The LAB color model is a three axis color system and LAB colors are absolute, meaning that the color is identical. It’s what’s known as device independent; meaning that the LAB color space is the only way to communicate different colors across different devices.
00:23 It is a three axis system. The first axis, the L-channel or Lightness, goes up and down the 3D color model and it consists of white to black – and all of your gray colors will be exactly right down the center. All neutral colors will be relatively in the center of this axis.
00:43 The A axis, goes from cyan color across to magenta/red color. And the B axis goes from blue to yellow. So within this area we’re going to plot visual or reproducible colors based on the gamut or the profile of the device we have.
01:05 So we’re going to turn on the sRGB color profile. Most monitors will display in sRGB and sRGB is preferred for any type of internet or web application. We’ll get this thing spinning here and you can see the volume of the colors that you can reproduce from this additive color model. Obviously since dealing with projecting light, they’re very bright colors and they’re very saturated.
When to use LAB color space
– Matching paint colors to printed media
– Matching fabric colors in a catalog or website
– Communicating your favorite Pantone color to another media form
– LAB color space is the back-bone of all color management between devices in the color workflow
What questions do you have regarding LAB color mode? Please leave your comments below…
Today’s VIDEO will explain installing printer profiles so they will load correctly into Adobe Photoshop. Take the first step in discovering how to soft-proof your CMYK images in your display or get the best CMYK conversions.
Is soft proofing a useful process for you? Please leave your comments below…
[learn_more caption=”Transcript of Video” state=”open”] Hi. This is Rick Rys from HiDefColor.com.
00:05 Today we’re going to demonstrate installing printer profiles into Adobe Photoshop. Now, I have already downloaded a zip file containing the three color printer profiles – ICC printer profiles – and we’re going to unzip and open up the folder. Inside the folder, you will see the three color printer profiles, the GRACoL and SWOP coated printer profiles.
00:28 And from here we’re going to open a new window into the finder and go into the Macintosh hard drive. We’re simply going to follow a path from Macintosh hard drive, to Library, to ColorSync, to Profiles, and importantly, the Recommended folder of profiles
00:49 which will make any ICC aware compliant program will recognize the profile. From here, we’re going to select our three printer profiles and we’re going to drag them into the Recommended folder.
01:03 From here we can simply close are windows and boot up Adobe Photoshop. And once were booting up from scratch, Photoshop will recognize the printer profiles files and load them accordingly.
01:18 So we’re going to go ahead and open an image, use our embedded profile, and just simply go under the proof set up under custom, and then we pull down the window and now we can see our individual profiles are now inside Photoshop and we can do our soft proofing.
01:35 Look for upcoming tutorial on soft proofing in Adobe Photoshop.
01:40 Until next time, take care and have a good day [/learn_more]
I can’t stress enough how important it is to calibrate your monitor properly. If a picture is worth a thousand words, now you know what those words are telling you. Watch how to calibrate a monitor using i1Profiler software along with the i1Pro2 spectrophotometer on your Mac OSX.
Select the proper white point (color temperature) of your display. Adjust settings for proper luminance (brightness) that will match your prints or press sheets to your screen display. Mount the i1Pro2 to the monitor and run the color control patches. The i1Profiler software will read the known color values and create an accurate ICC profile of your monitor/display and store the new calibrated profile in your system.
Take the first step in matching your screen to print on your Mac OSX.
Do you have challenges matching your prints to your display? Please leave a comment below…
[learn_more caption=”Transcript of Video” state=”open”] This is Rick Rys from HiDefColor.com.
Today we’re going to go through the process of calibrating your monitor using the i1Profiler software suite and the i1Pro2 spectrophotometer from XRite. Once you’re inside i1Profiler, we’re going to click the Display Profiling box, and we’re going to take it into the Settings mode. In here, we’re going to select our display, which is our color LCD, and pick our white point of our monitor.
