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woefi

copy between documents changes colours (b523)

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I want to start a new document for the same client/project I'm already working at.

So, I copy some elements from the previous doc to the new to get a head start (colours, text styles, shapes, text)

The problem is: a 100k black rectangle is colour-converted to 78c 69m 66y 82k! 

In the original document, this had a global colour linked to it, so I tried to export the document palette to the new document.
The colour palette itself did successfully import, and its colours are right, but they are not linked/applied to the rectangle and it has the same wrong, converted color.
 

Expected behaviour:

  • Objects copied to another document must not colour convert if it's the same colour-mode (CMYK)
  • global colours (document palette) already applied to an object have to be transferred automatically to the other doc palette.
  • already existing colour names in the target document should keep the TARGETs definition (like "paste without style")

 

I would say, this is a major bug. Please investigate!

223078318_2019-12-18um14.46olddoc.png.82661e3961198c2fc07b697fb5443215.png232403042_2019-12-18um14.48newdoc.png.1ec83086b907e8a53c3ba8672d15a6a8.png

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Just to verify, are both documents configured with the same color space and profile?

If they have different color profiles set up then the conversion makes sense as the colors would need to be adapted to the new profile.  Otherwise, I agree that should not be happening.

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43 minutes ago, fde101 said:

Just to verify, are both documents configured with the same color space and profile?

You're right: I checked, one was "iso coated v2" and the other was "iso coated v2 300%" –> I made a new document with the same profile and now the copy operation does no color conversion anymore.

46 minutes ago, fde101 said:

If they have different color profiles set up then the conversion makes sense as the colors would need to be adapted to the new profile.  Otherwise, I agree that should not be happening.

You're NOT right: When I define my corporate design colours, the NUMBERS ALWAYS have to be the same. When exporting as PDF, there will be a color profile added, or an output intent, but in a correct colour management workflow, that should not matter in the layout process. 

Only for placed images, this is an option – as most of the pictures are RGB anyways.

I don't want the box to be subjectively "black" – I want it to be exactly 0c0m0y100k-black, no matter what.

 

So as I said: this is a bug.

And as I now tested in the 1.7.3 release:

  • the conversion bug is the same (with different profiles)
  • the global colour is correctly transferred to the target document
  • ...although it does not import it to the document palette, nor does it make a new one.

The colour system inside affinity apps obviously still thinks it deals with images and does not fully embrace the concept of precisely predefined "swatches" 

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8 minutes ago, woefi said:

When I define my corporate design colours, the NUMBERS ALWAYS have to be the same.

Then you need to make sure you always use the same profile.

The numbers are interpreted relative to the profile, so if the profile is different, the numbers will not mean the same thing.  To keep the color consistent when moving something to a document with a different profile, the numbers must change.

 

8 minutes ago, woefi said:

in a correct colour management workflow, that should not matter in the layout process

This is very wrong.  To ensure accurate colors on a profiled display, a color profile needs to be assigned to each device (your display in this case, typically by the OS).  In order to know what to display, the colors need to already match a profile of some kind to know how to translate them for the display.  This is determined by the document's profile, so that definitely does matter during the design process.  The numbers you use are meaningless without a profile to interpret them against, so the standard for that interpretation needs to come from somewhere.

 

8 minutes ago, woefi said:

I don't want the box to be subjectively "black" – I want it to be exactly 0c0m0y100k-black, no matter what.

There are many shades of black.  Which one does "100k" represent?

That will depend on the brand and formulation of the ink for example.  To say "exactly 100k" black is meaningless without knowing the standard that this is being measured against - 100% of what black?

 

Note that if the document profile does not match the one used for exporting or printing your document it will export/print with the same change in the colors so that they match "subjectively" between the document and the printout.

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Colour Management is a complex topic.

This thread is not about CM. I'm talking about cmyk definitions which you cannot confuse with subjective "colour impressions" of a photo.
WHY should the source-colour numbers change between the documents – If I roundtrip copy it back to the original doc, the numbers will never be the same! (does this make more sense?)

 

btw. 100% black is always 100% black (of course, it's pale compared to a deep 4c-black). It's the benefit of having a "clean" colour, which is not subject to print registration errors. And this means it is allowed look a bit different in different printing processes, or paper qualities. 

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2 minutes ago, woefi said:

btw. 100% black is always 100% black (of course, it's pale compared to a deep 4c-black). It's the benefit of having a "clean" colour, which is not subject to print registration errors. And this means it is allowed look a bit different in different printing processes, or paper qualities. 

Agreed. I wouldn't expect any of my swatch values to change if I pasted them into another document; going to CMYk to CMYK, it should stay the same value.

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1 hour ago, fde101 said:
1 hour ago, woefi said:

I don't want the box to be subjectively "black" – I want it to be exactly 0c0m0y100k-black, no matter what.

There are many shades of black.  Which one does "100k" represent?

fde101, it would be terrible if you were correct. That would mean the 4 pure print colors Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black could result different when you print a file with 100 % of each color – just by manipulating the 100% values because of e.g. printers profile. Of cause, on 1 material, a 100 cyan swatch always has to print + look the same, like a 100 K, too.

