"Apply Gray curve" does not work in some cases

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yosimo
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Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:25 pm

"Apply Gray curve" does not work in some cases

Post by yosimo »

Hello,

I have two grayscale images that I want to reduce in halftone.

To do this, I use the Action "Apply Transfer curve", which correctly reduces one image for me, but not the other.
Image
Image

My PDF: https://magentacloud.de/s/EHcDmcg9xwJKGoF

Why does the transfer curve not work on the other image and how can I reduce this image in tone value?

thx,
regards
yosimo
bens
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Posts: 229
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:13 am

Re: "Apply Gray curve" does not work in some cases

Post by bens »

Using the Action List Visualiser you can follow along on the page, seeing which objects are selected.

If you do this you'll see that the "Select grayscale images" action does not select the image on the right. This is because it is a 1-bit image. However changing the select to include 1-bit images is not enough because the grey curve is not applied to 1-bit images.

Unfortunately I don't immediately see a way to convert the image to 8 bit, nor to get a curve to apply to the right image.

I did come up with a very dirty workaround: add a transparent object on top of the right image, then flatten transparency again. This will change the image bitness during flattening. If the object is fully transparent it will not change the colour. You can then convert it back to grey if necessary and apply the curve. Or you could make the transparent object white and only semi-transparent to get the result you want right away.
yosimo
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Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:25 pm

Re: "Apply Gray curve" does not work in some cases

Post by yosimo »

Hi bens,

where do you get the information that the image is a 1-bit image?
PitStop recognizes it as a grayscale image, not black/white.

Image

And thanks for your workaround, I will try it.
CruzinCooler
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Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2021 6:31 pm

Re: "Apply Gray curve" does not work in some cases

Post by CruzinCooler »

5th from top
Bits per Channel 1
yosimo
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Posts: 25
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Re: "Apply Gray curve" does not work in some cases

Post by yosimo »

Ok, may be it's a 1-Bit image per channel.
This is the same with the left image, and cannot be the reason that tone reduction does not work.
Last edited by yosimo on Sat Jul 23, 2022 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
CruzinCooler
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Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2021 6:31 pm

Re: "Apply Gray curve" does not work in some cases

Post by CruzinCooler »

The left image is indexed and the right one is not.
A true 1 bit image is black or white. No shades of gray.
Indexed colorspaces are a very useful way of reducing the amount of memory and space needed when they only have a certain number of repeating colour values. You define a limited set number of colour values (usually 2,4, 16 or 256) and define a color value for each. The image is then defined in terms of which colour value is used, not the actual color. This is much more compact in memory usage. It is best explained by an example.

Let’s image you have a image in CMYK colour. That means you need 4 bytes to describe the colour of each pixel. If the image had 4,000 pixels, that would be 16,000 bytes.

Now, imagine that the image only used 255 different colors. Instead of storing each pixel value, we could have a table with 256 entries (that is 1,024 bytes storing the 4 bytes for each CMYK color used) and then just store 1 byte per pixel to say which entry in the table to use. That would be a total of 4,000 bytes (for the colours) and 1,024 bytes for the look-up table. That is 5,024 bytes (quite a reduction from the 16,000 bytes.

And if we do not need 256 colours, we could do even better by squashing the bits together. If we only had 2 colours, we would still need 8 bytes for the look-up table but only a bit (one eighth of a byte) for each pixel to say which colour to use – a total of 508 bytes for everything!

This is what an indexed colorspace does. It allows us to store a table of colours in a look-up table and store the index, not the color. This reduces substantially the size of data needed. It works best with fewer colours so images with a huge number of colours do not gain as well and could actually take up more memory. But for appropriate images, 16,000 bytes to 508 bytes is a substantial size reduction.

from IDR Solutions
yosimo
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Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:25 pm

Re: "Apply Gray curve" does not work in some cases

Post by yosimo »

Hi CruzinCooler,

nice research, thanks.
I've also noticed that the image in question is a non-indexed grayscale image. I wonder if that's the reason why it can't be reduced in halftone?

Image

I tried converting the image to an indexed grayscale image but was unsuccessful.
The action "Convert images to indexed color space" does not convert the image.

Is there perhaps another way to convert the image?
CruzinCooler
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Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2021 6:31 pm

Re: "Apply Gray curve" does not work in some cases

Post by CruzinCooler »

yosimo,

I also tried what you tried and was unable to get the desired results you're looking for.

Perhaps bens workaround may be a solution for you.
freddyp
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Re: "Apply Gray curve" does not work in some cases

Post by freddyp »

Another approach and one that works identically for both images is to change the alpha channel value.

Some attachment quota has been reached so I cannot add a screenshot here, but look at the Transparency - General tab in the Inspector, it is the slider at the top. I think it is self-explanatory.
yosimo
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:25 pm

Re: "Apply Gray curve" does not work in some cases

Post by yosimo »

Changing the alpha channel value works with the inspector.
Have you tried this inside an action list?
It doesn't seem to work within an action list.

Since I want to automate this, processing via an action list would be desirable.

Image

(You can upload images somewhere and then embed them here via their link).
freddyp
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:53 pm

Re: "Apply Gray curve" does not work in some cases

Post by freddyp »

The reason is simple: these images are not grayscale images. One of them is a bitmap image and the other one is an indexed color image. For this particular file, given that there are no other images, you can use:

Select images
Change transparency

If there are other images that should not be selected, you can be more specific:

Select 1-bit images
Select indexed images
OR
Change transparency

or you can base yourself on the fact that they are black images and use this Action List:

Select images
Select black and white objects
AND
Change transparency
yosimo
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Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:25 pm

Re: "Apply Gray curve" does not work in some cases

Post by yosimo »

Ohh yes, I made the wrong selection. Now it works. I use in the actionlist:

Select 1-Bit images
Select indexed images
NOT
Change transparency


Thank you very much.
CruzinCooler
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Posts: 23
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Re: "Apply Gray curve" does not work in some cases

Post by CruzinCooler »

Excellent freddyp!
yosimo
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Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:25 pm

Re: "Apply Gray curve" does not work in some cases

Post by yosimo »

To avoid transparencies, I found another way:

Since the non-indexed grayscale images cannot be changed in halftone, I first convert them to CMYK black and then to the indexed color space, after which I convert them back to grayscale.
Now as an indexed grayscale image the tone value can be reduced.

Since the conversion runs via the default color management, I temporarily switch it off for the action.

Image
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