[0:30] We have multiple options here. I suggest that you go with the D65, which is 6,500 Kelvin temperature. Our luminance, we want to set this to 100 candelas per square meter. This will simulate more of the process or the environment looking at your printed material. Most monitors are too bright, causing your prints to come out too dark when your monitor calibration is incorrect .
[0:56] From here, we’re going to leave the ambient lights mark control sensor off. We’re going to click the Next button.
[1:06] From here, we’re going to calibrate the i1Pro2 spectrophotometer. I’ve placed the spectrophotometer on the white point balance point, the calibration target, and I’ll simply hit the Calibrate button.
[1:21] From here, the spectrophotometer will be referencing a known white point that is neutral. That will balance out the sensors inside the spectrophotometer.
[1:34] From here, we’re ready to start the process. At this point, we’re going to leave our Automatic Display control checked. The Adjust Brightness/Contrast and RGB Gains…we don’t want to mess with this button right here.
[1:49] Here’s our different color patches that we’re going to be displaying on the screen, which will be read by the spectrophotometer. We’re going to start the measurement process. At this point, I’m going to hang the spectrophotometer onto the monitor to begin the calibration process. The device is now connected to the display. I’ll hit the Next button.
[2:16] At this point, the software is going to run through approximately 100 different control patches, which are going to display a known LAB value, RBG value to the screen that the spectrophotometer is going to read.
[2:32] Through the calibration process, through the process of creating the profile, it will read the displayed values and what they should actually be displayed on the screen. It’s a relative database comparing the two. That’s what creates the calibration process for your monitor.
[2:47] We’re going to speed up the process to go through these colors. We’ll be back in just a minute.
[2:53] OK. We are done with reading our color patches. By the way, that process takes upwards of six to seven minutes. Obviously, we edited it down so we don’t have to bore you to death with that process.
[3:22] Up on the right hand side of the screen here, these are the patches that we read. You can notice that they’re cut with a diagonal line. The value on top is what the actual color should render as. The color on the bottom is what the spectrophotometer actually read our uncalibrated monitor actually reading.
[3:45] That being said, what we’re going to do now is create a relational database between the known color values and what was displayed, and then sync those up together. We’re going to do that by clicking the Next button.
[4:00] At this point, we’re going to name our ICC profile. This is going to be the MacBook Pro and today’s date. That way, I know just by looking at that that that’s for my MacBook Pro. By having the date in there, I can choose the most recent profile.
[4:22] From here, I can set a reminder that reminds me every four weeks to actually create the new profile — a reminder for me to go back and double check my calibration. From there, I click Create and Save Profile. My ICC profile has now been generated.
[4:40] You’ll notice the change with the screen. Look at the gradient here, my gray scale, my gray ramp. From before, and after. Now I’m balanced all the way through my tonal range with the proper gray.
[4:56] That is it. I can’t stress enough how important monitor calibration is. I have a saying that if a picture is worth a thousand words, this will tell you what those thousand words are telling you.
[5:08] Until next time, thanks again and have a great day. [/learn_more]
As a general rule, I will use sRGB for anything that has skin tones or the image contains a softer mood. I use Adobe RGB for landscape, food, architecture and any other natural setting where I want maximum color.
Watch and listen to the differences explained in 3D wire frame of the color volume for each profile.
[learn_more caption=”Transcript of Video” state=”open”]
Today we’re going to explain the differences between the two common RGB color profiles, sRGB and Adobe RGB. Right now you’re looking at 3-dimensional wire frame of the sRGB color profile.
[00:18] If we take a look from the top down, along the bottom you’ll see an outline in two dimensions of the size of the color gamut.
[00:30] Within Color Think, we can quantify the number of colors in the gamut. You’ll notice here that the gamut volume is approximately nine hundred thousand different colors. A very big color profile.
[00:45] sRGB is known as the lowest common denominator so depending on whether you have a high-end Eizo monitor or low-cost Dell monitor, whatever it happens to be, it kind of dummifies the color so that the color looks consistent on each of those devices.
[0:01:00] Now when we move up into the Adobe color profile, (going to turn on here) notice along the bottom that it’s gotten much larger and you can see all along the bottom here, especially in the cyan and the green, that it’s pretty much proportional in that you can see its much larger.
