Lightroom Classic: CMYK softproofing needed

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LEGEND ,
Jan 15, 2012 Jan 15, 2012

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Following a discussion on the LR4 beta forum:

Converting to CMYK and soft proofing in CMYK are two completely different things, so at least we need a CMYK softproofing.

During the last years I ran into a lot of problems due to modern LED lightning on the scene, it is able to produce colors (especially in the blues) far away out of the CMYK color space. Converting pictures to CMYK later after my initial processing can change a picture dramatically, a bit similar to a conversion to b/w.

So even if you have to deliver your material in RGB and someone else is doing a professional conversion later, you should be able to predict what can happen to your material!

So if you deliver material that will be converted – earlier or later – to CMYK: You need at least a simple soft proof. Otherwise it can happen that you deliver material that simply can’t be published.
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55 Comments
LEGEND ,
Mar 26, 2014 Mar 26, 2014

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Ability to softproof CYMK ICC profiles

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Community Expert ,
Jun 24, 2016 Jun 24, 2016

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After the 2015.6 update, Lightroom can no longer select CMYK profiles in the soft proofing section of Develop in the "other" dialog. Only CMYK profiles that had been added using previous Lightroom versions still work. It is as if somehow an earlier version of the Lightroom code had been merged into this version. This will need fixing.

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New Here ,
Jun 24, 2016 Jun 24, 2016

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Hi Jao,

This is a known issue and will be resolved soon.
The reason for disabling the CMYK profiles is that it was being supported partially and had many issues associated with it in the previous versions.
Adobe is working to make it fully functional for all the users.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 24, 2016 Jun 24, 2016

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What a mess. CMYK didn't work at all exporting to JPEG in Print in the last version. STILL doesn't in the last update from the other day. 

Now new CMYK profiles don't show up but old one's do. Beta issues that should be detected and fixed before release is becoming more the norm for for Adobe over the past few years and it's not a good sign gang! Who's checking this stuff before release? Seem no one. 
Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Community Expert ,
Jun 24, 2016 Jun 24, 2016

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Thanks Avinash. That explains it for sure

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New Here ,
Jun 24, 2016 Jun 24, 2016

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Hi Andrew,

Yes, the fact that CMYK profiles had issues dates back to LR 6.4 or even earlier. This issue needs to be sorted at the root .i.e when the CMYK profiles support was introduced and hence requires deeper investigation. This is one of the priority items and will be addressed soon. We thank you for your patience.

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New Here ,
Oct 04, 2016 Oct 04, 2016

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Thanks for working on it! It's essential for those of us who correct skin tones by numbers.

If at all possible, could you also look into changing the way curves values are displayed during proofing so it shows RGB/CMYK values (depending on proof profile) instead of percentage?

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LEGEND ,
Mar 01, 2017 Mar 01, 2017

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Please can you confirm if this issue has been resolved? I still cannot see my CYMK ICC profiles in Lightroom.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 01, 2017 Mar 01, 2017

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CMYK isn't a feature any longer so no. It may come back, only Adobe knows for sure. 
Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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LEGEND ,
Apr 12, 2017 Apr 12, 2017

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I also vote for getting back the CMYK softproofing function. It was in the Lightroom, properly working, and now it's gone. CMYK softproof feature is important and extremely useful feature for me as well as for many other graphic designer preparing the hi-quality photos for CMYK output, due to better color corrections of wide-gamut photos prepared for the CMYK ISO output (FOGRA 51 etc.). Simulating the perceptual or relative colorimetric rendering intent is Adobe, please, get this one back into your product.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 12, 2017 Apr 12, 2017

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Soft proofing without the ability to ALSO convert and export to CMYK is kind of useless! Need both and an option for Absolute Colorimetric rendering intent which LR has never provided. That's why this is probably a Photoshop domain.
Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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New Here ,
Apr 17, 2017 Apr 17, 2017

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Soft proofing without the ability to ALSO convert and export to CMYK is kind of useless
No, it's not. For many people it's essential for color correction (Dan Margulis way). And if your goal is still a CMYK file, you can make adjustments in Lightroom but make the color space conversion itself in Photoshop or other software (either free or proprietary).

