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Author Topic: Absolute Colorimetric not working in Illustrator?  (Read 5295 times)
Marco Ugolini
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« on: March 26, 2010, 02:34:13 AM »
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Let's say that you have an Epson inkjet (any of them), and that you are trying to print  on it from Illustrator (any version) a color proof of a specific CMYK image (with both raster and vector elements in the artwork).

Let's say that you are trying to cross-render on your inkjet the printing conditions of US Web Coated (SWOP) v2.

Let's also say that you have profiled your inkjet printer as carefully as you know how to. Also you don't use a RIP — just the Epson driver. (Note: I am not inquiring whether I should use a RIP, so I ask that the discussion not be derailed onto that topic. Please bear with this scenario just as I describe it.)

Of course, since you are attempting to produce a color proof, you use the Absolute Colorimetric intent in Illustrator's Color Management tab along with the correct custom profile for your inkjet printer.

So my question is: why does the finished print not show the paper tone simulation that I know should appear on it?

("Should", because I know that the inkjet paper I'm using is brighter than the substrate used under US Web Coated (SWOP) v2 print conditions.)

In Photoshop it all works as expected (the workflow being: printer profile with AbsCol in Photoshop's Print CM tab + "No Color Mgmt" in the driver). The Photoshop print distinctly shows the expected simulation of the destination profile's substrate. But no substrate simulation is visible in the print made from Illustrator when using the exact same workflow (or any workflow, for that matter).

What am I missing? Or is this a bug?

Thank you.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 02:35:40 AM by Marco Ugolini » Logged

Marco Ugolini
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2010, 10:41:28 AM »
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« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 05:45:15 PM by jerryrock » Logged

Gerald J Skrocki
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2010, 11:18:29 AM »
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Quote from: jerryrock
Epson inkjet printers can not prink in CMYK and must convert to RGB to render an image.
Jerry,

That is something I already know. My question is about something else altogether.

Thank you for trying, but I am still looking for my answer.
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Marco Ugolini
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2010, 02:40:11 PM »
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« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 05:44:55 PM by jerryrock » Logged

Gerald J Skrocki
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2010, 02:49:29 PM »
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Quote from: jerryrock
I don't understand. You are trying to print a CMYK image on an RGB inkjet without converting it first, and then letting the printer manage the color using a profile created with an RGB target?

Can you include a screen shot of the Illustrator print settings?
Please, reread my post. You are misinterpreting it.

What I'm doing is called cross-rendering, and it's done all the time in the imaging business.

I will not allow a diversion from my topic and question, so I will ask you please to refrain from commenting if you either don't understand the question or have no way to contribute to a solution.

Thank you.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 02:49:54 PM by Marco Ugolini » Logged

Marco Ugolini
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2010, 03:41:39 PM »
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Quote from: Marco Ugolini
What am I missing? Or is this a bug?

Sure sounds like a bug, considering you get the paper simulation in Photoshop from that profile.

Might need to rip the Illustrator file into PS to do this.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2010, 05:12:06 PM »
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Gerald J Skrocki
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2010, 05:23:49 PM »
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Quote from: jerryrock
Excuse me for trying to help. I am familiar with the Illustrator print settings, apparently you are not. The solution to a problem is often something simple that is overlooked.
You would get better responses if you explained your situation with a little more clarity.
Good luck with your problem.
Please, either help or spare me the hurt feelings and the platitudes.
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Marco Ugolini
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2010, 05:46:29 PM »
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Quote from: jerryrock
Excuse me for trying to help. I am familiar with the Illustrator print settings, apparently you are not. The solution to a problem is often something simple that is overlooked.

I don’t use or own Illustrator. One would hope it behaves similar to the other Adobe suite products.

He’s trying to use an output profile with the Absolute Rendering intent to simulate the paper white but it *appears* he’s just getting a Relative Rendering intent (no paper white simulation). The two intents produce the same results with the exception of the mapping of paper white and for whatever reason, perhaps an Illustrator setting (or a bug), its not honoring this rendering.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2010, 06:03:43 PM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
I don’t use or own Illustrator. One would hope it behaves similar to the other Adobe suite products.

