If we were trying to keep track of the real time I spent with addressing each of these technical issues, there was probably another week spent on fixing the gradients and testing them out with the PDF version of the files. But I got all the troublesome gradients switched, and in my 68th time running it through the pre-flight software (this is a program that catches any issue the actual printing process will have with your file, before you send it to the printer. The printer must provide the actual specs, as my platform did), I came upon YET ANOTHER error:
“This file contains spot colors and transparency. This may produce unexpected results if converted to process outside of Illustrator.”
If you notice in the left-hand image (that I keep using as it seems to have had every possible error contained in it alone), Centipede Dragon’s two eye beams pass over the fence, the sheep, and the shepherd. The reason you can see what’s underneath is because I applied a transparency to the eyebeam. The right-hand image shows how the beams would look without the transparency.
Unfortunately, this is a mathematically-derived effect that the software performs for our monitor viewing enjoyment. But the printing process failed math, and therefore, cannot re-create the transparency.
One solution was to take every overlapping bit of that is a different color, actually cut that piece out, and create a new color that simulates the old color being passed over by the “transparent” color. Basically, the original color is altered due to the color of the beam. I cut that piece of the sheep face, or the sheep wool, or the leg, the fence post, the grass, whatever, and make a new color using the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black percentages until I match the color created by the tinting of the beam’s color.
Now, do you think at this point I really want to do that?