Saving files as CMYK


Daniel Bridge

Link Posted 16/10/2008 - 22:58
I use Photoshop Elements 4, and am very happy with it, so don't feel the need to spend on full Photoshop, or change to GIMP or anything else.

However, I need to save a file in CMYK rather than RGB, and I can't do this with PE. So I'm looking for something I can use to convert the colourspace to CMYK, and preview the result (to make sure it's gone okay). I don't want to spend much, as it's something I rarely do.

GIMP is an option I think, as there's a plug in (Seperate+) that seems to do it - has anyone used this, does it work okay?

Is there a way I can do it in PE, and still view the result?

Any other ideas?

Thanks!
Dan
K-3, a macro lens and a DA*300mm...

Mannesty

Link Posted 16/10/2008 - 23:18
I've no experience of this Dan, but this might be what you're after.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

johnriley

Link Posted 17/10/2008 - 00:36
Whatever you convert the file to (CMYK or Lab)you'll still view it as RGB as monitors are RGB devices. I can never see a difference in the image, whatever it is saved in.

Photoshop 7 will certainly do the job though, and I mention that in particular as you might be able to pick it up at a very low price. I think probably earlier versions will also do this, but 7 I still use and it certainly does what you need.
Best regards, John

hefty1

Link Posted 17/10/2008 - 01:27
I use PS5 (and used PS3 before it ) and they've all had the ability to convert between RGB and CMYK files. John's right in saying that the results will look the same on your monitor, however, Photoshop allows you to view a "Gamut Warning" on the RGB file that will show you the areas that can't be accurately reproduced in CMYK (a bit like the flashing areas of under/over exposure warning that are on the camera).

I still find that my ancient copy of Photoshop can do 99% of the tricks that the latest versions can do and can be had for a song on eBay etc. The only thing it really lacks is the ability to open RAW files (of any description) as it pre-dates the digital camera revolution. Hence I use the bundled Pentax software for conversions and if I need to work on a particular file further then I save as a TIFF and open that in PS instead. Actually not as inconvenient as it sounds!
Joining the Q

MattMatic

Link Posted 17/10/2008 - 08:53
Dan,
I seem to remember that one of the GPL colour engine projects could do CMYK transformations... I'll try and dig out the link.
Could be www.argyllcms.com (which I now use for colour profiling ) or www.littlecms.com

Might take some digging to find the link...

But as hefty1 says, even an older version of Photoshop will do the job of CMYK handling. In fact, Photoshop 7 is a fine package But watch out when buying - there are a lot of copied CDs around, and people selling upgrades which require a licensed earlier version. According to Adobe you also need to get the original owner to sign a license transfer document to release the license so you can take ownership. Phoning Adobe is helpful.

If I find any other tool I'll post the link
Matt
http://www.mattmatic.co.uk
(For gallery, tips and links)

MattMatic

Link Posted 17/10/2008 - 09:01
Here ya go:
http://www.littlecms.com/newutils.htm
Look for the "TIFF Profiler App". However, you'll probably have a hard time checking the results Note that JPG does not support CMYK, so you'll have to do TIFF to TIFF.

The TIFFICC.exe file is included in the latest precompiled binaries for Windows for LittleCMS:
http://www.littlecms.com/downloads.htm

But you will need an appropriate CMYK profile. Interestingly it has built-in profiles for conversion to "L*a*b" and "XYZ" colour spaces.

Hope that helps!
Matt
http://www.mattmatic.co.uk
(For gallery, tips and links)

johnriley

Link Posted 17/10/2008 - 09:10
According to Martin Eveninh's books, preparing CMYK conversions for printing in magazines and books (I'm guessing what the OP wants to do this for) is a very specialised field and best left to the experts.

The upshot is that generally submissions are made in RGB and the printers do the conversion to suit their own system.

Now whether it's by luck, or whether Pete and the team work miracles or the printers do, when I send in stuff to Pentax User the result on the printed page is incredibly close to what I see on my monitor. In fact, it looks the same. I send sRGB files sized to A3-ish (depending on aspect ratio) and at 300ppi.
Best regards, John

Peter Bargh

Link Posted 17/10/2008 - 11:21
Quote:
Now whether it's by luck, or whether Pete and the team work miracles or the printers do, when I send in stuff to Pentax User the result on the printed page

John, you said earlier that you see no difference in your RGB to CMYK that's because you're creating pictures with a colour space that's not stretching that of your RGBs and fits within the CMYK colour space. We get some pics submitted that become quite dismal when they are converted. CMYK can make pictures look dull, especially brighter colours.

We use a CMYK profile that has been provided by our printer and it's very specific to their paper/print profiles, that's why the repro quality is usually very good.

As John says it's better to send rgbs and let the repro house convert to CMYK or ask them for a profile so you can convert to their standard.