He’s trying to use an output profile with the Absolute Rendering intent to simulate the paper white but it *appears* he’s just getting a Relative Rendering intent (no paper white simulation). The two intents produce the same results with the exception of the mapping of paper white and for whatever reason, perhaps an Illustrator setting (or a bug), its not honoring this rendering.

Illustrator is not the best choice for printing a CMYK image on an inkjet because Illustrator is optimized for Postscript printing, color management is best handled in RGB.

Preserve Numbers (Ignore Linked Profiles) option is available in Illustrator for CMYK. Preserves color numbers when opening files and importing images, but still allows you to use color management to view colors accurately in Adobe applications. Select this option if you want to use a safe CMYK workflow. This option (if checked) could be the cause of the problem because it would appear correct on screen, but would not in print correctly.

In general, Illustrator is not the best choice for printing a CMYK image on an RGB device. InDesign, on the other hand gives you the option to override this color management policy.

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Gerald J Skrocki
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2010, 06:19:44 PM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
I don’t use or own Illustrator. One would hope it behaves similar to the other Adobe suite products.

He’s trying to use an output profile with the Absolute Rendering intent to simulate the paper white but it *appears* he’s just getting a Relative Rendering intent (no paper white simulation). The two intents produce the same results with the exception of the mapping of paper white and for whatever reason, perhaps an Illustrator setting (or a bug), its not honoring this rendering.
Well, I cannot replicate from Photoshop the same results with my file that I get in Illustrator — not with the RelCol, or Perceptual, or Saturation RI, with or without BPC.

The results produced by Illustrator with AbsCol appear to be their own kind, something apart, not related to anything comparable in Photoshop. Not a huge difference, but enough to be fairly noticeable. And no paper simulation whatsoever.

This is baffling. What the heck is going on here?
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Marco Ugolini
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2010, 07:08:03 PM »
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Quote from: jerryrock
Illustrator is not the best choice for printing a CMYK image on an inkjet because Illustrator is optimized for Postscript printing, color management is best handled in RGB.
If the application offers a choice of Absolute Colorimetric intent along with a "Let [application] determine colors" workflow, I expect it to produce results according to that intent.

Incidentally, the "Let Postscript® printer determine colors" option is grayed out in Illustrator when printing directly to an inkjet via the driver, without a dedicated RIP.

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Preserve Numbers (Ignore Linked Profiles) option is available in Illustrator for CMYK.
Only when printing to a CMYK device (like a laser printer or a RIP for an inkjet). In my case (printing directly to the inkjet via the Epson driver) the "Preserve..." option is grayed out and not selectable. So, its usefulness in this case in out of the question.

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In general, Illustrator is not the best choice for printing a CMYK image on an RGB device. InDesign, on the other hand gives you the option to override this color management policy.
Right now, I'm not interested in which application or workflow is best for printing or proofing a CMYK file. I know the answer to that already, and it was not what I was asking.

What interests me is that the Absolute Colorimetric intent is not producing the intended results in Illustrator, though the selectable option is there.

So, the question still remains: is this an impossibility in Illustrator? If it is, so be it. If it isn't, which workaround will make it behave properly?

By the way, I have 25 years of experience in digital workflows, and I am a veteran production specialist. I am definitely not a beginner.

Routinely, I use a RIP to print color proofs to an inkjet. This particular use of Illustrator which I describe here is highly unusual for me. All the more so, I want to get to the bottom of what I still consider a misbehavior, no matter how "advisable" or not it is to use Illustrator in this fashion.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 07:11:30 PM by Marco Ugolini » Logged

Marco Ugolini
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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2010, 12:06:54 AM »
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Quote from: Marco Ugolini
If the application offers a choice of Absolute Colorimetric intent along with a "Let [application] determine colors" workflow, I expect it to produce results according to that intent.

