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View Full Version : how much more blacker can black get? none...none more black




xtn
Sep 30, 2007, 10:35 PM
okay, so i've gotten pretty proficient using pages for a lot of advertising stuff, but i keep having one problem that i dont know how to solve. (1) my background is black (2) i insert a jpeg on top that has pictures and a black background. everything looks great, its all black, and it all blends nicely until i print the damn thing, and where my jpeg is placed the black is not...black. my guess is that the printer prints black twice where the image is, but how do i get it to not do this? i tried using the alpha function, but that only messes up the rest of the image. i even tried putting a white box directly behind the image to see what would happen, but no dice. i have adobe illustrator (have no idea how to use it), but i like using pages b/c its so simple and usually effective. does anyone know what to do or will i have to try and figure out how to use illustrator? thanks in advance!



chrisz
Oct 1, 2007, 12:43 AM
PS it doesn't really, I just wanted to add another Spinal Tap reference. Sorry!

smurfjammer
Oct 1, 2007, 02:08 AM
I think the problem might be that your JPEG is RGB.

The JPEG might look like black but would be made up of Red, Green & Blue compared to Pages which the black would be a CMYK black using only the black channel.

RedTomato
Oct 1, 2007, 04:11 AM
I've seen this a few times too, and been puzzled by it.

I've put images with a black background onto a page that has a black fill, then seen different tones of black on the screen or printing proof sample.

One frustrating time was with an image with a black background, extracted from a PDF delivery. In the PDF, it was black, but the extracted image had a greyish black background...

After tearing my hair out over that, I finally took a screenshot of the PDF to get a properly black background :mad:

Thanks to smurfjammer for pointing out the RGB thing - maybe that's linked.

Blue Velvet
Oct 1, 2007, 04:24 AM
The RGB answer is probably correct and it is all to do with how the blacks are being converted.

In printing, there's black ink. And it's called K.

But 100% K isn't as solid as you'd think. So people use what they call 'rich blacks' or what some UK printers call 'shiners' to increase the density of their black. And they do this by adding a mixture of other inks, usually cyan (C) to their artwork.

So, if I'm in Quark or InDesign and I want a page of solid black I'll create a colour called 'Rich Black' with 40%C 20%M 20%Y 100%K (my choice) with which to cover the page without flooding or causing drying problems.

However, any graphic or type element that is only printing across the black plate will stand out as lighter against this denser background colour.

More on rich blacks.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_black
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=340214

tsd
Oct 1, 2007, 08:56 AM
Definitely try converting the jpg to CMYK either in Photoshop, Illustrator, and I think Preview can even do it!

If that doesn't work, you can try using the Adjust Image pallette in Pages. (View>Show Adjust Image) Move the left Levels slider at the bottom of the pallette to the right until the black gets "blacker". You can also try moving the "Exposure" slider to the left a little bit.

Joseph

xtn
Oct 1, 2007, 09:25 AM
thanks guys!

joseph, what would be the easiest way for me to convert the jpeg to cmyk? i was scrolling through the different image options and i saw one of the options under "mode" was cmyk. is this all i have to do and then save the file?

AlexisV
Oct 1, 2007, 09:49 AM
In Photoshop, go to Image > Mode > CMYK color and save.

xtn
Oct 1, 2007, 10:48 AM
when i insert the CMYK file into pages is shows up as a dark gray. does this happen when you convert the file? i tried changing the expose to see what that would do but i could definitely still see the whole background which is something i hadn't run into before printing

smurfjammer
Oct 1, 2007, 01:47 PM
You normally see a colour difference on screen in some applications when you have a Photoshop Black on a Layout Application Black.

Now that the image is CMYK use the eyedropper in Photoshop to see what the Black is made up of.
The new CMYK Black should of translated to something like this:
Cyan 75% - Magenta 68% - Yellow 67% - Black 90%

If you make a custom Black in Pages it should match but I wouldn't use those values as they are too high and cause flooding.
You need to lower the CMY to 40-20-20 and up the K to 100% then make a custom colour in Pages.

JFreak
Oct 1, 2007, 03:09 PM
Just remember to sum the CMYK percentages and check that it stays below 250 at all times. Going over can produce "wet paper" instead of rich black... but it all depends, naturally. Some print houses allow +300 percentages and they should know what they can print if you needed to ask them.

emac kinda guy
Oct 1, 2007, 10:09 PM
My daughter says she's only wearing black until they come up with something darker.

Just remember to sum the CMYK percentages and check that it stays below 250 at all times. Going over can produce "wet paper" instead of rich black... but it all depends, naturally. Some print houses allow +300 percentages and they should know what they can print if you needed to ask them.

ChrisA
Oct 1, 2007, 10:26 PM
(1) my background is black


How do you know? What are the RGB values? Are the RBG vlues 0, 0, 0. This is the first thing I would look at. Then assuming this is OK try "flatening" the page to a TIFF format before printing it.

I think what is hapening is that one "black" is being mixed for RGB while the other "black" is black ink. The printerdriver is smart and knows black ink will work to render a "flood fill" but likely used a mix for full color images. So the above trick will make the entire page a full color image when the printer driver sees. Basicaly you are trying to mix "spot color" with a shade of black in a full color image and it is not matching. So make the whole thing a full color image.

RedTomato
Oct 2, 2007, 05:18 AM
My daughter says she's only wearing black until they come up with something darker.

How about a fuligin cloak - the colour that is darker than black?

More to the point, does she know the differences between blue-black, red-black, and green-black fabric, and which one suits her and how to detect and mix them?

Shaduu
Oct 2, 2007, 12:08 PM
More to the point, does she know the differences between blue-black, red-black, and green-black fabric, and which one suits her and how to detect and mix them?

By using Pantone colour swatches of course. :D

As many others have said, the problem sounds to be a conflict between RGB and CMYK colour profiles. Try creating a custom black that matches your images' black in Pages and use that instead.

snowleopard
Oct 2, 2007, 03:34 PM
It's just as likely your issues have to do with color space profiles. Unless you are working in Photoshop and printing a flattened file, any other program you use, Illustrator or otherwise, is going to interpret the file you import according to your color set-up preferences, and in AI the document color mode depending on how you are set-up to print the file.

Printers worldwide work with combinations of RGB and CMYK files, and rich blacks to a varying degree depending on how their rip software works, and how the printer behaves. What this means is that in a sense you can monkey with the CMYK values and maybe get it, but the real answer lies in how your files are set up as far as color space goes.

xtn
Oct 4, 2007, 11:01 AM
okay, so i made it a tiff file, but now it is an exceptionally larger file size. is that what happens with tiff files or is there some way to retain resolution but have it be smaller? do i need to export it again as another file format?

ChrisA
Oct 4, 2007, 07:10 PM
okay, so i made it a tiff file, but now it is an exceptionally larger file size. is that what happens with tiff files or is there some way to retain resolution but have it be smaller? do i need to export it again as another file format?

Tiff comes in many flavors. Some allow for lossless compression look to see if this is an option. Else, yes try another format. certainlt JPG wil be smaller but wil the test remai sharp?

xtn
Oct 4, 2007, 07:28 PM
what would be the best program to use to compress it? im fairly new to the conversion side of things...preview or one of the adobe programs since i have cs3?