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Thread: Need Color Management Direction

  1. #11
    pabney is offline Member
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    Mark,
    I agree that LAB will have to be converted to cmyk, the problem is doing it accurately. We have already needed to do a reprint costing a couple of thousand dollars because of a color mismatch between files from CS5 using cmyk color builds, and CS6 using LAB color builds. I am not interested in reinventing the wheel here, nor am I interested in changing our entire workflow if not needed. The real problem is that I don't know what is needed. That being said, after looking around a bit the last few days, here are the things that I would like to accomplish.

    1. Ensure that CS5 and CS6 are producing the SAME color builds when converting colors. Either from LAB to CMYK or RGB to CMYK.
    2. If conversions are to happen in the rip, ensure it is using the proper settings for both LAB and RGB.
    3. Since I am working on workflow, I would like to explore/implement a better pdf preflight as I don't believe we are using acrobat to its fullest potential.
    4. Correct any workflow issues that arise from setting up the above 3 items.
    5. Learn a bit more on how I can help my color conscience customers supply files with the proper settings to achieve what they want as I feel I am weak in this area.

    Paul

  2. #12
    Stephen Marsh is offline Senior Member
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    Some of the pros/cons are discussed here:

    CMYK: which swatch?


    Stephen Marsh

  3. #13
    Mark Flanders is offline Member
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    Thanks for a great reply Paul. I apologize if I came across as yet another know-it-all, who doesn't actually know it all. (smile) I'm learning from this discussion as well. Also, I now understand more fully how you got burned. So, here is my current thought on the subject:

    CS6 LAB color is apparently a well and good improvement for designers, however, this change is, in fact, a change in the content as provided by the customer to the printer. In other words, LAB color is going to render CMYK differently than it did in the previous job, and there is no getting out of this. They bought into the latest greatest CS6, and their file has changed, just as if they had changed a font. The solution is knowing this is the case, and providing the designer a proof that looks like what is going to come off of the press, and warning them that this is a near-exact color proof, and that the new LAB colors render colors differently. If they don't like the change, then the file will need to revert to the previous CMYK values one way or the other. Either don't use the new LAB colors, or save it back in some sort of "legacy" version of the file. One could probably set a RIP to revert to a standard RGB color library, which is a solution, but it also defeats the point of the supposely better LAB color.

    I think you are not as "weak" in this subject as you first suggested. Good luck to you!

    Mark
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  4. #14
    Stephen Marsh is offline Senior Member
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    Paul, some points to consider:

    * How are you proofing, is to an industry target such as GRACoL or Fogra39/ISO Coated? Or to a custom house profile?

    * Are you actually separating to and or printing to an industry target such as GRACoL or Fogra39/ISO Coated? Or to a custom house profile?

    * Can your press consistently "match" the proof?

    * Should the onus be on you or your customer to convert spot colours to CMYK for CMYK only print job? If it is the duty of the customer, then can you provide them with an ICC profile so that they can judge how their CMYK numbers will appear in your printing? If this should be your task, then you should have a mechanism in place to get the client to sign off on that colour and for you to then deliver that colour on press - within "acceptable" tolerance for variation.


    Moving on from these general points to your numbered points below. Please forgive me if these points are obvious, one can get down to the nuts and bolts of how to accomplish this later:

    1. You will need to ensure that both CS5 and CS6 have access to and can use the same source Pantone library files, and that they have the same colour management settings (source/destination/options) in place to deliver the same final CMYK values (whether or not you decide to use CMYK or LAB based library files). This may be harder to do with customer supplied files, are you doing to change every spot colour in every job to use the "correct" CMYK build?.

    2. I would do one or the other, either point 1 (early binding), or point 2 (late binding). If point 1, then conversions happen in InDesign and the .PS or .PDF file delivered to proofing or plating RIP only contains CMYK colours. If point 2, you would need some way to softproof and or hardcopy proof the colour of the RIP conversion.

    3. Do you mean a better default Acrobat preflight profile, or a better Acrobat preflight from the GWG or perhaps a vendor such as Enfocus, Callas or somebody else?

