9 Replies Latest reply on Apr 29, 2010 3:38 PM by Printer_Rick

    How to set ID-CS4 color to adjust when proof came back too black

    lewenz

      We published a colour book in 2008 using a conventional printer in Singapore. Then we had the US/UK version done using Lightning Source in USA. The LS colours in photographs came back a bit too black, perhaps with a bit too much green as well, and also less saturated due to the uncoated paper. Now we are looking at a second edition of that book using LS. So, it's time to try to get it right.

       

      We calibrated an HP LP2475W (Win 7 pro) and have been able to get a close match with the book colour using Colour settings. Now the monitor colours of the ID file (ID-CS4 V 6.0.4) look as "off" as the book.

       

      Is it possible to make changes to the book images as a whole, or do we now need to use Photoshop to tweak every single image (over 400 of them)?

       

      Our objective is to get better colours in print form which means we may get it, now that the monitor seems to display WYSIWYG. If it is possible to change an output setting rather than tweak each image, we would appreciate recommended settings using simple English or even print-keys; please presume our knowledge level is lower than this forum's membership and industry jargon and deep colour knowledge will go over our heads.

       

      Also, is there a step-by-step explanation of each element in colour settings that is designed for managers (meaning people who are not the professionals, but who supervise the staff)? We seek to understand the variables that gave us the off-colour results in the beginning. Our managers  know when the result is not good, but they need to know enough to give the staff the right instructions to get it right. In this request, we seek documentation or a web site that does not presume the viewer is an experienced Adobe designer or a colour-experienced printer.

        • 1. Re: How to set ID-CS4 color to adjust when proof came back too black
          p taz Level 3

          The precise answer is this:  You need someone who understands colour management.  You need images that are made correctly and give them to that person to prepare the book.

           

          If the images are not good or do not contain necessary colour management information, you need someone with colour skills to adjust them and apply correct colour management profiles.

           

          Your colour management guru can then prepare a print file using the correct settings to suit the target print house.

           

          If your job is supplied with incorrect settings, you will not get a correct output, no matter how correct the print shop's workflow is. (settings are specific to the printery)

           

          Many people come here asking the same thing, many assume that colour management is largely automatic or logical, it is not!  Most assume that if their images look good on screen they will reproduce well, which is also incorrect.  Sadly we cannot teach a complete workflow in this forum (although we sometimes try) because there are too many variables and there is a massive amount of knowledge to impart to people who often have no previous background and it is an impracticable task for them to accomplish in order to complete their current job and they get frustrated.

           

          If you can either pass the job to someone who knows the routine or get some first hand help from such a person, you can control the job, if not, you will probably be frustrated by the multiple variables in the job creation process and sometimes indifferent support from printeries (especially offshore).

           

          I deal with jobs like this daily and it has taken me many years to be comfortable in sending a 'coffee table' job with total confidence.  I allow myself a rate of about 10-15 images per hour to adjust and check, so 400 images is the best part of a week's work but after that I would send to a reputable printer and get almost exactly the same result I get on my local calibrated proofing machine (not monitor!).

           

          If you send a job with incorrect or missing profiling, you will blame the printer in your mind but it would not really be their fault, because if the images are correctly prepared and the printery has a correct workflow (most do), the job will be perfect.

           

          Having said that, you could try learning the whole process, but the chances of getting it all right on job number one are very slim, due to the difficulty of the task and the dearth of accurate and clear instructions in the applications or on the web. (there are also many subjective judgements made in adjusting the images that you can only learn by practice over thousands of images!)

          • 2. Re: How to set ID-CS4 color to adjust when proof came back too black
            lewenz Level 1

            OK, let's try the question again.

             

            Is there a way to globally adjust colour images in a document, rather than adjust each one, so the output for all of them is equally changed, and so this change can be seen on the monitor?

             

            If yes, what does one use?

            • 3. Re: How to set ID-CS4 color to adjust when proof came back too black
              Rick McCleary Level 3

              p taz gave you great advice.

               

              The bottom line is that color correction and file preparation for a print workflow are highly skilled jobs that are not automatic. Either your workers or your managers (or preferably both) must have these skills. Without them, you'll be wasting money and getting an inferior product.

               

              Is there a way to globally adjust colour images in a document, rather than adjust each one, so the output for all of them is equally changed, and so this change can be seen on the monitor?

              Assuming you're talking about a page layout document (like InDesign) with multiple placed images, the answer is no.

