The Color of Green?

Lee Varis

Hi all,

I've taken on a color correction project for a book about palm trees
(Dan, you know what I'm talking about). Before I get too far into this I thought I'd solicit suggestions from the group regarding the
situation I find myself in with the printing conditions.

There are 133 images of palm trees with every discernible shade of
green and in some cases these trees are more of a teal color in the

All of the images are scans from film from various sources but all of
the scans were done by the Korean printer. Almost all of the scans open
with an embedded profile that is reported as "SWOP (coated) 20%"...
curiously, I'm seeing TIL as 360 and, in some cases, as high as 376!!!
Black seems to be limited to 85% in just about all of the scans I've
looked at. If I look at these scans in the standard "SWOP coated v2"
they don't look radically different but most of the time the shadows do
plug up as I would expect. A typical deep black shadow reads (cmyk) 95,
90, 90, 85. The black plates look like UCR - fairly light except for
the deepest shadows but I'm only seeing the slightest color removal in
the yellow plate. Otherwise the cyan and magenta plates look very rich
into the shadows - definitely not GCR!

The printer has requested that the images should not be "converted" to
another profile – presumably, that means don't change the character of
the seps, the black generation or the general balance of the plates.

However - just about all of these images look like they'll be too dark
with plugged up shadow detail ( as the numbers would suggest), even
when viewed with their "profile" . Color correction is in order but I
need to careful about how aggressive I am and what kind of assumptions
I make about the printer. My experience with Asian printers suggests
that I'm not going to get much, if any useful information from the
printer - we will get press proofs but from a different press than the
one that will actually run the job - they don't do matchprints and
there will be no press check! I do have some preliminary press proofs
printed on the stock that they will use for the book and they match the
screen previews reasonably well, though, of course they look a bit dark
- not as bad as I would have expected.

SO, for all the color detectives out there... what are your
suggestions? Anything in particular I should look out for. If it looks
like the black limit for their setup is 85% - how far can I deviate,
how much cmy can I subtract / how much K can I add. Any suggestions on
green values, channel mixer tricks for elevating dark greens in CMYK
files. Can I even assume that their scans reflect their print

Please no "profiling" suggestions, thats not an option in this case.
I'm looking for general color correction guidance from anyone with
experience with this sort of subject matter / printing conditions.


Lee Varis

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