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Photoshop for Designers: Color
Illustration by John Hersey

Designing with spot colors


From:

Photoshop for Designers: Color

with Nigel French

Video: Designing with spot colors

I'm going to create this T- shirt design based upon this image. And this T-shirt design uses four inks. They are all PANTONE inks and they are all applied using spot color channels. You'll notice that my Color channels are turned off, my layers are turned off. This is a very different way of working in Photoshop. Photoshop is primarily a tool for designing with the colors of light, RGB, or the colors of ink, CMYK. But here we want to use premixed ink colors.
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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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Photoshop for Designers: Color
5h 18m Intermediate Jan 04, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this Photoshop for Designers course, Nigel French focuses on the tools and features in Photoshop designed for choosing, applying, and editing color. The course looks at concepts such as the color wheel and color harmonies as well as the practicalities of using the Color Picker, leveraging the power of color channels, and the characteristics of different color modes in Photoshop. The course includes exercises on correcting color, enhancing color, shifting and replacing colors, working with spot color channels, hand coloring black and white images, and designing with a reduced color palette.

Topics include:
  • Defining color terms
  • Using Kuler to create color palettes
  • Understanding additive and subtractive color
  • Understanding color management
  • Using the Levels, Curves, Auto Tone, and Auto Contrast adjustments
  • Color correction
  • Selecting color—from the Magic Wand to Color Range
  • Neutralizing blacks and whites with blend modes
  • Matching colors
  • Saturating and de-saturating colors
  • Increasing saturation with Vibrance
  • Designing with spot color
  • Colorizing images
Subjects:
Design Color Design Techniques
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Nigel French

Designing with spot colors

I'm going to create this T- shirt design based upon this image. And this T-shirt design uses four inks. They are all PANTONE inks and they are all applied using spot color channels. You'll notice that my Color channels are turned off, my layers are turned off. This is a very different way of working in Photoshop. Photoshop is primarily a tool for designing with the colors of light, RGB, or the colors of ink, CMYK. But here we want to use premixed ink colors.

And we also need to make sure that the colors applied to the Sport Color channels do not overlap. They need to register, but they should not overlap. So let's see how we get on with this. So I've got this as my starting point and I want to make it a square. I'm going to use my Crop tool and I'm going to crop this to a 10-inch by 10-inch square. So I'm going to put those values. I'm going to crop this to 10-inch by 10-inch square at a Resolution of 300 pixels per inch.

So having put those values in to my Crop tool, I'll then draw my cropping rectangle, press Return to perform the crop. Now begins the process of deconstructing this image into the different areas of color and detail. We want one layer for the petals, one for the center of the flower, one for the stem, and one for the sky. Ultimately, these layers will become Spot Color channels. When we've adjusted the Spot Color channels, the original layers will be deleted as will the original color channels, and we will then need to save this document either as a Photoshop document or a Photoshop DCS 2.0.

So I'm going to start by making a selection. I'm going to make a color range selection of the sky. Having made that selection of the sky, I'm going to inverse it, so I now have a selection of the flower. I'm then going to refine the edge of that selection. And we can see that we've got quite a lot of fringing going on around the edges of the petals. So I'm going to increase my Radius value so that it's big enough to address this problem.

I'm going to turn on Show Radius and we can see how thick the radius that we're working with is. I'm going to go up to 5 pixels; I can now turn off Show Radius. I'm going to smooth that edge a little bit, and I'm going to increase the contrast along the edge, and I'm also going to shift the edge, bringing it inside the selection by moving to the left, and then I'm going to click OK.

I now need to copy that selection to a new layer, Command+J or Ctrl+J. I'll turn off my Background layer. I now want to separate from it the stem and the center of the flower. So I'm going to come to Color Range and select the green of the stem. As I do so, I am inevitably going to be selecting some of the yellow of the petals. That's okay. With what I have there, I'm now going to cut that selection to a new layer, Command+Shift+J or Ctrl+Shift+J. So we now have all of this on a separate layer.

Some of this I don't need, so I'm now going to choose my Eraser tool, increase the size of my Eraser, make sure that the edge of my Brush is Hard, and then I can just rub out these bits that I don't want. And if I now return to the petals layer, we can see that I've got some of that stem on the right-hand side that ultimately we're going to remove some trace elements of that, and I'm going to rub those out.

So there is a certain amount of cleanup that's going to need to happen. Now I'm going to come back to the Background layer where I'm going to make a selection of the center of the flower, again, using Color Range, and I'm quite happy with that, I'm going to click OK. I'm going to copy that to a new layer, Command+J or Ctrl+J, turn off the Background layer, use my Eraser tool to rub out the bits that I don't want.

