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FHMX gradients in EPS file - Macromedia Freehand

PLEASE HELP!! I work as a comic book letterer, where the industry standard is Adobe Illustrator. However, I've remained loyal to Freehand as I've used it since version 3.1 and am currently on MX (11.0). I have to export my lettered files as EPS files so they can be placed over the artwork TIFF in Quark XPress. All works fine (the EPS has a white square behind it in Quark even when the fill is set to "none" but if I export the Quark file as an EPS and open this in Photoshop, the EPS is transparent as it should ...

  1. #1

    Default FHMX gradients in EPS file

    PLEASE HELP!!

    I work as a comic book letterer, where the industry standard is Adobe
    Illustrator. However, I've remained loyal to Freehand as I've used it since
    version 3.1 and am currently on MX (11.0). I have to export my lettered files
    as EPS files so they can be placed over the artwork TIFF in Quark XPress. All
    works fine (the EPS has a white square behind it in Quark even when the fill is
    set to "none" but if I export the Quark file as an EPS and open this in
    Photoshop, the EPS is transparent as it should be so I guess it's a Freehand
    EPS quirk) EXCEPT that any gradient fills, for example in a sound effect where
    the colour is a red-to-yellow gradient, are showing up in the EPS so that the
    gradient steps are noticeable, and sometimes there are black lines in the
    gradient as well. The files print fine from Freehand, but from the EPS file the
    gradients have this problem - same on screen when opened in Photoshop.

    You can see an example here:
    [url]http://www.simonbowland.wanadoo.co.uk/example.jpg[/url]

    Does ANYONE have any solutions? My doent resolution is set to 1200dpi and
    this has made no difference.

    System:
    Windows XP SP1
    Freehand MX 11.0
    AMD Athlon CPU
    512MB RAM

    Thanks in advance everyone... I'm on a deadline here and in a huge pickle.

    SimonBowland Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: FHMX gradients in EPS file

    Simon,

    In my experience, this is an on-screen anti-aliasing problem in the
    application importing the EPS. Gradients are proprietary features in native
    FH files. When FreeHand writes an EPS linear gradient, it writes in a format
    a Postscript printer can understand and creates numerous narrow rectangles
    filled with a solid color. These rectangles abut each other. When imported
    and anti-aliased in another application, the blurred edges show some of the
    color behind the gradient.

    When opening an EPS with gradient in Photoshop, uncheck the 'anti-aliased'
    checkbox in the 'Open' dialog for a smooth gradient.

    I don't use Quark, so can't advise you there. Do the gradients print
    correctly from Quark? Why are you exporting the EPS from Quark and then
    opening in Photoshop? Is the final destination a Postscript printer or a
    Photoshop image? I'm trying to understand your workflow. Seems to me you
    could build the artwork entirely in FreeHand.

    You can increase the number of steps in a gradient by increasing the
    _printer resolution_ in the doent panel. Not sure if that's what you
    meant by doent resolution of 1200 dpi.

    Judy Arndt
    --
    FHMX 11.0.2 (Build 92)
    Mac G4, OS 10.3.4

    SimonBowland wrote:
    > I work as a comic book letterer, where the industry standard is Adobe
    > Illustrator. However, I've remained loyal to Freehand as I've used it since
    > version 3.1 and am currently on MX (11.0). I have to export my lettered files
    > as EPS files so they can be placed over the artwork TIFF in Quark XPress. All
    > works fine (the EPS has a white square behind it in Quark even when the fill
    > is set to "none" but if I export the Quark file as an EPS and open this in
    > Photoshop, the EPS is transparent as it should be so I guess it's a Freehand
    > EPS quirk) EXCEPT that any gradient fills, for example in a sound effect where
    > the colour is a red-to-yellow gradient, are showing up in the EPS so that the
    > gradient steps are noticeable, and sometimes there are black lines in the
    > gradient as well. The files print fine from Freehand, but from the EPS file
    > the gradients have this problem - same on screen when opened in Photoshop.
    >
    > You can see an example here:
    > [url]http://www.simonbowland.wanadoo.co.uk/example.jpg[/url]
    >
    > Does ANYONE have any solutions? My doent resolution is set to 1200dpi and
    > this has made no difference.
    >
    > System:
    > Windows XP SP1
    > Freehand MX 11.0
    > AMD Athlon CPU
    > 512MB RAM
    >
    > Thanks in advance everyone... I'm on a deadline here and in a huge pickle.
    >
    Judy Arndt Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: FHMX gradients in EPS file

    Hi Judy,

    Many thanks for the reply. Macromedia should pay you. Or give you free
    upgrades at least!

