Procreate Color Profile to Photoshop?

  • I have a question for everyone who uses Procreate for their client work:

    What is the best practice to follow when sending PSD files in CMYK to the client when you work in Procreate? What color profile do you create your work in Procreate?

    Procreate recently introduced the CMYK profiles but after importing them to Photoshop, my file went bonkers! I freaked out but managed to salvage the situation by copying all my layers to a new "Display P3" canvas, transferring them to Photoshop, and then again copying all the layers to a CMYK canvas with some minor adjustments.
    It's definitely more cumbersome but I've just become more comfortable with drawing on-screen on the iPad than on my Wacom Intous now.

  • Moderator

    @Neha-Rawat Procreate's CMYK is not really CMYK. It "emulates" CMYK. Since they came out with it, people have been having the same problems you've had. There are several threads over on the Procreate forum site, and even though this issue is known to Savage Interactive (who makes Procreate) they don't have a fix--it's too memory intensive to make it actual authentic CMYK. Don't use Procreate's CMYK feature. It doesn't work. Procreate isn't capable of doing actual CMYK files.

    P3 is a color profile specifically for Apple products. It allows a wider range/gamut of color possibilities than are possible on most non-Apple products. The reason it is the default color profile for Procreate is because Procreate is only usable on Apple products. It is not a good color profile for anything else. It is used exclusively on their iPads and some iPhones by virtue of their Retina display capacity. On a non-Retina-display monitor or product (which is literally anything that isn't an iPad or the latest iPhones), the image will lose a bit of saturation and vibrancy in a lot of the brighter hues.

    The other RGB color profile choices have to do with the capacities of printers. The most common color profile everywhere is the sRGB IEC6 1966-2.1. It is the oldest color profile and almost assuredly used by 99% of the folks out there when they say "RGB file".

    v4 ICC Appearance, Preference, Preference Display Class and sRGB2014 have to do with how much contrast is in an image and the perception of colors. Don't use those unless you spend a lot of time looking up what they do. They adjust the black point and white point of your images. They will screw with your image when you try to print it.

    Always make sure your printer actually wants you to send them images in CMYK. Many of them nowadays want sRGB images so they can use their printing machine's own color profile adjusting software. Sending it in CMYK can mess up their process.

    I'm sorry to give you this bad news. There's no fix. I'm so sorry.

  • @Coreyartus That is really useful to know about Procreate's CMYK and P3! Thank you for sharing. I will make sure to broadcast.

    I worked at a print shop for a few years, and can confirm that (at least, for our press) sRGB images printed best, despite what logically makes sense. So definitely ask your printer/publisher which color profile they want because each press is different.

  • @Coreyartus Thank you so much for the detailed explanation! This helps a lot! 🙂

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