Derby #274: Monsters, Robots, and Aliens!

Fire & Ice Resub

We can't print this

Rejected because: We can't print this

add a comment

Comments

lyonscc


quality posts: 6 Private Messages lyonscc
Re: Fire & Ice Resub


Resubbing this - there are no IP issues with this design or copyrighted characters.

And it's not a photo.

palitosci


quality posts: 0 Private Messages palitosci
lyonscc wrote:Resubbing this - there are no IP issues with this design or copyrighted characters.

And it's not a photo.


A skull doesnt is a monster, robot or alien...

Woot should reject it.

marmartin


quality posts: 0 Private Messages marmartin
palitosci wrote:A skull doesnt is a monster, robot or alien...

Woot should reject it.


Did they say why they rejected it?

I think a flaming skull is monstrous enough that it would fit the theme.

orabbit


quality posts: 31 Private Messages orabbit
Re: Fire & Ice Resub


They can't print it. When you get really smooth gradients like this, anything below 15% and above 85% disappears or fills in respectively. It will not print well, hence the rejection. Merely resubmitting it is kind of petulant. Of course, they could do a better job communicating why.

bluetuba


quality posts: 58 Private Messages bluetuba
orabbit wrote:They can't print it. When you get really smooth gradients like this, anything below 15% and above 85% disappears or fills in respectively. It will not print well, hence the rejection. Merely resubmitting it is kind of petulant. Of course, they could do a better job communicating why.


Maybe they meant "We can't print this" instead of "We can't run this" if it's a gradient issue.

I'm pretty sure there have been gradient specific rejection messages before, it is kinda sad when we have to break down the semantics of the message.

"You can't just dress a Minion like Spock, and add a caption that says "Logical Me". There's a prison for people like that. Below my house."

lyonscc


quality posts: 6 Private Messages lyonscc
bluetuba wrote:Maybe they meant "We can't print this" instead of "We can't run this" if it's a gradient issue.

I'm pretty sure there have been gradient specific rejection messages before, it is kinda sad when we have to break down the semantics of the message.


Exactly - in the past, I have seem them comment on issues with printability (and those seemed to indicate they had spoken with the artist, examined the files and made some sort of determination to that effect). The effect I'm using only mixes two solid colors in any one place, and does so smoothly across the full gradient space, and they've not received any files from me to this point.

The primary reason I reposted is because the rejection reason they gave is the one that has always been parsed to mean "copyright issues", and that's decidedly not the case with either of these designs, so I believe that if they made the determination for copyright reasons, I'd like to challenge that (and I can point to places where they have admitted such error to other artists and to myself).

Shirt.woot also notoriously answers almost no mail they receive, so sometimes the only way to get a straight answer is to repost and get a more clear answer if they reject it a second time.

zoetropical


quality posts: 0 Private Messages zoetropical
lyonscc wrote:Exactly - in the past, I have seem them comment on issues with printability (and those seemed to indicate they had spoken with the artist, examined the files and made some sort of determination to that effect). The effect I'm using only mixes two solid colors in any one place, and does so smoothly across the full gradient space, and they've not received any files from me to this point.

The primary reason I reposted is because the rejection reason they gave is the one that has always been parsed to mean "copyright issues", and that's decidedly not the case with either of these designs, so I believe that if they made the determination for copyright reasons, I'd like to challenge that (and I can point to places where they have admitted such error to other artists and to myself).

Shirt.woot also notoriously answers almost no mail they receive, so sometimes the only way to get a straight answer is to repost and get a more clear answer if they reject it a second time.


Something you need to understand (with all due respect): this is woot's playground and they reserve the right, in the end, to accept or decline anything they want to. They're under no obligation to explain in detail why something is rejected.
There used to be a warning here about not getting "all butthurt" if your work is rejected, which is a good lesson for any designer.

lyonscc


quality posts: 6 Private Messages lyonscc
zoetropical wrote:Something you need to understand (with all due respect): this is woot's playground and they reserve the right, in the end, to accept or decline anything they want to. They're under no obligation to explain in detail why something is rejected.
There used to be a warning here about not getting "all butthurt" if your work is rejected, which is a good lesson for any designer.


