrameMaker. I believe MS
                                    >Publisher can do this in recent versions, as can some other apps like
                                    >CorelDRAW.

                                    OK

                                    >So, ironically, FrameMaker will read CMYK TIFF files, but then output
                                    >them, the only way it knows, as RGB.

                                    That may be so, but I think there is another problem happening
                                    here. If running out through Linotronic to .PS and distilling
                                    to .PDF and printing from there still gives the same awful result
                                    (it does), then I am forced to conclude that SOMETHING else is
                                    wrong. I have no idea what. It's specific to FrameMaker, as
                                    printing CMYK from Photoshop gives a perfectly reasonable result.

                                    >FrameMaker *might* be able to print a CMYK EPS file, because EPS files
                                    >have to pass direct to the printer anyway.

                                    I can try this, but I'll be surprised, given the failure of any
                                    other PostScript output route to work, if this makes any difference.

                                    >If you aren't using a PostScript driver, no application can print CMYK
                                    >values directly, unless there is a new thing I haven't heard about.
                                    >Yes, even though all printers use CMYK inks...

                                    I'm told that my Epson R3800, which is a CCMMYKKK device, gives
                                    much better results when data is sent as RGB. My own experience
                                    confirms this, although files sent as CMYK do print reasonably well.

                                    I'm completely baffled by this. Just plain NOTHING works.

                                    Thanks for your help and concern,

                                    Joel
                                    • 15. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                      (Aandi_Inston) Level 1
                                      >That may be so, but I think there is another problem happening
                                      >here. If running out through Linotronic to .PS and distilling
                                      >to .PDF and printing from there still gives the same awful result
                                      >(it does), then I am forced to conclude that SOMETHING else is
                                      >wrong.

                                      Why do you conclude that. FrameMaker CANNOT WRITE CMYK FROM TIFF. It
                                      cannot do this to your printer, it cannot do it to a PostScript file,
                                      it cannot do it for Distiller. It cannot do it.

                                      > I have no idea what. It's specific to FrameMaker, as
                                      >printing CMYK from Photoshop gives a perfectly reasonable result.

                                      Yes, as I said Photoshop specifically is designed to do this, and
                                      FrameMaker is not.
                                      >
                                      >I'm completely baffled by this. Just plain NOTHING works.

                                      That's to be expected. The results you describe are completely
                                      consistent.

                                      Bear in mind too that FrameMaker isn't a colour managed application.
                                      It can convert CMYK into RGB but it will use a lousy,
                                      non-color-managed way of doing this, which is why your results are so
                                      poor.

                                      Aandi Inston
                                      • 16. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                        Level 1
                                        Hi Aandi,

                                        >Why do you conclude that. FrameMaker CANNOT WRITE CMYK FROM TIFF. It
                                        >cannot do this to your printer, it cannot do it to a PostScript file,
                                        >it cannot do it for Distiller. It cannot do it.

                                        I'm slowly really beginning to understand this. I ran a very
                                        interesting test, as you suggested. I put a CMYK TIFF into an
                                        EPS file using Illustrator and then linked that into FrameMaker.
                                        It displays as a one-bit TIFF, but when output to Linotronic, Distilled, and printed, the result is reasonably good (not
                                        perfect, but far, far better than any other method I have tried).

                                        >Bear in mind too that FrameMaker isn't a colour managed application.
                                        >It can convert CMYK into RGB but it will use a lousy,
                                        >non-color-managed way of doing this, which is why your results are so
                                        >poor.

                                        I guess I have been having trouble understanding that this could
                                        really be as bad as it is. In part, my disbelief stems from the
                                        fact that it has such extensive provisions for spot colors, including
                                        every library I've ever heard of. It just seemed to me that it had
                                        to be able to do a better job with CMYK than I was seeing. It's now
                                        looking like that just isn't true.

                                        This leaves me with an awful problem. I have 900 photographs in this
                                        book, and to convert them all to CMYK TIFFs, embed them in EPS,
                                        install the new EPS in place of the existing RGB, and go to print
                                        with a document that I really can't even see just does not seem to
                                        be a viable way to get this book to press. But I don't know what
                                        else to do. (I can't even try FrameMaker 8.0 because Adobe is not
                                        doing trial versions of it this month.)

                                        I'm a bit discouraged.

                                        Thanks for being patient with me while I digested this all.

                                        Best,

                                        Joel
                                        • 17. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                          Level 1
                                          I am at a complete loss now - why don't you simply keep your RGB images, and proceed as I suggested?

