Preserving Pantone colors in Blender

I have people wanting me to animate their logos from time to time. The problem I run into all the time is maintaining the exact colors they specify throughout the whole process. Often times a logo is created with a specific set of Pantone Standard colors which need to be intact in the final render. The logo I’m working on now is an illustrator file which can simply be mapped to a plane. I’m putting a spinning ring around it, so I’d like to be able to put a shadow across it. How can I do that while still maintaining the integrity of the colors?


Intact? Maybe I’m wrong but most of the pantone colors can not be displayed properly in a monitor… so I assume is impossible to show those colors in your animation.
And even if those pantones have an RGB perfect conversion, they will be show in a different way in each TV/monitor according theirs adjustments. Pantone was designed for printings(CMYK and similar ones), not TV/monitors(RGB).

you’re right in that the perception of them is relative, but that’s the beauty of a color managed rig. A Pantone color has an RGB representation that, if viewed on a calibrated display will look the same as it does on any calibrated display. If I’m simply able to get the same RGB or CYMK as the texture I use, I’d be happy. Any thoughts?

vicentecarro is right that RGB monitor colors will never perfectly match the PMS (Pantone Matching System) ink system, since they are two completely different types of color – PMS = subtractive pigments and RGB = additive phosphors (or other light-emitting medium). There are PMS to CMYK conversions (since they are both inks and thus subtractive pigments) but I’ve really never run into a PMS to RGB conversion system. The very best you can hope for is an acceptable visual match – use the coated PMS swatches (they’re more saturated) and compare them to the monitor in a well-lit, color-balanced environment for best results. After rendering, it may also be necessary to do local color correction on the rendered image to bring the colors more in line with their PMS equivalents.

Having consistency across monitors depends a great deal on how the calibration is done as well as the differences in hardware and its settings. Color management is an attempt to deal with those differences but it is far from perfect, particularly if you’re dealing with monitors in a non-professional context – most clients don’t calibrate at all.

Okay, I see and understand your point, but I still don’t think you’re quite understanding, so let me rephrase the question.

How can I assure that I get the same RGB values in my final render as the ones I start with in an image file mapped to a plane?

Simply check “shadeless” in your material settings. Make sure to uncheck “Color Management” in the Shading panel of the Render options tab; that throws off color.

You can’t, really. You can only get as close as possible. The rendering alters the RGB values as it takes shading & lighting into account. “Shadeless” will work only if you want completely flat colors, which usually isn’t the case in a 3D model.

That’s why I mentioned color correction on the renderings – it may be needed to bring the rendered “PMS match” back into line with the flat RGB color version.

I have run into art directors who do not understand video. Generally they come from a print background. The compromise I always ended up with was to pick the RGB color from the document. That is proof the color is “technically” correct. I mean what monitor are you looking at it with? Has your company payed to have all the monitor synchronized? Are there any windows in your office that can throw off the perception of the color on the screen. This can get really nit-picky. But in the end I would just do my animation, then fade the official illustrator file up over top of the 3D element in After Effects. That way the official logo print document is what you see when it all comes to rest. But while it is in motion, you see the Blender color. Shadeless is a possible option. but, as the name states, you lose the ability to receive shadows.

You shouldn’t be a slave to the brand guide. It is a “guide” after all. Resolving to the official print logo is a great compromise.

Would it be possible to use another plane with “only shadow” turned on in front of the plane with the texture set to shadeless?

AFAIK, shadeless materials will not receive any type of shadow directly, that’s pretty much by definition. If you want to add shadows to a shadeless plane, I recommend using the Compositor, as it can give you a great deal of control over the results that trying to fake it in the render process does not have.

Just an idea. If you want to maintain the hue of the color and only change the “value”(brigthness) maybe you could try to do 2 renders. By one side you could render your scene using only shadeless colors. And then you can do a common render but just in grey (activating “BW” in the Rendering/Output panel). Then you could compose them together with the sequencer, the compositor or using another composition software.

@CGuy, you say animated logo’s, is that in video?

What codec do you want to use? Most are not RGB, most are subsampled YCbCr which is a conversion from RGB with specific colour primaries, colour matrix and luma levels?

The way those are interpreted by a video player is a lottery, so will be your chances of your clients logo’s looking like it should unless very specific setup.