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Converting photoshop files to EPS?


imprint

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Hello,
I do hot foil stamping, which requires me to take a logo and turn it into a metal die (copper or magnesium) for printing. My die-maker used to use a film and chemical process to etch the logo onto the die, but has recently switched to a direct-to-plate method that gets rid of the film part. They had previously instructed me to convert my final image to a bitmap (to ensure true black and white) and save it as a tiff. I always use 1000 pixels/inch resolution when creating my files to ensure great clarity and have always had great success at getting perfect dies with this technique. I never understood how the converted bitmap (which looks really choppy compared to the very clean rgb or grayscale before conversion) was able to come out so perfectly clean and defined on the die itself, down to the tiniest detail, but it did. Until now. Now that they do the direct-to-plate process the dies come out looking exactly as crappy as the bitmap does on the screen. They're telling me that I need to do this work in Illustrator, but I don't know how to do that. So, I'm wondering if anyone has any familiarity with the issues I'm dealing with and can tell me if there's any way to do my design and clean-up work in Photoshop and then actually save it as an eps (or otherwise vector) as the die-maker has requested, and still have the image come out on the die as clean as they used to. I'm sorry if this has been a confusing post and can certainly try to clarify if need be. Thanks,

Tomas
 

Tom Mann

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Since most of us do not work in your field, we have to come up to speed on the problems you are facing. It would be most useful if you could post examples of files (both good and bad) that you sent the production company, as well as (if possible) a microphotograph of the final product (including a length scale).

Without such materials, we wind up playing a long game of "20 questions".

Tom
 

hawkeye

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It seems they are telling you they need vector with the new process they are using. Although you can save files in eps format with Photoshop, they will still be raster. That means you'll need a vector based program like Illustrator.
It should be relatively simple if all your files are like the one you attached. If you have Illustrator open the files and do an Image Trace in B&W.
 

imprint

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View attachment missionary.eps

Ok, so I copied and pasted into AI and then hit "live trace", which I've messed with before, but the image comes out deformed as you can see in this image (compare to original high-res "missionary chocolates small.tif" above). I've tried playing with different thresholds and stuff but can't figure out how to get it to do a nice, easy, clean and simple trace. I know I'm straying from Photoshop questions here, but does anyone have any suggestions as to how to make AI do a clean trace that doesn't deform the original image?
 

besmirched

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If you know the fonts used I would look into making that in illustrator, looks like a 5min job. The only tricky bit is making the tail of the R into the x. Which can be done by converting that R into an outline and then drag the tail down with the direct selection tool (white arrow). Or google transforming text in illustrator.
 

Tom Mann

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Hi Tomas -

I opened your file, missionary.eps, using Photoshop CS6 and I see absolutely no problem with it. As expected, it appears to contain completely resizable vector art with no artifacts, even after huge amounts of magnification.

To illustrate this, when I opened it using PS CS6, for one of the tests, I specified that it should be rasterized with a horizontal dimension of 17000 pixels (!). The resulting file showed absolutely no distortion, no stair-stepping, or any other artifacts.

To illustrate this, I cropped out 1% of that area (ie, around 1700 pixels on a side), converted it to a jpg, and appended it below. Note that the forum image upload software will initially display a version which has been down-rez'ed to around 600px on a side and which also severely compresses the image. To see the version I uploaded, you have to click on the in-line thumbnail.

My guess is that you thought your work in AI was unsuccessful because you viewed the EPS using some software that either (a) only used the low rez bitmap embedded in the eps file, or (b), rasterized it at some very low resolution.

I think you did much better than you thought! Have you tried sending this file to your printer?

Cheers,

Tom M
 

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Tom Mann

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It seems they are telling you they need vector with the new process they are using. Although you can save files in eps format with Photoshop, they will still be raster. ...
This is not true. The heart of all EPS files IS a description of the artwork in the postscript programming / image description language, which is true vector art. In addition to this content, eps files may optionally also contain a small preview bitmap (which obviously won't scale). On windows platforms, this is typically a low-rez TIF file.

Commercial printing ignores the embedded preview file.

In fact, if I remember correctly, EPS files were the native file format for the earliest versions of Adobe Illustrator, so they better have been fully resizable vector art, otherwise they would have been completely useless.

For a more complete description of the content of eps files, see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encapsulated_PostScript


Cheers,

Tom M
 

kingston250

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I think you can use the Adobe Illustrator to convert bitmap or JPEG or PNG pictures in EPS or AI format which is also called the vector format. Vector image is the last moment in the logo designing and final step to save a picture in a vector graphic.
 

