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CMYK and also exporting layers - Macromedia Freehand

I'm reaching my limits with Freehand. After using the application from version 3.1 back in 1994, I'm now working with MX lettering comic books. But I fear I'm going to have to make the jump to Illustrator now. I need to work with CMYK TIFF files in Freehand - and Freehand doesn't handle them correctly. It doesn't IMPORT them correctly and it certainly doesn't EXPORT them correctly. Does anyone know why this is? Does anyone have a workaround for it? I also need to supply my clients with layered TIFF files. Again, this seems to be a task too much ...

  1. #1

    Default CMYK and also exporting layers

    I'm reaching my limits with Freehand. After using the application from version
    3.1 back in 1994, I'm now working with MX lettering comic books. But I fear I'm
    going to have to make the jump to Illustrator now.

    I need to work with CMYK TIFF files in Freehand - and Freehand doesn't handle
    them correctly. It doesn't IMPORT them correctly and it certainly doesn't
    EXPORT them correctly. Does anyone know why this is? Does anyone have a
    workaround for it?

    I also need to supply my clients with layered TIFF files. Again, this seems to
    be a task too much for Freehand. I export my Freehand file as a PSD, as the
    "help" file suggests, and have selected "remember layers" in the preferences.
    But open the PSD in Photoshop and voila, it's a single layer named
    "layer1+layer2" which is of NO use to me whatsoever.

    I've even tried taking my Freehand file into Illustrator, via a Freehand 9
    export, and although that recognises the layers, they must have some strange
    set-up attached to them because Illustrator will then REFUSE to export the file
    as a layered TIFF.

    Has anyone else encountered the same problems? Does anyone have a workaround
    or suggestion?

    Is anyone from Macromedia around anymore to help a loyal, long-term customer?

    SimonBowland Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: CMYK and also exporting layers

    SimonBowland wrote: 

    We've had no problems with placed CMYK tiff files. What problems are you
    encountering?

     

    That is odd. Just this week I exported several drawings as layered
    Photoshop files and they pulled in to Photoshop with everything on its
    appropriate & named layers (actually TOO much as items on the pasteboard
    also exported.)

    What platform are you working on? What OS and version?
    Wes Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: CMYK and also exporting layers

    Hi Wes,
    Thanks for the reply. I'm working on a PC, using Freehand MX with Windows XP
    SP2.
    With the CMYK issue: the TIFF appears in Freehand with a green-ish tint to it,
    the colours are just not right, and this problem continues if I then export the
    completed job as a TIFF, PSD, JPEG... anything really.
    The layers issue: I've tried opening the PSD file in both Photoshop 7 and CS,
    and the results are the same each time. The layers have been combined.
    It's hugely annoying because I've "grown up" with Freehand for over 10 years
    now, I've used 3.1, 5.5, 7, 8, 9, 10 and MX (initially via my previous job, and
    now with MX via my own business) and I really don't want to have to move to
    Illustrator. But it's vital that I can supply my clients with correct layered
    CMYK TIFF files for them to print from, and right now it's not possible.

    SimonBowland Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: CMYK and also exporting layers

    SimonBowland wrote:
     

    Understand that neither FHMX nor any previous FH version, has a true CMYK
    raster export capability. Although FH can export to an EPS using the correct
    CMYK specs, it does not have an authentic CMYK raster mode as Illustrator
    does.

    What FH does is take your *RGB* screen colors, as displayed by your current
    color management settings, and converts the RGB colors to CMY only -- no
    black.

    If you examine the color channels in a FH PSD export, you will see that dark
    CMYK colors that contained a percentage of black in FH, are now are
    described as CMY only. That's why you see a color shift. For example, a dark
    blue, 100c 90m 0y 30k, will export to PSD format as something like 100c 100m
    30y 0k.

    Only pure black and tints of black from the FH doent remain in the black
    channel of FH's PSD export.
     

    Are you exporting to Photoshop 5 format? Have you checked the 'layers'
    checkbox in the export options dialog. Layers export to PSD 5 is working
    fine here.
     

    I don't know why this should be happening. Are you using FHMX RGB raster
    effects? That would cause artwork to flatten to a raster image when exported
    to FH9 format.

