CMYK drives me crazy

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slywkz
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CMYK drives me crazy

Postby slywkz » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:57 pm

Hello dear opensource users !
I've been working with Adobe softwares for 15 years but dream of breaking free of them and working with Linux / Scribus / Gimp / Inkscape. I do really believe in these formats and this kind of solution.

I have a very simple but important question to all of you : is there nowadays a real way to have a professionnal use of Inkscape for printing jobs ?
I have read several books, explored tons of forums, watched youtube tutos and tried to use it by myself but still can't find anyone having a proper use of CMYK color management.
Working with CMYK colors in inkscape seems to be a total mess, and when I open the generated pdf with Acrobat to check separations, colors plates are a nightmare. Values don't match, cursors move by themselves if I touch my mouse, I can't input values easily by keyboard, and colour preview square is really far from the expected printed colours.

I did not even manage to create two simple rectangles with the following colours : 100-0-0-0 ans 0-100-0-0. :cry:
From what I have seen untill now, it seems completely impossible to work in a professionnal way with this software as long as it does not have a proper way to manage CMYK colours. Working with RVB colours on an artwork and converting the whole file in CMYK just before printing is not professionnal, for instance.
I'd really love to move to open softwares, and feel really disappointed today.

If anyone can help ?... Thanks.

Lazur
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby Lazur » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:21 am

Welcome aboard!

Didn't had to create a cmyk vector myself yet, the only solutions I know of are using scribus, or trying sk1.

slywkz
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby slywkz » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:48 am

Thanks for your reply Lazur, I will give a look at sk1.
I already know Scribus, but it can't be a decent way to work. I need to think in CMYK, type on the keyboard % values to control what I want on each plate, to set vivid gradients, to define overprints and trapping areas. Post-converting is not an option, it's like writing a poem in a foreign language and google-translate it, instead of writing it in your own language.
I need to speak straight to the printers :)

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brynn
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby brynn » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:51 pm

Inkscape doesn't not have CMYK support. But Scribus does. So finish drawing your image in Inkscape, and import into Scribus to add the CMYK color. I think there's a tutorial, let me find it....

Here it is: http://libregraphicsworld.org/blog/entr ... to-scribus

Raspi
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby Raspi » Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:29 pm

According to the Roadmap, CMYK support is planned for version 0.94

http://wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.php/Roadmap

Moini
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby Moini » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:00 am

According to the latest dev discussions, there won't be a 0.94... (but an 1.0 instead). Yet CMYK was not mentioned as a must-have for 1.0. I wouldn't bet on it, Raspi - unless you can recruit someone who would do it. It always depends on developer availability.
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Raspi
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby Raspi » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:33 am

Moini wrote:According to the latest dev discussions, there won't be a 0.94... (but an 1.0 instead). Yet CMYK was not mentioned as a must-have for 1.0.

Well i reposted information that is publicly available for everyone on the web.
If the plan has changed, the developers should better pull that wiki article off the internet.

slywkz wrote:From what I have seen untill now, it seems completely impossible to work in a professionnal way with this software as long as it does not have a proper way to manage CMYK colours. Working with RVB colours on an artwork and converting the whole file in CMYK just before printing is not professionnal, for instance.
I'd really love to move to open softwares, and feel really disappointed today.

I have never printed any of my artwork, so i have no experience with this subject and judging by the information you can find on the internet, very few people have.
That Alexandre Prokudine article is one of the few resources one can find regarding that topic.

I have read stuff on the internet on G+.
Some guy claims that Adobe is keeping the info about printing with ICC profiles away from its userbase, to maintain the idea that only CMYK is good for printing (i.e Adobe products). No idea if this is true.

I guess somebody will have to try and post his results on the internet.

The Inkscape developers must have a reason for not making CMYK support a priority, because im sure they want to create a program that can be used for professionals. I mean, that should be the goal....
Just think of OpenOffice with no printing capability. That would be a no respectable open source wordprocessor.


tylerdurden
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby tylerdurden » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:41 pm

Raspi wrote:...
I have never printed any of my artwork, so i have no experience with this subject and judging by the information you can find on the internet, very few people have....

A fair amount of my Inkscape work is for print. That said, many print shops don't require cmyk or color seps... an rgb pdf is sufficient, and Pantone (tm) adherence is not critical for me. Not sure many users even have calibrated monitors.