                                          OLaf Drümmer
                                          • 18. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                            (Aandi_Inston) Level 1
                                            > In part, my disbelief stems from the
                                            >fact that it has such extensive provisions for spot colors, including
                                            >every library I've ever heard of.

                                            But have you tried printing them? Same problem, they turn to RGB.

                                            This, and the CMYK support, might seem utterly pointless, but don't
                                            forget that FrameMaker can print separations. It makes sense in this
                                            context.

                                            It may just be worth asking whether separated PostScript or separated
                                            PDF is an acceptable format.

                                            Aandi Inston
                                            • 19. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                              Level 1
                                              Hi Olaf and Aandi,

                                              Olaf said:

                                              >I am at a complete loss now - why don't you simply keep your RGB images, and proceed as I suggested?

                                              I will check with the printer to see what format they can accept.
                                              (The last book was delivered as a single .PS file and that worked
                                              fine, with dot gain already corrected, but it was black-only.)

                                              Maybe I can convert RGB PDF as you suggest. I will ask.

                                              Aandi said:

                                              > In part, my disbelief stems from the
                                              >fact that it has such extensive provisions for spot colors, including
                                              >every library I've ever heard of.

                                              >But have you tried printing them? Same problem, they turn to RGB.

                                              No, I haven't. I just assumed, mistakenly it seems, that any
                                              application with such deep color options had to be able to
                                              print decent CMYK. This is a real disappointment.

                                              >This, and the CMYK support, might seem utterly pointless, but don't
                                              >forget that FrameMaker can print separations. It makes sense in this
                                              >context.

                                              But the separations I have printed show the same kinds of errors--
                                              the cyan plate is just much too dark. Only the black plate seems
                                              reasonable. (I am not really used to looking at separations, I
                                              must admit.)

                                              >It may just be worth asking whether separated PostScript or separated
                                              >PDF is an acceptable format.

                                              I'm sure they could use separations, if I could generate them.

                                              Thank you both so much for your time and trouble. I know I
                                              have been a bit stupid about all of this, but my experience
                                              with CMYK is very limited.

                                              Best regards,

                                              Joel
                                              • 20. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                                (Aandi_Inston) Level 1
                                                >But the separations I have printed show the same kinds of errors--
                                                >the cyan plate is just much too dark. Only the black plate seems
                                                >reasonable. (I am not really used to looking at separations, I
                                                >must admit.)

                                                It's very hard to judge things from a separation, but when printing
                                                separations from CMYK values, you should find the exact values
                                                arriving on the plate.

                                                >I'm sure they could use separations, if I could generate them.

                                                Can't you?

                                                > my experience with CMYK is very limited.

                                                This is normal and you really should get the involvement of your
                                                printer or publisher at this stage. EVERYONE has to do this, there is
                                                no universally "right" way to prepare a publication. For example, in
                                                making the CMYK, what CMYK profile did you choose, and are you sure
                                                this matches the ink and paper of the printer? If not, you will have
                                                made things worse by converting.

                                                Aandi Inston
                                                • 21. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                                  Level 1
                                                  Hi Aandi,

                                                  >It's very hard to judge things from a separation, but when printing
                                                  >separations from CMYK values, you should find the exact values
                                                  >arriving on the plate.

                                                  How should I check this?

                                                  >>I'm sure they could use separations, if I could generate them.

                                                  >Can't you?

                                                  I have only done this twice and only for a TIFF. I think I
                                                  need a RIP to do it, right? My ColorBurst trial is expiring
                                                  today, and I think I want to try another product, as my
                                                  experience has not been very positive with ColorBurst (mainly
                                                  usability seems very difficult).

                                                  >> my experience with CMYK is very limited.

                                                  >This is normal and you really should get the involvement of your
                                                  >printer or publisher at this stage.

                                                  Yes, I am in the process of contacting my publisher and then
                                                  in turn the printer. I certainly won't do anything more than
                                                  test work until the printer has told me what they want.

                                                  Thanks again,

                                                  Joel
                                                  • 22. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                                    Level 1
                                                    Hi again,

                                                    I talked to Adobe tech support and they tell me that the
                                                    color engine in FrameMaker 8 is the same as the engine
                                                    in In Design. On the strength of that, plus the assurances
                                                    that the new version really does support CMYK, I went
                                                    ahead and ordered the upgrade.

                                                    I'll let you all know if this works.

                                                    Thanks very much for your time, interest, and concern.

                                                    Joel
                                                    • 23. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                                      (Aandi_Inston) Level 1
                                                      >How should I check this?

