two layers out of 11 lose their color... but not really...

I'm setting up a web page, and I got a photoshop file from the client's print media designer with the logo.  The file has a bunch of layers, but I'm interested in the three layers that together make up the logo.

If I look at the file with Irfanview or other simple viewers, I see the logo in full color (orange and purple).  However, when I open the file, those layers look black (grayscale).  All of the other layers show their colors.  If I resave the file, those layers are now saved grayscale over all the other colored ones.

At first I thought that perhaps Gimp wasn't opening the file correctly, but I just opened it with Photoshop V4 on a different machine, and it looks exactly the same.  Also for Gimp on a third computer.  I could always open the file in irfanview, do a screen capture, and manually erase the background, but that'll be a big pain.

The original file was probably made using a recent version of Photoshop on a Mac.  

Any idea what's going on?  Can you tell me what to look for, where?  I'd love to get this settled before I leave town tonight for Thanksgiving.

Thanks
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AntonioPAsked:
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AntonioPAuthor Commented:
note: when I look at the histogram for those layers, the values are identical for Red, Green, and Blue, so these layers are somehow actually becoming grayscale when I open it.  Does photoshop have some weird way to specify that a greyscale layer should actually be a purple-scale image, or something like that?
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AntonioPAuthor Commented:
Okay, I just downloaded a trial version of CS, and everything's great.

I'll give points for an explanation of what was going on...
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daniel416Commented:
older versions of photoshop save files differently. the photoshop format is also proprietary (only adobe knows how it's really implemented).

so you received a file saved in a new version of photoshop (mac or pc, doesn't matter).
unless you open the file with that version (or a newer version) of photoshop, the results will be unpredictable, especially when dealing with layers and effects, etc.

this is because new features or ways of describing the image are added to new versions of photoshop. older versions of photoshop (or other programs) don't necessarily understad everything that was saved by a newer version of photoshop.

hope this makes things a bit more clear.

daniel416
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AntonioPAuthor Commented:
Actually, I knew that (but that was a very neat and concise explanation!).  I wondered if anyone had any idea what new feature might have caused this problem.  I was nosing around and I found that these layers had a "color overlay."  Could this be the culprit?
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daniel416Commented:
why do you need to know that now that you have ps cs?
it could be anything: new features or new implementations of old features or deprecated features.

if not using "color overlay" works, that's great, but it doesn't guarantee that a new combination of features / effects won't  break your image in the future.

you're also dealing with how these features are rendered with other programs and various versions of those programs.

nobody but adobe itself could tell you with any certainty, unless you reverse engineer which is outside of what i know, and even then you don't know for sure.

if you're interested in using files saved with pc cs in ps 4, you can try the "maximize compatibility" feature presented when you save a new file.
ps 4 is pretty old though (last century man!). so who knows how that'll behave. that feature could work better going from ps v7, or maybe even v6, but i don't know about v4.

hope this helps!

daniel416
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michaelbuddyCommented:
the graphic you have, did it have any extra spot channels in it?   that might have been a color issue.

check your channels palette in the original. you should either see cmyk or rgb.  if you see an extra channel, that might be the culprit when saving it out, or bringing it into another program.
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AntonioPAuthor Commented:
Well, I'll only have CS until the trial period ends, then it's back to the GIMP.  I'll hav to see if the designer that creates these images can save them to an alternative format that still retains layers.  Perhaps that "maximize compatibility" feature.

Thanks for the help!
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daniel416Commented:
thanks for the points!
hope the info is helpful
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