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14 minutes ago, thomaso said:

That would mean the 4 pure print colors Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black could result different when you print a file with 100 % of each color – just by manipulating the 100% values because of e.g. printers profile.

You are assuming that cyan ink is always the same cyan ink and yellow ink is always the same yellow ink.

They are not.

That is why profiles exist - to compensate for the differences in ink between printer ink manufacturers, the differences in colors produced by color monitors, etc.

If you send the same color values to two different printers and they are using inks that do not match each other, even if they are calibrated to put the same amount of each ink on the page, the results will not look the same because the inks themselves are different.

Producing different combinations of the ink (or light from a monitor) to get a matching final appearance is the entire reason the profiles exist.

 

One company produces something like seven different black fountain pen inks and they all look different when used next to each other.  They are all black, but they are different blacks.  Same thing with printer ink.

 

 

That said, it might be helpful to have a "pure black" option as a swatch that could be applied to prevent a specific black from being translated when the color space changes...  kind of like a spot color except that it always becomes a process color upon print/export but maps directly to the appropriate black for the printer.

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49 minutes ago, Jeremy Bohn said:

Agreed. I wouldn't expect any of my swatch values to change if I pasted them into another document; going to CMYk to CMYK, it should stay the same value.

They stay as close as possible to the same color instead, which is not the same thing.

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12 minutes ago, fde101 said:

You are assuming that cyan ink is always the same cyan ink and yellow ink is always the same yellow ink.

They are not.

There is an industry standard for CMYK inks:

... and certification of those inks, of cause. If there would be no standard no profile would know what to achieve.

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17 minutes ago, fde101 said:

They stay as close as possible

fde101, wouldn‘t you agree, that the colour in my case is not close, by far?

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8 minutes ago, woefi said:
28 minutes ago, fde101 said:

 

fde101, wouldn‘t you agree, that the colour in my case is not close, by far

The irony (for those of you who do not speak german) is of course: the text in my screenshot of the first post reads „why do we use two different kinds of black in this corporate design manual?“

:26_nerd:

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27 minutes ago, thomaso said:

There is an industry standard for CMYK inks:

That would be great if everyone followed the standard.  I would imagine most high-end commercial printers do, but there are plenty of printers which do not fit that description, and not all of them follow the standard.

 

24 minutes ago, woefi said:

wouldn‘t you agree, that the colour in my case is not close, by far?

If you mean the two blacks on the original screenshot, they look practically identical on the display that I am using.  I would imagine there would be some difference when printed if the numbers were applied using the same color profile to the same printer (obviously), but with two different profiles in use, they are being appropriately interpreted through the different profiles and mapping to what appears to be the same display color.

Do they actually look different on your display?

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27 minutes ago, woefi said:

wouldn‘t you agree, that the colour in my case is not close, by far?

In numbers (as shown in your screenshot, no, they are not close.

In appearance, as viewed in your screenshot, I would not be able to tell the difference between them when viewed on my laptop. One issue in comparing appearance is that you provided PNG screenshots, and therefore in an RGB colorspace. So there has already been a color conversion from CMYK to RGB.

For us to accurately compare appearance I think we would need the actual documents, either in .afdesign or .afphoto format, or exported to a format that supports CMYK, with the metadata included, and ideally provided in a .zip file so we would not be comparing on-screen appearance in a web browser.

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20 minutes ago, fde101 said:

Do they actually look different on your display?

Please understand: with cmyk swatch colours it does not matter how it looks on any display if the numbers are already nailed down.  
 

Quite the opposite with placed images - the (here: RGB) color values do not interest me in any way. I only prepare my pictures on a calibrated display ...and based on subjective appearance or „experience“ . I have no problem with colour management to recalculate *these* values for the final output. (And only then)

 

these are two different things.

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10 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

In numbers (as shown in your screenshot, no, they are not close.

If you ignore the difference in color profiles and translate the (78, 69, 66, 82) to RGB, it translates to #0A0E10 - that works out as roughly 13% gray if I did my math correctly.

The fact that they look the same on the display tells me the numbers are being interpreted through different profiles.  If you changed the original document to use the values from the second one and put that side by side with a screenshot of the color as it is now the difference would likely be more apparent.

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6 minutes ago, woefi said:

these are two different things

Not in the Affinity products.  A swatch is no different from the colors in a placed image which is using the same color profile as the document itself.

That makes it possible to match graphics objects you create within the document to the colors of the placed image, for greater consistency.

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7 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

n numbers (as shown in your screenshot, no, they are not close.

In appearance, as viewed in your screenshot, I would not be able to tell the difference between them when viewed on my laptop

Walt, I recognize your experience in this forum and with AfSuite, but I wonder, have you ever seen such two blacks side by side printed by a print shop >on paper<?
It is night and day!
Because that is the scenario where I want it to be correct.

If I were to design a webpage, this would be no problem. 

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7 minutes ago, woefi said:

but I wonder, have you ever seen such two blacks side by side printed by a print shop >on paper<?
It is night and day!
Because that is the scenario where I want it to be correct.

