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VectorWorks and CMYK Colors


GeorgeKN

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VW isn't able to define colors in CMYK. Built in RGB method is not able to transmit colors in a correct manner to standard software as adobe photoshop, illustrator or indesign. It is also not possible to make a workaround with adobe destiller settings. No color profile setting was able to solve this problem. I testet ALL options during lot of days. VectorWorks RGB-Colors were converted to CMYK by all adobe software products by random-method. Thats "a missing link" of macintosh based and developed software like VectorWorks. The result is, we can do NO PROFESSIONAL printing with CMYK-values - such as publishing companies, magazine producers or printing plants must have to do a correct job.

Could you please implement CMYK-Definitions to VectorWorks 12 - or as fast as possible?

Thank you for any response

George Wider

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VW isn't able to define colors in CMYK. Built in RGB method is not able to transmit colors in a correct manner to standard software as adobe photoshop, illustrator or indesign. It is also not possible to make a workaround with adobe destiller settings. No color profile setting was able to solve this problem. I testet ALL options during lot of days. VectorWorks RGB-Colors were converted to CMYK by all adobe software products by random-method. Thats "a missing link" of macintosh based and developed software like VectorWorks. The result is, we can do NO PROFESSIONAL printing with CMYK-values - such as publishing companies, magazine producers or printing plants must have to do a correct job.

Could you please implement CMYK-Definitions to VectorWorks 12 - or as fast as possible?

Thank you for any response

George Wider

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Hallo Mike and Kaare,

thank you for your response. In former times i though the same as you. The world was OK so far. But Mike, you nearly hit the problem exactly with your words "could cost him thousands of dollars". I will resume now. If you are printing on your own printers and plotters at home/office you can't see the problem, because you are thinking in screen colors and the printers result will be different anyway. Who ever knows the exact appearance of CMYK 20/12/69/30. We all believe our printers results. But this result will be wrong in every case. In fact you can choose CMYK colors but VW will post them as RGB values to the printer interface. So they automatically ever loose the correct CMYK values. Until you are printing for your own use that is no problem. But if you have customers like a graphic artist or graphic designer who ist designing with exact CMYK values - or most professional printing plants or magazin publishing companies - you will see they need exact CMYK values to set up their (huge) printing machines. Also all Digital Print Centers are defining colors with CMYK. If you want send now these recipient the correct colors in a correct manner it is really neccessary to use the Adobe Destillers fileformat via printing a PDF(EPS)-File. So far your graphic artist friend does absolutely the right thing. But in this moment the same problem occures as on your local printer! PDF printer is recieving also Vectorworks RGB values right in this moment. So we are actually captured in VectorWorks RGB printers interface trap. Mac version shows indeed CMYK sliders interface but in truth it is calculating internal with RGB values. The same will happen if you produce any export file. So it would be a urgend issue to built in a CMYK option to get a better color printing tranfer.

Regards

George Wider

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Tell this to all windows users. They will be happy and deeply grateful :-)) And while people are discussing responsibilty with Apple some (even apple-)user have to do the boring job of converting colors in photoshop to CMYK. Did you have a look to color picker of Adobe Creativ Suite programs? I think that is the way customers really need. Best 'color picker' cannot work properly if applikations interface don't support CMYK values - unfortunately. Therefore it would be a great development progress to have a CMYK definition within VectorWorks. I am confident and still hoping that v12 will bring something new. Thats only a wish!

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Hi, thats very funny. But doesn't touch our problem remotely. Unfortunately we haven't to pick up lotto numbers, because we already have exact dafault CMYK values, that have to reach the printing paper. Curious that some people wants to ignore this. I know, that some private users can't understand the problem, but professional customers have to work with correct CMYK values because there are cooperation contracts. There is a lot of money at stake. (...ok, i know now, fortunately it's not yours..,:-)) )

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George

I understand your problem but my experience is that even programs specificaly designed for the production of graphics struggle with conversions unless you spend the sort of money large print houses and dedicated studios do to get the right software.

This does not take into account the individual output from various printers including, postscript variations. At my previous studio I have found printing an identical file from Photoshop onto a Epson differs greatly to that of a HP printer. Both have a wide variety of settings to choose and apply. The same would happen from print house output.

Then with have the issue of different standards and settings, let alone cross platform issues.

With even the graphics programs open to variation and studios calling in companies to colour profile all their equipment I think its pushing hard on Nemetschek to come up with an answer to your request when even the graphics programs struggle and as I said output can vary in the finished print.

As I'm sure you are aware printing proofs are expensive.

The cost of calling in people to colour calibrate all your equipment is simply not feasible unless you are doing a considerable amount of colour print work.

If you think punching in the correct value numbers in all programs will give you the same printed output in my experience this does not happen and if this counts for programs aimed at graphic design what chance does a essentially CAD program have, and if called upon to do so what would the additional cost to the program price be over benefit to the vast number of users.

