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February 03, 2003
Still challenged.

When I made a drawing by numbers book in 1992, (it was called "It's your time..." and was published by TRUST in Frankfurt/Germany) the production people almost cried. I made twenty drawings that had a healthy level of complexity to them. I had drawn them on paper and then the production department had to digitize them in order to complete the book in the way it was intended. The reason why they almost cried was the complexity of the drawings. Scanning them in and rasterizing them would have taken away from their fragility. Vectorizing them was just too much for the macs of 1992.
I have a copy of the book here, I should have scanned in the drawings a long time ago. They are interactive. ; )
The reason why I am writing this so late at night is because my dear Adobe Illustrator has been trying to figure out a way to simplify one of my high density drawings which will be part of a project I am working on these days and nights.


The spinning wrist watch has been replaced by a happy colorful baloon thing, but the computer is still challenged with my "not as mentioned in the manual" pieces. I somehow still love paper and my fountain pen.
Oh boy, I should not be writing this late at night. I wound like a 120 year old bitter, bitter man.



I can remember so clearly working really hard (and being VERY patient) on an elaborate Illustrator project in 1993 or 1994 on a Quadra, suffering through losing files when the computer froze while saving, or being unable to open complex files due to rendering problems........and then finally having something good enough to go to print, setting up everything for outputting film, sending the files to the RIP, waiting eagerly by the imagesetter..........and waiting....and waiting.....and finally realizing that because it was a level one machine, it could not process any of the vector-based files. HEARTBREAK!

Finally, I wound up rasterizing everything in Photoshop (a lengthy wait on a Quadra.....go to lunch and come back an hour later and hope it's finished) and outputting the flat files instead. Since I was developing the film, burning the plates, and running the press myself, it's not like it would have looked good anyway.....hahah..

I should remember this more often, especially when I'm getting annoyed at having to wait a measly 8 seconds to resize a huge file.........

Posted by: Anna on February 3, 2003 09:51 AM

Thinking about the problem you're having now, wouldn't the thing to do be to have the printer (human printer, not machine printer) shoot the original drawings directly (they still have stat cameras, right?) and strip the film into the mechanical for the overall sheet? No scanning involved.....I think this is the best way to get the closest representation of the original work.

Unless you need to do some digital work on the drawings first, in which case this is not a helpful suggestion. :)

Posted by: Anna on February 3, 2003 09:57 AM

Anna, oh yes, how many times have I crashed a RIP. Production dpartments would hate me because my files were usually some strange combinations of layers filled with strange objects.
The issue I am having with my current file is really something I will have to resolve inside of the machine. The drawing has to closely interact with a photograph which only exists as a digital file.
: )

Thank you so much for being so kind and to offer such good pointers. I am definitely a friend of Analog-digital integration.
: )

Posted by: Witold on February 3, 2003 10:53 AM

i often have similar problems. a combination of line weight, delicate curves, and high contrast result in almost unscannable artwork. scanning becomes an experiment in finding the fine line between picking up the artwork, but not the paper grain and flaws.

it bothers me to no end that online delivery at 72-96 dpi is unacceptable.

some things refuse to be digital and i must learn to accept that. grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Posted by: griff on February 3, 2003 07:13 PM

Someone's gotta ask an analog question...

You may have mentioned it before, but what sort of pen do you use? The line quality is so consistent and sharp, I imagine it's a Rapidograph or something similar.

Posted by: Todd on February 3, 2003 10:38 PM
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