    It works correctly here when a FH 9 file containing vector art only (no
    raster effects) is opened in AI 10 (Mac) and exported to PSD, checking
    layers in the export options. I would say this is the best workflow for you,
    because AI will preserve your CMYK mixes for you.

    Judy Arndt

    Judy Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: CMYK and also exporting layers

    SimonBowland wrote: 

    I seem to remember some talk of this on this forum a while back.
    Hopefully someone here has some good advice about this. Off the top of
    my head It sounds like a problem with color management. Have you checked
    those settings?
     

    That one is baffling as it should work like you expect. I didn't find
    anything on the Macromedia web site with a quick search. Have you tested
    this with newly created files to see if it's a problem with Freehand or
    just that file? On the Mac I'd go through regular maintenance routines
    to see if that helps. Anything similar with Windows?

    Also, how many layers are you working with? If it's not too many maybe
    you could create your balloons as you have but when you're ready to
    export, export the Freehand file sans the TIFF. Then open the exported
    Freehand file in Photoshop and drag it into the TIFF?
    Wes Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: CMYK and also exporting layers

    Judy Arndt wrote: 

    Now that is interesting. Does that happen only with Photoshop export
    from Freehand? Do other bitmap exports contain the correct color info?
    How about Freehand>EPS>Photoshop? I'll have to play around with this
    tonight.
    Wes Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: CMYK and also exporting layers

    Wes Rand wrote:
     
    >
    > Now that is interesting. Does that happen only with Photoshop export
    > from Freehand? Do other bitmap exports contain the correct color info?
    > How about Freehand>EPS>Photoshop? I'll have to play around with this
    > tonight.[/ref]

    Wes,

    FH's TIFF, JPEG and 'Photoshop 4/5 RGB' export are RGB only. They also
    flatten layers.

    Photoshop 5 is the only raster format that will preserve layers _and_ export
    to "CMYK" color space. However, the CMYK mode is a bogus CMYK, reached after
    sending the colors through the CMYK->RGB->CMY chopper/dicer/shredder.

    I assume Simon's artwork will be printed with process inks. He needs layers
    and he needs true CMYK that will work on a press, where colors are darkened
    by adding black ink, not by pouring on more yellow ink. Perhaps prepress
    routines would correct the ink imbalance caused by FH, but no one could
    argue that it's professional way to handle CMYK raster images.

    Judy Arndt

    Judy Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: CMYK and also exporting layers

    Judy Arndt wrote: 

    So, then, Freehand is pretty useless for what he's doing. To get the
    kind of output needed he needs to go through Illustrator (or work up
    some other kind of work around.)
    Wes Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: CMYK and also exporting layers

    Wes Rand wrote:
     

    Any workarounds I can think of would be far more work than going through
    Illustrator.

    I can sympathize if he doesn't want to draw in AI, but there's no law
    against using it as a file conversion tool. This works here giving me
    perfect CMYK colors and layers.

    1. All colors in layered FHMX doent created as CMYK/process.
    2. Export from FHMX to FH9 format.
    3. Open FH9 file in AI10, CMYK mode.
    4. From AI, export to PSD/CMYK/write layers.
    5. Open the PSD in Photoshop CS/CMYK mode. Colors and layers are perfect.

    This looks like more work than it is one you've established a routine. It's
    certainly far less work than learning to draw in AI, if you're comfortable
    with FH's drawing tools.

    I'm using FH 11.0.2, Photoshop CS, AI10, Mac OS 10.3.8.

    Judy Arndt

    Judy Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: CMYK and also exporting layers

    Thanks for all the input folks.
    Judy, I've basically used your workaround... exporting to FH9, opening in
    Illustrator, exporting to PSD/CMYK but the problem is, the "write layers"
    option is blanked out. I only have the option for "flat image". So Illustrator
    appears to have a problem with the layers from Freehand. If I recreate the job
    from scratch in Illustrator, the "write layers" option is back. As you've
    suggested, I really don't want to have to learn the art of working in
    Illustrator. I use it as a file conversion tool (Freehand MX won't export
    gradient fills correctly via an EPS, I get a "banding" effect, so I take the
    work in FH9 then into Illustrator then save as an EPS and all works well) and
    nothing more. Trouble is, I absolutely have to supply certain clients with
    layered CMYK TIFF files, and I've tried everything I can think of to get
    Freehand to provide me with such an option, and it looks like it's not possible.
    I'm totally stunned that a package such as Freehand cannot correctly support
    CMYK files...

