By default, Photoshop’s Color Settings command is set to use the sRGB and U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2, the first of which offers a small gamut and the second of which is a largely outdated standard. By switching to Europe Prepress 3, you update to the larger Adobe RGB and the more modern Fogra39 (ISO 12647), which delivers better results when masking.
- [Instructor] All right, now I'm gonna show you how to adjust Photoshop's color settings so that you get the best results when masking either inside the RGB or CMYK space. Now, color settings can be a pretty gnarly topic, and so I'm gonna try to keep it as simple as possible. But I want you to understand why we're doing this, and we've got three reasons in all. First of all, you want your RGB and CMYK working spaces, which govern how colors are displayed absent of any other specific instructions, so for example, if an image contains a color profile, Photoshop will respect it, if it doesn't, then it's gonna fall back on the working space.
You want those working spaces to match professional-level industry standards, not to mention, the color profiles assigned to my Exercise Files. And so, notice up here in the title tab that we're seeing an asterisk inside the parentheses, so this item here reads background, that's the name of the selected layer here inside the layers panel, then we've got RGB which is the color space slash eight, meaning eight bits of data per channel, and then we've got an asterisk. That asterisk tells you that the color profile assigned to this image does not match the default RGB working space, and we'll see how it disappears when everything aligns.
All right, so second, when converting from one color mode to another, say, from RGB to CMYK, as we'll see in chapter one, the color settings determine how Photoshop renders the very channels that you'll be using to create your masks, and so this item in particular is very important. And then finally, we have a reason not to skip this movie. Converting from any RGB space, doesn't matter what, to the default US Web Coated SWOP v2 can result in choppy edge details that are not well-suited to masking.
And here, I'm actually being polite. You end up with some very choppy edge details that are not the least bit suited to masking, and so we can do much better than that. All right, so here's what you wanna do. Go up to the edit menu and choose the color settings command or you have this keyboard shortcut of control shift K, or command shift K on the Mac, which is gonna bring up this big dialog box right here. Now here in the US, this settings item by default is set to North American general purpose two, and this is gonna be true if you're working with the US version of Photoshop as well, and that's gonna control, among other things, these working spaces right here.
Now, the only working spaces that we really care about are these first two, RGB and CMYK, and so by default, RGB is set to SRGB, which is great for web design. However, it's not well-suited to just about everything else you do with Photoshop, including masking. And so what you want is the industry standard for eight-bit per channel RGB, and that's this guy right here, Adobe RGB, and that's gonna work best for general compositing as well as high-end inkjet and Prepress and so forth, and it even works well for web design, because you can convert to SRGB on the fly when you export your .pngs and your .jpgs and so forth.
All right, for now I'm just gonna escape out of that so I can show you our CMYK options. Again by default in the US it's set to US Web Coded SWOP v2. Now, SWOP is the standard that has been used for a long time in the United States, and Adobe is a US company, so it makes a certain amount of sense that this is the default. The thing is Prepress standards have moved on significantly since about 2004, at which point a new standard came along known as ISO 12647.
It is now the standard across Europe, and it's becoming more and more popular in the United States, especially among commercial printers who are keeping up with things. And so what I recommend you do here is change this guy to the most recent version of ISO 12647 that's available to at least this version of Photoshop, which is Fogra 39, which gives us the 2004 version of the standard. With any luck, future versions of Photoshop will support the 2013 variety, which is gonna be either Fogra 51 or 52, higher numbers are better.
But even the older standard is much much better than SWOP, at least in terms of how the channels are rendered for purposes of masking. And so, I'm going to escape out of that as well, because the simplest thing you can do is go up to settings right here, click on it, and then choose this guy right here, Europe Prepress three, which is going to switch the RGB work space to Adobe RGB, it's gonna switch the CMYK work space to Fogra 39 right there, and it's gonna turn on a few check boxes down here, which you really don't want turned on.
And so we have these profile mismatches that are gonna tell you if the profile space doesn't match the working space, and when you're copying and pasting if the color profiles don't match, even though they're gonna be automatically converted, so you don't need to worry about that and you don't wanna hear about that, and you don't wanna know if there's a missing profile. You just don't wanna be bugged all the time about all this stuff because generally speaking, it's gonna take care of itself. Now at this point, you're gonna notice this message that's telling you that the various Creative Cloud applications are not synchronized for consistent color, and so this is gonna be illustrator and in design and so forth, and so notice this description field down here tells you how to solve the problem.
You can synchronize the color settings among all of your Creative Cloud applications by choosing the color settings command in Adobe Bridge, which means you'll need to have downloaded the Bridge application using your Creative Cloud utility. And so, assuming that you have, I'll just go ahead and click okay to accept the changes to this dialog box, and notice by the way, that the asterisk has disappeared up here in the title tab. Now, go up to the file menu and choose browse in Bridge, and again, assuming that you've installed the Bridge application, then you wanna go to the edit menu and choose color settings command, just as you did inside Photoshop.
And then you wanna choose that European setting which is not showing up in my case and that's because I need to turn on this check box, show expanded list of color settings files, and now, if I scroll down, I can see this guy right there, Europe Prepress three, which is exactly what I need, and now I'll go ahead and click apply, and that's gonna synchronize the various applications. And now notice, if I click on this little boomerang icon, so I'll return to Photoshop, and then I return to the edit menu and once again choose the color settings command, I'm gonna still see this warning that things are not synchronized, and that's because I turned off these three check boxes, which are strictly a Photoshop thing, they have nothing to do with the other applications, so you can safely ignore this message.
And so I'm just gonna cancel out. And that, friends, is how you adjust Photoshop's color settings to get the best results when masking and compositing images.
- Working with the different channels
- Creating the best masks
- Enhancing selections text display
- The Color Range command
- Defining a selection
- The Focus Area command
- Applying global refinements
- Refining selections and masks
- Working with alpha channels
- Extracting masks from channels
- Working with blend modes
- Working with the Refine Edge adjustment