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How to make images appear greyscale

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I have had the need to create a template, where my users upload images in color.

But on the template it needs to appear as greyscale.

As FusionPro can not convert the image to greyscale I needed to find another way.

My trick is to layer the template.

The user image has its own graphic frame.

On top of this I place a graphic frame containing a pdf-file.

This pdf-file is a greyscale box (50% Black) with blending mode set to Colour. If you think it becomes to reddish, you can make the color C:10 M:0 Y:0 K:45.


Then when it is composed the effect of the blending mode applies to all the elements below the graphic frame containing the pdf-file.


To print you have to make sure your RIP supports transparency in pdf-files.

And the images is not true greyscale. It is still composed of CMYK.

Remember that this can be used for other creative purposes. The box could be a gradient instead of just greyscale.


You can download my sample-job containing the FusionPro template + assets, the InDesign document with the greyscale box + a composed pdf from FusionPro.


You are welcome to contact me, if you have questions to this process.









Edited by jimmyhartington
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That's a nice tip. Although I think you can do this without any transparency at all, by having two frames, each of which holds half of an image, both set to "Proportional Fill" with clipping turned on, one set to align left and the other to align right.


EDIT: Please ignore my comments in Red. Jimmy is actually using a masking image, which is very clever. Kudos for figuring this out!

Edited by Dan Korn
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Hi Dan


The example with half the image in greyscale was just to show the effect.


My use case was a template in Marcom for Business Cards.

The user should upload a portrait and it should be greyscale, in accordance with the customers branding guidelines.

But the users did not have a greyscale portrait of themselves or the skills to make the image greyscale.

In this case I made the graphic frame with the PDF-file cover the whole image. And I achieved what was needed.

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  • 10 months later...
  • 6 months later...
Sorry Jimmy, I am 6 months late. I am not even sure I could find which project we needed it for, but it was a web-facing solution where customers are able to upload any image type. This allowed us to take anything and not have to check/force compliance.
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