Inkscape is used for so many things, print is just one; and cmyk is a portion of that... so cmyk is not a priority.
Have a nice day.

I'm using Inkscape 0.92.2 (5c3e80d, 2017-08-06), 64 bit win8.1

The Inkscape manual has lots of helpful info! http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/

Raspi
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby Raspi » Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:48 pm

tylerdurden wrote:That said, many print shops don't require cmyk or color seps... an rgb pdf is sufficient, and Pantone (tm) adherence is not critical for me.

I guess that makes even more sense when you think about that people printed art before the advent of personal computers.

There are no CMYK watercolours, are there, lol

slywkz
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby slywkz » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:13 am

I don't know how people use Inkscape, but I know plenty of graphic designers. And except a very few who work for web only, all the others need CMYK, not because of Adobe or any well kept secret, simply because mixing 3 inks with different values is the only physical way we know to reproduce colours on paper.
Home printers can convert pictures or Excel tables from RVB to CMYK because the result will be good enough for personnal use and conversion is quite efficient with matrix pictures. It does not work at all with big gradients, bendays, packagings, press mags, flyers, logos, and all that is printed on professionnal CMYK printers. Screens use R, G and B light cells to display colours, the file needs to tell every cell the amount of light it has to emit. For printed artworks the file has to tell every dot the size it must be to match the expected final colour. Sorry for my poor english, it is not my native language at all and talking about such things is much harder than ordering a pint of beer in London...

I tried to import into Scribus, and redefine colour values of the SVG file. Some artworks have 30,40, 60 colours used in their swatches, nobody has so much time to waste on every file to fix a missing feature.

Once again I am really OK if Inkscape remains RVB-only, I feel thankful to developpers, many people will still use it and be very happy with it. But professionals never will, and it is a real pitty to me. All the new functions, tools, developments are totally pointless if CMYK is not supported, it is not a file format, it is the way real printing jobs work. This is not about data processing or computing, it is about physics.

Raspi
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby Raspi » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:02 am

People have been been printing longer than there are personal computers.

How did people print in the 50ies, 60ies, 70ies, or 80ies ??
All the posters, record covers and magazines ?

Before computers, people made drawings, illustrations and collages with paint or other materials.
All that stuff got printed. Without CMYK, amirite ?

Lazur
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby Lazur » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:38 am

^With compromises from the very start.

For a very long time people were using black only, typesetting cast letters and carve the graphic content in plates.
Multicolour prints -like this one were not just made by clicking the print button.
Parts of the colouring was painted manually, and alignment of the plates needed special care.

In the 50'-s, litography was the hit, where the image was painted with oil on a piece of stone.
Serigraphy/silkscreening was also an improvement from the carved press, both using "spot colours" and blending inks done manually only -or rather wanted to avoid any blending at all.

Later photography was used for prepressing -before digital printing the "dotted" rotational offset prints were the deal -for prepressing the image needed to be split into cmyk channels just as today on a digital press.

The problem is, there are many different cmyk colour spaces, and by converting your work to one you lose some colour depth. If the printer uses another colourspace, they need to convert it further -with the possibility of losing more colours.
Forcing a straight cmyk output I'd consider risky at least.

Moini
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby Moini » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:34 am

Some artworks have 30,40, 60 colours used in their swatches, nobody has so much time to waste on every file to fix a missing feature.


Yeah, did that, too, with hundreds of colors (irregular gradient...). Took at least half an hour. Every time. (Tip: if it's the same object, use the 'library' feature).

I've only recently learnt about a workaround for that, to make it happen automatically, from a Scribus project member - but haven't tried it yet.

The issue with my print service was that they wanted pdf X-3, which supports both colorspaces, so colors are not converted automatically upon export to pdf.
The suggested solution, for automatical conversion, was to export to PDF 1.3 (Output intention: Printer) and to select the desired color profile there. He warned me about avoiding transparency.

If you try it, please let us know if it worked.
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slywkz
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby slywkz » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:33 pm

Quadrichromy was invented with subtractive synthesis at the end of the XIXth century, but most of artworks until 60's and 70's were printed in silkscreening, lithography, woodcut, linocut...using spot colours, which are still used on many devices today such as t-shirts, skateboards, marking files on plastic products.
This requires as many printing plates as you have colours in your graphics, and colours do not mix or blend.

