I am trying to improve my photo quality for products by reexamining my method of placing Illustrator-made designs into Photoshop.
For example, if I'm mocking up the look of a notepad, I photograph a blank one, edit the image in Photoshop, and then export the artwork from Illustrator.
Currently I export is as a PNG using "export as" and save it at 600ppi with the anti-aliasing set as art optimized, background transparent, using artboards to keep the size if the work doesn't go to the edge. I place it into Photoshop as a smart object and use the transform tools to line everything up with the notepad in the image.
Sometimes I'll apply smart filters, change the blending, etc. to make it look more printed rather than placed over the photo.
I really like this method because I only have to do this once and can then use replace contents for new designs.
I'm trying to improve this method for two reasons:
- At 100% the placed artwork looks fine, but when zoomed in you can quickly see the jagged/stepped lines on everything. The color breaks down as well, which actually isn't such a problem at the moment as it gives it a more printed look, but the edge quality is a big problem. The new site I'm using these images for shows a very zoomed in option so it's important to have them clear.
- I'd be happy just to fix the line quality issue but while I'm here, I'd also love to have the placed artwork pick up the texture as well as subtle shadow of the paper behind. I've tried every blending mode and so far Multiply has been great for letting the shadows show but that's it. For items that have a solid background with no transparency, I'd love to have the texture show through so that they look more realistic. Again, this is a secondary problem but I'd really like to improve my system.
I'm using CC 2018 for both programs and final images are exported using PS save for web, usually JPEG set to high/quality:60, 1500x1300px.
I've included a screenshot of the edge quality below.