Best practices for difficult & complex prints

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Sometimes print studios provide artwork that is overwhelming to the CAD artist that has to work with them. The files are huge, there are many layers and filters overlapping each other, and most of the time the print isn’t already in repeat. These best practice tips will help you get started tackling these grueling prints, and set you up for success with our tools later on. We recommend saving the print studio original file somewhere safe and leaving it alone, just in case you ever need to go back to it.

  • In a duplicate file in photoshop, start combing through the layers and decide what is able to be merged down or deleted.
    • TIP: Working in a square is easier than working in a rectangle and allows for creating diagonal repeats later, so aim to make your canvas a perfect square if possible.Make sure the file is at 300 DPI, in RGB color mode and the image size is workable. Scale the file up or down depending on the desired scale of the artwork and then change the canvas size to be the closest repeat size you’re able to use.
  • Once the canvas has been resized,¬†turn rulers on and pull guides out¬†to keep track of the artwork scale the entire time you’re working.
  • Group the layers by what they are and name the groups (MOTIF LAYERS, COLOR OVERLAY LAYERS, TEXTURE LAYERS, etc.)
  • You will then want to start putting each of those groups into repeat. (Make sure you pay attention to each layers opacity and if there are any blend modes applied. If there are, you can hide the groups you aren’t currently using, and CMND or CTRL + SHIFT+ C, CMND or CTRL+ V to copy and paste the desired group onto one flattened layer. Doing this will keep the layered group underneath in case you need to pull motifs on top of your merged layer to use later.
  • Repeat this process for each of the groups.
    • Start by tiling out horizontally first; once that part is in repeat you can tile out vertically.If you have access to our RSe tools, you’ll want to enable the RSe Repeat tool now. If not, you can start to build out your repeat by copying and pasting each merged group and tiling them out.
  • Tools that are great in photoshop for closing seams are the spot healing brush (bandaid icon) and patch tool (inside the bandaid icon). These tools use content aware when you draw over unwanted areas and close seams easily. You can also use the clone stamp tool and clone other parts of the artwork onto the seam to better control the look of your repeat.
  • These steps should be done for each horizontal and vertical¬†seam tile in each of the layer groups.
    • Do this by selecting all layers and going to edit-define pattern.
    • Next, on the bottom middle of the photoshop layers panel there is a little circle icon that is half¬†black and half white. Click that icon and select “pattern” from the dropdown menu.
    • Change the scale to 50% and check to make sure your repeat is looking good.Once all of your groups are in repeat, put back on any blending modes and transparencies and create a pattern at 50% to check all of your repeats.
  • At this point you can save the file as XXXX_repeat.psd¬†and then merge all layers down into one flattened image.
  • Save this file as XXXX_cleaning.psd (only if cleaning is necessary…otherwise can do _colorways etc.) and bring that file into RS to color separate, clean and create colorways.

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Categories: AI, Repeat