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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
In this movie, I'll show you how to take that multi-channel CMYK image, that we created in the previous movie, and brighten up its shadows so that their printer safe. As in the case of this version of the image here. So, it doesn't look all that different, but it's going to look much different to your commercial printer. And here's why. I'll go ahead and switch back to the image in progress. And I'll select the Eye Dropper and make sure that you can see your CMYK values here inside the Color panel. If not then click at a flyout menu icon and choose CMYK sliders.
And then click and drag around inside the black area, notice those values up there in the Color panel. I've got 99 for cyan, 97 for magenta, 98 for yellow, and 89 for black. If you add those values together, you get 383%. Now a standard press, a commercial press, can handle anywhere from 270 to 300%, but it can't handle 383. And what's going to happen is that the paper is just going to fail to absorb the ink.
And most likely what's going to happen, is the cyan, magenta, and yellow inks are going to get laid down before the black ink. And as a result, that black ink is going to smear. And that's not what we want. So, here's how to fix the problem. First of all, turn Off that Hue Saturation layer, so that we're looking at the original image. And then go to the Channels panel by Clicking in the Channels tab. And grab the Black Channel down here at the bottom, and Drag it and Drop it onto the little Page icon to make a copy of it. And we'll go ahead and call this guy, Shadow Fixer.
And now what you want to do is go up to the Image menu and choose Adjustments, then choose the Levels command, and we're applying a static adjustment because you can't apply an Adjustment layer to an independent channel. Now, click inside the black value and press Shift+up arrow three times in a row, which'll give you a black point value of 30, which makes the darkest values inside this channel absolutely black. Now, tab to the Gamma Value and just change it to two. It's going to brighten the heck out of the channel.
The White Point value is fine as is, so just go ahead and click OK, in order to create this higher contrast alpha channel. Invert the image by pressing Ctrl+I or Cmd+I on a Mac. Now press the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on a Mac and click on the Shadow Fixer channel, in order to load it as a selection outline as you see here. So everything that's white becomes selected, everything that's black becomes deselected, and the values in between becomes selected to some degree in between. And the great thing is now, if I switch back to my CMYK image, that ensures that the darkest stuff inside the tucan is selected.
Now,you want to switch back to the Layers panel, turn the Hue saturation layer back on, and click on it to make it active. And then drop down to the Black and White icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, click on it, and choose this last command, Selective Color, in order to bring up these options right here. Now by default, you'll probably see reds selected for the colors. That's not what you want. You want to click on this Colors Pop-up menu and change it to blacks. Then, you want to set your values as follows.
Change the cyan value to negative 25%, then change magenta value to negative 33%m and change yellow value to negative 33%, as well. And by the way, these values are designed to work with the US Web Color swab standard. Once you've done that, you're good to go. So just go ahead and hide the Properties panel by clicking on that little double arrow icon. And now, you want to click on the Adjustment icon right there, so that the layer mask is no longer active, or you can just click on the Background layer. Make sure your CMYK values are visible in the Color panel once again.
And click and drag around inside the darkest portion of the toucan's head, and you'll now see entirely new values. And in my case, I'm seeing 75% for cyan, 65 for magenta, 66 for yellow. An 89 for black, you add those up and you get 295%, which is much more likely to fall within what is known as your printers total ink limit. And if you're all concerned about that, you can contact your commercial printer and once again ask them, what is the total ink limit for your device. And then, you can modify these values right here, just by double-clicking on the stump thumbnail.
You can modify these values to taste, so if you want to take them down then you need to reduce the cyan, magenta, and yellow values, but I advice you do them in propositions as you see here. So in other words, reduce the magenta and yellow values more than that cyan value. All right the final thing I want to do here, just to tidy things up. If you were to click on the background layer again, just to make sure none of the layer masks are active. And click in this magenta color swatch, you'll notice that the magenta value is 99% and the yellow value is 1%. Some of the other color swatches are slightly messed up like that as well. For example, if you click inside cyan, it's 98% for cyan and 1% for magenta. If you want to clean that up, that's a function of the Hue Saturation layer right here.
What you do is click on it to make it active, and then switch to the Magic Wand tool, which you can get to from the Quick Selection tool flyout menu. And go up to the Options bar here, and change the tolerance value to zero. And then turn Anti-alias off. Make sure Contiguous is turned on, and then Sample All Layers is turned on as well, by the way. That's very important. And finally, Sample Size should be set to Point Sample. Then click inside one of the color swatches and press the Shift key and click inside the other seven swatches as well, in order to select those areas. And now, to mask them away, where this hue saturation layer is concerned. First of all, make sure there is no layer mask.
If you're seeing a white layer mask thumbnail right here, right click on it and choose Delete Layer Mask. Then drop down to the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the panel, and press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac and click on it. And now, if you switch back to the Background layer by clicking on it, and then press the i key to switch back to your Eye Dropper tool and click inside that magenta swatch. You'll see that there's no cyan. It's 100% magenta. If you click inside the cyan swatch, you'll likewise see that it's 100% cyan with no magenta whatsoever. So we've removed the last of those slight color impurities. And that, friends, is how you adjust the CMYK values for your darkest shadows, so that they'll reproduce safely from a commercial printer.
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