I do understand this. The problem I have, though, is that when they don't give clear enough direction for what they accept or why they reject things, artists can then, in the future, either waste time doing something woot will reject (but never really explained) or have a cool idea they never put to paper because they misunderstood woot's acceptance/rejection reasons.

ochopika


quality posts: 26 Private Messages ochopika

Staff

lyonscc wrote:I do understand this. The problem I have, though, is that when they don't give clear enough direction for what they accept or why they reject things, artists can then, in the future, either waste time doing something woot will reject (but never really explained) or have a cool idea they never put to paper because they misunderstood woot's acceptance/rejection reasons.


I'll give my analysis based on my derby observations:

Your designs may have been rejected because, as some have guessed, the gradients are too small to print. The small details of the photo-realistic flames can be too small to print even if they're only two colors.
If you're sure it is printable, send your print file to Woot so they can look at it more closely.

Another reason they may have been rejected is that they look like photos treated with a filter or editing technique of some kind. I'm not here to argue the artistic merit of doing this. I think you can make awesome images this way. Woot just doesn't want any legal issues.
If they aren't photos, just show your original drawing. If they are photos or clip-art, then you have to prove that the art is free for commercial use. Sites that have totally free clip art will have a "terms of use" page describing how the art is free for commercial use. Sadly, the rejectionator won't take your word for it since there have been people who've been less than honest about using clip art.

I hope that's helpful and good luck!

lyonscc


quality posts: 6 Private Messages lyonscc
ochopika wrote:I'll give my analysis based on my derby observations:

Your designs may have been rejected because, as some have guessed, the gradients are too small to print. The small details of the photo-realistic flames can be too small to print even if they're only two colors.
If you're sure it is printable, send your print file to Woot so they can look at it more closely.

Another reason they may have been rejected is that they look like photos treated with a filter or editing technique of some kind. I'm not here to argue the artistic merit of doing this. I think you can make awesome images this way. Woot just doesn't want any legal issues.
If they aren't photos, just show your original drawing. If they are photos or clip-art, then you have to prove that the art is free for commercial use. Sites that have totally free clip art will have a "terms of use" page describing how the art is free for commercial use. Sadly, the rejectionator won't take your word for it since there have been people who've been less than honest about using clip art.

I hope that's helpful and good luck!


Thank you, this was very helpful. I sent them my organized AI files, etc. along with a more detailed explanation of how I created these images (which aren't photos, but rather products of Illustrator shapes/illustrations run through multiple filters, Photoshop adjustments and then additional filters, followed by a mathematical process for converting these to solid-color objects and single-group-single-color transparency layers for each of the colors.)

Hopefully, we'll be able to work things out, or (at the very least), understand what woot's concerns are with the design and/or technique.

Thank you again, very much, as this was helpful in organizing my response to them...

flattopfrank


quality posts: 2 Private Messages flattopfrank
orabbit wrote:They can't print it. When you get really smooth gradients like this, anything below 15% and above 85% disappears or fills in respectively. It will not print well, hence the rejection. Merely resubmitting it is kind of petulant. Of course, they could do a better job communicating why.


They do need explain it better. Most people creating designs need to understand that certain types of art work can not be duplicated with a silkscreen. Digital printing will work, but not with silkscreening.

Spiritgreen


quality posts: 215 Private Messages Spiritgreen
Re: Fire & Ice Resub


The technical side of things is actually pretty straightforward. Woot won't have a problem printing a design if:

- The halftones use no more than 30 lines/dots per inch

- Your file resolution is 300dpi

- The halftones only ever involve two interlocking inks


If you try to have finer lines than that, or you have more than two ink colors sharing a halftone then it's not printable.

Lyonscc, I'd be happy to take a look if that's at all helpful. Message me, or post a busy portion of the image here without shrinking it.

lyonscc


quality posts: 6 Private Messages lyonscc
Spiritgreen wrote:The technical side of things is actually pretty straightforward. Woot won't have a problem printing a design if:

- The halftones use no more than 30 lines/dots per inch

- Your file resolution is 300dpi

- The halftones only ever involve two interlocking inks


If you try to have finer lines than that, or you have more than two ink colors sharing a halftone then it's not printable.

