Getting ready for print

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Old 11 November 2003   #1
Lightbulb Getting ready for print

Greetings, I wonder if any of you can help me on this one:

My comic is almost ready to hit the printers.

Problem is right now the pages, done in Photoshop 5.5 have some SERIOUS issues in the colouring arena.

The blacks werenīt undercoloured correctly and the ink density is REALLY heavy in some places, with lots of K tones.

The unflattened pages in PSD format (CMYK 11"x17" 300 dpi) still retain most of the information, namely a background layer with the colour work, a lineart "multiply" layer above it and a superimposing layer for special effects (highlighs, gunshots, plasma rays, etc.).

Does anyone know how can I correct this so it wonīt "print out like mud"?

Thanks in advance.
My Deviations
Old 11 November 2003   #2
Where are you testing your prints? Your printer should be able to guide you through this process. That's what they are there for.

My guess is that the higher density areas of black are actually the areas where the colouring goes under the black lines. Therefore the CMYK press will print Black plus maybe a few more inks into the exact same area and thus it comes out a muddy black instead of pure black and only black. Take a close look at your CMYK channels in photoshop and see if you get overlapping in the areas which should be completely black.
Old 11 November 2003   #3
These comicbook pages were sent to a very talented and experienced comicbook colorist who pointed these facts out.

As a childrenīs books/schoolbook illustrator, Iīm used to just painting in Photoshop and sending the burnt CDs with the image files to my publisher who has its own in-house printer and Graphic Department and usually do the corrections to fit their conveniences on the spot.

This time itīs a whole diferent game and itīs up to me to send the comicbook pages ready-to-print with no middle man inbetween to finetune them.

Iīve checked the channels and there ARE plenty of colours overlapping areas that should be lineart only.

Is it possible to solve this?
also, is it possible to lower the ink density (without compromising the quality of the colour work)?

Iīd really appreciate any help you can forward me.
My Deviations
Old 11 November 2003   #4
Hi Eliseu

Im sorry to hear about your prob :(

The only advise i can give you, is to go to a Pre Press shop and let them take a look at it, if you have the time of course, but that will probably cost you money.

You can also try to go to Venda Nova to "Artes Graficas e Pre-Impressao" school, itīs near where the Amadora BD Festival takes place, on the same street that goes in the direction of the train station, they have excelent professional in there and they might help you out, try to speak with Carlos Pires, Cardoso or Lima, if you go there, tell them that Marco said HI

Im glad to see that your skillīs evolved a lot since the "old" days, nice to see that you didnīt abandon comics hehehe, specially in place we live, nice country and all, but unfortunatly to small or any kind of market.

You probably dont remember me, see if "9Š Arte" rings any bell

Best of luck with your Comic.
- Sil3 -
My Flickr
Old 11 November 2003   #5
Hi, Sil3,

Yeah, I remember a Marco connected to the "9a Arte" comic project, I wonder if itīs the same person...

As always, Iīm glued to my drawing board buried in deadlines which means that I canīt afford to leave it for a single second; thatīs why I came here hoping to find a solution that wouldnīt imply sacrifying more than a few minutes to be found.
My Deviations
Old 11 November 2003   #6
There never was a "9Š Arte" Comic project, it was called "Arte 9", "9Š Arte" was a Comic Book store, where a guy with a long hair used to work
- Sil3 -
My Flickr
Old 11 November 2003   #7
Well, it WAS a long time ago.
Canīt recall what I ate for breakfast this morning, let alone those sunnier, brighter days 10 years ago...
My Deviations
Old 11 November 2003   #8
This may help:

There's a section where he talks about "choking" colors behind the black outlines.
You may be able to apply it to what you're doing.

Nice art in your comic, by the way.
Old 11 November 2003   #9
Thumbs down

Thanks, Allenatl, that was very helpfull.
My Deviations
Old 11 November 2003   #10
Okay, Iīve prepared a little thing on what Iīm planning to do as for my next course of action, but I need your feedback on whether Iīm doing this right:

1. I have this generic page here:

2. On the lineart layer, Iīm gonna select all the blacks (0 tolerance, contiguous unchecked).

On the pannel Select-> Modify -> contract, I will then contract this selection by 1 pixel.

3. On the channels pannel, Iīm gonna FILL all the C, M and Y channels with the default white (the one you get when you press "D") but leave the K channel alone.

Will this provide me with a crisp undercoloured black that no printer will have problems with?
My Deviations
Old 11 November 2003   #11
Instead of white, fill the CMY channels with the following: 70C 50M 50Y. To do this, set the sliders in the Color palette to 70C 50M 50Y 0K. Then with your choked line selected as you have shown, go to Edit>Fill..., and select the Foreground Color instead of White. This will give you an undercolor for the black.
Doing it this way gives you a consistent color under the blacks producing what printers call a "rich black". Before, I'm guessing, your colors just haphazardly overlapped behind the black. If printed that way, on the final print you would see some areas of dull black and some areas of a darker "rich" black where colors overlapped. If at all possible, contact the printer and ask to speak with someone in their prepress department. Ask them what their preferences are for CMY colors under the black. Different printers prefer different settings so if you can get this info directly from the printer you can adjust the CMY settings for your rich black to match their specifications. They're more than happy to give you this info because it's less headaches for them at print time.
Old 11 November 2003   #12
i know this is a bit late in the day, and i havent read the whole thread and the tutes but here goes.

when i get some thing like this as actual physical line art i scan it in, sometimes give it a little blur and squeeze it back tight with levels, or just hit it with levels to get clean line art. Then i simply put it on a new layer and set it to darken only or multiply, then i slide a blank layer underneath and start painting. Its fast, prints fine and it doesnt involve pissing about with selections.

hope it helps
Old 11 November 2003   #13
Thumbs down

Thanks, guys, I believe that should give me an overall uniform, rich black for the printers to work with .
My Deviations
Old 11 November 2003   #14
yes always use rich black unless told not to 100%K only looks dead.
Old 01 January 2006   #15
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