Specifically, are gradients produced in Photoshop superior? Or is it the same rendering engine for those produced in InDesign and Illustrator?
Thanks in advance for your comments.
Photoshop is a pixel-oriented program (with some path-capabilities) whereas Illustrator and Indesign are vector-oriented, so the comparison seems to be of limited usefulness.
Why do you ask?
Well, I'm producing final art of an art director's ID files with large gradient backgrounds created in ID, and my contention is those gradients should be recreated in Photoshop as I believe, rightly or wrongly, they will print better and smoother. Am I wrong?
The same gradient out of Photoshop at 300 - 400 ppi @ 100% will be an un-necessarily large and cumbersome file. Screen ( monitor ) rendering in InDesign may or may not give you an accurate rendering of the actual vector gradient in InDesign or Illustrator. You should have your InDesign view set for high quality and the document resolution set for 5080dpi / 300ppi ( depending on RIP screening requirements ). Monitors tend to have an issue with rendering gradients accurately. Proof the project to check the rendering via a reliable printer ( i.e., Postscript Level 3 RIP ). But, getting back to your original question, gradients in Illustrator are different than Photoshop gradients whereas IL = Vector; PS = Bitmap. However, the RIP will render them the same through its internal print engine. How the gradient is created will make or break the artwork.
Recently a colleague of mine had to proof a pdf where the jpg-compression had seriously messed up pixel-gradients, the solution to which was creating an uncompressed pdf – which of course bloated the file-size … anyway, best be aware that jpg-compression can have a negative effect on pixel-gradients.
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