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Affinity Photo CYMK format and Profile when using PDFs


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Hey there,

I am attempting to prepare artwork for print.  I have sent four different designs to a print service and I have followed their recommendations to use CYMK format with FOGRA39 profile because this is industry standard for printing press.  My original designs were created using standard RGB.  I then created the PDF template files that have CYMK format with FOGRA39 profile set and dropped in my designs.  I edited colour settings to fix any discrepancies as best I can and exported as PDF to send to the print service.  However when the print service 'export' my uploaded PDFs to make them 'print ready' for their print workflow (CYMK format etc) , these PDFs are available to me in my account and they have increased colour de-saturation.  The print service has also advised that two of my PDFs are in RBG format and this explains the colour de-saturation for the two most colourful illustrations.  But I have definitely exported the original PDFs using CYMK format and FOGRA39 profile.

In an effort to troubleshoot this, I have downloaded the converted 'print ready' PDFs.  When I view/open the PDFs in my MacOS Preview application, I can see the colour desaturation.  See attached PNG file 'PDF-viewed-in-iPad-viewer'.  However when I open using Affinity Photo the colour saturation, brightness and contrast are what I want.  Please see attached PNG 'PDF-opened-in-Affinity-photo'.  I have attempted to search for an answer on the WWW but I am bamboozeled. So I am aiming to have my images as close to print ready using CYMK.  However Affinity appears to be not showing accurate CYMK colours so I can 'proof' my artwork for the printers.  And possibly not exporting in the selected CYMK format and selected profile.

MacOS 12.3.1 running Affinity Photo Version 1.10.5

I see the same behaviour on iPad Pro 12.9 2021 with Software version 15.4.1 running Affinity Photo Version 1.10.5.280

It is very possible I am missing something or doing something incorrectly so I am here to learn and get things right.

Thanks in advance!

PDF-viewed-in-iPad-viewer.png

PDF-opened-in-Affinity-photo.png

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Thanks @NathanC for the reply!

I have uploaded the pre-export affinity file and the 'CMYK' PDF I supplied to the print service.  I have also added the 'converted' print ready PDF file which is generated by the print service pre-print for you to review also.  This PDF is called 'dp1234477-001printready.pdf'

Thanks for the support 👍

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Hi @BubblesFW,

On your Pre-exported .afphoto file I've gone through the process of converting the embedded document from sRGB to CMYK FOGRA39 and then exporting to PDF, I get minorly different coloration results between your originally exported file and the converted file, perhaps it's related to having an embedded RGB file inside a CMYK document, it may be worth trying this.

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Thanks @NathanC
When I created the Pre-exported .afphoto file, I made sure the colour format was CYMK/8 and Profile was FOGRA39 for the full document in 'Documents >> Convert Format / ICC Profile' and then exported the PDF.  When I open the Pre-exported .afphoto file on my Mac (the .afphoto file I uploaded to dropbox) and check the colour format and Profile I can see that CYMK/8 and FOGRA39 are set.  When you opened Pre-exported .afphoto file initially, did you see sRGB??  Because when I sent the exported PDF to the print service, they said their converting software detected that the PDF was using RGB and therefore needed to be converted to CYMK......and this is where we see the colour difference issue.

You said that you 'converted the embedded document from sRGB to CMYK FOGRA39'.  Is there different process for converting the embedded document from sRGB to CMYK?  Because I do think I am missing a config step that is causing the colour difference.

Thank you

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2 minutes ago, BubblesFW said:

and then exported the PDF

Did you have a CMYK preset chosen?

3 minutes ago, BubblesFW said:

 Because when I sent the exported PDF to the print service, they said their converting software detected that the PDF was using RGB

 

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.1 
Affinity Designer 2.0.0 | Affinity Photo 2.0.0 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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4 minutes ago, BubblesFW said:

You said that you 'converted the embedded document from sRGB to CMYK FOGRA39'.  Is there different process for converting the embedded document from sRGB to CMYK?  Because I do think I am missing a config step that is causing the colour difference.

To convert the embedded document from RGB to CMYK in the .afphoto file, double click on the embedded document layer which will open the embedded file in a separate tab, convert the file over to CMYK using the same process as the main document (Document > Convert Format).

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1 hour ago, NathanC said:

To convert the embedded document from RGB to CMYK in the .afphoto file, double click on the embedded document layer which will open the embedded file in a separate tab, convert the file over to CMYK using the same process as the main document (Document > Convert Format).

