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I publish books of black and white photographs, and usually do so in duotone (black plus a Pantone gray). I have Affinity Photo, and am thinking of getting Publisher, but I still have to use Photoshop for manipulating the duotone balances, as I don't see anything in Photo for this. Has it been added while I wasn't paying attention, or is there something in Publisher to do this? I'd really like to get away from Adobe. Thanks.

Edited by duotone

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1 minute ago, Lagarto said:

You can simulate it to some extent:

 

 

Thanks. Doesn't appear to include curves for the inks, which is essential.

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17 minutes ago, MikeW said:

Duotone images are not supported in Affinity applications. If/when they would/may be, I don't know.

 Pretty glaring omission! 

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3 minutes ago, duotone said:

Thanks. Doesn't appear to include curves for the inks, which is essential.

True, I guess you could try something with adjustment curves but this is really just fiddling in lack of the real thing.

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22 minutes ago, Lagarto said:

True, I guess you could try something with adjustment curves but this is really just fiddling in lack of the real thing.

You would just get CMYK simulation, nothing you could use with just two inks.

It might be possible to create two greyscale versions (with appropriate curves) of the plate and set them over each other and set upper one to print with Pantone and overprint. I though think this is too hard an exercise to be used in normal production.

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6 minutes ago, Fixx said:

It might be possible to create two greyscale versions (with appropriate curves) of the plate and set them over each other and set upper one to print with Pantone and overprint. I though think this is too hard an exercise to be used in normal production.

Yes, that's what is done in the referred post but as you mentioned, it is really just playing with curves without proper control.

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You can do something like this in lack of the real thing:

duotone.jpg.c9a7da9d5f206b66610fa60e966ad07f.jpg

duotone_black.thumb.jpg.ac4c0500ccba4de582e9ca9a1c9dfd3b.jpg

duotone_warmgray.thumb.jpg.2a42ec726972c4f910bf82b68c2d6621.jpg

That is, you can have black grayscale version with curves and levels (on gray channel) on top of the PMS version. I think that the PMS layer cannot have adjustments applied, at least when I tried it turned to CMYK (but you could of course process a grayscale directly on pixel level and save it as a separate image). 

I do not quite understand the logic of this. Sometimes I think i need to turn PMS to K100 and back to PMS to keep it a spot color, and it seems that applying the gray curve on the black plate helps the top layer from converting to CMYK. 

The PMS has overprint defined but it has no use here (as the spot color is the bottom layer). As the top layer has Multiply blend mode on the total effect can be approximated to some extent.

Attached are an Affinity Publisher document and a PDF. (Note that the Publisher doc is created with latest beta so latest Photo beta is needed to open it.)

duotone_testcurves.afpub

duotone_testcurves.pdf

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1 hour ago, Lagarto said:

You can do something like this in lack of the real thing: ...

That is, you can have black grayscale version with curves and levels (on gray channel) on top of the PMS version. I think that the PMS layer cannot have adjustments applied, at least when I tried it turned to CMYK (but you could of course process a grayscale directly on pixel level and save it as a separate image). ...

Fake duotones are a black box effect that are difficult to pull off in print and are entirely dependent upon the print device + their operators. They are also better with certain images than others. Your example would be a pile of mud on paper.

David Blatner wrote up a good description several years ago:

https://creativepro.com/extending-tonal-range-photoshop-with-duotones/

They do/can work OK as a quickly done effect for web sites--indeed, it's how some websites "create" them for their services. But otherwise, no.

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2 hours ago, Lagarto said:

You can do something like this in lack of the real thing:

duotone.jpg.c9a7da9d5f206b66610fa60e966ad07f.jpg

duotone_black.thumb.jpg.ac4c0500ccba4de582e9ca9a1c9dfd3b.jpg

duotone_warmgray.thumb.jpg.2a42ec726972c4f910bf82b68c2d6621.jpg

That is, you can have black grayscale version with curves and levels (on gray channel) on top of the PMS version. I think that the PMS layer cannot have adjustments applied, at least when I tried it turned to CMYK (but you could of course process a grayscale directly on pixel level and save it as a separate image). 

I do not quite understand the logic of this. Sometimes I think i need to turn PMS to K100 and back to PMS to keep it a spot color, and it seems that applying the gray curve on the black plate helps the top layer from converting to CMYK. 

