How can I set the file to CMYK in Fresco？
Fresco only supports RGB and HSB color profiles.
Hi, would you mind being more specific? RGB and HSB are color models, not exactly profiles.
Fresco on Windows doesn't seem to have any mechanism to set color profiles (actually, I couldn't find any setting related to colour management at all).
Does it assume sRGB? Is it managed at all?
If you need a CMYK file you can export the document as a PSD and then open it in Photoshop to do the conversion. Here are directions https://community.adobe.com/t5/Fresco/How-about-moving-the-drawing-to-Photoshop/td-p/10635833.
However you might be better off letting your printer do the conversion. Check with them first.
Why would you need CMYK in 2019? We're living in the age of «media neutral» workflows…
Book (print) publishing still requires CMYK.
Print factories require CMYK PDF but you should prepare your artwork in RGB and the conversion to CMYK should be done as the last step - usually done in InDesign or Acrobat (or by printing machine as Theresa said)
Oh yes! I design ads for print and digital and they have to be in CMYK, because of how it's put together and if it's in RGB, it could cause the images to look wonky, colorwise
As it was mentioned earlier, modern workflows have shifted into working all the original artwork in RGB and leave the conversion to CMYK to the end of the pipe (either done by the print provider or by the artist following the specs provided by the printer).
Using RGB and soft-proofing features will avoid surprises and keep the workflow tight, without needing to sacrifice color latitude by early binding to a CMYK profile.
However, it is crucial to know the colorspace of the image. RGB and CMYK are merely colour models, and without a proper profile definition you can't be sure the conversions will be done properly.
For example, if your RGB image is tagged with the sRGB colorspace, colour managment will know what transformation apply if yoñu want it converted to, say Swop v2 CMYK. If you don't know your source and destination colorspaces, you can't be sure the conversion will be ok.
This is well-defined in most of the Adobe apps, but Fresco in its minimalistic approach seems to be either lacking or hiding those preferences.
It seems clear to me that whoever suggests working in RGB and then converting to CMYK in the last step doesn't have the slightest idea of what they want to work with printed paper.
Converting from RGB to CMYK ALWAYS results in color distortion.
You spend your days setting up the monitor, choosing the colours, doing the print tests and then... Then you find yourself with a different job than the one you had planned.
The difference is seen in the details.
It would be nice if Fresco also allowed you to work in CMYK as Photoshop and Illustrator already do.
No, you're just wrong. You don't need CMYK in Fresco.
All what you need is a decent soft-proofing mechanism and a few gamut restrictions/warnings to make sure your RGB gamut doesn't exceed the printable gamut of a certain CMYK target and that's it. No shifts, no clips.
CMYK is not a silver bullet to produce perfect prints, and computers do a pretty bad job representing substractive mixes on a screen that is emissive. And pixels are pixels. You can repeat to yourself that a CMYK digital file is actually CMYK, but it's ALWAYS an additive representation of CMYK values using the best approximation available.
So, basically: If you can see it on-screen and you think the colour is right, it's because there is an appropriate RGB value for that colour representation. If those RGB values are restricted to the gamut of your CMYK output, then they will print just fine.
Otherwise it would be impossible to print digital photographs because cameras don't produce CMYK photos, for instance.
Oh, and btw, I've been printing stuff on professional presses for the last 25 years. I think that after thousands of prirt runs and happy customers I can believe I have a slight idea of this.
Total newbie here but what I'm struggling with is not so much a philosophical question about which is better, but the printer I'm working with is requiring me to convert my fresco file into CMYK - Does anyone know how to do that in an easy way other than photoshop which I don't have and don't know how to use?
I've never used them myself but if you Google there are free online tools that convert RGB to CMYK.
There are online tools for that, but from my experience I can't say they are trustworthy. Specially when it involves sending stuff to print shops, where mistakes can be really expensive.
Converting an RGB image to CMYK shouldn't be a big deal, but it involves using software that understands colorspaces and does the conversion properly. A good conversion will take care of black generation (i.e.: how to turn RGB black into black ink, whether using pure black ink or a combination of CMY/K to produce a richer black), the total ink coverage so the printed page gets rich colour but also dries reasonably fast, etc.
The online apps that offer conversion to CMYK often fail even in the most basic aspects, as you don't have control over those parameters, rendering intents, etc.
Also, using an automated tool like those gives you almost no control and you can't inspect the result, so I'd stay away from them.
