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Image Not Visible/Blank When Placing EPS Files into new file

I use a program called Separation Studio to separate raster images into spot colors. I then open up a new Illustrator file, click file -> place -> select the eps file created from Separation Studio, and the image that is placed is blank. This was not an issue with any versions of Illustrator. In previous versions, you were able to see the image that was placed and even change/alter the spot colors that were brought in. In this new version, CC18, the spot colors come in with the image when it's placed, but even if you change the spot color, nothing changes about the image, it is just blank. This is a crucial part of our business and I need help quickly, if possible. I am reinstalling CC17 in the meantime to get by.

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Adam shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

We have the fix available in the latest release. Please update Illustrator using Adobe Creative Cloud application to the latest build for version Illustrator CC 22.1.
Please refer to our knowledge base FAQhttps://illustrator.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/1844590 if you face difficulty in update.
Or get in touch with us at any of the other support channels – https://helpx.adobe.com/support.html

Warm Regards,
Ashutosh Chaturvedi | Sr. Quality Engineering Manager – Illustrator
Adobe. Make It an Experience.


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  • Donovan Pierce commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is what worked for me, using advice from Amyl64558718 lower on the thread.

    1. Open existing .eps in Photoshop (if you're a screenprinter, likely from SepStudio)
    2. Write down exact pixel dimensions and DPI (usually 300)
    3. Create new CMYK Photoshop document to pixel dimenions and Dpi of .eps file, plus transparency as the background. All of this is in the new document dialogue.
    4. Put both windows side by side (drag out of main bar)
    5. Command + Shift click the channels in .eps and drag over to new document artboard.
    6. Save as a CMYK Photoshop document
    7. Open Photoshop document in Illustrator, keeping all the elements as layers (do not flat)
    8. Delete the CMYK image layer, keeping each channel layer intact.
    9. The channel layers are sublayers on a single layer. To get each channel onto it's own layer: drag channel one down past the last channel and drop it. It's now on it's own layer. Do that to all of the other channels in order.
    10. When all of the channels are on their own layer, delete the original layer.
    11. Open Swatches
    12. Select each channel separately and color with their appropriate swatch.
    13. Lock all channel layers.
    14. Create a new top layer.
    15. Add registration marks and any "do not print" elements on top layer.

    Save as an Illustrator file. Print out of Accurip as normal.

    I hope this helps someone else. you might not need to drag each channel to it's own layer, but I like to keep clean files and to be able to turn channels off and on with layers. This is one benefit to using the psd technique that you don't get from Placing an .eps file.

  • Donovan Pierce commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Professional screen printer and graphic artist / color separation artist here. I'm using a workaround but it adds tons of time to my workflow. Illustrator is the greatest. Can't wait until the repair comes through and 2018 treats .eps files the same way it treated them in 2017.

  • Experienced and Helpful commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    There is a workaround to Adobe's issue however it does take some extra attention by the end user. We can bring back all the abilities they took from us with the 2018 update by re-saving a DCS2 file in either an RGB or CMYK mode "with" spot color channels as a PSD or PDF. This brings back the preview with or without the Proxy Preview pref on (good), delivers a quality "live" preview that will display edits to spot colors when converting white colors to color so they can be seen during preview (good), and makes the Separation Preview feature work again (great). Super great is that these formats also support transparency in Illustrator during layout. The downside is that the preview now introduces CMYK colors thinking the user wants to print the preview as well because it is no longer a preview built from the imported (PLACED) DCS2 separations. It's a trade off, but great value is delivered. Watch what you print. Don't fall asleep at the wheel or you will freak when you produce 4 extra CMYK films. With practice you will discipline yourself until Adobe repairs the new issue. :)

    Another option is use the Proxy Preview feature to have a preview with your standard DCS2.eps file with no separation preview feature. You’d simply trust what your color separation software produced which is not a terrible stretch if you use Spot Process Separation Studio with its RGB VueRite technology.

    Finally, your third option is to simply stay with Illustrator 2017 continuing to enjoy the workflow we all got used to until Adobe delivers a better solution.

    I hope this advice and these options help you have a more productive workday.


  • Billy D commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This really needs fixing. Screenprinters rely on this function! Come on @adobe lets get this right!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I work for a commercial screen printer. I also use Separation Studio. Screen printers and their production arts have not stopped using DCS 2.0 Photoshop files for color separation. We work in channels everyday.

    Attention ADOBE!
    #1 DCS 2.0 file format is not dead.
    #2 We use DCS 2.0 files to color separate photorealistic images and other non-vector illustrations.
    #3 Screen printers that print on fabric cannot use CMYK due to the need for an under base. The need is not going away for DCS 2.0 files. If Adobe thinks the Direct to Garment printer (which uses CMYK) is the replacement for traditional screen printing then Adobe is dead wrong.