Lyonscc, I'd be happy to take a look if that's at all helpful. Message me, or post a busy portion of the image here without shrinking it.


Thanks! My base file is in Illustrator, so the file I give to them doesn't even have the halftone conversion done by me. I usually only convert a section of the design in halftones (for the shirt comp image), since the instructions say that Illustrator files should leave the gradients and let them do the halftone conversion.

Do you have Illustrator, if I just send you the AI file, or should I do the conversion on Photoshop and post/send it for/to you?

Spiritgreen


quality posts: 215 Private Messages Spiritgreen
lyonscc wrote:Thanks! My base file is in Illustrator, so the file I give to them doesn't even have the halftone conversion done by me. I usually only convert a section of the design in halftones (for the shirt comp image), since the instructions say that Illustrator files should leave the gradients and let them do the halftone conversion.

Do you have Illustrator, if I just send you the AI file, or should I do the conversion on Photoshop and post/send it for/to you?


Happy to help!

Your main shirtcomp image should be halftoned. Woot wants your illustrator file without halftones so they can make their own, but they still ask everyone to convert the whole image to halftones for the shirtcomp, so all derby entries are free from gradients. (That might be one reason you've had some rejections)

It also ensures that the artwork can cleanly be turned into two ink, halftones. Not everything can be, of couse.

If you can process the whole thing into halftones now, then I'll gladly take a look at it!

lyonscc


quality posts: 6 Private Messages lyonscc
Spiritgreen wrote:Happy to help!

Your main shirtcomp image should be halftoned. Woot wants your illustrator file without halftones so they can make their own, but they still ask everyone to convert the whole image to halftones for the shirtcomp, so all derby entries are free from gradients. (That might be one reason you've had some rejections)

It also ensures that the artwork can cleanly be turned into two ink, halftones. Not everything can be, of couse.

If you can process the whole thing into halftones now, then I'll gladly take a look at it!


Thank you so much!

I still have the full halftoned image of the "Creature of Shadoe and Flame" - I've uploaded a strip of it here:



I can send the whole thing to you if you can PM your email address to me...

Thanks!

lyonscc


quality posts: 6 Private Messages lyonscc

Here's the above strip at ShirtComp size:

Spiritgreen


quality posts: 215 Private Messages Spiritgreen
Re: Fire & Ice Resub


Cool, let's address the technical side of this then. At first glance, the halftones look nicely defined and the 'heat map' kinda way the colors are generated means you don't have many problems with more than two inks fighting for the same space.


Couple of potential problems. The halftone lines of different colors seem to be aligned with each other, rather than interlocking:




Really each ink color in the halftone should lock into the next, more like this:




That ensures the printing process consists of nice continuous lines of ink.


There are also a few places where the colors crowd together that might cause printing problems.

Like here, where the white, yellow, orange and red are overlapping very tightly:




This is potentially a bigger problem that happens anywhere your FX filter has a sharp gradient - and I imagine it's more problematic in Fire & Ice because of the blues and oranges meeting halfway.

---

I guess it comes down to how easy it is for Woot to make neat, interlocking halftones from your Illustrator file. If they can do that, then it looks to me like Creature of Shadow and Flame at least could print well. Maybe someone more familiar with halftoning in Illustrator could help with that question.

lyonscc


quality posts: 6 Private Messages lyonscc
Spiritgreen wrote:
I guess it comes down to how easy it is for Woot to make neat, interlocking halftones from your Illustrator file. If they can do that, then it looks to me like Creature of Shadow and Flame at least could print well. Maybe someone more familiar with halftoning in Illustrator could help with that question.


Wow... Thank you so much, and for taking the time to help me out!

I'm still very new to this, and every time I think I'm getting the hang of it, I realize that I've only really scratched the surface.

Thank you!

Spiritgreen


quality posts: 215 Private Messages Spiritgreen
lyonscc wrote:Wow... Thank you so much, and for taking the time to help me out!

