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solid black eps changes to 4 color black when distilled

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  • solid black eps changes to 4 color black when distilled

    I cannot figure out why this happenss. If someone submits a logo that is made up of a 4 color black, I take it into photoshop, assign a new profile that converts it to a solid black and save it as an EPS (profile embedded). If I distill the EPS it becomes a 4 color black. Distiler is set to preserve embedded profiles, so why does this happen? Can anyone help?

  • #2
    Re: solid black eps changes to 4 color black when distilled

    Wow. (That's really what comes to mind)

    Learn color management.

    How do you know they submitted a logo that is made up of 4C black? Is it an Illustrator or Photoshop file?

    First, in color settings, set color settings to use North American General Purpose 2 color settings file, then change CMYK color management policy to Off. Second, open the document in Illustrator if made in Illustrator (do you know how to tell which program made it?). When document opened check to make sure the black is 4C black like you see when opening this in Photoshop. If not, then you're creating the 4C by opening in Photoshop which most likely has different color settings. It should be the same CMYK values as what you see in Photoshop (unless the color settings file used in Photoshop is different than the color settings file used in Illustrator, and you're converting upon opening in Photoshop). In this case of setting the CMYK color management policy to Off, we are ignoring the profile and just using the CMYK values. No conversion is happening.

    You then say that you open in Photoshop and assign a new profile that converts it to a solid black. Now here, you can't do both. Either you're assigning or converting. Since I know that assigning a profile doesn't change the actual CMYK numbers, it's obvious that you're converting from one ICC profile to another. What is your source ICC profile? What's your destination ICC profile? What does the pop-up say when you open the file in Photoshop? Are you erroneously converting there and not knowing it? Also, unless the logo was made in Photoshop, you shouldn't open it in Photoshop.

    If you go to Photoshop color settings, choose North American General Purpose 2, make CMYK color management policy to Off, save these color settings as your unique name, go to Adobe Bridge and set this custom setup as the color settings for all Adobe programs to use (and also you'll need to open each Adobe program to verify all are this new custom color settings), THEN you can know that no CMYK numbers are changing without you manually doing it.

    Assign = telling a program that these existing numbers are going to be output on a different output device. The numbers don't change, but the appearance does.
    Convert = telling a program that these existing numbers need to keep the same appearance when being output to the different device, so numbers changed to keep appearance on the new device. The numbers change, but the appearance doesn't (within the destination device's gamut limitations)

    Also, one way to make sure your CMYK does not change when sent to someone else who doesn't set their CMYK color management policy to Off, is to not embed an ICC profile into the CMYK file.

    Hope this helps.

    Don

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: solid black eps changes to 4 color black when distilled

      > Learn color management.

      I am trying.

      > How do you know they submitted a logo that is made up of 4C black? Is it an Illustrator or Photoshop file?

      Photoshop

      > First, in color settings, set color settings to use North American General Purpose 2 color settings file, then change CMYK color management policy to Off. Second, open the document in Illustrator if made in Illustrator (do you know how to tell which program made it?).

      This question is insulting.

      >When document opened check to make sure the black is 4C black like you see when opening this in Photoshop. If not, then you're creating the 4C by opening in Photoshop which most likely has different color settings.

      Photoshop is set to preserve embedded profiles so that shouldn't happen.



      > You then say that you open in Photoshop and assign a new profile that converts it to a solid black.

      I used the wrong term. I am converting.


      > Are you erroneously converting there and not knowing it?

      No.


      I guess I did not explain this very well. Here are the steps. Open the file in photoshop(set to keep profile), go to edit-convert to profile, change destination space to custom cmyk, change black generation to maximum. Voila! Black is solid. Save as eps with profile embedded. Distill the file. Now, when I view it in Acrobat, the numbers have changed.

      We get stuff made in photoshop and illustrator. You can't do the conversion method I just described in Illustrator(maybe you can't do it at all, but I am just trying to come up with a solution for the 4-color black problem) so why shouldn't you open an illustrator EPS in photoshop if you need the numbers to change?

