29 Replies Latest reply on Dec 15, 2010 2:03 AM by Neeraj N-LscgRS

    CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels

    bpylant Level 2

      I haven't seen this mentioned yet; if you routinely use layered Photoshop files with spot channels, and might be opening older files into CS5 be warned that CS5 appears to misinterpret the tonal values in the spot channels of these documents.

       

      Steps to reproduce:

       

      1. Create a layered CMYK PSD file with one or more spot channels, and make sure that this file contains halftones on the spot channel(s), not all solid coverage.
      2. Flatten the image and save a copy.
      3. Place both images into Illustrator CS5. Notice that the spot channel(s) in the layered version appears much lighter than the flattened version (which matches the original image), and will output lighter as well.The CMYK channels display and output correctly.
      4. Repeat the test with CS4. Both versions of the image will place and output identically from Illustrator.

       

      Not sure what's going on here, but the only workaround I can find is to flatten the image. This could prove very dangerous when opening CS4 files that were set up this way into CS5, especially if the user is not familiar with how the file is supposed to look (prepress operators, etc.).

       

      [Tested using CS5 and CS4, Mac OS X 10.6.x and Windows Vista.]

       

      Additional info 3:39pm: if you start with a flattened image and add layers, retaining the Background layer, this issue does not occur. It is only if the PSD is "fully layered" with no flattened Background layer.

        • 1. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
          Dylan@WDS

          Us experiencing the same thing.... driving us insane as cannot find a solution and we have hundreds of files set up this way.

          Any help/suggestions please???!

          • 2. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
            Wade_Zimmerman Level 7

            I don't actually see this but you mention this happens with older files and I do not have any older files like this so I really can't say.

             

            But I do like the idea that when you import a photoshop with spot channels in CS 5 the spot channels are treated as separate objects in the layers panel, rather than one collective object like in CS 4. And that the spot color is properly set to multiply.

             

            I wonder if this change has something to do with this situation you're experiencing?

            • 3. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
              CHMprepress Level 3

              Yes, I have don the test and I have the same like you.

              This is a serious Bug that Adobe should resolve. As far I can see it has nothing to do with Photoshop, but the problem seems to be in Illustrator.

               

              There is no way we gonna implement this version in our production with this bug in it.

               

              bpylant did you send this to Adobe support?

              • 4. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                bpylant Level 2
                I don't actually see this but you
                mention this happens with older files and I do not have any older files
                like this so I really can't say.

                 

                No, this is with new documents created in CS5 as well. I referred to older files as they are my biggest concern -- if an older file was set up like this, with layered images containing spot channels, they are going to open and output different from CS5. And the likelihood of this going through to production without being caught is not insignificant. (These could be older files we have on backup that we're processing for a reorder, or from a customer who is using an older version of Illustrator...)

                 

                 

                 

                But I do like the idea that when you import a
                photoshop with spot channels in CS 5 the spot channels are treated as
                separate objects in the layers panel, rather than one collective object
                like in CS 4. And that the spot color is properly set to multiply.

                 

                That is actually pretty neat, I hadn't noticed that (since we always link our images, rarely do we embed them). I'm not sure that Multiply mode shouled change the image data like this, and I'm also not sure how the file is handled by AI when it's linked... so I grabbed our film exposure bar and brought it into CS5 four ways (embedded / layered, embedded / flat, linked / layered and linked / flat) to test all variations.

                 

                The results are the same no matter how the file is placed; the spot content in the layered file is lighter across the board than the file, and the flattened version is correct.

                 

                (The forum resricts the size of attached images, and the resized image of the full test is a little difficult to see. I posted a second one below that, which is a close-up of a layered and flattened image showing the differences in the spot color data -- the lighter one is from the layered file, and is significantly altered from the original file.)

                 

                CS5_layered_spot_bug.jpgCS5_layered_spot_bug_zoom.jpg

                • 5. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                  Mordy Golding Level 3

                  Have you tried turning on Overprint Preview mode?   :) Mordy

                  • 6. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                    Wade_Zimmerman Level 7

                    Oh, my goodness there really is a Mordy Golding

                    • 7. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                      bpylant Level 2
                      Have you tried turning on Overprint Preview mode?

                       

                      OP preview has no effect, visually or numerically. The tonal values are being altered by Illustrator. Those screenshots are from a ripped PDF, BTW, verifying that the  alteration is carrying right through the entire process. Unfortunately,  it's not just a screen display issue.

                       

                       

                      I did file a thorough, detailed bug report (including a link to this thread also). Not sure what might come of it, but from a prepress perspective this is an extremely serious bug.