                                                      The canonical way to check separations is to send them to have a proof
                                                      made. This is expensive but was at one time considered absolutely
                                                      necessary. Costs have been cut by having proofers that do this, rather
                                                      than relying on a photographic process.

                                                      Ask your printer/publisher. Proofing every page is crucial, but
                                                      proofing individual pages should be welcomed.
                                                      >
                                                      > >I'm sure they could use separations, if I could generate them.
                                                      > Can't you?
                                                      >
                                                      >I have only done this twice and only for a TIFF. I think I
                                                      >need a RIP to do it, right?

                                                      Not at all. I mean you would use the printer's recommended PPD/printer
                                                      driver, and make a separated PostScript file. I don't see that
                                                      separations made on your own RIP would be useful, but I don't
                                                      understand your workflow.

                                                      Aandi Inston
                                                      • 24. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                                        Level 1
                                                        Hi Aandi,

                                                        >>How should I check this?

                                                        >The canonical way to check separations is to send them to have a proof
                                                        >made. This is expensive but was at one time considered absolutely
                                                        >necessary. Costs have been cut by having proofers that do this, rather
                                                        >than relying on a photographic process.

                                                        I have a friend who does a lot of Photoshop work for pre-press.
                                                        I'll run some of the TIFFs past him, as well as printing everything
                                                        on my Epson, using the right paper and profiles to proof. That
                                                        should do the job.

                                                        >Ask your printer/publisher. Proofing every page is crucial, but
                                                        >proofing individual pages should be welcomed.

                                                        Yes, next stop is a conversation with the printer.

                                                        >>I have only done this twice and only for a TIFF. I think I
                                                        >>need a RIP to do it, right?

                                                        >Not at all. I mean you would use the printer's recommended PPD/printer
                                                        >driver, and make a separated PostScript file. I don't see that
                                                        >separations made on your own RIP would be useful,

                                                        OK, good. The RIP I had been using seemed to give worse results than
                                                        the printer driver, so I was going to have to find something else.

                                                        >but I don't understand your workflow.

                                                        That makes two of us. I've got the books, I understand the basic
                                                        theory, and now it's a matter of starting at one end and working
                                                        through to the other end. All assuming that FrameMaker 8 actually
                                                        does work.

                                                        Thanks again,

                                                        Joel
                                                        • 25. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                                          (Aandi_Inston) Level 1
                                                          Oddly, I can find no reference to colour improvements in the feature
                                                          list. I did find this about the inability to print CMYK:
                                                          http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=324220

                                                          You might want to double check in the FrameMaker forum.

                                                          Aandi Inston
                                                          • 26. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                                            Level 1
                                                            Hi Aandi,

                                                            >Oddly, I can find no reference to colour improvements in the feature
                                                            >list. I did find this about the inability to print CMYK:
                                                            >http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=324220

                                                            >You might want to double check in the FrameMaker forum.

                                                            Well, it's already on the way. If I find that Adobe lied to
                                                            me about the engine being the same as In Design, I won't ever
                                                            buy another Adobe product again. Let's hope that the link
                                                            you gave refers to version 7.0, not version 8.0. (As far as
                                                            I can see, no version is mentioned.)

                                                            Thanks,

                                                            Joel
                                                            • 27. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                                              Level 1
                                                              Hi All,

                                                              FrameMaker 8 arrived just now. I installed it, opened my
                                                              test file from FM 5.5. The RGB looks fine. The CMYK looks
                                                              exactly the same as it did--awful. I made PDF from the file.
                                                              Again, the RGB file looks fine and the CMYK file looks awful.

                                                              It looks like Adobe lied to me about using the InDesign
                                                              color engine in this newest version.

                                                              It would be hard to express how angry I am about this.

                                                              I'll have to see if the printer can deal with RGB PDF.
                                                              I'm certainly not going to be able to produce a CMYK
                                                              document. And version 8 is going back to meet its maker
                                                              except in the unexpected case that Adobe can solve this
                                                              problem. Their phone "system" just cut me off....

                                                              Best,

                                                              Joel
                                                              • 28. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                                                Level 1
                                                                Hi All,

                                                                Final update.

                                                                I talked to Adobe tech support and they have confirmed that there
                                                                is in fact no difference in version 8. It still converts everything
                                                                to Windows GDI (which only knows RGB).

                                                                The only suggestion was to insert the photos as EPS.
                                                                No thanks!

