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Guillermo Espertino

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    Guillermo Espertino commented  · 

    I think that, to keep things simple, the feature should be along with the options for the exporter for screens.
    Putting it anywhere else will be confusing for users and will conflate the meaning of features that are already well streamlined.
    For instance: Color proof options under the ' View' menu have a very specific purpose: You want to preview how the output gamut will affect your artwork. People who know how to use that feature expect that the function produces a non-destructive, temporary rendering of how the image will look in the output gamut. Putting an export option there would be in my opinion quite misplaced and misleading.
    Also, I would leave Appearance of Black alone. It has a very specific purpose that is known by users and has been there for years. Removing a familiar function and replacing it with a new one can be confusing as well.
    The issue discussed here affects a very specific portion of Adobe Illustrator: The export for screens. That function has already a settings section, where you can (finally) set the color format of the exported image. Personally I think the most reasonable choice is to place this option along with that color format selector, allowing users to choose either to export a true RGB rendering of the artwork (which will preserve the appearance of spot inks) or export a 'baked' soft proof in the RGB export (what it does now).

    If you ask me specifically where to put this option, I'd put it in the advanced settings of the 'export for screens' function. A checkbox under the one for embedding the profile, with the label "softproof CMYK colours" or something like that, off by default, and grayed-out when the color model selected is not RGB.

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    Guillermo Espertino commented  · 

    Egor, I think it should be kept as simple as possible.
    In my opinion, these two workflows should be considered:
    - export an RGB image clipped to the CMYK gamut.
    - export an RGB image preserving the appearance of spot inks.

    For the first case, the expected output is some sort of soft-proof of the CMYK output. The current behavior covers this.
    For the latter, exporting the overprint preview or temporarily and automatically switching the color mode to RGB would be desirable.

    as how to express it in the UI, I think that a simple checkbox (off by default) with the label "simulate CMYK output", "cmyk softproof" or "softproof CMYK documents" would suffice to communicate the function.
    That checkbox should be dependent on the output colorspace, grayed-out when the output isn't RGB.

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    Guillermo Espertino commented  · 

    That's what I've been doing for years. It's not very convenient, as you have to either create a copy of the file in RGB or risk to accidentally save over your CMYK file if you forget to close the file without saving when you're done.

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    Guillermo Espertino commented  · 

    Ton, of course jpeg doesn't support spot colours. Computer screens don't support them either, but your PDF viewer shows you a rendition of them on-screen anyway.

    You'll notice that in RGB documents, Pantone Formula colours look as vibrant as in the swatches panel. This is because you're looking at an RGB rendition of those colors (which are internally CIELab values, iirc).
    Many bright, saturated colours that are not printable in CMYK are usually achievable with RGB, even using a reduced colorspace as sRGB.
    And that's what you get in the swatches panel, or in the overprint preview in illustrator: an RGB rendition of those colours that "feels" closer to the real thing than the dull CMYK alternative (which btw has to be converted from CMYK to RGB for on-screen display anyway).

    Long story short: If you want to show Spot Colours on screen, chances are that RGB is the safest choice. Right now, if the document is set to CMYK, you don't have that possibility in illustrator. This means that if you're creating a 2-ink design in Illustrator using two pantone colours, your export (even when you choose RGB for the output) will be clipped to the gamut of the CMYK profile defined for the document.

    In my opinion that's wrong and undesirable.

    Oh, and regarding using PDF instead: You don't export bitmaps from your artwork only for showing the design to your clients. You may also need your design as a bitmap texture for a previsualization of a packaging piece done with some 3D software. Of course you may go the long road and separate the spot ink plate in a different texture and produce a spectral shader based on your pantone ink for the best rendering possible of that colour, but RGB is a reasonable shortcut.

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    Guillermo Espertino commented  · 

    Hi, thank you for adding this feature. It's definitely better than what we had before, but it still has room for improvement: When the source file is CMYK, all the spot colours are still converted to the CMYK gamut, no matter what color model is selected for the output.
    This is undesirable, as users usually pick spot colours to be able to reproduce colour that is not attainable via process (CMYK) printing.
    When we have a CMYK design with spot inks for packaging, for instance, we want to export screen samples that reproduce the spot colour as close as the colour that will be printed, not a CMYK rendition.
    Personally, the overprint preview is what I expect form an export for screens from a CMYK artwork. Of course, for people who are outputting to four-ink process printing, the current output is also desirable, so the ideal solutio would be to have an extra setting to choose between both of those modes.

    For extra clarity, I'll add a simple example:
    One of my clients has Pantone Orange 021 as corporate colour (which is not printable with CMYK). All the packaging work we do for them is 5 inks: CMYK + Orange 021.
    Currently I don't have a straightforward way to export those designs for screens keeping the Orange 021 appearance, as it's exported as a CMYK rendition of that Pantone.
    The overprint preview in Illustrator shows the apparance I want, but I can't export it, unless I destructively convert the file to RGB for export, which is a problem, because I have to work with a copy just for an export or risk overwriting the original design with the RGB one by accident if I forget to close without saving.

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    Guillermo Espertino commented  · 

    The user might want to produce a rendering of the CMYK separation, of course. It's also a valid case. Probably the ideal solution would be to give the user the option upon exporting.
    At any rate, a file exported for screens must be RGB, and the current behavior is clearly a bug that should be addressed.

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    Guillermo Espertino commented  · 

    When the document is set to CMYK and export for screens is used outputting to jpeg, the resulting file is a cmyk jpeg.
    Although some managed applications can read and display this format, CMYK is clearly not a mode suitable for screens.
    If Illustrator saved an RGB file instead it would be much better, but direct inks become a problem: Usually when the user uses spot inks as Pantone inks, the expected outcome is the appearance of the direct ink and not a cmyk separation.

    As an example: A user designs a packaging for a company using their brand colour (a Pantone Ink) as background. The piece will be printed using direct inks. The document mode is CMYK, the overprint Preview in illustrator produces a good rendering of the piece, but it's impossible to export that image to produce a JPEG sample for review without switching the document color mode to RGB.

    It's relatively simple to workaround the problem by switching to RGB, but the user might accidentally save over their file in that colour mode, losing overprints and other pre-press work done on the design.

    The export for screens tool should always save an RGB rendering from the overprint preview for CMYK files.

    Guillermo Espertino supported this idea  · 

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