    4. No comment as of yet

    5. This final point would come into play once all of the other issues were solved.



    Stephen Marsh



    Quote Originally Posted by pabney View Post
    Mark,
    I agree that LAB will have to be converted to cmyk, the problem is doing it accurately. We have already needed to do a reprint costing a couple of thousand dollars because of a color mismatch between files from CS5 using cmyk color builds, and CS6 using LAB color builds. I am not interested in reinventing the wheel here, nor am I interested in changing our entire workflow if not needed. The real problem is that I don't know what is needed. That being said, after looking around a bit the last few days, here are the things that I would like to accomplish.

    1. Ensure that CS5 and CS6 are producing the SAME color builds when converting colors. Either from LAB to CMYK or RGB to CMYK.
    2. If conversions are to happen in the rip, ensure it is using the proper settings for both LAB and RGB.
    3. Since I am working on workflow, I would like to explore/implement a better pdf preflight as I don't believe we are using acrobat to its fullest potential.
    4. Correct any workflow issues that arise from setting up the above 3 items.
    5. Learn a bit more on how I can help my color conscience customers supply files with the proper settings to achieve what they want as I feel I am weak in this area.

    Paul
    Last edited by Stephen Marsh; 11-21-2012 at 10:50 PM.

  5. #15
    Louis Dery is offline Senior Member
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    Hello Paul,
    Pantone made a move to Lab in order to make better CMYK builds (based on your CMYK working space) but this does not guarantee that everyone will get the same CMYK value. :-(
    Pantone provides Pantone Plus Bridge for "standardized" CMYK builds. This is a kind of solution BUT, those CMYK values come from an ICC based conversion, fine tuned by experts at Pantone in order to match "international print standard" (This is the answer I about a month or two ago). You have to know that these CMYK values are based on european TVI standard and does not match any standard CMYK ICC profile you can find in Adobe color settings!
    Just make this little test in InDesign: create color swatch with Pantone 424 C from the Pantone + Coated library; then create another color swatch using Pantone 424 CP from Pantone + Color Bridge Coated. Finally, try to assign any "standard" CMYK profile to your document in order to get the match between those 2 Pantone swatches. I haven’t been able to find one.
    I choose Pantone 424 because it is a very easy to match colour, since it is a simple tray tone color.

    I asked Pantone which "standard" ICC profile they used to create the Pantone + ColorBridge CMYK values, but wasn’t able to get the specific name of it.

    SO, there is still some work to do in color management for solid colors!

    Louis
    Couleur 911 — Formation Gestion de couleur — Qubec
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  6. #16
    Paul Santer is offline Member
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    Paul

    If your looking at converting your spot colours in the Rip I would advise that you speak to your workflow vendor, as the cmyk alternate values may be used in proofing, trapping as well as supplying the conversion value for spot colours. It would also be difficult for someone to give you generic advice as there may be many options and check boxes within your workflow that would effect how the values are used and converted.








    Quote Originally Posted by pabney View Post
    Mark,
    I agree that LAB will have to be converted to cmyk, the problem is doing it accurately. We have already needed to do a reprint costing a couple of thousand dollars because of a color mismatch between files from CS5 using cmyk color builds, and CS6 using LAB color builds. I am not interested in reinventing the wheel here, nor am I interested in changing our entire workflow if not needed. The real problem is that I don't know what is needed. That being said, after looking around a bit the last few days, here are the things that I would like to accomplish.

    1. Ensure that CS5 and CS6 are producing the SAME color builds when converting colors. Either from LAB to CMYK or RGB to CMYK.
    2. If conversions are to happen in the rip, ensure it is using the proper settings for both LAB and RGB.
    3. Since I am working on workflow, I would like to explore/implement a better pdf preflight as I don't believe we are using acrobat to its fullest potential.
    4. Correct any workflow issues that arise from setting up the above 3 items.
    5. Learn a bit more on how I can help my color conscience customers supply files with the proper settings to achieve what they want as I feel I am weak in this area.

    Paul
    Last edited by Paul Santer; 11-23-2012 at 02:33 AM.

  7. #17
    David Milisock's Avatar
    David Milisock is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pabney View Post
    Mark,
    I agree that LAB will have to be converted to cmyk, the problem is doing it accurately. We have already needed to do a reprint costing a couple of thousand dollars because of a color mismatch between files from CS5 using cmyk color builds, and CS6 using LAB color builds. I am not interested in reinventing the wheel here, nor am I interested in changing our entire workflow if not needed. The real problem is that I don't know what is needed. That being said, after looking around a bit the last few days, here are the things that I would like to accomplish.