    I'm unable to check whether Quark prints the EPS file OK, as I don't have
    access to a PostScript printer until tomorrow (Tuesday). That's why I opened
    the EPS in Photoshop, to check how it was behaving - and that's when I noticed
    the banding problem. I've tried things like increasing the printer resolution
    to 1200, increasing the Output Options so the maximum color steps is set to
    256, and changing the Raster Effects to 300ppi, but to no avail.

    My work flow is this:

    1) Create the lettering in Freehand.
    2) Export ONLY the lettering (not the artwork underneath) as an EPS.
    3) The publisher will then create a composite in Quark, placing the high
    resolution TIFF artwork on a Quark page and then placing the lettering EPS file
    over the top, setting the EPS background to "none".
    4) Quark file is then sent off for printing.

    I personally could happily create the entire job in Freehand, but the nature
    of the comic industry is that files have to be combined in Quark, using TIFF
    files for the artwork and EPS files for the lettering. Industry standard is a
    Mac/Illustrator/Quark combo, so I'm kind of bucking the trend using a
    PC/Freehand/Quark one - but really there shouldn't be any differences.

    I also have another problem: the EPS file I create from Freehand will NOT
    display as transparent in Quark as it should do. It will PRINT from Quark
    correctly, it will EXPORT from Quark correctly, but it will show up on screen
    with a white box behind it - when it shouldn't. An EPS from Illustrator does
    not do this. Anyone any ideas why? At the moment I'm having to open the
    Freehand EPS in Illustrator, and save it as a transparent Illustrator EPS...
    which as you can imagine, is a rather long-winded way of working.

    Thanks in advance everyone!

    SimonBowland Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: FHMX gradients in EPS file

    SimonBowland wrote:
    >
    > I also have another problem: the EPS file I create from Freehand will NOT
    > display as transparent in Quark as it should do. It will PRINT from Quark
    > correctly, it will EXPORT from Quark correctly, but it will show up on screen
    > with a white box behind it - when it shouldn't. An EPS from Illustrator does
    > not do this. Anyone any ideas why? At the moment I'm having to open the
    > Freehand EPS in Illustrator, and save it as a transparent Illustrator EPS...
    > which as you can imagine, is a rather long-winded way of working.
    >
    > Thanks in advance everyone!
    >
    I haven't worked with Quark in a while (if I remember I'll experiment a
    little when I get to work. I think we still have a copy of Quark hanging
    around) but have you experimented with the different EPS export options
    to see if any of them come into Quark better than others?
    Wes Rand Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: FHMX gradients in EPS file

    Thanks for getting back to me. Yep, I've tried every option possible when
    exporting the EPS file, but the same thing happens every time. I seem to recall
    it also happened when I was working with Freehand 10. It's odd that it will
    print OK, but obviously the EPS has to be aligned correctly in Quark so I need
    to see it as a transparent image. As I say, I can get around this by opening
    the EPS in Illustrator and saving it from there, but I'd rather not have to!

    SimonBowland Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: FHMX gradients in EPS file

    Simon,
    The only way I've been able to get a live gradient from FreehandMX to
    Illustrator is to export to Freehand 9 format. Illustrator (v10 at least)
    will open .FH9 without slicing the gradients into discreet solid colors
    bars. You can save to EPS from there.
    Sorry I can't offer a non-AI solution, but I don't believe one exists.

    --
    Bill
    FHMX/Win98/Athlon2500+/512M

    On Sun, 18 Jul 2004 19:54:38 +0000 (UTC), SimonBowland
    <webforumsusermacromedia.com> wrote:
    > PLEASE HELP!!
    >
    > I work as a comic book letterer, where the industry standard is Adobe
    > Illustrator. However, I've remained loyal to Freehand as I've used it
    > since
    > version 3.1 and am currently on MX (11.0). I have to export my lettered
    > files
    > as EPS files so they can be placed over the artwork TIFF in Quark
    > XPress. All
    > works fine (the EPS has a white square behind it in Quark even when the
    > fill is
    > set to "none" but if I export the Quark file as an EPS and open this in
    > Photoshop, the EPS is transparent as it should be so I guess it's a
    > Freehand
    > EPS quirk) EXCEPT that any gradient fills, for example in a sound effect
    > where
    > the colour is a red-to-yellow gradient, are showing up in the EPS so
    > that the
    > gradient steps are noticeable, and sometimes there are black lines in the
    > gradient as well. The files print fine from Freehand, but from the EPS
    > file the
    > gradients have this problem - same on screen when opened in Photoshop.
    >
    > You can see an example here:
    > [url]http://www.simonbowland.wanadoo.co.uk/example.jpg[/url]
    >
    > Does ANYONE have any solutions? My doent resolution is set to
    > 1200dpi and
    > this has made no difference.
    >
    > System:
    > Windows XP SP1
    > Freehand MX 11.0
    > AMD Athlon CPU
    > 512MB RAM
    >
    > Thanks in advance everyone... I'm on a deadline here and in a huge
    > pickle.
    >
    Bill Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: FHMX gradients in EPS file

