Issue when adding greyscale files into illustrator (they loose contrast)

New Here ,
Feb 03, 2021

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Hello,

 

I am working in Adobe Illustrator 2020, my Document colormode is CMYK and my color presets are set to standard.

 

 

When I have the colormode set to RGB I have no issues when importing images, yet seeing that I am getting these printed, I am working in CMYK to be sure that I see how the printed file might look in the end.

 

Now when I switch from RGB to CMYK, my greyscale image still looks the same, giving me a false sense of security that this is how the image will print, it is only when I add in greyscale image AFTER switching to CMYK work mode, that the image is shown with less contrast - often this is also how it will look like when printed.

 

I could import the image into photoshop from where it prints fine in greyscale and doesnt loose any contrast, yet the issue is that there is corresponding text that is part of the image file, and importing that into photoshop the small text pixilates noticably. 

 

To top things off I have moire in the image that shows up when printed on a high end printer, (seen in the third picture), if anyone has an idea how to get rid of that, (it's a scanned photgraph, and yes I treid reducing it via the scnaner), then bonus points to you!

 

Best,

 

O. 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 03, 2021

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There are quite a few things that could be going wrong for you here, and not knowing how your color management is set up, among other things, members of an online forum aren't really in a position to troubleshoot. This is one of many reasons page layout apps like InDesign exist. Assets you place on an InDesign page retain their individual color and resolution characteristics, rather than coming under the influence of global application-level settings, with some exceptions. It's simply the correct tool for mixing raster images, vector graphics and type for print, as opposed to the applications where the raster images and vector graphics were processed or produced.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 03, 2021

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Greyscale images are not very reliable in Illustrator, especially when embedded.

Embedded in an RGB file they become transparent and in a CMYK file they become lighter when saved as PDF.

Try to link them (or as suggested use InDesign).

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New Here ,
Feb 03, 2021

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Sadly I get the same issue when using InDesign -  the image below shows an image that I converted into greyscale using Photoshop and then drag onto Indesign.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 03, 2021

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I cannot reproduce that, but I placed the file in InDesign.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 03, 2021

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And the file had a profile attached.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 03, 2021

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Okay...

1) Don't drag. Use File > Place (Admittedly, to an extent, this is a personal prejudice of  mine; drag-&-drop, even when it theoretically produces the same result as another method, always bypasses some options other methods don't.)

2) On-screen appearance in the editing environment is very often not a reliable reference with respect to how a raster image will print. This can be especially true in InDesign. An image, properly linked to the InDesign document via File > Place will output from the source, but to optimize performance, is represented in InDesign by a dedicated, limited-resolution proxy/preview image InDesign writes upon import.

3) Further to #2 above, document presets (Illustrator) impose a Document Color Mode that will affect the appearance of a placed raster image, but does not change the mode of the image itself until output, at which time several influences may come into play. Similarly, source-image color mode and Transparency Blend Space (InDesign), can affect appearance on-screen and upon output. All that only further diminishes the significance and reliability of on-screen appearance.

 

The point is, don't get so bogged down by on-screen appearance, pre-output. InDesign provides methods for assembling layouts without affecting the source image(s), and controlling output, primarily via PDF export.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 03, 2021

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New Here ,
Feb 03, 2021

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The way I am currently dealing with this is that I am imbedding the image into the indesign file - Edit Colors - Covert to Greyscale

 

Now my image looks more translucent / has less contrast then before.

 

So what I do is - Edit Colors - recolor with preset

 

Now I add on a bit of balck to get it back to where it was.

 

Though now the question becomes - is the 'lighter' greyscale the true image that is being printed, or is it simply a bug and I will be getting a similiar image to that before? I ask this because after I save the edited file to PDF, the final file now looks darker then in InDesign...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 03, 2021

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You're mixing concepts there. You're saying InDesign, but Edit Colors > Convert to Grayscale, and Edit Colors > Recolor are Illustrator, not InDesign, features.

 

If you must place a raster image in Illustrator, it's best to prep it in Photoshop, place a link, then leave it alone.

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New Here ,
Feb 03, 2021

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Thank you, Indeed I meant to say Illustrator and yes, it seems I have an issue with my raster images when they are placed in Illustrator, though as mentioned, my image which has been prepped and converted in greyscale via photoshop, ends up loosing contrast and get this greyish hue when I add it into Illustrator - Perhaps instead of 'dropping' it into Illustrator, I need to 'place a link'? Perhaps this is the key so maybe you could allude towards what that might further entail.

 

Best,

 

O.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 03, 2021

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Illustrator: When composing a layout intended for print, be sure to start with a document preset that's appropriate for print. To place and link your image, choose File > Place. Navigate to the folder where the image is stored, select it, and tick the Link checkbox near the bottom of the Place dialog.

 

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