      Maybe a better question is, does the conversion method I described work? What is the best way to change a 4-color black to a solid?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: solid black eps changes to 4 color black when distilled

        If you are insulted because I ask how you tell if Illustrator made it, what else can I say? I'll try though. (BTW, you might be surprised to know there are people who open Illustrator stuff in Photoshop even though it's not recommended, and there are also many that don't know you can drag the file to TextEdit to get the info of what program saved the file, so you may take it as condescending, but it was not intended that way).

        OK. So Photoshop is set to honor embedded profiles. So you open the image in Photoshop and it shows the CMYK numbers when in that profile. You then convert to another profile (custom, high GCR) and so it's then black only, which is what you want. You then take that saved .eps (with new custom profile embedded, which is one possible problem, see last paragraph) and drop on distiller.

        Your settings in Distiller may be changing the CMYK values (possibly because the embedded profile is being seen, used and converted to the CMYK profile used in the joboptions, in which case you would get 4C blacks, because Convert = numbers change to keep appearance).

        Or the problem may be in Acrobat. If it sees/uses the embedded (different/custom) profile and you view output to another CMYK device (like the default SWOP profile), then Acrobat is telling you in Separation Preview that it will convert your numbers on output to the SWOP profile to keep intended appearance (even if you have CMYK color management policy set to Off, in which case Acrobat would be lying to you, and in this case I place the PDF in InDesign to see the truth).

        That is why I recommended to make a custom color settings that has the CMYK color management Policy to Off, and making that the color settings file used in all programs. This way you know CMYK profiles are ignored and CMYK numbers are honored and are not changing. Simple. Or you could not embed the custom profile when saving out of Photoshop. Also simple. If you do the first recommendation, it will take care of all situations (never have to worry on any job if the CMYK numbers are going to change, because they won't). If you do the second recommendation, it just takes care of that one image (which will fix this one situation, but I recommend the first approach - settings so you can use to know no CMYK numbers are changing at any time on any job, without you manually doing it).

        Don

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: solid black eps changes to 4 color black when distilled

          "so why shouldn't you open an illustrator EPS in photoshop if you need the numbers to change?"

          Because you can make the numbers correct in Illustrator, keep it vector (LineWork (LW) res, e.g. 2400 dpi). Opening in Photoshop makes it all raster/bitmap-based (Continuous Tone (CT) res, e.g. 300 dpi), not as easily editable as in Illustrator, and of course not as sharp either. It's always been recommended NOT to open Illustrator stuff in Photoshop for these reasons.

          Don

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: solid black eps changes to 4 color black when distilled

            Thank you for taking the time to help me out. I work at a small community publisher and I want our quality to be as good as it can, but this is difficult because no one here is trained in graphic arts so we end up with a lot of user errors. Our printer is struggling to understand color management, so I am really left on my own and have no one I can ask questions of. Anyway, thank you.
            >
            > Your settings in Distiller may be changing the CMYK values (possibly because the embedded profile is being seen, used and converted to the CMYK profile used in the joboptions, in which case you would get 4C blacks, because Convert = numbers change to keep appearance).

            Ok, The job options have none selected under Adobe color settings and under color management policies, leave color unchanged and preserve rendering intent are selected. Are these the best options for maintaining consistent values?


            > Or the problem may be in Acrobat. If it sees/uses the embedded (different/custom) profile and you view output to another CMYK device (like the default SWOP profile), then Acrobat is telling you in Separation Preview that it will convert your numbers on output to the SWOP profile to keep intended appearance (even if you have CMYK color management policy set to Off, in which case Acrobat would be lying to you, and in this case I place the PDF in InDesign to see the truth).
            >
            So, is there anyway to view "the truth" in acrobat, or should that be done in InDesign? I am not familiar with InDesign and its capabilities. I would like to use it, but our printer seems resistant. They claim there are problems at the RIP with transparencies and trapping.