    1. Ensure that CS5 and CS6 are producing the SAME color builds when converting colors. Either from LAB to CMYK or RGB to CMYK.
    2. If conversions are to happen in the rip, ensure it is using the proper settings for both LAB and RGB.
    3. Since I am working on workflow, I would like to explore/implement a better pdf preflight as I don't believe we are using acrobat to its fullest potential.
    4. Correct any workflow issues that arise from setting up the above 3 items.
    5. Learn a bit more on how I can help my color conscience customers supply files with the proper settings to achieve what they want as I feel I am weak in this area.

    Paul
    It seems that you're on track with 1 and 2
    on 4 It's been a couplke years since I worked on color engine coding but if memory serves later versions on PDF contain the alternate color space numbers within the PDF. Thic can be checked with PitStop Pro
    With 5 I would suggest going on site or conference calling to see what processes the client is using, modifing your flow if required per client.

  8. #18
    jbh
    jbh is online now Junior Member
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    ORIS Press Matcher / Web - it's a color management system that can calibrate digital, litho, large format - we use it throughout our place, consistent, accurate colour - I've never been happier with my output, or had it so easy.
    Do yourself a favor and find somebody in your area that runs ORIS pressmatcher, go and see how easy their color management has become,
    regards
    James. (happy ORIS customer)

  9. #19
    pabney is offline Member
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    First off I would like to thank everyone for their input on this. It has helped me out greatly.

    Mark, you did not come off as a know it all and there is no need to apologize. After rereading my original post, I sounded a bit like I thought the sky was falling. Chalk it up to a bad day. I generally believe that most problems get blown way out of proportion, so your advice was appropriate, and did help me get my feet back on the ground.

    Now back to the original discussion. After talking to several people and reading this forum, as well as a multitude of other sights, here is the game plan so far.

    Do not do color conversions in the rip. Rather do them when creating the pdf using the standard Lab values for spots and the GraCol cmyk color space preserving numbers for any colors that are already cmyk. This is for both CS5 and CS6. This should give us the same conversion numbers between the two programs. Although, they will be different than any conversions in the past, we will just have to deal with that on a customer by customer basis. That takes care of my goal points 1 and 2.

    Point 3 about using acrobat more fully is still in the works. We currently use acrobat very little. I have seen on this forum about preflight profiles that fix problems inside a pdf, that I am not using and need to research this more. This will still have to wait a bit, as a few other things here have taken priority over this one. I would still like to learn a bit more about Acrobat's preflight to better utilize this tool.

    Points 4 and 5 are in the works now. We are talking to our customers about the changes in Pantone color builds and working on educating them on giving us files in a more consistent way to achieve the color they are looking for.

    A new point did come up when talking to a few people that I do need to address and would like a some feedback. I have no uncoated proofing workflow.
    We are using Oris color tuner 5.5 calibrated to GraCol. This works great for anything printed on a coated sheet. Uncoated is a different story, although I do not know how to set up an uncoated proofing que. Is there a default profile I can use for uncoated like I use GraCol for coated?

    Again, thanks everyone for their help.

    Paul
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  10. #20
    Stephen Marsh is offline Senior Member
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    Paul, It sounds like you are printing to GRACoL for coated work, so that is a known target.

    For uncoated work, the questions would be the same.

    * Are you actually separating to and or printing to an industry target for uncoated? Or to a custom house profile for uncoated?
    * Can your press consistently "match" the proof?

    What condition/profile are you separating to? Is it the same as for coated? Do you then hit the coated separations with press curves in an attempt to compensate? If it is not the same profile as coated, what profile are you using for separation?

    Would this be a standard profile (that you can actually match on press) or would you create a custom house profile for such work?

    What stock would you be proofing on? Would you simulate paper white or zero it out and use the proofing stock white when setting up your queue in ORIS Color Tuner? Are you licensed to make your own custom RFP files in ORIS CT, or can you only use the ones that are supplied by CGS for various standard proofing conditions and CGS or Epson papers?


    Stephen Marsh
    Last edited by Stephen Marsh; 12-04-2012 at 06:46 AM.


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