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Thread: Pantone colors in LW

  1. #1

    Pantone colors in LW

    I was recently asked to render an item in Pantone 161c and I thought, okay no problem there are Pantone colors in the LW color picker. Problem is the color to me appeared way too light for the sample I was given. I went to Pantone's website to find their RGB equivalent and sure enough LW's is way off. Even using different color spaces it's off. Can anyone shed some light on this discrepancy and how to confidently use Pantone colors in LW in the future?

    Thanks

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    Tim Parsons
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    Sauder Woodworking Co.

    http://www.sauder.com

  2. #2
    Carbon fibre dongleŽ 50one's Avatar
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    Well, the problem with any CMYK conversion tool is pretty much down to monitor colorspace...you might have correct RGB value there but there might be some colour bleeding in your scene too, like GI..plus your monitor have to be calibrated...most of the monitors are not. Therefore if anyone ever ask me to do some Pantone colour I just say it's technically impossible. You can get close tho.

  3. #3
    Well I figured Pantone would take the time effort to show a close approximation on their website of what 161c should look like and therefore thought LW's color picker would show something similar on a monitor. Even if my monitor is off by a long shot the on screen representations should be close because they are supposedly representing the same color.
    Tim Parsons
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    Sauder Woodworking Co.

    http://www.sauder.com

  4. #4
    Founding member raymondtrace's Avatar
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    Here's an example of various RGB values (0-255) I see for a common ink I work with:

    PANTONE 327 C

    Pantone web site: 0, 134, 117
    Photoshop 6: 0, 148, 133 (this is actually recognized as 327 CVC)
    Photoshop CS6: 0, 130, 117
    InDesign CS5.5: 0, 146, 143
    Lightwave 2018 (with a LCL I might have manually loaded): 0, 131, 135
    FreeHand MX: 0, 135, 125
    Affinity Publisher: 0, 134, 117

    Even before discussing digital colorspace/ICC and the affecting lighting within the scene, we must recognize that PANTONE "owns" and manages the color definition. They hold the power to tweak it over the years. These RGB conversions in software are often done with old or unlicensed (inaccurate) data.

    Your best bet is to check the pantone site. However, you may never know if your client is also using a faulty rendition of the pantone color when they review your work. You may somehow get the color correct but they may disagree with its appearance.

    EDIT: one more consideration... the displayed RGB numbers in each of these programs may reflect the values before or after color profiles are applied within the software. It depends on the software. The values shown above for Photoshop CS6 are for Adobe RGB. In sRGB, they become 0, 132, 118. If you toggle color spaces in Affinity Publisher, the RGB values remain the same.
    Last edited by raymondtrace; 10-31-2018 at 02:17 PM.
    LW7.5D, 2015, 2018, 2019 running portably on a USB drive on an Amiga 2500 running Wine.

  5. #5
    Valiant NewTeKnight Matt's Avatar
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    Those Pantone libraries you can get for the Color Picker I converted from a very old version of Illustrator, when their libraries were not in binary format. Some conversion will lose accuracy, they were never going to 100% exact.
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  6. #6
    Founding member raymondtrace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    ...I converted from a very old version of Illustrator...
    For legal reasons, you may not want to admit that.
    LW7.5D, 2015, 2018, 2019 running portably on a USB drive on an Amiga 2500 running Wine.

  7. #7
    Valiant NewTeKnight Matt's Avatar
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    Meh, they're old as hell now.

    Better tell this guy then:

    https://magnetiq.ca/pages/acb-spec/

    https://magnetiq.ca/pages/freeware/#acb2xml

    Edit: Looks like that is out of date too. That tool didn't work
    Last edited by Matt; 10-31-2018 at 02:25 PM.
    UI / UX Designer @ NewTek
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    Those Pantone libraries you can get for the Color Picker I converted from a very old version of Illustrator, when their libraries were not in binary format. Some conversion will lose accuracy, they were never going to 100% exact.
    Ok - that makes sense. I won't use them as such then. Thanks for chiming in.
    Tim Parsons
    Technical Designer
    Sauder Woodworking Co.

    http://www.sauder.com

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Parsons View Post
    I was recently asked to render an item in Pantone 161c and I thought, okay no problem there are Pantone colors in the LW color picker. Problem is the color to me appeared way too light for the sample I was given. I went to Pantone's website to find their RGB equivalent and sure enough LW's is way off. Even using different color spaces it's off. Can anyone shed some light on this discrepancy and how to confidently use Pantone colors in LW in the future?

