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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure if this question goes here, or in the screen printing section(maybe Rodney will move it!), but I have some designs that a graphic artist made for me that I want to get on some t-shirts. He made some 3d characters for me. I would love to put them on the shirts as they are, but don't know if screen printing allows for 3d images with good quality. He also rendered them as regular 2d toon characters also. I would love some advice on whether my characters can be screen printed as the life-like 3d images, or if I will have to use the 2d toon images. Also, are there any other methods that may allow for me to get life-like 3d images on shirts? Any help would be greatly appreciated!:)
 

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How are you defining 3D?

Using puffs inks and so forth you can get a certain amount of the third dimension happening on a t-shirt, but if if came out too far it would look pretty ridiculous.

If you want to do a stereogram image... well that's no problem.

If you just want to print graphics that have depth and shading, that is of course no problem (you can screen print any image - it's just a matter of whether or not you have time, patience, equipment, knowledge, etc.).

What do you specifically mean by 3D?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Solmu.

I just mean graphics that have depth and shading. If it's possible, what kind of quality can be achieved? These characters look very real. Like a picture was taken of a real person. I would love to be able to have real-looking images instead of cartoon-like, on my shirts. Is it more expensive to have printed than an image with solid colors? How do screen printers charge for the different colors? Do they mix use CMYK?
Thanks, again.
 

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Same price as if an image had 4 spot colours: ie 4 screens.

Charges vary. You'd have to contact specific printers. Usually it's the same price as 4 screens.
 

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monkeylantern said:
Charges vary. You'd have to contact specific printers. Usually it's the same price as 4 screens.
Hmm, surely that's only if you provided your own separations?

Comin'OutSwingin said:
If it's possible, what kind of quality can be achieved?
It is possible, and quality can be more or less photo-realistic.

Process printing is pretty complicated, and not every shop will be able to do it well (if they even offer it). It requires very tight registration, which not all equipment is capable of. While it generally runs on the CMYK principle, sometimes additional spot colours are used to achieve the best result, so there may be more than four screens.

It's often not worth it, as it's generally more expensive and requires more effort. Obviously some jobs require it though, and it is possible if the job calls for it.

As monkeylantern said your best bet would be to take your design to a print shop and see what they have to say about it. Get a quote and decide if that price is worth it, try to modify the art if it's not.

Ask the shop if they have any samples so you can see if the quality level you desire can be achieved. In theory it should be fine.
 

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hi, using color grading via a screen print process directly on to a garment may not give you the same look of your art. Assuming your art looks like it has color blends, lots of shading, 3d type of effects with backgrounds etc. with a high gloss finish for example, litho-transfers is the way to go.

not cheap $$$$.
 

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Foxy said:
hi, using color grading via a screen print process directly on to a garment may not give you the same look of your art. Assuming your art looks like it has color blends, lots of shading, 3d type of effects with backgrounds etc. with a high gloss finish for example, litho-transfers is the way to go.

not cheap $$$$.
A process print at a quality screenprinters shouldn't have any troubles. I've worked with many over the years, as well as being one myself, and "true look" is perfectly possible with the right equipment and skills.

Although I've experimental with various heat press transfer systems (which were not my cup of tea in the end), I don't actually know what a litho-transfer is. Last time I used one was for putting decals onto bisque-ware, which involves dissolving the backing paper, but I presume this isn't the same technique at all.
 

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hi, good point to do with quality screen printers etc.

Assuming the art is like a high gloss multi color photograph for example, how would a screen printer be able to reproduce such when printing it directly on to garments.?

(not using photo transfer type stuff)

are there any screen printers doing this work ?
 

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I'm not sure about the "high gloss" part, with screen printing not being an inherently glossy medium (although there may be some sort of special ink process that I'm not aware of), but screen printing process colour is essential the same as magazine photographic reproduction, with CMYK halftone.
 

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There are two main type of screenprinting: Process and Spot (there are a few others, but they're mainly very specific craft techniques). Threadless.com style use spot printing. Thousands of shirts (or signs, or billboards, or anything else for that matter) use Process printing. Which is essentially the same theory as offset printing.

A quick google came up with this definition:

http://www.cultureworks.com/spot.html

I've done both for many years with excellent results. Process printing takes years to master (as its usually simulated and doesn't actually use CYMK, but 4-6 colours that are best suited), but any quality commercial screenprinters usually offer it. If you do use Process printing, it's best to learn to do your own colour seps. Thyey're pretty easy, and save you hefty fees should the screenprinter wish to charge. I've always done my own, so have no real idea about the fee.
 

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thanks monkeylantern,

read what your suggested resource had to say, i agree with the process-s etc.

but there was nothing there relating to printing a full color high gloss finish photo using a screen print process to print directly on to garment.

so, if someone came to your screen print shop and asked you to "Screen Print" this full color ( a gazillion colors) photo art directly on black t-shirts (98% reproduction allowed),

how would you handle this job ?

would you need some type of specialty equipment ?

cheers


 

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I couldn't offer "glossy" as that isn't possible via screenprinting (nor was in CominOut's request :) )

It depends on the size of the order. For process screenprinting to be viable and cheap, the order would have to be around 150 shirts (for registration costs, seps, etc).

I'd never recommend a heat press technique, but that's because:

a) I am not an expert in heat presses

b) personally, I prefer screenprinting in touch and quality.

But a heat press transfer technique would certainly work.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Update!
I went by my printer's yesterday. I showed them the photo-realistic image, and they said they could definitely do it, but it's much easier to do on light colored shirts. They showed me some sample of this 4-color process they have that they have done for others, and it looks pretty good. They will even let me do a small run of 12 to make sure that I get the quality that I'm looking for. Then, I will have to do a bigger run like monkeylantern was saying in order for it to be cost effective and worthwhile.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
yeah, I can do that. It will have to be later. I have that stuff on another computer. I'm at my day job right now(sure there are people here that can relate!)
 
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