is100


quality posts: 0 Private Messages is100

Hi all. I'm still learning my process and could do with a little advice. I'm currently working on a new design and I'm trying to work out how the color separation is going to be handled. Do Woot have staff to do it or is up to the artist? If so how does the print process handle opacity? A good example would be this design by dijay. It doesn't look like they've used halftones so how have they to managed to keep the natural paint look. If dijay reads this any insight on this would be awesome. Great design by the way. The rough for my design can be seen here. I'm trying to learn as much as I can for my next design so any illuminating advice would be welcome. Thanks.

tjschaeffer


quality posts: 7 Private Messages tjschaeffer

Color separations are handled by the artist. As for opacity issues, print ready files submitted to woot need to be halftoned (if done in photoshop) by the artist. Dijay's design did make use of halftones. Look here.

In the top left corner it shows how his halftones look. They seem pretty thin to me, but I'm guessing that woot had no issues with the printing of them.

is100


quality posts: 0 Private Messages is100

Thanks. I appreciate the comment. I was starting to think there was some secret technique I was missing out on!

Flipit


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Flipit

Staff

Color Separations are NOT handled by the artist, they are done here at the print shop. The artists usually CREATE their art in color LAYERS (and LEAVE them in layers), which really helps me when I COLOR SEPARATE the design -which is an entirely different process than creating art (Don't do this at home, kids).

is100, the design you called out above is on a baby blue shirt. There is usually not an opacity issue when printing on lighter shirts (baby blue, white, creme, silver). However, your design is on a very dark garment. This would require a base(usually white) printed down first to give the lighter colors some 'pop'.

tjschaeffer, yeah, that design was pushing the limits to the detail we can hold. Again, it was on a light garment and we can push the envelope a little more there. The real problem is when the garment is dark, and a CHOKED base is required. If an element in your design is 2 pixels wide and we have to choke it back 2 pixels, guess what happens?

tjschaeffer


quality posts: 7 Private Messages tjschaeffer
Flipit wrote:Color Separations are NOT handled by the artist, they are done here at the print shop. The artists usually CREATE their art in color LAYERS (and LEAVE them in layers), which really helps me when I COLOR SEPARATE the design -which is an entirely different process than creating art (Don't do this at home, kids).



I think the OP should listen to you. You probably know what you're talking about more than I do! But I think I might be confused (either about the process, or maybe about terminology...). And since you've thrown your hat in the ring I'm going to pick your brain a little.

I get that every spot color should be on its own layer. But say you use halftones to blend two colors into one. When you say not to do the color separation yourself, do you basically mean to leave whatever color is underneath as a solid and then overlay it with the halftoned color (on a different layer)? If so is that because it will be easier to create a screen for a white base if necessary? Or even if you're not halftoning but just applying highlights or something, should you still just apply those highlights over whatever the primary color underneath is?

I guess in my attempt to be helpful based on what I've seen/read in the past I ended up providing some terrible advice :P

EDIT: Browsing through old forum topics on the question of print-ready and color separation did not prove helpful to me...


Flipit wrote:
tjschaeffer, yeah, that design was pushing the limits to the detail we can hold. Again, it was on a light garment and we can push the envelope a little more there. The real problem is when the garment is dark, and a CHOKED base is required. If your design is 2 pixels wide and we have to choke it back 2 pixels, guess what happens?



It does a magic trick and disappears! I know in tutorials I've seen around here that there is always concern about making the halftones too small so that they disappear when the design is resized for kids and women. But very little mention is made about dealing with bases. Is it often a problem when you're dealing with dark garments? I've seen some designs on dark shirts with really complicated halftones that have small dots, so it's interesting to know how you handle that.

Flipit


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Flipit

Staff

Yeah, we don't really talk about bases because we don't want artists creating bases. In almost 2000 designs submitted, I remember one(1) piece that had a base, and it was wrong. But you should know that we have to choke the base 99.9999427% of the time.

As far as layering color over color: it doesn't matter. "Knocking them out" is nice(no colors overlapping), but we can deal with it either way.

I can expound later, but at the moment I'm... color separating!

j5


quality posts: 63 Private Messages j5

< all your base joke>

move along

kevlar51


quality posts: 45 Private Messages kevlar51
Flipit wrote:Yeah, we don't really talk about bases because we don't want artists creating bases. In almost 2000 designs submitted, I remember one(1) piece that had a base, and it was wrong. But you should know that we have to choke the base 99.9999427% of the time.

As far as layering color over color: it doesn't matter. "Knocking them out" is nice(no colors overlapping), but we can deal with it either way.

I can expound later, but at the moment I'm... color separating!



This is a great discussion.

Most (90%) of the time, when I make my "print ready" file, I merge all the visible layers except for the background. Then (in photoshop) I use the wand and cut each color into a new layer. So there's no overlap.

