> D. Plank,
> I have used raster effects for a goodly number of offset printing jobs and
> have met with mixed success. First let me say, if Macromedia can get over its
> RGB fixation, and if they can get 300dpi raster effects to redraw in a timely
> manner they will really have something to write home about. Raster effects
> could potentially be the greatest thing since sliced bread but, like many
> things that MM gets its hands on, the bread is only half baked.
> Ok, lets see how to begin with my warnings and still leave some shred of hope
> for you to actually want to try raster effects for yourself....hmmmm
> 1. Raster effects do all of their calculations in RGB color mode and usually
> this is a naughty thing to do for offset printing. If you click on the optimal
> CMYK rendering button in the raster effects settings window you will be able to
> match any color pretty well...as long as it doesnt have black in it. Thats
> right...if it doesnt have black in it. The RGB transmogrification tends to
> split all of the CMYK colors in the affected area into RGB and then into CMY(no
> K) at the print.
> So...if you are using raster effect over areas that have little or no black in
> them you will have more success having that area match the rest of your
> illustration. Areas with black in them that you use raster effects over will
> look washed out or hue shifted because of the incorrect number twaddling of the
> RGB converter.
> 2. Raster effects really bog down the redraw of the doent. If used
> sparingly you can even view them at 300dpi without too much of a problem but I
> would recommend using them at 72 dpi and then only converting to 300dpi for
> sending the file to the printer.
> You might want to tell the printer about this because I have had files take
> 20min. to open while the raster effect was being rendered, and the printer was
> pretty miffed since they thought that the problem was on their end. After a
> call or two, I set them straight..."No" I said, " the problem is with the bozo
> who programmed the dang feature" We all laughed and then he said he would have
> to charge me for the extra production time and then he laughed...I did not.
> A word of note here. You can separate the attribues of a raster image. This
> will make the raster effect into what is essentially an imported RGB image.
> The effect may not be live anymore, but you will have a transparency that
> doesnt bog you or the printer down as much. I plan on trying this method for
> sending files to the printer soon so I cannot tell you if this method is
> actually any better.
> 3. Scaling raster effects is a royal pain in the . Anything like a
> gaussian blur that has a user entered radius of effect, that radius of blur
> will not change as the effect is scaled up and down. You will have to go in
> and change it yourself to suit the new size parameters. This has become a real
> pain since our advertising department wants all images for our catalogue at
> 25%. So, either I have to scale my images in Freehand (individually scaling
> raster effects) or export the files to eps, opening and scaling them in
> Photoshop. I suppose MM has a good reason for this behavior, but I have not
> really heard one.
> 4. Printing raster effects can be slow and painful even if you are not
> printing a page with a raster effect on it. Imagine that you are doing a 10
> page booklet and that only one of the pages has raster effects on it. All of
> the rasters will have to be rendered to print before the doent will spit out
> any of the pages in the doent. So even if you just want to print out the
> text on the last page, you will have to wait for the 12 raster effects you used
> on the cover to be rendered in the print process before the printer can print
> what you want. "Whaaaa?" I hear you say....but thats the truth.
> These are just a few of the problems that I have encountered with raster
> effects...still, I use them. There are some tasks that are so heinous or even
> impossible to do in a traditional vector drawn way, that it is still worth it
> to use raster effects. I have certainly curtailed any over use of these
> effects but they are too easy to use, too powerful, and too quick to enact for
> me to give up on them entirely.
> Good luck,