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Pictures and copy have a washed out look when exported from Illustrator to Photoshop.

Posted on 2006-05-23
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I create a grayscale ad in Photoshop (300 dpi) with pictures and copy and "place" it in Illustrator in order to add yellow copy and highlights.  When exported back to Photoshop PSD and flattened and saved as PDF, it will then print as a two (2) color ad in the magazines to which it is sent.  

When the page is exported back to Photoshop, it has a washed out look and has lost all of the sharpness for both the pictures and copy.  It has the same look even if I make no additions in Illustrator.  What am I doing wrong or what should I be doing differently?

Thanks, cowlife
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Question by:cowlife
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by:Jason210
ID: 16745602
If I was doing this, I'd make the add in Illustrator. Just use Photoshop for the pix and place then when ready in Illustrator. Then, don't it back to Photoshop. Make it into a PDF directly from Illustrator using export, if you must have a PDF.

I'll check this later by experiment, but I think the problem might have something to do with the image being re-sampled when you import it back into Photoshop.

In future, if things ever get washed out in PS you can always get the colour and contrast back by doing going to image>adjust and playing the with levels/contrast and saturation.
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by:cowlife
ID: 16745837
Thank you Jason210 - - I pretty familiar with PS and not with Illustrator and the only reason I really have it is to add the yellow color.  I did some ads like this last winter and they were fine when I exported them to PS.  Something seems to have happened to cause the washed out look.  

If I use levels to sharpen in PS, the background scene, if there is one, also changes since everything is flat.  Is there a better way to make certain the ad will print as just a 2 color ad?

Thanks, cowlife
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by:Jason210
ID: 16745879
Do like this.

Keep the original add in Photoshop.

Do the yellow stuff in Illustrator (use the add as a background image for guidance only if you wish).

Then and import only the yellow bit from illustrator, and paste it on to the original add (which is still in PS) as a new layer.

This should stop the washing out, and you'll have two layers so you can control both the yellow and the image independantly if you need to.

Ask if you need help.

Good Luck
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Author Comment

by:cowlife
ID: 16746209
This sounds like a great idea!!  I'll give it a try a bit later and get back in touch.
Thanks, cowlife
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by:cowlife
ID: 16746467
It's very easy to do but when I join the grayscale in PS and the yellow from Illustrator, I get 4 color channels, so I suppose it would not print as a 2 color ad.  

Thanks, cowlife
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Author Comment

by:cowlife
ID: 16748014
I still need help.  I want the ad to print as only a 2 color (black plus yellow). There is too much difference in price betwween 4 color and 2 color so I can use some more suggestions.  Thanks, cowlife
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by:Jason210
ID: 16748423
I'll take a look later today and get back to you.
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Jason210 earned 750 total points
ID: 16751397
Ok, do like this:

Make your copy in Illustrator Solid Black. Copy to clipboard.

I don't know if you want the copy to "overprint" the grayscale stuff - I'll assume you don't, so we'll need to do some trapping later.

With your grayscale image active in Photoshop, go to the channels section. In the channels menue, go to "New Spot Channel", call it "yellow" and chose the colour by clicking on the suare icon to access the palettes. You can use a Pantone if you wish. For solidity choose 100%. Make sure the new channel is the only one selected, and then paste your black copy in as pixels.

Go to Layers and delete the blank layer that is inserted when you paste.

Back in channels, turn off the eye of the spot colour channel so that only the moving ants selection is visible. Switch to the grayscale channel and press delete. This will clear away the grayscale image for yellow text.

Turn on the eye again so you can see the spot channel. I think that's it.

(To be sure, you could just select the spot channel, invert the moving ant selection, and press delete to make sure only the copy is there, and nothing else).

Now you have two channels - one grayscale and one with your yello spot colour :-)
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Author Comment

by:cowlife
ID: 16755023
Thank you - I'll work with this and some of your other ideas, etc. and if need be, I'll get back in touch.  I also tried flattening the grayscale before placing it in Illustrator and that seemed to help the washed out look a bit.  Thanks, cowlife
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Expert Comment

by:Jason210
ID: 16755201
Ok, I'm interested in this too so just continue to ask in this thread if you need more help.

Thanks for the points

/Jason
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