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RGB & CMYK images look the same

Community Beginner ,
Aug 08, 2020

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Hi. I'm new to Photoshop. I need to convert 60 images from RGB to CMYK. That is because once the RGB images are printed they look over-saturated and some colors are not the same. I tried using an online product to convert them and did NOT do any editing to the CMYK images and once printed they still look over-saturated and some colors are not the same.

So, in Photoshop, I open an image, make a duplicate, put them side by side, and convert one of them to CMYK. I expected them to look different but they don't. When they look different I can modify the saturation, colors, etc. but when they look the same I can't do that.

I tried changing my color settings to North American Prepress 2 and tried converting another one and the two images still look the same.

Can anyone provide any tips about how I can see the color differences on my monitor so I can edit the CMYK image?

Thank you.

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RGB & CMYK images look the same

Community Beginner ,
Aug 08, 2020

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Hi. I'm new to Photoshop. I need to convert 60 images from RGB to CMYK. That is because once the RGB images are printed they look over-saturated and some colors are not the same. I tried using an online product to convert them and did NOT do any editing to the CMYK images and once printed they still look over-saturated and some colors are not the same.

So, in Photoshop, I open an image, make a duplicate, put them side by side, and convert one of them to CMYK. I expected them to look different but they don't. When they look different I can modify the saturation, colors, etc. but when they look the same I can't do that.

I tried changing my color settings to North American Prepress 2 and tried converting another one and the two images still look the same.

Can anyone provide any tips about how I can see the color differences on my monitor so I can edit the CMYK image?

Thank you.

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How to, Problem or error, Windows

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103

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Aug 08, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 08, 2020

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Since printing converts the RGB images to the printer's colours (probably CMYK, but not necessarily), you may be trying to solve the problem the wrong way. If the images appear over-saturated perhaps they really are over-saturated... but something in your set up stops you seeing them that way. Or perhaps you have the wrong kind of conversion.


Do you understand colour management, or try to avoid it? The fact that you "pick another" CMYK profile suggests you are assuming they are pretty much interchangable - they aren't! What RGB and CMYK profiles are in use here, and what is the output device? And do you have a calibrated monitor?

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Aug 08, 2020 2
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 08, 2020

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Out of curiosity, what type of printer are you using? CMYK profiles are for commercial offset presses, while local inkjet printers have sRGB drivers and you stay at sRGB.

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Aug 08, 2020 2
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 08, 2020

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I'm guessing you're using neither color management nor a color calibrated display.

 

I have an Epson ink jet printer in my office.  Color is managed by the printer's software.   And I never, ever use CMYK.  In fact, it's not recommended.   So if you're printing this yourself, stick with RGB color and double check your paper and output settings.  If you're seeing too much ink, use a higher quality paper or drop down to draft quality print.

 

When I send artwork out to my professional print shop, I use the CMYK profile that the print shop recommends.  Don't make wild guesses.  Ask your print professional which CMYK profile they want you to use.

 

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web.com

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Aug 08, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Aug 08, 2020

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I did not change the CMYK profile.

I do not have a printer.

The images are for a self-published paperback book (through KDP). I order a proof  to see how the images look. I wrote to KDP and they said I need to change the images to CMYK to be compatible with their printing process. I’m a newbie, sorry. I don’t know how to use Photoshop to see the differences between RGB and CMYK images to make the edits to the CMYK images. Perhaps this is as simple as asking KDP what CMYK profile to use?

Thank you.

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Aug 08, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 09, 2020

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Yes, that's exactly what you need to do: ask them which CMYK profile to use. You always need to ask. If they can't answer, go somewhere else because then they don't know what they're doing.

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Aug 09, 2020 3
Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 09, 2020

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Actually, I have a key question for you. You say you "ordered a proof". Is this a paper proof, you hold in your hand, or a PDF or screen proof, you look at on screen? These are very different, and if it's a screen proof all sorts of other issues get involved.

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Aug 09, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Aug 09, 2020

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The proof is a paper proof, because I want to self-publish a paperback book about common dragonflies and damselflies. Thank you very much.

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Aug 09, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 09, 2020

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I'm assuming in the following that your monitor is properly calibrated and profiled. If it isn't, all bets are off and the rest is moot.

 

If you get a general color shift, you're not using the right CMYK profile. Or they're not informing you properly, which amounts to the same thing. The profile needs to correspond to the actual printing conditions.

