When printing a vector illustration in PDF format, my gradients that fade to 0% over a surface aren't coming out right. The gradient appears like a box with a hard edge, rather than fading away. It looks like this when viewing the file , but when printed I am getting this . (don't mind the color, it is a bad quality photo)
I am using an HP z5200 postscript printer. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Same old, same old: Colour management (or absence of same). You need to figure out which color profiles/ settings your printer uses to rasterize the data for print, calibrate your system accordingly and set the relevant color profiles, use proof preview, possibly verify your stuff in Acrobat before printing. No easy "just flip this switch" answers here...
However, the gradients within a shape layer are printing fine. It is just the edges of the transparent fades that are giving me problems. Do you think that it could have something to do with this :
To print vector data
If an image includes vector graphics, such as shapes and type, Illustrator can send the vector data
to a PostScript printer. When you choose to include vector data, Illustrator sends the printer a
separate image for each type layer and each vector shape layer. These additional images are printed
on top of the base image, and clipped using their vector outline. Consequently, the edges of vector
graphics print at the printer’s full resolution, even though the content of each layer is limited to the
resolution of your image file."
So the printer might be picking up on the edges of the shapes that these faded gradients are in and cause it to come out as a crisp edge instead of fading to 0% and showing the layer under it?
I should've been more clear on this before, but in the illustrator file there is a white wall, with a slight gradient as one object, and then on top of that is another shape object that has the transparent gradient, used as a shadow.
Try setting the top layer to "Multiply" in the transparency dialog. Are you saying the background does not show through the shadow layer? I think Monica Gause has a solution that involves a shadow mask of some sort.
Some of the surfaces that I am covering with these shadows have gradients or details that would have to be shown so there has to be transparency, but I'll try making the stopper in the gradient thats at 0% a similar color to what it's being placed over.
I know it would be better to be able to print the vectors in a PDF, but do you think bringing the image into photoshop at 300 ppi and rasterizing and flattening it might help? Because it would be one whole image instead of the computer reading it as different objects and layers placed over eachother?