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Illustrator - Detail lost when PDF'd / Rasterised, help!

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  • Illustrator - Detail lost when PDF'd / Rasterised, help!

    Hi,

    I do most of my illustration work in Illustrator and then save as PDF for print, and obviously rasterize the file for web previews and other bits and bobs as a PNG/JPG.
    My main problem is as soon as the file leaves Illustrator as a file type that is readable by others, no matter what format detail seems to be completely lost.

    Im wondering is there a way to export the file and retain this detail OR alternatively set illustrator up so that it I am working in an environment that shows how it will look accurately when exported, so I don't waste time working on it expecting it to look as it does when printed.

    See comparisons below

    ILLUSTRATOR FILE (What it should look like) Can see it's a lot sharper and details are there.
    PS FILE (When exported as PDF and Rasterized in PS) Sharpness completely gone a long with most of the orange on the left hand side


    Any help is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks


    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hi Crooked and welcome to GDF.

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    • #3
      you don't export to pdf in Illustrator. You ''save as.''
      There are too many things you can do wrong when saving an illustration to PDF, mismatching your color profiles, mixing spot colors with transparency, and dialing in the incorrect resolution being just a few of them.
      Don't try to print to PDF either.
      Don't rasterize the PDF in Photoshop.

      In Illustrator, just File>export>export as> scroll down and select .psd
      Be sure you are using the correct profile.

      Try this and see if you get better results.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you for the welcome KitchWitch.

        Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
        you don't export to pdf in Illustrator. You ''save as.''
        There are too many things you can do wrong when saving an illustration to PDF, mismatching your color profiles, mixing spot colors with transparency, and dialing in the incorrect resolution being just a few of them.
        Don't try to print to PDF either.
        Don't rasterize the PDF in Photoshop.

        In Illustrator, just File>export>export as> scroll down and select .psd
        Be sure you are using the correct profile.

        Try this and see if you get better results.
        Apologies, I meant 'Save As'
        The thing is with saving to PDF is the file has no transparencies, gradients or anything, it's all solid colour blocks, as the file was made for screen print in mind.
        Colour isn't the issue, the colour appears fine in all versions, in terms of resolution I just save as default, the only thing i re-jig in the 'Save As' PDF dialogue is the Bleed options and uncheck the 'Preserve Editing Capabilities', the main issue is loss of detail once it's saved as a PDF.

        I never print to PDF, but I save the image as a PDF (as above) to send to my printers, as I don't exactly want to send them a working file.

        By exporting as a PNG with art focused aliasing (Rather than opening the PDF in PS and saving as PNG) it has retained a bit more detail, but not the same as the original, still lacking a bit!

        The PDF for the printers however I won't know til i get the prints back from my printer, when opened in PS It looks as above (see Q-PS File in first post) when opened in Acrobat, it looks completely different due to it being rasterized when opened in PS.

        Comment


        • #5
          Why would you open a PDF in Photoshop to preview it? The pdf should be rasterized by opening with a PDF editing tool like Acrobat, you probably borked it when you opened and most likely saved it with Photoshop.
          Design is not decoration.

          Comment


          • #6
            1. If you are sending PDFs to printers, get their PDF Job Options and use them.
            2. There is NO excuse for not knowing what your print job is going to look like, other than not wanting to pay for a proof. Even a silk screener should be able to provide a digital proof (and separations if you ask.)
            3. if you want to know what the print job looks like in PDF, use Adobe Reader (free) or Adobe Acrobat, not photoshop. If you don't have reader or acrobat and you created the PDF as a ''save as'' in Illustrator, you can view the PDF in Illustrator.
            4. You are sending a PDF for screen printing? (I don't do a lot of it, but the stuff I do in house requires native Illy or InD files while all outsourcing I've done wanted native Illustrator files with layers intact.)
            5. Why wouldn't you send a printer a native file? All of the large format work I do requires sending native files. Going on 18 years now and haven't had one stolen yet. There are some print process that don't react well to PDF.
            6. you don't open a PDF in acrobat after rasterizing (and resaving???) in Photoslop. You didn't send the photoshop-rasterized PDF to your printer did you????? That would be bad. There is no reason to even be viewing the PDF in photoshop. Photoshop shouldn't be part of this equation.
            Last edited by PrintDriver; 12-14-2016, 08:39 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by kemingMatters View Post
              Why would you open a PDF in Photoshop to preview it? The pdf should be rasterized by opening with a PDF editing tool like Acrobat, you probably borked it when you opened and most likely saved it with Photoshop.
              I opened it in Photoshop to save it as a JPG for web use... PDF's are obviously no good for that. The web preview however has to represent the final product which in this case it didn't as every step of the way from Ai - JPG it lost detail, and still does even when directly exporting out of Illustrator as a PNG.

              Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
              1. If you are sending PDFs to printers, get their PDF Job Options and use them.
              2. There is NO excuse for not knowing what your print job is going to look like, other than not wanting to pay for a proof. Even a silk screener should be able to provide a digital proof (and separations if you ask.)
              3. if you want to know what the print job looks like in PDF, use Adobe Reader (free) or Adobe Acrobat, not photoshop. If you don't have reader or acrobat and you created the PDF as a ''save as'' in Illustrator, you can view the PDF in Illustrator.
              4. You are sending a PDF for screen printing? (I don't do a lot of it, but the stuff I do in house requires native Illy or InD files while all outsourcing I've done wanted native Illustrator files with layers intact.)
              5. Why wouldn't you send a printer a native file? All of the large format work I do requires sending native files. Going on 18 years now and haven't had one stolen yet. There are some print process that don't react well to PDF.
              6. you don't open a PDF in acrobat after rasterizing (and resaving???) in Photoslop. You didn't send the photoshop-rasterized PDF to your printer did you????? That would be bad. There is no reason to even be viewing the PDF in photoshop. Photoshop shouldn't be part of this equation.
              1. I have, there is not thing wrong with my 'save as' pdf dialogue unfortunately.
              2 & 3. Yes I understand, normally I do get a proof, but the issue here is that the file looks totally different in every instance. There is the Ai file which is my working file, when exported as a PNG, it looses a little detail, when saved as a PDF and opened in photoshop for saving to web as a JPG it loses even more detail, when opened in Acrobat it looks even stranger, and completely unlike any of the files before Inc. the Ai file, so realistically I need to get the file looking right before it hits the printers but that is proving hard. Again, I don't use Photoshop to 'preview' a PDF, I use it to save the PDF for web as a JPG, as explained in the first post.
              4. I am a screen printer, as this file isn't FOR screen print, it's for digital print, but it was made with screen printing in mind, as it's my job, that's how I illustrate, solid colours, no gradients or transparencies unless halftoned. Otherwise, yes a layered Illustrator or PSD file would be best for silk screen, but that's besides the point.
              5. No I understand that, it's more due to the fact that the file would need tidying up as I work off the artboard a lot and hide, duplicate layers etc and it's an extra process i like to avoid, but i've always been dubious about sending working files to a print shop.
              6. No... I save as a PDF with bleed from Illustrator.. this is what the printer gets. I open that PDF in Photoshop to optimise for Web preview as a JPG, or I open the Ai in Photoshop and do the same, but the results are the same.

              Comment


              • #8
                Just take a screenshot of your illy file for the web view.
                The PDF should not be viewing differently when viewed as a PDF should be viewed.
                Not sure why photoshop would rasterize it so drastically different but it is an interpretive process. It could be a setting somewhere that isn't set properly. No idea which one though.

                I'm still not understanding your work flow.
                But that's neither here nor there I guess.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CrookedCartoon View Post

                  I opened it in Photoshop to save it as a JPG for web use... PDF's are obviously no good for that. The web preview however has to represent the final product which in this case it didn't as every step of the way from Ai - JPG it lost detail, and still does even when directly exporting out of Illustrator as a PNG.

                  How are you exporting from Illy?

                  Is the "save for web" not available/not working?
                  Keep Saturn in Saturnalia.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yeah I normally do take a screen capture (in 4 shots and piece together in PS as single screen shot is too small to contain the image at the right res) but again, detail is lost.

                    In essence I illustrate in Illy, 'Save As' PDF to send to the printers for physicals, then open that PDF in PS and save as a JPG for web.
                    I used to save as JPG for web via Illustrator but the file never looked 'right' and in this instance it looks wrong no matter what I seem to try, see image below.

                    Thanks though.

                    Comment

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