Fireball Review #2!

August 24, 2011 11:52 PM

I went to a lot more conventions than I had planned to, and sold better than expected too, so I ran out of some prints I ordered this year and had to print again. I thought I would write another brief review because of how much I love these guys haha

What I printed this time! I ran out of 3 of my newest Carciphona illustrations so I reordered some, and I also printed 3 new pieces and 2 copies of display only pictures. I forgot about the rude pic in this picture but I put everything back already and I’m too lazy to retake ): I ordered the prints last Thursday and wanted to have them by this Wednesday latest, and I got them right on time again with no hassle, go them!

But as I have mentioned some of my prints from last run turned out dark because of all the blacks I used on it. I’ve been really confused and trying hard to figure out this CMYK stuff Finni was trying to explain to me. What she said was to not have a high % of K in the colours I use, but with painting style it’d be impossible to monitor every single colour I use in RGB, so I can only adjust final image brightness.

In order to figure out the safe levels because I have no idea what the standards were, I compared the veloce print to my original psd with eyedrop and tried really hard to guess at what % do the blacks start to become indiscernible in print.I eyedropped all dark areas of the images to be printed (eg. on the harp picture: the sky gradient, sharp shading, floor shading; on veloce’s picture, the base colour and the shadow colour her black stockings) and my originals usually have 60-80% K in those areas (eye drop, then open colour picker, there should be 4 fields at the bottom right, each for C, M, Y, and K). In the Veloce pic the shading in the stockings goes to like 90+%. In the end my estimate was the base colour (the lighter shade) should be around 50%, and the shadow colour should not go too much beyond 70% because anything beyond that would just look like a botch of dark crap. Later Finni told me that K is usually kept below 50% so I guess those are the general numbers, but every place is different. If you’re printing with another company you’d have to figure their range out yourself.

I upped the brightness of my images using Color Levels (Ctrl L), moving the middle slider on the graph to the left to adjust the midtones. I use this and not brightness/contrast so that the whites on my image don’t get destroyed when the image is brightened. I was really really worried about this test because they look alarmingly light on my screen, but I was relieved because this adjustment made pretty much everything look exactly like I see them on my monitor. The 50/70 rule allowed the darks to print dark, and also allowed the levels of shading between the dark and light would not get lost. Like last time, the colours are more vibrant than I see them on my monitor, but that’s a good thing. And unlike last time, you can actually see veloce’s legs HAHA. The harp pic is fucking GORGEOUS and made that one good Staples run of the picture look bad LOL. I’m not even trying ot be narcissistic about my prints or anything, it’s just that a printer doing your images justice is truly a magical experience, especially after printing badly before so many times HAHA

Ok that’s enough cheesy flattery from me, and since I have been working nonstop on my artbook I don’t have any scraps to post, so HAVE SOME MORE NOT VERY ARTISTIC PHOTOS until after FanEXPO when my life will finally return to normal again
My cat taking a break from drawing in her computer chair

Rainbow outside my house! We see full arcs so frequently from our patio, this location is like magical or something I bet my closet leads to narnia

Or I’m probably in narnia already cus narnia is just another word for canada


  • Wow thank you for sharing those tips, they'll be really usefull to me the day I'll start printing too. That's exactly the kind of stuff NO ONE tells you about :(
    I love you ^^

  • dlfjwlfjwelkfwj so informative! I'm totally going to have to remember the CMYK stuff for when I print my work– THIRTY YEARS FROM NOW.

    I just ordered a bunch of Christmas cards from Fireball THANKS TO YOU and I'm really excited to see how they turn out! I honestly feel bad ordering only like 30 cards since they seem to be more uh…bulk printers, but I have no use for 100+ Christmas cards ;_+

  • Graphic novel and artbook aside, would you consider selling your prints online? I'm aware you sell some on deviantart, but deviantart works as the middleman and makes it rather pricey. I understand it would be some shipping on your part but if you did put some one your poster art up for sale I'd buy a few prints for sure. Or, if by chance you already have something like that in the works let me know please. ^^

    • I'm still trying to work it out because I'm trying to get around expensive shipping by finding smaller tubes. I just don't have the time to do that recently so I've been putting it off ): but I do plan to sell at least letter size prints in the future!

  • I really do need to give that print service a try before next year's convention season(and hopefully AN's comic market lottery will stop pwning me!). Playing around with levels seems to really help with dark pictures as well. I have this cg that I used a lot of dark purple and blue tones that looks great in RGB mode but once converted to CMYK, all the great colour overlay effects and everything else, might as well never have been added, as they don't show up at all. Of course that Level adjustment tip I got from Finni. Hope to see you at FanExpo this weekend :D!

    • yeah really light or really dark saturated colours do not show up well at all in cmyk, and some colours are just impossible to produce and should be avoided when being used for print haha (glowing turqoise for example)

  • Chris

    Ha ha, two reviews for one printer. You must really love these guys :P.
    The CMYK problem sounds tricky to fix though…You did a good job finding a way around it :).
    Your cat deserves that break, it works so hard :P.
    And you have a nice house it seems! :)

    • yeah I think a second or third go is pretty important when I try to say something about a company's service, because it would eliminate the chance that my experience was an isolated incident XD

  • Ruina

    Wooow, thanks for the mini printing tutorial! *__* Good luck with your next con! And daaaw, your kitty so cute. ;v;