There are plenty of CMYK color spaces, but it is exactly the same for RVB.

tylerdurden
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby tylerdurden » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:13 am

slywkz wrote:I don't know how people use Inkscape, but I know plenty of graphic designers.... many people will still use it and be very happy with it. But professionals never will, and it is a real pitty to me. ...


Inkscape is just another tool... No carpenter has just one saw, no painter has just one brush.

Maybe Inkscape covers 99.9% of your needs, but Illustrator is the only thing for the remaining 0.1%
Maybe Illustrator covers 99.9% of your needs, but Inkscape is the only thing for the remaining 0.1%

Use both. And add other tools, like CAD drawing tools, or spreadsheets, or whatever it takes to get what you want.

Speaking of professional designers, maybe you have seen this:
To position all the atoms in different rotations, I used the tweak tool in Inkscape. If it wasn't for that tool, I'd probably still be rotating atoms one at a time in Illustrator. Thanks to all the people who make Inkscape possible. It's a wonderful tool.

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=16801&p=62129&hilit=bohr#p62129

(And more about using various illustration tools on his blog.)
Have a nice day.

I'm using Inkscape 0.92.2 (5c3e80d, 2017-08-06), 64 bit win8.1

The Inkscape manual has lots of helpful info! http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/

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Maestral
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby Maestral » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:31 am

Khm....

"Inkscape is professional quality vector graphics software which runs on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows desktop computers." / Inkscape.org

"Inkscape is a free and open-source vector graphics editor; it can be used to create or edit vector graphics such as illustrations, diagrams, line arts, charts, logos and complex paintings. Inkscape's primary vector graphics format is Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), however many other formats can be imported and exported." / Wiki

I can`t get the idea behind demising cmyk importance in current (pro) interpretation of Inkscape? I don`t fall for sw`s prefixes and suffixes but cmyk is a base for printing and having it unsolved can`t be a plus/pro. Also, I have no clue how much work it requires and lack of cmyk would not reduce my usage of IS but to have IS 1.0 without cmyk may put a shadow on an important milestone in IS`s development.
:tool_zoom: <<< click! - but, those with a cheaper tickets should go this way >>> :!:

Moini
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby Moini » Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:20 am

There's some hope - I've just had contact with two guys who might be interested in running a crowd funding campaign (which would be a lot of work, and the outcome would be everything but sure). If they decide to do it, I'll let you know here on the forums. Or if you would like to help with it more directly, I can hook you up.
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Maestral
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby Maestral » Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:33 am

^ Not sure if I could contribute much on the other side of the UI but would gladly participate in/on the campaign.
:tool_zoom: <<< click! - but, those with a cheaper tickets should go this way >>> :!:

Moini
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby Moini » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:03 pm

Until now, they don't have a place where they talk yet - but I'll let them know that here's someone who would be interested in supporting them.
Something doesn't work? - Keeping an eye on the status bar can save you a lot of time!

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brynn
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby brynn » Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:22 pm

Omgoodness, I expect there would be tons of support for this. True CMYK ranks near, if not at the top of the most wanted features for Inkscape, in my experience. Even though I don't use it, I'd probably chip in to a crowd funding project because it would elevate Inkscape to have it.

alface
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby alface » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:41 am

Hi guys,

I use Inkscape everyday at work and I often need a cmyk color, spot color or a PDF-x and I use the Scribus workaround (I've tried SK1 before) but its far from being good way to work. Scribus is Inkscape should have this kind of features and a reliable a professional output.

We could gather efforts to help inkscape to have those features, we should try at least.

Happy new year!

Moini
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby Moini » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:59 am

Hi Diego :) Great to see you here!

For everyone who's interested: there's also currently something happening on the board mailing list at
http://sourceforge.net/p/inkscape/mailm ... ape-board/

(the posts about Platinum Sponsor Request, starting on 2017-12-25 with an email by doctormo, with an attached text)
Something doesn't work? - Keeping an eye on the status bar can save you a lot of time!

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brynn
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby brynn » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:15 pm

That sounds promising - potentially!

Moini
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Re: CMYK drives me crazy

Postby Moini » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:26 pm

Oh my, I forgot to ask people to join Diego/Alface if they are interested. I guess that no matter how things go with the Indian printers, there will be people needed to help get things going, and those don't need to be programmers.
Something doesn't work? - Keeping an eye on the status bar can save you a lot of time!

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