I'm still very new to this, and every time I think I'm getting the hang of it, I realize that I've only really scratched the surface.

Thank you!


No problem.

I'd suggest that when you make these kinds of complicated halftoned designs in future, you make the halftones yourself and submit a layered bitmap file (Photoshop, GIMP, etc.) instead of an AI. That way Woot can be sure it's feasible, and you'll get a better idea of what's printable yourself.

The rejections you've had may be more about the images you're applying your FX filters to - Woot is naturally very cautious about work made from photos or other stock clipart. So, why not link to an image of your original artwork, before FX, in the submission message or in a post on your derby entry.

If the rejectionator can be see your artistic process and has a clear and clean print file, then it should be much smoother sailing. ^__^

orabbit


quality posts: 31 Private Messages orabbit
Re: Fire & Ice Resub


Sorry to come of as combative. As a screen printer, it's clear to me that this would be a challenging print. The main issue is that a lot of your spot colors are 15% and below and 85% and above. A 50% halftone would have positive and negative dots or lines of equal size. If using dots, it looks like a checkerboard. When you have really small dota or lines, they overexpose in the screen burning process due to something called light scatter and undercutting. This means that your smooth gradient from 100% to 0% will close up at about 10%, leaving you with a hard posterized edge. And when printing, the fluid nature of ink causes something called dot gain, which means that 85-90% and above will blob up to 100%. Since a lot of your image lives in the fringes, it probably won't print the way you think it will. It would have to be done with more ink colors, getting into the dreaded and misundestood world of "simulated process". Here's a great video series to learn what simulated process really means. There's a real art to color separation, or else there's real expensive software ($800+). There are 10 videos in this series. Here's the first one.



As for outputting halftones from AI, most people use RIP (Raster Image Processing) software ($500+). In Illustrator, you set your spot colors to overprint in the Attributes panel if you want your inks to overlap. Sometimes I'll set an inside stroke to overprint to create trapping, or a slight overlap between colors. Don't forget your registration marks! This is all stuff that is at the discretion of the printer. You set your angles, DPI, and dot shape in the print menu, send it to the RIP program, and Bob's your uncle. It does the rest for you, producing sharp edged halftones, not pixelly ones like you get in the bitmap method in PS. It probably doesn't really matter that much unless you're doing 100+ DPI, like in offset printing or newspapers. I believe Woot just brings AI files into PS to make halftones anyway. And those PS generated halftones end up printing great - something which I had a hard time believing when I first got here.

What does all this mean? Screen printing is complicated. Woot may have rejected this and the other based on technical difficulty. It would be really nice if the Rejectionator would give a little more detail instead of all this conjecture and pictures with circles and arrows on the back of each one.


kylemittskus


quality posts: 229 Private Messages kylemittskus
Re: Fire & Ice Resub


I understand absolutely none of what you're talking about with halftones and dots and printing. However, this isn't a robot, an alien, or a monster. It should be rejected as off topic.

"If drinking is bitter, change yourself to wine." -Rainer Maria Rilke

"Champagne is a very kind and friendly thing on a rainy night." -Isak Dinesen

lyonscc


quality posts: 6 Private Messages lyonscc
orabbit wrote:Sorry to come of as combative. As a screen printer, it's clear to me that this would be a challenging print. The main issue is that a lot of your spot colors are 15% and below and 85% and above. A 50% halftone would have positive and negative dots or lines of equal size. If using dots, it looks like a checkerboard. When you have really small dota or lines, they overexpose in the screen burning process due to something called light scatter and undercutting. This means that your smooth gradient from 100% to 0% will close up at about 10%, leaving you with a hard posterized edge. And when printing, the fluid nature of ink causes something called dot gain, which means that 85-90% and above will blob up to 100%. Since a lot of your image lives in the fringes, it probably won't print the way you think it will. It would have to be done with more ink colors, getting into the dreaded and misundestood world of "simulated process". Here's a great video series to learn what simulated process really means. There's a real art to color separation, or else there's real expensive software ($800+). There are 10 videos in this series. Here's the first one.



