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Why are my colours dulled in indesign?

New Here ,
May 08, 2010

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Hi team.

I guess this is something to do with my colour set up.

basically I am in the process of creating some simple one colour graphics in illustrator. And in illustrator they look just how I want nice and vibrant.

However once I place them into indesign they look dull and lifeless. This would not bother me except when I export to PDF from indeisgn that dull lifeless image is carried to the PDF.

If I PDF from illustrator it looks just how I want.

Frustratingly in the links panel of indesign that same great colour is there but I cannot for the life of me work out why in the document it looks dull and int he PDF too, I really need help on this as its for a tender which needs to be in by the end of the weekend.

To clarify I am not worried so much about absolute colour correction, i.e. calibrating screens etc, my problem is illustrator looks great, indesign looks dull.

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Why are my colours dulled in indesign?

New Here ,
May 08, 2010

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Hi team.

I guess this is something to do with my colour set up.

basically I am in the process of creating some simple one colour graphics in illustrator. And in illustrator they look just how I want nice and vibrant.

However once I place them into indesign they look dull and lifeless. This would not bother me except when I export to PDF from indeisgn that dull lifeless image is carried to the PDF.

If I PDF from illustrator it looks just how I want.

Frustratingly in the links panel of indesign that same great colour is there but I cannot for the life of me work out why in the document it looks dull and int he PDF too, I really need help on this as its for a tender which needs to be in by the end of the weekend.

To clarify I am not worried so much about absolute colour correction, i.e. calibrating screens etc, my problem is illustrator looks great, indesign looks dull.

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May 08, 2010 0
New Here ,
May 08, 2010

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As an update I sort of suspect a bug or something.

I have outputted my document to pdf. Two pages have some elements that are exactly the same link. On one page lovely and vibrant and on another dull and lifless.

I have no overlays, transparencies or anything silly going on so this is just very frustrating!

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May 08, 2010 0
LEGEND ,
May 08, 2010

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Are you sure you have no tranparency on the page? No Drop Shadows?

This sounds an awful lot like an RGB image with a CMYK transparency flattening space, or possibly a conversion from RGB to CMYK at export, but that would affect all instances.

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May 08, 2010 3
New Here ,
May 08, 2010

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Hi Peter. Having expoirted around an 80 page document now the problem only occurs on two pages. These two pages have nothing about them that other pages do not have. Infact other pages do have gradient transparencies applied within indesign to *different* images on the same page but not he ones exhibiting the problem.

I genuinly am at a loss to explain it. Sadly its confidential otherwise I would upload a piccy.

Basically I have 6 'swatches' of vivid colours blue orange etc, that appear on 10 pages of the document, 8 pages are fine, 2 are not.

Very odd.

One other problem, I have a text element that was converted to outline in illustrator, filled with white with a black out line. This was done to many text elements and display fine in indesign, once exported this one graphic out of many displays as totally black. Its little oddments like this that really slow my day down!

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May 08, 2010 0
Enthusiast ,
May 09, 2010

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>Basically I have 6 'swatches' of vivid colours blue orange

There you go, 'Bright orange' must be a RGB colour as it is almost impossible to get 'Bright orange' in CMYK.

I also guess that it is a RGB to CMYK conversion that has you troubled..

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May 09, 2010 0
New Here ,
May 09, 2010

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Thanks for that, but as stated the problem exists only on two pages. To clarify these are precisely the same links I am using on one page lovely on another rubbish

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May 09, 2010 0
Enthusiast ,
May 09, 2010

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If there is only flattening going on on that pages it will look dull (on screen) only there. Maybe some transperancy or effect is used only on these two pages?

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May 09, 2010 1
New Here ,
May 09, 2010

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OK taking what you said further I have confirmed I was working in RGB within illustrator. And therefore can I presume indesign is working in CMYK?

If this is the case how can I make it work in RGB? I want the bright vibrant colour from illustrator not indesigns dull lifeless one.

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May 09, 2010 0
LEGEND ,
May 09, 2010

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InDesign works in BOTH rgb and cmyk simultaneously.

What you describe is best explained by transparency flattening, and without the file to examine it's going to be impossible to find another cause. Check the transparency flattener color space (Edit > Transparency Blend Space...) and set it to Document RGB if it isn't already.

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May 09, 2010 10
New Here ,
May 09, 2010

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Thanks Peter. i fear I have wasted peoples time.

Once I completed the tender I chose the option to package the boo for print then opened and PDFed from the new package and the PDF looks perfect, I wonder if it 'lost track' somewhere?

It made no mention of lost links, but thats all I can assume. Suffice to say its working now.

