Color Separation in Photoshop
Simulated Process Colour Separation
Scott Fresener, since years we are friends…. must be more than 25 Years now. I meet him the first time here in Mauritius, as he did consult for Screen Printing here in Mauritius.
However, I did his first translation to German, for his color separation software FastFilms. Now it’s called T-Seps, and it’s still a Plugin for Photoshop.
Scott wrote a nice article on his Website on Simulated Process Separation, where he explains step by step, how to do the simulated process separation in Photoshop, without separation software! Here we go:
Know your artwork
This one is BIG. You must know your artwork and work to make it the best possible. Here are some tips.
If you built the image in AI, you could open it in Photoshop. If you built the image in Corel save it as an EPS file (without any shirt background). In either case, when you open the file in Photoshop, make sure to set the resolution and file size. If the image is mainly embedded in bitmap elements, then open it at 300dpi at the final print size. If you are a Vector Snob – then open it at 500 to 600 dpi and UNCHECK Anti-Aliasing. This means the edges of the image will be more like those in the vector program (OK, a little close), and Photoshop will not try to soften the jaggies (turning off anti-aliasing). The file will be larger, but with today’s huge hard disks, it doesn’t matter.
If the image is a low-quality JPG, then you need to work to get rid of the artifacts. There are a lot of JPG Enhancement programs. You can also do this in Photoshop. First, up-sample the image to the correct final size and the resolution you want. Here is a “Scott” quick JPG enhancement routine (up-sample first). In Photoshop – Filter/Noise/Despeckle. Filter/Noise/Reduce Noise/. Noise Strength 10, Preserve Details 60, Reduce Color Noise 20, Sharpen Details 15, Remove JPG Artifacts Yes. You will love this!
Don’t be afraid to improve the contrast. I like to apply an “S” curve to images to darken the shadows and lighten the highlights. This performs magic on flat files.
Hey, it’s not me who wrote it. Go straight to Scott Fresener; he deserves the credits.
For me, this is the best-explained way to create a simulated color separation for us screen printers. For sure, you would need Photoshop!
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