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Illustrator file placed in Photoshop shifts colors. Both files have same color profile.

Community Beginner ,
May 15, 2024 May 15, 2024

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This is an extremely frustrating issue. I'm placing an AI file into a PSD file and the colors shift subtley. Both files share the same Display P3 color profile and are synced via Bridge. At my work we have experienced this issue numerous times and we are getting complaints from our client about it. These programs are 30+ years old and there should be no issue placing an AI file into a PSD. I have tried numerous troubleshooting steps to no avail. The only solution I have come up with is to export the AI file to a generic SVG web vector format. That solved the color shift issue and allowed the file to still be an editable vector opening in AI. 

 

Adobe, please fix this issue. I'm using the latest versions of both programs. 

The native files should not be color shifting. 

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Community Expert ,
May 15, 2024 May 15, 2024

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Please show screenshots.

 

Just to be sure, since you say "synced via Bridge" (which is irrelevant): Do both files have the same color profile embedded? Not working spaces, but embedded profile.

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Community Beginner ,
May 15, 2024 May 15, 2024

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Both files have the same Display P3 color profile assigned.

Both documents were created on my computer using the same Display P3
working space profile and both files have had the same Display P3 profile
manually assigned as well. The colors were sampled before and after. We've
done numerous troubleshooting tests.

Copying and pasting the AI file into a PSD makes the colors shift slightly.
The color shift is even more pronounced when dragging and dropping the AI
file into a PSD.

For example, a yellow color, fdf551, will shift to fcf551 when the AI art
is copied and pasted into the PSD.

The same fdf551 color will shift more dramatically to f3e955 when the AI
file dragged and dropped into a PSD.

All of these files are using the same profile and were created on the same
computer with the same working color space assigned across the
Adobe programs. The profiles have been manually assigned as well as a test.

This is also happening to my coworker on his computer with files he is
creating independently.

We are both using the latest versions of the Adobe products.

Saving the AI file as an SVG and placing it in the PSD works to retain the
correct color values. This should also work with the native AI format, but
it does not. That is the issue.

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Community Expert ,
May 15, 2024 May 15, 2024

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OK, those small differences sound like they could be rounding errors. Agreed, it shouldn't happen. I'll do some tests here later to see if I can reproduce. Is the master PSD file 16 or 8 bit color depth?

 

That said, I have to make some general remarks here, because I'm a little concerned about your procedures. They can potentially cause problems.

 

Assigning profiles won't do any good if it's not right to begin with, or if the file is untagged (doesn't have a profile). That will only make it worse. What you need to do is keep track of the embedded profile from the start. You do that here:

notification_2.png

 

If the profile isn't what you want, you convert, not assign. The working space is not important. The embedded profile, whatever it is, will always override the working space.

 

Also, I'm very skeptical to the current trend in the Mac community to use Display P3 everywhere. If you're also using the same Display P3 as monitor profile, which is what it's intended for, you're actually disabling and turning off all display color management. The thing is, if the source and destination profiles are identical, that's a "null transform". It's all cancelled out. Nothing is converted, no change at all, which is the definition of no color management.

 

At this point, it doesn't even matter what the profile is. It could be anything - as long as they're the same, there is no color management. Display P3 to Display P3 behaves exactly the same way as ProPhoto to ProPhoto, or sRGB to sRGB.

 

Now you probably begin to see the danger. This will all look perfectly fine as long as you're inside the Apple bubble, with fellow Apple users. But move outside it, and all kinds of things can happen, because you've all been working without color management. You can drop embedding the profile, and no Mac user will notice it. But others will!

 

Display P3 is a monitor profile. Generic, but very widely used instead of a calibrator. It wasn't intended as a standard RGB profile, but that's how it's used now.

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Community Beginner ,
May 15, 2024 May 15, 2024

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Hi.

Thanks for addressing this.

This PSD file is 8 bit.
However, the issue also happens when I place the AI file into 16 bit PSD
files.

We do save out the AI files in EPS format for delivery. But, for this we
have tried several different formats and profiles for copy and pasting and
drag and drop into PSDs to try to sort this out.

