BookSmart

Locked Why are all my 600 dpi pages pixelated?

I’ve been working on a 400 + book now for a couple of months and thought I was finally ready to order. I did custom page throughout following the instructions given to me by Blurb. Everything came out super crisp and prints great up until I get it into Booksmart then everything is SUPER-pixelated on screen and when I do a test print it’s even worse the text is illegible and my image are pixelated as well.
Did I just waste all my time? Or is this just a preview problem and the actual book will print fine? I don’t really want to get 20 terrible books printed at over $200 each to find out, or even one for that matter.
Can anyone help?

someone from tech support suggested that I try exporting my pages at 600 dpi but that didn’t make any difference, once they get into BookSmart they look and print terribly.

Posted by
despencer
Oct 29, 2007 5:39pm PDT
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despencer
 

What is the file size of the JPEG’s you are importing into Blurb?

Posted by
lcarreira
Oct 29, 2007 6:04pm PDT
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lcarreira
 

Well right now they are 7572 px by 6528 px. They used to be about half that size though the first time around.

Posted by
despencer
Oct 30, 2007 2:16am PDT
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despencer
 

Hello despencer;

Are ALL your pages pixellated? There are known issues with individual pages being pixellated – but this is the first time I’ve read of ALL pages being as such!

You should have seen the pixellation when first dragging a thumb-nail to a page layout!

Did the pixellation start when you FIRST imported your images, or only after creating 600dpi images?

I don’t understand the reasoning behind a suggestion for a 600dpi image – that’s gross overkill for a printing project!

Did you create all your pages in PhotoShop first? Have you flattened all layers and saved files as JPEGs, rather than PSDs, TIFs or PNGs ?

Your image sizes now are almost 50MP ! I feel sure that alone will create problems…

Sorry I can’t offer anything more constructive…

I suggest you send Tech Support a full e-mail with screen-shots to illustrate what you see…

Cheers;

Lee

Posted by
lkb-28
Oct 30, 2007 2:26am PDT
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lkb-28
 

Another thought; How did you create the 600dpi image? If you re-sized and re-sampled, that would provide an explanation for the pixellation!

Lee

Posted by
lkb-28
Oct 30, 2007 2:28am PDT
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lkb-28
 

All my files were created in InDesign and exported as a PDF X/1a. I then imported the pdf into photoshop and exported the individual pages as flattened jpegs. This is the process that was recommended on the Blurb forum. I then went through that exact same process again to create 600 dpi pages so I did not resample the existing jpegs which are actually still quite resonable in size, about 10 – 12 mb each. I admit that 600 dpi is indeed overkill but I wanted to be sure they would print well.

Yes, all my pages appear to be pixelated as they were when I first exported them at 300dpi.

Posted by
despencer
Oct 30, 2007 2:39am PDT
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despencer
 

Sounds like a definate candidate for Tech Support I’m afraid!

Good luck;

Lee

Posted by
lkb-28
Oct 30, 2007 2:45am PDT
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lkb-28
 

I had an issue where the preview cover of a 7×7 book was super blurry and when printed it was fine.  For me it was just a preview issue. 

Posted by
Crys5683
Oct 30, 2007 2:10pm PDT
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Crys5683
 

 Howdy folks, 

Like most layout programs, BookSmart basically shows you a low-resolution substitute of the image so that processing power can be reserved for moving the images around, resizing them, switching pages, etc.

Your photos should appear in print more like the originals look—they will not be blurry or grainy. I am sorry for the confusion and hope you enjoy your book once it arrives!

Cheers,

Jeremy 

Posted by
jbates
Nov 1, 2007 5:31pm PDT
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jbates
 

That’s good info to know jeremy.. Might I hope then that the Preview that gets generated be in Full resolution to allow users to verify results before upload and printing?  thx.

Posted by
Jingothecat
Nov 3, 2007 3:15pm PDT
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Jingothecat
 

Not sure if this helps, but I have found that InDesign is terrible for exporting jpgs text-wise, also that converting pdfs to jpgs also pixelates the text as well as other vector images. I’m guessing/hoping that laying out in illustrator and converting to jpg in photoshop will solve this problem. I have used this method at other printers and have been happy with both the photo and the text/vector quality.