[0:01:20] What I’m going to do here is I’m going to turn up the opacity and you’ll notice that the Adobe RGB color profile will pretty much encompass the entire sRGB profile. And notice how much larger it is now. And to give you an idea as far as to quantify the colors within Adobe RGB, we’re looking at 1.3 million colors. Almost forty five percent more colors them which you’re going to get with sRGB.
[0:01:50] Now how does this apply within Photoshop working with your images? I’m going to boot-up Photoshop and hide the background. And you’ll get an idea when I bring in an image here, the image looks really good.
[0:02:08] This is shot outdoors and we’re going to assign our profile. You’ll notice right now that we are in the sRGB color space and the image looks very good. If we toggle into the Adobe RGB color space, notice what happens with the color.
[0:02:28] The color greatly enrichens and it makes it much more lively. You’ll notice where our sample points are that the data itself will not change. So we’ll toggle back and forth and notice the color shift but the data itself did not change. That’s important to note because what’s happening is the Adobe RGB color profile is sending a different signal to Photoshop to display the color in a much more vibrant color space.
[0:02:57] Personally when I do anything with portraits or skin, I will use the sRGB color profile and if it’s outdoors or food or architecture I will go with the Adobe RGB profile to get a much more vibrant looking print when i go to press.
[0:03:16] So that’s it for today. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and leave a comment.[/learn_more]
I have been asked the question many times before: why does my photography/image look so flat when i convert RGB to CMYK color?
Well, the answer is science.
RGB is additive color theory. Red, green and blue light when combined produce white light. When red, green and blue light are turned off, there is no color therefore resulting in black. This is how your monitor and television function.
CMYK is subtractive color theory. Cyan, magenta and yellow ink act as filters to absorb and reflect light that is reflected off paper. When light reflects off paper where no ink is applied, this is white. When light reflects where all three colors are present, no light reflects back resulting in black. Cyan ink absorbs red light; magenta absorbs green light; and yellow absorbs blue light. This is the basic theory of subtractive color.
It’s important to note that a fourth ink (black) is used to create more contrast and deeper blacks/shadows in images. The amount of black ink is dependent on the conversion process that is used, for example medium GCR (Gray Component Replacement).
RGB color uses projected light which is much more brighter than light reflecting off a substrate with CMYK color. The additive light (RGB) creates a color gamut that is much larger than subtractive (CMYK) color gamut.
Does this explain RGB to CMYK conversion for you? Please place your comments below…
[learn_more caption=”Transcript of Video” state=”open”]
Hi. This is Rick Rys from HiDefColor.com. Today we are going to discuss the conversion from the RGB color space into the CMYK color space.
[0:14] RGB is an additive color space meaning that red, green, and blue light together will create white. When red, green, and blue light are off, they will be black when it is projected onto screen, or onto a monitor.
[0:31] CMYK is the subtractive color theory meaning that the cyan, magenta, and yellow inks act as filters. As light bounces off of the paper, it reflects up through the cyan, magenta, and yellow inks, which in turn will either absorb or reflect different color wavelengths.
[0:52] The opposite of red is cyan, the opposite of green is magenta, and the opposite of blue is yellow. The subtractive colors are the gray components of the additive colors meaning that when they’re put together, they create gray, or black, or white.
[1:07] The LAB color model–let me turn this off here–is a 3-axis color system, and the LAB colors are absolute meaning that the color is identical. It’s across what’s called a device-independent, meaning that the LAB color space is the only way for you to communicate different colors across different devices.
[1:35] Now, it is a 3-axis system. The first axis, the L-channel, or lightness goes up and down the 3-D color model, and it consists of white to black, and all of your gray colors will be exactly right down the center.
[1:49] All your neutral colors will be relatively in the center of this axis. The A-axis goes from a cyan/blue color across to a magenta/red color, and the B-axis goes from blue to yellow.
