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Illustrator, Drop Shadows and DRES

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  • #16
    Very good points, PD...

    I think objective planning is the biggest key. When you know you're designing for billboard size, use solid-color vector graphics, and/or VERY large images. Nothing causes more problems in our field than poor planning (next to lack of knowledge, which is often the reason for poor planning)...

    Oh, and thanks for the finding that info, Samy!
    Ned Yeung, A.C.E.
    mediamainline.com
    cyclopsphoto.ca

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    • #17
      Thanks! I do the design work too, but I have never known about this.

      Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
      Contrary to popular opinion, not everything created in Illustrator is scaleable. Many of the things you can do using Filters and Effects are actually Raster based imaging.

      Many of you may have noticed you can create fuzzy drop shadows in two ways.
      As a Filter and as an Effect. It is very important to realize that drop shadows are created using raster, not vector, imaging. It is also very important to know how the output resolution of that raster effect is controlled.

      Under the Effects menu is a flyout for your Document Raster Effects Settings. Before you even begin your design you should check that this is set at a proper output resolution based on the size and scale of your document.
      If your printer wants your files at 100% final size at 300dpi final size, set it at 300dpi
      If your printer wants your files at 25% of final size at 300dpi at final size, set it at 1200dpi.
      Don't make the output dpi larger than your printer requests. Not only will your illustration take longer to redraw, it takes longer to RIP.

      You can change the resolution of a fuzzy Drop Shadow if it is created as an Effect. You cannot change it if it is created as a Filter.

      The top part of this image shows two fuzzy drop shadows created with the DRES set at 35dpi. They look the same.

      Suppose you needed to increase the resolution of your document for a larger sized output. The bottom two squares show what happens when the DRES is changed to 300dpi. Nothing happens to the Filtered Drop Shadow while the Effect Drop Shadow resolution has changed appropriately.

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      • #18
        This thread became obsolete with Illy CS4. You still need to set your Document Raster Effects Setting but the Filter Menu is gone. Finally! Yay!

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        • #19
          verey useful

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          • #20
            nice work

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            • #21
              actually drop shadows and effects can be scaleable if you expand + export it as a PDF or EPS.

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              • #22
                You can do a heck of a lot of damage flattening (expanding) transparency in a PDF or .eps file. I seriously do not recommend it. Especially the .eps.

                As of CS5 all effects and drop shadows are scalable without resorting to any workarounds. However. If you are working in scale and outputting at a percentage over 100, it's best if you know how to set your raster output settings. Your printer may forget.

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                • #23
                  I was referring to CS5 though, for CS5 it doesn't scale for large dimensions. You have to export it as EPS or PDF. The lil check mark they got there for scaling effects is restricted to a size. For further expansion PDF or EPS is the way to go.
                  The raster settings won't affect scaling. The restricted size for scaling effects like for example for a blur is at 20 or something last i read. But here's the reference link to http://forums.adobe.com/message/4222306#4222306
                  Last edited by illustrative; 04-21-2012, 12:55 AM.

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                  • #24
                    Hmmm...I wonder if the rip takes care of the enlarging that Illustrator can't do. Can't say I've ever had any trouble printing a 1:10 Illustrator file to full size.

                    You don't want to be creating large gradients in Illustrator either. The algorithm for a gradient is limited to 8". The banding can be pretty bad.

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                    • #25
                      Are you referring to the banding during print or when it's just enlarged to large dimensions?

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                      • #26
                        I've had a poster made at 7000x8000px or something that used gradients and blurs and everything imaginable on it and it came out crisp.

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                        • #27
                          Why do you say 7000X8000px? I saw that in your link too.
                          That's about 8' at 72ppi (too low for my tastes). Or only about 4' at 150ppi (where we'd run a pop-up style graphic)
                          Try doing something ten times that size...

                          Not going to argue with you that it came out fine, not knowing how you got it printed. Especially if you worked at full scale rather than having it scaled up.

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                          • #28
                            the 7000x8000 was printed at 150dpi. I had the image worked on at 800x600px and then it was scaled. The way to scale it is by doing what I mentioned in my previous post, there's no other shortcut to it because of the restriction in size of effects, blurs.
                            I dont get the banding part you mentioned, I havent seen that issue so far so i have no idea. But I do work on a lot of signage and rollups and so on which are fairly huge and has a lot of effects and what not on it and printed out fine. maybe banding occurs for a different set of printing?
                            Last edited by illustrative; 04-23-2012, 03:35 AM.

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                            • #29
                              Again, I'm not going to argue with you. At least not until I get a chance to have coffee with the tech. But working on anything in scale that fits on an artboard is generally frowned upon. Unless the printer tells you to do it for some reason.
                              Banding is machine and color dependent. Are you printing your own stuff?

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                              • #30
                                nope, i give it outside for printing. Printing is a headache and I gladly don't deal with it and never will. I'm not arguing with you, i'm just saying I've had no issues so far to scale anything and printing effects, even things like a gradient mesh.

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