Although I agree that prepress color correction and CMYK work is almost exclusively resides in Photoshop domain, I still think that Lightroom should have CMYK soft proofing. The technology is there and I can see no reason why it's such a big deal to bring it back to Lightroom (it's been almost a year), other that it not being a priority.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 17, 2017 Apr 17, 2017

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Dan’s very tired old ideas about correcting in CMYK should go the way of the dodo bird. Even Dan later moved to using Lab, a device independent color space for this work. CMYK is an output ready, specific color model and all over the map. And LR is a totally RGB processing path so all you’ll get from it is either CMYK values (gone, not really necessary; we have Lab) or it maybe converting to some CMYK space when you export. So you can totally forget about Dan’s old CMYK “fix a trud appearing image in Photoshop” in this product. And IF you still have a CMYK file, you can’t process it in LR; again it’s engine is solely RGB (it IS the ACR, raw converter engine). So what’s the point of soft proofing in a color space you can’t edit? Answer: none.
Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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Community Expert ,
Apr 17, 2017 Apr 17, 2017

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I cut my teeth on Dan's color correction methods too, so I understand the desire to stick with the familiar. I have to agree with Andrew though - there are much better options these days. Lightroom's not the tool for doing things the 20-year-old way. What is it you like about Dan's methods specifically? The ability to correct by the numbers?
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of the Lightroom Missing FAQ & Edit Like a Pro books.

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Community Expert ,
Apr 17, 2017 Apr 17, 2017

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Correcting by the CMYK numbers is akin to trying to count cards at a Vegas blackjack table. They are all over the map. CMYK numbers for just skin tone using the same CMYK ‘ink colors’ with just differing black gen!
http://digitaldog.net/files/BlackGenCMYK_Skin.jpg

Which of the three values, but showing identical color appearance is correct; any? 

The old CMYK by the numbers dates back when some of us ran drum scanners where such products while RGB, could only output CMYK for a specific press/paper behavior. We had to learn the CMYK values over time because that’s all we had! Based on one output! This isn’t 1990; we have calibrated and profiled displays, readouts in RGB and Lab and the ability to fix/render from raw using the wonderful ACR engine which is and always will be RGB based. 
Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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New Here ,
May 21, 2017 May 21, 2017

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Come on Adobe, I just had my CMYK profiles in Lightroom disappear on me. This was supposed to have been fixed soon, 11 months ago.

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LEGEND ,
Jan 30, 2019 Jan 30, 2019

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3 years later and still not working. Glad I'm not paying for my software, rats.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 30, 2019 Jan 30, 2019

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3 years later and still not working. Glad I'm not paying for my software, rats.
If you were subscribing, you'd have Photoshop to do the CMYK work for the price of LR. 

Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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New Here ,
Jan 30, 2019 Jan 30, 2019

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 If you were subscribing, you'd have Photoshop to do the CMYK work for the price of LR. 
Photoshop is not a substitute for Lightroom and you know it.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 30, 2019 Jan 30, 2019

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I never said PS is a substitute for LR; thats your assumption! I stated the fact that PS handle CMYK along with the same price you pay for Lightroom. Guess what? LR and PS are not a substitute for Indesign or Acrobat.
Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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LEGEND ,
Feb 06, 2019 Feb 06, 2019

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I have PS too obviously but I want to do my proofing in LR period. I don't feel like exporting to PS and then have to deal with an extra TIF file instead of using LR virtual proofing copies.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 06, 2019 Feb 06, 2019

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I don't feel like exporting to PS and then have to deal with an extra TIF file instead of using LR virtual proofing copies to use the text tool. Or layers. But I can and do so.
Author “Color Management for Photographers" & "Photoshop CC Color Management/pluralsight"

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New Here ,
May 17, 2020 May 17, 2020

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Anything new on this topic? I would like to view a CMYK proof in Lightroom, this does not seem to be possible?

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Community Expert ,
May 17, 2020 May 17, 2020

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No news. Lightroom currently does not support CMYK profile soft proof nor CMYK export. Not sure it will ever get added again. You'll need to do it in Photoshop

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LEGEND ,
Aug 15, 2020 Aug 15, 2020

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Has this been added back into Lightroom?  I need it for the same reasons others have pointed out.  Or, is there a workaround I can use to at least get my ProPhoto colors close to CMYK?  Moving into PS then converting to CMYK horribly shifts image colors captured during Blue Hour.

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