    Try the Quark EPS option - it's quite a ways down the export file type
    list and you may have missed it. It *may* work better. If a
    transparent background is essential at all costs in your EPS files, go
    to FreeHand's Export preferences and turn off color EPS previews. The
    B/W bitmap preview will display as transparent in windows apps. Be
    advised that any opaque areas that are rendered as non-black in the
    preview will also be transparent, but this is a display-only quirk.

    If you decide that you like FreeHAnd's Quark EPS export - and it's my
    favorite - you will need to edit Freehand's preferences file directly
    in order to change the color depth of the preview.
    ____
    Ken
    ellipsis design
    (remove the _xx_'s)

    Help provided in proportion to information supplied.

    Please respond to the newsgroup - it benefits everyone.
    Ken Kehl Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: FHMX gradients in EPS file

    SimonBowland wrote:
    > Thanks for getting back to me. Yep, I've tried every option possible
    > when exporting the EPS file, but the same thing happens every time. I
    > seem to recall it also happened when I was working with Freehand 10.
    > It's odd that it will print OK, but obviously the EPS has to be
    > aligned correctly in Quark so I need to see it as a transparent
    > image. As I say, I can get around this by opening the EPS in
    > Illustrator and saving it from there, but I'd rather not have to!
    >
    I did a quick test at work and found that all the EPS options *except*
    for Quark EPS rendered transparent in Quark for me. But I do have an
    older version of Quark (4 I think without looking) so maybe there is
    something different with newer versions. What platform and versions are
    you working with?
    Wes Rand Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: FHMX gradients in EPS file

    Wes, I'm on a PC using Freehand 11.0, Quark 5, Illustrator 10 and Photoshop CS.
    OS is Windows XP. I've tried placing the EPS files over the TIFF images in
    Adobe InDesign as well, with the same problem: they're not transparent.

    So now, here's what I have to do with EVERY PAGE I produce:

    1) Export completed Freehand MX file as a Freehand 9 file.
    2) Open this in Illustrator 10.
    3) Save as an Illustrator 10 EPS.
    4) Open saved EPS in Photoshop to make sure the gradient blends are OK.
    5) Upload EPS file to publisher's FTP site.

    If I jumped ship and worked in Illustrator, I'd work like this:

    1) Save completed Illustrator file as an Illustrator 10 EPS.
    2) Upload EPS file to publisher's FTP site.

    Soapbox time:
    You know, after 10+ years supporting FH, I fear it's getting near time for me
    to jump ship. Look at the speed of the FH screen redraw when using
    average-to-large TIFF files. Look at the way FH imports and exports CMYK TIFFs.
    Look at the fact you can't drag objects to the bottom right hand area of the
    work space correctly. Look at the fact the panels jump around when you try to
    align them close to the right-hand scroll bar. Look at the peculiar behaviour
    of the screen when using AntiAliasing. I can't export FH-created gradient
    blends correctly if I want them in an EPS file. This is a joke. I almost lost a
    very lucrative assignment this week due to the nonsense over gradient blends,
    and the nonsense regarding non-transparent EPS files.

    Macromedia seem disinterested in all this. I'm outside my 90-day support cover
    now, and I'm be damned if I'm paying any more money just so I can get fobbed
    off when I ask for some technical support solutions rather than excuses. It
    pains me to say this, but when it's upgrade time, I fear I'll be going for
    Illustrator CS rather than any possible Freehand 12 release. Macromedia, you're
    seemingly ADDING bugs with each successive release.

    SimonBowland Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: FHMX gradients in EPS file

    Simon, I have just started working with Freehand on a pc, in an office of mac
    users. As far as I can tell, text (or whatever) created in FH, when exported as
    an eps, will have a screen image with a background.

    This is not the case with a Mac, it is only with a pc (I believe). BUT it does
    seem to be just a screen effect, when opened in Photoshop, or printed to a ps
    printer the background is transparent.