            > That is why I recommended to make a custom color settings that has the CMYK color management Policy to Off, and making that the color settings file used in all programs. This way you know CMYK profiles are ignored and CMYK numbers are honored and are not changing. Simple. Or you could not embed the custom profile when saving out of Photoshop. Also simple. If you do the first recommendation, it will take care of all situations (never have to worry on any job if the CMYK numbers are going to change, because they won't). If you do the second recommendation, it just takes care of that one image (which will fix this one situation, but I recommend the first approach - settings so you can use to know no CMYK numbers are changing at any time on any job, without you manually doing it).

            I am sorry if this question is really dumb, but why would you want color management off? If I am understanding you correctly, if the color management policy in every app is set to off, then you would want to embed your profiles. So that file will now always maintain consistent cmyk values. If this is true, then that sounds great.
            Again, thank you for your help.

            As far as changing values in illustrator, I will have to figure that out. I do not know much about illustrator, but I should.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: solid black eps changes to 4 color black when distilled

              It's cool. I've been doing this for about 12-14 years including schooling.

              "Ok, The job options have none selected under Adobe color settings and under color management policies, leave color unchanged and preserve rendering intent are selected. Are these the best options for maintaining consistent values?"

              Well, you really can't turn off color management. With color management "Off" you may not be changing CMYK or grayscale values, but what about RGB? RGB will have to get converted to CMYK. If a placed RGB has a profile embedded, is it honored or not? It should be. If the placed RGB doesn't have a profile embedded, what RGB profile is being "assumed" for that untagged RGB that's placed? Should most likely be sRGB IEC61966-2.1. Is it? Who really knows with color management off? SO I would say no, this is not the best option. I have told you the best setup as recommended by me I believe a couple times already. One more time: Use the default color settings named 'North American General Purpose 2', except make CMYK color management POLICY to be OFF, then save as a custom name. Then use this custom color settings in every Adobe program.

              What will happen is this: All CMYK and Grayscale will keep the numbers that were sent in, and won't change. RGB with an embedded profile will be honored and converted to CMYK on output. RGB without an embedded profile will assume sRGB IEC61966-2.1 ICC profile and convert to CMYK on output.

              I don't trust Acrobat preview, so no I can't tell you a better way. I use InDesign, place the PDF and see if my blacks changed. I'm looking to get a PDF editor like Neo where I can trust the preview.

              "I am sorry if this question is really dumb, but why would you want color management off? If I am understanding you correctly, if the color management policy in every app is set to off, then you would want to embed your profiles. So that file will now always maintain consistent cmyk values."

              You're misunderstanding me. I ONLY want to color manage RGB (because we can't print RGB without converting to CMYK). That's it. I on purpose don't want to color manage CMYK. There are many reasons, and I won't go into them here. Just let the printer print your CMYK values. Hopefully they are printing to the international standard. If so, your SWOP CMYK (the default CMYK profile in Adobe in U.S.) will print looking natural. For specific colors to look just as intended, you'll actually need to use your printer's press profile to build with and convert RGB to, or if they're printing to the international standard, maybe you can use a standard profile for the paper type you're printing on, and of course use that same profile in all Adobe apps' color settings.

              "As far as changing values in illustrator, I will have to figure that out. I do not know much about illustrator, but I should."

              You really do need to learn Ilustrator. Adobe apps are only going to get to be more of a standard, especially since Quark 7 sucks so bad and is unreliable.

              Don

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: solid black eps changes to 4 color black when distilled

                >Just let the printer print your CMYK values. Hopefully they are printing to the international standard. If so, your SWOP CMYK (the default CMYK profile in Adobe in U.S.) will print looking natural. For specific colors to look just as intended, you'll actually need to use your printer's press profile to build with and convert RGB to, or if they're printing to the international standard, maybe you can use a standard profile for the paper type you're printing on, and of course use that same profile in all Adobe apps' color settings.


                The problem is that the printer does not have press profiles and the default SWOP(newsprint) does not print correctly. They will have profiles soon, but in the interim I would like to get the closet match on my screen to what is printed. Some adjustments are necessary like total ink limit 240, black ink limit 80 and dot gain 30%. This is closer, but pictures still seem to print darker, especially in the shadows.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: solid black eps changes to 4 color black when distilled

                  >I don't trust Acrobat preview
                  >
                  Why??

