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Author Topic: Venting a bit of frustration...  (Read 13535 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« on: March 31, 2009, 11:12:48 PM »
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Dear all,

I have been trying to use InDesign and PS to do something very simple... design a Blurb book... and need to vent some frustration.

I am simply amazed by the amounts of problems I am facing when doing such a simple thing:

- Errors when exporting pages to .pdf from InDesign or .pdf generated with errors
- PS CS4 unable to rasterize .pdf without leaving some white lines through the pictures when the images in InDesign are in .png format
- InDesign export to jpg leaving some white lines through images
- PS CS4 freezing systematically when applying a simple save to jpg/close window action
- Bridge CS4 simply deleting some files when hanging
- ...

Are people really able to produce books professionlly with this set of tools? Granted, the kind of things I am doing is probably not the most representative workflow, but I would have expected version 6 of InDesign/version 11 of PS to handle well these simple operations.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Josh-H
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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2009, 11:33:05 PM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Dear all,

I have been trying to use InDesign and PS to do something very simple... design a Blurb book... and need to vent some frustration.

I am simply amazed by the amounts of problems I am facing when doing such a simple thing:

- Errors when exporting pages to .pdf from InDesign or .pdf generated with errors
- PS CS4 unable to rasterize .pdf without leaving some white lines through the pictures when the images in InDesign are in .png format
- InDesign export to jpg leaving some white lines through images
- PS CS4 freezing systematically when applying a simple save to jpg/close window action
- Bridge CS4 simply deleting some files when hanging
- ...

Are people really able to produce books professionlly with this set of tools? Granted, the kind of things I am doing is probably not the most representative workflow, but I would have expected version 6 of InDesign/version 11 of PS to handle well these simple operations.

Cheers,
Bernard


Bernard,

I dont have any answers for you - but am eagerly watching this thread as I am about to start a book project in Indesign and CS4 / Lightroom.

So I have more than a passing interest in how you are going with yours.

Would be interested in how you went about setting up your indesign layout as well.

Hopefully someone can chime in with some answers to your problems.
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2009, 01:25:24 AM »
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I feel for you Bernard.

I used to be in prepress before it went digital and tried to teach myself digital prepress pagination and layout design starting with Pagemaker 6.5. It was a complicated mess but I rarely got errors. There were so many dialog boxes to configure just to print a proof producing colors that rarely matched.

I read up on the list of instructions for preparing files for output to PostScript gathering all the fonts and original linked images and placing them in one folder, so on and so on.

Then Pagemaker included Distiller so I could output to .pdf and the configuring began all over again with a myriad of dialog boxes and submenu's and panels. Had to choose a PostScript printer driver file and printer description file, blah, blah, blah. With all this learning I managed to output one page poster design that included initial caps within columns of type, insets, drop shadowed bounding borders around photos, fancy headline custom font design with drop shadows made in Photoshop. It looked beautiful and I was exhausted. I could not conceive producing a multi-page book could be any easier.

From that day on I gave up desktop publishing and when Adobe came out with InDesign I didn't bite because it was filled with the same myriad of dialog box configurations as Pagemaker that I had to say enough is enough.

I'ld advise having someone who is trained in digital desktop publishing and prepress to handle the InDesign file preparation.

Or maybe get one of those template designs and drop in the design elements. Maybe there's some kind of "simple" button hidden in InDesign's myriad of configuration dialog boxes. You do know about setting signature page layouts, right? You may need to talk to the printers for how they want the digital pagination to be handled.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 01:29:06 AM by tlooknbill » Logged
tived
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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2009, 01:32:19 AM »
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I hear you, had the same issue last year, but I can't remember how I got around it, i'll call in later if I remember and look at the files when I got home.

It should be possible to do, and I have done, several if not may book layout using this same work flow.

Keep smiling

Henrik
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rcdurston
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2009, 03:07:23 AM »
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I use InDesign all the time to print my portfolios. I have had problems in the past with file formats and I have now settled on jpg; when I need to edit an image I will go back to the master, re edit it, save a version as jpg then relink. Also in the beginning (10 yrs ago now) I would do screen captures of each step to make sure I was doing things consistently.
You might also try getting your pdf's from the print dialog instead of export to pdf. Just an idea.
Be glad you're using InDesign and not Quark. . . . HA.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2009, 03:36:30 AM »
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Sounds like you need to resolve the issues with your creative suite programs before embarking on a big book project. I’m sure all the bugs and crashes you mention shouldn’t be happening.
I haven’t had any of the problems you mention with PS/Bridge CS4, but haven’t got Indesign here.

