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1,915 Views 21 Replies Last post: Dec 5, 2017 7:00 AM by Spiritualized RSS
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Level 0 35 posts since
Sep 4, 2015
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 20, 2017 4:46 AM

Photo problems after successful review


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Firstly, I've already released several books with Createspace with photos that have turned out great, but I'm scratching my head with the problem with my new book. My book is text with over 70 black and white (grayscale) photos inserted. I think I've prepared the book as I did with the previous ones – used Microsoft Word, insert the photos, used print to create a PDF (used DoPDF on this occasion). On checking the PDF all looked great, so uploaded to Createspace, then checked it on the Digital Proofer, again all looked great (the photos I mean). So then submitted for review. A day later they've come back to me saying 'Congratulations, your files are printable - REVIEW COMPLETE: Your files have successfully passed our review process - our interior and cover files for meet our technical requirements for printing.'

 

The only thing they picked up on was the cover - 'The cover contains transparency which is flattened during our processing and may result in a slight change in appearance.' But that looks fine.

 

So now I do the proof again and find that around half of the photos are now looking like the second of the 2 in the photo I've included in this post (the upper image is how it was in the PDF before it came back from an approved review). This now on the Digital Proofer and download proof PDF. So then I re-uploaded the interior PDF, again initially the phots looked great on the Digital Proofer, so I submitted for review again, and again they approved it – saying as above. But again many of the photos turned out as the second photo - in the digital and PDF proofs. I contacted customer service, I didn't get the technical team directly (and can't phone from the uk) my problem was passed on to them and the message came back - 

 

"This issue is occurring due to the structure of the images present in the Submitted Interior file. The images are comprised of numerous horizontal rectangular objects which together make up the full image (see attached screenshot showing PDF pgs 8-9 in wireframe mode). The thin lines appear where the rectangular objects meet. In order to correct this the author would need to re-export his file ensuring that the images are single jpeg files and reupload."

 

Why didn't they say this when they've approved the PDF 3 times now? I've again gone back to the original doc, re-inserted the photos, created a PDF, uploaded yet again, and yet again the review team said it had passed and was fine, yet again when I check the digital proof and PDF proof the photo problems are back? Confused. Why are they approving it every time but it always come back with the same problems? It is 85mb in size and has over 70 photos and takes about 5 mins to turn into a pdf and upload to Createspace, so is it possible that they're not giving the phots time enough to load when they reload it? Or have I done something wrong in the process this time?

 

CSF

Level 5 4,269 posts since
Oct 27, 2010
Currently Being Moderated
1. Nov 20, 2017 6:05 AM in response to: Spiritualized
Re: Photo problems after successful review

I wouldn't blame CreateSpace. Their diagnosis is credible - the uploaded images are probably unsuitable for print. The problems in these images would probably not be picked up by CreateSpace reviewers for two reasons:

  1. I am sure their reviews are exclusively digital
  2. Even if they printed a proof of their own, it is not up to them to decide whether images are not what is required (when they do do this we usually get mad at them).

 

What do you have to do?

 

Reprocess each image so that it is a single element. Make sure also that there are no half-tone patterns in the images before you submit them, as this will almost certainly create moire effects once printed. In fact, when I first looked at your printed image, I thought it had some sort of moire effect.

 

I have a question for you - how did your images end up in such a strange format anyway? Did you grab them off a web site? Some online images are deliberately displayed in multiple tiles to sabotage any attempts to copy them. This is a legitimate defence that any copyright holder might want to employ.

Level 5 4,269 posts since
Oct 27, 2010
Currently Being Moderated
3. Nov 20, 2017 6:28 AM in response to: Spiritualized
Re: Photo problems after successful review

OK, in that case I think this odd patterned effect must be caused by the output settings you had in Irfanview. I am not familiar with the software, so cannot really say any more. Maybe someone else will be able to shed more light on this.