Wow thanks for pointing this out!! I was not aware of this config detail.  I opened the Pre-exported .afphoto file and I double clicked the embedded image being used and yes I can also see that it is sRBG.  I changed it to CYMK / FOGRA39 and yes I can also see a colour saturation change!  I need to retrace my steps I think and go back to the original PDF I 'placed' in the Pre-exported .afphoto file to create the A3 and A4 doc setup and make sure that embedded image is CYMK.  This has been a great help for this issue and also for future print projects 😊  Thanks for looking into this @NathanC! and the fast responses.  The forum has really been valuable.   If I need any more assistance on this same issue will add an update.

 

Thanks again!

 

 

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On 5/6/2022 at 3:53 PM, NathanC said:

To convert the embedded document from RGB to CMYK in the .afphoto file, double click on the embedded document layer which will open the embedded file in a separate tab, convert the file over to CMYK using the same process as the main document (Document > Convert Format).

I can confirm @NathanC that your solution and information/guidance resolved my issue!!  Thanks for the support 👌

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  • 1 month later...

Hi ! I thought the subject is close, but I guess it is again a different story.

I have troubles to export my affinity photo file to pdf for the printer service correctly.  There are unwanted effects on the pdf: stripes and black parts. I did it before successfully, now it won't work with several documents. I iterated through all different ways of settings, but doesn't work.

I imported as expected from the print service: ICC profileISO coated V2 (ECI) and changed colourprofile to Cmyk/8 and chose Perzeptiv, ohne Schwarzpunkt (my menus are in German). Than export to pdf with "nichts wird gerastert" (no raster) ... no combination I did not try so far. Reduced the layers to the visible.  I need two layers, one "passepartout" (pixel layer) in white to cover parts of my drawing that should be hidden and then the "image" itself.

Which topic did I miss? Where could I look? What else to try?  I have about 15 files of similar type left to export and handle... so still time&chance to improve...

Thanks for any idea!

Sibylle

 

   Working on MacBook Monterey 12.3.1. - Affinity Photo 1.10.5

fehler-pdf-export-cmyk-iccisocoated-2022-06-12.png

fehler-pdf-export-cmyk-isocoated-2022-06-12-setting.png

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With both layers selected as in your screenshot above, choose "Layer -> Rasterise...". Then export as normal and see if that helps.

p.s. I would recommend only working on a copy of your file, as this is a destructive action.

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11 hours ago, BofG said:

With both layers selected as in your screenshot above, choose "Layer -> Rasterise...". Then export as normal and see if that helps.

p.s. I would recommend only working on a copy of your file, as this is a destructive action.

Thanks BofG, actually I just tested it to see what happens - in this case: a white blank square sheet.... - but the printer´s shop doesn't want to have a rasterized pdf from me. So, raster is what I want to avoid. (Moirée effect, when I rasterize and the printer rasterizes.. doubled...)  But I am not a Print-Proof-Professional and do not know much about the details.

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I tried to change the order of the layers... If I put the "Passepartout" white layer underneath the image the export is fine (the overlay of the edges seem to cause problems)  (and I reduced layers to visible, which I used already before in the original data, no specific effect on my problem before)...  .

Unfortunately this does not work with every of my pictures... the selected view through a Passepartout on the motive is a good workflow for me.  I also tried to insert my colored picture already in cmyk-profile with no effect.

something is still different and the missing link.

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I don't know what "Passepartout" could be, translators are coming up with words that don't make any sense to me I'm afriad.

In your screenshot your document contains a jpeg and a pixel layer - all that you have is raster based. I don't understand what your print shop could be saying to you on that.

If I was preparing this file, I would make the changes and then export to either a png or tiff, and place that into a new document to generate the pdf from using the colour setup the print house has asked for.

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42 minutes ago, BofG said:

I don't know what "Passepartout" could be, translators are coming up with words that don't make any sense to me I'm afriad.

Don't use translation if you are an anglophone as I am. Use a dictionary instead.

(also passepartout frame) a picture or photograph mounted between a piece of glass and a sheet of card (or two pieces of glass) stuck together at the edges with adhesive tape.

Its secondary and archaic meaning is a Master Key.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.1 
Affinity Designer 2.0.0 | Affinity Photo 2.0.0 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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17 minutes ago, Old Bruce said:

(also passepartout frame) a picture or photograph mounted between a piece of glass and a sheet of card (or two pieces of glass) stuck together at the edges with adhesive tape.

I'm still on a old version of Affinity, I don't seem to have the adhesive tape option.

:)

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