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Converting a JPG to EPS, to allow printing using only black and red ink

Posted on 2014-04-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-04-11
I'm having a book printed. The publisher noticed that almost all of the images in the book were .gif diagrams, containing only black and red color, so she wants to print the book using only two ink colors, black and Pantone 185C.  In addition to the .gif's, there were about ten jpeg photographs, but even the photographs were almost all black and red. She had her image person convert the photographs into "duotone" .eps's, so that we could still use only two inks in printing the book. She said that we needed .eps's to make this work.

I don't like how the dutones came out. I'm hoping that someone can look at a .jpg photograph and the .eps that was made from the .jpg and identify what the problem is, and either suggest a better way to make the conversion, or let me know of another alternative.

Here is the .jpg that I gave:

Here is the .eps:

The problem is with the red dots.  It seems that the red color washes out the 3-D shading in the red dots. In the .jpg, you can see that the red dot is a conical depression in the domino, but in the .eps, it almost looks like a flat uniform red dot.

In the .eps, if you select the Pantone channel and decrease its "solidity," for example from 50 to 10, you can see more of the 3-D-ness of the dot, but of course there is less of the red, and it still doesn't come close to the pretty conical shading of the red dots in the .jpg.

Also, the .eps red dots have been made too large, and the black surface between two adjacent red dots is getting too thin. Of course, the white dots look fine in the .eps.

Boy, I hope I'm describing this satisfactorily.

Anyone have any ideas for me and my publisher's image guy? It just seems to me that there should be a way to use only two colors, but still get a much more realistic image!

Thanks for any help.
--Steve D.
Question by:StevenMiles
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39979043
Here's a duotone image, using your colors, that preserves the texture on the dots.

Replace the file extension with eps, as E-E does not accept eps files on upload.

This is a quick try, so your editor can do much better.

And here is the preview:
Modified file

Author Comment

ID: 39979057
Hi, Dan,

Wow, that was fast! Thanks!

I couldn't open the file. Photoshop said, "Could not complete your request because the specified color book could not be found."

Uh-oh. Is that because the computer I'm working on is running Photoshop CS2?
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39979073
I don't know. I created that eps using Photoshop CS6 with the default color books.
duotone settings
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Author Comment

ID: 39979138
Hi, Dan,

Hmm. When I look at my color libraries, I have "Pantone Solid Coated" but I don't have "Pantone+ Solid Coated". I guess I can either wait and try to open your eps on my publisher's Photoshop, or maybe you could use the "non-+" version?

I think that, mostly, I need to open the .eps so that I can see what you did to create the .eps that preserved the shading so well!!

LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39979149
OK. Attached is a version using the Pantone Solid Coated library.

Same think, replace zip with eps.

Author Comment

ID: 39979168
Okay, I could open that. But, and forgive me if I'm exposing too much naivete, there is only one channel.  In the .eps that I uploaded, there are two channels, the "Gray" and the "Pantone." I think we need those two channels for the printer and his two inks, and it's something about creating the Pantone channel that didn't have the finesse to show the 3-D spot in the domino.

LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39979182
Image->Mode->Multichannel  and you'll see your 2 channels. One black, one Pantone 185C
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 39979593
Hello Steve
To offer another suggestion have you calibrated the printer?
Calibrating Your Monitor to Your Printer
Here is a guide and how to caliberate a printer
Pantone solutions for monitor calibration and printer profiling
How to Calibrate Your Monitor Wiki

Expert Comment

ID: 39979977
Hi it shouldn't matter what library you choose or have chosen to generate the red colour, as long as it is titled and named the same as any other reference to the pantone colour you want to use.

The colours could be CBC123 it wouldn't matter. The only difference between the two libraries is going to be (most likely) in the CMYK ink values or the L(ab) colour space value. These values won't affect two colour printing.

If the colour prints strangely, it is most likely the red values is outside of GAMUT or the printer driver doesn't deal well with the file format. Again this shouldn't matter with TWO colour printing.

As to the red you will see on screen this also shouldn't matter because your colour could be blue on screen but defined as red and print green at the print shop if the colour designation is incorrect. Get the print shop to show you a swatch and make sure that is the colour you want to use.

Author Comment

ID: 39994465
Please pardon me: I was out of commission for a couple of days.

I'll show you where we stand. Here was my original .jpg:

Here was the (not very good) .eps that was made for me:

Here was the (much, much better!) .eps that Dan made:

And here is a small modification that I made to Dan's .eps. All I did was to go to the Pantone channel, select the red dots, and cut out everything else, so there was no tint-y color in the rest of the black body of the dominoes, or in the white dots:

The verdict: Dan's mod is about a million times better than my publisher's mod, even though it was just a "quick try." Dan, can you tell me the steps you used to create your .eps from my .jpg, so I can duplicate the steps myself for the rest of the .jpgs that I need to turn into .eps's, or teach my publisher's photoshop person how to do it?

Do you have a guess as to how they did it so much more poorly?

LVL 35

Accepted Solution

Dan Craciun earned 2000 total points
ID: 39994501
Use the steps from here: http://www.wikihow.com/Create-Duotones-in-Photoshop

If you look at the eps your publisher produced, their designer tried to completely separate the 2 channels, but lost the texture in the process.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39994620
Excellent, Dan, Thanks so much!
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39994632
Glad I could help!

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