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Question How do you prepare your print files

Discussion in 'Digital Printing' started by msenjur, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. msenjur

    msenjur Member

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    Hello!

    Im wondering how do you prepare you print files...

    I usually do jpeg, 200dpi, anti-aliased, high quality (80%).

    i heard that tif or eps is better...

    i tried eps, and results are little better, but it takes a lot of time do export eps. I was thinking that some settings might be wrong... what settings do you use?

    and what settings do you use for tiff?

    Im exporting from corel draw x7...
     
  2. eahicks

    eahicks Very Active Member

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    That's a loaded question, as a) many files are already prepared and given to us, b) there can be all vector files, or all raster files, 3) a large portion are Flexisign files, which can involve all the aforementioned. And, for us, the end result ends up being a PDF as it is ripped in Flexisign. So there's your answers.
    If I'm creating a new file in say Photoshop, my final image for print is almost always a .JPG for standard stuff, often times I leave as .PSD file, especially for high quality images.
     
  3. DougWestwood

    DougWestwood Member

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    PDF all the way. JPEGs and PNGs are web image files, pretty grainy.
    EPS and TIFF are good, but can be huge files, and take a lot of time and space.
    We always try to use PDFs going to our 10-ft printer.

    Good Luck!
    - Doug
    Vancouver
     
  4. msenjur

    msenjur Member

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    ok, will give pdf a chance...

    what setting do you have in pdf?
     
  5. VanderJ

    VanderJ Take two Dampers and Call me in the Morning

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    Bitmap files like JPG and TIFF are fine when the file has only Bitmap data. Any graphic with bitmap and vector data in it should be .eps or .pdf. If you are rasterizing vector graphics before printing, you are doing it wrong.
     
  6. x2chris7x

    x2chris7x Active Member

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    Why is that wrong, doesnt the RIP software youre using rasterize the files before printing anyway? Out of illustrator I save everything as an eps and out of photoshop I save as tif with LZW compression/no layers.
     
  7. VanderJ

    VanderJ Take two Dampers and Call me in the Morning

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    I'm not entirely sure on the technical details but the way illustrator/Adobe rasterizes an image and a RIP processes a file for printing are very different. Do an experiment. Draw a circle in illustrator and save it as a high DPI JPG or TIFF. Then save the same file as an EPS. Send both to the printer and see the difference. No matter how high the DPI is and even using anti-aliasing on the bitmap file, the vector image from the EPS will always look more crisp which I am assuming is due to the EPS file preserving the vector data and the printer using that data differently than the bitmap data. I'm not sure how or why it works that way but it is what I have observed. I assume it is due to the fact that a bitmap's pixels have a specific location where as with the vector data in the eps the printer gets to interpret in a way that is superior to how it handles pixels.
     
  8. x2chris7x

    x2chris7x Active Member

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    Interesting... I might have to give that a try! Thanks for the info.
     
  9. sign girl

    sign girl Member

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    When I export out of Corel X6 to print for the Epson gs6000, I export it as a .bmp. When I export out of Omega, it is a .tif file. Those are the 2 ways that work the best with our printer from those programs. If I were to switch those and try to do a .bmp out of Omega it does not work. So the answer to your question is try different things and when something works use it whether it's a bitmap or a tiff, pdf eps ai ...
     
  10. Pete Moss

    Pete Moss Member

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    RGB, vector art, .pdf or .eps all day long.
     
  11. bannertime

    bannertime "You guys do banners, right?"

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    Same. Outside of Flexi, I'll design in RGB and send to RIP as a pdf. Occasionally I've had to save customer's files as a tiff instead of trying to fix all their layers and transparency issues.
     
  12. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    -if the design is all vector, eps as rgb or cmyk depending on colors used
    or pdf (especially if pantone colors are used). One of our printers won't do pdf's hence the use of tif's. NEVER jpg's
    -if both raster and vector, tif or pdf
    -if gradient/fountain fills are used NEVER eps. Tiff
    -raster images as eps make for extremely large files.
    -MS Word, PPT, psd, pagemaker, InDesign, dxf, eps, ai, and so on are all taken into CorelDRAW first to get rid of all the unnecessary junk and to verify sizes

    NEVER JPG, PNG OR BITMAP
     
  13. DougWestwood

    DougWestwood Member

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    Just a note on color:

    JPGs and PNGs do not match colors with PDFs. They are not the same.
    If you haven't had a client question the color over this difference, you are lucky.
    PDFs are most faithful in color matching/maintaining.
     
