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I have artwork that I created in Photoshop - a photorealistic image of a bird in the foreground and 2D leaves in the background that I made using the pen tool. My screenprinter suggested the leaves be redone in Illustrator to get crisp edges (even though it was created at 300dpi to final output size).

Redrawing isn't an issue. But I was wondering for separation purposes if the final artwork should be an Illustrator file with the birds placed into it and separated in Illustrator (if even possible)? Or should the leaves be brought back into Photoshop and separated that way?

Pros and cons, please. And anything I should look out for. TIA.
 

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Color Separations in photshop take a little time and consideration on the part of the artist. The primary thing that you have to keep in mind is how many colors do you want in your printed piece. I have had success in the past on several jobs by using the Color range Selection Tool ,Photoshop menu Select>color range, and start selecting the colors by clicking on the image. You can use the slider to increase or decrease the area that you will select. Images such as photographs and fine art require more patience to seperate out than vector art or spot color art. If you're not familiar with this tool I suggest practicing with vector art or othre images with a small color range. Also high resoution graphics will separate better than low res images. When you get the selection that you want press ctrl-j and rename the layer to the color that you assign it. It takes some practice to do this correctly and once the selections are made you may have to use the expand/contract in the select menu to achieve the correct trapping. If anyone gets crazy enough to try this and needs help just email me. If i get time I'll post a tutoriall video is anyone is interested.

Once the layers are separated you can use the image>mode>bitmap menu command and then use the settings haltone screen, 65lpi, 2400 dpi. This will make a large file. 2400 dpi is the resoution of most image setters. I have successfully printed these halftone images from a laser printer with this method and have printed good halftones.
 

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I wouldn't mind a video tutorial. So far I've mostly separated in Illustrator and hardly used Photoshop except to make a bitmap and bring it into illustrator. We have outsourced our Photoshop separations because we're usually on a time crunch and doesn't allow for me to play and test. I've tried Spot process but it didn't come out quite right. I've tried using only Photoshop and I've been able to do ok. but with some complicated images I have a hard time switching all of a navy to 288 or taking out specific colors and creating a highlight color. If you don't mind send me a message.
 

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If you print out the separations in photoshop with a high dpi count would it still show some pixelation when you output it? would this effect the sharpness of your final design when it is print on a shirt?
 

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I definitely agree with separating it in Photoshop. I normally separate it in channels, then save a Photoshop DCS 2.0 EPS file, take that into Illustrator and print the films/seps there. You can get crisp edges as long as your art is high res and the seps are prepared correctly.
 

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Once the layers are separated you can use the image>mode>bitmap menu command and then use the settings haltone screen, 65lpi, 2400 dpi. This will make a large file. 2400 dpi is the resoution of most image setters. I have successfully printed these halftone images from a laser printer with this method and have printed good halftones.
dont you mean 240 dpi? theres a huge difference between 240 and 2400... in fact, i dont think you will have enough memory on most computers to save that larg file you will end up with.
 

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It really depends on what you are more comfortable with, I use ai for most of my work, so i usually do separations in there.

Every once and awhile i run to an issue were i can't separate something illustrator, like a stroke on a text, i just throw it in Photoshop and do it there. The two work very well together these days, Photoshop doesn't instantly raster things like it used to.

If you showed us what you were talking about we could tell you if your printer is full of it, or not.
 
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