[2:07] Within this area, we’re going to plot our visual or reproducible colors based on the gamut or the profile of the device we have. I’m going to turn on the sRGB color profile. Most monitors display in sRGB; sRGB is preferred for any type of Internet or Web application.
[2:27] And look at this thing spinning here. And you can see the volume of the colors that you can reproduce from this additive color model. Obviously, since it’s dealing with projecting light, they’re very bright colors and they’re very saturated.
[2:44] Now when we bring in and display the CMYK GRACoL color profile, you’ll notice when I turn it on the sRGB encompasses the whole CMYK color gamut beside this area of cyan and greens through here.
[3:03] If you look down on the color model, you’ll notice that the circumference of the model is projected along the bottom here. You can see the outside perimeter of the sRGB color profile.
[3:17] The brighter colors are just not capable of being reproduced with the CMYK color gamut. You can see what happens when you get these real dark blues. There’s no blue for you to hit in a CMYK color model.
[3:30] What I’m going to do is I’m going to take our sRGB color profile, and I changed the opacity, so you can see the difference that we’re dealing with here. As you can see the volume of color on the RGB color profile is nowhere near what can be reproduced in a CMYK color profile.
[3:53] So what we have to do is we have to do our best job of remapping these colors, or what is known as tonal compression, to bring this sRGB color model into the CMYK color space.
[4:06] This is why–I’ll stop right here–when you look at a blue sky, you may always be disappointed with the results you get because when the photograph is in RGB, you’ve got all these deep bright blues and more of the colors you see in the horizon.
[4:30] When they’re converted to CMYK – you’ll notice when I change opacity, all those bright blues have to be condensed into this little area here of the blue hue that’s reproducible in CMYK.
[4:42] There’s a sacrifice there, and that’s where you get into using either relative rendering intent, or the perceptual color intent. That will help you resolve some of issues you have with converting your dark blues into the CMYK color space.
[4:58] Let’s turn this opacity back up, and you’ll get an idea, again, of what we’re dealing with here. We need to take all of this color and condense it into this little area right here.
[5:12] And this is the GRACoL color profile. The GRACoL color profile has more colors than the SWOP profile, so we’re going to get a better representation of some of those more juicier RGB colors when they’re converted to CMYK.
[5:27] So let’s bring this up again and show you the difference of converting all of this into this little area here. This is why color management is so important and knowing what profiles you’re dealing with.
[5:41] Your safest bet is using the sRGB color space and converting into the coded GRACoL profile. Keep in mind that dealing with your print provider, they will produce, or they will provide the correct color profile based on their printing condition.
[5:58] A profile is a recipe, or the characteristics of a particular printing condition. Based on the press, the inks, and the paper that they use that will produce a profile.
[6:10] Well thanks again for tuning in. I hope this clears some things up. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment on the blog. And we will see you next time.
The fact that an image is in CMYK does not mean the color will be correct for a printing press.
CMYK is a ‘device dependent’ color space, meaning that the CMYK data will print differently from one CMYK device to another. Every CMYK device has it’s own color profile. Knowing which CMYK color profile to convert to from RGB is very important to the success of color quality.
A CMYK printer profile is the characteristic or behavior of a printing condition or process.
Today we will demonstrate the differences between the GRACoL (general requirements for applications in commercial offset lithography) and SWOP (specification for web offset printing) CMYK color gamuts, or CMYK printer profiles. The GRACoL printing specification has a larger CMYK color gamut than the SWOP printing specification.
This VIDEO demonstration shows the GRACoL and SWOP CMYK color gamuts in a three-dimensional wireframe. The color wireframes are plotted in the LAB color space. Create an even larger CMYK color gamut by printing with FM/stochastic screening!
The LAB color space is ‘device indepedent’, meaning that LAB color data is absolute. LAB is a universal color space and is the best way to communicate the appearance of color.
Which color profile looks better to you? Please leave your comments below…
[learn_more caption=”Transcript of Video” state=”open”] Hi. This is Rick Rys from HiDefColor.com.
