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How to prepare a photo for CMYK output

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  #1  
Old 12-05-2011, 08:54 PM
Pacificpowered Pacificpowered is offline
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Question How to prepare a photo for CMYK output

Hi,

I'm doing photo retouching work for a guy. He recently asked me if I could make the next job “CMYK print ready”.

Is thing as easy as switching the mode from RGB to CMYK? Or do I need to bump up the mid-tones on the photo as well? Is there more…?

I also think he wants to keep them in the jpg format.

If anyone could help me out with a check list or some advice I would sure appreciate it.

Thanks.
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:22 AM
chet webley chet webley is offline
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Re: How to prepare a photo for CMYK output

Hi Pacific,

Just do a quick google search for "preparing photoshop for cmyk print" - there's a huge amount of interesting and relevant information out there.

However, the best way to provide the document correctly would be to speak to the printer - They will tell you exactly how they'll want the file provided.

Isn't there also a RetouchPRO video about it too?
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:00 AM
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Chain Chain is offline
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Re: How to prepare a photo for CMYK output

Whatever you do, do not convert the image to CMYK unless you know what CMYK-profile they require. And keep the RGB original.

You should ask some specific questions about how they want the image delivered; file format and color profile. If they handle their color management correctly(ish), you should be able to deliver them a file in RGB (e.g. AdobeRGB). If there is a lot of uncertainty and they do not seem to know their stuff, sRGB might be safer.

You can Soft Proof the image in Photoshop (found on the View menu) to simulate the (future) conversion. If you do not know the exact profile they will use, you can still get a fairly good idea of what colours will be lost.

--
Edit: I believe this subject has been discussed to length several times around here before. I recommend a little search in the forum (I'm too lazy right now).
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:12 PM
Pacificpowered Pacificpowered is offline
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Re: How to prepare a photo for CMYK output

Thanks for replying.

I have read other threads but they either didnt apply to my situation or there seemed to be no clear answer.

right now in photoshop under View> Proof Setup, Its set to "Working CMYK"

is this a problem in itself?

what should I do when I get the photos?

Last edited by Pacificpowered; 12-06-2011 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:15 PM
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Repairman Repairman is offline
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Re: How to prepare a photo for CMYK output

If the images do not contain lurid or dayglo colours the conversion from RGB to CMYK should be acceptable. Printers apply various attributes to images to optimise them for their particular press set ups. You can't guess these so you'd better do yourself a favour PP and speak to the printer! Get them on board early and there won't be post mortems later. It's no big deal and they like to give the impression there are dark arts involved; but really they just make a few mouse clicks and hey presto, job done.
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:55 PM
Pacificpowered Pacificpowered is offline
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Re: How to prepare a photo for CMYK output

Quote:
Originally Posted by Repairman View Post
If the images do not contain lurid or dayglo colours the conversion from RGB to CMYK should be acceptable. Printers apply various attributes to images to optimise them for their particular press set ups. You can't guess these so you'd better do yourself a favour PP and speak to the printer! Get them on board early and there won't be post mortems later. It's no big deal and they like to give the impression there are dark arts involved; but really they just make a few mouse clicks and hey presto, job done.
I'm new to printing.

If I aS to convert from RGB to CMYK how would I do that the proper way?

Could you walk me through it.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:16 AM
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Re: How to prepare a photo for CMYK output

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacificpowered View Post
right now in photoshop under View> Proof Setup, Its set to "Working CMYK"
is this a problem in itself?
"Working CMYK" means the CMYK profile set in your Color Settings (Edit > Color Settings). You can choose "Custom..." and pick one manually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacificpowered View Post
If I am to convert from RGB to CMYK how would I do that the proper way?
The Soft Proof will have made sure you won't get any surprises.

To do the actual conversion, you can go to Edit > Convert to Profile... and pick the CMYK profile you require. That's it.

Another option is to go to Image > Mode > CMYK. This will use whatever profile you have in your Color Settings (so it requires your settings to be correct).

Ps: Make sure to embed the profile when saving the file.
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:15 PM
ftp-Jeff ftp-Jeff is offline
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Re: How to prepare a photo for CMYK output

I love this...... Do you know how many times I get asked to sort out RGB - CMYK conversions that have gone bad by other retouchers?

Tip here.... If you do not now what you are doing, leave well alone. If you cock it up, chances are the client will go elsewhere next time.

Best way? Certified proof. Can't go wrong.
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