Asking a friend or colleague who has Photoshop to give you a hand is what I'd do. Using the "convert to profile" command in Photoshop using the color profile provided by your print shop is the way to go.
If you're looking for free software for that, Krita has that feature and it does a good job.
Thank you so much for this response. Seems illustrator or photoshop are really the solution. I'll check out the Keira you suggest as well.
There is no such thing as a generic "convert from RGB to CMYK". You have to choose a CMYK profile when converting. Ask the printer what CMYK profile to use.
Or: keep it in RGB and find a modern print shop.
Umm no he is not just wrong. He is just very right. Your converting work flow is just old.
Working in CYMK from the beginning (early-binding) *is* the old way. Modern workflows have shifted to keeping the file in RGB and doing the conversion late in the pipe, when rendering the plates (late-binding). Just check how PDF-X versions evolved and you'll see this is true.
Working directly in CMYK may seem simpler, but it has a serious disadvantage: Your work is tied to an specific CMYK colorspace. So, if you have to move to a different print provider or paper stock, your CMYK separation won't produce the correct results anymore. This is crucial and most of the people advocating for CMYK seem to miss the point: There is no universal CMYK. Each printer and paper stock has its own CMYK colorspace.
When you keep it RGB, you keep more color latitude and that means that every time the CMYK conversion is done (by your print provider or by yourself when you're prparing your artwork for print) it's done from a rich source.
If you created your artwork in RGB, making sure that your palette more or less falls in the printable colors gamut, then you can be 100% sure that your artwork will print ok almost everywhere.
If you created your artwork in CMYK, your file will be only good for specific printing conditions, and might produce bad results when moving to different printing conditions (SWOP vs. FOGRA shops, coated vs. uncoated papers, even different brands of papers, etc.).
That being said, chosing early or late binding is up to you. Early binding is not wrong, you can still use it, but you MUST know exactly where your artwork will be printed and how, and you have to know that if you switch providers you'll have to convert it to a different CMYK colorspace anyway. And that will have a worse impact on your artwork than going from RGB to the proper CMYK once.
Of course, because of the trend of using RGB all the way during the creative process some programs like Fresco won't offer that choice, so you have to treat your images created in Fresco as if they were digital photos of your artwork. I make this analogy because it is exactly what you have to do when you create physical media and take a photo of it or scan it. And not having CMYK there never stopped creators from doing stuff for print before.
OHWEB, how do you ensure your RGB files stays within CMYK ranges? I'm still not able to get my Fresco RGB files printed, as the printer is requireing some things to be 100%K black which I can't seem to do and the colors to be CMYK which I definitely can't do. I've pretty much resigned myself to neededing to work in illusttrator.
Hi @Nichole30963543608o , The easiest way to make sure that your artwork stays in the desired gamut in a program that doesn't have any colour management is using a palette of printable colours. Painting with those colours will produce colours that are likely to stay within your desired gamut. It's important to keep in mind that some blending modes might break this, so be careful when you use them (specially the aditive ones, the ones that make the result brighter than the original colour).
That being said, this only applies to colours you want to be precisely reproduced on paper. Colour management usually does a decent job converting from sRGB to the most common CMYK spaces. The only problematic areas are colours with maximum saturation, as they are closer to the pure primaries in the source colorspace, and those aren't printable (green, specially).
As a general rule, I'd say that you'll want to be careful with satuated green to blue shades. Those are the ones that suffer the most when you convert from RGB to CMYK, as cyan ink is nowhere close to a pure saturated RGB cyan.
Saturated magentas are going to suffer the same problem, so the shades between blue and magenta are problematic too, although less frecuent in artwork than green-cyan-blue shades.
Shades leaning towards yellow (from red, to orange, to yellow and from green, lime to yellow) will be easier to reproduce, as yellow ink can be bright enough to be closer to your RGB yellow.
So, long story short:
- Use a palette of printable colours, specially for your saturated greens, blues and magentas. Those are less likely to be printable, so figure out what's the most saturated printable shade you can get and create a palette for them so you can pick your colours from there.
- Keep an eye on the effect of blending modes. If they brighten colours making them more saturated than the colours in your palette, dial their saturation down so they stay printable (specially blues, cyans, greens, and magentas).
Now, regarding the 100% black requirement, let me say it's a quite stupid one. What if you were an artist who does photographic collages? Or even, what if you are a photographer? How do you paint 100% black there?