                  Output Preview in Acrobat is an AMAZINGLY accurate way to
                  determine what is contained in your PDF and how it will print to both
                  composite as well as separate devices.

                  If there is something wrong (or missing) in Output Preview, I'd
                  LOVE to know about it so we can fix it...

                  Leonard

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: solid black eps changes to 4 color black when distilled

                    I think we've went through this discussion before. However it came out, I still don't trust Acrobat preview. If someone else does, good for them. If I have my CMYK color management policy set to off in color settings, then no matter which CMYK profile I preview separations with in Acrobat Pro, my CMYK numbers should not change. But I have seen where they do. That's why I don't trust the preview. If my CMYK color management policy is set to Off, the CMYK should be treated as DeviceCMYK (in other words untagged CMYK, because it should not get color managed in the preview no matter if I choose a hundred other CMYK profiles for preview). This is my stance, and I am sticking by it, no matter if it makes sense to anyone else or not. If I am wrong on this, I accept that. But the fact remains that I do what I need to to make sure my preview is correct (because I don't color manage CMYK at all - ever, so I expect my previews to always reflect that). Just like the "Ignore Profile, Keep Numbers" CMYK color management policy doesn't always do that (and does honor the profile and change numbers at times - I've seen it and was able to repeat it), then that is why I keep mine set to Off.

                    Don

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: solid black eps changes to 4 color black when distilled

                      So you are talking about newspaper printing? FYI the default CMYK profile in Adobe color settings in the U.S. is the 'U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2' profile. This is the profile to use for SWOP printing (and because of low enough TAC and very close NPDCs to G7 graphs for GRACoL2006_Coated1v2 and ISOuncoated also, can be used for sheetfed printing on coated and uncoated stocks without having to get repurposed, and will look natural).

                      If you're printing on newspaper, then this profile has way too much TAC (300 vs 240 you mention), and is made for a dot gain of 20% so will print way too light on a printing condition made for 30%. If the separation is made for 'U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2', then it will need to get repurposed (converted) to another profile like 'SWOP (Newsprint), 34%, UCR, 255%'. You'll want to invest in a Device Link to do this transformation, especially if it's an on-going deal of getting separations with much too high TAC and that much different dot gain than your printing condition.

                      If you're printing sheetfed, then the 'U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2' separation will look natural when printed on the international standard ISO 12647-2. However, if you're printing newsprint separations on sheedfed stock/ink/dot gain, then you'll have problems with the way it looks. If printing on sheetfed, I would recommend setting press up to international standard via the G7 method and separating and proofing with the official GRACoL2006_Coated1v2 ICC profile.

                      BTW shadows on the monitor may mean you have an old monitor not able to get to recommended brightness. You can calibrate it anyways with a product such as i1 Display 2, but it will be a little different than the actual print in some areas. I use a very old monitor and this is good enough for me where I work. Your mileage may vary.

                      Don

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: solid black eps changes to 4 color black when distilled

                        Your CMYK numbers aren't changing - the data in the file isn't being
                        touched.

                        However, those numbers mean NOTHING except when taken in conjunction
                        with a given profile - not just on screen, but even on the physical
                        printer. So when you change the profile in Preview, you are seeing what
                        those numbers mean if they were to be printed to a device based on that
                        profile. This is especially true for scren rendering when we have to
                        take your CMYK numbers and convert them to RGB numbers for yoru RGB
                        screen to display. CMYK->RGB can either happen algorithmically (which
                        leads to oversatured colors) _OR_ it can happen via ICC color management
                        which is what is being used.

                        If you wish to see the same COLORS regardless of the simulation profile
                        - then you need to assign/tag your CMYK data with a source profile
                        through which the numbers have a meaning to start with.

                        Another related note to you, since I know that you are a big fan of
                        PDF/X-4, is that when dealing with PDF/X-4 (or any PDF with live
                        transparency) it is IMPOSSIBLE to treat "your numbers as unchangable".
                        All colors are profiled (either explicitly or implicitly) when rendering
                        a PDF with transparency.

                        Leonard

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: solid black eps changes to 4 color black when distilled

                          Well Leonard, I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree.

