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Creating duotones, tritones, and quadtones

From: Photoshop for Designers: Color

Video: Creating duotones, tritones, and quadtones

Here I'm going to create a Duotone. The Photoshop Duotone color mode encompasses Tritones, Quadtones as well as Duotones. Tritones, being three inks, quadtones being four inks and a duotone being two inks. A duotone is essentially a grayscale image. It has one channel, so it's economical in terms of its file size. The reason that you might want to work with a duotone is if you're working with a budget print job and you're printing in only two colors or possibly three colors.

Creating duotones, tritones, and quadtones

Here I'm going to create a Duotone. The Photoshop Duotone color mode encompasses Tritones, Quadtones as well as Duotones. Tritones, being three inks, quadtones being four inks and a duotone being two inks. A duotone is essentially a grayscale image. It has one channel, so it's economical in terms of its file size. The reason that you might want to work with a duotone is if you're working with a budget print job and you're printing in only two colors or possibly three colors.

If you're printing in four colors, you can get some interesting affects with the quadtone that you can probably get those effects more easily retaining the image as an RGB or CMY image. To get to a duotone you'll notice that under the Image menu the Duotone color mode is actually dimmed. We have to first go via the Grayscale color mode and the best way to get Grayscale as Photoshop is about to remind me is not to go directly to a Grayscale conversion but rather to use the Black & White adjustment layer.

So, I'm going to Cancel that and then I'm going to come to my Layers panel and I'm going to add a Black & White adjustment layer. And this gives me the benefit of being able to mix the original colors of the image to control the contrast of my resulting grayscale. Now, if I just turn off that Black & White adjustment layer, you can see that we got some blues and cyans in there. So, I'm going to go to my Cyans slider, and I'm going to bring this over to the left, and you can see how that adds more contrast and I also do the same for the Blue.

So, now that I've got a good looking Black & White image, I can go to the Image menu and choose Mode and then convert to Grayscale. Changing modes will discard an adjustment layer; change mode anyway? Now, if I click OK this is a rather confusing warning message I think. If I click OK, it's just going to discard that adjustment layer like it never happened, which is not what I want at all. So, what I want to do is Flatten so that it incorporates that adjustment layer. Discard color information? And it's telling me to do something that I've already done.

So after a while you'll want to definitely check, Don't show again for this warning box, but now I'm going to choose Discard, and we have a single channel gray image. Now that it's a single channel image, I can go to Duotone, and I can choose one all of my Duotone Presets or I can just click on my second, or if I want to make it a tritone, my third and my fourth color, I am going to -- first of all let's have a look at a quadtone.

Now, it's a bit difficult to tell from these presets, which are the quadtones, which are the tritones and which are the duotones, the majority of them are duotones but the CMYK, are as the four ink colors would suggest, these are all quadtones. If I choose one of those, that's what we're going to get. So, the whole premise of a duotone, tritone or quadtone is that you get an expanded tonal range, because you have not one ink, but you have two, three or four inks.

You can't direct where the ink goes to, in terms of what areas of your image, you can only direct what tonal range is it goes to. If you want to direct what areas it goes to, then you need a Spot Color channel as I discussed in the previous movie, and we will be discussing some more in upcoming movies. But you can click on any one of these curves and you can affect the curve. You can pull it around like so, or because these curves operates slightly differently to the curves you may be used to, as the curves adjustment, you can do this numerically.

So, if you want to bring down the amount of ink at the 60% mark, you can just type in the number that you want right there. That's actually quite an interesting effect that I've gotten there unwittingly. I was going to say that the next thing I would do, would reduce that one so that we have a more standard shape of curve. So, you can experiment with those, you can also change to any color ink that you like, you just click on the color swatch and choose the color that you're after.

Bear in mind that if this we're going to be incorporated into a CMYK print job, if you were to add spot colors here, then you run the risk of incurring additional printing expense by adding an extra Ink. What I'm going to do though in this scenario is I'm going to assume that using this image in a publication that has the ink, as the second ink color pantone 144, which is an orange, and up here there is a preset for PANTONE 144.

I have four of them, and it's a little bit counterintuitive I guess, but the lover the number, the more of the second color that you're going to get. So, the first preset for 144 Orange, and that gives us a lot of orange and the fourth one gives us a lot less orange. So, I'm going to go with number 2 preset for the PANTONE 144. I can come tweak those codes if I wanted to, but I actually quite like the way that looks.

So, I'm going to click OK and I'm now going to Save this and when I save it, I'm going to save it in the Photoshop file format, and I'm going to call it duotone1 because I've got one in there already so I don't want to overwrite. Now, I'm going to place the image in an InDesign layout, and I just want to point out something that is important when working with Duotones. I'm going to select my empty picture frame right there.

