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Colors wash out in illustrator but not in Photoshop -CC2019

New Here ,
Dec 11, 2018 Dec 11, 2018

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Okay so the problem I've been having recently is if I bring a photo into illustrator, it completely washes out and it wasn't doing this a month ago. Light blues become lavender and navies become purple- Is this a setting I can change? I've already tried the changing the document color mode and it makes little to no difference.

Any input would be greatly appreciated as I use this program for work and I have a project deadline of tommorrow.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 11, 2018 Dec 11, 2018

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Hi 2apuki,

I hope I can help. Its quite a complex issue.

SO please be prepared for some long winded explanation.

I suggest you look at the color settings in Illustrator, check your RGB and CMYK color spaces.

Write them down

Now, in Photoshop, with you image open, look at the document profile for the image you plan to import to Illustrator

You a can do this rom the menu: image / mode / convert to profile will show you the current document (image) color space.

There are other ways too.

In Photoshop at bottom left there is an info panel: Depending on the options selected, the Info panel displays status information, such as document size, document profile, document dimensions, scratch sizes, efficiency, timing, and current tool.

I'm going to have to make some guesses here - for the sake of explanation, let's presume that you make Illustrator jobs in CMYK and the destination for jobs is some kind of print? Like magazines or ad's.

Let's say the image color space (in Photoshop) is Adobe RGB,

and, say, Illustrator is set to work in CMYK, maybe the old default of SWOP (sheetfed offset coated).

The SWOP color space is quite restricted so that could account for the "compression" you describe.

Blues in an RGB file often turn to purple if the saturation is too great for the CMYK print color space. A smaller CMYK space will make this more likely as will an enthusiastic photographer pushing the sky's blue right towards the capabilities of, say, Adobe RGB.

Your Illustrator CMYK setting should ideally be dictated by the destination for your print job. How will it be printed?

If you are in the US maybe GRACoL might be a good choice, you must get advice from the printer about this. [e.g. CoatedGRACoL2006.icc].

If in Europe the one of the ISO color spaces would almost certainly be a suitable choice. [e.g. CoatedFOGRA39.icc]

Once you have Illustrator set up to use a suitable CMYK color space, I'd recommend that, in Photoshop, before saving a copy of the original image file you first look at the gamut issues [gamut = the range of color in a file].

That's done here: in view / proof setup / custom set the destination color space to the same oCMYK color space you chose in Illustrator.

Now from the view menu select gamut warning. Photoshop uses the destination CMYK profile and adds an overlay to the areas of the RGB image that can't be printed without significant remapping of the colors.  This will warn you as to where to expect errors of color mapping to appear.

To test the conversion to CMYK process, [in Photoshop] go to image / mode / convert to profile and convert to the CMYK color space that Illustrator is using.

How does the image look in the areas you saw the gamut warning overlay?

If you have issues with loss of detail in highly saturated areas or unacceptable color changes, then the RGB file needs to be edited BEFORE the conversion to CMYK is made.

Explaining the process to achieve that is, I fear, beyond the scope of this volunteer forum. There are, of course, good books out there on how to deal with such issues.

One important part of making this the process simpler is to ensure the photographer does not push image colors beyond the boundaries of the CMYK print color space.

That's what Photoshop's "gamut warning" is there to help with.

I hope this helps

if so, please do mark my reply as "helpful" and if you're OK now, please mark it as "correct" below, so others who have similar issues can see the solution

thanks

neil barstow, colourmanagement

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