Sharpening in the PDF to Book Workflow
The 3-step sharpening method seems to be the best way to achieve sharp results in print. i.e., capture sharpen, creative sharpen then output sharpen. However I am struggling to formulate a PDF to Book workflow which allows this.
The 3-step sharpening method dictates that I should work with images in InDesign which have not yet had had any output sharpening applied. The optimal sharpened print is better achieved by sharpening a final spread, when you know the paper type and size.
If I generate a multi-page PDF from InDesign, how am I able to output-sharpen this? For other album companies, I import the PDF into Photoshop, sharpen each spread and save to individual jpgs, and upload these to the print companies. But how do I re-create a multi-page PDF file for uploading to Blurb? As far as I know, Photoshop cannot process entire multi-page PDF files and save as such (only as individual files).
The support offered by the Blurb tech team was:
“This workflow is incorrect, as the images should be worked up in Photoshop first, saved to a new folder, and then placed to the templates we offer for InDesign. Plus, Photoshop can’t export a PDF in the format we need.”
So: is it true that no-one at Blurb in output sharpening in the optimal way?
I’d be interested to hear any thoughts on this…
I usually sharpen the images as the final step, previous to save as tiff files, in Photoshop (I work the image, crop to the final size, convert to blurb cmyk profile, then use smart sharpen or unsharp mask, and then save the photo, ready for placing it into InDesign… that’s my workflow… I hope it helps…
Steve — Output Sharpening, as you mentioned, is a separate step from Capture, Content & Creative Sharpening as per Real World – B Fraser’s books (& Jeff S) — all of this sharpening is Image-specific, that is applied directly to each Image, typically in Photoshop (not thru InDesign) — there’s no need to sharpen Vector Objects — we know the final paper type & Image size when working out the job specs; ie; 8×10 Portrait, Uncoated Paper, Image Rez @ 245ppi, Blurb-Indigo Line Screen at 175 lpi (note that the Blurb PDF/X-3 Job Options limits Color & Grayscale Images to 300 ppi, which is less than the typical 2x lpi formula) — the Blurb PDF-to-Bk workflow incorporates press ready PDF/X-3 file delivery & not what you may be use to with other (RGB-Delivery) workflows — optimal Output Sharpening has a formula as per the Real World books, or Pixel Genius or Nik SharpenerPro — or we can use any of the various methods in Photoshop — FYI — with CMYK-delivery, the K Channel offers a sharpening option , K-Channel & optionally the weak Channel) tht is not fully available with Composite Channel routines — hope this helps — Glenn Las Vegas