I have not, and I will happily admit to a lack of practical experience in commercial printing and working in CMYK, in general. I'm sure you (and many other users here) have much more experience in that area than I. I was merely pointing out that if what you were asking required a visual comparison (as opposed to numeric) you need to provide different pictures. If it doesn't, that's fine.

But since you've mentioned printing it on paper, as soon as you get to that point, from what I think I know, the color profile is critical, and each of the various CMYK profiles is used to specify handling (I think) for a different kind of paper.

A Black of a particular value (again, with my limited understanding) must have one set of numbers for one profile, in order to print properly on that paper. And a Black printed on a different paper, with a different profile, will need a different set of numbers.

And that, I think, is why you need to make sure that your profiles are the same when copying colors between documents. They will be adjusted to the new document's working profile.

Later you will export, and specify the export profile, and they will again be adjusted unless you've been working in the same profile you're going to export to.

 

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7 minutes ago, fde101 said:

If you ignore the difference in color profiles and translate the (78, 69, 66, 82) to RGB, it translates to #0A0E10 - that works out as roughly 13% gray if I did my math correctly

fde101. I do design work to be put on paper by a printing press. Do you understand how the basic principle of cmyk printing with rasterdots works?

If there is a black box with 100% black - printed by a printing press you would see no dots. even if it was slightly tilted. 

if i would print this second, converted black, it would be raster dots all over the place. And to make it worse, the printer would have a harder time to align the registration of all four colours so it could happen you see a red line on one side and a blue line on the other.
For no good reason. 

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2 hours ago, fde101 said:

That is why profiles exist - to compensate for the differences in ink between printer ink manufacturers,

1 hour ago, fde101 said:

That would be great if everyone followed the standard.  I would imagine most high-end commercial printers do, but there are plenty of printers which do not fit that description, and not all of them follow the standard. 

You seem to mix ink standard (ISO 2846-1) and print machine process standard (ISO 12647-2). The ink is not the reason for profiles, ink can physically be standardised. The machines need the profiles to keep the color, in correct density for instance (to keep 100% = 100%) on various machines and papers.

There also is a tolerance in this ink standard, inks may vary within certain values – that doesn't need to become corrected by profiles, it's rather a desired matter of regional taste:

  • 80% of the process inks supplied in 2004 complied with the new colour standard ISO 2846-1 within the given tolerances. Although the ISO standard brings process colours under one roof worldwide, differences in taste between different regions continue to exist. These are expressed by the preference in the Far East and the USA for colder colours and in Europe for warmer ones. Such differences, however, lie within the tolerances given in the standard. We can therefore work on the assumption that inks meeting the target values of ISO 2846-1 can be supplied on demand worldwide.
  • https://www.colourstandards.com.au/intro-to-iso/the-ingredients-of-quality-printing/

And yes, that also means that 20% of the inks supplied in 2004 might be out of standard. Unlikely that in particular those suppliers did create profiles to compensate for their lack, since those are rather products of lower costs and quality.

By the way: not only CMYK inks are standardised, the more obvious and known as standardised are PANTONE or HKS for print, or RAL for other coloring processes – independent of their ink manufacturer.

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Once an element is attributed with a defined global colour this colour swatch (including it’s colour space and according values) should be tagged to the element, regardless where you copy it. In corporate design work this is a must. Consider how this is handled in InDesign: When I need a certain defined colour in a new document I just copy an element containing this colour from a previously made document into my new document — and then maybe even erase this element. But the attached colour swatch is being copied along with the element and — Bingo! — there it is in my colour palette, ready and willing to be utilized.

This makes sense even if you copy a cmyk swatch over to an rgb document for, say, web design. As it is a global colour you can simply change the swatch (and thus any element using it) to match your predefined corporate design colour in rgb colour space should you want to have control over the conversion (otherwise the app does it on the fly).

A designer ultimately has to be in charge of numerically defined colour values — regardless whether the app ”thinks“ it knows better. The very idea of a global colour swatch is an expression of this paradigm. Otherwise she can always use the colour picker or mix something in the colour wheel. Defined values often have to be communicated to third parties to ensure everyone in the design process is on the same page.  With the Affinity Suite — as much as I truely love it — the handling of colour swatches is confusing and should be overhauled.

To reiterate: Once I, the designer, have defined a global colour “with my own hands” it’s colour values should be an attachable and thus copyable asset and must be sancrosanct in any document.

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17 hours ago, thomaso said:

those suppliers did create profiles to compensate for their lack

Even if they did it would only be an approximation.

High-end printing presses sometimes have color calibration setups that run in real-time against the product as it is being printed to compensate for variances in the ink that might take place over time as the printing takes place.

If the standardization of the ink could be trusted at the VERY high-end of this market...  why would anyone bother with that?

(And yes, this does mean that the color values are adjusted from those in the provided document during printing, when the printer may not know the difference between what started as a swatch, or a photo, or whatever...)

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6 minutes ago, fde101 said:

High-end printing presses sometimes have color calibration setups that run in real-time against the product as it is being printed to compensate for variances in the ink that might take place over time as the printing takes place.

Also paper variations, much more of a difference in brightness and colour (white) there which then messes up the colour from the inks.

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