    The screen printing industry needs Adobe Illustrator to support and preview DCS 2.0 files as they have in the past. This is a major headache for me and all screen printers who print full color and illustrative non-vetor art.

    I am literally going to revert to CS6 until this is resolved.

    Should I still pay $50 a month for my CC account? I already own the CS6.


  • Just voicing my concern commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Using the workaround, but a quick solution would be helpful when trying to use DCS 2.0 separations with live vector in illustrator. Please fix.

  • Experienced and Helpful commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The low res Proxy preview pref is certainly a relief "for now". At least it brings back a static preview of us to place an image and incorporate other elements, but it is only a "static" image meaning it is no longer built from the actual DCS2 separations that were "live". Version 2017 would display changes to spot colors in the preview which is very helpful when working with a "white"spot color. However the biggest issue remains, even with a proxy preview the "Separation Preview" feature still does not work in 2018. This is a very valuable workflow that Adobe must repair or risk angering many thousands of users. My feeling is that the DCS2 preview issue is a "bug" (over sight). The DCS2 format is important, created by Quark back in 1999 it remains the best way to handle high res separations using spot colors containing more than 4 colors. The fact the Photoshop still supports to format is a good sign that this is a temporary issue in the new release. Let's hope. For now, keep using 2017. Good luck to all. Remain calm. :)

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Use this feature all the time to place spot colors seps (dcs) to go direct to screen in screen printing business. Without this function, I would have to place and replace each channel as greyscale images, adding way to much time to my day.

  • Brandon Cady commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    photoshop files with spot color channels seem to work much better now so you could potentially use that instead depending on your application

  • MarioU commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Same problem, since using files with linked EPS is basic in our workflow can´t afford using CC2018 so we have to downgrade to CC2017, will be very appreciated if this issue can get fixed.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Yes, please fix this. It has caused a massive headache here as most of the packaging we work on is in spot colours. The artwork looked unrecognisable. I find DCS files clunky at the best of times, but they are still used extensively on the stuff we do. Bit early to phase them out until there's a bulletproof substitute!

  • Haresh Ladha commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Same issue, none of my files show EPS linked images.
    I have re-downloaded CC 2017 and is working fine on there.
    Can't afford the downtime so back on CC 2017 until advised otherwise.

  • Adam commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Rama I'm not getting design information when I output to Host Based Seaparation. The crop marks that I put in the illlustator file after placing the EPS DCS file still print through and show up perfectly fine on the ripped files, but the the design itself is not there. I can see it on the preview window in the print dialog box, but it's not there in the separated files. I'm using the same settings to print as previous versions, which have worked completely fine before hand so I don't think it's my rip software. I'm using Illustrator 17 until this is worked out.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    no preview of DSC 2.0 files in illustrator when placed, rip software also not seeing anything

  • Adam commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi Jotham, we use Fusion Rip software. There is a preview of the image in the print dialog box, but the resulting file created through the rip software is still missing the image. We are getting the elements created in illustrator (crop marks) to come through, but not the image. Would it have something do with embedding?

  • Jotham commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Adam I have not had an issue printing to accurip. What are you using? Do you see a preview of the image in the print dialog box or is it blank there as well? I'm also able to print to a pdf so you could try using that as a work around, but honestly best to just stay with an older version of CC for now. I have gotten word they are working on fixing this, but it may take months before we see a release.

  • Mario commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We are in the same boat, We output film for the graphics industries using DCS files all the time. Now we are force to downgrade, not upgrade to get by.

    Hope more people let Adobe know that this is a bad move!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Since Adobe Illustrator has been updated last week I now seem to be having problems viewing a ‘Placed’ Photoshop image in Illustrator. The ‘Placed‘ file is an Adobe Photoshop ‘DCS 2.0’ format file which comes through from Adobe Photoshop as an ‘.eps’ file (the file uses spot Pantone Colours). 

    The linked image should appear as it does here on the left but since the update all I see is the shadow effect which is applied to the image.

    I’ve had a play about with preferences and viewing modes but can’t seem to get to the bottom of this problem, can you shed any light on why this may be happening?
    Can anybody shed any light on this problem?

  • Adam commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Also, this is in the new Illustrator 18 version. Everything works correctly with 17 and lower.

  • Adam commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    When I place a spot color separated eps file into a new document, it comes in blank. We've already fixed that issue by "Use Low Resoultion Proxy for Linked EPS". But when I print the file to out Rip Software, I'm still getting a blank area where the design should be.

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