Archive for category: Reviews

Getting a book printed

[Edit: Those with corrections to make and experiences to share, please feel free to add to this post in the comments section for future readers to see!]

I’ve gotten 3 books printed now; I said I would write a little something after my first book but I kept delaying it in hopes that my subsequent experiences will contribute to the post. It was originally going to be a largely review for MCRL printing which I used to print Carciphona 1, but I ended up trying to eliminate the middleman and the costs that came with it by looking for overseas printing companies on my own, so now it’s a combination of review for the company and advice I may have. Remember that I am still a total noob at this, I only know what I needed to know and some of these may not even be correct or smart, so please use this post as a stepping stone rather than as is! But hopefully this will give noobs like myself an idea of the skeleton of the process and a direction of approach.

Fireball Review #2!

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

Fireball Printing review

I’ve made my prints this year through a different company. The prints had just arrived today so I’m just going to relax from packing orders by typing up a storm here! (this photo is more contrasty than my actual prints because I can’t figure out the right exposure to use for my camera lmao)