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Final color toning/grading in CMYK

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  #11  
Old 06-25-2012, 04:20 PM
Shoku Shoku is offline
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Re: Final color toning/grading in CMYK

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Originally Posted by andrewrodney View Post
To be clear, I do a ton of printing and not very much ever ends up CMYK (I’m printing to an ink jet).
One Question: Where do you get your RGB inks?
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  #12  
Old 06-25-2012, 04:30 PM
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Re: Final color toning/grading in CMYK

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Originally Posted by Shoku View Post
One Question: Where do you get your RGB inks?
From Epson (Orange and green and some printers Red as well) but that doesn’t matter. You have to feed a GDI or Quickdraw driver RGB data. It doesn’t matter one bit the colorant in this case, the printer will only accept RGB data. There is a huge world of printing going on that has no regard what so ever for CMYK to make a print.

And are you aware there is an entire market segment of printing that doesn’t use ink at all but instead RGB dyes or silver media?
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  #13  
Old 06-25-2012, 06:02 PM
Shoku Shoku is offline
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Re: Final color toning/grading in CMYK

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Originally Posted by andrewrodney View Post
From Epson (Orange and green and some printers Red as well) but that doesn’t matter. You have to feed a GDI or Quickdraw driver RGB data. It doesn’t matter one bit the colorant in this case, the printer will only accept RGB data. There is a huge world of printing going on that has no regard what so ever for CMYK to make a print.

And are you aware there is an entire market segment of printing that doesn’t use ink at all but instead RGB dyes or silver media?
Yes, there are some printers that accept a variety of colors (like Hexachrome), but standard printers are based on CMYK, (which is the printing color space. RGB is the color space created by light), even if they use ink sets larger than the standard 4c process. Most pro printers today use multiple Magenta, Cyan and Black inks to accommodate a greater range of color. But bottom line is this - all printers use inks based on the reflective color space. No one can print in RGB because that color space is based on the emission of light and cannot be laid down on paper.

Allowing your printer to do the final conversion from RGB is fine - if you are happy with the results. However, when working with standard printers (CMYK based) it is always better to prepare the final output in CMYK because you have more control that way - no matter how well you profile your equipment.
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  #14  
Old 06-25-2012, 06:10 PM
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Re: Final color toning/grading in CMYK

I don’t know what the definition of ‘standard printer’ is. Every Epson printer I’ve used in the last bunch of years used something they call “Light Black”. Seems to be Gray to me. The first contone printer I used in early 1990, a Kodak XL-7700 just used CMY dyes. Not a lick of black, not at all necessary. And yes, some people can and do print in RGB (Lambda’s, Frontiers, Lightjets) all expose print material using lasers or LED’s emitting RGB.

Letting a printer do the conversion for you to CMYK may or may not work better depending on how savvy anyone in the path is in terms of having the correct recipe for that CMYK. If I build a custom CMYK profile that’s one thing. If some printer gets RGB data and simply selects SWOPV2, with no regard to the output device, anything is possible on output (good, bad and/or ugly).

If you have the correct recipe for conversion, a recipe that is easily described with an ICC profile, a 6 year old can be trained to convert in about 10 minutes and the output will be great.

Bottom line: lots and lots of output to lots and lots of printers never need the end user to concern themselves with CMYK. But like CMYK users, they need that recipe for the correct RGB values to send to the ‘black box’ that will create CMYK or CcMmYKK, or CcMmYKOG, you name it.
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  #15  
Old 06-25-2012, 06:43 PM
Shoku Shoku is offline
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Re: Final color toning/grading in CMYK

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Originally Posted by andrewrodney View Post
And yes, some people can and do print in RGB (Lambda’s, Frontiers, Lightjets) all expose print material using lasers or LED’s emitting RGB.

Bottom line: lots and lots of output to lots and lots of printers never need the end user to concern themselves with CMYK. But like CMYK users, they need that recipe for the correct RGB values to send to the ‘black box’ that will create CMYK or CcMmYKK, or CcMmYKOG, you name it.
Exposing print material with light (RGB) is similar to making photographic prints in a darkroom (light used to expose light sensitive paper). The key to understand what is happening is the term "material." Like photo paper, the color is contained in an emulsion in the paper and those colors are based on CMYK, and the resulting color is limited to the color possible using those dyes - which may have a wider gamut than standard CMYK.

