What ad­vice can you give me for pre­par­ing an im­age for print?

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Imagine Nation | Artist Q & A -

Wayne Jones, US

Char­lie replies

Pre­par­ing your art­work for print for the first time can be daunt­ing. You want your work to be as close to the orig­i­nal as pos­si­ble – and there are a lot of pit­falls to avoid be­fore you can fi­nally hold your work in your hands.

If you’re new to print­ing, you might not have con­sid­ered things like colour gamut (the sub­set of colours your printer can re­pro­duce), and DPI (the num­ber of pix­els per inch of printed space), but if you’re plan­ning on print­ing an im­age you should ab­so­lutely have these in mind from the start.

Know­ing what colour gamut you should be us­ing (such as CMYK), and fi­nal res­o­lu­tion of your im­age will en­able you to work within these pa­ram­e­ters early on, and save you has­sle later. To check in Pho­to­shop if your colours are ‘out of gamut’ use the Gamut Warn­ing func­tion un­der the View menu.

Printed im­ages will of­ten come out darker than in­tended, so check your val­ues and avoid us­ing val­ues that are 10 per cent and un­der. If you later check your val­ues and find out that your im­age is very dark, you can fix this with a Curves or Lev­els layer, which will subtly bring up the im­age’s over­all tone. Some prints won’t al­ways come out crisp, so use the Sharpen and Blur tools to help em­pha­sise the fo­cal points of your pic­ture and ob­tain the best read pos­si­ble.

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