                      • 8. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                        Mordy Golding Level 3

                        Can you be more clear as to exactly what you're doing? You talk about flattening your artwork, but if you do so, the spot color is no longer spot and it becomes process. So I'm not sure how you are getting your results. Also, I can certainly embed a PSD with a spot channel, and Illustrator correctly creates a separate object set to overprint with the spot color applied. Indeed, this spot color shows up lighter, but that's because Illustrator is using the HTML values of the spot color for display purposes -- and switching to overprint preview uses the LAB values which more accurately describe the color. RIPing a PDF won't make a difference UNLESS you use the Simulate Overprint setting when creating the PDF from Illustrator.

                         

                        I've written some detailed info on what overprint preview does here: http://rwillustrator.blogspot.com/2007/02/busting-myth-achieving-consistent-color.html

                         

                        Mordy

                        • 9. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                          bpylant Level 2

                          Flattening a Photoshop file with spot channels does not convert those channels to process... not sure what you're referring to there.

                           

                          Someone from the Illustrator team contacted me directly for test files; they were too big to email so I posted them here:

                           

                          http://buzzhomebrewclub.com/Documents/for_Adobe/

                           

                          Hopefully this makes it easier to see the issue I'm describing.

                           

                          It contains two AI files (one from CS5 and one from CS4). Each contains two placed Photoshop images with spot channels, one layered and one flattened.

                           

                          In the CS5 document you can clearly see that the spot channel in the layered file doesn't match that of the flattened image, even though both are identical in Photoshop. (I also includes the tonal measurements for each swatch.)

                           

                          In the CS4 version of the document everything is correct; the flattened image and layered image appear and output identically, as they should.

                           

                          I also made PDFs to demonstrate that it's not simply an on-screen issue (the values in the PDF are incorrect also). These PDFs were saved from Illustrator as PDF/X-4, so there is no option to simulate overprinting.

                           

                          Let me know what you think after you have a chance to check out the files!

                          • 10. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                            bpylant Level 2

                            So, did you have a chance to look at the files?

                            • 11. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                              CHMprepress Level 3

                              bpylant wrote:

                               

                              Flattening a Photoshop file with spot channels does not convert those channels to process... not sure what you're referring to there.

                               

                              Someone from the Illustrator team contacted me directly for test files; they were too big to email so I posted them here:

                               

                              http://buzzhomebrewclub.com/Documents/for_Adobe/

                               

                              Hopefully this makes it easier to see the issue I'm describing.

                               

                              It contains two AI files (one from CS5 and one from CS4). Each contains two placed Photoshop images with spot channels, one layered and one flattened.

                               

                              In the CS5 document you can clearly see that the spot channel in the layered file doesn't match that of the flattened image, even though both are identical in Photoshop. (I also includes the tonal measurements for each swatch.)

                               

                              In the CS4 version of the document everything is correct; the flattened image and layered image appear and output identically, as they should.

                               

                              I also made PDFs to demonstrate that it's not simply an on-screen issue (the values in the PDF are incorrect also). These PDFs were saved from Illustrator as PDF/X-4, so there is no option to simulate overprinting.

                               

                              Let me know what you think after you have a chance to check out the files!

                              And did you get a response frome the Adobe guys?

                              • 12. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                                Jayson Hazelbaker

                                I just want to further affirm the problems you're seeing with unflattened cmyk .psd links with spot channels in Illustrator CS5. Our firm deals with wide variety of design agency formats and they often provide files this way so it's rather frustrating.  For many files simply flattening can be sufficient.  But having such a high daily volume of artwork as we do this quickly became rather tedious.  The real issue arises with linked files that rely on layer transparency.  I often have files that are simply transparent links that just use spot colors.  These are all washed out and flattening destroys the transparency.

                                 

                                I was originally going to contact adobe customer support about this bug, but the $150 just to make a service call aside from installation support seemed a bit ridiculous considering the volume license we have with them.  Hopefully they're working on it.  I just wish I could get some direct confirmation on how soon we can expect a bug fix.

                                 

                                Thanks for bringing this to the spotlight.  I'm glad I'm not the only one!

                                • 13. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                                  bpylant Level 2

                                  I did not get a direct response from the Adobe tech folks, only confirmation that all the details had been forwarded

                                  to them.

                                   

                                  Mordy, did you take a look at those files yet?

                                  • 14. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                                    Mordy Golding Level 3

                                    I did indeed look at the files, but haven't been able to find anything suspect. Meaning, it most likely is a bug. I just don't see why Illustrator would treat PSD files with background layers or without any different.

                                     

                                    Mordy

                                    • 15. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                                      bpylant Level 2

                                      Me neither... especially since CS4 and prior didn't behave this way.

                                       

                                      • 16. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                                        sepguy

                                        Illustrator is interpreting placed photoshop DCS2 files correctly But there can be no transparency with those files. 


                                        Placed Photoshop PDF files have less dot loss than straight photoshop files - but still off; and again - no transparency.


