Just a quick update on SKT: The Revelation edition. I’ve now gone through two test prints of the deck to check color issues. We haven’t even gotten to the test runs for checking cardstock, finish, etc. We’re still on color.
Nonetheless, the pre-order newsletter e-mail will be sent out on the morning of March 20, 2021. One way to check whether the pre-order e-mail has been sent is to check the newsletter archives, linked here.
Even though the photograph of the cards is unfiltered and as-is, I think something about the way it’s translating digitally masks the problem that is all too glaring in real life: the color values are just a smidge on the dark side, and there isn’t enough contrast, so you end up with very slightly blurred images.
It isn’t a resolution or pixelation issue, because I’ve printed these images in full color, magnified 250%, and the quality of the image files is more than sufficient for printing at standard tarot size. It’s already more than sufficient for printing at US Letter size as art prints.
This photo exhibits the issue I’m dealing with:
The two oversize card images are art prints I printed from home. The standard tarot card size ones in the center are noticeably darker in color values. When you’re looking at these photos, by the way, take into account the issue of natural lighting. The above was taken on a rainy, cloudy afternoon. The earlier two photographs of the cards, albeit also as-is and unfiltered, were taken on a sunny morning.
Above left is a screenshot of my digital image file. Above right is the actual printed tarot card, scanned in, unaltered. You can see how the actual printed version is a little bit darker, but that “little bit” makes a huge difference. So right now, that’s what I’m working on correcting.
See what I mean by the deceptive photography? Scroll back up to the scan of the actual tarot card I test-printed. That’s the darkness that I’m trying to correct. Now see directly above, a photograph of that same card. The actual photograph isn’t picking up the values issue.
You can see the issue again here. Not only is the actual printed version darker in values, but it also seems to be cooler, as in the tones are cooler, while in the digital version, the tones are warmer.
In case any deck creators reading this also uses Jasc Paint Shop (or Corel Paint Shop), here’s how I figured out how to convert RGB images to CMYK. Under the “Image” drop-down, click on “Split Channel” and then “Split to CMYK.”
You get what you see above.
Go back to “Image” and now click on “Combine Channel” and select “Combine from CMYK.” This little box will pop up:
Click okay and then a new image file, converted to CMYK, will appear.
I then exit out of all those black and white image files and save the newly created CMYK one. Notice how as-is, as you see it on screen, it’s super bright, overly warm in tones, with sharp contrast. If an actual tarot card printed that as-is, I wouldn’t like it. But it seems that if it looks like the above on screen, then it ends up printing just about right. Totally counter-intuitive. I’m learning to deal. =)
Above left is what I want the color values to look like. Above right is the actual digital image file after converting to CMYK, prepped for printing. I’ve ordered another test print to see if this’ll do the trick.
In terms of showcasing the details, the print quality is pretty good. Any blurriness you see in the above photo is just due to me not being able to keep my camera phone still. The print quality in terms of the details showing up is a Pass. 😀
Even though none of these photographs are filtered or altered in any way, I’m not able to show the issue that’s glaring in real life– the darkened color values. I turned off all auto-adjust functions on my camera phone. But I think the sunlight is just a natural, inevitable filter.
Another revision to see if I can lighten up the color values is lightening up that background parchment color. To compare, way on the left is what the parchment background looked like as a digital file for the Vitruvian. Those who have the Vitruvian deck can look down at the actual cards to compare that color saturation to what they actually see on the cards.
Above center was the color parchment for the test print run, but I’ve lightened it up to what you see on the way right.
Even though pre-order launch will still proceed on March 20 (a few days from this posting), just know that I’m still tinkering with test print runs.
I’m also sharing all this in case any of you are knowledgeable in this area and can offer tips. 😀