I am beginning to think I made the colours too bright...

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May 09, 2010 0
New Here ,
May 21, 2018

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Just wanted to say a massive thank you for your comment about transparency flattening space!! This simple change has solved so many issues for me! Thank you!!!

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May 21, 2018 0
New Here ,
Mar 26, 2020

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Having the same problem. Suddenly red is not pure red anymore even in RGB mode.

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Mar 26, 2020 0
New Here ,
Mar 26, 2020

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Frans_van_der_Geest, 

 

Could you kindly delete your comment? it is irrelevant and you clearly did not read the questioner's situation and the actual question. I find it that you just want to express what you have learned, but this is a Q&A forum not what I know forum.

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Mar 26, 2020 0
rob day LATEST
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 26, 2020

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This thread is 10 years old. Post a new question with screen captures and details.

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Mar 26, 2020 0
New Here ,
Jul 12, 2011

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Same problem! Have 12 .indd files, four spreads per unit, all being PDF as separate spreads, all being created the same way, two have this dull colour all others are perfect!

The links are fine, the imported images are fine, all the same.

Checked proof set-up, proofed colours, Transparency Blend Space... all the same, PDF settings all the same... I even tried packaging it and making the PDF for that file. No joy!

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Jul 12, 2011 0
LEGEND ,
Jul 12, 2011

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And what is the transparency blend space?

Is the difference between the files that the ones without a problem have no transparency, while the others do?

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Jul 12, 2011 0
New Here ,
Jul 12, 2011

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Transparency Blend Space set to Document RGB

The same as all the other InDesign files, imported image assets... these files are to be used on digital component hence RGB, isn't actually any transparency used in this case.

The process is exporting image only layer as PDF, converting that PDF to PNG, saving out from Photoshop (have checked file and setting used to create file, all the same, the PNG is displaying correct colours too, just not when imported into InDesign)  re-importing PNG to new layer in same document and exporting PDF of that layer only again, using same PDF settings... no idea why this happening... done a load of these now, used same process and all are fine, just not this one, and one other.

I have a work around, where I make a new InDesign document and copy and paste the spread assets and make PDF from that file... works a treat, but not a fix, I am no closer to understanding why this is happening.

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Jul 12, 2011 0
LEGEND ,
Jul 12, 2011

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And the PNGs have no transparency?

Frankly, I'm baffled by this workflow. If the final output is to be PDF, why do the PNG conversion?

Can you post two sample ID pages (package and zip them up so the links are there, too), one that works and one that doesn't? Also, have you tried this on pages that are behaving badly: Remove minor corruption by exporting

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Jul 12, 2011 0
New Here ,
Jul 13, 2011

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No transparency on the PNGs...

The PNG conversion is to flatten the artwork layer into a single image so the platform handling the files loads them quicker and helps keep the file sizes down a little. We had some issues when unflattened PDF were supplied, the redrawing of the page elements when loaded slowed the platform down and didn't look to good, especially with transparencies on vector artwork.

Re-importing PNG to remake PDF is so that the text layer can remain as vectors, so the text remains good quality when scaled. Final PDF supplied to digital team is basically comprised of a single flattened image and the text, then that PDF get converted to a SWF file. InDesign to SWF creates some issues with sizing or something, so I'm told.

I am dubious about this process, and I hope to find a much better workflow before I do anymore of this work. Suggestions most welcome.

I shouldn't really upload the files, I will check that link first, trash preferences etc and see if that helps, if not I will put one problem spread and one good spread up as I really need to know why this is happening.

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Jul 13, 2011 0
New Here ,
Jul 13, 2011

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It took most of the morning but I worked out what was causing the issue... the PNG files were! Still don't understand why though...

The correct PNG files are using "sRGB IEC61966-2.1" colour profile and the wrong ones were using "eciRGB v2" (the one I am supposed to be using from the company).

The InDesign document colour profile is set to "eciRGB v2" on all files (including embedded into imported images from PS and Illustrator).

The PDF setting (also a custom one from the company) Output Colour Conversion Destination set to "sRGB IEC61966-2.1" opening up the PDF in PS Colour changed to "eciRGB v2" on files not working... don't know why. I even tried changing the InDesign colour profile to "sRGB IEC61966-2.1" before exporting PDF, still opening up in PS as "eciRGB v2"... tried convert to profile in PS several times, crash it every time, also tried on other Mac, still crashed.

Changed colour profile in InDesign back to "eciRGB v2". Checked the imported assets, begun trial and error, removing photos then making PDF to see if they were causing the problem, and so on... four of the ai files were causing the PDF to open as "eciRGB v2" instead of "sRGB IEC61966-2.1".