 

Incidentally, don't worry about half-tones and moire effects. If you took the photos yourself this won't be a problem.

 

EDIT: I just had a quick look and noticed that Irfanview does indeed have settings for the export of tiles. Not sure whether this would be the cause though.

Level 3 456 posts since
Oct 16, 2014
Currently Being Moderated
5. Nov 20, 2017 8:04 AM in response to: Spiritualized
Re: Photo problems after successful review

Without having access to the images that are in the PDF I can only make a guess, but my guess is that this effect is probably due to an interaction of: (1) the screening pattern that generates the gray shades on the printer, (2) the thin horizontal strips (courtesy of Word), and (3) low quality JPEG compression (introduced when the strips are recompressed when making the PDF, or possibly in the original image; the effect is cumulative and it gets worse every time the image is recompressed).

 

Item 1 is unavoidable in print.  It does not exist at all when viewing on a monitor.

 

Item 2 and the PDF recompression portion of item 3 can be eliminated by using Libre Office or a layout program that can produce output intended for commercial print applications. They won't alter images unless you tell them to or use them to add fancy effects.

Level 5 3,941 posts since
Feb 1, 2011
Currently Being Moderated
7. Nov 20, 2017 8:56 AM in response to: Spiritualized
Re: Photo problems after successful review
Could I just the leave the photos colour as choosing a black and white book?

Yes, you can have color photos in your book and specify that the book be printed in B/W.  Output results may be different than what you expect, but they will be better than you now have.

 

Dan'l

Level 3 456 posts since
Oct 16, 2014
Currently Being Moderated
8. Nov 20, 2017 9:32 AM in response to: Spiritualized
Re: Photo problems after successful review

If you can establish that the images with the problem are the ones that Word converted, and the ones that print as expected Word didn't convert, I think that would go a long way toward solving the problem.  The color images would use more memory, so it is possible that the size of the strips is related to memory usage.

 

As indicated above, you can have CS convert the color space.  If the arithmetic is done correctly it will be a good technical conversion, but you won't have the opportunity to see if it's a good artistic conversion or if there are other processing issues until you get the proof.  Using your image editor to do all of the processing will give you control over the output, except for the part about breaking the picture into strips when making the PDF.

Level 3 456 posts since
Oct 16, 2014
Currently Being Moderated
10. Nov 20, 2017 11:48 AM in response to: Spiritualized
Re: Photo problems after successful review

My guess is that it's an interference pattern (moire) caused by applying the screen pattern to some regular pattern in the image, like might be related to JPEG tiling and the thinness of the image strips.  A magnifying glass should help to see it, if that is the case.

Level 3 456 posts since
Oct 16, 2014
Currently Being Moderated
12. Nov 21, 2017 8:03 AM in response to: Spiritualized
Re: Photo problems after successful review

I have put on my dunce cap.  I was working under the impression that the second image was from a printed proof, even though you stated otherwise.  Therefore, what I said about screening dots isn't applicable because the dots don't exist until the book is printed.

 

In the past, the wireframes from Word PDFs have shown several images that extend the full width and are stacked up like pancakes, so your wireframe is quite different in that it shows a mosaic arrangement.  It is possible that you are reacting to "stitching lines" where the images join; stitching lines are rarely visible in print but can be quite visible on a monitor.

 

I've never used Irfanview, but you definitely do not want a progressive JPEG, and do want a grayscale JPEG.  The latter should not only allow smaller files, but should forestall subsequent colorspace conversions.

 

If you have or can get access to Acrobat Pro, it would be possible to directly analyze the PDF.  As a workaround, since you are working with the digital proofing tools, I'll suggest making a PDF of your book using Libre Office (use the existing .doc file) and uploading that to evaluate the images.  Libre Office won't alter the images unless it is set to resample them, and it doesn't break images into pieces.  If the mosaic pattern / stitching lines still exist, then the images or image preparation would appear to be the culprit.

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