    SimonBowland Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: CMYK and also exporting layers

    SimonBowland wrote:
     

    Simon, I just did this successfully here with AI 10, so I know for sure that
    it works. There is some other issue happening on your end.

    Are you using FHMX Raster Effects which will produce an RGB raster image
    when exported back to FH9?

    Is your artwork on named layers in FH? Do you see those named layers in the
    Illustrator layers panel?

    What version of AI are you using?

    Judy Arndt

    Judy Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: CMYK and also exporting layers

    SimonBowland wrote:
     

    That's a blanket statement that is not accurate. Freehand cannot generate
    correct color values in CMYK *raster images*. Period.

    FreeHand accurately writes CMYK vector art and placed CMYK images to EPS
    files, Postscript files and to Postscript printers.

    Judy Arndt

    Judy Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: CMYK and also exporting layers

    I just did a quick test and I also had the "layers" option blanked out in
    Illustrator export. I did a little testing and found that there seems to be a
    problem with groups in Illustrator and exporting them as layers. If I copied
    basic, ungrouped items to a new Illustrator doent that new doent would
    export layers. But get something in there that's grouped (is that nested layers
    in Illustrator?) and the layers option gets blanked out. I just tried some more
    banging around and found a different problem: any Freehand originated text in
    the doent and Illustrator refuses to do layers. Illustrator text causes no
    problem.

    Wes Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: CMYK and also exporting layers

    Wes Rand wrote:
     

    Well, guys, I must live a charmed life. It's all working beautifully for me.

    My first test file has many nested groups on eight different layers, a group
    with 30 subgroups, totaling 89 paths. I have several composite/compound
    paths made of 33 paths. I have vector objects inside a FH clipping path
    which also had a stroke and fill. I have live text. I'm able to export the
    file from FHMX to FH9, open in AI 10 and export to PSD with layers. All the
    layers are there.

    I tried another file that also had nested groups, a blend of dashed strokes
    pasted into a clipping path, an extrusion. I get beautiful PSD layers as
    usual.

    You're not placing the FH9 file into a AI doent are you? You have to open
    it.

    I'm using Illustrator 10.0.3 on Mac OS X. Font manager is FontAgent Pro. I
    might point out that my default CMYK doent in AI has all of the custom
    swatches, styles, etc. removed. You might be seeing some kind of conflict
    with something included by your AI default doent.

    You could ask on the Illustrator forums if there are any known issues with
    FH9 imports exported to PSD layers. Someone there may be able to shed some
    light.

    Judy Arndt

    Judy Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: CMYK and also exporting layers

    Judy Arndt wrote: 

    Well, that might be the answer for why I had problems. I've got
    Illustrator CS which doesn't seem to play as nicely with others as 10.
    I'm off for a long weekend but I might explore this some more when I get
    back. Thanks, Judy. Learned a lot the last couple of days.

    -Wes
    Wes Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: CMYK and also exporting layers

    Originally posted by: Newsgroup User
    Simon, I just did this successfully here with AI 10, so I know for sure that
    it works. There is some other issue happening on your end.

    Are you using FHMX Raster Effects which will produce an RGB raster image
    when exported back to FH9?

    Is your artwork on named layers in FH? Do you see those named layers in the
    Illustrator layers panel?

    What version of AI are you using?

    Judy Arndt



    Hi Judy,
    Yep, my artwork is on named layers in FHMX and those layers appear in
    Illustrator. However, all layers contain ALL items duplicated. So the text on
    the TEXT layer also appears on the other two layers, and vice versa. I'm
    working with Illustrator CS but have access to AI10 at my office, and I have
    similar problems.
    I fear I'm going to have to start working with Illustrator from now on. I
    can't afford to not be able to supply my clients with the required output
    files, and if they want layered TIFFs then I need to be able to offer that. If
    they want EPS files without gradient banding, again I have to be able to
    provide that.
    Shame Macromedia are happy to post here suggesting tutorial books people can
    purchase, but don't seem to give a toss when a long-term loyal customer has a
    serious problem. Says it all, I suppose.

    SimonBowland Guest

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