Dan Margulis Applied Color Theory

Is There a Standard Mark-Up Language?

   Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2004 16:56:28 -0700 (PDT)
   From: Photo Grafix
Subject: retouching mark-up language

Greetings to the group:

Is there one standard shorthand or language for marking up proofs regarding retouching/color correction? For example, "remove such-and-such," "add cyan," "slight more yellow," "saturate," "desaturate," "neutralize," etc.

Eric C. M. Basir

   Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 11:44:34 -0400
   From: Lee Clawson
Subject: Re: retouching mark-up language

The hard part is knowing what's meant by the modifying words; add, slightly, a little bit, much more, etc. etc.. And its as hard when someone asks for "make it pinker".


   Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 18:02:47 -0000
   From: Pat Theobald
Subject: Re: retouching mark-up language

--- I've found having the client speak directly to the person doing the corrections and the two of them marking up the proofs together in terms they agree on, is probably the best way to relay subjective color instructions...
Happy Prepress,
Pat Theobald


   Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 14:02:57 -0400
   From: scott rudy
Subject: Re: retouching mark-up language

Or "needs more oomph" or "lacks balls" or "make it snap"

-i don't have an oomph or snap button to press!!!

   Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 00:12:27 -0700
   From: Roy Solorio
Subject: Re: retouching mark-up language

Now this is fun... My favs are make it 3pop2, 3sparkle2 or 3sing2.


Roy Solorio
270 Brannan Street
San Francisco Ca 94107
Office: 415-227-9972
Mobile: 415-722-3155

   Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 05:25:30 -0500
   From: gary roushkolb
Subject: Re: retouching mark-up language

I have been in printing for a long time and there seems to a language that is identical to just what you have stated. In other words nothing set in stone, just make it clear to the person doing the retouch. The language that causes confusion is often internal where the press room calls it red or blue and we in prepress "know" it's magenta and cyan. This seems to be the only major point of confusion that I commonly run across and needs clarification.

    I'd be interested if anyone else has more "confusion" terms.

Gary Roushkolb,  Scanner/Color Guy-Donlevy Lithograph

   Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 07:25:10 -0600
   From: Les De Moss
Subject: Re: retouching mark-up language

In photographic printing for clientele, the challenge is translating the terms they use into meaningful instructions. They say "snap", usually meaning contrast; "Too blue"... usually too cyan. Talking it over with the client, color filters in hand, we can usually turn these vague terms into useful instructions.

We use a few mark ups typical in our industry:
+D = add density, or if more precise, +D.5 add one half 'stop' density
-M = less magenta (or -C, -Y, etc.), or -M5: less 5points magenta
+S10 = increase saturation 10%
+/-CT = adjust contrast

How precise are these instructions? Well, it's a vast improvement over "looks like crap, make it better." Clients are often frustrated when they can't define what they see... they know it's not right (to their eyes) but lack the tools (color/printing knowledge) to break it down into elements of color/density/saturation/contrast.

It's our job to extract this information and communicate it to the production staff in terms we understand. That said, we work in a medium that is both subjective, and it's often difficult to predict the effect that changes will make until a proof can be viewed. Good communication between client/customer service/production is an essential element.

Mark up shortcuts allow us to communicate as accurately as possible with relative efficiency.

-Les De Moss

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