The PMS has overprint defined but it has no use here (as the spot color is the bottom layer). As the top layer has Multiply blend mode on the total effect can be approximated to some extent.

Attached are an Affinity Publisher document and a PDF. (Note that the Pulbisher doc is created with latest beta so latest Photo beta is needed to open it.)

duotone_testcurves.afpub

duotone_testcurves.pdf

Thanks for this! I think the best way forward is just to pay Adobe their ransom for PS when the next book comes around. I still want to try Publisher, though. I'm hoping it will accept the duotones from PS.

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1 hour ago, duotone said:

Thanks for this! I think the best way forward is just to pay Adobe their ransom for PS when the next book comes around. I still want to try Publisher, though. I'm hoping it will accept the duotones from PS.

It, if it is an dcs/eps, should load. It will export as cmyk or rgb, whatever model you export your pdf for print as. What it will not be is a two-color (Pantone + black or whatever). If you are actually using spot color, you cannot use your dcs/eps or multi-channel (don't even know if they will import) to print as such.

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There seems to need to make a conceptual difference between "simulation (of production)" and "fake". The example given above was not a faked duotone in the meaning described by David Blatner, as it combined two grayscale screens, and not a uniform layer of a PMS tone under the black ink. The examples in the original post (referred in my first post in this thread) were indeed faked duotones where the uniform overlay method exactly was used (and also clearly shown), but in the same thread we also discussed the possibility of using multiple grayscales with adjustment curves to create true duotones. The example above is a “true” duotone, but as curve and ink control is very limited, it is better to call this “simulated duotone”, or something like that.

Also, as mentioned in my post, the PMS part could well be taken to Photo and handled directly, without an adjustment, to control how the spot color part is distributed, to make it yet more "true".

It is up to the skill of the user who applies the curves for the two inks they choose to use for the effect, whether the result looks like “piles of mud” on the paper, or something more sophisticated, but the technique is there, even if crippled. The image above was just a demo, but I guess most printers can produce more than mud of a pretty linear screen of PMS Warm gray accentuated with black.

But this is of course a bit constrained way of producing  duotones, and I'd definitely stick with Photoshop and InDesign if I were to actually print anything in duotone.

The screenshots below illustrate the difference of true and fake duotones, and a Publisher demo is included, as well, and a pdf.

duotone_testcurves_true_fake.afpub

duotone_testcurves_true_fake.pdf

Inks combined:

true_and_fake_combined.thumb.jpg.e328334dd01b92d6e0081b9d2b86ec17.jpg

The PMS part:

true_and_fake_pms.thumb.jpg.0f9af76265105627923a194ed2b9b025.jpg

The black part:

true_and_fake_black.thumb.jpg.49935d450ecb72c512db573476a969ab.jpg

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2 hours ago, duotone said:

Thanks for this! I think the best way forward is just to pay Adobe their ransom for PS when the next book comes around. I still want to try Publisher, though. I'm hoping it will accept the duotones from PS.

Neither PSD or EPS duotones are supported. Former does not even seem to load and latter is imported as CMYK.

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Here's a tritone version. As far as I can see only the black part can be controlled by a live curve. If a grayscale image has PMS assignment, adjustments will turn the images to CMYK at render time. So the additional grayscales need to be separate grayscale files and be flattened after their curves have been adjusted in Photo.

(Someone who knows Affinity apps throughout may find a way to simulate PMS inks on screen and yet have all inks with live curves, but if the PMS color assignment is directly applied on an Image layer, any curve adjustments (even limited to Gray channel) will make it render in CMYK.)

tritone.jpg.39510fb0ba99ab04cb366f3e31c8d6ff.jpg

a) Black ink:

tritone_black.thumb.jpg.9a4d4e6dd114d6983202e3bae656f7db.jpg

b) Warm Gray 6C:

tritone_warm_gray6c.thumb.jpg.0047a4613f36b68ae4f267827e3db93e.jpg

c) Warm Gray 11C:

tritone_warm_gray11c.thumb.jpg.f1483e80d7458c6beb93134e943e71b9.jpg

AFPub file and the PDF:

tritone_example.afpub

tritone_example.pdf

 

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