It may be something as simple as using the wrong rendering intent. If you are using absolute colorimetric, the program is only adjusting out of gamut colors. This is great for converting from a smaller color space to a larger space, but for printing, it does not take into consideration the paper color. For that you should be using Relative colorimetric which will move out of gamut colors to the closest possible color that will print on your inkjet with paper profile.
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Gerald J Skrocki
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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2010, 09:09:09 AM »
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Marco - I also think there's a bug. While printing, Illustrator seems to ignore the rendering intent selected in Print>Color Management dialog box, and it's using the rendering intent selected in Color Settings (with Advanced Mode enabled). The workaround is to set Absolute Colorimetric intent in Color Settings.

Another issue is, that the document is transparent, so if you want to have simulation of paper white, you need to put a rectangle filled with white in the background.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 09:15:11 AM by Czornyj » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2010, 11:10:48 AM »
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Quote from: jerryrock
It may be something as simple as using the wrong rendering intent. If you are using absolute colorimetric, the program is only adjusting out of gamut colors. This is great for converting from a smaller color space to a larger space, but for printing, it does not take into consideration the paper color. For that you should be using Relative colorimetric which will move out of gamut colors to the closest possible color that will print on your inkjet with paper profile.

I believe you've got a couple of points wrong...

* Absolute colorimetric (abscol) does not "adjust" OOG colors. It either matches them more-or-less precisely or clips them.

* Not sure exactly what you mean when you say abscol "does not take into consideration the paper color". Abscol will "impose" the paper color of the source profile on the destination profile with the result being a simulation of the source profile's paper color. This is extremely common for a proofing workflow and is the most accurate rendering of the source profile/device when printing on a different device. It's generally UNdesirable for photographic prints since you want the paper color of the source to be "mapped" or "zeroed" to the paper color of the destination.

* You say "you should be using Relative colorimetric which will move out of gamut colors to the closest possible color that will print on your inkjet with paper profile". Neither relative or absolute renderings will "move" OOG colors. They either MATCH or they CLIP. Perceptual rendering on the other hand will attempt to "scale" OOG colors from the source to the destination and in the process move other in-gamut colors "inward" in an attempt to maintain the visual separation between in-gamut and out-of-gamut colors. With relcol and abscol, you can easily end up with ink in-gamut and out-of-gamut colors that render on the print to exactly the same color (no separation or "clipped"). Main difference between relcol and abscol is that one (relcol) "zeroes" the paper white while the other imposes the paper white color of the source to the destination. Because relcol zeroes the source white point to the destination, you'll see a slightly expanded "gamut" (slightly higher chroma and lower L*) on the print depending on the initial difference between the two medias.

Hope this helps,
Terry
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Terry Wyse, WyseConsul
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« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2010, 11:19:33 AM »
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Quote from: jerryrock
It may be something as simple as using the wrong rendering intent. If you are using absolute colorimetric, the program is only adjusting out of gamut colors. This is great for converting from a smaller color space to a larger space, but for printing, it does not take into consideration the paper color. For that you should be using Relative colorimetric which will move out of gamut colors to the closest possible color that will print on your inkjet with paper profile.

As Terry said, and I will confirm and agree, your idea of gamut mapping and the role of the Absolute Colorimetric intent for paper simulation is simply incorrect (as is your ideas about Illustrator and CMYK for printing to something like an Epson). The driver is the “issue” here, not the app or the color model (GDI and Quickdraw printer drivers barf when handed CMYK data). Huge numbers of users send CMYK data to ink jets every day.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 11:20:13 AM by digitaldog » Logged

Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2010, 11:42:23 AM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
As Terry said, and I will confirm and agree, your idea of gamut mapping and the role of the Absolute Colorimetric intent for paper simulation is simply incorrect (as is your ideas about Illustrator and CMYK for printing to something like an Epson). The driver is the “issue” here, not the app or the color model (GDI and Quickdraw printer drivers barf when handed CMYK data). Huge numbers of users send CMYK data to ink jets every day.

The point is, that no matter what rendering intent is chosen in Illustrator Print>Color Management dialog box, the print is rendered with intent, that was set in Color Settings. And if Absolute Colorimetric intent is set in Color Settings, there's a paper white simulation on the print, so just what Marco expected.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 11:42:45 AM by Czornyj » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2010, 11:57:41 AM »
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Quote from: terrywyse
I believe you've got a couple of points wrong...