               

              Edit:

              At the risk of sounding self-serving, you may want to check out my book (see signature). It offers a conceptual framework within which to think about the entire print workflow, explains the fundamentals of color management and the CMYK process, and offers a step-by-step workflow for file prep.

               

              RIck McCleary

              author, CMYK 2.0: A Cooperative Workflow for Photographers, Designers, and Printers

              Peachpit Press

              • 4. Re: How to set ID-CS4 color to adjust when proof came back too black
                p taz Level 3

                Lewenz.... no there isn't.

                 

                The nearest you can do is make an  adjustment layer to suit them all the best you can and apply it with an automated action.

                 

                What you are looking for is impossible, as each image will require different adj if you want a good job, if you want to make crappy pics less crappy that is up to you but you won't ever get them properly correct with a generic adjustment, not to a professional standard anyhow.

                SISO

                • 5. Re: How to set ID-CS4 color to adjust when proof came back too black
                  Imranma Level 1

                  Hello

                  So p taz your right it works but these images needs different adjustiment i suggest to do it manual since the "hard way is the only way"

                  Thnx

                  • 6. Re: How to set ID-CS4 color to adjust when proof came back too black
                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                    Just browsing here, but I have to disagree with the assertion that t would be impossible to apply some sort of global correction. It's essential, though, that in order to do so you MUST have a proper output profile for the output device. In the case of Lightning Source, with whom I have never done business, that information is not, apparently, available online.

                     

                    If you ARE able to find the correct profile you can export a new PDF, using the profile as the new destination. There are a few caveats here, of course.

                     

                    If you use the "Convert to Profile" setting on export and if the destination profile does not match the working space, your 100% K elements (your text) will be converted to  some 4-color Rich Black and you'll have a mess (but the appearance of the colors when printed should be unchanged, within the limits of differing device gamuts). If instead you use the "Convert to Profile (Preserve Numbers) setting, only the imported content WITH EMBEDDED PROFILES and objects that are in the wrong color mode will have their numbers changed to preserve the appearance. 100% k type will remain 100%k, but other native content and imported content without an embedded profile will have the numbers preserved as well, so there will be color shifts in those elements. This might not be problem, depending on the content (and presuming the images all have embedded profiles).

                     

                    Interestingly, when you use Edit > Convert to Profile... in ID CS4 color numbers are converted for C, M and Y, but not for for K-only objectsm so you can work around appearance problems and still maintain K-only type and rules by converting to the new output space, then doing the export.

                     

                    Will this solution be perfect? Hard to say, but probably a lot better than sending the PDF created for some press in Hong Kong.

                    • 7. Re: How to set ID-CS4 color to adjust when proof came back too black
                      Larry Tseng Level 1

                      P Spier wrote:


                      Just browsing here, but I have to disagree with the assertion that [i]t would be impossible to apply some sort of global correction. It's essential, though, that in order to do so you MUST have a proper output profile for the output device. [...]


                       

                      If profiles are available for both primary and secondary printer, and you have to do this often, a device link profile + special software could be the answer. The idea is to convert the pdf that went to the primary printer to a new pdf that will go to the secondary printer without going through the three-channel Lab/XYZ profile connection space.


                      http://www.impressed.de/t/TECHINFOS/CMYK_Optimizer/PCM_report_DeviceLink.pdf

                      • 9. Re: How to set ID-CS4 color to adjust when proof came back too black
                        Printer_Rick Level 4

                        lewenz wrote:

                         

                         

                         

                        We calibrated an HP LP2475W (Win 7 pro) and have been able to get a close match with the book colour using Colour settings. Now the monitor colours of the ID file (ID-CS4 V 6.0.4) look as "off" as the book.

                         


                        Explain this a little more, because this sounds a little backwards to me (maybe I'm misunderstanding).

                         

                        Did you modify your color settings and monitor to match an already printed piece? That may seem logical but it''s not the best method.

                         

                        First, the monitor must be calibrated and profiled with hardware and software (X-Rite). This process is unrelated to the printed piece that you don't like.

                         

                        After the monitor is squared away, then it's time to evaluate the color appearance of the files, and the color spaces used in the files. Are they RGB? If so, which RGB? Are they CMYK? If so, which CMYK?

                         

                        It could be that your color appearance is already OK. If you happen to be lucky in that regard, the final step is outputting to the proper destination ICC which adequately describes the LS print condition. Then (in theory) the LS print result will closely match the appearance you like.

                         

                        My main point is –  don't start making corrections, if you forced your monitor to match the printing. You may be making changes that you don't need to make. A simple conversion is easier than struggling with color adjustments.