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One design, two different CMYK conversion outcomes

Community Beginner ,
May 21, 2024 May 21, 2024

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I am pulling my hair out over here. I am testing this poster design, its mockup, and how they would look in CMYK. The thing is, how the design looks in CMYK, and how the mockup itself looks in CMYK, are vastly different (ironically, the mockup looks much much better).

I also tried the design on another mockup, same result. Please note that no adjustments whatsoever are done with the design in the mockup files. Any ideas why they turn out this way?

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Community Expert ,
May 21, 2024 May 21, 2024

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What CMYK profile are you using and where / how is this printed?

 

I have no idea how accurate that photo is.

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Community Beginner ,
May 21, 2024 May 21, 2024

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Hi, thanks for replying.

Last time I checked, they had the same CMYK profile (SWOP v2). They have not been officially printed yet, just with a test print at home. They look less different on print though, but there still are differences, especially with the green and blue part.

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Community Expert ,
May 21, 2024 May 21, 2024

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Is the mockup a template that was downloaded and completely pre-built, and did you only have to drop your image into it? Or, did you build the entire mockup document yourself?

 

The reasion I ask is that in the mockup, the colors and tones clearly follow the lighting of the steps. Colors and tones are lighter and more washed out where the sun hits them, and darker and more saturated in the shadows. This suggests that the image layer on the mockup has a blending mode applied to it, which would combine its tones and colors with the layers behind it, and obviously, that would alter its appearance.

 

Is that consistent with what you find with that layer in the mockup document, is it using a layer blending mode other than Normal, or is Opacity less than 100%?

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Community Beginner ,
May 21, 2024 May 21, 2024

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It was a pre-built mockup. I did remember the things you mentioned about blending modes and adjustment layers, so I checked them prior to this post. I found out that even when I turned them off, the mockup conversion to CMYK still looked significantly better than the converted version of the design itself. Bummer.

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