8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 7, 2017 1:09 PM by rob day

    Preparing files for printer: 8 or 16 bit?

    Djuna A. Level 1

      Hi there,

       

      Half of my files were shot in JPEG and therefore have low tonal variation in the histogram. The other half in TIFF have high variation. All are converted to PSDs for the printer.

       

      For the best quality, should I send the first half out as dithered 8 bits and the second as 16 bits?

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Preparing files for printer: 8 or 16 bit?
          Djuna A. Level 1

          Correction: some of the pictures have gaps in tonal variation; some do not. The ones shot in JPEGs tend to have no shadows.

          • 2. Re: Preparing files for printer: 8 or 16 bit?
            D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            There's no reason to send out 16 bit files, they'll get converted to 8 anyway. However, there's very good reason to work in 16 bits.

             

            If you receive jpegs that you need to do further work on, save them as PSD or TIFF immediately. A jpeg deteriorates with every resave.

             

            Don't send out PSD. Keep master PSDs and prepare copies for print. These can be jpegs for convenience, but if quality requirements are high, send TIFF, which is widely supported on all platforms.

            • 3. Re: Preparing files for printer: 8 or 16 bit?
              Djuna A. Level 1

              Okay, yes, I did work mostly in 16. So now I should convert to 8, or just leave them all as they are? The publisher has requested PSDs. And, yes, I did save all JPEGS as TIFF immediately... check check check.

              • 4. Re: Preparing files for printer: 8 or 16 bit?
                D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                https://forums.adobe.com/people/Djuna+A.  wrote

                 

                The publisher has requested PSDs.

                OK, that's an odd request indeed. It suggests they're going to modify them further - that's the only plausible reason. If you're comfortable with that, just give them what they want (personally I wouldn't - I'd ask them why).

                • 5. Re: Preparing files for printer: 8 or 16 bit?
                  Djuna A. Level 1

                  Yeah, they're going to fiddle with the size (but not aspect ratio) to fit an A5 layout.

                   

                  Which mades me wonder... I already flattened all the layers. I don't think there's any way I can lock down everything-but-the-size at this point so that they don't accidentally do something?

                  • 6. Re: Preparing files for printer: 8 or 16 bit?
                    D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Any file can be modified, there's no way to "lock down". But with a PSD or TIFF you can do that without inflicting too much damage to the data, especially in 16 bit color depth.

                     

                    So if you know things will be done downstream, and you're OK with that, 16 bit PSD is probably the best choice.

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                    • 7. Re: Preparing files for printer: 8 or 16 bit?
                      Martin_Bns Adobe Community Professional

                      In 2017 a lot of services print directly in jpg. It really depends what are going to print and on which kind of printer.

                      Of course, never send psd files to print. Usually send Tiff, jpg or pdf.

                       

                      From my experience most of print service ask for a high quality jpg file instead of a tiff file, because of the file size and their ability to print great images also from a jpg file. Said that, tiff is a format with better quality but can be really (really) large size.

                       

                      Regards,
                      Martin

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                      • 8. Re: Preparing files for printer: 8 or 16 bit?
                        rob day Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Okay, yes, I did work mostly in 16. So now I should convert to 8, or just leave them all as they are? The publisher has requested PSDs.

                        The publisher will be placing the image in a page layout right? In that case the request for PSD isn't unusual—both InDesign and Quark support PSD placement. I never place TIFF because a PSD's layer visibility can be controlled from the layout, which in many workflows is an important feature that is lost with TIFF.

                         

                        Also for 16-bit editing to be effective you have to capture the 16-bits out of the camera via camera raw's workflow options. Opening a file as 8-bit and converting to 16-bit won't recover the lost gray levels.

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