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A few problems. - Macromedia Freehand

Hi guys, In a bit of a pickle! Im working on an image for Uni (http://opax.swin.edu.au/~2257017/Typography/bbwip.jpg) In Freehand MX. As you can see theres a few transparencies, etc. Now, we are going to have to print this! Ive made 2 mistakes; 1 - Using Freehand, as I don't know Illustrator (Freehand has never exported to my satisfaction, and no printers down here accept freehand files) 2 - Creating the image in RGB. Try as I might, I can't export to Illustrator to convert it to CMYK without having to deal with huge time losses caused by the way it exports ...

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  1. #1

    Default A few problems.

    Hi guys,

    In a bit of a pickle!

    Im working on an image for Uni
    (http://opax.swin.edu.au/~2257017/Typography/bbwip.jpg) In Freehand MX. As you
    can see theres a few transparencies, etc. Now, we are going to have to print
    this!

    Ive made 2 mistakes;

    1 - Using Freehand, as I don't know Illustrator (Freehand has never exported
    to my satisfaction, and no printers down here accept freehand files)

    2 - Creating the image in RGB.

    Try as I might, I can't export to Illustrator to convert it to CMYK without
    having to deal with huge time losses caused by the way it exports the gradients
    (I guess I could take the fills out of everything, but I may as well redraw in
    illustrator!)

    So basically I need to somehow convert it to CMYK, and export to a printer
    friendly file, and retain its detail!

    If anyone could share their wisdom on the best course of action for me, it
    would be immensely appreciated!

    Cheers,

    Oli-G

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    Oli-G Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: A few problems.

    Hi, Oli-G-

    I'm not quite sure what the problem is here. You shouldn't need to move
    to Illustrator to get CMYK output. Unless the printer needs an
    Illustrator file for editing the image? If you have RGB colors in your
    file you can convert them to process CMYK colors in the swatches panel.
    Others here have much more experience dealing with outside printers (I
    work at a newspaper so all printing is done in-house) but I've been
    satisfied with Freehand's EPS exporting.


    Oli-G wrote: 
    Wes Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: A few problems.

    Thanks for the reply Wes,

    Sorry it was kinda vague, my heads been working backwards lately.

    Basically whenever I export to any vector based format (ai, pdf, eps, etc),
    the gradients always get severe banding. The only way to get the file into
    Illustrator properly was, as I found, by exporting to flash, then bringing the
    flash file into illustrator. This retained all of the gradients properly,
    strangely enough.

    But if I can, like you said, convert everything to CMYK in Freehand, I should
    be fine. The issue lies in the fact that the entire image is in RGB, and im not
    quite sure how to mass convert the entire range of colours - doing it one by
    one would prove far too tedious.

    However this still leaves me with a problem - no printers take Freehand files,
    and Freehand does not export properly to any print friendly file format...

    Oli-G Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: A few problems.

    You said you have transparancies? Did you create these using the Lens Effect in
    Freehand? That effect will not export correctly in my experience. To change
    all your RGB colors to CMYK all you need to do is use the Find And Replace
    Pallet. After you bring in the cmyk colors close to your RGB colors...go up to
    Edit/Find & Replace/Graphics. From there you can change everything out.
    Other then that Your Freehand files should export fine as a EPS and any printer
    can work with them. If they can't figure out what to do with your EPS file..Um
    I think its time to find a new printer..ha.

    den-chan Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: A few problems.

    Oli-G wrote: 

    You should be able to select all the colors in the color panel and then
    choose "CMYK" and "process" from the panel's drop down menu.
     

    So what is the problem with exporting an EPS file or distilling a PDF?
    The banding? Where do you see a problem with the files? Is it prior
    printing experience? In your proofing?
    Wes Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: A few problems.

    Den - Yeah, ive heard others have had difficulty with EPS exports. Im
    intrugued as to why its such a big problem for something that seems it should
    relatively simple to perfect...

    Wes - The banding occurs quite prominently on the screen, and can also be
    seen on print - as the gradients are no longer within one vector shape, but
    rather a stack of shapes put alongside each other with different colours so
    simulate the gradient.

    And maybe this is because its past 5 am here, but the colour thing just isnt
    gelling with me!

    I have a colour mixer panel, and a swatches panel. I never use the swatches
    panel, and I only use the mixer to... well.. mix. So can't quite work it out..
    I'm using Freehand MX. Can you give a tired dude a detailed run through on
    exactly how to convert my entire page to cmyk?

    Thanks for the help guys!

    Oli-G Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: A few problems.

    Oli-G wrote: 

    If I remember your drawing correctly I suspect that the problem is with
    blends. You can try increasing the number of steps in the blend to
    decrease the banding. Freehand guesses at the number of steps depending
    on the output you have set in the doents panel. I just did a quick
    test and with the default setting -- 300 dpi -- I got a blend of 25
    steps between two shapes and very noticeable banding. When i changed the
    output to 1200 dpi I got a blend with 256 steps and no noticeable banding.

    You can change the number of steps in a blend by hand in the object
    panel. Just highlight the blend and then change the number in the steps box.

     

    Well, first step would be to get all your colors listed in the swatches
    panel. Go to: Xtras/Colors/Name all colors. Then in the Swatches panel
    select all the colors listed (click on the top-most listed color and
    then shift-click on the bottom-most listed color. Or vice versa.) Then
    notice that little icon in the top right corner of the color panel? The
    one with three dots and dashes and a little triangle? Click on that and
    you can make all your colors CMYK and process with the drop down menu.

    Hope that gets it and good luck!
    Wes Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: A few problems.

    Champion!!

    Thumbs up, thanks for your time!!
    Oli-G Guest

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