Before I do so, we'll take a look at my Swatches panel. We can see that we've got the standard default color swatches on my Swatches panel, and when I place my duotone, I'm going to fit it to the frame. What we get is the second color that's used in that duotone appears on my Swatches panel. My point here being that if you're using a Duotone in this way, if you're using it as a part of a layout that's going to be put together in InDesign or Illustrator, you need to make sure that the color that you use for your duotone corresponds to the second color that you're in your layout.

And now that color is on my Swatches panel, I can use it on other elements in my layout.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Designers: Color
Photoshop for Designers: Color

75 video lessons · 18549 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 25m 26s
    1. Defining color terms
      2m 38s
    2. Understanding the color wheel
      4m 3s
    3. Understanding color relationships
      1m 7s
    4. Using Kuler to understand color harmony rules and create color palettes
      4m 2s
    5. Using the Kuler web site
      3m 10s
    6. Colors on screen and on paper
      1m 42s
    7. Color as a signifier
      3m 14s
    8. Color inspirations
      2m 39s
    9. Color and accessibility
      2m 51s
  3. 38m 22s
    1. Demystifying the Color Picker
      2m 57s
    2. Understanding the role of foreground and background colors
      5m 39s
    3. Choosing colors
      6m 41s
    4. Managing swatches
      7m 40s
    5. Transparency
      9m 42s
    6. Color channels
      5m 43s
  4. 41m 4s
    1. Understanding additive and subtractive color
      2m 57s
    2. RGB mode
      1m 56s
    3. CMYK mode
      2m 41s
    4. Lab mode
      3m 49s
    5. Indexed mode
      2m 16s
    6. Grayscale mode
      5m 0s
    7. Color management
      14m 15s
    8. Color depth (8-, 16-, 24-, and 32-bit)
      4m 19s
    9. Monitor calibration
      3m 51s
  5. 26m 43s
    1. Evaluating color with the Histogram panel
      3m 18s
    2. Evaluating color with the Info panel
      1m 48s
    3. Boosting color with levels
      3m 48s
    4. Auto Tone and Auto Contrast
      7m 38s
    5. Manually setting the black and white point
      3m 50s
    6. Curves
      6m 21s
  6. 18m 30s
    1. What is color correction?
      5m 45s
    2. White balancing in Camera Raw
      1m 46s
    3. Color correction with color balance
      1m 34s
    4. Color balancing using photo filters
      1m 26s
    5. Color correction with variations
      4m 27s
    6. Color correction by the numbers
      3m 32s
  7. 33m 14s
    1. Selecting color with the Magic Wand
      4m 43s
    2. Selecting color with the Quick Selection tool
      2m 26s
    3. Selecting color with Color Range
      4m 0s
    4. Neutralizing whites with the Multiply blend mode
      2m 55s
    5. Neutralizing blacks with the Screen blend mode
      57s
    6. Masking colors with the Blend If sliders
      2m 54s
    7. Masking hair with a channel mask and removing contaminant colors
      2m 58s
    8. Shifting targeted colors using Hue/Saturation
      5m 4s
    9. Matching colors using Hue/Saturation
      3m 16s
    10. Matching colors using the Match Color command
      1m 36s
    11. Matching colors using the Color blend modes
      2m 25s
  8. 21m 8s
    1. Saturating colors
      4m 9s
    2. Desaturating colors
      1m 57s
    3. Desaturating in Camera Raw
      3m 1s
    4. Creating a color accent with selective saturation
      2m 38s
    5. Enhancing a sunrise with a gradient map
      5m 49s
    6. Increasing vibrance
      1m 19s
    7. Using selective color
      2m 15s
  9. 32m 42s
    1. Designing with spot colors
      12m 15s
    2. Adding a fifth color to a CMYK image
      5m 0s
    3. Adding spot colors to a grayscale image
      5m 24s
    4. Create a metallic print effect
      3m 8s
    5. Creating duotones, tritones, and quadtones
      6m 55s
  10. 30m 45s
    1. Creating a silkscreen print look with a limited color palette
      7m 59s
    2. Combining color with black and white
      2m 22s
    3. Creating a nostalgic travel poster using the Cut Out filter
      6m 27s
    4. Mapping an image to a color look up table (CLUT)
      7m 56s
    5. Converting to black and white
      6m 1s
  11. 48m 34s
    1. Creating a hand-tinted portrait (the easy way)
      3m 29s
    2. Creating a hand-tinted portrait (the harder way)
      11m 23s
    3. Creating an Andy Warhol look
      4m 44s
    4. Applying a gradient map
      4m 4s
    5. Sepia toning an image
      8m 41s
    6. Color tinting an image
      5m 15s
    7. Split toning an image
      2m 9s
    8. Working with line art
      8m 49s
  12. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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