Every now and again, if I have halftones where accuracy is key, I'll overlap. For example, in my current "Escape Gravity!" collab with 6amcrisis, I have several instances of halftones sitting on top of solid colors, thinking if the printing ended up slightly out of register, I wouldn't be left with a shirt-colored line underneath, but rather the same color that would have been there anyway.

But is that mindset unnecessary? I'm not sure what the process is from "here's the print ready file" to "here's how the shirt comes out"

Flipit


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Flipit

Staff

kevlar51 wrote:
But is that mindset unnecessary? I'm not sure what the process is from "here's the print ready file" to "here's how the shirt comes out"


Ok, let me back up for a minute... the way the designs have been coming in are generally set up pretty good, so don't change ANYTHING. I'm not sure what all the Art Directors do to this stuff before it gets into my hands, but don't start changing on them. There is about 30 different ways to sep a design, so it's really hard to generalize anything (this is why I have a job).

kevlar51


quality posts: 45 Private Messages kevlar51
Flipit wrote:Ok, let me back up for a minute... the way the designs have been coming in are generally set up pretty good, so don't change ANYTHING. I'm not sure what all the Art Directors do to this stuff before it gets into my hands, but don't start changing on them. There is about 30 different ways to sep a design, so it's really hard to generalize anything (this is why I have a job).



If it helps with job security I can start subbing everything as anti-aliased, gradient mess on a flattened jpeg.

Flipit


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Flipit

Staff

Rapidiograph pen with Rubilyth overlays only please.

orabbit


quality posts: 31 Private Messages orabbit
Flipit wrote:Rapidiograph pen with Rubilyth overlays only please.



You're not that old, are you? Next you'll start talking about vertcal cameras!

Flipit


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Flipit

Staff

orabbit wrote:You're not that old, are you? Next you'll start talking about vertcal cameras!



You mean stat cameras, PMTs and Zip-a-tone lettering?

Hey, the first job I ever printed, we actually used multifilament 12xx SILK.

orabbit


quality posts: 31 Private Messages orabbit

OK,I have an Illustrator question. Do you want gradients done as opacity or percentages of the spot color? I sent in my Minecraft file done both ways, but I'm not sure what you prefer. And do you want each color on a layer like a PS file? Or is that unnecessary? I mean I could set up a choked underbase and trapping, but I figure it's better to let you do it how you want it.

Flipit


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Flipit

Staff

Uh...er...um...uhh.... well... that's a design issue you probably ought to take up with tgentry. But I'm thinking the opacity option. Just an fyi, unless a job is incredibly simple, I always color separate out of Photoshop. So if you can select it, you can print it(mostly). Remember, Screen Printing is binary: you either print down ink, or you don't. And no, don't bother doing a base. I do those in Photoshop too. They are different every time. Sometimes we base colors, and sometimes we don't, depending on the color, print area, garment color, planet alignment and what my horoscope said this morning. BTW, layers in Illustrator are unnecessary because they are separate elements anyway.

j5


quality posts: 63 Private Messages j5

When I'm eating my 7 layer dip on Sunday, do I scoop out all 7 layers in one shot or just selectively scoop the layers that don't have black olives?
Also, how much frijoles refritos underbase do I need for flavor balance?

move along

kevlar51


quality posts: 45 Private Messages kevlar51
j5 wrote:When I'm eating my 7 layer dip on Sunday, do I scoop out all 7 layers in one shot or just selectively scoop the layers that don't have black olives?
Also, how much frijoles refritos underbase do I need for flavor balance?



7 layers is too much, unless you've gotten shirt staff approval for a daily.

Mavyn


quality posts: 22 Private Messages Mavyn
kevlar51 wrote:7 layers is too much, unless you've gotten shirt staff approval for a daily.



Unless he's counting the plate as a layer, right?

My speech is not parsing. I am speaking in ellipsis.

j5


quality posts: 63 Private Messages j5
Mavyn wrote:Unless he's counting the plate as a layer, right?


6 spot layers with a refried bean underbase.

move along

kevlar51


quality posts: 45 Private Messages kevlar51
j5 wrote:6 spot layers with a refried bean underbase.



Is that anything like a bread bowl?

Mavyn


quality posts: 22 Private Messages Mavyn
kevlar51 wrote:Is that anything like a bread bowl?



Stickier.

My speech is not parsing. I am speaking in ellipsis.

kevlar51


quality posts: 45 Private Messages kevlar51
Mavyn wrote:Stickier.



Ugh. Fine, I'll try it.

Mavyn


quality posts: 22 Private Messages Mavyn
kevlar51 wrote:Ugh. Fine, I'll try it.



I love that stickier is a selling point. :D

My speech is not parsing. I am speaking in ellipsis.