Posted by
piktor1
Jan 2, 2008 2:11pm PDT
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piktor1
 

piktor1,

Nothing is wrong with InDesign or Photoshop, or even Illustrator. It IS just that BookSmart application IS the issue.

I have done my books with InDesign (then exporting PDFs into Photoshop, then exporting them into JPG high-quality) and then importing Photoshop JPGs into BookSmart. It is true that it looks horrible in BookSmart. BUT, in the end, the printed book looks nicely done.

Posted by
brianbonitz
Jan 2, 2008 3:54pm PDT
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brianbonitz
 

I’ve had the problem too but my printed books look fine.  Even Blurb’s customer support couldn’t give me the reassurance I needed so I took the leap of faith. 

I’d like to see Blurb put a little note on their preview pages that warn that the results you see are degraded and the final printed result will likely be fine. 

Donna

Posted by
donnat
Jan 4, 2008 4:38pm PDT
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donnat
 

Donna,

Try to remember that “preview” PDF file you are seeing anywhere at Blurb Bookstore are designed to give you a rough understanding on how your book looks like, once you uploaded your file with Blurb secure website.

As you may have notice that every time when you preview others’ preview book cover, it comes with first page of Book Preview PDF message like this:

“Check out the first 15 pages of this book’s low-resolution PDF. Remember, photos and text look sharper in the published book than they do in this low-resolution file…” Source cited as per Book Preview PDF on any Blurb Bookstore to preview any Blurb authors’ books.

Also, it varies from book A to book B, and how someone put pieces together, and if they follow the suggestion, tips and procedure set forth by Blurb team, and/or participants here at forums.

To get book published nicely, or to near perfectly done, it involved lot of parameters, lot of patience, effort and individual’s manpower to make this work, and that brings to book published nicely and professionally. It also depends on individual’s comfort zone working with computer skills, Booksmart skills, and if someone have other tools such as Photoshop or any image editing app to make photos looks better… THe possibilities and options are endless. You can determine what needs to be done, I can’t see what you are doing on your computer from here. I may be some thousand miles away from you, but this forum helps you trying to figure out.

If you believe that you have some unsolved issue, perhaps that you want to address this issue with customer service through email support – web submission about your issue.

Once you submitted your web contact form submission done, I believe that customer service (or tech support) can help you with suggestion or tips or workaround solution.

Posted by
brianbonitz
Jan 4, 2008 11:25pm PDT
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brianbonitz
 

Brian, I’m not talking about the PDF preview.  I’m talking about the preview in the Booksmart software.  And If you read my comment again, you’ll see that I did contact customer service about this and they weren’t able to help me except to encourage me to purchase a full price nonrefundable "proof" copy.  

Since I don’t sell my books and generally only purchase one or two copies TOTAL, ordering a "proof" copy of a $150 book carries the risk of being a terribly expensive waste of time if the printed results don’t match the high quality content I imported into the Booksmart software.

I’m not a novice.  I know what I’m doing and I know how to use the software and how to contact customer service if I need to.  I’m merely sharing my experiences with other users here just like you are.

Donna

Posted by
donnat
Jan 5, 2008 8:28pm PDT
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donnat
 

Not at all sure I want to get embroiled in this Donna & Brian, but I am part way through a large book and my intention is to take a copy and just upload the first 20 pages for a proof (having made sure I have a good sample of my (potential) issues within those 20 pages). Still a fair bit of money but not $150 – I know this should not be necessary but having read many of the posts within these forums now I know it’ll give me a sort of comfort factor before ordering the full book.

........Tony

Posted by
tfrankland
Jan 6, 2008 2:00pm PDT
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tfrankland
 

Donna,

I’ll just leave at that as it is. I only offer you some help or insight or suggestion.

I would think you really need to follow-through with customer service.

Posted by
brianbonitz
Jan 6, 2008 4:37pm PDT
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brianbonitz
 

Tony, that is an EXCELLENT idea! 

Donna

Posted by
donnat
Jan 6, 2008 5:43pm PDT
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donnat