00:04 Today we’re going to talk about the CMYK color space and the two most common CMYK color printer profiles. It’s important to note that a color printer profile is the behavior or the characteristics of a printing condition. It’s important to note that when dealing with your commercial printer to ask them which color printer profile or which color specification they print to and use that profile. Here at HiDefColor.com, we support the GRACoL color specification.
00:40 The important thing to note is we’re going to be – you’re actually looking at CMYK color model is plotted in the LAB color space. The LAB color space is a three axis determination of what a color is going to be, so it’s absolute.
01:00 The first axis is the L channel or the lightness which goes from white to black. Now that is going from top to bottom and it’s also important to note that along this axis is where your grays are going to be; your gray balance here, fifty percent gray, seventy five, twenty five and so-on are going to be down the center of that axis.
01:22 The second axis, the A axis goes from a cyan/green over to magenta/red color and the B axis goes from blue to yellow. So within this area here is where we’re going to plot all of our colors.
01:38 We’re going to go from our lightest colors up here, to our darker colors down here. So in the center is where all your neutral colors are going to be. We’ll start with our first color printer profile, that will be the SWOP color printer profile.
01:51 When we turn that on, you can see we’ve generated a three-dimensional wire frame of that color model. You go from our paper-white, down to our shadows, and then across from our primary colors our reds, our blues, greens, to our subtractive primaries our yellow, cyan and magenta. And from the top down – looking straight down – you can see that we plotted the outside circumference of our color space, so you can see our color a little better, along with our three-dimensional wireframe.
02:27 The second option is the GRACoL color printer profile. Now, i’m going to bring that in. You will notice that when i click this on, that the GRACoL color printer profile completely engulfs the SWOP color printer profile.
02:41 Looking down here at the bottom – follow the cursor – you’ll notice from the top down the shadow, or the circumference, is much larger than the SWOP color gamut, meaning that you have more color that’s accessible when you convert from RGB to CMYK. You’re going to get a larger color gamut and this is displaying graphically what the larger color gamut is with the GRACoL color profile.
03:04 It’s important to note that you can’t just choose a profile. You have to understand what profile or what specifications your printer is running to. So if you convert to a SWOP profile and you’re printing GRACoL, there’s going to different results.
03:19 So again, what I want to do here is i’m going to change the opacity of the GRACoL so you can see better how much more color is available resulting in a larger color gamut.
03:31 We’ll get this spinning here so you can look around the different colors and look at the top down and also look at the wireframe to see how much more color. There’s more volume of color for you to work with to get a better reproduction in CMYK when you convert from RGB.[/learn_more]
This VIDEO tutorial will step through the confusion of which RGB color profile to use with your images in Adobe Photoshop CS.
Most digital cameras save images with sRGB color profile. sRGB color gamut is smaller than Adobe RGB. While the RGB color values stay the same, the resulting color that is displayed is significantly different. For higher color saturation, choose Adobe RGB color profile. While not for every image, Adobe RGB is a preferred color profile to assign to your images.
All RGB profiles are not the same and will produce different color when printed even though the RGB values are the same.
In conclusion, I prefer to use Adobe RGB on most everything except portrait photography. Try both and see which one works best for you.
Have you had profile challenges before? Please leave a comment below…
These settings will ensure print-ready PDFs for faster turnaround times and no output errors in prepress. Compression settings will ensure for quick upload times to your printer.
How much time will this save you? Please leave your comment below…
[learn_more caption=”Transcript of Video” state=”open”]
Hi. This is Rick Rys from HiDefColor.com
00:04 Today’s tutorial Never Convert to CMYK is a cool little export option out of Indesign CS that will eliminate the need to ever convert RGB to CMYK.
00:15 This cool little RGB workflow will eliminate a lot of disk space and save you a lot of time along with a lot of confusion regarding having two files of the same image.
00:27 You can see we have an image here that’s created in Indesign CS it consists of an RGB bitmap image, you can see the color space is RGB, and it is tagged with the Adobe RGB color profile.
00:42 We also have a CMYK Adobe Illustrator image which is a vector graphic.