Not really sure what your clients end requirement needs to justify this level of colour fidelity from CAD drawings but can they not take your files as images, place them within their documents and adjust the colours from within that program. Would this be something like Quark,Indesign,Photoshop, Illustrator, or Freehand?

I feel your pain, I really do, but I feel unrealistic client expectations are sometimes grounded in lack of knowledge of processes or the blanket application of a set of rules out of step with what is required of the information required and produced.

I think you'll wait a long time for your wish with so many other things needing to be added of greater use to a broader user base in Vectorworks.

Hope you find a way round it and keep the work.

best regards

Alan

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Hi Alan and Mike, thank you for your great response. But let me show now the problem once again. At first i thought in the same way as you. But my case is very, very simple.

Customer of mine doesn't want to calibrate a huge number of printing components or wants to design best colors of the world. They are practitioners and no theoreticians. Because of this they are thinking reverse - from the machine back to the drawing table. (You all are thinking the other way...:-)) )

Their machine is only able to mix/print liquid colors according to the CMYK method. In this manner they get "all allowed" colors they can print. As CAD designers doesn't primary need their own color values, they are taking now this predefined machine output colors (= paper result). Thats logical i think, and the best way to exclude future communication problems.

This is by the way the same procedure as every HP DesignJet works...

When we see Apples OS color piker sytem (RGB and CMYK) and if we assume Microsoft will exand in future OS-Updates from single RGB to RGB/CMYK color picker, it would be a good idea for VectoWorks to get ready for this OS defaults.

Would Apples OS be the same nowadays, if people in past would have discussed implementation of common fonts, common clipboard and common printer drivers in a simular way like we?

"Oh we can't do this, it is too expensive - Lets better do a workaround - Most people don't need this new-fashioned issue..." :-))

You can believe me that this issue will come before next meteorite will crash to earth. If not, i doesn't really care...

I hope you can also see this with a little humor. Time will show all.....

Best regards

George

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I dson't think it is as simple as that - each ink maker has its own formulae for its inks and ways of implementing them, so therefore not all things are equal.

As I have said before my graphic artist friend uses PDF exactly for this reason. In his experience it provides the most accurate translation of colours into print across a range of printers and therefore inks.

Don't be lured into thinking your need is unique - it is not, and I am sure that better minds than yours or mine have tried to solve it. One just has to look at how much better colour printing is now compared to what it was 5 years ago to see that in fact advances are being made.

[ 02-15-2005, 08:43 PM: Message edited by: mike m oz ]

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George

Hi, I have to admit in what you hoped would explain your situation you've confused me.

You are aware of course that RGB is the method by which colours are displayed on screen by computers, video cards etc. and CYMK, the four colour printing process is the time honoured method by which printers lay down and create colours in printwork.

No printing machine to my knowledge can print RGB and has to do the conversation somewhere in the production process.

Even in programs such as Photoshop you can read the CYMK values of the images on screen but the colours you see are being displayed via RGB.

Even then this image you see may or may not be close to the CYMK colour you wish to portray dependant on how your equipment is set up, colour profiling etc. A task only performed by expensive equipment.

At my last place of work we had our large format inkjet printer colour profiled and ensured we got good results from that point onwards using that profile, but reprints of old files would not print correctly using that profile, we would have to revert back to the previous profile just to maintain consistence, correct colours or not!

Are you saying you are designing something in Vectorworks, applying colours to it and then some how reading the CYMK values and giving these to your paint supplier to reproduce, with the client expecting to see the same colour in situ as he has seen in the printed visuals etc?

Sorry if I'm not understanding you correctly.

Alan

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Alan,

I think I may understand George's wish--tho I think that's all it is.

He's apparently creating camera-ready art in Vectorworks that he'd like to define the final CMYK percentages for. Regardless of the intermediate color (mis-)interpretations by displays, proofs, etc.

I earned part of my way through college "driving" a 4-color Heidleberg for the university press. I can tell you that when someone specifies 45%K, a good press operator will get you exactly 45%K. You can, actually, specify precise CMYK percentages in most of the graphic arts and page layout software (Illustrator . . . remember 88?, InDesign, etc) that will then be output at those specified %'s on film to burn to plate, or now many times direct to plate.

The problem George is frustrated about, is that he can't get VW to output the %'s. I don't think he cares what the screen shows or even what his inkjet might proof, just that when it's finally sent to film or plate, the %'s are accurate. Since VW (apparently) tracks colors in RGB, everytime his file gets output, the RGB info gets interpolated for a different target. . .thus he has no control over the final color.

Most of the color-synching processes that keep Hell and Scitex (and the like) in business are in fact an effort to get RGB monitors to accurately reproduce CMYK colors, not the other way around. This way photos can be retouched accurately, clients can approve colors on screen, etc.

George, I'm afraid you're asking a dolphin to pull a cart. I have a hard time imagining the developers of a CAD program making the effort to turn it into a pre-press solution at the level you're asking about.

