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Thread: How many here are shooting for CMYK use?

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    How many here are shooting for CMYK use?

    If your intended output is for CMYK sheetfed or web offset, what is your workflow like? Do you for instance go:
    RGB RAW CAPTURE -> CYMK TIFF or RGB RAW CAPTURE -> RGB TIFF -> CMYK TIFF? What do you do to your files along the way?

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    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: How many here are shooting for CMYK use?

    CMYK use represents 90% of my studio work. But then, most final shots will also be used at some point for website purposes.

    So the usual workflow from DSLR is RGB RAW >> RGB TIFF which serves as a master file from which are derivated all kinds of files: high resolution CMYK TIFF (for catalogs, ads, banners) // mid resolution RGB TIFF (PDF exchange documents for printing) // mid resolution RGB jpeg // low RGB resolution jpeg.

    And sometimes CMYK jpegs when client requires it.
    (but i fight it, i hate jpeg and for decent quality approaching TIFF i feel it often requires a specific treatment on each commercial picture)

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    Re: How many here are shooting for CMYK use?

    Thanks Corlan. Hope to hear from more photogs...

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    Re: How many here are shooting for CMYK use?

    No one else working in CMYK for publication?

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    Super Duper
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    Re: How many here are shooting for CMYK use?

    I process everything as 16 bit Pro RGB Tiffs to maintain maximum data for any retouching and corrections.

    These are then resized to fit Layout and placed.

    As I am also often the Art Director, the output layout is then converted to CMYK as a unit and sent as a reproduction level PDF to the publication or printer.

    -Marc

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: How many here are shooting for CMYK use?

    I just had a series that was targeted for brochure printing.
    16 bit prophoto rgb Then hand-off to layout where it was placed with text and graphics. cmyk conversion was done by them before going to the printer.
    -bob

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    Re: How many here are shooting for CMYK use?

    Thanks Marc and Bob. Seems you guys kept working in RGB until the designer/prepress guys took over and they converted to CMYK.

  8. #8
    jjlphoto
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    Re: How many here are shooting for CMYK use?

    If the client is a small mom and pop type of place, or a publication where the people are of various knowledge levels, I deliver sRGB files. If the client is an ad agency, or proficient graphic designer, then AdobeRGB.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: How many here are shooting for CMYK use?

    Conversion of final RGB files to CMYK is the last step in the process. I can do it easily in Photoshop with the "convert to profile" command and often do for large jobs with images from a variety of sources. I most frequently us the CMYK profile: "U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2".

    It's a habit I've learned from preparing layouts for printers for 15 years. I want them to like me, and mixing RGB and CMYK files used to be a problem. I'm not sure it is any more but still do it so I can deliver a file that will Rip smoothly.

    If you were preparing files to be printed in a high end art book and using a printer that wanted to collaborate with profiles, etc., you might actually do something in the CMYK mode to further enhance the repro of your stuff, but I think that's pretty rare and you actually have to know what you're doing.

    So I would say unless you are an Uber Color Geek, do everything in your preferred RGB color space and either convert at the last minute to a standard CMYK space or let the printer do it.

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    Re: How many here are shooting for CMYK use?

    One of the reason that prompted me to ask about "workflow" is because some raw converters (C1 pro for one that I use) allows the RAW conversion output to be directly into a CMYK file. For work that I know I will not need to touch with PS, I then to convert directly rather than use RGB. I was hoping to see if anyone else does that.

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: How many here are shooting for CMYK use?

    And I should clarify that I am making conversions of RGB files that are being placed within a page layout program that is then submitted to a printer. For example, a final layout of a company Annual Report.

    If, on the other hand, I was simply supplying photos that someone else was going to use in a printed piece, I would supply them in your preferred RGB space and let the printer handle the conversions.

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    Re: How many here are shooting for CMYK use?

    Yes I fully understand that you are converting your RGB files and placing them on a layout program. I do that with Quark and Illustrator for newspaper advertisements and brochures.
    I'm trying to see if anyone actually convert their RAW directly into a CMYK space and then place them therefore avoiding PS CMYK conversion. I find this workflow to yield slightly better color reproduction and do not run into as much out of gamut issues.

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    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: How many here are shooting for CMYK use?

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Goh View Post
    Yes I fully understand that you are converting your RGB files and placing them on a layout program. I do that with Quark and Illustrator for newspaper advertisements and brochures.
    I'm trying to see if anyone actually convert their RAW directly into a CMYK space and then place them therefore avoiding PS CMYK conversion. I find this workflow to yield slightly better color reproduction and do not run into as much out of gamut issues.
    Of course the whole point of CMYK files is to include them in a layout program, Quark, InDesign (or Illustrator)... Bob's case above is different since the CMYK conversion is done by the layout guy later on.

    If we talk about profile, the choice of settings is on a case by case basis, one has to inquire the printer preferences for each job. It used to be straight U.S. Web Coated -SWOP- v2 for ages, nowadays Europe Prepress (FOGRA27) for example seem to take over a significant share of the market at least outside the US of A. Not to mention some more exotic profiles you can run into, like Japan Color.
    (from experience a good'ol US SWOP file printed along within a JC document and color set can give "interesting" results )


    The printer usually, now, takes care of the finer settings, dot grain etc.

    On a consistent basis, delivering the file into required (final use) profile -and checking them out before placing in the layout software- ensures better result and less problems. And in any case, as Tim pointed out, the most important thing is usually to make sure of a strict profile consistency along the various files for the same document / set of documents.

    Regarding your point about direct CMYK processing out of the RAW converters, i guess it's a typical case where YMMV.

    It's quite possible that you achieve somehow better results, but then if i understand correctly it's only valid for files not requiring a processing stop in PS... which in many cases is very limited (probably out of old habit i process 100% of my prepress files in PS where i feel having better control and fine tuning tools over the final result, including some "post-profiling" tuning when surprises show up (reds!)). And again, you have to be quite careful of mixed origins profiles if in the same layout there were some photos directly out of C1 (or other RAW converters) and some others converted in PS. The settings have to be the same -i personnaly don't have experience doing this.

    Overall, my feeling is that keeping PS as a preferred hub for all files and conversion purposes before placing them into the respective output program (be it Prepress layout, Web editor etc.) is a lond established, very secure workflow.

    And found out that when problems occur on a deadline (you know, this late evening, last minute call on your cell from the printer of a magazine where your client has bought a full page ad which is blocked by the ripper... ).

    Kwoning instantly where to get back to (PS) and the facility of shared knowledge around the software with your unknown interlocutor has proved a invaluable asset over time.

    Needless to say, standard workflow is one thing, doing a specific high quality job (typically, Art Book, super exclusive luxury brochure) might worth the extra bit of quality if you feel obtaining it by following another route. But when it comes to Prepress, walking the beaten path has a lot going for it.

    My 1/50...


    (note: again, if someone else is doing the layout work, sending RGB, usually Prophoto or whatever they're asking is a safe way to go and let them handle of the conversions in their document. Oh btw, if they don't really know what they need (happens a lot after all)... send sRGB!)
    Last edited by Corlan F.; 25th November 2009 at 13:03.

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