Daniel Bridge

Link Posted 17/10/2008 - 12:39
Thanks for your help so far!

To clarify, I'm producing some leaflets (about my workshops and one-to-one tuition ) and have found by far the best price is at www.saxoprint.co.uk . I've had samples from them and they seem fine. Price is less than a third of local printers, and the only other printer I'm tempted by at the moment is www.inkylittlefingers.co.uk , although I haven't had samples from them, as far as I can see they do accept RGB files (but at twice the price).

Saxoprint have had some bad reviews, but some good ones too. It looks like the bad reviews are mainly from people who haven't prepared their images properly before they've uploaded them. I'm prepared to punt £45 on 1000 leaflets (DL letter fold) on the assumption that the vast majority of customers are the silent, happy type.

Matt, I have seen that Little CMS utility, but as you say, I have no way then of checking that the colours haven't gone all skewey. And buying old copies of Photoshop off the net could well be a bit dodgy - I don't like piracy, and wouldn't want to end up with a ripped off copy.

From a quick ebay search, I've only been able to find CS3 (or similar) for a fiver. Well, not quite, but several of them are distinctly dodgy looking, from different sellers, all using very similar techniques. It's something I'd use as a last resort I think. Of course, if a forum member has a genuine, spare, old version they could let me have for not much money...

Peter (Smith) - I don't think that would help, but thanks for looking.

Peter (Bargh), that's exactly why I need to be able to see the results. I'm guessing that Saxoprint can keep their prices so low because they do as little as possible, other than the actual printing. You have to pay extra for data checks, or proofs, which I'm happy to forego if I'm confident that the image is right in the first place. I'm sure that they had downloadable profiles on their website before, but I can't find them at present. They clearly stat "NO RGB".

I may well download GIMP and have a go with that, with the plug-in. Any other help or thoughts still appreciated though.

Cheers,
Dan

P.S. Matt, I thought jpegs didn't support CMYK, but I've seen it mentioned a number of times on various printing sites. I also found this quote... "Adobe Photoshop and some other prepress-oriented applications will produce four-channel CMYK JPEG files when asked to save a JPEG from CMYK image mode. Hardly anything that's not prepress-savvy will cope with CMYK JPEGs (or any other CMYK format for that matter)." ...on this website.
K-3, a macro lens and a DA*300mm...

MattMatic

Link Posted 17/10/2008 - 12:52
Dan - yes, you're right... just tried CMYK'ing an image and it'll save as JPG and reload as CMYK. Learn something new every day

However, Pete's comment raises another issue. In PS converting to CMYK is one thing, but converting to a correct profile is another. By default my PS will convert to CMYK with the "Europe ISO Coated FOGRA27" profile. Oddly the Saxoprint website seems to contain zero information about which colour profile should be used
Even if you have a pukkah CMYK file it may still come out like mush if the profile is the wrong one (Photoshop has at least a dozen standard CMYK profiles, but you're better off with a specific one for the printer's ink & paper combination.)

If you can work out what profile to use, I'm happy to do a test against the LCMS tool against Photoshop CS2 and let you know whether it's going to work as expected

Matt
http://www.mattmatic.co.uk
(For gallery, tips and links)

Daniel Bridge

Link Posted 17/10/2008 - 12:57
Thanks Matt, that would be great. I could send you a small version of the file, as there's a range of colours in it. But I'll try to find that profile first. I'm sure I saw it on there before.

Dan
K-3, a macro lens and a DA*300mm...

Daniel Bridge

Link Posted 17/10/2008 - 14:48
I asked them what profile they use, and they've replied:

"We use a company-internal profile. So it would be the best if you do not embedded any other profile. We will do this for you."

Hmmmm. What do you reckon? I'm going to ring Inky Fingers and have a chat with them. May be worth spending the extra if I feel I'm going to be sure of a good print.

Dan
K-3, a macro lens and a DA*300mm...

MattMatic

Link Posted 17/10/2008 - 15:52
Dan,
Even if they use an internal profile (which is fine), they NEED to know what source profile the images were created with in the first place. Not embedding a profile is the dumbest things - a sure fire way to screw up colour rendition

Consider: if you saved an AdobeRGB image without a profile and tried to open it assuming it was sRGB you'd get "bleurgh".

If they don't understand that, then pass them by
Matt
http://www.mattmatic.co.uk
(For gallery, tips and links)

Daniel Bridge

Link Posted 17/10/2008 - 16:16
Spoke to Inky Little Fingers and they seemed on the ball, will do CMYK conversions and send a proof, so I'll be using them. †Just means I'm spending a lot more than originally intended, and getting more printed than I'd wanted to.

Thanks for your help everyone.

Dan
K-3, a macro lens and a DA*300mm...

johnriley

Link Posted 17/10/2008 - 17:54
Better to have it right than have it cheap.
Best regards, John
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