I am currently attempting to create a wood grain background.
I saw that using an overlay gradient really makes it look a lot more realistic but this is to be printed so I am not sure if this is basically treated as a transparent gradient and may not print. Another step in the tutorial I was looking at was also to add another overlay with a colour burn tool so it creates a lighting effect. Again, does this add transparency (my gut is telling me yes).
Here is the tutorial so the effects are better explained (step 8 and 9) - the other steps I have not used as I drew the grain by hand:
I had an earlier issue where I had created gradients with a part of them transparent and they did not print and so I have been avoiding transparency at all costs. The funny thing was when I had a group of objects at 80% transparency they seemed to print fine.
Could someone give me advice on what is print safe and what is not when it comes to such effects.
Gradient use is merely limited by the minimum density/ ink saturation required to make them show up. Of course many times transparencies will have to be flattened, especially with blending modes, but that's no different than trying to emulate them with color gradients.
The problem I have experienced when flattening transparencies is I got a box shape around it. Do colour burns and such also act like transparencies in much the same way or can they be used with relative safety?
Blending modes change the actual color of a pixel. Still, the result is the same - a wood texture turned yellow-ish using a blending mode is no different than manually reducing the color density using transparencies once it's translated to CMYK for the actual printing - a light yellow pixel that falls below the ink's capability to represent that color based on its pigmentation and viscosity that determine its minimum dot size/ ink volume cannot be printed. Simple physics. Most colors will simply need anywhere from 3% to 7% coverage to actually show up. A proper workflow based on managed color should reveal such issues early enough, though.