    It is a clumsy thing I know, but the way I get around it in Quark, is to use
    ITEM>CLIPPING>NON WHITE AREAS so that I can see what is behind my imported eps.

    I asked the self same q here a while back - if you do a search for
    *transparency* etc etc, you may turn up similar threads with answers.

    Hope this may help.

    EllieJane Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: FHMX gradients in EPS file

    SimonBowland wrote:
    > Wes, I'm on a PC using Freehand 11.0, Quark 5, Illustrator 10 and Photoshop CS.
    > OS is Windows XP. I've tried placing the EPS files over the TIFF images in
    > Adobe InDesign as well, with the same problem: they're not transparent.
    Ah, so there's your solution: buy a Mac! But, seriously, I wonder why
    there is this difference between platforms? It seems like Freehand
    should be making the same kind of EPS no matter the platform. Are there
    options you can play with for the preview image that is included with
    the EPS?
    > Soapbox time:
    > You know, after 10+ years supporting FH, I fear it's getting near time for me
    > to jump ship. Look at the speed of the FH screen redraw when using
    > average-to-large TIFF files. Look at the way FH imports and exports CMYK TIFFs.
    > Look at the fact you can't drag objects to the bottom right hand area of the
    > work space correctly. Look at the fact the panels jump around when you try to
    > align them close to the right-hand scroll bar. Look at the peculiar behaviour
    > of the screen when using AntiAliasing. I can't export FH-created gradient
    > blends correctly if I want them in an EPS file. This is a joke. I almost lost a
    > very lucrative assignment this week due to the nonsense over gradient blends,
    > and the nonsense regarding non-transparent EPS files.
    >
    > Macromedia seem disinterested in all this. I'm outside my 90-day support cover
    > now, and I'm be damned if I'm paying any more money just so I can get fobbed
    > off when I ask for some technical support solutions rather than excuses. It
    > pains me to say this, but when it's upgrade time, I fear I'll be going for
    > Illustrator CS rather than any possible Freehand 12 release. Macromedia, you're
    > seemingly ADDING bugs with each successive release.
    >
    I've some of those problems and actually started to try to do more work
    in Illustrator but encountered a whole new set of problems. Seems like a
    classic "no win" situation either way you go.
    Wes Rand Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: FHMX gradients in EPS file


    "Wes Rand" <wrandmac.com> wrote in message
    news:cdmbju$24h$1forums.macromedia.com...
    > I've some of those problems and actually started to try to do more work
    > in Illustrator but encountered a whole new set of problems. Seems like a
    > classic "no win" situation either way you go.
    Exactly.



    Martin Gamache Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: FHMX gradients in EPS file

    Macromedia's silence in this topic speaks volumes, don't you think?
    SimonBowland Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: FHMX gradients in EPS file

    I find that any EPS that the PC version of freehand can make (ive tryed all of
    them) - is unusable on the mac Quark - but mac EPS (only avalible on the MAC as
    an export option) will work fine....... I got a mac just to get the Export as
    Mac EPS option..... maybe i should of just got Adobe Illustrator instead - ive
    not used it much but i do love good ol' chipshop - now theres a program that
    works well...... consistantly....

    IOP_jamie Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: FHMX gradients in EPS file

    I suppose that when you say eps files from FH on a PC are
    unusable on the Mac version of Quark, you mean that there is no
    screen preview. It should print ok.

    Illustrator gives you a choice when making an eps. You can
    include a PC or a Mac screen preview in different bit depths.

    dp

    IOP_jamie wrote:
    > I find that any EPS that the PC version of freehand can make (ive tryed all of
    > them) - is unusable on the mac Quark - but mac EPS (only avalible on the MAC as
    > an export option) will work fine....... I got a mac just to get the Export as
    > Mac EPS option..... maybe i should of just got Adobe Illustrator instead - ive
    > not used it much but i do love good ol' chipshop - now theres a program that
    > works well...... consistantly....
    >
    David Plank Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: FHMX gradients in EPS file

    On Fri, 23 Jul 2004 09:51:30 +0000 (UTC), "IOP_jamie"
    <webforumsusermacromedia.com> wrote:
    > I find that any EPS that the PC version of freehand can make (ive tryed all of
    > them) - is unusable on the mac Quark
    What versions of the two programs are you working with? I've made
    quite a few EPS files with FH9 on my PC and don't recall having any
    problems in Mac Quark. FreeHand's Quark EPS export doesn't work
    either?
    ______
    Ken
    ellipsis design
    (remove the _xx_'s)
    Ken Kehl Guest

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