I checked the settings in these ai files, they are exactly the same as the ai files in all the pages which are working, so still at a loss as to why these ones we're causing trouble when the others weren't. After checking several things, transparency, isolated blending, knockout groups etc I changed the edit colours and converted to RGB saved and updated, problem solved... made PDF, open in PS as "sRGB IEC61966-2.1" re-imported, remade PDF, perfect! Lovely and bright!

Why!? And please, any suggestions on a better workflow to save me having to do this ever again much appreciated.

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Jul 13, 2011 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 13, 2011

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The PNG conversion is to flatten the artwork layer into a single image so the platform handling the files loads them quicker and helps keep the file sizes down a little.

Why do you need to convert the exported PDF to PNG(pixels)? Have you tried exporting a PDF/x-4 and simply placing it rather than adding the extra steps of rastering the PDF? It's not surprising that you are having CM problems with PNGs, if you select a PNG and look at the Info panel you'll see that ID ignores its profile and assigns the document's RGB profile instead.

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Jul 13, 2011 0
New Here ,
Jul 13, 2011

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I see, that might work, haven't tried it, just make and re-import the PDF without flattening into PNG. Would that still flatten it into a single image which wouldn't cause the re-drawing issues when the pages are loading in the platform?

This is only a temporary solution until a better workflow can be devised, wasn't part of the original process for this project even, just a work around we very quickly came up with.

I'm sure there has got be to a better way of doing this but I don't know what it is, perhaps the PDF settings provided by the company need to be re-thought?

I really appreciate all the feedback...

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Jul 13, 2011 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 13, 2011

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I see, that might work, haven't tried it, just make and re-import the PDF without flattening into PNG. Would that still flatten it into a single image which wouldn't cause the re-drawing issues when the pages are loading in the platform?

What do you mean by platform and re-drawing? Re-drawing in InDesign or is a problem with exported SWFs in a browser? When you place a PDF in ID it is previewed as one object.

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Jul 13, 2011 0
New Here ,
Jul 13, 2011

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The platform is something which has been developed in house by the digital department for interactive white boards. Components which are basically digital versions of printed books, re-using the book assets, with some games and animation etc added.

When the PDF pages are supplied they use PDF to SWF conversation and add those swf in on a 'layer', in this case the background, as essentially a static image, which will load in one go. The answers, buttons and any interactive elements are provided separately in flash files.

The 're-drawing' issue is when elements on the background layer are loading separately when a page is loaded or closed, there is some fade in and out, and layered vectors display transparency issues when loading, and in some cases pages not loading at all when there are a large amount of artwork elements on a page.

There is no real reason why the flattened images need to be PNG, that's what was asked for but I think I'll use TIFF now, get around the CM problems. I do need a solution where I can cut down the steps needed to proved these assets as it's taking so long.

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Jul 13, 2011 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 13, 2011

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I don't see why PDF wouldn't work. I just did a quick test placing a complex PDF/x and one native ID object on a page and exported it as an FLA. When I open the FLA the spread's movie clip asset has two objects—the PDF as a bitmap and the ID object, so there shouldn't be a problem tweening the PDF bitmap object in and out.

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Jul 13, 2011 0
New Here ,
Aug 20, 2011

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thanks everyone for contributing to this thread, it solved the problem for me. i had bright photos dulled in indesign but bright in the pdf export. and yes indesign was set to cmyk and came up brilliant when i changed it to rgb.

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Aug 20, 2011 0
New Here ,
Mar 04, 2016

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Whenever I have a page that has a PNG file in it, it dulls all of the graphics on that page. It prints normally and exports to PDF normally.

Using original JPGs or other formats resolves this problem. No switching transparency blend space or RGB/CMYK is necessary.

Hope this helps!

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Mar 04, 2016 0
New Here ,
Apr 26, 2016

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I just experience something the same - dull colours on one or two pages of a document but not on others and it had me pulling my hair out.

After much fiddling and asking a colleague if they'd had the same issues, I then looked at all the elements on the offending pages and it ended up being there were 2 objects one was text and one was a vector and both had drop shadows on them which when removed, the image that had been really dull became as bright as the original photoshop file I had used!

I don't think I've had this occur before - has anyone else?

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Apr 26, 2016 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 27, 2016

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That's expected behavior. When there's any transparent object ( like a drop shadow) on the page, the page's colors are displayed in the chosen Transparency Blend space. The default is CMYK, but you can set it to RGB.

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Apr 27, 2016 1