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vjsouza

[ADe] Designer is unable to export to PDF for professional purposes!

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+SrPx, +bleduc

 

​The reason why online printers want your file in RGB is because they have in-house prepress.  They don't completely trust you with their RIP preparation.  Most just want your artwork within the confines of text, trim and bleed so that they can do all the color seps, screen angles, registration, trim marks etc., themselves because your files are butted up against tens of others on the same press.

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​The reason why online printers want your file in RGB is because they have in-house prepress.  

 

I am not sure which industry segment we are talking about here but often online printers run small runs with digital presses (or maybe printers) which rather take RGB color as input.

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I see. Yes, they tend to specify quite well the bleed, safe zone, format, and other specs they need for their machines.

 

The thing is in several situations, they don't do such a "great" job (I am an illustrator, and color is a delicate matter). In some cases, yes, but that ideal situation where they would handle amazingly my colors is not always the case. Yet though, haven't yet had a "terrible results" case, as final production. Still, when I provide the file in cmyk, I get less surprises. True that with some, providing them the file in sRGB ends up in a bit richer color than if I'd provide only the cmyk version.

 

And is not as simple as just then provide them the files in sRGB, in every case. Some do require the files in sRGB, others request it in Adobe RGB 1998, others in a mix of things, asking for pdf 1.7, others totally require your file being in CMYK, with an specific color profile and an amount of total ink, and the file being a PDF , EPS, TIFF or the like, others just publish a manual on how to use Adobe InDesign and Scribus, ask to provide the thing in PDF, and tell the graphic designer to embed the artwork (illustrations) in those files as CMYK Tiffs in whatever the profile they require. A lot of them say in the specs "give us your files in sRGB or CMYK".... Is more of a mixed bag than it ever was. Back in '95 the things were very different. You wanted to print something, it was CMYK only.

 

Even more, been working as employee (graphic designer) at companies that did not want to spend a dime in printing, and I ended up dealing with a place that had a plotter and a laser injection printer, and where the people there did know even less than me about color management, and about almost anything graphic. (a nightmare). Being the case that they often would just let me their computers to handle myself the files....Our company moved later on to print with an offset based large company, and my life got a lot easier.

 

I  mean, not every print place works as ideal. I had to adapt to many situations....


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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IMHO, a lot of those print companies are doing the best they can. As it seems a royal lot of their customers are not professional graphic designers or experienced illustrators. I mean, a large percentage. They put templates that if you download them, they are not even too accurate. They just expect customers to do a very minimal set of things so that they can do their job later. So, they know a lot of customers don't even know what RGB or CMYK means, often they would not even mention the terms. Just the template and "insert the illustration from the artist here" or things like that... Others do it much better. There is no standard, no general rules, it is extremely varied, and I cannot decide the printer with which I want to print, as each client has a preferred or more convenient one for them, or are used to it, etc.

 

IMO, a difference with the past, or what I was used to, is that back then the companies would get  their designer to deal directly with the printer, locally or not, never other people. 


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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I am not sure which industry segment we are talking about here but often online printers run small runs with digital presses (or maybe printers) which rather take RGB color as input.

 

You usually have that choice in the job ordering process.  Any job under 50 pieces will be done by a digital run, but anything over that is typically done on the offset along with other jobs.

 

​Large online print companies survive on numbers; high volume at a low cost.  They can only accomplish this through a rigid production line, so specific formats and not much customizing involved.

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Usually I have had no real problems with online printing companies (though I use them not much), most usual grieve is trimming, cut may be sometimes real shoddy.

 

I may write new topic about PDF output as this has wandered a bit...

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Did you set to export (menu File / Export) any of the PDF/x options -instead of regular pdf- and hit the "MORE" button, and there, set :

 

Rasterize: "Nothing".  

Downsample images put it unchecked, or if you checked, then --->  [Resample: "Bicubic". Above DPI: "400dpi" (but I would try to "use document resolution") ]  .  

Uncheck "Allow JPG compression" (you don't want that).  

Compatibility (same PDF/x version that you had chosen )

Color Space: CMYK if your print company uses cmyk. "As document"  if you are unsure.

ICC profile: The exact color profile your printing company is using.

 

And you can create a preset with those settings, once you prove that it works for you, so you would only need to load that preset next time.

 

Well.. I have just checked with the right settings, and all I see is a correctly exported PDF, with a gradient in it, with a test I did now in my own.