Tom Mann

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I think you can use the Adobe Illustrator to convert bitmap or JPEG or PNG pictures in EPS or AI format which is also called the vector format. Vector image is the last moment in the logo designing and final step to save a picture in a vector graphic.
Kingston, why did you post that message? Did you read even *one* of the previous messages in this thread, including those posted by the OP? :rolleyes:

The OP himself knows about AI and is in the process of trying to use it to get files in eps format. We are trying to help him with this process.


Tom
 

imprint

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Thanks Tom but I still don't get it. If you compare these two images View attachment Missionary Chocolates Small.tif.zipView attachment missionary.eps you should see clear distortion between the first and the second. The second one, to which I applied live trace, is all wonky. I am very unfamiliar with AI, but I have AI CS5.1 on this Mac that I use. I opened the EPS in Photoshop and it shows the same distortion in the shape of the letters as in AI, only (of course) it's pixelated. I may have completely misunderstood your long post above.

Besmirched, I can't remake most of the logos I receive as my clients usually have original artwork that I shouldn't mess with. I usually can't get a hold of the designer's original work, which would make my job easier.
 

hawkeye

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I see the problem and yes it is "wonky". You may get better results by opening the Image Trace panel and adjusting it manually, but I don't really think that's going to resolve the issue to your satisfaction. You can of course expand the text after live trace and adjust the paths to correct it, but IMO the only clear solution is going to be recreating the artwork in Illustrator.

The one you attached is only text so that's not a big issue as long as you know what fonts were used. Obviously it could be a bigger problem for other artwork.
 

Tom Mann

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Ahh... when you used the term, distortion, I was looking for effects on a larger scale like a wavy baseline, etc. Sorry I misunderstood you. Now, I realize that you are looking at problems like lumpiness in the shape of each letter.

Hawkeye's suggestion to expand each path and tweak it would work, but is time-consuming (...unfortunately, I have to do this with all too much regularity. :-( ).

Another possibility is to switch to "Image Trace", the updated version of "Live Trace" in AI CS6. If I remember correctly it has a few more adjustments than in CS5, specifically, "Paths", "corners" and "noise" (under "advanced") that, compared to the default settings, can be adjusted to substantially tighten up an automatic tracing.

Tom M
 

imprint

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I don't understand what all the trace parameters do, but I have fiddled with it a bit and nothing seems to get it any closer to the way it's supposed to look than the default settings. Are there any other tricks to smoothing out the image before running trace so that it comes out true? Would that be helpful?

Tom, does CS5.1 have this "image trace" option, or would I need to pay to upgrade to CS6?
 

hawkeye

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Used gaussian blur to soften the edges , then sharpened it to max with unsharp mask. Placed in AI and live traced B&W at default settings. Looks better to me, but is it good enough?
 

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imprint

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That's pretty good--prob good enough for my purposes. How long did it take you to do that? I imagine you're really good at it, too, so it would likely take me 5 times as long. Did you do that in Photoshop and then copy/paste into AI to live trace?
 

Tom Mann

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Hi Tomas -

Yes, Adobe upgraded "Live Trace" to "Image Trace" in CS6, so you would have to get the new version to make use of it. When I get home tonight, if I get a chance, I'll do a tracing of your art using "Image trace" so you can get an idea of what it can do without having to shell out money without any guarantee of success.

WRT pre-processing by smoothing & other procedures, my experience is that (a) they work best when the initial artwork is noisy. They don't do as much when the initial artwork is "lumpy"; and, (b) they tend to round off sharp corners (if you have any, e.g., in fonts).

In general, my experience has been that while the automated tracing methods will provide reasonable starting points, manually tweaking the anchors and paths produced by these methods will result in the largest and most predictable increase in quality, so I usually bite the bullet and just do it.

Tom M
 

ALB68

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Imprint,
Since you probably don't have the time to re-work your client's artwork (and some of it can be pretty bad) you might want to consider using one of the online shops that specialize in bitmap to vector conversions. I actually saw one a few days ago based in India that would do something like this logo for $2.50 (Two dollars and fifty cents). I am a member of an engravers forum and it came up there. A member posted the work and it was amazing that one would do it that cheap. I think the actual going rate is about $25.00, but even at that, if you value your time your ahead to let somebody else do it. You can probably post it here in the paid jobs section and find a person here in the forum that would help you.
As previously stated, your eps file is a good file, but I see the problem when I looked at hawkeyes submission as a comparison. It appears to me that goes back to the way the font foundry put the thing out. As Tom advised, the only way to fix this is to tweak the curves and anchor points using the appropriate tools. I do not use AI, I use Corel Draw for vector production. Nothing against AI, I already owned Corel and had been using it for sometime and then just bought Photoshop as a standalone and it has worked for me for a long time now.
That's pretty good--prob good enough for my purposes. How long did it take you to do that? I imagine you're really good at it, too, so it would likely take me 5 times as long. Did you do that in Photoshop and then copy/paste into AI to live trace?
 
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