* Absolute colorimetric (abscol) does not "adjust" OOG colors. It either matches them more-or-less precisely or clips them.

* Not sure exactly what you mean when you say abscol "does not take into consideration the paper color". Abscol will "impose" the paper color of the source profile on the destination profile with the result being a simulation of the source profile's paper color. This is extremely common for a proofing workflow and is the most accurate rendering of the source profile/device when printing on a different device. It's generally UNdesirable for photographic prints since you want the paper color of the source to be "mapped" or "zeroed" to the paper color of the destination.

* You say "you should be using Relative colorimetric which will move out of gamut colors to the closest possible color that will print on your inkjet with paper profile". Neither relative or absolute renderings will "move" OOG colors. They either MATCH or they CLIP. Perceptual rendering on the other hand will attempt to "scale" OOG colors from the source to the destination and in the process move other in-gamut colors "inward" in an attempt to maintain the visual separation between in-gamut and out-of-gamut colors. With relcol and abscol, you can easily end up with ink in-gamut and out-of-gamut colors that render on the print to exactly the same color (no separation or "clipped"). Main difference between relcol and abscol is that one (relcol) "zeroes" the paper white while the other imposes the paper white color of the source to the destination. Because relcol zeroes the source white point to the destination, you'll see a slightly expanded "gamut" (slightly higher chroma and lower L*) on the print depending on the initial difference between the two medias.

Hope this helps,
Terry

Illustrator and InDesign support a safe CMYK workflow by default. As a result, when you open or import a CMYK image with an embedded profile, the application ignores the profile and preserves the raw color numbers. If you want your application to adjust color numbers based on an embedded profile, change the CMYK color policy to Preserve Embedded Profiles in the Color Settings dialog box. You can easily restore the safe CMYK workflow by changing the CMYK color policy back to Preserve Numbers (Ignore Linked Profiles).

This is from Real World Adobe Illustrator CS3 by Mordy Golding:

Quote
Rendering Intent. If some colors in your document cannot be reproduced on the chosen output device, those colors are considered out if gamut and must be converted to colors that will reproduce on the output device. There are different methods for converting these colors, and the Rendering Intent setting determines the method used. The most commonly used method, Relative Colorimetric, moves out-of-gamut colors to the closest possible color that will print on the device. It also adjusts other colors so that colors appear to be accurate. The Absolute Colorimetric setting adjusts only out-of-gamut colors and may result in posterization, where many shades of similar colors are used. The Perceptual method shifts colors so that they appear correct relative to each other, but it may not represent colors as being the most accurate match to the original values. The Saturation method enhances colors and makes them more vibrant and most suitable for business presentations where bright colors are more important than accurate colors.


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« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2010, 12:04:42 PM »
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Question for Marco:

What happens if you place, say, a box with a white file in Illustrator and send that to the printer using absolute rendering.? I would suggest assigning (but you already know this) something like SWOP Coated5 to your Illustrator document so you get a very "nasty" dark/dirty paper simulation. What I'm wondering is if you'll get a "paper" simulation over the white box but not in the surrounding "substrate" area? In other words, is abscol rendering being applied to the graphics but not to the "transparent" substrate area?

Might be interesting....unless you've already tried that.

Terry
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Terry Wyse, WyseConsul
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« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2010, 12:11:49 PM »
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Quote from: terrywyse
Question for Marco:

What happens if you place, say, a box with a white file in Illustrator and send that to the printer using absolute rendering.? I would suggest assigning (but you already know this) something like SWOP Coated5 to your Illustrator document so you get a very "nasty" dark/dirty paper simulation. What I'm wondering is if you'll get a "paper" simulation over the white box but not in the surrounding "substrate" area? In other words, is abscol rendering being applied to the graphics but not to the "transparent" substrate area?

Might be interesting....unless you've already tried that.

Terry

If you set the Absolute Colorimetric intent in Print>Color Mangement, nothing happens.

If you set the Absolute Colorimetric intent in Color Settings>Advance Mode>Conversion Options, white gets "nasty"
(XP, CS4, Epson 7880)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 12:13:16 PM by Czornyj » Logged

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