    Thanks

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Big problem of converting Pantone to RGB is that they use their own propetery color space. Hence why one has to pay for it. To get close to the pantone color from the CMYK values requires running through some hoops.

    What to do:
    1) CMYK -> RGB
    2) Add +5 to each color channel
    3) Convert the new RGB with a Gamma .4545
    4) Multiply the new RGB values by 0.685
    5) Now it should be close to the pantone color.

    Example for Pantone 161c:
    1) 16,67,100,71 -> 62,24,0
    2) Add +5 so we get 67,29,5
    3) Gamma 0.4545 results in 141,97,44
    4) Multiply each channel by 0.685
    5) end result 96,66,30 (Pantone value 96,61,32)

    It's closer to the Pantone color than a strait CMYK conversion. Course at this point just check their website for what RGB value they think one should use to match their color.

    -M
    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates - "I Drank What??"

  10. #10
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSherak View Post
    2) Add +5 to each color channel
    So I get what you're doing with the other steps, but what is this step meant to address?

    Is there really a "floor offset" or equiv. in the Pantone color space curves? Where did the 5 value come from?

    Just wondered, thanks!
    John W.
    LW2015.3UB/2019.1.4 on MacPro(12C/24T/10.13.6),32GB RAM, NV 980ti

  11. #11
    Founding member raymondtrace's Avatar
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    I got lost at step 1.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSherak View Post
    1) CMYK -> RGB
    We really should not be dealing with CMYK. Pantone colors are sometimes specified because they cannot be replicated in CMYK inks. So why look at CMYK values?

    Modern Pantone swatches are defined in the Lab color model. Old CMYK definitions in software were in whole numbers (even though I vaguely recall a Pantone mix book that displayed non-integers). Modern color tables use more precise values in Lab. If you're looking at pantone-RGB or pantone-CMYK reference tables, you're already a few steps behind a proper conversion.
    LW7.5D, 2015, 2018, 2019 running portably on a USB drive on an Amiga 2500 running Wine.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by jwiede View Post
    So I get what you're doing with the other steps, but what is this step meant to address?

    Is there really a "floor offset" or equiv. in the Pantone color space curves? Where did the 5 value come from?

    Just wondered, thanks!
    Pantone never lets a color channel hit 0 and they a wacky curve done a loooong time ago in analog days. So I go by rule of thumb to add +5 under 127 and +11 over. Kinda their averages of the analog curve.


    Quote Originally Posted by raymondtrace View Post
    I got lost at step 1.



    We really should not be dealing with CMYK. Pantone colors are sometimes specified because they cannot be replicated in CMYK inks. So why look at CMYK values?

    Modern Pantone swatches are defined in the Lab color model. Old CMYK definitions in software were in whole numbers (even though I vaguely recall a Pantone mix book that displayed non-integers). Modern color tables use more precise values in Lab. If you're looking at pantone-RGB or pantone-CMYK reference tables, you're already a few steps behind a proper conversion.
    Yes since LAB is a better way to adhere to the analog curve. Yeah it really is a silly place.
    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates - "I Drank What??"

  13. #13
    Thanks for all the great info everybody!
    Tim Parsons
    Technical Designer
    Sauder Woodworking Co.

    http://www.sauder.com

  14. #14
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSherak View Post
    Pantone never lets a color channel hit 0 and they a wacky curve done a loooong time ago in analog days. So I go by rule of thumb to add +5 under 127 and +11 over. Kinda their averages of the analog curve.
    Ah, okay, that makes more sense. Thanks!
    John W.
    LW2015.3UB/2019.1.4 on MacPro(12C/24T/10.13.6),32GB RAM, NV 980ti

  15. #15
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSherak View Post
    Yes since LAB is a better way to adhere to the analog curve. Yeah it really is a silly place.
    Hmm, is a CIELAB (Lab) LW CS even possible, or would it require a 3D LUT (versus 3x 1D LUTs)?
    John W.
    LW2015.3UB/2019.1.4 on MacPro(12C/24T/10.13.6),32GB RAM, NV 980ti

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