We are required to use the Display P3 profile by our client for all of our
creative work.
All of their templates utilize that profile. It is part of their workflow.
All I can say is that it is a very large multinational corporation. I can
only presume that they use that profile for a valid reason.

Regardless, we are working on Macs and basically locked into using that
profile. There is no way around it. We're just trying to get our work done
correctly and delivered with no issues.

I'm hoping you can find a solution for us to use the native AI files
instead of exporting our AI files to SVG.

Thank you.

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Community Expert ,
May 16, 2024 May 16, 2024

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@Chris33370797xpal 

 

OK, I've tested, and I can reproduce this. I get the same numerical change from fdf551 to fcf551 - or to use more transparent numbers, from 253-245-81 to 252-245-81. Other colors give similar results, some with a number off in two or even three channels. But never more than one value.

 

And I did this with Adobe RGB files, so it's irrespective of color space used. The PSD master is 16 bit.

 

Now, as you can all see, this is a very subtle change, just one number in the red channel. But still, there's no particular reason it should change at all.

colorchange_SO.png

 

As for the "more dramatic change", I'm not able to get that. I suspect that might be an untagged file in the mix.

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Community Beginner ,
May 16, 2024 May 16, 2024

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Hi D Fosse,

I'm glad you were able to reproduce the issue with cutting and pasting AI
art into a PSD.

Thank you for exploring the issue. Much appreciated.

However, I'm concerned that you cannot replicate the previous example of
the more dramatic color change that I provided, which occured from dragging
and dropping the very same AI file into the same PSD file.

There should not be a difference between the two actions of cutting and
pasting art from an AI file into a PSD, and dragging and dropping the same
art into the very same PSD. While the cutting and pasting color change is
slight, the drag and drop changed the colors significantly and was clearly
noticeable to the eye.

Dragging and dropping AI art into PSDs has been a common action in our
production workflow for years (if not decade(s)) as it is a quick way to
place a fully editable vector smart object into a PSD using fewer steps,
but now we have to be careful to avoid doing so, as well as double check
color consistency for all AI art placed into PSDs using any method.

I really hope you (or Adobe) can also replicate the AI to PSD drag and drop
color shift issue.

Until the color shifting is resolved we will not use placed AI files in
PSDs, but rather generic SVG exported from AI as a work-around. (I've
dropped this here for anyone else experiencing the same issue).

Thank you.

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Community Expert ,
May 16, 2024 May 16, 2024

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As for dragging and dropping, I've always said it's a bad habit, and I stand by that.

 

The problem is that you're not always getting the original file, but a "proxy" image kept cached for preview display. I know that MacOS does this a lot, Windows less so, but it does happen if you, say, drag from a web browser in Windows. You get an untagged image with monitor RGB numbers. In effect - a screenshot. That will usually be very wrong.

 

Now, I did try to drag from Windows Explorer, and got exactly the same result as by placing an Ai smart object in the proper way - one number off. So no, this I can not reproduce.

 

I did make one interesting observation: if I kill all color management, and use untagged files, this numerical shift does not happen. So it's tied to the color management engine. Why that would be any different between Ai and PS I have no idea.

 

Apparently this is what happens with your SVG, which you presumably exported without an embedded profile. So again - this is dangerous territory. Working without color management is walking a tightrope without a balancing rod. Again, it will look fine inside the Apple Display P3 bubble, but you simply don't know what happens outside it.

 

But as far as I'm concerned - drag and drop at your own risk.

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Community Beginner ,
May 16, 2024 May 16, 2024

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LATEST
Respectfully, I want to be able to drag and drop as we are working in a
Mac-only production environment and it has been common practice for decades
without issue. The software obviously has a bug that is changing the color
now, for whatever reason. It was not an issue a few months ago, but now it
is. I'm not here to argue Mac vs PC, or about Display P3. I just want the
bug fixed.

I don't know if you have any connection to Adobe or can affect their
decision to correct bugs like this. I just want it to work like it did
before so I don't catch heat from my client for having errors in my
deliverables. I was hoping posting here would help bring the issue to light
so it could be fixed.

I'm glad you at least were able to replicate one of the issues. I imagine
you need to be on a Mac to do the same with the bigger drag and drop AI
color shift issue.

Adobe, are you listening? Anyone there?
Please fix the color shift bugs.

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