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Sep Studio 4™

Adobe Image Trace and Sep Studio 4

Easily convert art to vectors for printing using Adobe Image Trace. Freehand’s Separation Studio 4 along with Image Trace solves so many problems with customer supplied and stock images.

Learn by watching the video, or review the written transcript. If you still have questions submit a tech ticket, or reply back to your technician in an open ticket.

Video Transcript

We’ve all been there, a client supplies a file to be separated and printed or we find the perfect image online only to discover that a simple spot color vector file has been incorrectly saved as a JPG, PNG, or TIF. Now a job that should have been fast and easy turns into a complex time consuming project. Not anymore, Freehand’s Separation Studio along with Adobe’s Image Trace feature solves the problem!

The focus is on solid spot color art files saved in popular formats such as JPG, PNG, TIF.

Image trace will deliver better quality results for images saved at higher resolutions. The files (in this video) were saved at 300 dpi, which is common for many images downloaded from online art services. Open the file in Adobe Illustrator. If the image opens small we recommend scaling it up to full chest size before tracing. Illustrator tends to give better results to larger images. Do the same for a small print such as a left chest. Scale it up, trace it then scale it back down to print size.

With the image selected, from the Window menu choose Image Trace. We find setting the Mode to Color and Palette to Limited works well for my needs as a screen printer. Setting the colors to double my press size leaves plenty of room to accurately convert most images. We’ll set the color limit to 12 for a 6 color press. Image Trace will stop when it no longer finds colors. In many cases it will not produce up to the amount of colors set. Extra colors can be quickly merged in Sep Studio.

Adobe’s default settings for this feature does a nice job on most images. Further control can be gained by expanding the Advanced section helping you make adjustments fast and easy. Click the preview check box to instantly see the results of changes to adjustments or leave it off then click it when you are ready.

Want to quickly see the original file vs the new traced image? Just click and hold the eye icon to switch between the two views.

Let’s take this lesson a bit further, we are screen printers and we often print white in an image but we don’t always want white in the background. By default Adobe’s Image Trace includes white in the color conversion which is great but that can also mean there will be a big white background surrounding the image which we do not want. Very normal for Adobe. Here’s how to handle this:

From the Object menu choose Expand. This exposes the vectors. Create a square in the background to more easily see what’s being addressed. Now you can see the background area to remove. Using the white Direct Selection Arrow choose the surrounding background white and delete it. Delete the square too.

That’s it, save the file as a PDF to be opened in Sep Studio 4. When a file looks good you’re ready to bring it into Separation Studio. Just save the file as a PDF then open it in Sep Studio. That’s it, that’s how you turn an incorrectly saved file into great separations turning a “zero into a hero!”

In Sep Studio 4 you can make an underbase, choke and spread, setup the image print order with PressFit and then go directly to Print.

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