 

Anyway, the monitor can't be trusted for gradients... A non professional monitor can easily show like cuts, banding, and is due to very few monitors do have enough range to display that. But a test to see if is monitor's displaying only or not, import the vectorial file in a raster software (Photoshop can do it) and select a portion where you see a "cut" , a small rectangle. Copy that, and create a new small canvas, and paste that there. There will be no banding. (if there is, then the gradient was having real banding, in the file. )

In the elder days, cathodic monitors wouldn't have this problem, but true that they were quite less healthy...

 

Also, banding can as well happen in a CMYK file. As it has quite a reduced color spectrum, compared to a RGB file, as that's comparing pigment color light based color.  

 

The only way to know it for sure is...printing a sample. (if the printer is well calibrated, and the monitor was, as well)

 

Anyway, I believe it was not your problem, but probably in the settings of the pdf export... If not... Sorry, am trying to help, here.. just a user, like u...

This does not work!

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This does not work!

 

vjsouza​,

 

How do you know it doesn't work?  The banding might be a graphics card issue onscreen.  You need to create a PDF output of your file and have your printer do a RIP check of the file to verify that the gradient problem is duplicated on their end.  Most printers are happy to help.

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I made a test (with my settings) and was able to output smooth gradients with that file, just not the elliptical ones...


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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How do you know it doesn't work?  The banding might be a graphics card issue onscreen.

 

 

Indeed, most flat monitors today might have the issue. Even averagely good ones.


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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SrPx

​I opend the file with my version of AD and didn't see any banding issues in the elliptical graphic.  I have an NVIDEA GeForce GTX960 card and a 4k monitor.  In reality, if you are doing print, it doesn't matter what things look like on screen or in the PDF, the Postscript data is there in the file.  It just becomes annoying to have to see it that way in the workflow.  The only reason we create PDFs is for either print or portability.  I have learned through the years to ignore the faulty preview of the PDF file and trust the data that is encapsulated in it.

Try this, Open the PDF in Photoshop and see how it looks.  Photoshop will rasterize the file when opened.

 

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Thank you, Zuki. I was not meaning that I was seeing actual bad banding with elliptical gradients (probably I wrote it badly) . But simply that I probably handled badly the source file, as I was not getting the same type of gradient (but not a technically wrong one, just different) in the pdf export than it had originally. I had indeed made several raster checks (as yep, I don't either fully trust what i see in the PDF, neither as a last truth what i see in my monitor, but having an average-good quality NEC, callibrated by hardware aprox. every month, I have checked that for my requirements at least (yeah, maybe a photo lab would have higher standards) what I get in screen, is pretty accurate with what I see printed later on at good printing companies, this. for me, is good enough, for practical reasons (my whole need is to get illustrations printed very close to what I see in screen while painting, and this seems to get there always, if there's not a major error in the process). Being a realistic painting illustrator, what I can see in the monitor is key for me and my workflow) and nope, no banding at all in the tests I could make with this very case (initially with some rasterizing settings and low resolution, yes I could get pixelation, but that's expected). But due to my settings or sth I was loosing the elliptical nature of the gradient, that is.

 

PD: I am not completely sure now on what is the glitch or graphical issue that  the OP is actually having. All I could detect is, in my tries, I was loosing the elliptical shape of the gradient, and thus , the appearance did changed (but no banding, pixelation or dithering). But I did it very fast, can be whatever....If someone else is doing more thorough tests (which could be your case), might be more accurate about the issue...I'm not putting extra time on it, as am out of the forums a bit, just coming with subscribed thread (e-mail) warnings -and not all- , for lack of time due to my freelancing activity.


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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Sadly I just bumped into the same issue. While it can export a simple vector gradient as PDF:X it cannot export multiple gradient nodes, midpoints, transparent nodes and elliptical gradients like Ai does. This brings me to a halt in using AD.

Most of my clients require editable documents for further development and are not willing to ditch Illustrator for AD. I need a way to deliver editable and compatible files either as PDF or EPS. I hope this gets solved soon. 


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elliptical gradients like Ai does. This brings me to a halt in using AD.

 

 

...this is what I did seem to detect....


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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... 

 

Something I think I might do when I start publishing and printing my work is to work in RGB but to make a copy of it to have as CMYK. I would show clients the CMYK version and print them the CMYK version. The reason I would hold on to the RGB would be for other printers with stronger compatibility. Once the quality is lost, it's lost. And who knows what improvements will come of printers in the future.

Thank you bleduc, I will add it to the workflow, as it makes so much sense. I only deal with printers who use CMYK process.


------
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Not a problem.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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