Reverse Engineering Seps

Lee Varis

Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone had a strategy for reverse engineering a separation set up. I'm trying to figure out how to provide files for a
client that has always had problems with digital camera files at this
one prepress house. I provided seps based on scanty info from said
house – they output, made Fuji proofs and the resulting prints were
flat (not what I expected, I had a black in those files that was 70c,
60m, 60y, 90k!)
They corrected the files (or said they did) and everything printed
great. The info I was given basically matched Photoshop's default SWOP
set up (300 TIL, 100k, 20% dg) and I was just a little suspicious
because the client showed me versions of these same files, printed
before with the same prepress house that looked dark and muddy (like
the dot gain was higher than expected) so I was asked to correct for
this and put some life into the files. I re-separated from the original
RGBs with a higher dot gain curves and reconfigured the black plate to
increase contrast and pop out the black in the shadows (these were
shots of motorcycles with engine parts with dark line detail in low

The problem I'm having right now is that the corrected digital files
seem to have disappeared - the sales rep fro the prepress house said he
needed them for billing. So I don't have the corrected version only the
original version of these digital files. Right now I'm thinking that
this place messed up the original files so that they could charge to
correct them but I can't really know until I can compare my original to
their corrected file – or can I?

Any thoughts on this?


Lee Varis

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