00:50 It’s important to note that the image is created with different values of gray. This is important because these color values of gray are built with black only and we want to make sure we do not re-separate this into a four color gray.
01:06 We also have a series of color swatches that are placed as Pantone colors. Also, take note that we are using the LAB values of these colors.
01:21 So, once we are ready to go to press, we’re going to do a simple export option out of Indesign CS.
01:30 We’re going to utilize the Adobe PDF X-4 standard. Once we select PDF X-4, we’re going to save our file and we’ll go into the export Adobe PDF presets and select X-4; change the compatibility to PDF 1.7 standard; select our page and then go through the individual tabs here.
02:00 Under compression, we want to keep these values the same. We’re going to downsample to 300 pixels per inch when our image is greater than 450 pixels per inch. This will allow for a much faster upload to the color server at HiDefColor.com
02:18 Under marks and bleeds, two things – select our crop marks and change our bleed to .125″ top and bottom, inside and outside
02:29 The output tab is the most critical. This is where color conversion is going to take place and convert RGB to CMYK.
02:39 We want to focus on the color conversion pull-down menu. We want to select “Convert to Destination” and “preserve numbers”. The preserve numbers will maintain any native CMYK data within the document.
02:53 This is important for our placed Adobe Illustrator image where we want to maintain our gray values with just black ink only. Select “preserve numbers” and our destination this is where we’re going to convert to CMYK.
03:21 Under profile inclusion policy we want to make sure we include the destination profile in case we have to repurpose this or convert this to another press.
03:33 Under ink manager you’ll notice that we have our CMYK information here and also all of our placed Pantone color swatches. What we want to do to make sure is that we check the all spots to process. You’ll notice that it converted these into CMYK and more importantly, make sure that we select the use standard LAB values for spots.
04:00 This is important because this will use the LAB color data value for each
of those Pantone colors for a much more accurate conversion into CMYK.
04:13 Once we select OK, then we simply export the file. Once we export our file, we’re going to open it up into Acrobat and you’ll notice that our file is here and we’re going to do a quick little preflight. We’re going to go into the advanced tab, Print Production and select Output Preview.
04:40 You’ll notice a little output preview window will open up. Notice that all are images have now been converted to CMYK! So we could simply go through the process and deselect our individual colors and build our document: black, yellow, magenta, cyan for our CMYK values.
04:59 As we mouse over, you’ll notice that we are now in the CMYK color space and all of our Pantone colors have been converted to CMYK. More importantly, when we get down to our placed Illustrator graphic, you’ll notice here that the gray is made up of black ink only. You’ll notice that up here, once I thumbed over the sixty percent screen of black, this was maintained by using the preserve numbers value for the convert to destination. This did not re-separate it into four colors.
05:33 The important part about this it saves a lot of time as far as balancing color on press and also eliminating any registration issues on press having to line up four colors for just one color gray.
05:47 Well, I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Look back for more tutorials in the future.
When i first saw this commercial I laughed. What will they try to sucker us into next?
How do they think they are going to take an RGB signal, therefore RGB color gamut, and create more pixel information and re-create more of an image that was never there to begin with?
My guess is they’re taking the red and green signals and just amplifying the two together to create more yellow. This will alter the white point, or color temperature, of the screen and never match any color.
How can you add an additional color to additive color theory? What will the additive color purists think?
Most people, however, prefer a blue/white appearance because if appears brighter. We have all seen this case with paper for commercial color printing. Optical brightening agents in paper manufacturing create the blue/white finish of paper. The paper ‘appears’ brighter, but in reality it’s just ‘bluer’.
In the subtractive color world, only so much light can be reflected off the surface of the paper. Therefore, if the paper was neutral in ‘whiteness’ it would appear dirty with more yellow being added instead of blue.
Inkjet printers now use as many as 12 colors to create beautiful color prints. This is understandable because using just CMYK can not create the same gamut as RGB.
Personally, I would rather have a sharper image with great contrast over ‘cartoon’ color.