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Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

RGB or CMYK?

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  #1  
Old 10-11-2010, 04:16 PM
ekuna ekuna is offline
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RGB or CMYK?

Should it matter to the retouching house if I work in
RGB or CMYK? You can always convert the mode - is it
such a big deal?
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:53 PM
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andrewrodney andrewrodney is offline
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Re: RGB or CMYK?

Yup, its a big deal! Conversions are not lossless, in terms of the data and color gamut. There are not CMYK capture devices, everything starts out in RGB of some flavor. CMYK is an output color space, intended for a specific print condition and thus, should be done as one of the last steps.
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:37 PM
madclark madclark is offline
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Re: RGB or CMYK?

I concur. CMYK being a subtractive color model is less optimal for evaluating and prepping files on-screen. RGB and CMYK have different color spaces and CMYK gamut is smaller than RGB generally anyway. AND RGB files apparently take up less space than CMYK. You should save converting to CMYK as a last step in pre-flight if you're specifically optimizing to that for printing.
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:04 PM
ekuna ekuna is offline
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Re: RGB or CMYK?

Well, the thing is they want me to work in CMYK from start to finish,
no RGB! What's the point?
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:52 PM
madclark madclark is offline
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Re: RGB or CMYK?

Who is "they" and why would they want you to work in CMYK from start to finish if they didn't know any better? Maybe you should describe exactly what the project is because either "they" don't know what they're doing or they need it this way for a specific reason that we could better explain if we knew what that was. Are the images coming to you in CMYK to begin with perhaps? Are they specifying CMYK to optimize the image for print (because there are better ways of doing that when you do the final conversion to CMYK at the end)?

If this was a reputable retouching house, I can 't imagine any reason why they would want you to work in CMYK if it were normal circumstances.
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:35 AM
ekuna ekuna is offline
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Re: RGB or CMYK?

This is a big and pretty reputable prepress company with a huge retouching
department. Images are coming in RGB. Of course conversion is done to optimize
images for print, but not at the end - first step before retouching is to convert RGB
image to CMYK. I'm trying to find the reason, if there is any.
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:36 AM
SilvaFox SilvaFox is offline
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Re: RGB or CMYK?

Could be the photographer or art director has told the pre-press company that the images coming in for this project are being done by an outside retoucher and will require no conversions, adjustments or corrections for press.

If that's the case, the pre-press dept. would want you to work in CMYK so they are not responsible for what goes to press. Many newer art directors and designers have a hard time with what happens to RGB during conversion to CMYK.

Nobody wants to be the one to explain why a beautiful RGB file turned to mud on press. At least with CMYK, you are reasonably sure what numbers will produce what color on press.

But that's just a guess. Maybe "they"re idiots.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:16 AM
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andrewrodney andrewrodney is offline
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Re: RGB or CMYK?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ekuna View Post
Well, the thing is they want me to work in CMYK from start to finish,
no RGB! What's the point?
Then if it output’s like crap, you better have an out. If they expect you to do any tone or color work, you better have an out. You can’t be responsible for how the image reproduces when you are handed CMYK and expected to alter the tone or color, its in an output color space, ready for print.

Worse, if after retouching, they want to repurpose the data (print it to another type of device), they are SOL.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:53 AM
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Greg Curran Greg Curran is offline
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Re: RGB or CMYK?

i work for a place in Toronto (one of the largest photo studios/ prepress shops in Canada) that retouches mostly in CMYK, only a few of us truly understand what RGB has to offer and refuse to do anything but the final step in CMYK, we tried to show everybody the benefits and logic of working in an RGB color space but they think we are just trying to pull the wool over everyones eyes.

sometimes it is just the lack of understanding and ignorance that leads a company, or hiring friends and relatives not Prepress people.
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:00 PM
pixelzombie pixelzombie is offline
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Re: RGB or CMYK?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ekuna View Post
This is a big and pretty reputable prepress company with a huge retouching
department. Images are coming in RGB. Of course conversion is done to optimize
images for print, but not at the end - first step before retouching is to convert RGB
image to CMYK. I'm trying to find the reason, if there is any.

that is the norm these days for most prepress companies, especially when they know the bulk of their work is going to a 4/c press..another reason is due to the fact that most prepress retouchers have much more experience with CMYK color...
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