The closest I can think of would be to set up a pallet of colors that you've taken through the process from your computer to the final printwork. Then don't change any of the steps along the way without reproving your colors. Then you'll be able to predict the final color. But, obviously, that limits your options.

One other possibility would be to output VW files to PDF, then use a PDF-prepress interpreter that will allow you to map specific RGB colors to specific CMYK percentages. It's been too long since I made my living in the graphic arts, so I can't recommend a specific software, but I know they exist.

Good luck and I hope I didn't muddy the waters much more. . .

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Travis

hi, no you didn't muddy the waters, not from my position anyway but added very well, and better than me, the differences and the processes involved.

I understand the problem and the wish in its principle.

As you said and I commented on before you will indeed have a hard time getting the developers of a CAD program making the effort to turn it into a pre-press solution at the level George is asking about.

Your suggestions on a solution with the limitations you state is a very good one in my opinion and would not only go a long way to solving Georges situation but may help with others wanting to maintaining a consistence of look and feel (corporate image)

when presenting their documents and proposals.

I understand that the problem is not of printers getting the correct CYMK values for printing but the method by which we view these on screen and indeed people like Hell and Scitex make a very good living out of this.

Although coming from a graphic design background my work directly has been over the last decade or so more three dimensional design but I can see I'm going to have to get back into it graphics again.

The more we know it seems the more we have to learn.

All the best.

Alan

[ 02-15-2005, 06:59 AM: Message edited by: alanmac ]

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Hi Alan and Travis,

thank you for translating/understanding my problem. Here now a constructive workaround. Following workflow describes it:

(1) Draw a green rectangle area within VectorWorks. Set CMYK values to: 100/0/100/0 - (2) Then print it via Adobe Acrobat/Destiller to a PDF file - (3) This file you can open with Adobe Illustrator (AI) and control the CMYK values (for example: 56/0/88/0). - (4) Because of further discussed reasons AI values are different and can now set back manually to 100/0/100/0. Now AI can create a new PDF or you can do a color separated AI export however.

You see, we don't need not necessarily a graphics specialist. Perhaps it's not for everbodies usage, but it helps. If somebody wants, i can email my specific testfiles.

Best regards and thank you all for your interesting response

George

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George

And how does your workround work on files containing multiple colours and with colour images brought into Vectorworks and re exported.

Great if it keeps you the work.

Are the people telling you what the values should be when you create the VW work.

I'm still mystified as to what purpose you want a cad program to go to this level of colour fidelity for.

Alan

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Hi Alan,

i can repeat the whole stuff once more, but i am wondering why you are suddenly deny all things discussed above. Dicussed facts are fixed and absolut exactly actuallity. Color definitions within VW are a absolut constant matter of fact. Therefore it's not necessary to challange such basic defaults.

And yes, i repeat it once again. Yes my people are telling me the values should be working within VW. I explained it serveral times above and you can read it there.

But lets stop now this kind of bubble gum discussion. I realize your tactic to ignore upright arguments and replace them with simple assumptions. VectorWorks has earned a more objective kind of articulation.

This is not a "good cop - bad cop" story, but the trial to hold on VW as the best CAD-Software in the graphic area.

Even as such things can be discussed, VW has grown up to one of the most multifunctional CAD-Software of the world. If we stop discussion, development can stop also. That shouldn't be the intention of this wishes-board.

Its a absolutely benefit we even are able to discuss this issue. Other CAD programms can't use OS clipboard, OS typefaces or OS printer drivers.

I think its now everything said to this issue. Lets await next updates or latest news of NNA regarding this case. That would be more interessting.

George

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George

Good grief man, what are you talking about...

"I realise your tactic to ignore upright arguements and replace them with simple assumptions" "Good cop - bad cop" "bubble gum discussion" "VectorWorks has earned a more objective kind of articulation"

Where are you coming from ?

I understand perfectly the "theory" of your arguement, and that of colour and industry practise. Being involved in the graphic design industry all my working life, over 34 years, I have managed to obtain a fair bit of knowledge, which I have always been happy to pass on to help others if I can, but never in a condesending manner...

What I was trying to assertain was the exact nature of the circumstances of your situation to offer further help and advice based on my experience in the industry and dealing with client requests and particular specifications.

Only to pleased to help others along the way if I can.

I can see that this attempt to help rather than appreciated is merely sniped at and treated with a condesending manner which goes a long way to explaining the situation you are in.

Dress it up in as much convoluted language, back handed insults and poor grammar as you see fit.

Rest assured I'll not bother to offer any further help to you on this matter.

I am and have always been a great advocate of Vectorworks but I also realise that it is far from perfect. As with all things, improvement can be obtained I have no illusions on that score.

Good day.

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Dear Alan,

aside from some communicative problems i think we have nevertheless the same technical opinion. :-))

Thats a positiv matter. Technical based discussion would be much better for board users than a personal based one. Even as personal remarks and misunderstandings are not interesting.

Thank you for your prior shares and telling your expert knowledge. It was very interessting to see other people have the same problems or can at least understand it.

Best regards

George

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