Your bottom line is correct: "they need that recipe for the correct RGB," and that is arrived at best if the operator understands CMYK and can make their own custom adjustments. Canned profiles can only achieve so much.
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  #16  
Old 06-26-2012, 07:13 AM
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Re: Final color toning/grading in CMYK

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Originally Posted by Shoku View Post
If you eventually print your images, understanding CMYK is essential. Final prep should always be done in the output color space. We see a lot of nice RGB files fall apart when converted because the Photographer or Artist did not take CMYK limitations into account when preparing the file. We use whatever color space is necessary to achieve the desired results. Some adjustments are easier and more effective in RGB, some are better in CMYK, and others are best accomplished in LAB. I will not hire a retoucher who is ignorant of CMYK.
What? What type of printing are you talking about? Books, magazines, large volume printing? High end ink jet? Narrow this one down. Where are your files going, eventually?

Who is we?
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  #17  
Old 06-26-2012, 09:15 AM
Shoku Shoku is offline
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Re: Final color toning/grading in CMYK

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Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
What? What type of printing are you talking about? Books, magazines, large volume printing? High end ink jet? Narrow this one down. Where are your files going, eventually?

Who is we?
All types of printing, because all printers are based on CMYK. Yes, they may accept RGB files, but in the end they all print with some type of CMYK based inks, whether 4C or 9C or some other type of hybrid.

"We," are the Digital Artists at Modern Postcard.

http://www.modernpostcard.com

We all work in CMYK, RGB, and LAB on a daily basis, have a combined total of 45 years of real world experience retouching and color managing digital files from thousands of sources.

On a side note: It has amazed me in the past how many "fine art" printers lack an understanding of CMYK. I have sent prints to many companies around the country and had to settle on one in Canada who finally understood how to properly process my files, even though I had to ask them to stop over-shapening my images.
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  #18  
Old 06-26-2012, 09:27 AM
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Re: Final color toning/grading in CMYK

All printers may be based on subtractive color models which do not have to contain a lick of K! What you feed the print driver or front end is what is critical here. Send CMYK data to an Epson, Canon or any driver using GDI or Quickdraw, you’ll get crap, period. The CMYK color model has zero reason to be considered in this case. Try sending CMYK data, for that matter anything but RGB to a Lightjet, Lambda, Frontier and piles of other printers and it will simply barf on the data.

Printers may be CMY, CMYK, CcMmYKK, CMYKOR, you get the idea. It doesn’t matter to the end user, retoucher etc, what matters is what data, RGB, CMYK or otherwise has to be handed to the driver (or client) and for a huge audience, that is RGB data. Fine art printers, people like Mac Holbert who started Nash Editions in early 1990 at one point might have needed to understand CMYK because this bloody old Iris printer (now residing at the Smithsonian) had a driver that demanded CMYK. When Mac gleefully moved that into storage and started using Epson printers instead, he didn’t need to know squat about CMYK. He did have to know how to handle RGB data going off to a driver that simply doesn’t understand, nor should be sent CMYK data.

Quote:
they may accept RGB files, but in the end they all print with some type of CMYK based inks, whether 4C or 9C or some other type of hybrid.
You might want to rethink that sentence! It is simplistic and factually incorrect.
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  #19  
Old 06-26-2012, 09:46 AM
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Benny Profane Benny Profane is offline
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Re: Final color toning/grading in CMYK

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Originally Posted by Shoku View Post
"We," are the Digital Artists at Modern Postcard.

http://www.modernpostcard.com
Oh. Never mind. Carry on.


btw, I used to work in CMYK all the time, and, yeah, it's much easier to fine tune color, but, about fifteen or so years ago, the RGB workflow into color profiles became SOP in the industry. I know of no serious retouchers worth their wacoms who work in CMYK anymore.
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  #20  
Old 06-26-2012, 10:16 AM
Shoku Shoku is offline
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Re: Final color toning/grading in CMYK

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Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
Oh. Never mind. Carry on.


btw, I used to work in CMYK all the time, and, yeah, it's much easier to fine tune color, but, about fifteen or so years ago, the RGB workflow into color profiles became SOP in the industry. I know of no serious retouchers worth their wacoms who work in CMYK anymore.
We are serious retouchers and we work in CMYK everyday.
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