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Discussion Starter #1
Hello I have been reading the forms for awhile now and finally decided to post my problem.

I have a design client who wants to produce the trendy style seen with affliction, archaic etc.. with the hand drawn look. After having me draw and get stuff from tshirtclipart.com i now have to get the designs printed and have no idea how to achive that look. Converting to vector like a number of printers have suggested really loses alot of detail. What process do the larger companies (using affliction as an example) use to keep that high level of smooth detail? Is it process printing or something i don't know.
 

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As for the design process, you need to separate the artwork using channels in photoshop. I've been surprised to learn how many printshops are not familiar with this and are not comfortable printing artwork that has been separated this way. Their answer is always to convert to vector. But there are many experienced, reputable printers out there that can handle this artwork just fine, you just have to find them.

As for the printing process, you will want the printshop to use water based and discharge inks. If you want the artwork to cover the entire shirt, that is an "all over" print. Check out this thread for a list of printers who offer this technique: http://www.t-shirtforums.com/screen-printing/t8891.html

Hope this helps and good luck!
 

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You don't need to convert to vector if your raster images meet some minimum requirements. I prefer working in a raster program (Photoshop) over vector programs. The main things are that your raster art is at full printing size, 300 dpi (200 dpi minimum). A good and experienced screen printer can separate raster art either manually or with separation software.

These are the parameters I use for my artwork that is always finished off in Photoshop: work at full printing size, 300 dpi, RGB color mode, Adobe1998 ICC color profile. These settings give me a high resolution image in the widest color gamut to start with. The actual print does not look exactly like it does on my calibrated monitor, but these settings provide the parameters to end up with the best looking print possible (in my opinion). Then after that, Tim's suggestions kick in.
 

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I think most of the time, printers will tell clients to vectorize the image, purely because they don't want the hassles of printing these types of designs. They will most likely charge a premium to handle all the work, especially in their design department (if the printer hires someone else to do all the photoshop work)...or I would assume some printers would feel this way...it could end up being more of a headache than not.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So is if your separating them in RGB mode by channel isn't that simulated process printing? then you would just use water based ink for the process prinitng?
 

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A friend of mine that is a fantastic screen printer does not charge extra to deal with raster images. He uses separation software and index prints on his monster automatic.

Simulated process, 4 color process and index printing all can give you spectacular results with raster artwork. It depends on the skill of the printer more than the particular method used to print raster art. If someone wants to charge a premium to deal with raster art that meets the specs I mentioned in my prior post, find a different printer to work with, they are not that knowledgeable in the art department.
 

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Converting to vector like a number of printers have suggested really loses alot of detail.
You don't necessarily lose significant detail by converting to vector. If you autotrace it, then you will lose a lot of detail (as well as introduce a lot of distortions), but someone who is skilled at manual tracing can produce a near 1:1 copy of anything. Depending on the complexity of the image, it could take a while though (meaning that in some cases it may not be worth the effort).

I'll give you an example. When I was a kid I had a favorite picture from a comic book that I used to try to draw (by hand; pencil and paper) a lot. Anyway, for nostalgic reasons, I thought it would be cool to make a poster of it for myself; but from a clean vector rather than a scanned in raster image. So I found the comic book in question on eBay for like a dollar, and then scanned the image in at 600 DPI and started tracing. It is going to take a while, and I'm only partially done, but it is going to still look hand drawn when I'm finished, because I'm tracing all the fine details. Here is a portion of it:



The blue line is where I've been tracing. It has a thin stroke on it which I use while tracing, but when finished, the stroke will be removed and the objects filled with colors that match the original artwork. When finished, it will be nearly identical to the original (tiny differences would only be noticeable at a high level of zoom), plus it will have the advantages of vector art such as infinite scalability.
 

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You don't necessarily lose significant detail by converting to vector.
Some artwork has shadows, halftones, etc that just can't be replicated with vector art. I agree with you 100% that a lot of artwork can be successfully converted to vector. And the skills of the artist definitely makes a difference. But some artwork has depth, detail and photographic images that need to be separated as raster art.
 

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Some artwork has shadows, halftones, etc that just can't be replicated with vector art. I agree with you 100% that a lot of artwork can be successfully converted to vector. And the skills of the artist definitely makes a difference. But some artwork has depth, detail and photographic images that need to be separated as raster art.
Anything can be replicated with vector art. Do a search for photorealistic vector art. But of course, like I said, it is not always worth the time and effort.
 

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Anything can be replicated with vector art. Do a search for photorealistic vector art. But of course, like I said, it is not always worth the time and effort.
Exactly my point. Just because it can be replicated doesn't mean it should. Some art is just best to be done as raster seps. Maybe because of the detail, maybe just to save time.
 

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Some painted raster art does not make any sense to convert to vector, the time involved would be painful and never quite make it to the level it is as raster art. Photo-realistic vector of certain things does not quite make it to true surreal looking painted (digitally or not) art. I think the master at photo-realistic vector is Yukio Miyamoto. but it seems the only types of things that can look truly real in vector are mechanical things, biological things come really close, but not as close as painted.
 

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well Im not sure what type of hand drawn image you are trying to use. But here is a quick option I use for single color prints that seems to work well on most occastions..

Just open adobe illustrator. Start a new file not sure if basic rgb or basic cmyk matters. then drag you image into illustrator or use the file/place function and select your image. Then click the live trace button. you can play with the options to achieve more or less detail. Im not illustrator pro so im not sure all of the capabilities of this. But seem to be pretty large if your good.
 

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From the photos provided it's a simple 3 color job, 4 if you want to use two shades of red for depth. The flur in the background can easily be out putted in photoshop. As is. While the eagle crest looks to be a vector image. Now i haven't done this in a dog's age but you can import the flur into adobe illustrator as the background to acheive the knockout for printing. Then seperate the crest in two to three colors and everything will print as shown. I use to do a lot of photoshop images with vector logos or text. The reason being that the vector images are sharper and cleaner when printed and scaleable. Pixel images will start to degrade if enlarged too much without proper DPI to start with.
You can do all the seperations in photoshop using channels but your edges will not be sharp and clean as a logo like the eagle demands And maybe that is the affect you are looking for?
I hope this was of some help.
Fry
 

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It is Affliction, it is hand drawn. It could be digitally drawn with a drawing tablet or hand drawn and scanned, but either way, Affliction preps their art for production in Photoshop I believe.

By the way, those are polyester board shorts that were cut & sew dye sublimated, not screen printed.

You can also screen print those graphics no problem. If Affliction was to screen print the design, they would use discharge and/or water base inks depending on the color of the garment. Now, If I were screen printing that art, I would use SPVR to sep the art.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ya what i was thinking while the crest black was vector the shading and red was done in photoshop. I just didn't think you could get that quality of shading using straight vector work.
 

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I don't think any part of that design is vector. There is no reason or need for it to be vector as long as the raster (bitmap) image meets the criteria I mentioned before.
 

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Best way to get hand drawn designs is to use a graphic tablet. I sketch out my designs first on paper, scan, import them into Illustrator or Photoshop (I've been using Illustrator alot for my hand drawn designs), then I start tracing it with the proper brushes and add detail. For sketching different layers, I like to use a lightbox and put each layer on its own paper, like in animation. This helps with placement of the layers before tracing them digitally. Illustrator or Photoshop, it just depends what look your going after.
 
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