Maybe more pertinently, is Indesign is the best choice for designing photo books for Blurb at the moment ?
You do seem to read on the forums of people having problems with fonts and other pixelation issues when much text is printed via single pages that have to be converted to  JPGs.
For books with mainly photo content, will it be better to use a different more photo capable software package to generate the pages, eg just Photoshop or Qimage ? I have great reservations about BookSmart’s ability to resize images well enough or get output sharpening correct, not to mention the lack of suitable templates available for photo work.

At the weekend I uploaded my first test book to Blurb and a large portion of it are tests of various packages at different settings to build single jpg output pages of multiple images at different sizes.
I’m expecting that building pages with Qimage will give the best quality photographic results. If so, it’s ‘on the fly’ resizing and sharpening will save a lot of work rather than having to optimise each different image size. OK, probably not a great choice if you’re planning on printing a lot of text, but for me that’s not important.
I won’t be able to say what the results are until I get the book back, maybe a few weeks, but it will be interesting to see what has worked best.

Maybe rather than venting your(our) frustration here, it would be better to lobby Blurb, via their forums, to accept PDF input and significantly improve BookSmart. Other POD suppliers offer better design and layout packages, why can’t Blurb?
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westbourne
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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2009, 07:07:36 AM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Dear all,

I have been trying to use InDesign and PS to do something very simple... design a Blurb book... and need to vent some frustration.

I am simply amazed by the amounts of problems I am facing when doing such a simple thing:

- Errors when exporting pages to .pdf from InDesign or .pdf generated with errors
- PS CS4 unable to rasterize .pdf without leaving some white lines through the pictures when the images in InDesign are in .png format
- InDesign export to jpg leaving some white lines through images
- PS CS4 freezing systematically when applying a simple save to jpg/close window action
- Bridge CS4 simply deleting some files when hanging
- ...

Are people really able to produce books professionlly with this set of tools? Granted, the kind of things I am doing is probably not the most representative workflow, but I would have expected version 6 of InDesign/version 11 of PS to handle well these simple operations.

Cheers,
Bernard
Bernard

I am a professional book designer and use CS3 (not CS4) on a daily basis for all of my clients work. The problems you are encountering are not something I am familiar with, if they were I would probably have no clients left. My experience of Indesign and the entire CS3 package is that it works flawlessly, for me, on a mac Pro (OS 10.5) and 8gb of ram. How are you generating your pdfs?

If you want to PM me with more detail I will see if I can help, although the probelm could be CS4 specific.

Ian
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2009, 07:45:53 PM »
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Thank you all for your kind comments.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2009, 07:49:48 PM »
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I'm using CS4 Id and Ps, no issues at all for me with PDF output. I'm publishing a print magazine and it works fine. Sorry I can't be of more help.
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Nick Rains
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2009, 09:32:30 PM »
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Quote from: Nick Rains
I'm using CS4 Id and Ps, no issues at all for me with PDF output. I'm publishing a print magazine and it works fine. Sorry I can't be of more help.

Thanks Nick. I must be unlucky and I guess that my jpg workflow is not representative of what most peope do with PS and Id, which probably explains the issue.

It was reported by other people in fact.

Cheers,
Bernard
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tived
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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2009, 10:51:32 PM »
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Hi Bernard,

The problem, we had was, that a line or lines (random) would appear in print, and only visible when viewing at 200-400%, I think it is a rendering error of some sort, but I can't nail it down. I haven't found the files that was affected, I may have deleted them.

This error occurred in the PDF, from ID.

I better keep an eye out, cos I am doing a couple of books later this year. Using Bridge PS and ID to PDF

Henrik
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2009, 11:41:59 PM »
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Quote from: tived
Hi Bernard,

The problem, we had was, that a line or lines (random) would appear in print, and only visible when viewing at 200-400%, I think it is a rendering error of some sort, but I can't nail it down. I haven't found the files that was affected, I may have deleted them.

This error occurred in the PDF, from ID.