That's quite ridiculous, specially because colour management will automatically take care of your RGB black and create a rich black that uses the four plates to produce a rich and deep black that is impossible to obtain with a 100% black only plate.
Sure, there are very specific situations where controling the black genereation is desirable (if your artwork is mostly black) and deciding how the RGB black will be separated into CMYK makes sense, but again that doesn't require to use CMYK from scratch. Color profiles with specific black generation features can be used.
I'm not sure what so say about this. If the provider requires this it is probably a good idea to look around and find a new provider. Remember, if your artwork was a photo that requirement would be ridiculous.
Two things I forgot to mention:
- Keep in mind that mixing printable colours in RGB might produce non-printable colours. So for instance, you may have printable green and yellow, but a saturated lime shade from a gradient created from both might fall outside the printable gamut. However, rendering intents used in the conversion to CMYK will preserve a reasonable appearance, those new colours might end up less saturated in the printed page, but they won't look nasty, the appearance of gradients will be preserved. Again, for every important colour in your artwork that you want to be precisely reproduced on paper, use print-safe swatches.
And last but not least, the key part of this process: how to produce a palette of printable swatches. This is where Fresco could and should be improved: If its color picker had a "gamut mask" with selectable CMYK colorspaces, this would be a breeze. You would be able to pick only printable colours, and that's it.
Unfortunately, as that's not available, you have to use other software (or ask a friend for a hand).
I'll be that friend now 🙂 and give you a palette of printable colours based on SWOP v2 Coated you can use for picking colours from.
It's just a capture of Photoshop's colour picker with a CMYK softproof applied, forcing all the non-printable colours to fall in the destination gamut, making them printable.
Whatever colour you pick from that image, it will be printable in the Swop v2 coated colorspace. Darker shades are going to be most likely printable too as saturation decreases.
I hope this helps.
It would be wonderful if all printers would print RGB files. Unfortunately many of them have older equipment that doesn't handle the color conversion accurately.
Here's how I would handle converting a Fresco file to CMYK for this situation.
@Theresa JIt's not a matter of old/new equipment. It's not an old/new software limitation either, if it was they would ask you to send specifically a PDF/X-1a that can only be CMYK.
It's just a matter of workflow and habits, and a way that certain printers have to protect themselves from any questioning about colour reproduction.
I'd say it mostly happens because people sometimes send them RGB images with non-printable colours and then complain that the reproduction is wrong, so they force you to give them CMYK so everything is printable.
Producing an RGB image as I described above, that has only printable colours has the EXACT same output than converting those images to CMYK when the image is sent through the RIP.
Regarding blacks, keep in mind that 0,0,0,100 has two problems: First, it's not a deep black. It's rather gray and will looked bland when printed in larger areas. Second, it's not overprinting on the artwork, so it could potentially produce nasty white lines if the black plate is slightly out of registration (misaligned when printing).
I would never advise artists to use pure black for illustrations. The only case for pure black is small black text and that should always be overprinted and set up in a different software anyway.
And leaving the technical aspects aside, Nichole didn't want to subscribe to another software, they wanted to produce an image that can be sent to a print shop with Fresco.
If sending RGB is out of the table completely and subscribing a new software is a possibility, I think a good option is to use Acrobat Pro. It has the tools to convert the image created in Fresco to a press-ready PDF, convert the colorspace and even adjust black generation. And last time I checked was cheaper than an Illustrator subscription.
@OHWEB Thanks for your responses they are very helpful. The 100k black requirement is for a foil stamped area. Not sure why that is the color it has to be but that is what they require. Maybe I find a printer with a bit more flexibility! Truly grateful thank you.
Ah, I didn't know there was a foil stamp involved.
A foil stamp is the same as a "spot" colour pass. That special ink pass has to be isolated in some way so they can produce an extra plate for it. They are probably asking for 100%K so they make sure that every pixel that has 100% black and none of the other primaries is treated as foil, but that's not the only way to do that.
Actually, it's more common to create a special ink in Photoshop or Illustrator and create a separate layer with that content, and it will appear as an extra pass in the exported PDF.
What you can do in this case is to manually isolate the foil areas as a separate black and white image. Just keep the foil design as a separate layer, then export it to a different file and that's it.
Then you go to your provider and tell them that:
- File 1 is your RGB artwork is constrained to the CMYK gamut, so everything is printable.
- File 2 is the foil area is provided as a separate grayscale file.
With those elements ANY provider should be able to produce your prints without any issues. It takes of course a provider that is reasonable enough to have this conversation.