                          It would be nice to be able to have this as a preference in the Preview window (just like 'Keep CMYK Numbers' in Photoshop soft-proofing).

                          Let's say I want to see MY CMYK numbers when output on another device (knowing the appearance is gonna change). I could check 'Keep CMYK Numbers'. Then when I take readings or view separations (e.g. a PDF/X-1a with Output Intent SWOP) having the GRACoL2006_Coated1v2 profile used for preview, then it would show me THE UNCHANGED CMYK NUMBERS (so the eyedropper will show the CMYK numbers as they REALLY ARE in the PDF) as they would appear when printed on GRACoL2006_Coated1v2.

                          Then, If I wanted to see what it looked like repurposed (CHANGING CMYK NUMBERS TO KEEP APPEARANCE), then I would uncheck the 'Keep CMYK Numbers' and it would show me the changed CMYK numbers.

                          Preview not using my color settings is what I see as the problem, and no amount of explaining why is gonna help it. If I have CMYK Color Management Policy in my Color Settings set to Off, I expect my CMYK numbers not to change ANYWHERE in ANY PREVIEW OR OUTPUT!

                          "Another related note to you, since I know that you are a big fan of
                          PDF/X-4, is that when dealing with PDF/X-4 (or any PDF with live
                          transparency) it is IMPOSSIBLE to treat "your numbers as unchangable".
                          All colors are profiled (either explicitly or implicitly) when rendering
                          a PDF with transparency."

                          I'll tell you something: There's another post on these forums that just talked about color management being turned on (vs. off) and that black type goes to four color. It's not something I've been making up for years. If Adobe could do color management for how we in print need it, then we all would have and could have been color managing CMYK for years now. But Adobe nor Quark treat this right, we are told to use a DeviceLink by the "experts", and these programs we all use can't use them. So frankly, who cares. I may not use PDF/X-4 anyways. If I do, I'll test to make sure that repurposing is correctly happening for output to press (one-color black going into the conversion must be one-color black coming out of the conversion), and that when a conversion supposedly does happen, that it actually does happen and the repurposing program is not lying to me either (which I've seen also, and feel lied to because it's supposed to be doing something and maybe the novice takes it for granted that it does do it, but I've checked programs that weren't doing it).

                          Believe me, I would love it to be cut-and-dry go-by-the-rules. But until stuff gets fixed to handle repurposing correctly, then I will most likely still not repurpose CMYK, even if told to do so every day of the week by someone who has no idea what I have to go through.

                          Don

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: solid black eps changes to 4 color black when distilled

                            > If the separation is made for 'U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2', then it will need to get repurposed (converted) to another profile like 'SWOP (Newsprint), 34%, UCR, 255%'.

                            UCR for newsprint?

                            >You'll want to invest in a Device Link to do this transformation, especially if it's an on-going deal of getting separations with much too high TAC and that much different dot gain than your printing condition.

                            Should we invest in this or should our printer? I want them to create an icc profile for their press conditions, but in the meantime is there nothing we can do to get closer since it seems that photoshop's custom cmyk options are not reliable.



                            > BTW shadows on the monitor may mean you have an old monitor not able to get to recommended brightness.

                            I have a brand new 21" Acer lcd at work and the 15 inch macbook pro screen for everywhere else. Also, you are giving a solution to the opposite of our problem. Shadows in photographs look fine on screen, but fill in a lot when printed. They become too dark not too light. We, of course compensate by removing ink or doing a curves adjustment, but I would like it to be closer on screen to how it prints. What happens is that some people who correct pictures end up overcompensating for the darker printing and the pictures look flat and faded. I have gotten pretty good at adjusting for this, but it would be much better to have a closer on screen match.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: solid black eps changes to 4 color black when distilled

                              Use the default U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 ICC profile is printing on sheetfed (coated or uncoated paper) if your printer doesn't give you an ICC profile describing their printing condition for you to make separations with.

                              I only mentioned a newsprint profile to use if you're printing on newspaper. You should know if you are or not. I can't even tell you where the profile I named came from. I don't use it.

                              Don

                              Comment

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