I better keep an eye out, cos I am doing a couple of books later this year. Using Bridge PS and ID to PDF

I got those both in direct InDesign jpg export, and PS .pdf reaterization when the image placed in InDesign was a .png file. I am not getting those anymore with tiff, but then I am getting some totally un-readable images even in the .pdf itself. It could be me who is doing something wrong, but I cannot figure out what...

Cheers,
Bernard
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2009, 12:24:53 AM »
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Quote from: Rhossydd
Maybe rather than venting your(our) frustration here, it would be better to lobby Blurb, via their forums, to accept PDF input and significantly improve BookSmart. Other POD suppliers offer better design and layout packages, why can’t Blurb?

Read this post

John
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2009, 03:09:52 AM »
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Quote from: johnbeardy

I had done already. Yes it's good they've woken up to the requirement for PDF input and hope to offer it at some future time.
However that doesn't address one root cause of the requirement for PDF input in that BookSmart doesn't meet many people's requirements for layouts. PDF input will be valuable for people already owning expensive page layout software like InDesign @ £680, but for more occasional users it might be too a big an investment to justify.
Other suppliers manage to offer far better packages for photo book layouts and Blurb ought to match this sort of package. See the myphotobook software http://www.unibind.com/unibind2008/EN/Phot...yphotobook.html supplied free with Unibind photobook covers and with Marrutt photo books as an example for how versatile some packages can be.
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Roskav
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« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2009, 03:55:47 AM »
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I use creative suite 3 and have no problems with integration of InDesign and Photoshop.... the area most prone to corruption in my experience is in anything to do with pdfs... I know you get the same problems with jpg bernard but is your acrobat up to date?  I think that Adobe tend to run a lot of things through pdf engines even if you don't ask it to!.. Also have you tried resetting any pdf presets to the default?


Ros


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rovanpera
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« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2009, 06:51:58 AM »
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Whats the point with using png's? That could play part in the rasterizing problems.
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fike
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« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2009, 11:25:01 AM »
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Adobe publishing tools are notoriously bad with png files.  We avoid them like the plague.  

I also found in my one short project that In Design doesn't do scaling well.  For best results, you need to match your printer config in In Design to the DPI of your image in Photoshop and resize to the exact dimenstions before importing to ID--this includes when you are intending to print to PDF.  

I have never used export to PDF; we always use print to PDF.  

Congratulations!  You have reached into a whole new can of worms.

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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2009, 08:27:49 PM »
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...or png files are really bad for publishing, since png cannot be cmyk.

Exporting a pdf from Indesign is not a problem, distiller settings are even interchangeable between Adobe Distiller and Indesign export dialog...


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Chris_T
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« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2009, 08:37:34 AM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
I have been trying to use InDesign and PS to do something very simple... design a Blurb book... and need to vent some frustration.

Are you doing this instead of using Blurb's Booksmart for a more custom design?

That would be my intent, and assuming that it is yours, I would like to share what I have found so far. Disclaimer: other than PS, I know nothing about or have used the following mentioned sw and templates, nor have I tried Booksmart. In fact, I have not published a book. Would appreciate feedback if my simpleton approach is flawed.

My assumption is that in Booksmart there will be a "printable area" for each page which would have area(s) for image(s) and text. For a fully customized layout of this area, I started out thinking that it should be relatively "simple" to create a flattened PS jpg file that includes all the image(s) and text for a page. I also assume that I can fill the "printable area" completely with this jpg file, which would have the exact size and resolution for printing. This would get around any spacing, font type/size issues that may come up with Booksmart, etc. And I would only be dealing with a single file format I'm familiar with: jpg. For a photo book made up of only a couple of consistent page layouts (for protrait and landscape), creating a few PS templates should not be that difficult. Done.

Then I found someone is already doing this, and has some templates already made for PS and InDesign. Although I have yet to check out these templates, the process seems to be similar to what I have in mind.

http://theartofengineering.wordpress.com/2...lurb-templates/

There are also those who prefer something called Fotofusion for laying out a book.

Just like everything else in digital imaging, there are many "easy to use" tools, but if you want to "customize" just a little bit, you have to work for it.


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john beardsworth
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« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2009, 08:54:51 AM »
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"PS jpg file that includes all the image(s) and text for a page."

PNG is recommended for text - sharper results than jpeg. See this post.

Until they accept PDF (later this year), it seems to be InDesign—> PDF—> Photoshop—> PNG—> BookSmart. Not exactly convenient, but less onerous if you are happy with actions and scripting.

John
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