                                        I need the transparency so that those spots interact correctly with spot colored elements in illustrator.


                                        So looks like CS4 for this print shop untill this issue is addressed.


                                        Quick question, (why even in CS4 can't the preview in illustrator take the solidity value of the photoshop spot cahnnel and preview it in illustrator or Indesign correctly?  Why must it display all linked in spots as multiplied when a file is placed?)

                                        • 17. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                                          bpylant Level 2

                                          Adobe knows about this issue, I haven't heard anything back from the tech guys about a fix...

                                           

                                          The solidity setting is only for preview purposes (to allow you to simulate ink opacity, since many spot inks are translucent). It doesn't actually change anything about how your separations are set up. Why other CS4/5 apps can't also use this for preview purposes I cannot say... would be nice...

                                           

                                          But you need to be careful: if you set a spot ink to 50% solidity but the actual ink used is more opaque the finished print will look much different than anticipated.

                                          • 18. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                                            YKCreativeArts Level 2

                                            I also encountered the same issue. And I started experimenting with PSD file in Photoshop. I just converted a layer into background layer and then imported the PSD file in AI and boom....problem vanished. Sharing the workaround on forum, so some of you may utilize it. Enjoy...

                                             

                                            Message was edited by: YKCreativeArts

                                            • 19. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                                              CupertinoFruit Level 3

                                              That's a really good workaround! It has worked for me too.

                                              • 20. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                                                bpylant Level 2

                                                Yup, that's the only workaround that I've found as well... which doesn't resolve the problem because many time I need to have spot channels and a transparent background...

                                                 

                                                 

                                                I haven't heard anything else from Adobe on this... waiting for the next dot-release to see if they fixed it or not before I bug them again (pun intended).

                                                • 21. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                                                  masters@masterscolor.com Level 1

                                                  try this

                                                  import in Illustrator your laiyered image whit spot channels, then in photoshop you split the image in 2 (duplicate all layer in a new image , delete them in the original  and flattern it whith spot channels and a white bakground). In illustrator duplecate the image and replace them with the 2 just maded putting in multiply the one with spot channel. You have correct halftone and trasparency.

                                                   

                                                  I hope this help

                                                  I hope adobe fixit

                                                  • 22. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                                                    sepguy Level 1

                                                    Good idea.   Similarly, you could  save a grey-scale of your transparency and use it as your mask in  illustrator to apply the transparency to your linked in psd with spots  and a background layer.  Either way though you are dealing with two  separate Photoshop files where one used to do the job.  A pain to update  and make changes. 

                                                    • 24. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                                                      bpylant Level 2

                                                      Another workaround, thanks... some good ways to get around the problem, although Adobe needs to fix this.

                                                       

                                                      The real issue, though, is what if you are working with a legacy file prepared in an older verison of AI, and don't notice that the image has changed when you open in CS5? Or, if you're updating the file for something other than the image, you're likely not to check the image at all (since you're not editing it).

                                                       

                                                      Dangerous stuff in a production environment... very dangerous.

                                                       

                                                      Message was edited by: bpylant

                                                      • 25. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                                                        sepguy Level 1

                                                        yep, to dangerous for me - sticking with cs4 illustrator for production for

                                                        now.  It's such a huge oversight - just surprising. I was sure i was just

                                                        doing something wrong.

                                                        • 26. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                                                          bpylant Level 2

                                                          I've been reminding my staff to handle legacy files in CS4, but we're in CS5 all day long so I'm sure some of these are slipping through... grrrr...

                                                          • 27. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                                                            motordesign

                                                            I thought I'd join in on this as well. I've also raised a support case with Adobe Technical Support, sent them files, explained step by step what happens. etc, and have now received this reply:

                                                             

                                                            "I would like to inform you that I have tried to recreate the issue on my
                                                            end and I found the same results. Hence, I am escalating the case to our
                                                            Senior Tech Support Team for further research. It may take some time. I
                                                            hope your co-operation in this."

                                                             

                                                            In the mean time its back to CS4 for final production files here as well...

                                                            • 28. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                                                              masters@masterscolor.com Level 1

                                                              I think I have figured out where the error, illustrator cs5 create a mask on the spot color channel, like it try to mask a full plate color (100% of pantone) without filling the spot channel itself, so if you import a 50% color you get a 25%(50% of color in the file less 50%of 50% of the mask), if you import a 80% you get a 64% (your 80% less 20% of 80%).
                                                              I understand this by importing an ai file in another prepress program, and I find the mask image.

                                                              • 29. Re: CS5 Misinterprets Layered PSDs with Spot Channels
                                                                Neeraj N-LscgRS Level 2

                                                                Please update your Illustrator CS5 with the latest update 15.0.2. This issue has been attended in the update.

                                                                 

                                                                Thanks!

                                                                 

                                                                Neeraj