Now if I turn back on the petals, we can see that I've got some of the flower center in the petals layer, and I don't want that there. So I'm going to load the selection from Layer 3, come to Layer 1, and delete those pixels. Okay, so what we see now is we have a stem, the petals with some detail in the center of the flower, and then other detail for the center of the flower and we've yet to address the issue of the background.

Ultimately, we want the background to be a flat blue. So what I'm going to do now is convert my layers into Spot Color channels. And this is going to be easier if I separate my Layers panel over here and then I'm going to start with the stem layer. I'll activate its selection by Command+ Clicking or Ctrl+Clicking on its layer thumbnail, come to my Channels panel, let's give myself a bit more room for that and choose New Spot Channel and choose the color that I'm after.

I'm going to have it at a Solidity of 100%. If I'm also printing in black ink. Let's say or a grayscale image or CMYK image with additional Spot Color channels, I could reduce the Solidity so that we see some of the tonal values of the original image coming through. But in this case, I don't want to do that, so I'm going to have a Solidity of 100%, because we need to work with just a very limited color palette here of four inks, and there's no black.

Then I'm going to Command+Click or Ctrl+ Click on Layer 1, the petals, we'll turn off the visibility of that though, and I will come to my Channels panel, New Spot Channel, and now I'm going to choose PANTONE 131 for that. And finally, I'm going to activate the selection for the center of the flower by Command+Clicking or Ctrl+Clicking on its layer thumbnail, over to my Spot Color channels.

So that's what we have so far. I'm now going to create my background color. So for my background color, what I'm going to do is I am going to just go to New Spot Channel and this is going to be a bright blue, PANTONE 300. And then I'm going to make sure that in black, I fill that channel with black, Option+Delete or Alt+Backspace key. Now what I need to do is subtract from this channel the selections of the other three channels.

So Command+Click on the first, Command+Shift+Click on the second, Command+Shift+Click on the third, making sure that you're still on that PANTONE 300 channel, fill that with white. White is currently my background color, so I'm going to press Command and the Backspace/Delete key. So there is our design so far. The area of the flower in the center where we're seeing through to blue, I actually want to see through to negative space, I actually want to see the color of the fabric that we're printing on coming through.

So I'm going to need to adjust this channel further. I'm clicked on it; I'm going to make white my foreground color, choose my Brush tool, an appropriate brush size. I want to make sure I don't introduce any softening of edges, so I'm going to make sure that the Hardness of my brush is all the way down to 0, and then I'm just going to paint over that area. I may have gone a little bit too far on some of those edges, so if so, I can switch to black. I want to make sure that I don't paint over any of the areas occupied by the other three color channels.

So I'm going to Command+Shift+Click on each of those in turn, and then inverse that selection leaving me with a selection of the PANTONE 300 channel, and paint back the bits where I went a little bit too far. Keeping that selection of all the other channels active, but still working on the sky channel, the blue channel, I am going to hide my edges, Command+H, and I want to hide the extras, and then I'm going to paint around those areas where I see fringing.

Now I want to introduce some highlights on to the yellow channel and I'm going to do this by turning back on my layers, temporarily turning off my color channels. And I'm going to apply a Threshold command and then move my Threshold slider all the way over to the right, so that I still retain some detail, but most of it is actually falling away to solid black. Then I'm going to merge the adjustment and the Background layer into one layer, Command+Option+Shift+E. I'll turn off the Background layer and the Threshold layer, and then I will invert that.

So those values there that are in black are what I want to use as the highlight values. I am going to next delete the white pixels. Now I have changed my Transparency Preferences to have a Grid Size of None, so that we're seeing the transparent areas as white. But I'm going to change that for a moment, just so we can see the difference here. So now when I select a white pixel with my Magic Wand tool, I can then delete that and all the white pixels are deleted.

I'm using Tolerance of 32; it doesn't really matter in this case, too much. Anti-aliasing is off and Contiguous is also off. That leaves me with just the black pixels. I now need to activate that as a selection and giving myself a bit of a room on my Channels panel, I'm now going to turn off Layer 4, come to PANTONE 131, where I want to fill this layer with less than 100% black.

And then it will run as a tint of the PANTONE 131. So I'm going to come to my Swatches panel, choose a light gray, there I have 35% gray, make sure I'm on the right channel, Option or Alt and the Backspace/Delete key to fill that selection, and that's how it looks when we see that channel in isolation. That's how it now looks when we see the whole composition.

As a final step, making sure that I'm working on a copy of this document, I would delete the color channels which in turn deletes the layers and make sure I've got the right channels turned on, and then make sure I save it either as a Photoshop document or a Photoshop DCS 2.0. So a very different workflow there, one that involves in its initial setup, the use of layers, but ultimately those layers are discarded as are the color channels, and all we're left with are four Spot Color Channels.

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