                                                                Does anyone on this list want to make a proposal for converting
                                                                my RGB output to Euroscale gloss v.2? Any idea how much time
                                                                would be involved? Any chance that this could give a top-quality
                                                                result?

                                                                The other option, I suppose, would be for me to supply
                                                                .FM to someone with a Mac version of FrameMaker for
                                                                output.

                                                                You can reach me at:

                                                                mailbox@carfree.com

                                                                Thanks,

                                                                Joel
                                                                • 29. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                                                  Level 1
                                                                  Even more final update, and success at last!!!!!!

                                                                  I am delighted to report that there does appear to be a way to
                                                                  do this. I'm astounded that not even Adobe seems to have a clue
                                                                  that this is possible.

                                                                  You simply link CMYK PSDs into the document. (It took me a while
                                                                  to realize that it was even possible to link in PSDs. EPS and
                                                                  PDF are also possible.)

                                                                  They look fine in FrameMaker, they distill to nice-looking
                                                                  PDF, and I suppose they print well. The EPS also looks good
                                                                  and distills well. The PDF looks bad but seems to distill ok.

                                                                  I have a long way to go before I'm sure I've won this battle,
                                                                  but this is the first time I have ever seen FrameMaker put
                                                                  out CMYK that looks even remotely the way it should.

                                                                  I figured this out by reading through what everyone had
                                                                  said and starting to look for ways to "protect" color data
                                                                  and preserve it in FM. Since Windows seems somehow to know
                                                                  how to display and print PSD in FM, this just works.

                                                                  Lots of calibration to do, but the results would already
                                                                  be considered printable by most people.

                                                                  If I learn anything further about this as I go along,
                                                                  and I suspect I will, I'll put it up here.

                                                                  Thanks everyone for your help.

                                                                  Best,

                                                                  Joel
                                                                  • 30. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                                                    Larry Tseng Level 1
                                                                    Joel,

                                                                    I would strongly suggest that you download a trial version of Acrobat 8 Professional so that you can find out *what FM is actually putting out*, as well as to do a final Adobe RGB (?) to Euroscale Gloss color version.

                                                                    In the first case, Acrobat's built-in preflight tools will tell you whether your CMYK PSDs actually make it out as CMYK. You will also be able to tell whether FM text and vector graphics comes out as RGB, and whether the RGB values in your input images (if you elect to stay with RGB) are modified or not in the pdf output.

                                                                    Once you've figured out how to produce unmodified output from FM, you can turn your attention to figuring out how to produce a new (CMYK) pdf from the original (RGB) pdf to send to the printer.

                                                                    You can do the color conversion in Acrobat 8, either through the main menu or as a preflight fixup, after which you run preflight again (or any combination of a whole host of preflight and fixup functions) to make sure that you have a good clean trouble-free final pdf for the printer.

                                                                    If you have a custom RGB profile for your R3800 (I assume the printer driver is RGB), you should be able to simulate Euroscale Gloss by printing directly from Acrobat 8 with appropriate Output Preview settings, provided that you use gloss instead of matte paper to avoid gamut clipping.

                                                                    I don't think a RIP is necessary to check the colors of photos. I do think proofs from the offset printer is a good idea, even if you've got the R3800 doing a good color proofing job.

                                                                    There's a learning curve to go through, and I can't think of any short cuts.

                                                                    Best,

                                                                    Larry
                                                                    • 31. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                                                      Level 1
                                                                      Newer versions of FrameMaker help to fix the color mapping issues for PC but the problem is that PCs use an RGB color space. There are several work-arounds including the use of OPI SWOP during pdfing to preserve the original images and post processing using PitStop filters to remap cmyk mixes to an intended result. Frame does pretty well with 2 color cmyk mixes in version 7 but 3 and 4 color mixes tend to drift and introduce black into an uncorrected output.

                                                                      Here's a link to a great article on Frame color using your version: http://www.travelthepath.com/frame2pdf.html
                                                                      • 32. Re: Terrible color errors in FrameMaker 5.5.3
                                                                        Level 1
                                                                        McClure made some suggestions about how to do all of this.

                                                                        I have had word back from the printer that the PDF I am
                                                                        generating from FrameMaker 8 is indeed acceptable to them.
                                                                        There are lots of details still to manage, including where
                                                                        and when to do color management, but I am now able to
                                                                        output CMYK by linking in PSDs. It looks good and prints
                                                                        fine.

                                                                        That should solve my problem, although there is still a
                                                                        lot of tweaking to do.

                                                                        Thanks,

                                                                        Joel