 

If you see some colors are not as bright and saturated as they are on screen, then that's normal. That's why you want a proof in the first place: you need to see which colors are out of gamut in the print process, and compensate as needed.

 

These days, with a fully color managed process (and a printer who follows correct procedure), a hard proof on paper is usually not necessary. It's much more efficient to soft proof to the print profile. This shows you the out of gamut colors directly on screen.

 

If proper color management procedure is followed by all parties, the color will match. There is one important condition you have to observe, though: you need to calibrate your monitor so that monitor white point matches paper white, and monitor black point matches maximum ink for that paper. This is a visual match, not a numbers match. Just get them to look equivalent. Having done that, you know that what you see is what you get.

 

In my experience hard proofs can even be misleading, if they haven't been produced using the exact same press and the exact same paper. Many printers will give you hard proofs for offset print that have actually been produced on an inkjet printer. Such proofs are useless and worse than useless. I've received such "proofs" on many occasions, and then I just return them.

 

 

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Aug 09, 2020 2
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 09, 2020

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Hi Jean-bean

Carefully read the replies you've received – they are from some very experienced color experts. Linkedin Learning also have useful online video tutorials on using Photoshop and Color Management and you can get 30 days free access.

And, of course, return to this friendly forum for particular questions.

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Aug 09, 2020 3
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 09, 2020

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Hi

If your images look crazy when printed but good on screen, then, if we can trust the print service you are using - this seems to me like this is may be a screen calibration issue. 

WINDOWS?

Display profile issues on Windows

At least once a week on this forum we read about this, or very similar issues of appearance differing between applications.

Unfortunately, with Microsoft hardware: Windows updates, Graphics Card updates and Display manufacturers have a frustratingly growing reputation for installing useless (corrupted) monitor display profiles.

I CAN happen with Macs but with far less likelyhood, it seems.

 

The issue can affect different applications in different ways, some not at all, some very badly.

 

The poor monitor display profile issue is hidden by some applications, specifically those that do not use colour management, such as Microsoft Windows "Photos".

 

Photoshop is correct, it’s the industry standard for viewing images, in my experience it's revealing an issue with the Monitor Display profile rather that causing it. Whatever you do, don't ignore it. As the issue isn’t caused by Photoshop, don’t change your Photoshop ‘color settings’ to try fix it. 

 

If you want to rule out pretty much the only issue we ever see with Photoshop, you can reset preferences, I never read of a preferences issue causing this problem though:

To reset the preferences in Photoshop: 

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/preferences.html

 

Note: Make sure that you back up all your custom presets, brushes & actions before restoring Photoshop's preferences. Migrate presets, actions, and settings

 

 

To find out if this is the issue, I recommend you to try setting the monitor profile for your own monitor display under “Device” in your Windows ‘color management’ control panel to sRGB. You can ADD sRGB if its not already listed. 

And be sure to check “Use my settings for this device”.

 

(OR, if you have a wide gamut monitor display (check the spec online) it’s better to try Adobe RGB instead).

Quit and relaunch Photoshop after the control panel change, to ensure the new settings are applied.

 

NB__colourmanagement_0-1597040454933.jpeg

 

 

If this change fixes the issue, it is recommended that you should now calibrate and profile the monitor properly using a calibration sensor like i1display pro, which will create and install it's own custom monitor profile. The software should install it’s profile correctly so there should be no need to manual set the control panel once you are doing this right. 

 

Depending on the characteristics of your monitor display and your requirements, using sRGB or Adobe RGB here may be good enough - but custom calibration is a superior approach.

 

I hope this helps

if so, please "like" my reply and if you're OK now, please mark it as "correct", so that others who have similar issues can see the solution

thanks

neil barstow, colourmanagement.net :: adobe forum volunteer

[please do not use the reply button on a message in the thread, only use the one at the top of the page, to maintain chronological order]

 

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Aug 09, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Sep 02, 2020

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Thank you for all your replies. It's been helpful. KDP strips color profiles, so I didn’t focus on that. But, I finally received a paper proof that I'm happy with. For this proof I did not convert the RGB images to CMYK images. Instead, I used Gimp to Proof the Colors (in the RGB images) compared to CMYK, showing out of gamut colors, and then I changed the black and white output levels until all out of gamut colors were gone. Refer to this link for more detailed instructions: https://daviesmediadesign.com/project/what-are-out-of-gamut-colors-and-how-to-fix-them-in-gimp/ Hopefully this will help someone else in this situation.

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Sep 02, 2020 0