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Duotone with Adobe Illustrator

Posted on 2004-09-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-03
Can anybody tell me how to place a duotone image into illustrator 9?
I have already tried unsucessfully to place an EPS from photoshop.
Is it possible to create a litho printable duotone image from within the program itself?

Question by:rbc33
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Expert Comment

ID: 12174819
Illustrator uses vectors. There's nothing to duotone. An object is either a solid color, or a gradient. Duotone applies only to raster images that are comprised of only 2 inks.

Expert Comment

ID: 12181834
Yes it is, and you are on the right track.  You need to import an EPS image with ony the duotone colours that you require, which you then used as your pallet.

Then you have to expert to EPS with the same colour pallet for your separations.

This has been a staple of the pre-press industry for years. I'm not sure the exact process in Illustrator (I use have used other products), but I'll download the demo and report in a day or so if that OK?


Author Comment

ID: 12183308
Currently I am trying to use Photoshop to create the duotone as you suggested. I have correctly specified the two pantones in the duotones control panel  giving them references that match the pantone references from the swatches in illustrator.

When you try to save a duotone image in photoshop you can only save as photoshop eps.

When trying to open this file in illustrator it says the two aren't compatible. Strange since you thnik there would be compatablity between adobe products.

It could be to do with Illustrator stuggling to create the colour pallett re kemp_a second line.

I can't believe such an industry standard program would struggle with this! re kemp_a last line

If anyone can give me a proceedure which works between photoshop and illustrator for doing this I will put the points up to
500 before accepting. Slight con though - it might not exist!
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Author Comment

ID: 12184726
Kemp a put me onto the idea of downloading the new CS version of illustrator. Under the help file it says something along the lines of:

what's new in illustrator?

Tighter intergration between Photoshop CS and Illustrator including cross support for duotone and tritone PDF.

So there is the answer - Photoshop generated EPS duotone images were not placeable in Illustrator 9

I am not sure whether there is another graphics package out there which generate duotone images as EPS which are imporatable to illustrator 9.
I think I might be looking down the barrell of an upgrade!

I will leave this question open for a few days to see if anyone can suggest a package and split the points 70/30 if they can. Otherwise all to Kemp_A for putting me onto the idea.

Expert Comment

ID: 12186280
Sounds like your getting there, I mostly used Corel products while colleagues used Adobe.

CorelDraw has no difficulty in using a DuoTone, but it must be in EPS format Illustrator would require the same.

The reason for the EPS format is that it is essentially two overlayed black & white bitmaps being mapped to a pantone colour for your separations and print run.

You'll want to play with TriTone's next! :)

Accepted Solution

kemp_a earned 750 total points
ID: 12190732
OK, I downloaded Illustrator CS, but I think maybe you can do what you want in an earlier version. This is what you do in iCS:

Take note of the 2 Pantone Colours used in the DuoTone
File;Place your EPS, which you saved from PS (did it complain when you Place it in i9?)
Do whatever you want in iCS, but ONLY use the two Pantone colours used in the DuoTone
Select Print
Printer=>Adobe Postscript File
PPD=>Adobe Acrobat
Output=> Separations In Host
Document Ink List=> Select ONLY the DuoTone Colours
Whatever else you want to do for the output like crop marks etc, its up to you
Save as a EPS, PS, or PDF
You now have a separated DuoTone ready for imaging!

This will create a separated DuoTone for imaging, remember if your going prepress you will need to select the Emulsion UP/Down & Negative options if they are not available to you from your service bureau!

Question, when you said "When trying to open this file in illustrator it says the two aren't compatible" did you select menu File;Open or did you File;Place? Always use File;Place in this instance as you are importing a foriegn file into your document.

Hopefully it's the same from i9! :)

Have fun!

Expert Comment

ID: 12193146
Make sure the pantone colours are letter for letter the same. Match the Photoshop name to the Illustrator name rather than the other way around. If your printer is printing only the special colours from this file you can name the colours cyan and magenta - your printer will still output only two plates with the correct dot values.
Another workaround is create an illustrator file for each  colour - so your saving two individual colour files from photoshop (again the colour names don't matter). Duplicate the picture window and import the two files with the same xy and percentage values.

Author Comment

ID: 12213536
In response to Kemp A Proceedure it is not possible to "place" a EPS in Illustrator 9. It is simply not in the options. You would have to open a file saved as EPS in illustrator straight. As mentioned previously if this EPS was created in Photoshop the two weren't compatible untill Studio CS came.

Interesting information about the print settings etc.

Re: using another program to import an EPS to illustrator with dutone information I have tried moving the file through Freehand 10 first with no success so I think that Illustrator 9 just had a basic incapacity to deal with Duotone Images.

I have yet to try the RobMurota technique and will post results v. shortly then wrap up the question.


Expert Comment

ID: 12215139
Perhaps another alternative is to place the Illustrator file into Photoshop, which you already know can create the separated Duotone EPS output, again making sure that the names of the colours are identical.

Expert Comment

ID: 12222279
I'm able to place a Photoshop 7 duotone eps in Illustrator 9 and print color seps of each of the two colours. Greyscale - duotone - on creation end. Save as EPS (in my case Mac Preview) binary, transfer function on,  include transfer funcction. Place in Illustrator. Proof of execution is when the duotone colours appear in your colour palette. The colours seperate out in our postscript level laser printer on create seperations.

Author Comment

ID: 12291334
Thank you for all the comments and paitience with this query I am sure there are solutions here that everybody can use.

I offered to up the points and split them if somebody could give me a proceedure. No proceedure has been supplied between Adobe photoshop 6 and Illustrator 9.

I have therfore allocated the points to kemp_a for his persistance and putting me onto the CS Trial idea.


Expert Comment

ID: 12465676
Maybe I'm missing something, but I made a duotone in Photoshop, saved it as an EPS file and then opened a blank document in Illustrator 9 and chose the File/place command and placed it in the document. No problems whatsoever. In fact, we receive many files setup this way all the time. I work in a prepress department at a large commercial printer. No problem outputting to film or plates either.

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