  14. Pauly

    Pauly Active Member

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    Seems to me everyone does it slightly different.

    - Raster images - .TIFF
    - Vector - PDF/X-4

    Keep it simple.
     
  15. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    Ha, wish it were that easy. There will always be variations from printer to printer
     
  16. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    A .pdf is merely a container of objects. You get out of it what you put into it. It's an envelope around your stuff. That's all that it is. Worse, it you don't set up a .pdf properly you're almost guaranteed to get a color shift when you extract it's contents. Pdf files are for sending data to people and other things, not printers.

    There's absolutely nothing wrong with .jpg format. Not a damn thing. People who recoil in horror at the very thought of using a .jpg do so mostly out of ignorance of the various file formats.

    In this shop all, every single one, bitmaps are sent to the RIP as 150ppi RGB .jpg files. Sent directly. 150ppi because. I print at 720dpi and this gives 23+ printer pixels per image pixel. You always want to print at least 4x the resolution of the input if you want to get optimum color. RGB because the RIP, any RIP worth having, is orders of magnitude better at converting the RGB data to CMYK that any software pack you might possess. I get as close to what you see is what you get reproduction as can be achieved with 4 color digital printing.

    All vector data is wrangled in Flexi and sent to Production Manager from there. If there's bitmap data it goes as 150ppi RGB. One anomaly; if there's a gradient, that is set up in Flexi as CMYK and not RGB.

    Regardless of what you do and how you do it, sending a .pdf file to a RIP is silly at best.
     
  17. Behrmon

    Behrmon Member

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    True yet false IMO, perfectly fine output results may be achieved with PDF files and if that's the file you have there may be no need to create extra work for yourself.

    Again true yet false, all due respect (and I do mean that) that statement is to vague, whilst yes the .jpg file format may have an unfair reputation it is one earned from the "ignorance" of the customer in most cases.

    We use both Flexi and VersaWorks, I find that for us Flexi will expedite .pdf files much quicker than .eps files to the same end in most cases.
     
  18. Andy_warp

    Andy_warp Member

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    Why everyone with the .eps files?!

    Can we PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE kill postscript files? They are bloated, and can do strange things in transparency effects.

    I can understand if you are working in corel...or quark...but if you are working in exclusively in adobe apps...PDF!
    It also depends on your RIP. We use Caldera, and retain ALL vector data so we can control spot colors at the RIP.
    Just say NO to global color corrections! LOL

    We send only pdfs to our rip. Just like all pdfs...all jpegs are not equal. It really depends on how big your output is, and if upsampling is required. We run grand format dye sub (126" wide), and many jpegs are unsuitable for print. It's compression artifacts...the ones you DONT see on your monitor, like in the highlights and white areas of the image. Anytime we get a jpeg of say a product shot with a white backdrop, there are almost ALWAYS a plethora of near white pixels that show up at larger sizes. We end up having to scour and mask out all of the white. PSD files will always give you the cleanest, most safely compressed output. LZW gives artifacts...jpegs give artifacts...

    People talk about lossless compression...it may exist on wikipedia, but not in the real world. I actually had a client send me a link to lzw tifs on Wikipedia!!!

    The analogy I use when shunning jpegs and compressed tifs is this:

    Take a 1 liter bottle of coca cola. Pour it into a 12 oz can, and discard the rest.
    Now pour what's in the can back into the 1 liter bottle. Pixels work the same way.

    Again, if you are not printing extremely large this can be moot. We've found if it is graphics based...like fonts and effects...jpegs are NOT the way to go.
    Let your RIP translate it from a vector source, or a native .psd or pdf from Photoshop.

    Jpegs from a high quality digital camera are different. As long as they haven't been jacked with and compressed externally, and reinterpreted they typically work great.

    We don't accept pdf files from clients for production art...we generate them all in house to ensure no nasty surprises arise.
     
  19. Andy_warp

    Andy_warp Member

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    --
     
  20. Andy_warp

    Andy_warp Member

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    It's wrong because the rip turns it into printer dots or screens...not square pixels. Keeping it as vector data allows you to tweak all instances of an independent pantone or spot color. This is important if transparency or tints of a color are used. If you have a layout with vector objects of varying densities or opacities of lets say a green spot color, and say a black and white photo...if your green is a little too cool. If you pull out cyan to adjust it as all pixels...the black and white image is now lacking cyan.
     
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