As for outputting halftones from AI, most people use RIP (Raster Image Processing) software ($500+). In Illustrator, you set your spot colors to overprint in the Attributes panel if you want your inks to overlap. Sometimes I'll set an inside stroke to overprint to create trapping, or a slight overlap between colors. Don't forget your registration marks! This is all stuff that is at the discretion of the printer. You set your angles, DPI, and dot shape in the print menu, send it to the RIP program, and Bob's your uncle. It does the rest for you, producing sharp edged halftones, not pixelly ones like you get in the bitmap method in PS. It probably doesn't really matter that much unless you're doing 100+ DPI, like in offset printing or newspapers. I believe Woot just brings AI files into PS to make halftones anyway. And those PS generated halftones end up printing great - something which I had a hard time believing when I first got here.

What does all this mean? Screen printing is complicated. Woot may have rejected this and the other based on technical difficulty. It would be really nice if the Rejectionator would give a little more detail instead of all this conjecture and pictures with circles and arrows on the back of each one.


Thank you! I have not really appreciated the "black magic" associated with the printing end of the business, and all of this discussion has greatly helped me understand that.

Hopefully, I'll hear back from Woot to know for sure what the issue is/was, as well, so that - as you note - we don't have to rely on conjecture.

Thank you again!

wolfgaidin


quality posts: 1 Private Messages wolfgaidin
Re: Fire & Ice Resub


I have to agree that the design is off-topic. It's simply a stylized human skull.

If you had designed a clearly alien or monster skull that then was stylized, then it would be on-topic.

ochopika


quality posts: 26 Private Messages ochopika

Staff

Spiritgreen wrote:Happy to help!

Your main shirtcomp image should be halftoned. Woot wants your illustrator file without halftones so they can make their own, but they still ask everyone to convert the whole image to halftones for the shirtcomp, so all derby entries are free from gradients. (That might be one reason you've had some rejections)


I didn't think of this before, but I want to highlight what Spiritgreen said. It is important to convert your WHOLE image to halftones for your shirt comp. This is so that people are voting for the image as it will REALLY look on a shirt. Your design will look much smoother and shinier as gradients, but that's not how it really looks as a printed design. Woot may have rejected your designs because of that, also it's kind of "false advertising" if you think about it... not that you're trying to do that, just saying that making the whole thing half-toned is another way you can fend off the rejections.

lyonscc


quality posts: 6 Private Messages lyonscc
ochopika wrote:I didn't think of this before, but I want to highlight what Spiritgreen said. It is important to convert your WHOLE image to halftones for your shirt comp. This is so that people are voting for the image as it will REALLY look on a shirt. Your design will look much smoother and shinier as gradients, but that's not how it really looks as a printed design. Woot may have rejected your designs because of that, also it's kind of "false advertising" if you think about it... not that you're trying to do that, just saying that making the whole thing half-toned is another way you can fend off the rejections.


Gotcha - that makes sense.

I see they rejected this one as "We can't print this", but didn't reject the other one.

I still didn't hear from them in email, but I can see where this one is harder. Hopefully I'll still get some explanation, but this is an improvement, at least :-)

In the future, I'll just paste the full halftone, shrunk down and send them a full-size version to show some of the things y'all demonstrated for me.

Even though it was ultimately rejected, this really helped me learn some of the more intricate details of design/printing, so I'll still count it as a win - because if you learn something you didn't know before, you're still better for it.

(Kind of like learning the hard way that having unique literary names, like "Mordor" is an auto-reject...)

Thank you again, all, for helping me out here!

ethereal77


quality posts: 0 Private Messages ethereal77

Thanks Spiritgreen and orabbit for the information you put in here. I know a little about pre-press processes but not about the technicalities of screen printing. I have been looking for a really good explanation of how the halftone process works for quite a while and these posts cover everything well.

I think this is helpful both for those producing shirts and those buying them. I know Woot probably doesn't have the time to fully explain, but it's been really helpful learning more about the challenges involved in printing certain designs and why something might not print exactly as it appears on screen.

Good on you lyonscc for asking the hard questions and I hope you don't get discouraged and will keep on designing.

More Derby Entries

By date:

By rank:

Thumbnail